Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Weathered


More than the tiny homes, multiple beds crammed in one room, more than animals with no home wandering the streets, the faces of Guatemala tell stories of the hard life people live in this beautiful country.

 


(washing clothes in the river)


The weathered hands, the tired feet...







the peaceful but worn faces- the hugs are wonderful, they pull me in. They are gentle, all-encompassing even if the giver is tiny (as most Guatemalans are!). 


The people we met are hard workers. They also have to work hard to find a job. Many of them are day-laborers, meaning they may be able to find work for a day, but then the job is done and they are no longer needed. 


They sit in the town square, attempting to sell coconut, pineapple, avacados, bananas-- as do their neighbors. 


The average Guatemalan family lives on $1/ day. A dollar a day. 
Let that soak in for a minute or two. 


For that small amount of money, you can sponsor a child or aging and change their life-- give hope to their family, a way to break the cycle of poverty. 


They didn't ask for this life. They are no different than you or I. We are not worth more than them in God's eyes just because we have more money, more things crowding our home and life.

You can help these hard workers, no matter how young they are. Sponsor a child or aging today...


And though they work hard, they also definitely enjoyed our visit. The smiles tell that story loud and clear even through the language barrier!



More to come...



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guatemala Living

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It is hard to sit on my comfy couch, scroll though pictures of Guatemala and try to put into words our trip.

While all of us on the trip arrived home to electricity, running water, the ability to brush our teeth with water from the sink and run to McDonald’s or Starbucks for a yummy drink, that is not true of the people in these pictures. Most of them live in small homes or shacks, many with a tin roof. Instead of two siblings sharing a bedroom, if you walk into their homes you will find 6, 7, 8 people to a bedroom, and not all of them have beds. Their sink is usually outdoors, the river for washing clothes down the hill or across the village.

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Enjoy the photos, imagine living the way these families do…and consider changing a child’s life through sponsoring one or two. It’s amazing what just a few dollars in the US can do for a family in Central America or other places around the world when put into the right hands.

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Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.
Proverbs 22:2

CFCA- Hope for a Family

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Coming Home

It is hard to believe our time here in Guatemala is coming to a close. The week has flown by, and today will be our "touristy" day, visiting Antigua. 

We've had a wonderful time and have many stories and pictures to share with you. I have a few pictures on my phone but most will have to wait until we arrive back in the States as they're on my camera. 


Our group this year is much larger than last year when Lydia and I were here. There were 18 participants last summer and this year number 34!! Ten of them are under age 20, and Becca isn't the youngest. It has been fun to have lots of young people around. On our bus rides through Guatemala, we can be found singing rounds of a donkey song one of the women shared with us- the teens participate for about two rounds and then groan and stop singing. �� There are two buses due to the size of the group and our clan calls ourselves the "Fun Bus" although in reality I have no idea what the other bus is doing! ��

Although it is the rainy season, our mornings and early afternoons have been sunny and clear, which makes visiting the villages easier, especially on back roads. Yesterday the area we were visiting was farther into the countryside than the buses were able to handle, so we rode in pickup trucks from the main road back through the woods and into an area filled with large fields and small homes. Becca shared that she wishes every day she could commute via the back of a pickup truck. �� 


The abundance of fruit trees here is just amazing. One of the homes we visited yesterday had a lemon and peach tree- at every breakfast we are blessed to be eating fresh pineapple, watermelon and papaya. There are banana and lime trees in the backyard of where we stay. It will be hard to return to the fruit in the States after enjoying it straight off the tree here!! 

Well I am writing this in the very early morning and need to get Becca up and moving- somehow she doesn't wake to the sounds of the rooster, pigs, donkey, dogs, cows, etc. that also live in the backyard! I will be back with more stories and pictures another day! Thank you for all of your prayers. I have been surprised and thankful with how well Becca has done here- really enjoying her trip! ��


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday



Today we went to a village where we were greeted and had a bunch of confetti thrown on us!

We will write more but the pic is of a lady whose house we visited. 

Love, 
Becca

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Josseline

The little girl on the plane next to me this morning was named Josselin. She is six years old, traveling with her grandpa back to Guatemala, one of her homes.

As I took a short cat nap, I heard whisperings, little giggles and felt tiny fingers giving my back a lovely but unintentinal (I think!) massage. When I woke up a little more, I found Josselin and Becca had made quick friends of each other-- but then again, it was hard not to take a quick liking to the smiley, dark-skinned Josselin who fires out both English and Spanish phrases flowingly.

Josselin had no toys to play with on our five hour flight, no iPad, books or gadgets to keep her entertained. Instead she inquired as to if I am Becca's mom and whenBecca answered in the negative, she wanted to know where Becca's mom and dad were. Later in the trip she asked if we were twins, so her little mind was all over the place. :-)

As Becca and I pulled out Phase 10, she seemed interested in learning how to play, so she joined our game spread out on airplane trays, giggling whenever a wild or skip card came into play. She was intrigued and was my teammate for quite a few rounds before asking if I had any other games with me. She organized the cards in Racko, entertaining me with stories of her brother Stephen and sister Tatiana, uncles and other family members. She told stories of their animals, cows, sheep, goats and chickens. I'm sure the part of the trip most fun for her was when she quizzed me on Spanish colors and phrases, giggling at my horrible mispronunciations!

Every once in a while, Josselin would have a chat in Spanish with her Grandpa, who checked up on her, smiling at me at nodding that it was okay we continue to chat and play. Eventually she played games on my phone, loving the same ones my American kiddos choose to play frequently.

As our flight ended, Jossline bid Becca and I goodbye, telling us "adios, amigos!" and that she was off to board a bus to her grandfather's farm. Her grandfather told me "thank you for watching her" in halted English and she was off, beaming from ear to ear with her new wing pin I had pinned to her shirt, happy to be home again. It seemed the right way to begin the trip, humbled by conversation and a fun, interactive trip with an adorable, simple, happy little Guatemalan girl named Josselin.

Bethany

PS. If this happens to be incredibly jumbled, I'm sorry. I pounded it out in under 15 minutes and with less than two hours of sleep over the last couple of days. :-)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

San Lucas Toliman


A short one minute video I found on YouTube-- just to show you where our "home base" will be in between visiting villages!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Getting Ready!


In less than a week, Becca and I will be in Guatemala! We are so excited-- Becca for her first out-of-the-country experience, and Bethany to return to the land of volcanoes and very humble, loving people!


We spent part of the afternoon sorting through donations from my roommate's classroom- WOW, what a blessing to have so many art supplies, matchbox cars, bubbles, bouncy balls, homemade cards and more to surprise the adorable Guatemalan kiddos with! :-)



Keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next week-- I'm not sure about Becca, but my to-do list is about a mile long and continues to grow!