On the streets of Bogotá
Jeidi lost her vision
September 27, 2022 | Daneal Lightner, content writer
"I couldn’t see anything clearly.”
Guerrilla wars hung a threatening cloud of violence, death, and loss over Jeidi’s hometown of Medellín, Colombia. In search of safety, she fled with her three children to Bogotá, the country’s capital.
Starting over as a single mom with nothing wasn’t easy, but Jeidi began working as a street vendor to support herself and her kids. Just as she was regaining stability, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the city and the world.
Commercial activities stopped, and with that, so did Jeidi’s income. Her daughter was undergoing cancer treatments that she could no longer pay for along with rent, food, and other necessities.
Jeidi said, “I didn’t have a way to pay rent, so I was evicted. I found myself with nothing and I had three children to support. We were in the midst of despair, wandering hungry through the streets of Bogotá.”
On the streets, without a vision
Jeidi had once pictured a different life for her and her kids. She envisioned having a job that would support her family and allow them to get an education. That vision was replaced by their reality—collecting cans for change and sleeping on the street.
She couldn’t see the future anymore.
A missionary took them to a shelter, gave them food, and told them about the support they could find through Bethany.
She was determined to be self-sufficient and take care of her children on her own. Like we all do at times, she just needed a little help getting there.
Jeidi reapplied for work permits and gathered supplies. Her family was off the streets and provided with food, clothing, bedding, and other necessities. Jeidi shared, “I was able to get back on my feet.”
Compassion gave it back to her
In addition to having their immediate, physical needs met, the family was able to process psychological and emotional trauma through access to support groups and counseling. Jeidi and the children were able to return to school, and they received help setting up a microbusiness to reach and maintain self-reliance.
Jeidi is once again working as a vendor. Her daughter was able to resume treatments and is now in remission. Her vision for a future has returned—this time it’s to become a social worker so she can help others the way she was helped.
Together, we supported Jeidi and her children through a moment of crisis and put them on a new path. With grateful tears in her eyes, she shared that the support “helped me get back to my life, finish high school, and offer a better future to my children. You gave me back my vision.”