Odd, considering my sponsor child lives there.
Let me explain as best I can.
For whatever reason, I presumed Delmar lived in a house on a lush green hill. With goats. (I am aware this is starting to sound like Heidi) Granted, it was small; one, perhaps two roomed abode, but a still, a house. With walls and a roof and windows cut out (but no glass). Perhaps made of stone. Maybe mud.
This is obviously my idea of poverty.
The reality is heartbreaking. The photos that are coming back have left my preconceived ideas decimated.
Some do live in houses, but more often than not they live in crude shantys. I've seen families of 11 squashed into a dwelling not much bigger than the bed they all sleep on.
The grass is scarce, as it's all been buried under mudslides caused by hurricanes, earthquakes and torrential rain.
And the hill isn't romantic. It's dangerous, and has these little homes stuck to its side and I cling to my seat expecting at any moment to see one fall (yes, in a photo) and take out the one under it, and the next one, and the next one.
And I do not know what my heart feels.
I know it hurts. I know I feel like a selfish worm.
For whatever reason, I thought my $54AU a months dragged them physically out of the muck. My idea of muck. Not reality's muck. To see that it doesn't do either makes me........ (insert feeling I haven't quite pinned down yet)
But this does not stop me from believing in Compassion, what they do, and Who they stand for.
Because I see parents with eyes co-mingled with grief and hope.
Because I see children with smiles bigger than their faces.
Because I see hands raised in prayer. Because I see children singing in Spanish a song I sang as a child (with the same actions you knew, Lisa-Jo!). Because they now have hopes and dreams. A future.
But most importantly, because I see my Jesus. Their Jesus.
His presence hangs thick. I can see it and feel it through the photos.
His promise to "be in the midst" is as much true there in the have-nothing of Guatemala as it is here in Australia, over in the US or anywhere else His name is breathed and proclaimed Lord.
He just needs us to be his hands and feet and heart and wallet and usher them into the place they can learn that His hand is strong and mighty, and it holds theirs tightly.
I still don't know how to articulate my feelings on seeing where my boy lives, but I do know that what I'm doing is making a difference to him, his sweet, brave mother and his grandfather.
In Jesus Name
Click the picture to be directed to Compassion's Guatemala page and sponsor a heart-child
(I called them heart children because that's what I call Delmar. When I clicked on the link to make sure it worked, I realised that if a child has a heart on their profile picture, it means they have been waiting over 6 months for a sponsor.
So please... do consider a heart child, in more ways than one)