Posted by: powellsinsantacruz | April 25, 2012

Mary’s house

I’d like to tell you about Mary. She is one of the key people at Church. A totally servant-hearted, humble lady. She is super-friendly and there are a good number of people at Church who are there because she invited them at one point or another.

And her life has been hard. She has lived on the streets. Suffered abuse, bereavement, separation from her children, illness and poor health, false accusations and more. We don’t know a fraction of what she has been through. She doesn’t talk about the hard things she has been through much. She doesn’t complain or moan. The problems she has had do not define her. Instead she is full of joy, she always has a smile on her face.

We went to visit her and her children last year in their house. It was a bit shocking. When we see people at Church it is easy to forget or not realise the circumstances they are actually living in; the state of their homes. Mary’s house was one room with two beds for her and four of her children. But it was more like a shed than a house. The boards that made up the walls had massive gaps in-between them. This is okay when it’s hot, but for a short while each year it does get really cold. The first year we were here we felt super cold in our brick house and missed the central heating you get in the UK. I cannot really imagine how cold it must have been in Mary’s house. I think she spent two whole days in bed with all her children keeping warm.

If you’ve got the time I recommend you follow the link below and watch this video of more of Mary’s story. It made Roz and me cry. It is a little like a cross between Challenge Anneka and some kind of ultimate makeover/DIY TV show. But real life! 

Mary's new house!

We went to her and her family again, a couple of weeks ago. They have moved and their new house is totally different. What a change! As far as we understand, Christians in Canada who support the work of El Jordan (a ministry to street kids and ex-street kids inSanta Cruz) have given so Mary can have a new house. I love this about the global Church. People who will probably never meet Mary have felt led to give in a way that will have a massive impact on her life. One of the best parts of this is the new bakery in her house and the new business she has the chance to set up. She and another lady from Church have been practicing this month and will start selling bread and cuñape soon. Tomorrow El Jordan have an open day where the women who go to classes there have the chance to sell some of the things they have made. We can’t wait to try Mary’s cuñape!

This new house is a complete life change for Mary. But it’s not the biggest change that has happened in her life. She will continue to be a humble, friendly, servant-hearted person who is full of joy despite hardship. That change is not external, it’s because she has been transformed by knowing Jesus.



  1. We remember meeting Mary. What a great blessing to have such a house & opportunity. Praise God!

  2. I remember Mary and the kids so well too, we love them. I’m crying tears of joy because God is so awesome. I’m so happy they have been blessed with this house. Woohoo!

  3. Looking forward so much to meeting Mary & her family and all your other friends, see you all VERY soon, Love you all, Mum

  4. We remember Mary serving us food that she had made at Church and what a sweet lady she is. What a lovely film. Mum & Dad X

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