Our work is finished... for now.
While traveling back to the U.S. yesterday, I had a lot of time to reflect on our ten days in Guatemala and all that this trip has taught me. This verse from John gets right to the heart of it:
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 1 John 3:17 (NIV)
Sometimes our hearts can harden toward "giving". We mistrust because of corruption and abuse by people working for the wrong reasons. Or because of people accepting charity instead of working when they're able.
I can assure you that the people of Xojolá were hardworking and not looking for a "hand out". They truly did appreciate a "hand up". They are absolutely in need and have no other resources. I personally saw few beggars in Guatemala and NONE in Xojolá where we worked.
There were few men at home when we went in to install or repair their stoves because they leave early in the morning and work long days. The women clean house, wash clothes, take care of the children and make goods to sell. They sweep the dirt floors often. They don't have much but take care of what they have. No one is scamming the system to get a new stove.
The stove project is overseen by health care coordinators from the village. These special women choose who will receive a stove by "need". They visit the homes and document the conditions. They keep meticulous records including before and after photos, names of the recipients and installers, and how long the installation took. It is difficult to fully portray how important this project is in the lives of these people.
Roughly 1000 more families need a new stove. Installation is all done by mission teams. So when missionaries are not there, the stove project doesn't happen.
Our team would like to thank each and every one of you who donated to this cause and helped these brothers and sisters in need. We appreciate your praying for us and keeping up with our activities via the blog. We have more pictures to share and we will continue to add them over the next few weeks. So check back periodically.
Que Dios te bendiga
God Bless You
I'm Karen, a member of the EAMC Mission Team from Topsail Beach, N.C. I hope to share our experiences of ministering to the Mayan villagers of Guatemala though our photos and bits of information about our day-to-day projects.