Two months into her first pregnancy, Mikaela was hit by a car.
Thankfully, her baby was safe but the accident broke her lower leg bone in half, and at the time, she wasn't sure if she would ever walk again.
For those living in rural Guatemalan communities without clean water systems, the act of walking to get water is a means of survival.
Twelve years later, there Mikaela was, standing alongside her five children in Cosibal — one of the villages that Run For H2O will support this year — telling her story and the miracle that unfolded.
When she was released from the hospital, her leg was still broken, and she was in tremendous and constant pain. A pastor came to visit her, bringing with him other women from the local church.
He asked to pray for her — and right away, in her words, “God did a miracle in my life” and the pain in her leg was gone. The pastor invited her to service where she learned about God, about prayer, and about the power of healing.
“I received this medicine and it wasn’t the medicine from the store,” she said. “It was from God.”
After that experience, she believed and wanted to be baptized. However, her uncle advised against it, saying the water was too cold as she was still pregnant.
She also had a hole in her leg — an infection with puss draining out — and there was a concern that it might get further infected with the dirty water. But she decided to get baptized anyways.
Three days after her water baptism, the wound in her leg closed up, dried up, and healed. Still, Mikaela never thought she would walk again, but within a year, that changed as well; her leg bone healed completely, and she could walk.
Despite the miraculous recovery, her life hasn’t been easy since.
Mikaela with her five children, now aged three to twelve, spends a large part of their days down by a creek at the bottom of the valley to wash laundry and to bring water back up the mountain for drinking and cooking. The water they can access is unsanitary and causes frequent illnesses.
A typical trek to and from the water source takes about an hour, but during the dry season, it takes even longer since many water holes dry up.
When she has time, she weaves thread from wool, and sells it for others to use as material to make skirts. Despite her best efforts, the income she earns is not enough to care well for her family, especially as a single parent.
Four years ago, when she was pregnant with her youngest child, her husband never made it home from work. He was hit by a truck; resulting in a month-long stay in a hospital before he passed away.
“I am by myself, but God is helping me,” she said. “Before my fracture I didn’t have all of these gifts in my life, but God has given me this gift of not being alone.
“I am thankful for what happened because I got to know God through it.”
Mikaela is not alone – we can join her family in the journey to get clean water.
Join the Run For H2O and consider raising $600 for a family like Mikaela’s. Together, we can help the whole community of Cosibal build a water system and be part of the miracle of clean water for life.
All photos by Peter So Photography