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
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