Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Christine and David Skinner, a volunteers story!

I went with a group to visit Mayan Families and do some work with them. We sent emails home to keep people up to speed on what we were doing. I thought I would share one of them with you all. We stayed very busy and had a wonderful time. If you have never visited, I recommend it. I knew Mayan Families was a great organization but really didn't comprehend a day in the life until I was seeing it. Everyone works hard and deeply cares about the people of Guatemala. They are truly amazing people I have enormous respect for!

Once again the group had a double mission. Denny and Deanne took part in the delivery of lunch to the elderly in Panajachel. There were 55 people in the elderly program. Mayan Families finds the elderly who have no family to help them with food or basic needs. Mayan Families started the program because of one woman who had laid in her bed and starved to death because she had no food and was too weak to get up. They deliver food Mondays through Friday at lunch and many of the elderly save the tortillas so they can eat them for supper.

Deanne had the opportunity to meet Victor and give him his Bible.We gave Victors family corn and some other food so they will have food for the next two weeks. We decided to use the money we were going to use to take the families out to eat and buy food for them instead. We felt if given the choice the mothers would choose to have food for two weeks instead of one night out. The need for food is so great here we can't fully explain it.

For the rest of us, we were off to Santa Cantarina to visit Von's sponsored student Roberto. He lives with his grandparents and sister. The grandmother was there and told us about tropical storm Agatha last year. She had only seconds to grab her two grandchildren, climb a ledge and hold on to a post. She said at that point she gave herself over to God's protection and waited for what would happen. It was a very touching story.

Next we were off to San Antonio to see another preschool. This one was a little different in that every child in the preschool was effected by Agatha. Most had family members or friends buried in the mudslides caused by the 30 inches of rain in 24 hours. The view at the preschool was gorgeous. They are right on the lake, it is a beautiful place to learn. The kids were excited to see us and had a good time with Ring Around the Rosie. They have a feeding program for the kids so they have lunch before they go home for the day. They also have an after school program for those who need it.

Then we all met back at Mayan Families and were off to the feeding program at San Jorge. They feed the elderly and the orphans at this program. The volunteer there also tutors the children who need it. The program is in need of gas stove if anyone is interested in helping them. We enjoyed serving the meals to the people as they came in. Some of the elderly are unable to come in themselves so they have family members pick up the food. We met Alejandro, an elderly gentleman Deanne sponsors for pain medication for just $10 a month. We listened to their life experience and then we prayed for him and his family.

We moved down the road a little and stopped at an elderly woman's home who had just lost her husband after 55 years of marriage. She was very depressed and had stopped coming in to the feeding program. Mayan Families staff are very concerned about her. Denny said a prayer for the lady and she was grateful for the prayer. She prayed with Denny and then kissed his hands in gratitude.

Next we were off to see the Catholic church in San Jorge. The church is so old no one knows just how old it is. It was dressed up for Corpus Christi which has been celebrated all week and will end with a big celebration on Sunday. It was a nice way to end the day. We made our way back to Panajachel with a few stops to take in the view of Lake Atitlan. Our weather was again sunny and pleasant. It is raining here as we type this. It is a nice soft rain, good for sleeping.

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