Friday, May 24, 2013

the widows

Yesterday, Leslie had to go to a meeting in Chichicastenango, so Aaron, Flor, the kids and I went up to Chiminisiguan for the widows' meeting. Primarily these meetings are a time to encourage each other, pray together, and collect and pay for the baskets they have made, hand out their food, and then bring the baskets back home to organize them to go out to you all!

So, we started out the meeting yesterday with a time where each of the women shared one thing that they were thankful for. This is something new for these soft-spoken women, and honestly, I didn't even know if they would say anything. But, as each one of them shared, I was humbled once again by the responses I heard.

"I am thankful for my life and health."
"I am thankful that God always protects us."
"I am thankful for this group of women and the source of income and food it has provided for us."
"I am thankful for the rain that grows our corn."

As several of them highlighted their thankfulness for the rain, I was reminded at what a raw and foundational level these women live their lives at. One woman not only thanked God for the rain, but gave a little 10 minute reminder to all of us how we could not live without the rain... it is life.

As we left afterwards, I felt my own spirits greatly lifted. We are in a time of big transitions here, and sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in and overwhelmed by all the little details that it involves. But, God has always been faithful to take care of us - as He has each of these women. Yesterday, I was  reminded that often my stress and worry comes more from the fact that I have stopped thanking Him for the ways He has unconditionally provided for us each day with everything that we need - food, clothing, shelter, rain, etc. - and instead am too busy trying to figure out details and pieces of a puzzle that are way too big for me to ever figure out anyway. It is so often in my life here that I find I take away from these people so much more than I can ever hope to offer.

Here are some pics of the women and the baskets. If you would like more info on this program, the widows, or how you can purchase your own basket, please check out the website or contact Leslie at

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Here, Mother's Day is celebrated May 10th, no matter what day of the week it falls on. This year, a women's group from a church in Chicago area donated beautifully scented lotions with a picture of the group and scripture attached to give out to the women who have children in our nutrition program. It was a joy to give these out to these women, who give and work so hard to provide for their families, usually completely unnoticed by anyone around them. We even got them to smile for some pictures - something that is very taboo in this culture!

Below are some pics and brief stories about just a few of the women we were able to hand these out to.

Here are the lotions, ready to go...

 Micaela, one of our translators, read the verse to each woman and explained that this was a gift just for them to enjoy!


These two mamas both have a set of twins each...

                                      ...and this mama has a set of triplets!

Thanks to the church who made it possible for us to bless these women this mother's day with such a special gift!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

We were greeted this week in Chiminisijuan by a woman asking us to go to her house to see her brother-in-law who was too sick to walk to the clinic. It was a light day and we had extra help so we agreed to go. Duane drove us on the 4-wheeler as far as we could go and then we walked along the mountain side. It would have been a beautiful walk if I could have taken my eyes off of the narrow path in front of me. I always wonder how women with small children and a load of groceries make this kind of walk.... Anyway, we finally got to the house perched on the side of this same mountain. They had carved a small flat spot and built a 2 room adobe house. We walked into the dark room where Pedro was lying on a bed made of wooden slats. It was a small room - maybe 8x8 with 2 beds and all of their earthly belongings. There were chickens sitting on eggs in two of the four corners. Pedro was tucked in behind the door and was obviously very ill with a very serious illness - we guessed it to be cancer - with probable brain involvement. There was so little that we could do even if we could have some how gotten him to help. Truly his only hope is in Jesus. So we prayed and left him in the able hands of the Lord.

I am always struck by the harsh conditions that so many people here live in. I try to imagine what my life would be like if I had been born into circumstances like Pedro's. I can only imagine the amount of whining....  But then I begin to ponder on why...why was I blessed to be brought up with so much? Why have we been able to raise our children without worrying about where their next meal would come from? Why have we been given so much more than we deserve? And then I remember what Jesus said...that "from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." So I surrender once again, all that I am, all that I have been given to His service, so grateful for this privilege to give.

Would you pray for Pedro? And would you pray also for 6 year old Yari who has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and is waiting today to see the oncologist in the City. There is only one hospital here in Guatemala for those who have cancer. It is so overcrowded, understaffed and under equipped that it is difficult to see how they might help this little one who has such an invasive illness. But we know that nothing is impossible with our God!