Lily Lovell is the 6th grade daughter of Jeff and Clista Lovell who recently returned from her first mission trip to Guatemala.
In Los Verdes, Guatemala, where poverty strikes and food is scarce, a belief of Christianity and trust in God is arising, particularly with children attending the Learning Center. The Learning Center provides education from confident teachers and supporting parents for preschool children to, currently, sixth graders. When the CPCC October Family Team visited Los Verdes recently, we had first-hand experience with all of the children, teaching the story of Joseph and the “Tunica de Colores” (Coat of Many Colors). The children are polite and sweet, playful but obedient. The love radiating from them as well as the staff is astonishing.
Especially when we don’t know the battles they are fighting.
Because everyone has battles.
Even innocent, faithful preschoolers.
Every year, the team divides into numerous groups and stops at PriceMart to purchase basic supplies, such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, and Fruit Loops for the families. These resources are organized into colorful bags. Each group visits 3-4 homes in the community and gives them these supplies. What we then see on these visits is something like never before.
MY FIRST HOME VISIT…
The first home my group visited was through an alley and down a hill. Smoke was wafting out of the house, made mostly of tin, in the areas with no coverage. The house had no doorway and only a few cement walls. The mother of the family was creating a dish to sell later that evening to provide for her family. Gatos (cats), in addition to chickens, were wandering in and out of the two-roomed house, for they had no where else to go. The floor of the house was mainly dirt. We were told the house had flooded just two months ago, with water pouring though the uncovered spaces in the structure and through the holes in the roof. The mother of the boy said, “Please pray that I can keep providing for my son to attend the Learning Center—it gives him so much hope in God, and I truly believe he can do great things.” Just by witnessing the structure the boy comes home to every day after school gives a tiny glimpse of his battle. Though we may not have seen the whole picture at all.
A SIMILAR STORY
In the last house, something similar happened. The five people in the group climbed a treacherous hill, and at the top set a house. This house had minimal light, for the family could not afford this resource. The house structure was mostly stable, and young children ran around the house as an older boy washed down the old truck. The girl attending the Learning Center was praying for us and with us, and we were doing the same. At one point during this home visit, the grandfather of the girl entered the room. He said, “Please pray that I can keep providing for my granddaughter. At my age, jobs are few and pay is decreasing. I am doing everything I can to put food on her plate each night, much less for her to attend the new program for the Learning Center next year.” This twelve-year old girl is at the top of her class, and is struggling to be able to go to seventh grade this year. So we pray. Continually. For the grandfather and the battles this girl is facing that we don’t know about. To provide for her needs. And to trust in God.
In Genesis, the text describes the world God has created—perfect in every way. Every animal was nourished, and there was a settled routine for the earth—one that God may call “Very good” (1:31). God created mankind in his image, so they could mirror the benevolent king in justice and every way. But in reality, today, the world is not this way. Most people in Guatemala do not have enough to eat, or other provisions they need. Perhaps plants and animals cannot survive because their environment is littered. People may not mirror God through their actions. They could act totally different from God. Because they all have battles.
Battles happen in everyone’s lives, not just those living in the Los Verdes community. So pray for the children at the Learning Center, and pray for your battles. Put your full faith in God. And hope.
Pictures from the Learning Center…