A Girl Named Ana

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“Bom dia,” a girl shyly greeted us as we parked our car at the Agostinho Neto SDA church. It was Sabbath morning, and we could see no one had arrived for the 9 a.m. Sabbath School except for a faithful little girl in a green dress. We smiled at her as she approached our car, glad to see us, the church still being locked. After talking with her for a few minutes, we discovered that 13-year-old Ana had come to Sabbath School alone.

Ana had walked to church since she did not live very far away. She told us that she used to come to church with her mom and dad, but her mother died in 2021. Now her dad rarely comes to church.

Then we remembered that the church had involved us in prayer for a church brother who had tragically lost his wife. Ana’s mother and the baby had passed away during childbirth. Ana inherited the responsibility of taking care of her two younger brothers. It is she who cooks food and washes clothes for the family. We could see the sadness lingering on her face as she told us her story. Still, Ana faithfully comes to church, where she feels welcomed and cared for, even though she sits without her family. Ana knows that God cares for her.

It is common for young girls to be forced to stop attending school in these circumstances. Often the father is unemployed and has an alcohol problem, and the family does not have money for school fees or uniforms. If the family is to have food to eat, then the little girl must work hard in the garden.

Please remember faithful Ana in your prayers.