On a hot summer day at Chijacorral the kids had an olympiad and competed in a variety of water filled activities. A ton of fun was had by all!
Exciting things are happening in the clinic! Last year, we had the incredible experience of piloting the "Salud en Acción" (Health in Action) program in Chicoy, where hand-washing and tooth-brushing were implemented into the daily routine of our students. This year, we are thrilled to share that we have now expanded the program to Mocohan! Here's to preventative health!
His name was Edgar. He was one of the 20-some kids in our grade one class in Chicoy that year. He was most often dirty, but then again, they all were. His only footwear were leaky rubber boots full of holes, as they are the cheapest option. His clothes were just scraps of fabric; in fact, sometimes we could see his little bum through a hole in his pants due to the fact that he didn’t own underwear.
All of these statements are applicable to the majority of the students we had in our class that year, but there was one thing about Edgar.
He would ask me for a new pencil. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Yes, you got that right. EVERY.DAY. He would come up to me with just a stump of a pencil, less than an inch long, sometimes he would come empty handed, and he would ask me for a new one. Of course I would give him one! The poor kid couldn’t do his work without it. And he obviously didn’t have the option of buying his own. But it was rather confusing. Sometimes I would harp on him, asking him what had happened to the pencil I had given to him the day before, but his response was always the same. SHRUG. With his little innocent eyes would looking up at me I couldn’t do more than remind him to take care of his new pencil and let him go back to his desk.
Later that year we found out the reason.
After school hours he would head over the neighbouring public school and sell his pencil for a few cents. With that money he would hopefully be able to buy an egg to feed his family. You heard me.
For his family.
My heart breaks even now, just remembering it. How can a family live on so little as to share an egg between 3, 4, maybe even 5 people?
Stories like this one make me SO grateful for Impact Ministries. Because of Impact Ministries, Edgar received a hot breakfast every day. Because of Impact Ministries, he was able to attend school even though he didn’t have enough money for school supplies and uniform, which are requirements for Public Schools. Because of Impact Ministries, there is a way out of the cycle of poverty. Because of Impact Ministries, there is hope for a better future.
I realize that I mention Impact Ministries a lot in the previous paragraph – but I want to clarify that Impact Ministries is just a vessel that the Lord is using to love on, bless and lift up Guatemalans.
Often times, when I try to sum up my role in Impact Ministries, I find that my attempts fall flat. I am an administrative assistant. What does that even mean? I am by no means a preacher or an evangelist. But I am a part of something big. I am able to see up close what the Lord is doing, the ways that He is moving! As I create spreadsheets and draft emails, I know that I don’t need my work to be glorified or even recognised. I just need to do it all, 100% for HIM. He is doing great things here in Guatemala! I know greater things are still in store!
What a blessing and privilege it is for me to play a part, however small, in what the Lord is unfolding here!
The above blog post was written by Julie Sawatsky de Lem one of our Canadian field workers working in Guatemala. You can read more about Julie and her husband Julio's life and ministry at their website - https://julioandjulielem.wordpress.com/. If you would like to support them financially you can go to their giving page- https://connect.egiving.com/support-a-missionary-julio-julie/impact-ministries-usa
Dorothy Peters, a faithful supporter of Impact Ministries, has written a book that is dedicated to helping children with disabilities. A portion of the proceeds are being donated to Impact Ministries. We are grateful to Dorothy for her generosity!
by Dorothy Peters and Livia Wolfs (illustrations by Lynda Rogac)
“When someone has broken hands, I could drive them in a car,” answered my four-year-old, red-haired, granddaughter Livia. “When someone has broken feet, I could carry them home.”
A holy ground, take-off-my-shoes moment this was for me. “What would you like to do when you are five?” I had asked while tucking her into bed, on the night before she turned five. But instead of hearing dreams about Kindergarten or a bicycle without training wheels, God revealed his heart through this fiercely hoping little girl … “When someone cannot see, I could show them where to go … When someone has no voice, I could talk for them.”
Just like that.
The following week, during another tucking-into-bed moment, Livia asked, “Where do I find someone with broken hands?” I will write to Les and Rita at Impact Ministries in Guatemala, I told her. Livia knew that she had been in Tactic as a baby for a few months when her mom and dad served there. And Greg and I had been founding Board Members, so it was just natural.
There were currently no children without hands(!), we learned, but there was a little girl named Lesly Noemí Tut López who was deaf and mute. She had shown up one day at Colegio Cristiano Vida Purulhá (Life Christian School) and seemed determined to stay! Yet, extra resources were needed for her. This we gladly provided, doubly joyful that two little girls – one brown-haired Guatemalan and one red-haired Canadian – were finding their voice.
“Write with me,” I invited, when Livia was ten and needed to remember who she was. Slowly, over four years, her little-girl dreams grew up, reshaped and expanded as we listened to Jesus’ words: “Whatever you have done for even the littlest of these … you have done it for me” (Matt 25:34-40). Artist Lynda Rogac experimented with sketching delightful pictures of children and creatures and grownups, all playing together and helping each other. “Could she put Jesus in every picture?” Livia asked one day. “But as a bird. So my friends who are not allowed to talk about God could still read this book?” So Lynda did.
This book is dedicated to Lesly Noemí (a 2016 graduate), because this is her story, too.
But we wanted this book to bless also in more tangible ways. Therefore, 100% of the funds received by Impact Ministries in Guatemala for the book, made available to visiting teams, (suggested donation $15) is designated for the education, vocational training and job placements of Guatemalan children and young people with disabilities. Also, a portion of the proceeds of books sold in Canada is so designated. To order more copies, you are invited to visit http://TomorrowWhenImBig.com for ways to purchase. You are also welcome communicate with Dorothy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you!
Dorothy M. Peters
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