In January, I was fortunate to have a week free to go with Dick visit my friends in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. This trip was even more special because Anita and Gary Senesac, two good friends and fellow missionaries, were able to accompany us. This was Anita's first trip to this part of the country, and I am sharing her journal entry because it was good for me to see this area once again through fresh eyes.
Have you ever waited for something for a really long time? I mean thought about, prayed about, almost begged for something?
That has been me for the past 5.5 years....
And this week this dream came true! You see I have wanted to visit Huehue- tenango for a very long time.It is in northwest Guatemala.
Our family started sponsoring a boy named Freddy about 6 years ago for medicine and diapers each month. I had also met little Lionel at Hermano Pedro as well. His family also lives out there! So 2 boys and their families that I wanted to meet. Finally Dick asked Gary and I to travel together to meet both families and soooooo many more.
|Anita visiting with Maria Garcia, our good friend who cares|
for so many of the folks in this area, as well as serves as
our translator. Most families here speak only Mam, a Mayan dialect.
It is hard for me to put into words how touching these days have been. To see the kids and families that Dick visits every month or so, to put a name with a face, to see the wife of the mayor reaching out to her people....man, it gets you down deep in your heart.....
Meeting the family of my buddy Lionel was so special. I was teary just driving up there! And it is up there on the side of a mountain! We meet mama, 2 little sisters, 1 of the 2 brothers, and his older sister, Jessica. We saw great report cards and got to know them. We showed them current photos of Lionel on Christmas day...there was a mix of emotions from the family. Mama was grateful but saddened by the photos. Jessica wanted to hear all about it....and asked so many questions. She wants to know and remember her brother. You see, she has only seen Lionel once or twice in 6 years. She called me friend. She loved hearing how he laughed that day...how he is feeling better...but how she knows he can't come home because they just can't care for him but she loves him so. She asked for my number to be able to call and talk to him. It will be an honor to have her call and let the family speak to him. So much love for this little guy. And they can let him know. Please join me in praying that Jessica will get to journey to Antigua (about 5 hrs by car) to see him. It only costs about $19.00 round trip. That seems like nothing to us, but for 6 years it has held them back from visiting. Papa comes and loves on him when he can...but only him because of money. Think on that....
Then we meet Freddy. The sponsored child for 4 years. He is 13 and looks 7 or so....but what a character!! His smile lit up the room. We did piggy back rides around their land and just enjoyed getting to know each other for a bit. Got to pray over him and also with mama. Special times. He is a special kid and I am blessed to know him.
We have seen so many....and help a few along the way. Today was special because we went with a special lady Clara almost to the border of Mexico to distribute wheelchairs with Dick and the boys, but also the mayor of the town...it was awesome! But sad too. God put us in the right places at the right time. A brother and sister both with severe special needs. The little girl is wasting away to bones. She is so skinny and malnurished....Dick bought her mom a can of ensure to try to beef her up. It is just a start. She needs a doctor and special care....Lord, why does this happen?
Because the mom doesn't love her? NO!! Because the mom is struggling to make ends meet with 2 disabled kids and no money.... Poverty....I hate it! So many are doing without the most basic necessities of life while others have so much excess... It is easier to overlook them or worse yet, judge them. You can do something!! We need sponsors for at least 2 kids we meet today. They are slowly dying just because they are poor.$30-50 a month to help them survive...just survive.
God has opened our eyes once again to another beautiful part of Guatemala....but a very poor side. If you look, it's all around us.... One difference is poverty paired with disabilities in children. La k of education....lack of opportunities.
But you know what? You can be content with what you have for sure! That was Gods message to me through Miss Kenya. We hiked up, up, up to her rocky, uneven yard to deliver her wheelchair. She is a picture of contentment. Her smile touched the edge of heaven and lifted our hearts. She is content and now she has a wheelchair to sit outside in. This child will probably never leave her perch up on the side of the mountain....but she is content.
I need to learn to be content even in the valleys. Smile like I am on the mountain top. Appeciate God's goodness and sacrifice for us. These people may not have much, but they have joy unspeakable in their hearts. I prayed and cried with the moms of these kids. Reminding them that God doesn't make mistakes. Their child is wonderful. That they are good moms. Even great because they are fighting incredible odds to help their children live, not just survive. Please join us in praying.
This world is packed with problems and needs. Do what you can when you can, as often as you can. Make someone smile. Let an outcast child feel loved. Bless someone with food just because. Make a monthly pledge to change the life of a child and their family. Let go of stuff. Live more simple. Help someone. Don't turn away from the homeless or unloved just because it is too hard. Do something.
Be blessed and be the blessing! Enjoy the pictures to follow! To God be the glory!