Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One of those days....

It was one of those days.  Not the one where everything goes wrong but the one that had a line of people needing things right now and you have your own list of things that have to get done today but don't.  I'll share the two most important.   It started this morning with Chris going to Buena Vista and saying "I'll be right back" - famous last words in Guatemala.  The kids and I were home waiting for him to go into town to get some things at the grocery store.  On his way back from BV he stopped to give a lady a ride to Magdalena who told him up ahead was her son and daughter in law who were on their way to the clinic with their very sick 4 month old baby so he stopped and gave them a ride too.  He found out that they had taken the baby to the clinic 2 days ago but now she was worse.  ** Let me break away from the story for a moment.  Medical care here is so bad I can't even tell you how bad it is.  Poor people don't have access to decent medical care and as a result they die from the simplest things.  All around us babies, children, and adults die from things that can easily be treated.  This is something that deeply bothers us and we want to help anyone that we know of who is sick.  A few weeks ago we crossed paths with Brittney who is here for 2 years with Students International on a medical internship.  She works at a free clinic close to here that has an excellent doctor - both have a heart for the poor.  We know God crossed our paths for a reason and that is to have a place to take people who need help and we know they will get it.  The clinic here is Magdalena is not good.  ** Back to the story...Chris offered to take them to the SI clinic but it was late in the morning and they will only see 15 patients per day and usually there are 15 people waiting when the doors open at 9.  He called me and I told him to give it a try.  When they arrived Brittney said they had a visiting doctor there today along with the regular doc but each were maxed out on their patients; they had 36 patients today instead of 30.  She went back and the visiting doc said if the family was willing to wait a couple of hours until he was done with the other patients, he would see the baby.  They did and it was one of those God things because Brittney told us the medicine the other clinic gave the baby was not right and if they hadn't come in, chances are the baby would die.  We are just so thankful....
In between that our friend Marta came to our door crying about her sick daughter and begging us to take her to the hospital.  Marta lost her newborn baby last year so she was really upset about her daughter being so sick and losing her too.   We went to see her and called a local doctor "Dr. Carlos" and took her to see him because the SI clinic was already closed.  Dr. Carlos is good but he's expensive so most people can't afford him.  Marta also took her daughter to the clinic in Magdalena a few days ago and now she is worse.  She has a respiratory infection but I think she will be fine. 

Mixed in between were knocks on the door and people needing to talk to Chris about this and that.  I could list all of the things that didn't get done today but they don't really matter.  What was most important got the help that was needed.   When we lived in the States, each day I would  pray and ask God to show me someone I could help.  Some days I never found anyone.  Here, all we have to do is wake up because there is always someone who needs help every single day.  It's a blessing and that's why we're here....

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I love to make things - sewing, knitting, crochet.  I have met several women here who like to make things as well, mostly crochet.  They make some things but yarn is expensive and a luxury item for poor families.  I've thought about trying to get ladies together for a little crochet group/bible study but my language skills are lacking and if they started to share things I would have no idea what they are saying.  Some friends from New Jersey came this week and one of them (Terry) brought some knitting looms to share with the local women.  After talking and throwing out ideas we decided to invite some ladies over and teach them how to knit so they can make things and sell them to provide a small income for their families if they want.  We did and it was a great time!! We had a translater so we were able to know what everyone was saying.  It was such an amazing time for them that I can't not do it again so I decided to have them over every week with a translater.  I have this great little devotional book called "Jesus Calling" and I ordered one in Spanish awhile back.  In wondering how I can read the bible with them, this book came to mind.  It's perfect because I can give one to each of them to read during the week and I will know what they are reading because I will be reading the same thing.  I would love to provide each lady a book ($9) and yarn.  If you would like to help with the cost, please e-mail me and I can tell you how.  :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our Kids

We added a couple of boys to our family.  The first is Kevin.  Kevin comes to our house every day, usually wanting to sell us food that his mom makes.  He doesn't go to school because he works to help his family or simply doesn't like it, not sure which.  Kevin is the kind of kid that if he weren't so darn cute he'd drive you crazy.  His smile is contagious and is one of the happiest kids I have ever met.  He is a hard salesman and never takes no for an answer - who can say no to that smile?  One time we took him out with us to run errands and eat at fast food restaurant.  We were hesitant about taking him but he drove a hard bargain.  When we got in the car, his face was just as bright as can be and he never stopped smiling the whole time.  He LOVED eating at the restaurant and playing in the play place - something he has probably never done.  
Kevin and Jon washing the car
  His most recent "bargain" was that he wanted money to buy a toy.  He was willing to wash my dishes and even wanted to wash the car.  His price?  1Q which is the equivelant of 13 cents.  We settled on him washing the car for 10Q or $1.30 which was the price of the toy.   


Brian and Daniel
 This is Brian.  He is one of the nicest kids - very sweet, quiet and a little shy.  He comes to our house alot after school which is around 6pm and eats dinner with us.  He comes from a difficult family situation.  His dad is an alcoholic and does nothing to provide for his family - wife and 5 kids.  Brian goes to school and his favorite subject is art and painting.  When the last Journey team was here he hung out with us and painted a couple of houses.  He loves to be around people and be loved on by others.  Vic and Roxane have adopted Brian's family and help them out whenever they need it.  When Vic was here in March, they celebrated Brian's birthday with a cake.  He turned 12 and has never had a cake before for his birthday. 
Brian's 12th birthday

There are so many kids in our life here.  Several single mom's we have gotten to know have kids with no dad in the picture.  It's neat to be able to love on them and have  them be a part of our family. 


Glendy Marybel and Francesca Isabella

Grandma Francesca, Francesca, and Glendy

We came across Glendy's family from a local guy who wanted Chris to consider them for a 12X12 house and it turns out they live about 5 houses away from us.   She has a mom (Maria), younger sister (Francesca), older brother (Marvin) and grandma and grandpa.  They all live together in the same room and grandma suffers from eye and lung infections from cooking over an open fire in a small smoke filled cocina - cornstalk structure they use as a kitchen.  The day we visited the smoke was so thick we couldn't stay in there longer than a second, literally.  Very sad situation but what was even sadder was Glendy's skin.  I really don't know how to describe it other than to say it was horrible.  Her mom said it has been that way most of her life and she is 5 years old.  After taking her and grandma, who had a bad eye infection, to a local clinic we found out she has an allergy to bed bugs!!!  Just imagine hundreds, if not thousands of mosquito bites all over your body, constantly itching and hurting from scratching.  The doctor gave her medicine and some lotion for the itching.  She also prescribed a medicated soap for  Glendy to shower with every day in hot water.  This poses a problem because her family doesn't even have running water let alone a shower.  So, we got the soap and now she comes to my house every day at 5pm to take a shower, hot water or not.  :)  After just 10 days, her skin looks so much better and she doesn't itch as much.  Thank's to a great couple at Journey Church, Glendy's family will get a 12X12 house and thanks another family at Journey they will get running water this week and thanks to Word Fellowship Church they will also get a new, smoke free kitchen and shower.  And the biggest thanks to God for allowing us to help Glendy's family and for putting it on the hearts of others to help them too. 
A snack during the 4 hour wait at the clinic
Grandpa and Grandma
Martin and Cindy, Glendy's family, Daniel