We all get exhausted; physically, mentally and emotionally. That's what I'm feeling at this point of our Bethany Christian Services trip to Chichicastenango, Guatemala. We are working long days and well into the night, but that's not the hard part of the job. For me, it's the emotional exhaustion of meeting so many amazing families that are living in such dire straights. I want to bring them joy and a few minutes of relief from the hardships of daily life. I'm overwhelmed by their poverty, their struggles and their efforts to simply survive. I think about how weary I am and I think about what it must be like to be a mom, living on less than $2 a day. Worrying about where the next meal for the family might come from, fearful that it might rain and flood the dirt floor of the house, worried the toddler might fall into the fire pit and fearful the drinking water will make the entire family sick. How weary must the moms of Chichicastenango feel every day they are alive?
On day three of our journey we visited four families. We traveled into the mountains, walked down dirt paths, through corn fields and climbed steep hills on city streets. Each family we met inspired me in unique ways. Despite their desperate situations and unending list of possible worries, the women we met were full of joy and hope. As they opened their tiny homes to me, many started to cry thanking me, thanking all the Americans who generously sent donations to sponsor them. The warm hugs and salty tears we shared were beautiful, but it wasn't until one mom took my hand and asked God to bless me. My heart broke. She has no idea how blessed I am. I offered her the same words and I pray that God will bless and protect each of these tender families.
My hope is that these moms have the strength and courage to continue on to overcome the weariness of this difficult life. I want them to know more than anything that they are not alone. They are loved and they have friends they've never met in places they'll never see who love them and their children, and want the best for them. I am no longer weary. I am full of energy and honored to give a voice to women and families who deserve to be heard.
Find out more about Bethany Christian Services One Family Campaign at www.bethanyonefamily.org/gr .
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