Loving Arms is a Canadian charity working to transform the lives of the people we serve living in Guatemala.
The clinics are finished. We have seen 749 people in all. Now we turn our attentions to one family to lavish special care on them.
As we drive up to the Centre of Hope, where we will meet with Linda, Alicia and Sergio, we see a long line of men waiting at the front door. They are there to apply for agricultural work in Canada. It is astounding to learn that landing one of these jobs feels like winning the lottery to them. Putting it into context, they can earn in 2 years what they would earn in 12 – 14 years in Guatemala. Although they will need to be away from family for an extended period of time (anywhere from 3 months to 4 years) a job like this can lift the family out of deep poverty into a semblance of self-sufficiency. Canada is bringing hope and Loving Arms is a facilitator.
After we have gathered and organized, the team heads off to visit the family we have “adopted” for this trip. We are headed to a one-room rental in Parramos where a single mom lives with her mother and her two children. On arrival I am shocked at the conditions they live in … heart-broken by the squalor! A reflex “NO” escapes my lips as it sinks in that this is where Karen and Randol live. I played with Karen the first clinic day and I have seen these two at school the past two mornings as I was seconded away from medical clinics to work half-days with the English teacher in the Collegio Cristiano classrooms. How can this be? The children always look so clean and happy, yet this is their reality! I have to excuse myself for a few minutes to collect my emotions and thoughts. Inside the room, the old rotting bed has been removed and replaced with a new bed complete with comfortable mattress and clean sheets. A wardrobe has been added as a second piece of furnishing into which will go the clothing we have purchased for the family members. It is bittersweet as we give our gifts and they are received with sweet smiles and palpable gratitude. Tears flow from all of us, the team and family, as Barb and Linda lead us in prayer. It has been an overwhelming morning and there is more to come.
Once back at the Centre we find ourselves the recipients of a “thank-you” presentation by the school children. How delightful it is! I am especially touched by the introduction of the in-coming class knowing that sponsors are still needed for many of them. This school is a monumental walk of faith. I pray that God will be faithful to see the dream through to completion, and the He will grant me the privilege of being part of the journey!
Copyright Loving Arms Charitable Corporation 2012 • Charity Registration 83310 4359 RR0001