Sunday was filled with anticipation as we planned out our home visits. We divided the group into teams after breakfast so that each team had members visiting the families of their sponsored children.
In the heat of the day, carrying gifts for the kids and families, we walked through town led by capable guides and accompanied by a translator. At each stop we were warmly welcomed and overwhelmed by the hospitality and graciousness of our hosts. Our group was blessed at our first stop by a sweet old grandmother doing her best to raise her granddaughters on her own. Her humble abode was constructed from concrete block with a rattling metal roof but fortunately had a smooth concrete floor and furniture. After a few minutes of discussion the sponsor presented the little girl with coloring books and legos which had her beaming behind her rather shy disposition. The grandmother in turn presented the sponsoring visitor with a handmade gift, a zippered satchel with the doctors name and a Guatemalan flag embroidered on the front. She had woven this herself using many different threads on a handmade loom she kept on a small side table. Before she allowed us to leave, she insisted we write our name down so that she could make us each a personalized gift. Reluctantly we did, feeling overwhelmed by her generosity. Perhaps the greatest gift we received was the prayer request she shared with us. She asked for strength and wisdom, raising her granddaughters alone was very trying and she worried for their future and the health of the family. We stood holding hands and prayed as a group. I personally left feeling humbled and blessed to be accepted and included in her needs. I am certain that the moments in that room will cling to our hearts for years to come. Certainly we will keep her prayer requests on our minds.
We finished our visits just in time to change for that evenings church service. The entire team loaded into pick up trucks, many riding in the bed, and rode up to the church near the top of the village. We entered as worship had already started and were surprised by the intensity of the music at the outset. Before long, the large auditorium was filled and the entire group was worshiping with the same intensity and fervor. As the service continued I was reminded of a moment earlier that day during our morning devotion when Brian had shared his heart and discussed the difference between happiness and joy. I couldn’t help notice the joy in the room emanating from nearly every face. At every opportunity people were looking to shake hands or hug with a smile from ear to ear. Truly there is joy that supersedes the circumstances in this place.
That evening we were all caught in a sudden shower as we headed to dinner. We laughed as we ate, all of us with soaking wet hair and clothes. Before we started the walk home, we spent a few minutes in prayer trying to ready our minds and hearts for the following mornings patients.
Do you want to see more pictures from this team, CLICK HERE!