It’s hard to believe it has been 6 weeks in Guatemala. My family is adjusting so well. Some days I feel like my Spanish is awesome! And some days I feel like I can barely get by.
The kids have been in school for one full week and I am so proud of them. It’s not easy knowing what is going through their minds but it is comforting to know they have 3 days of bible class, chapel and discipleship every week. They also have 3 days of Spanish and I can’t wait to see how much they have learned in the coming months.
From one miraculous day to the next.
My time in Guate has been a continuous string of amazing days. Most of those days have included a level of heartbreak. Not one of those miraculous days has been easy.
Last week we visited an orphanage in San Lucas. It was CRAZY! Seventeen orphan babies and 3 ladies to take care of them. It was like an understaffed day care except no one picked them up to take them home at the end of the day. There were no mommies asking how their day was. There were no mommies looking for their baby with wide eyed anticipation. No one took them home.
Two of Gods miracles.
At one point there were 7 missionaries and their kids, fourteen total, all holding babies. AND THERE WERE STILL 3 IN BABY BOUNCERS! The crazy part was that the 3 ladies who take care of them were still running around doing laundry, cooking lunch and keeping the house clean. I think someone was changing a diaper every 60 seconds. No kidding.
Most of the babies were sick. Most had a runny nose or some sort of breathing problem. I don’t know how it would be possible to keep them from passing a virus from one to the other.
So here is the heartbreak. As we were driving home, after they were all fed and settled down for a nap, it was then that we realized that on most days… No one would hold them. No one would tuck them into bed to say prayers. No one would rock them to sleep. No one would make them laugh. And no one would be there if they woke up in the middle of the night for a hug. The three ladies who cared for them were simply outnumbered.
Two of my favorite missionaries – Vonda and Gabe
That is the reality of orphans in Guatemala. And they are the lucky ones. This was a clean, well kept orphanage. Everyone was fed. Everyone had a place to sleep, out of the rain.
It is estimated that there are over 370,000 orphans in Guatemala. Many of these children come from families facing tremendous poverty. Seventy percent of Guatemalans live below the poverty line.
And so, that is my daily challenge. How will I ever get used to the poverty and despair? I hope I never do. I pray that God continues to give me just enough comfort to know that I am doing the right thing but that He breaks my heart every single time as a reminder that there is more to do.
“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.” James 1:27
If you would like to support what God is doing through us in Guatemala, go to www.God CalledUs.com and click on the link “Support this mission”.
Keep an eye out for Cecilia’s next blog! See Guatemala through the eyes of an 11 year old.
If you have questions or just want to catch up, do not hesitate to contact me directly. You can email me at or call our Magic Jack number in Guatemala (local call for you) 970-449-9449.
Beautifully stated Vonda. It is so hard to not let hopelessness move in and live next door to your faith after enough of the “after we left…” moments. THAT will be my specific prayer for you. I’m so glad to see what you guys are doing, your family will never see the world or God the same again…In a good way.