College Guatemala - January 2021 - Day 4
Our band of five set off deeper into the hills north of Guatemala City to visit families in the rural town of Chivoc on this fourth day. We definitely are enjoying this beautiful country and each other - pushing into relationship.
We partnered with two women who live in this community and do ministry locally. This area was established about 40 years ago and sits atop three lomas (hills), with terraced jungle land and farms across its boundaries. Our translator spoke of earlier days when evangelical Christians received death threats or were disowned from families when they accepted Christ instead of staying within mainstream Catholicism, but swayed by several local citizens, were dissuaded by the locals’ stories of the early Christians’ selfless acts of love and service for their fellow neighbors. Appreciation for those early believers who came and lived a life of faith amid opposition of death makes me pause to consider the cost of the cross and my faithfulness to the call.
As Maddie and I met with these local families today, we dove deeper into listening and learning culture. We also saw and experienced the formidable role of the Kachiquel matriarch. Guatemala is home to many indigenous people groups of Mayan ancestry who have lived on the land for hundreds of years, still speaking their unique dialect. The three way interpretation (English to Spanish to Kachiquel, and then back again) made for a rich experience of understanding to their culture, their strong value of family, their fortitude through difficult times and periods of loss. However, their testimonies of faith inspired us for resting in God, His provision for our needs, our future, and our healing - giving us His peace in return.
While the food bags bring temporary relief to hunger, the lollipops bring smiles and sweetness to the multitude of young Guatemalan faces and our collective voices singing songs of worship remind us of our faithful God who loves us and keeps promises, the harsh reality of Guatemala shows us how complex poverty really is. It is not solved by a handout, or a single food bag, or a single mission trip, or a large donation. Partnering with these long term Kingdom workers expands our college team’s understanding of poverty’s depth but also the beautiful shared experience of human interaction and just listening.
And that is something that is I hope come back and do quite a bit more of.