Rodrigo Carrasco is 21 years old. He is a Philosophy student at the local University, and a National Racquetball Champion in Bolivia. You can also see him at many of our HOPE events, giving his time and his heart to serve those in need.
Rodri confesses that he did not always have the desire to give in this way. He states, “I did not care much for people…I felt pity but not mercy.”
This all changed when, in July of 2016, Rodri met a 12 year old boy named Cristofer. Cristofer had a debilitating lung infection. He was a long-term patient on the pediatric floor of Hospital Arco Iris, where HOPE offers games and reading activities to encourage and entertain the young patients.
“I remember one day, I had bad back pain and I wanted to go home and sleep. That day Cristofer did not want to eat alone. I rarely like to eat with people, maybe with a dog or my mom. I started feeding him and he had me pick out the little things he did not want to eat. I felt happy. I hurt in my back but I was happy.”
Together, the pair read Ironman comics and Cristofer recounted his own dreams of being a fantastic, flying superhero to Rodrigo. Rodri in turn shared his fascination with the stars and universe. One Sunday, before he was planning to visit Cristofer the following week, Rodrigo received stunning news about Cristofer’s death.
“I felt bad. He impacted me a lot…I didn’t know how to think. I went to a corner and I remember…tears started falling. I was crushed because I saw him…I knew him…he was here.”
Rodrigo’s relationship with Cristofer continues to impact him. When he is tired and cannot find the strength to serve, he is motivated by his desire to be clothed in love and give of himself to others. He explains,
“I remember a beautiful quote that says ‘My heart carries my body when my feet no longer can.’ This quote reminds me that Jesus did not carry his cross with his muscles but with love. He was clothed in love and I want to be clothed in love.”
Thank you, Rodri, for the example you set for others, and for your service to Foundation HOPE worldwide – Bolivia!
Rodri happily helping one of our families carry home their monthly food stipend
If you would like to know how you can volunteer with Foundation HOPE worldwide – Bolivia, or how you can support our programs, contact us here.