Our first lesson today was that a rooster is only a good alarm clock if you want to be awake. Today we travelled to the new Loving Arms home to see our Sponsor a Home purchases – the bunk-beds and bedding for the, a hutch for the dishes, and pots and pans and household items. It was such a blessing to see the joy on the family’s faces, especially those of the children, when they opened their personal “gift boxes” that we had prepared for them. Jose especially was just thrilled with his new small toy cars, and the colouring pencils and paper. Ingrid and Yessica also loved the brand new shoes and bouncy balls. I (Andrea) had sewn each child, a fleece blanket to help keep them warm at night, and they were very happy with those as well. We were touched when the Mother and Uncle thanked us for the gifts and blessed our family in return. They expressed that they could not pay us back, and we requested that instead, they “pay it forward” by helping their neighbours when they can.
We toured the Loving Arms property where cinder-block buildings are being constructed for the proposed medical and dental clinics, as well as the SHARE sponsored greenhouses, where the ladies were hard at work harvesting the last of the tomatoes, hoping to soon be ready to plant a crop of radishes to cleanse the soil. These greenhouses are surrounded by the most beautiful gardens that Alicia has helped plant, and also are home to a very sweet little puppy and kitten that Mackenzie was instantly in love with.
After lunch we were able to help put together some of the walls for another new house and pack over 155 monthly food distribution bags! Amazing to see all that nutrition ready to be handed out to needy families.
It was Andrea’s birthday and for a special treat, was taken to a fantastic restaurant on the mountain high above Antigua, where we enjoyed a meal with Alicia and Sergio. At the end of this day, I can’t capture the limitless, boundless heart and soul that Alicia has for the people of Guatemala. She says to you “I will visit this one lady for a moment”, but she will stop and share her time and love with countless others on the way. And each one seems to have a real need for help, whether it be for tests for loss of eyesight, medical appointments for chronic illnesses, or simply a hand to hold for a few minutes. Alicia shares herself with all of them, and never seems to be tired or at a loss for something to say or do for them.