Thursday, July 11, 2019

2nd Day in Guatemala- Kids N Missions

When we woke up in the morning, I grabbed my coffee, raced to to terrace and got my first amazing look at the active volcano I had heard so much about.  I took a glimpse the night before but it's so much clearer in the morning since that's the time there are less clouds.

The left hill is the volcano

I'm only using cell phone pictures while I'm in Guatemala so these are the best it's gonna get.  :(  But that's okay!  I'm grateful for the tools I had.  There are 3 volcanos here but this is the only active one.

When we first got there, there was a celebration of some sorts and fireworks would pop off at random all day long and even throughout the night.  It was crazy and so loud you'd jump every time.  It was very hard to get used to but eventually we did.  Haha. I almost spilled my coffee several times.
Making our peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for the road
The itinerary was full and we needed our rest for long days ahead. But oh, were we in for a culture shock, at least for us newbies.  We woke up, prayed and read our bibles alone in the quiet, ate breakfast (Keto had to go out the window because you're grateful for what food you're given), pack our own lunch.  We had to bring with us our own peanut butter and jelly and they provided the bread. We weren't gonna be eating anywhere in Guatemala or drinking the water there. Every day for lunch we had to make our own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Grab a small bag of chips and a dessert of some sort.  We were to fill up our water bottles from blue bins only provided on site. 

Blue bins filled with filtered water
We headed out at 8:45am to the national hospital.  No camera were allowed inside of course and the women and men split up for different purposes there.  Us woman went in first and we brought new baby blankets for the maternity ward.  I took a picture of the outside and then put my camera away so I'll have to explain in words what I saw.

National Hospital in Guatemala
When I walked inside I saw a large group of people waiting to be seen. There you can be seen for free but can only get medicine if you have the money to buy it.  For some people, either they don't have the money or they chose not to eat that day, or a few days, in order to buy it.  We headed toward the maternity ward and were told there were over 70 babies.  The hospital was not very clean and we had to bring our own toilet paper in our backpacks to use the dirty restrooms.  Most places don't provide it or you have to pay to get some.  We carried everything we needed for our trip for the day in our backpacks including lots of sanitizer.  This was ESSENTIAL.  

Baby blankets we offered the women
Carrying the blankets into the hospital
Anyway, as I walked past the large groups of people into the maternity ward I saw that the hallway was lined with beds.  Metal beds with a a thin cushion.  No pillows and no blankets. Women were on these beds with no babies.  There were rooms you could go into with more woman.  We saw some sweet little babies and their mamas.  We separated into small groups and were told to pray and offer baby blankets.  Each of our groups had an interpreter.  I was assigned to the ladies in the hallway. As we went to each woman and prayed for them, I began to realize these are the women who lost their babies. As I prayed with each one, the precious women would cry and cling to a baby blanket we offered them.  They wanted one to remember their baby by.  One lady fell onto her face, cried, and sobbed into the baby blanket.  We went to woman after woman after woman.  offered prayer, hugs, and a blanket.  Some women didn't want the blanket.  Once we got to the last lady and she shared that she lost her baby, I sobbed. I was soooo embarrassed that I couldn't hold it together anymore.  So much loss in one maternity ward.  

Our girls group outside the hospital
After we exited we waited outside and let the men in our group go in.  I took this time to look around and soak the culture in.  Why had so many women lost their babies?  Was it the lack of nutrition?  The fact that 50% opt to have c-sections?  Was it because there was no prenatal care?  Sanitary conditions?  I don't know.  :(

After we prayed and visited women in maternity ward
This was our first place to visit and it knocked me out emotionally but it was time to move forward.  We hopped on our bus and headed to a school called Alotenango Association of Children Primary grades with 50 bags of rice and pencils for the kids.

My daughter Ashley and I

This was a first school and our first experience of handing out rice.  In the morning we would grab the amount of rice we needed.  These packs could each hold 24 bags of rice.  We would grab a couple and load up on the bus before heading out. 

Ivy and Kyle


Ivy bring the candy and pencils

Pastor Bill (left) helping load up rice on bus

The kids here come from very poor homes and I believe these kids are sponsored to come.  Every place we went we did dramas, skits, told our story, and passed out rice, pencils, and candy.  We would always go around praying for anyone that wanted prayer and salvation.

Who wants to play a game?

Ivy in funny skit
Prayer time
Adriana in the center overlooking on steps

After we were done the kids lined up for new pencils and candy.  They were soooooo happy!  Can you believe it?  For a pencil and candy. Wow.

I'm not used to just randomly going up to kids or people and asking if they want prayer so this was a very, very good learning curve for me.  The good kind of character stretching!

Ivy enjoying the rest
After this we headed out for our lunch break.  Wow, that's a story in of itself.  Everyone we went was.  We had a beautiful view as we ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  From what I overheard, we were overlooking an inactive volcano and a pueblo (community) that once had a major mudslide and killed people.  Very sad. :(  I also noticed that there were lots of littered roads because people would throw their trash wherever they felt like.  Such beautiful scenery littered with garbage.  


Our youth pastor standing
After our lunch break we headed out to a neighborhood which is called a pueblo.  This time we passed out flyers and shouted on bullhorns for people to hear that we had dramas, skits, stories, and rice for people.  

Pastor Bill inviting a girl to the event

Gail, Ivy, and Pastor Bill

Josh and Doug handing out 300 bags of rice

Line we formed to hadn't out rice and having people pass through the middle
Our last outreach of the day was at Park of San Antonio where we were to do all the same stuff and give out another 300 bags of rice.  By now we were getting a bit hungry for dinner and tired but it's okay because it was so worth it!  

This is actually right below we were staying and this catholic church is the view you see in other photos.  We went down during a festival time and did dramas, skits, testimonies, salvation prayer, and going around praying for people.  Then rice again.  People LINE UP in long lines to get 2 bags of rice. Wow.  I have rice back home in my panty and it's usually last on my list of things to make.  This is a staple for them and they were so grateful.

It was pretty neat to see my little girl praying for grown women.  Wow!  

Ashley praying for a woman
I was really proud of my 5 kids I brought that didn't complain, did the work over and over again no matter how they felt or how tired they were.  

Kaylene and Kayla

We were done for the day so we headed to a very yummy ice scream shop before dinner time. What a treat and so much cheaper than America's ice scream.  Just as good too!

Youth Pastor Austin and Gail (Kids N Missions)
View from ice scream shop and 2 minutes from our facility
A pharmacy there.  Most shops had bars
We headed back and had a delicious dinner prepared for us by staff at Kids N Missions.  I could't help but remember that we had just handed out 650 bags of rice and for some, this is all the dinner they'd have.  I was having a wonderful meal with good nutrition.  

Playing Phase 10
While everyone stayed up and played cards after dinner, I took my shower and went right to bed.  We were exhausted and I didn't want to be tired for the next day.

Ivy and I on our top bunks


Dangers of Foster Care

  Not enough people talk about this .... but I want to. I think it's important that kids in foster care are given a home but this foster...