We would also like to share a hopeful story which ties into a previous entry. When we visited Pacaja, the new village, we met a young girl who had had a stroke a few days before. She was half-paralyzed and could hardly speak. It was obvious that the girl needed medical attention as soon as possible if there was to be any hope for her to have a full recovery. However, due to her father’s alcoholism, the family is stuck living in poor conditions. The girl’s mother expressed to us her desperation of not being able to do anything for her daughter (sometimes not even provide food for her). Thankfully, on this particular day we just so happened to have two extra bags filled with groceries from home visits that were cancelled. We felt extremely blessed to be able to give this family a little more than what was originally planned. They seemed to need it more than most. We prayed for this family and hugged the girl before we left but still felt that there should be more that we could do.
On Friday (our last day in Guatemala!) we visited Obras Sociales Hermano Pedro in Antigua. This is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to provide high-quality medical attention to the most vulnerable. The clinic specializes in providing care for children and adults with cerebral palsy. They also provide surgeries for children with cleft palate and other medical deformities. Amazingly, this clinic is maintained mostly by people who donate time and money and from doctors who visit the clinic from around the world to provide these services for no charge. Many of the patients interned here had been abandoned by their families since they did not have the resources to care for them.
As a team, we had a wonderful time here. Some of us had been nervous before going in knowing that the patients would have severe disabilities and we were unsure of how to act around them. Of course, all of that falls away when one simply focuses on LOVE. Just love, and remembering God’s love for us, made our time with the patients special. We were able to visit the women’s, men’s, and children’s wards and sing to them, dance with them, and hug them. One of our leaders commented during reflection time that we embodied the mission’s theme (Love and Mercy) in everything we did there. On top of that, we were able to start the process to bring the young girl from Pacaja over to this special hospital!
Can you believe how great God is? We had never been to this village before but God had it in his plan that WE specifically go to this family in this village so that we could connect them to Hermano Pedro, with whom we already have a relationship. The timing was perfect!
God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good!
[Missionaries inside of Obras Sociales Hermano Pedro]