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Inspired by the 'pink ladies' – Adis' story

Tearfund | 19 Aug 2020

When Adis was a little girl, she wanted to be like one of the ‘pink ladies’ – volunteers who looked after vulnerable patients in Colombian hospitals. She has dedicated her life to serving others, and is now fulfilling her childhood dream by helping refugees during the coronavirus crisis.

This year, World Humanitarian Day is focused on celebrating the millions of humanitarian workers who have continued to work tirelessly through the pandemic. Adis is one of those people.

A childhood dream
Early in the morning, little Adis would watch her mother put on a pink dress. Other women in pink uniforms would arrive, and they would go to the local hospital together.

The pink ladies, as they came to be known in the community, helped the most vulnerable patients in the hospital who had little money or resources. They cared for them, helped them access the medicines they needed, and even arranged transport for their relatives to visit them.

Adis dreamed of doing something like this when she was older. She imagined how wonderful it would be to be a doctor, able to help people heal from their illnesses and suffering.

Inspired by love
Adis’ compassion for others continued to grow over the years. She found many opportunities to serve her local community with her family, helping to clean up the neighbourhood or doing practical things for those in need.

And when Adis learned about Jesus, she was intrigued by how he dedicated his life to serving others.

‘Once I began to know the life of Jesus, he inspired me even more,’ remembers Adis. ‘I think that he is the person who has really strengthened in me all that my mother taught me, which is to serve and love those in need.’

‘I learned how Jesus was always aware of the smallest detail that a person needed to be able to help. Sometimes they did not even reach out to him, but he went to the needy.’

A new generation of pink ladies
Adis is now 50 years old. She gets ready for work in the early hours of the morning, just like her mother used to. And, although Adis doesn’t wear a pink dress, she has followed in the footsteps of the pink ladies by dedicating her life to serving the most vulnerable.

It may look slightly different to what she imagined – she’s not a doctor – but every day Adis is able to be Jesus’ hands and feet to those in need.

Adis works with one of Tearfund’s local partners in Colombia, supporting Venezuelan refugees. During the coronavirus pandemic, they became even more vulnerable – many couldn’t afford to feed their families, let alone disinfect their homes. In response, Adis and the team have been regularly visiting the refugee communities with food packages.

It’s not an easy task. The team has to leave early – sometimes at 2am – to deliver the supplies without drawing crowds or attention. Resources are stretched and the needs are relentless. The team does their best to help as many as they can but there are always more people to reach.

But Adis won’t give up. In the midst of new fears and challenges, her steadfast trust in God is what keeps her going.

‘My motivation comes from knowing that God is with me and that I can help these people who are at this moment without hope, without food, desperate. Someone has to do something about it,’ she says.

Adis helps deliver food packages to Venezuelan refugee families. Photo credit: Edrei Cueto / Tearfund

Adis helps deliver food packages to Venezuelan refugee families. Photo credit: Edrei Cueto / Tearfund

Prepared to serve others 
Adis has had her own personal concerns about going out during the pandemic. Not only does she put herself at risk of getting the virus, but she also has to think about her elderly family members that she comes into contact with.

‘One day while praying I asked the Lord, why did it have to be me who has to go outside and work?’ says Adis. ‘But the Lord told me, I already prepared you for this, go without fear.’

It’s easy to see how Adis has been prepared for this work since she was a child. It may be tough, but she’s doing what she always dreamed of. And it’s all worth it when she sees the relieved looks on the faces of those who she has been able to help.

‘I enjoy seeing the peace and tranquility reflected on their faces when they are being helped, and also how they are surprised by the Lord [providing] in the midst of so many difficulties.’

Thanks to Adis, many vulnerable families have been helped through the challenges of the pandemic. They have been reassured that they are not alone, and that there is hope.

Please pray with us for humanitarian workers all over the world today:

Dear Lord,
Thank you for Adis, and for all those who have been selflessly serving others during the pandemic. Please protect them and their families as they do your work. As they face new challenges, please provide strength and wisdom. We pray for all those in need today, that they will receive practical help and know your love for them.
I
n Jesus’ name,
Amen

Tearfund

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