Allow me to briefly refresh your memory.
While in Nicaragua teaching English at a university, my husband and I met Isabella at the age of 10 through a teaching pastor. His mission has been to help lift Nicaraguan girls out of poverty through education. So many become mothers when they are children themselves.
Isabella was the child of a rape. She lived in poverty with her family. Her mother --- because of the rape --- had difficulty accepting and connecting with Isabella. Despite this unhappy rejection, the girl lived at home developing a close bond with her abuela, her aging grandmother. Abuela sold handmade souvenirs to tourists to augment the family’s meagre income.
Since 2013, we have happily supported Isabella in her quest for higher education. We have kept in touch through regularly translated letters from us to her and vice versa. Even Abuela wrote us: honest and forthright information about her granddaughter.
To qualify for continued aid, Isabella maintained good grades and high standards of conduct.
Thanks to real-time videos and photos, we watched Isabella, wearing a white graduation gown, receive her Honours diploma from High School last year. At 17, she was radiant, proud, a young woman on the edge of success, escaping her past.
We were elated!
Sensing a wonderful future for her, we promised to continue our financial support so Isabella could enter Nursing, her chosen profession.
And then, Isabella ran off with a 19 year old youth. No-one had heard from her.
Until last week when we received this from our teaching pastor:
Her mother and her grandmother reported to me that she returned from Rivas a few days ago, pregnant and ill. The young man who stole her is unemployed and was unable to feed her.
To return home, Isabella was required to apologize to her family. Our contact continues:
She has already recognized the serious mistake she made and she expresses that, when she recovers her health and stabilizes her pregnancy and the birth of her baby, she will try to resume her studies.
She says she is very sorry to disappoint both us and our pastor contact, who often counselled Isabella during rough moments.
For Nica girls, Isabella is a success story.
However, based on her grades, we know she is capable of higher achievement. We have decided that if Isabella wishes to continue her education, we will support her.
Maybe knowing that she has financial backing --- and having tasted a small measure of educational success --- Isabella will enter Nursing after all in the future.