Interview about Delia’s home

16:18 Podcast – #11 Interview about Delia’s home

In this episode, I interview my uncle, Joel Sprecher, and his friend Ryan who just spent a week with me in Medgidia, Romania working on Delia’s home; a project for a needy family in our church.

Who is Delia?

When I walked into Delia’s yard, she was naked, sitting in a little green tub with a few, shallow inches of muddy water that didn’t manage to cover her thin legs. There were a lot of other things to notice in that yard, of course. This was not our first stop on the food route, and I had certainly already seen a poverty that defies description. Naked, dirty children with wild eyes, irredeemably tangled hair, and no shame. A home on the cusp of garbage dump that stunk to high heaven. Crumbling houses infested with cockroaches and dim with dust and years of caked on dirt. Delia’s yard was no different. Overrun with weeds, littered with trash. Gaps in the fencing covered with discarded poster ads. Two other children, younger than Delia, equally caked in filth, running around. The youngest, a toddler, barefoot and diaper-less. I could have noticed Delia’s house, a few feet away.

I err in calling it a house. It is a shelter, built of unevenly stacked cinderblocks precariously cemented together with a concrete floor, no electricity, no running water. It is a nightmarish place to imagine three children in, and yet it is Delia’s home. I could have noticed all of that, but I didn’t. I could only see Delia. She was thin, about four years old, I guessed. Her hair was a matted cloud of light brown strands around her face. Her face was drawn and serious. But what drew me in, what I can’t forget, was her eyes. They were beautiful eyes. But the sadness and dullness spilled from them like water pouring over the flat edge of a rock. A child’s eyes should never look that way, should never look like the eyes of the homeless man at the end of the street and the end of his life. And yet Delia’s eyes were two pools of suffering in a drawn four-year-old face…(read more)

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