Location: Iquitos, Peru
By: Jenni Taylor
I rediscovered this picture in my files the other day. This was taken in January of 2012, while the city of Iquitos experienced its worst flooding in the last 100 years. One particular neighborhood was completely submerged. People cut doorways into their roofs and laid down new floorboards three feet or so away from the rooftop. Entire families lived in the rafters, cooking, cleaning, and sleeping there for months as they waited for the waters to recede. The man in the baseball cap is tall and lanky. He crawled into a small roof space where the other man had been cooking soup over a small stove. He offered him some bags of rice, and then asked if there was anything he could pray for. The man said yes, and asked for prayer for his health, as the flooding had caused a rise in the mosquito population and more and more people were dying of dengue fever. The two men stayed crouched in the roof space and prayed together.
I found Sophia here not only because of the connection between strangers, but the wisdom to offer prayer after asking first. People’s needs might be different than what you expect, and reaching out to make a connection on their terms is truly wise. Everyone needs something, and while you may not be able to offer it to them, listening to someone’s needs and agreeing to hope with them is one of the most powerful things you can do.