Ana Maria is an 11 year-old Colombian girl living in Bogota with her father, her step-mother and family.
A few days ago, my mother shared Ana Maria's story with me which she heard from a concerned neighbor.
This little girl lost her mother when she was only four years old. Her dad later remarried another woman with several children. The step-mother has made Ana Maria's life a living hell.
In Bogota, the houses are built very close together. You can often hear what happens on the other side of your neighbor's walls, especially if it's loud. Every house has a back patio separated from the neighbors by a cement wall. So much of what goes on in Ana Maria's house is overheard by the neighbors.
From sunrise until late into the night, Ana Maria is forced to work like a slave, cooking, cleaning, doing all the household work with her step-mother yelling at her all day long. She was removed from school earlier this summer and kept home to work. Sometimes the neighbors hear the sounds of violence and fear that Ana Maria is being beaten.
There have been times the family has left the little girl alone in the house without food. The neighbors have called to her over the patio wall, offering to take her food. But she was too afraid to accept, fearing the family would return and find her eating.
The neighbors on both sides have called the police several times as well as the Colombian version of child protective services. But when they arrived, the family was able to hide any evidence of abuse. So nothing has been done to help Ana Maria and she remains trapped.
Please pray for this little Cinderella that God will rescue her. My mother has a contact at the Colombian child protective services that she hopes will be able to do something. Pray that God will open doors quickly and get Ana Maria into a safe place, and that justice will be done.
"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes who were too strong for me.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." Psalm 18:16,17,19