Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Fatherless

Meet sweet, shy Carolina and precious Paola. When we first met them in October 2009, they were part of a family that consisted of other siblings, a mom and a dad that worked in the fields. They were barely able to make ends meet meaning the father's pay barely covered and sometimes did not meet their minimal necessary living expenses, but they survived the best they could, just as everyone does in Pueblo Nuevo. The children were happy because they are loved and without knowing that things like Wiis and laptops and smart phones exist, the basics are all they believe they need.

But for now their happiness is gone. From now on, when we talk about the fatherless in Pueblo Nuevo, in Guatemala, in the world, we are also talking about them. Their father died tragically a few weeks ago.

A very large, deep hole had been dug and filled with water at the site where he had been working. For four days he never returned home and no one could find him. It wasn't like him to be away for so long and no one believed that he would abandon his family. On the fourth day, they found him. He had fallen into the hole and drowned. In an instant the lives of his wife and children were shattered. They went from little to less. From barely getting by to not knowing how they will survive.

And they are not the only ones.
This year has been especially difficult for some of the children in Pueblo Nuevo. This is not the only father that has died recently. Multiple children have lost their dads already this year and wives have become widows that do not know how they will provide for their children.

Where do they go from here?

Call it what you want. Poverty alleviation. Family outreach. Orphan prevention. If you say you have a heart for orphans, you also have a heart for those children that are on the brink of becoming orphans. If your heart breaks at the thought of children living in orphanages and on the streets, it should also break at the thought of another child entering that kind of life. According to some sources, because these children lost a parent, they are already orphans, but they do not have to suffer like so many true orphans do. Yes, if their mother does not find a way to take care of them, they will be in horrible, heartbreaking situations. Children like this often end up in orphanages, living on the streets, involved in prostitution, gangs and drugs. They do not often attend or finish school. And for so many it is the beginning (or continuation) of a generational cycle that desperately needs to be broken. So if we love orphans, shouldn't we also work like mad to make sure that other children do not become part of the orphan statistic? Shouldn't we fight on their behalf to keep them from a life of more pain?

Obviously we are very concerned about orphan prevention, not only in Guatemala, but around the world. We consider situations like this to be a crisis that must be addressed and will do whatever it takes to make sure that these children are cared for. I admit to being completely overwhelmed by the situation in Pueblo Nuevo right now. With so much that needs to be done, it is most upsetting to me to know that our hearts are in preventing children from becoming orphans and that more and more are on the brink of becoming just that. We are praying for wisdom to know how to move forward in caring for these families. I know that the Lord is in control and I am thankful that He is so much bigger, stronger and more powerful than we are. He loves these children far more than we do. He is a Father to the fatherless and with His instruction we will move forward in assisting these families with whatever is needed to keep the children safe and on the path that He has created for their lives.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Praying for these precious children that have names and faces and hopes and dreams. Lord please help them keep their hopes and dreams and may they see you manifested in PN each day.