Thursday kicked off at 6:30 AM with an egg and sausage breakfast. Then at morning devotions we discussed the power of the Word of God. Scripture is so strong that the truth can hurt. It’s the blinding light turned on in a dark room; it hurts at first, but it allows us to see and it can reveal the mess that was kept hidden in the darkness.
This morning we all went to la Escuela Oficial Cantón Pampur for a special ceremony in the schoolyard. The children all sat on green pine needles spread across the concrete floor waiting for our arrival. Some children dressed in traditional garb danced, sang and presented the Guatemalan national anthem. Cesia and Kevin presented a puppet show encouraging good hygiene featuring Mr. Soap and Ms. Water. Lora, Cesia, Brooke and Sydney led the children in fun Christian songs with lots of hand motions, and Sam gave an object lesson showing how the living water that Christ provides washes out our spiritual filth.
Then we all gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new water purification system. The school director filled up a large bucket of purified water and brought it out for the children. After that it was time for more pictures with all of our new friends.
We then went to lunch at a park alongside a large lake and enjoyed the cool of the shade. After lunch we traveled to Casa Gloria, a newly built orphanage by American missionaries Geoffrey and Jenna Haynes. The building is amazing and will provide quality apartment-style living for orphans. The orphans will be raised in small groups like families instead of like a large boarding school. I’m so excited about the work that the Lord will do here.
Intense rain fell while we were indoors. We had planned on going hiking prior to visiting the orphanage, but were fortunate to not get caught out in the rain. We then took an hour drive past Coban and up a gravel mountain road to look for Romeo’s house. There are no signs, addresses, no concept of getting mail around here so we had to rely on Rudy and Sam’s memory on how to wind through the mountainside farm land to find this hut. We were running out of daylight and had to move quickly. Eventually we came across the huts to find little Romeo, a once malnourished baby who had been days away from death, looking healthier and happy. It’s almost completely dark in Romeo’s home, save for the light cast by the small TV. Next to the TV is a shrine with multiple photos of Jesus Christ. Romeo’s grandmother holds him until his mother returns. Rudy tells us the story of how he found them originally and helped them get formula. Romeo, who was born with a cleft lip and palate, is scheduled for his first surgery next week.
A couple more children ran about the home. We gave them crackers and beanie babies, which they really enjoyed. We prayed with Romeo’s family. They don’t speak Spanish (I think they speak Pocochi), but they prayed along with Rudy in a very powerful, tearful moment.
With daylight waning, we couldn’t stay long. We hiked back out and just as we got back to our vehicles, the sky burst open with a powerful thunderstorm. Rain and hail pelted our vehicles and the dirt and gravel path flooded. I’ve ridden in the back of the pickup truck on pretty much every trip, but was glad to be inside this time.
Tired and sweaty, we made the trip back to the hotel. We listened to praise and worship music. I was struck by the song “It is well.” It’s easy for me to sing “Whatever my lot … It is well” when I have a very good job, good health, loving family, and all the comforts of my American life. But could I sing that if I were in Romeo’s family’s condition? Could I praise God if I lived in a wooden hut making only a few dollars a day struggling to feed my family?
God, please give me a new found appreciation for your provision, for your mercy, and for your grace. Please give me the faith and the strength to trust you in whatever situation I’m in.