Meet Ana Crystal
Ana is a beautiful young mother of 4 young children (Ages 13, 10, 8 and 5). Ana, along with her husband and children, live in Kilometro 64, a small village along a dusty highway that cuts across one of the driest and poorest regions in all of Mexico. Though I have, over the years, been able to visit this small town and meet many of the wonderful people who live there, I don’t personally know Ana….though God does, Mireya Torres does, Alison Mcconoughey does, and this month I am humbled by the privilege of introducing Ana to all of you.
Back in January, in the midst of the bustle and fast growth of Rooted, Mirella Torres reached out to me by text. Mirella, who is herself a very hard working single mother with very limited resources, asked if there was any way we could help someone she had encountered in need. Mirella reached out because months prior we were able to personally help her in her own need. I know Mirella still has plenty of that- need- to go around, but despite her own challenging circumstances, Mirella was mobilizing support for someone else, Ana. Mirella shared that she wanted to gather some food supplies and other basics to deliver to Ana’s village (a good 45 minute drive away).
At that time, we had already committed what support we were able through our 10% Rooted sales to Modesto and Jacina’s family whose house burned down in Ecuador. My heart was moved for Ana (who’s name and story I did not yet know), and moved more still by the witness of true generosity modeled by Mirella. Mirella’s gift of food and basic supplies is a modern day example of the widow’s mite: “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.” (Mk 12: 1-4). If Mirella, from her own poverty, was able to give, we needed to do what we could. I shared with Mirella about our new Rooted business venture and asked Mirella if Ana would be open to our support this coming month and she graciously, and gratefully, agreed.
So many of the rural villages which grace the countryside of Northern Mexico’s dusty and mountainous terrain are built around just one or a few families who have settled in and etched out a life in this beautiful but challenging environment. Kilometro 64 is no exception. Doña Tocha is one the matriarch’s of this small community, and many of the families that call KM64 home spring from her. Ana is one of her grandchildren. Back in November, Alison McCoughney received a message from Ana’s Aunt concerning Ana’s deteriorating health. Alison, who served two years as a full-time missionary in the area along with her husband Kent and their son Jeremiah still keeps up with the KM64 community. Ana was sick and couldn’t walk. One of the hardships of the poor around the world is greatly limited access to medical care. Ana had not yet been to see a physician. Support was found, and Ana was able to see a doctor and receive medical attention and diagnostic testing. Sadly, it was learned that Ana had breast cancer which had now spread to her spine and was causing her limited mobility.
It was this tragic diagnosis and situation that inspired Mirella’s heroic generosity for Ana and her family, and prompted the text that captured our own heart’s and desire to help. For the poor of Mexico, most of whom don’t have health coverage for these sorts of catastrophic conditions, patients and their families must somehow raise the funds needed in advance to receive further testing and treatment. I can only imagine the prayers that Ana’s husband and children, and the whole KM64 community must be raising to heaven in the midst of this desperate need. The community and their little network have pulled together for Ana, and little by little is doing what it can to help. Presently they have raised a little more than half of the support that Ana requires to receive the surgery she so urgently needs. We are grateful, that thanks to all of you who purchased Rooted products this past month, we were able to be a factor in getting one of Ana’s necessary tests covered, with a little left over to dedicate toward her total surgery costs. In fact, they are now only about $1000 away from Ana’s surgery fee (If you feel called to support Ana and close that gap, please message us). Ana’s family sent a note to us, and to all of you to express their gratitude:
“Thank you so much for the help that you have poured out, we are so grateful to you and to all the people (the Rooted community) who have sent the help through you, thank you. May God pay you, and pour His many blessings upon you and your families. A thousand thank yous on behalf of Ana and the whole Catanuela Hernandez family.”
We are so blessed to be able to do something to help Ana this month, and we really hope we can see her all the way through her surgery. One of the big dreams that we have had at Rooted is that our great skincare and natural products lines could be not only good for us, but good for others, particularly those who are in greatest need. It is a joy to see that vision coming to fruition as more of you are switching to Rooted, and allowing even your daily routine purchases to make a difference for someone, for Ana. Each month 10% of our sales (not of our profits, we are still waiting for that to kick in) get invested in uplifting someone in need. Please help us get the word out and let’s see how much good we can do together! Consider becoming a Rooted Ambassador, even engaging with us and sharing our stories on your social media can expand our impact for Ana and others like her. Also, if this story blessed you, maybe sharing Ana’s story would be a good place to start.
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*Photos shared with permission