She began to cry as she told us her story. I felt her pain and fear as this mother described the day she narrowly escaped death from a landslide. She described Hurricane Agatha and all the damage it had caused back in May, and how this rainy season brings fear to her family because her home is not in a very safe place.
I will admit, as we entered this home today, I was a bit hesitant. This shanty house was built on a steep hill, and the ground all around the home looked sketchy, to say the least.
“My little boy cries when it rains because he is afraid.”
As this mother described her situation, I couldn’t help but cry. Her home, the rain, the poverty, the old, dirty shoes in corner, filled me with sadness. I, on the other hand, have a wonderful home that holds back the rain. My children sleep in dry beds and we have a safe place to live. But for this Guatemalan mother, life seemed so difficult. I was thankful that her three children were sponsored through Compassion and receiving help.
As we left the home, I heard Ann, through her tears say, “Where is theology and doctrine in all of this?”
I looked at this impoverished hillside community, and all the evidence of recent mudslides, and my heart was overwhelmed with the suffering.
I love leading trips for Compassion, but sometimes seeing the realities that come with poverty, and the amount of human suffering in this world, leaves me with a helpless feeling. As I climbed the hill back up to the bus, I just felt sad.
Why God? Why does it have to be this way?
As we ate lunch, I could not shake this feeling.
After lunch, we went back to the church project to be with all the children. As we waited for the children to arrive, Claudia, our staff person here in Guatemala, introduced me to Joshua. 40 days old, I held this precious life and wondered what his life would be like. I thought about all that I had seen in this day, and I prayed his story would be different.
After a few minutes, Joshua fell asleep in my arms and I remembered holding my own little baby, Grace, who happens to be 13 now. I remembered holding Grace and taking comfort in her little life after watching my father-in-law, who I loved dearly, die. Somehow, little Joshua brought that moment to my mind, and reminded me that God, the giver of life, always loves us. There is always hope even in the floods, mud and poverty.
I gave Joshua back to his mother, and I thanked Joshua’s mother for letting me hold her little baby boy.
I have seen a lot of poverty. I have seen suffering. I don’t know how theology and doctrine fits into all I have seen. The world is messed up and we need a Savior.
Later, I sat down with these sponsored girls, and used my five phrases of Spanish to impress my audience. Sure enough, the hugs came, the smiles, and the laughter. Then, like yesterday, the kids began to sing at the top of their lungs and I heard it. My sadness disappeared. I saw it. My heart became happy and I felt it.
We do have a Savior.
Sponsoring five children has brought life change to my entire family. Please consider changing a life for a child, and letting a sponsored child change your life. To sponsor a child…click here.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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