Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cuchillo de Paja 8/6/13

Today’s school, Cuchillo de Paja, had the youngest kids we’ve seen so far, ranging in age from four to about 11-12. It was two buildings with two classrooms in each, beside which was the partial remains of a building that housed two toilets and a storage room. On the concrete platform outside there was a low ledge for a cooking fire and a large pot. Noé had called ahead and asked a teacher to make the fire and boil water. We have been saving the bones, vegetable ends, and left-overs from our meals to make fortified soup stock. We had chopped vegetables and cooked chicken at the team house and brought it with us – there was no place to prepare food there.

While Sarah prepared the soup, the rest of us helped the kids through the Isaiah paper eagle craft, and then played with them. These kids were very loving, showering us with warm smiles and touches and hugs. Every one of us got one-on-one contact with kids today, which was heart-melting. Guatemalan children are incredibly beautiful. They all have huge brown eyes and black hair. All the girls have long hair in ponytails or braids. Sadly, because of malnutrition and lack of dental care, their teeth are often missing or rotten. But they will look at your face for a long time and just smile.

 The team pooled some money and sent Noé to buy soccer balls this morning, after seeing the huge impact at yesterday’s school. We brought two balls and a bag of jump ropes, and the kids had a fantastic play time. This school was too poor to have a courtyard, but they had a large open field that the kids could play in.

Today we got to see poverty and malnutrition up close. One girl was slumped against a wall and wouldn’t engage or speak. Sarah sat with a boy who wouldn’t speak, and we learned from his teacher that the boy’s father is “machismo” and won’t permit the boy to speak without his permission. Nearly all of the kids we met today had rotten/missing teeth. The school itself had almost nothing. After we left the school we drove further up the mountain in search of another school a farmer had mentioned. It turned out that there was no road to the other school, so there is likely desperate need there but we couldn’t reach it. But on the way back down 30-40 minutes later, some of the kids we had played with were still walking up the steep mountain toward their homes (which are barely shacks).

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