2 kids, come to our house and share that they have nowhere to go. Their grandmother is in the hospital and neither parent is there to care for them. Only other option is a government home, which here is way worse than jail. They move in with us, which we thought was a temporary situation. Almost 3 years later, they are still with us as a part of our family. We have had many ups and downs, lots of learning on how to parent teens, how to work towards healing through the trauma. We have walked through grief together as we lost their brother.
4 month old baby with hydranencephaly, missing 90% of her brain. Parents are told that she wasn't supposed to live past a week. After many months of fighting for this girl's life, lots of house calls, low and high blood sugars, seizures, urine infections, pneumonia, many nights of not sure if she would even make it til morning, but 3 years later, she's still here, doing better than ever! A little miracle right before our eyes.
A youth on the brink of wanting to commit suicide. Late night talks, lots of prayers, and he's still alive. He's learning how to allow God to put the pieces back together and starting the healing process.
A blind child who can't leave his house because his mother is so scared for his safety when he's outside of his familiar surroundings. A mother who has rheumatoid arthritis and struggles with pain everyday and how to care for her blind child every day. However, because of the outpouring from others to pull together and surround this mother and her child, to start to teach him braille, to provide medications needed for this boy's outbursts and the mother's RA, they have hope.
A diabetic with an amputated leg from complications of diabetes. She was one of the most grateful patients I've ever met. She would cry tears of joy over each bottle of insulin we gave, each glucometer and bottle of test strips we gave, the cooler box for her insulin to be stored during the day, for each blood sugar check that revealed that the meds were helping! She used to come in with sugars over 600. First time she came with a sugar in the 200's, she cried, so overjoyed and overwhelmed that she was finally catching a break. Finally on track to feel a little better. Last few months, her sugars have been consistently in the 100's and her blood pressure under control again as well. She was so happy. Only trouble was because of her sugars being so out of control for so many years beforehand, her kidneys were shutting down. Her lungs were filling with fluid. She needed dialysis, but couldn't afford it. We prayed with her many times during clinic. Now she's healed, in heaven, able to walk and breathe again.
These are just a few of the many stories from people we know and love here in Guatemala. Never would I have imagined the pain and joys we have experienced since I moved here 3 years ago. God has stretched and continues to stretch my faith in so many ways. God is teaching me so many things since I’ve moved. It’s crazy how my past has led to where I am today. It’s been used to understand and relate to others as they go through hard moments in their lives, to be able to sit by their side while they struggle going through a dark time in their life. There are a few people in my life who have made a tremendous impact on me, have sat with me in my darkest moments, have allowed God to use them to help me in the healing process. I am so thankful for them and how they answered God's nudge to reach out to me in the hard moments in life.
We all have a story. We all have a testimony. Impact isn't about the number of people. It's about the one whose life was changed. It's about going after the one who is lost. The one who needs a friend to sit with them as they go through the hardest time in their lives. The one who wants to celebrate with someone after they received that amazing promotion, finally got pregnant after years of trying, finally got approved to adopt a child, finally can smile for the first time after going through the worst moments of their lives. We all have value and purpose in this life, no matter what others say.
Our church just hosted its first women's conference here in Guatemala. Over 400 women attended, and around 75 men served at the conference. It was absolutely amazing! The worship, the messages, the people, it was all incredible! So many lives were changed. So many lives were impacted. The group we took couldn't stop talking about it. We heard about how we are daughters of the King. We all have value. We all have a purpose in this life, even though we all have struggles, been hurt by others, and possibly a past we may not be proud of. We may feel like our current situation prevents us from doing what God has called us to do. But that's not the case. We can all do what God has called us to do. He will provide. He is faithful. He has told us to get up and go. Do what we are called to do. Whether that is right where you are, or if you are being called to go to another town, state, country. No matter where you are, you can look for that one person who needs to be shown the love of Jesus. Someone who needs someone to reach out to them. Pray that God would reveal to you who you are to reach out to. You can make a tremendous impact on someone if you are willing to listen to God's calling on your life.