While in Guatemala, we had the privilege of delivering a TON of handmade clothing to a very poor village in the town of Gualan. A group of ladies from Morningstar Church here in Salem had been sewing these and they were beautiful! The village, when pronounced, ironically sounded much like "Hawaii". Before we left, we all joked about telling everyone at home that we went to Hawaii for our mission trip. Once we got there, our senses of humor were quieted. I'd say this was one of the most memorable moments for me. To see first-hand the poverty that these children are living in every day was heart-breaking.
We asked that the children try on their clothes to make sure they fit before we left their home. That's right, these kind people allowed us to enter their homes. This little girl was in one of the nicest homes on the street we were assigned. If you notice, it's merely dirt floors and no doors.
This was a sweet story. This was definitely the nicest home we were in. It actually had doors! This girl had a twin sister who wasn't home and we were able to find two matching dresses, of different colors for her and her sister to match.
This family came out very warily. Mom was gone and they were all home with their sister. You had to climb down some very steep stairs into sort of a cave. I don't think any of these kids said anything to us. I'm sure we were quite overwhelming to them - a bunch of white people speaking English trying to give them clothes!
This is our translator, Rosy. She was amazing! She is calling into this home asking if we can come in. When I look at this picture of this family's "front door", I'm humbled that I've ever felt discontent with my own beautiful home. Notice the clothes drying on the roof...
This was a kitchen with a beautiful view out the "window".
The medical team held clinics in several towns we were in. They reported that most of the children had worms and many were very malnourished. At least one mother, when asked what her child eats in a day, answered "a tortilla". Not per meal - per day. Before this trip I was apt to think that poverty everywhere in the world is the same. This has shown me otherwise. At least in my town, children are required to go to school and any children with anything close to a low income are provided breakfast and lunch. All summer long there are lunch programs throughout town for low-income families. Those same families have many government programs making sure they and their children don't starve. I'm not saying we don't need to help those in need in our own town, but people in these other countries aren't getting helped by their governments. Even just sponsoring a Compassion child can be the first step to putting feet to your faith. To see the hungry and give them something to eat... "In as much as you do to the least of these, you do it to Me." Matthew 25:40