Life is full, time is short, and often pictures are way better than my feeble words. So this week I will let pictures do most of the talking as I tell you about our week.
But first, if you have sent me an e-mail in the last several weeks to which you are awaiting a response, don’t count on it. On Monday our ministry transitioned to a new e-mail service provider to lower costs and increase efficiency. In the process of synchronizing my Outlook with the new service, all my old e-mails were obliterated. (I guess that is one way to clear out my inbox, eh?) So, if you are one of the many who wrote to me recently and have not received an answer, please resend your message. Thanks!
We rounded out last week with several visits to families in remote locations. One of which was Rufino and his father way up the mountain in San Mateo. We were pleased to find that his horrible skin condition is improving under the treatment of the dermatologist. His father was so grateful for help he is receiving.
On Monday, my good friend Jeff Stagnaro arrived with a team that he is leading from Ohio. On Tuesday we started their trip off right with time at Hermano Pedro and lunch with some of the guys and girls. We all had a great time, but it seemed that Elmer and Willie enjoyed it most of all.
On Wednesday morning the team did the weighing, sorting and packing of the food for our monthly distribution. This month we purchased over 1000 lbs of food for families.
The rest of the day was spent doing the local distribution in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, San Miguel, San Pedro Las Huertas and San Juan del Obispo. Because this job gets bigger each month, we have divided the work between two teams with April and Gerardo leading one and Daniel and me leading the other. This has lessened my load tremendously.
Yesterday was a long day with a lot of driving as Jeff and his son, Jamie, joined Daniel and me on a trip to three different villages. We started in Las Palmas, then traveled to Nueva Concepción where we delivered a new wheelchair to Jorge, and finally ended in La Gomera. We had a great day of ministry while the rest of the team worked at Hermano Pedro Refugio and the feeding program, Paso a Paso, in our town. (I have no photos of their experiences since I was not there.)
As we were driving into Nueva Concepción, we came upon a large crowd of people gathered around a yard. We wondered what was going on until we saw the crime scene tape surrounding the yard and the body covered by a sheet. I don’t know exactly what happened, but it was obviously violence of some kind. This kind of scene is not uncommon in Guatemala.
Speaking of crime…one of my partners in ministry, Daniel Lopez, was robbed at knife-point just up the street from our house on Wednesday night. He was walking home from our house when two guys on a motorcycle pulled up, pulled a knife and demanded his wallet. They told him that they also had a gun, but never showed it. He gave them his wallet and they drove away. Praise God that Daniel is okay! They ended up using his bank card to buy about Q1030 ($130) worth of stuff before the bank opened the next day and he cancelled his card. On the bright side, I just received a call from him 10 minutes ago telling me that he got his wallet back, minus the bank card, so he at least has his license and DPI card back.
This morning the team headed up to Santa Maria de Jesus to working in the feeding program there. Meanwhile, Daniel and I headed to Chixolis to deliver a wheelchair to Jessica. It was wonderful to get her out of the ratty old chair she was in and into one that will help her sit straight and more comfortably. Jessica was all smiles as she enjoyed her first ride. Special thanks to Todd and Amy Block and their ministry, Village of Hope, for introducing us to this wonderful family!
Meanwhile, back on the home front, Joshua and Kimmie recently received new braces. Thanks to a wonderful man, Marvin Gramajo, who does all the braces for our ministry at cost, we were able to get them for $193 a pair. This is a far better price than the $2000 we were charged in the states.
Well, that is enough pictures and words for now. Blessings from Guatemala!
Daryl, Wanda and the Crew