We had a bit of a trek ahead of us to get from our first home visit to the second. During the drive we all commented and shared the moments that had just hit home in our hearts. Moments that pained us to learn of, and our hopes and prayers for the family.
Our group was definitely excited to get to the next location, so we could learn more about these people and their daily lives.
About 30 minutes later we pulled up to a village of shacks. These shacks were their homes, but these homes weren’t fit for any American I’ve ever known. Ever.
A group of children playing soccer saw us approaching, and one picked out my camera. He came running over and asked for “un photo por favor” with his buddies. Rather than saying cheese, when I was ready to snap a picture, they rang out “whiskey! Whiskey!”
They quickly surrounded me, eager to see their photo together for the first time. Giggles echoed as they were filled with excitement by the images.
They followed me on to the house we were visiting that day, curious what we were up to.
Inside, the group was already being introduced to each family member: a single mother with seven children. The kids old enough to go to school were being sponsored by Bethel Ministries, so Chris was getting an update on their grades. When Chris asked why the boys’ performance in school was down, he was met with the response that the mother had been sending them to work for a quick dollar. He decided to give the family a little lesson on the value of education.
The kids eagerly listened as he explained their education would allow them to have savings, to buy or build a home, to have food and clothing. That a better job would improve the living conditions for their mother too, much more than a quick dollar would.
We learned the house they were living in belonged to her brother, and he was kicking her out. She had no money and no land of her own to take the children to raise them.
The mother cried as we gathered her family together to pray with them. Hearing their struggles, like so many of the Guatemalan people endure, pained me. I can’t say it enough, we are SO fortunate to be born in the US. Our struggles look pathetic in comparison to the daily battles these people face.
There was one bed in this house. One twin bed for eight people living there.
I couldn’t wait to surprise them with food, clothing and shoes. To give the kids toys and coloring books, and to see what else God would bless this family with in time. Maybe land, maybe a house built by Bethel Ministries, maybe just more food and more of His love.
Following Chris and Donna, we headed for the van. The family eagerly pursued, anxious to see what was in store for them.
When we started outfitting each kid with new clothes, the mother could hardly believe the act of kindness. The kids’ smiles grew even wider as they got to help pick out their new clothes and a new pair of shoes. It was like they had hit the lottery.
I went to bed that night with these images dancing in my head. What a day. What an experience. What a blessing it was to be a part of Gods work.