December 19, 2008

Street Life

We're celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary today and I want to publicly say that I married a great man. God knew I needed someone a little crazy to balance out all my quirks and oddities, and Ken's just the man for the job. He makes a great dad, too, and is always on the same page with me about this adventure called life.

On another note, I wanted to show you a couple pictures of what we see in the city. We travel into Asuncion (the capital) for business and such, and at most intersections--every one with a stoplight--we encounter various children and adults selling their goods and services. This could be anything from fresh fruit (oh, so fresh, and at bargain prices) to cell phone covers to maps to bread to DVD's (on or before the day they come out in the theater) to newspapers to basically anything you can imagine.

Some are carrying squeegies and soapy water bottles, and as SOON as the light turns red, they are splashing the soap on your windshield to wash it. Others are carrying various sizes of windshield wipers and will sell you and INSTALL the wipers before the light turns green. There are also the basic beggars, just coming to your window to ask for money or show you their deformity.

All that is well and good in a poor economy, where folks need to make money how ever they can. I have to draw the line, though, at small children. It's extremely common to see 6-12 year-olds everywhere, but at many of these intersections, there are VERY SMALL (2-5 years old) children, stretching to wash your window, offering to sell you fruit, or just holding out their hands. If you live in Greenville, just imagine Woodruff Road at lunchtime, or in Charleston, Rivers Ave towards the end of December. Except here, the maintenance isn't as good and there aren't nice medians dividing the lanes. Instead, these tiny kids are standing there, often alone or with another small child, just inches from the passing cars. It's all I can do not to open the door and pull them into the car with me.

I see them and think about the children next-door we've come to love, who are abandoned children themselves. I try to imagine them, or one of my own, standing on a scorching hot street in the baking sun all day, risking life and limb to survive another 24-hours. We knew before we came that a large part of the Millers' ministry here is homes for abandoned children, but after seeing the alternative first-hand, we are more and more thankful that God laid it on their hearts to make a difference where they can in the lives of these children.


  1. First of all, Happy Anniversary! May you have many more.

    Second, this was a really great insightful post! You did a good job describing the situation on the streets. Even though I have lived here most of my life, when I come to Asuncion, it always touches my heart to see these children on the streets. And not be able to do anything... It is such a pityful sight and all I can do is hand them a couple of Gs, hoping to help them in this way!

  2. Happy Belated Anniversary!! I wish "we" could rescue them sad.


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