By: Julie Nash
Recently, I traveled with the sponsorship team into the mountains. I tagged along to help scout out preschools in remote villages but my eyes were opened to so much more. We were going to visit a family that needed vitamins and milk for their daughter that suffers from a bone disease. The bones in her legs have broken 12 times. She just recently started walking again. We also were bringing her diapers because she has not been able to use the bathroom due to her condition. When we arrived, the parents were so excited to explain to us that she did not need the diapers anymore.. or at least for right now. Lesia, was walking all over the place and showing me how she can ride her bike. Dilmer, her father, pulled out chairs and asked us to sit down. His Guatemalan sense of hospitality was evidenced by the fact that we were given chairs while he and his wife sat on the cinder block wall. They brought out helote, which is corn on the cob, that they had grown right there on the side of the mountain. I was completely humbled. This precious couple started to share the story of their family. Lesia is the last of their children living. They lost a teenage daughter and an 8 year old son to a rare seizure disorder. The mom sat there and explained how they are afraid to have more children. The reality of the whole situation is hard to process. It’s hard to understand the why of it all.
Helen Keller said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
Life is not about fairy tale endings. We don’t get to pick and choose certain realities like where we are born or when we will die. We do get the chance to help others overcome their suffering. We can make an effort to ease the burdens of those around us by sharing the love of Jesus. I witnessed that reality. Watching Lesia clutch her bag of milk with so much excitement. Thankful to have had my eyes opened again to the reality of life in Guatemala and the need to bring hope.