This week our team spent a few hours with 2 single moms gathering firewood. We knew it was part of their weekly routine, we knew it was a necessary part of their lives but until last Friday afternoon, we had no idea what that really meant.
Two to three times a week families walk 30 minutes to an hour into the mountains of Guatemala to find firewood. With machetes they cut as much wood as they can haul and then head back up the mountain to their home. The whole process takes about 3 hours but sometimes they do it twice in a day.
Tough job right? Now imagine doing it as a single mom. The moms I have met get up at 5:30am to make breakfast and get the kids ready for school. Once the kids are off to school they walk with a 3 gallon jug to get water. They do this 3-4 times a day. They have dishes to do, clothes to wash by hand and then lunch to make for the kids. Public school in Guatemala is from 7am – 12:30am so the kids are home early.
After all that, they are “rewarded” with the opportunity to gather firewood, usually in the late afternoon when it’s a little cooler. Watch this 2 minute video for a tiny peek into their day.
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After firewood it is time to prepare dinner, dishes again, help with homework and get everyone ready for bed. They most likely do not have electricity and use candles at night so by 6:30, things are winding down.
Single motherhood is an epidemic in El Rosario and I’m sure an epidemic in the villages of Guatemala. These relationships are on our hearts. We want to understand their day, their struggles and allow God to use us in their lives.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Please pray for the single moms in El Rosario (and for ALL single moms) that God would comfort them and provide the opportunity to earn an income.
Please pray specifically for single mom Norma and her baby Jaime. Norma is 15 years old (barely) and Jamie is 1 month old. I’ll tell more of her story next week. Pray that God would hold her tightly and assure her that He will never leave her, He will never forsake her. That He is enough.
Pray for baby Marcos who is suffering from severe malnutrition. He is gaining weight and strength but has a long way to go.
Pray for our team, the Owens and Marroquin’s. I can’t tell you how blessed we are to be a part of this ministry team. Pray that God would strengthen and protect our relationship with them and that we would continue to seek Gods will and follow Him anywhere He asks.
Please pray for the people of El Rosario who we are building strong relationships with (Maria, Francisca, Elvira, Luis Adolfo, Mara, Aura, Damaris, Josefina, Senor Rosales, Don Martin, Don Jose, Gladys, and so many more!)
George, Vonda, Cecilia, Gabe and Sam