Last week I finished my second month here! Isn’t it crazy!!?? But let me tell you, I am so thankful to be here.
So let’s keep talking about my life as a Fellow with International Justice Mission in Bolivia. As I said in my last post Reality Check: despair and prayers (Part I), I was frustrated because I was able to see how Justice can, sometimes, be delayed.
Adding to that day’s frustration, I helped to translate some statistics for our Church Mobilization team; the text went like this: “12 children are raped every day in Bolivia. Only 0.5 percent of the cases in Bolivia get a sentence. 34% of the girls in Bolivia are victims of sexual assault before they turn 18.”
I have heard the other interns say, “In my country things would be (are) different,” and I am sure that it’s true. I do not take that comment as offensive, because that is actually a true statement; I just hate the fact that I cannot say the same, because this is my country, and it has always been this way. So what did I do? What anyone would do: I over think. I get frustrated. And I cry because the problem seems soooooooooooo big and it looks like I will never be able to make a real change in the system. After that, I give in to despair. Have you ever been in that position?
And one day, in the middle of my frustration, I read this quote: “Pray to the God of justice so He can fix your eyes on the hope of His glory and not allow you to move toward the despair of your own abilities”.
That was a holy slap right in my face! Right? ; )
What do I do now? I try to give the best that I can give in everything I do, big tasks and small tasks, and I PRAY! To the God that in one day rescued 149 people in Chennai, India, while I was learning and preparing to face these challenges. I pray and ask for His power to break into the darkness of despair in my life. I pray to the only one that is able to move the big mountains of oppression and bring real freedom, to our bodies and our souls.
I pray to the one that is able. Would you pray with me? Would you pray for me?
I hope today I was able to let you know, and maybe feel, like I do sometimes in this process of learning to do good and seek justice. The feelings of despair can be overwhelming some times, but the hope that comes from God and his eternal plan is bigger. I struggle with frustration and I still cry with every story. Yet my heart rejoices with every successful action the IJM teams can get all over the world, and a greater joy comes when I can see change in my own country, in my own community. I am learning to think, thank and rejoice every day.
To end today´s post I would like to say thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and financial support.
Also, please keep praying for
IJM Bolivia staff: As I mentioned in my last post and here, when justice is delayed this job can be a bit frustrating. Pray for God´s strength to overcome our own feelings of despair when things like this happen, and for us to be always joyful to serve others.
For me: Keep praying for me to grow in my relationship with God and with others. Also pray for my heart to be guarded at the same time as it is molded through getting to know the broken side of our human race. Pray so I can keep my eyes fixed on God and not in the despair of my own abilities.
For my financial support: Please keep praying for the financial support that I need to cover my living expenses while serving with IJM Bolivia. Right now I have been able to raise only 31% of it, meaning I only have (barely) almost one more month from today covered. (Big thanks to the ones that donated last month and made this go up from 25% to 31% :) )
For my country: For all those children that are suffering under sexual violence, for justice to be delivered to them.
* Don’t forget: If you are able to support me financially you can donate online using the link below. I am really thankful for any amount you could contribute; it may make a difference for me to keep serving on this project.
Please make sure you select my name ANDREA RODRIGUEZ on the Intern/Fellow section or the donation won’t go toward my fundraising goal. If you are in the USA all donations are tax deductible, and please let me know if you are able to donate, so I can keep track of all donations.)
 Ni una más! El derecho a vivir una vida libre de violencia en América Latina y el Caribe, Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe, p. 43, Figura 10 (Marzo 2009), http://www.eclac.org/publicaciones/xml/7/31407/Niunamas.pdf, 2009.
 Miguel Rivas, La Razón, El 85% de víctimas de delitos no los denuncia ante la Policía (13 de febrero de 2012) (http://www.la-razon.com/ciudades/victimas-delitos-denuncia-Policia_0_1559244082.html).
 Brisa De Angulo, La agresión sexual a la niñez y la conspiración del silencio (2009).