We returned from Guatemala this past Wednesday around 11:30 pm and are still recovering on sleep and still trying to "process it all." I would love to write and sum up the entire trip, but that's nearly impossible! We have so many stories and so much to say, but where do we begin?
It was an amazing trip for both of us, one that we hope to repeat very soon (and hope to talk some of you into joining us!!). It was life changing, eye opening and so inspiring! God is so good! We felt his presence in every moment of this journey! Thank you again for all your prayers and support...we felt your prayers the entire week and could feel God's hand upon us!! We truly can't say thank you enough!!
Instead of trying to give you one big summary (and believe me, it would go on for days!), we are going to share a few stories and some of my journal entries from the trip. We would love to show you all the pictures and tell you all the stories, but there are just too many to post on this blog...so give us a call or come visit...we would love to share it all!
This is from my journal, Day 2 of the trip...
We are in another country,
but somehow it feels much more dramatic than that, almost like another
planet. It doesn’t make me feel ashamed
to be an American, but ashamed of the way we live. I have never seen such poverty in my
life. You often see these images on TV,
but how easy it becomes to separate yourself from it and not let it affect
you. But when you’re in it, really in
it, like we were today, it is impossible to separate yourself from it. I will never forget this experience; I will
never get over it. My heart aches for the
way these people live. I have so much to
say, but am having such a hard time processing it all and getting it all out. It’s almost like I fear I won’t do justice by
trying to explain it. It is so real, so
raw, and so unexplainable. It is a hard
life here in Guatemala,
there is no denying that. They wear it
on their faces…they are the faces of poverty.
As we went from house to
house for food/clothing distribution today, the stories were all very different,
all so tragic. The only similarity is
that somehow in the midst of all this heartache, they have found God, they all
praise Him, and they all say over and over how truly blessed they are! Wow!
They praise Him in the midst of circumstances that we can’t possibly
The first home was in a very
rural area. We had to use 4-wheel drive
and had to stop so they could move an ox out of the way (and yes, I did just
say there was an ox in the road!!) When
we pulled up, the children came running out.
It was the home of Maria and her children. Her husband was recently killed when he was
struck by a car. The children were so beautiful!! They were all smiling and just beaming with
God’s love. They were so dirty from head
to toe, without shoes, they had dirt caked under their nails, their clothes
were filthy, and they had snot and dirt on their faces. Yet, through all of this, you couldn’t help
but notice how beautiful they were and that they were smiling from ear to ear
in the midst of all this poverty! Maria showed
us their home…it was surrounded by garbage, clothing hanging on lines, you
could smell the raw sewage, there were chickens running all around.
We dropped a large bag full of rice, black beans, sugar, coffee, noodles, vitamin drink, cooking oil, etc. for her and her children (this typically lasts about a week). We gave them clothing and shoes. The smallest boy, who was about 2, was so excited about his shoes that he kept looking down at them and wiggling his toes…he couldn’t walk a straight line because he stared down at those shoes the entire time, so excited to have on shoes!!! I pat the 7 year old on the head and gave him a smile. He quickly made a noise like he was in pain and leaned over to show me a large wound on his scalp. It was about an inch and a half long, a huge, black scab. I asked him what happened and he went on to explain that the 2 year old had been playing with a machete and hit him over the head with it. I still sit here in disbelief every time I tell this story or read it over again…I can’t come to grips with it…it haunts me…he was playing with a machete. No toys anywhere to be seen, nothing except the clothes on their backs and the dirt at their feet. But this is where God comes in….all their hope lies in him! All their strength lies in Him! They completely depend on Him! In the midst of this poverty, they have absolutely nothing, but they have Him! And it is enough…his grace is sufficient! How powerfully that speaks to me!