Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Adoradora de Dios

On Tuesday we headed to the local dump to minister to the families there.  El Faro hasn't had a regular ministry there as of yet, but one of the couples on staff would like to start reaching these people, so we got to help them start.  There are about 50 families that live in the dump and a local church has built a shelter there in which we were able to host a little VBS program.  The church also has plans (and is currently fundraising) to build bathrooms and showers, since one of the main issues for these families is lack of sanitation and clean water.  You may be wondering why people would choose to live in a dump, and I would have to say that "desperate times call for desperate measures".  In this area of Guatemala there are few jobs, so the men of the family often leave their village and head to a larger town to find work; most of them don't come back.  These women have children to care for and often little to no means to do so; their last resort is to move to the dump in hopes that they can find enough useful items that they can either sell or recycle.

The night before they warned us that it would be smelly and that there would probably be lots of fleas, lice, and other bugs.  When we arrived, I didn't feel that the smell was as overwhelming as it could have been and there were a lot of flies, but it wasn't all that bad (for us).  Still impossible to imagine a life so desperate that you move to a dump.  David, Zita, and Andrea (all Guatemalan) led the lesson time for the kids and then shared a snack with them.
Zita & David leading the song time
The gentleman in the background was our photographer for the week,
so you'll notice that most of the photos I post are actually his.

 During the children's program all the mothers and grandmothers were sitting around the edges of the pavilion to watch and take a break.  I was able to paint some of their fingernails (a few of them told me their church wouldn't allow them to have painted nails) and I was able to help them do some crafts.  The morning went by quickly as we helped them choose strips of fabric, braid them and then turn them into headbands.  Once the children's program was over many of them also wanted to make something; we had plenty of fabric so we were happy to "share the wealth".

No trip to Guatemala is complete without a visit to Pollo Campero, so we headed there for lunch.  It's a Guatemalan-founded fast food chicken chain - better than KFC.  They even have excellent vanilla ice cream, but I'll admit it was a bit challenging to go "out to eat" after ministering to people who live in a dump, literally.  We arrived back at El Faro (by sea again, which was much more enjoyable today since there was plenty of sunshine).  Some of our group headed out distribute water filtration buckets or to do some home repair, but a few ladies and I headed down the path to ministry they hold on site several days a week.  They have a sewing & jewelry making co-op, where the women create headbands, handbags, backpacks, necklaces, and earrings, which they sell for extra income.  They were kind enough to let us try our hand at making some paper beads.  These women have had plenty of practice and were far better, and quicker, at making beads than we were - but it was neat to see.  They have a great eye for colors and patterns, so their jewelry is beautiful.

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