As soon as we arrived in Guatemala, we made a trip to see Rocsana for her birthday! Her town’s first McDonald’s had just had it’s grand opening so we took her whole family to experience it for the first time.
It was a joy to see the kids eat their first Happy Meal, play with the included toy and have a blast in the indoor play gym. The trip was bitter sweet however, because of some recent hardships the family has had to endure. Rocsana and Alberto will be joining us soon, as she will be working for the ministry, and Paola will be our first girl to enter the program. They wanted their whole family to be able to come and this is the hard part of the job! Rocsana asked if her whole family could move to San Lucas with us and her mom, Fermina, and newer step father could work as our house parents. We had to tell them no.
You might have seen pictures of their home when we visited in December to deliver their Christmas gifts. Well, a few weeks after we left, the roof collapsed on the house and the landlord wouldn’t fix it and instead evicted the family. Stan sent them some money to help them move quickly into their new home which was a converted horse stables next to a pig farm! To make things worse, this was the cheapest home they could find in the area and it was still twice what they paid for the last house. They told us how difficult it was and they couldn’t afford the new rent. They wanted to leave with us. We explained to them that it wasn’t possible for them live with us and that the houses in San Lucas where going to be much more expensive than here. Stan shared this with them with as much grace and mercy as he could but it still was not the news they wanted to hear. Stan did agree to help them each month with their rent for a while.
This is a common thing here in Guatemala. Every day, we have someone knock on our door and asking for work. Unfortunately, we have to say no. We just don’t have that many positions at the ministry yet and then we have to be very selective on who we hire because of the nature of our work here. This is a simple fact but that doesn’t make it easy to do, especially when you see all the needs and the desperation on their faces.
In the top picture, you can see Fermina sitting across from Esther. Everyone was having a great time eating their McDonald’s and talking but I noticed Fermina sitting there very quietly looking at her youngest daughter, Anahy. Even now, writing this article brings me to tears… (One moment please…)
Watching her watch Anahy while she ate, broke my heart. She had just been delivered the bad news that we were not going to hire her and I could see the desperation in her eyes as she looked at her daughter. With Alberto, Rocsana and Paola leaving with us soon, how was she going to keep providing for them? Was she gong to lose Anahy her brothers like she did her three oldest girls? Her kids mean the world to me and it is so hard leaving them over three hours away from us! It is so hard not to bring them with us, but we can’t. We only have so much room in the house and we have to stay true to our mission, why the Lord has brought us here, but that fact doesn’t make it easy!