Imagine you have 3 boys with muscular dystrophy. You see them slowly weaken; their muscles atrophy; they seem to have little energy. One is in a wheelchair; another struggles to walk. Imagine that you understand none of it; you have only been told that they have a "nervous condition". There is no medication, no physical therapy, no occupational therapy, no health providers to provide any information. You also happen to have a little girl who is bright, intelligent and has a clear capacity to be a little leader.
But let's add to the story. Imagine the dad in this family was murdered 11 years ago and there is no other family to help. The mom has NO money, "no nada". So You ask, how is it possible to survive?
This is how they survive. The mom, Santos, loves her children with such fervor that she is determined to find a way. So she collected rocks and made her own "pila" (sink"). She then begged people to allow her to was their clothes. She then signed up to work with men in the fields clearing the brush with a rusty machete. For this she makes $6 a day. She is 4' 7" tall and weighs about 70 pounds. How do I know this? We looked for her yesterday in an effort to hear her story. As we hiked up the rocky, brush-filled road, Ismael called out her name and of course she happily responded "Hola! Venga aqui!" (Hi, come here!)
She wears flip-flops, her little nails are more dirt than nail. The burning from the fire ants don't seem to bother her. She has had nothing to eat or drink all day. Now it is 6PM. She has been there for 12 hours and is getting ready to leave.
We visit her "house". She pays a small amount to rent the land and she has a few pieces of board thrown up for walls. Because she rents, she is not even allowed to dig a pit latrine so there really are no rules for hygiene - you go where the pigs go. She had a fire pit next to the house where they cooked - that improved last month when Ismael put in a good stove with a chimney. He also put in a new tin roof for her since the old one kept leaking.
I wondered what she thought when she saw us coming. When she realized we were the organization that has been giving her children food, she became a little tearful and told us they would have starved without that. They go to bed hungry so many nights.
Seems like a hopeless situation?? It's not. We have a plan. She had a small plot of land from years ago that was land-locked but Orfe was able to convince the government to get access to it. We can build her a small home with wheelchair access for about $10,000. We can build her a real "pila" so that she can have a real business for cleaning clothes. Her daughter already participates in our after-school program and she will continue to do so. That will just be the beginning. With a start like this, I believe their family can have a life that is one that God intended for them; one that we all have a right to.
They can have a home where they are safe from the elements of extreme heat and harsh rains; a home with a restroom; a home with four sturdy walls and a roof, something many of us take for granted. A home where the children's wheel chairs can actually move. A home where they can feel safe. A home that displays the love of Jesus Christ.
Our full-time missionaries here in Guatemala are ready and eager to begin building as soon as the finances are secured. Would you please prayerfully consider what your best gift would be to help a mother who is sacrificing so much just to give food, clothing and shelter to her children? Over the next several days, we will be working our hardest to secure the funds to begin this project. If you are able to donate, please click on the button below. Every penny that is raised will go to provide them a stable home. So many of you have already made our work possible. This week we have seen so much fruit from that work. We thank you from our hearts for your great generosity.