At 77 years old, Josefa has aches and pains, but she knows exactly how to find joy.
Raised in a strict, impoverished home in Guatemala, Josefa had little time to pursue hobbies. As a young girl she sold herbs, seeds and tomatoes in the market — a job she still does today.
Years later, while sitting in church, Josefa listened to the choir and began to dream. The music sounded lovely and she thought about joining the group.
She started to attend practices, and the director taught her how to sing.
"Then I became good," Josefa said, "and I was able to teach others."
Although her voice isn't as strong as it was 30 years ago, she doesn't let that stop her from singing with the choir.
"Singing makes me happy; it fills my heart with joy," Josefa said. "It's the way that I say to the Lord, 'Thank you for life and for this day.'"
Not only does singing bring her joy, it also connects her more deeply to her faith.
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"When I sing, I think of Jesus and how happy he gets when he hears us sing," she said.
Her favorite songs are those in which she can praise God.
Widowed for the past 17 years, Josefa has learned to rely more on God.
"When I am sad or feeling ill, I lie down on my bed and sing to God," she said. "… I have body aches and pains, but I think they go away when I sing."
Despite all she has had to overcome, Josefa continuously thanks God for her life. She is also grateful for the food and other support Unbound provides. She regularly prays for her sponsor, Marie from New York.
Josefa sings all the time when she walks down the street. Hardship cannot follow her, because she surrounds herself with song.
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Copyright 2016 Unbound
About the Author
Unbound is an international nonprofit founded by lay Catholics grounded in the Gospel call to put the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable first. We build relationships of mutual respect and support that bridge cultural, religious and economic divides. We bring people together to challenge poverty in 18 countries. We invite you to join us. Find us on Facebook or Twitter.