Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I think I've written here once or twice about how statistics, even though I am quick to use them, bother me and how important to me it is to put names with faces to personalize the plight of the poor and oppressed. I know off of the blog I talk about it often. And then I get to Guatemala again and I realize that yes, it is so very important to put names to those faces in pictures that we all see on websites and commercials, but it isn't until you put hearts with them, both ours and those in the photos, that it really all comes together. Adequately describing our developing friendships with women in Pueblo Nuevo is not something that I am able to describe. Carolyn, perhaps you should write a guest post to help me out.

The relationships that are forming and those that continue to grow are precious to me. Each trip brings about a new friendship and each ends with relationships that have been strengthened. I so love the children of Guatemala, especially the children of Pueblo Nuevo, and I always thought that it would be the children that would hold the biggest part of my heart in ministry. But their mothers now hold an equally large part of my heart. There are so many women in Pueblo Nuevo that we are blessed to be getting to know, to hug, to pray with, to love, but these three in the pictures below are so very special to me. I truly cannot express what they mean to me.

Tina and Carmen. (Wonderful cooks, by the way...the Guatemalan version of chow mein that they served to us for lunch was delicious!)

Marta. It wasn't until the last two trips that we began to form a friendship with Marta, but this sweet woman means a lot to us. Sadly, just a few days after we left, her husband died. Marta is now a widow and more children in Pueblo Nuevo are fatherless.
Tina, age 39. She is the mother of 5. She and her children were among the first to truly accept us. Tina is always smiling and full of spunk.
And of course, my friend Carmen. I will never forget this picture. She felt like she was not appropriately dressed in the picture we had taken earlier that day so she requested this one be taken. I first wrote about Carmen specifically last May here. I didn't know what it was about her that made me feel so connected to her and I still do not know what it is.

Maybe it is because we are both the same age.

Maybe it's because she shows more affection to children than most mothers in Guatemala and I love that about her.

Maybe it's because she has lost 4 children in 2 years, mostly recently just two weeks before we arrive last month.

Maybe it's because she so desperately wants another child in addition to the two she already has and has been unable to carry another, each pregnancy risking her own life. And I know what it is like to want a child and not be able to have one.

Or maybe it is all of this and so much more.

I knew when I was with Carmen in August of last year that we were certainly forming a bond that I would never have the words to explain and our time with Carmen last month was reassurance of that. This 32 year old woman that lives a very different life in a very different world than I do is so much more than a statistic. She is more than just a name to a face. She is a woman with a story. She is a woman with faith so strong that it makes mine look almost non-existent. She is perhaps the most loving, most humble person I have ever met. She makes me wish that we were neighbors. More than that, she makes me think about eternity and how incredible it will be one day when I get to spend eternity worshipping God in heaven with these people that He has used to change me.

I talk about her a lot now here on the blog and in every day life. I love my friends intensely, wherever they are. And she is one of them.

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