Janda and her mother had never gotten along. The fact that Janda was her father’s favorite caused jealousy, and Janda’s mom treated her spitefully throughout her childhood. Finally, she married and left home. She and her husband Jorge had only one child, Maria Eduarda, who was very precious to them. When Maria Eduarda entered high school, Jorge and Janda bought a fixer-upper in a suburb of Petrolina. In order to be able to afford the house, Janda quit her teaching job and they used her severance pay to buy it. They did some remodeling and settled down to enjoy Janda’s retirement and their new home.
Soon afterwards, Janda’s mother was diagnosed with severe Alzheimer’s; none of Janda’s siblings had the living space or the time to care for her so she took her mother into her home. Not only was it torture to care for this woman who had never demonstrated love toward her, but it was difficult to handle someone who was often angry and mean for no apparent reason. Janda cried out to the Lord for help, pleading with Him to give her compassion toward her mom, and He heard her prayer! One morning she was serving her mother breakfast and looked across the table at her. Suddenly, she was filled with the same love toward her mother as she had for her own daughter. She wept tears of joy because the Lord had transformed her heart and had enabled her to do what had seemed impossible. Her days are still full of challenges, but she testifies to the Lord’s faithfulness in helping her to persevere and to love against the odds.