In Guatemala, we met a family of five kids – two girls who were in their 20s and their three much younger brothers. When we visited, the 71-year-old dad and 49-year-old mom were working in nearby fields. The girls told us about how they didn’t get to go to school when they were younger, so they still lived at home to help provide enough money so their brothers could go to school. Going to school costs money because there are required supplies and uniforms, but often families have to choose between education and food.
These two twenty-something-year-old girls didn’t want their parents to have to sacrifice their brothers’ education. So they waited to be married and start families of their own. They take care of the two-room house with a dirt floor. They weave beautiful belts other women in this culture with Mayan roots love. (These belts take about 20 days to make and they get the equivalent of $14 for each one. Our team bought three.)
They make intentional sacrifices for the well-being of others.
Just down the road in this little community of Paquip, we met a dad of 12 kids. His wife was working in the fields. Some of the other kids were doing other jobs to support each other. The oldest daughter at home that afternoon told us about how she sings in area churches, who give her offerings that help buy corn to make tortillas and black beans for protein.
Again, she could be pursuing her own life, but she’s pouring into her family so her siblings can have opportunities too. In fact, one of her younger brothers is 12 years old and hadn’t planned on continuing beyond sixth grade next year because the price of education doubles then. Our team was able to secure an education sponsor for this boy, who wants to be a teacher.
During the week in and around Tecpan, Guatemala, our team of 16 visited 18 other families and found ways to help most of them, distributed 51 wheelchairs, poured two concrete slabs for houses after mixing it by hand and then built metal houses on them later in the week, and installed eight stoves. We did all this alongside missionaries Hannah and Saul who work full time with Bethel Ministries International – a ministry Hannah’s parents started decades ago. Pastor Juan and his wife Anna serve in this area of Guatemala and helped Bethel find people who needed physical assistance. Their son David helps with the construction projects and was easy to work with. Saul’s brother Marvin does various jobs with Bethel and was a joy to be around. There are others who work and serve with this ministry we’ve come to trust and respect.
More intentional sacrifices.
This is how we’re supposed to live too – wherever we are, with whatever our skill set, and alongside whoever we meet. God has shown His faithfulness as he’s provided what we don’t always realize we need. As our faith grows, we are able to love and serve others – not just for a week in Guatemala but all the days of our regular lives.
Yes, that lifestyle takes some intentional sacrifices of our time and money and comforts, but it pales in comparison to the one God made with His son on a cross for our sake. Let’s imitate intentional sacrifice and rejoice for the opportunities and beauty doing so brings.
They make intentional sacrifices for the
well-being of others. Let’s do the same.
I have more stories to share from Guatemala, but until then feel free to watch a video I made to summarize our week. Thanks, #PorchStories friends, for all your encouragement and prayers.