It is so hard to believe we have already been in Guatemala for 4 weeks! It has been a great month! God continues to show himself faithful and give us exactly what we need for each day. Some days it is the endurance to finish a long, busy day or the patience to wait for the things we need. Other days it is the courage and willingness to accept the task even when it seems overwhelming. He gives us the strength not to cry because we miss our family and other days the joy of great friends that make you belly laugh over the silliest of things! We are so thankful for all the Lord is doing and teaching us! God has shown us each day that He is enough! He is so faithful and so trustworthy. His love is amazing!
As I expected, learning the language is very challenging. We are learning but it is very hard to be patient. The ladies in the village always remind me “poco a poco, Paula” (little by little, Paula). The children and the women are such great teachers. They don’t let me stop saying the word until I say it right. Oh, how many times I have heard, “no Paula”, “no Paula”!! But God is good and I know very soon I will be having conversations with them in Spanish. We have been asked to be “Presidente de Jovenes” of the village so very soon Chris and I will be the youth leaders in our village and teaching Sunday school: POCO A POCO!
Over the last several weeks, Chris and I have also had many opportunities to serve in new ways. We went to several villages with the sponsorship team to give solar panels/lighting kits, school supplies and
anti-parasite medications. We served in several Mayan villages four hours away near the jungle. The Mayans in these villages speak a different language called K’iche, so we had to have interpreters to interpret their language to Spanish. It is a beautiful language and they are beautiful people!
I also had the opportunity to be a part of a medical clinic in the village of Canoguitas with a group from Idaho and Fredericksburg. I went on a home visit to see a mother that had been sick for a month. After talking with her, we found out that she had been diagnosed with gastritis from her doctor but could not afford the medications she needed. Her stomach had been hurting her for over a month. She was lying in her hammock because the pain was too much for her to move around. I explained to her that we did not have the medications she needed with us that day but we would bring them the next day, she began to cry. We prayed together asking the Lord for healing and prayed that the medications that she needed would be available. It broke my heart. A simple antibiotic and a proton pump inhibitor would make the biggest difference in her life. We take for granted the availability of these medications in the states but here, without any money, it is a choice between food for your family or medicine for yourself. This is a choice these precious people make every day. I am thankful that help had come for her. The group got her the medications she needed from the pharmacy and delivered it to her the next day.
We also delivered the Christmas hope sacks to all the children in our village. We had Christmas in January. They were so happy to receive their new shoes, socks, Appomattox t-shirts, school supplies, a wooden car with John 3:16 printed on the bottom and other toys and dolls. Watching them go through these bags with excitement and joy is a blessing. Thank you so much to all that provided for these bags, through donations and child sponsorship.
The women started sewing again this week with their new sewing machines. They are giving their time to sew skirts for all the girls in the village who do not have one!
Poco a poco we are finding our place here and God is showing us what he would have us to do. It is humbling to be a small part of a ministry that is doing big things to change the lives of the people of Guatemala. But honestly on a day to day basis, it is usually the little things here that make the most difference. A touch of a caring hand that says we are here to help. Or a hug for a mother that needs to know that someone cares about the heavy burden that she carries. Or holding a precious baby to give them attention and love because they do not have a mother or father to hold them, love them and tuck them in bed at night.
A friend of ours asked if we could name one thing that sticks out that has been the greatest moment so far. Chris answered that it “is not one particular moment”, we have had so many great moments, “ it is the knowledge that we are doing what God has called us to do and living with that joy, freedom and peace day after day”.
Thank you so much for your love, support and most importantly, your prayers!
Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.