Thursday, October 27, 2011

Always "normal"? Hardly!!

There are just some things here in Guate that you never quite get used to/don’t get old… allow me to explain.

The views
I don’t know how often we have been driving around, whether it is down into the city or from the store to our house, and we comment about the volcanoes.  I mean, driving down the road, we look around and we can see up to three volcanoes around us, two of which are often smoking!!  And then, to add to that even more, I can look out my window and see the top of Agua, one of the dormant volcanoes, sitting off in the distance, guarding her country.  It’s just downright beautiful!!!
Guatemala City

Lake Atitlan

Lake Amatitlan

Having guests
This past week we had a family visiting and it struck me how having visitors never gets old!!  Granted, these guests are all but family to us and they had lived down here, but still, it was fun to take them around again and just be tourists!  So, if anyone wants to visit…  (HINT, HINT!!)  ;) 

The goodbyes
Unfortunately, Guate is also filled with goodbyes.  Saying goodbye to teams that come down and that we connect with.  Saying goodbye to kids that we have come to love and that are going back to potentially dangerous situations, or even good situations for that matter.  Saying goodbye to volunteers that we have come to love and that have become family.  Whatever it may be, the goodbyes just don’t get old!!! 

The “missing-ness”
In relation to the goodbyes, there is also the “missing-ness”.  Sometimes there are kids that leave that, no matter how hard you may try not to think about them, it’s impossible not to miss them.  Period. 

The painful pasts (and presents) of the kids
I think to some extent you have to become a little calloused to some of the situations that many of the have come from and are in, but the situations still break your heart.  To hold a newborn and to know that he had been left in a dump because his mother could not care for him.  To hug a little girl that had seen more in her short 8 years of life than I will probably ever see.  To hear about a little boy that went “home”, only to find out that he was recently found back on the streets, begging and dirty.  To see the burns and bruises on a little guy from where his parents tied him up and beat him.  To give a little one a hug and wonder where they found to sleep last night; the dump, the bus terminal, the street?? 
What has she seen?

How can he still smile?

Where did he sleep?

God’s Provision
Even though there are many “bad” things that we don’t get used to, the most amazing thing that never gets old is God’s provision.  I don’t know how many times we have been doing deliveries and the directors of the orphanages were THRILLED because they had just prayed for whatever we had brought.  Or there are times when, even though there seems like nothing good could come out of a situation, the hand of God becomes so evident that it’s impossible to deny that He is working!!  The weekly, daily, and hourly confirmations that God is in control are humbling and, at times, are what keep us going, but they sure don’t get old!!  J

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rain rain rain!!

If you have seen our posts on Facebook or heard any of our comments recently, you can probably guess that we’ve been getting a lot of rain.  And I mean A LOT of rain!!  We’ve gotten over 12 inches since Sunday, and it’s still raining at the moment.  While we are a little cold and damp, we are ok, but how I wish I could say that for the rest of Guatemala.  Allow me to explain…

In an article posted yesterday, the report said that 15 people have been killed in Guatemala because of the recent rains.  I have heard other reports that said up to 19 people have been killed, all because of the rain.  Some have drowned, others have been covered by the mudslides, but no matter what caused the deaths, there have been deaths.

Or, in this article, which was posted on Wednesday, it gave a few more specific statistics.  According to this website (which is now a few days old), 130 thousand people have been affected by the rains, 2,660 people have suffered damages, 3,546 people are in shelters and 346 houses have been damaged.  These statistics have likely risen by quite a bit now, since we have gotten another 5 inches (or so) since these reports.

Guatemala isn't the only country that has been hit with this "Tropical Depression," Mexico and El Salvador have also been slammed.  It has been said that Guatemala has been hit the hardest so far though.  Supposedly we can expect another 36-48 hours of rain yet...  

It hit me the other day how often I find myself complaining about the rain when I really have no right to.  “Oh man, I’m just cold!”  (But I have a fireplace, what about thousands of others?)  “Shoot, the roof is leaking again!”  (Overall our house is dry, what about the thousands of people that no longer have houses?!)  “I just don’t feel like anything is drying out!”  (Then again, I do have changes of clothing that are dry-ish, do others have even another change of clothing?)  “Oops, there goes the electric flashing again, man that’s annoying!”  (I actually HAVE electric!  That’s a huge blessing!!)

So please, if you think about it, pray for Guatemala (and other countries) with all this rain.  Pray for the authorities as they figure out what the best thing to do is and for the workers as they continue to clear up the mudslides and everything else.  Pray for safety for our family as we continue to drive in this craziness and whatever else might come up.  And finally, pray for some sun, SOON!!!!  J

One of the newspapers, 17,000 victims from the rains.

Mudslides have shut down entire routes to some areas.

Large rocks make traffic challenging.

Lots of water!

This was very close to our church, made a (normally) 20 minute drive into 2 hours.

Roads giving way

Thursday, October 6, 2011


For those of you that don’t know her, I would like to introduce you to my younger sister, Abby.  Today is Abby’s birthday, so I thought I’d write a special post dedicated to her, just because I’m an awesome big sister like that!!  ;) 

This is Abby.  She is now 17 and, in my opinion, an amazing girl.  If you have met her on a work team, you probably saw her like this… 

Or like this…

Or like this.

If you were to get to know Abby well, you would see her like this…

Or this…

Or this…

Abby is the kind of person that would give the clothing off her back if she could and she has an amazing heart for those that are hurting.  If it breaks God’s heart, it most likely breaks hers too.  She is extremely patient and will do just about anything (to an extent…) for those she loves.  She is a loyal and protective sister, daughter and friend with a good sense of humor.  I mean really, she lives with me; she’s got to be pretty loyal!!  ;) 

So that’s a little bit about Abby for you.  If you haven’t gotten to meet her, I suggest you do.  J

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ABBY!!!!  You are loved by many (me included!!!) and never forget it!!!