Friday, January 22, 2016

Guatemala changed me

My first blog following our trip to Guatemala had to be about the hopeless faces of the children.  The most innocent, most abused and most helpless to do anything about their situations.

I loved these older gentlemen
talking as they walked by us.
Possibly friends for years and year
or maybe even brothers.
But tonight as I sat down to finish going through pictures I felt that tug at my soul once again.

The conditions I saw in Santa Maria have left a hurt deep inside me.
This is an example of a normal home in Santa Maria

Houses built of rusty metal, a font wall of
block and shards of glass along the top for security.

Wood for cooking is stored on open roof.

You can see a boy if you look closely using the same sink
his mother washed clothes in and scooped cooking water from.
I guess the sadness I feel comes first of all because I think of Jesus' words when He spoke about 'the least of these' and the times He told us to care for the poor, and that He said they would ALWAYS be with us.  What is so difficult to accept is that what we saw would not be impossible to solve - to change - to rescue!  But this can only be accomplished through great patience, care and a lot of respect for their society and the way they do things.

The spiritual darkness there is deep, abuse within families - very common, and the temporary escape from hopelessness that alcohol offers destroys what remains of many families forcing the church to take a strong stand against it, even at the risk of appearing judgemental.


The bottom line is - we can help.  Our teams working side by side with the coffee farmers and the villagers building stoves or water filtration systems accomplish multiple things at once.  We get to help teach them how to meet their most basic needs for clean water and cook stoves that are vented - while showing them what it means to find true, eternal hope in Christ.  They know we're different and they cannot figure out why we would take the time not only to come once, but to come year after year and build on-going relationships with them as we teach them how to solve problems, and point them toward a Savior.

It was such a privilege to go and I hope to return, over and over!  Meanwhile, I can cover them in prayer as they tirelessly continue the work that we got to be a small part of for a week.

Ladies or girls carry heavy bowls of corn, many times
on their heads, daily for grinding to make their tortillas.
I've never seen such strong people - the
amount they carry is mind boggling.
watching mules and horses pass by makes you feel
like you've taken a step back in time.

I loved the creativity of the children - playing with old tires or anything they could find.

This is a look inside a home that we were honored
to be invited into.  How these people raised the
beautiful children below in a mostly dirt floored room
is beyond me!

These are other sites we saw around the village as we took a prayer walk through the village.

This was the entrance to the graveyard. 

I even got to see how a funeral takes place one day while standing on a balcony. 
 Last weekend celebrating the Sanctity of Life drew my attention again to the voiceless unborn, the babies that never will be.

While being in Guatemala introduced me to a voiceless people although fully born - mostly forgotten and ignored.

Oh Lord, how you must long for us all to come running to you...

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