By: Maddie Gerard & Emma Jo Philips
Beauty amongst poverty. As we met the youngest of Guatemala we were confronted with the overwhelming poverty that these children face. Many live in huts made of metal planks amongst stray dogs and wild chickens. Glass litters the ground and rust has spread across their playset. But this doesn’t deter them. These children are passionate and kind, all they want in life is affection. Although they suffer daily,their love for others shows.
Today was our first official day with the kids.We started the day at the elementary school in zone 7 where we met in their large courtyard. The morning was defined by soccer and tag and using the the guys of our group as a jungle gym. After recreation time we split up into Bible time and game time. Noah Johnson shared the story of creation and pointed the children to the Word and the supremacy of God. “In the beginning God created, the heavens and the earth.” Johnson talked about the creation of man and the value of life. The missionary story, told by Maddie & Noah Vance, was the story of Betty Greene, a pilot in World War 2 and missionary in New Guinea. The kids were fascinated as much by the stories as by the “gringos” telling it. Game time involved a sack race where no one really cared who won. And a giant parachute the kids spent more time crawling underneath then anywhere else.
We then helped serve kids lunch and hosted craft time, which consisted of hundreds of crayons, about forty children, and cardstock pescados (fish) for the children to color. Janie took the head of the operation and shared Mathew 4:19 with the kids which reads “‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.'” After that lesson was translated into Spanish, Ben, Viki, and Emma handed out tons of crayons along with the pescados for the kids to decorate however they wanted to. We all jumped in and helped the kids color. I was blown away by how talented and artistic each of the children were. All of the chilren, along with the adults, loved the craft. The smiles on all of their faces said it all.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in the local soccer field and playground investing in the kids. We talked with them, played with them, and tried our best to give them the pure, innocent fun of childhood. It was truly a humbling experience to show these children God’s love and see their love for us; accepting us, as outsiders, into their lives.