Stories - Guatemala June 2017 #4

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Guatemala June 2017 #4

Tony Gonzalez | Jun 20, 2017

Team Alpha, my part of the serving team, had day at a Medical Missions Ministry (MMM) Clinic medical clinic at Loma Linda on Monday. What a beautiful day we had and what a gift for us to have the opportunity to meet the people of Loma Linda. Loma- meaning the top of the mountain; and Linda- meaning prettty and a pretty area it was indeed. We got to this little church built by hand by a pastor and a few friends. They bought all of the concrete, hauled it to the top of the mountain, and laid the foundation for Aposento Alto, the name of the church, which means living in higher places. Cosme is the name of the pastor, and he has spent the last 20+ years serving people and preaching The Word of God to the local people. His home?... a little lean-to attached to the side of the church with dirt floors that he and his wife have made into a cozy little abode.

According to most in the U.S., this couple is living low, poor, and destitute; and true, they do struggle day-to-day, living on very little because they give of themselves to those around them. But throughout the years, they have been able to raise a family of 4 kids (1 recently deceased) who are all doing well. And another thing, Cosme and his wife have joy. You could see it on their faces…joy for being saved; joy for the privilege of serving the people of Loma Linda and a few other areas Cosme travels to by bus to serve; and joy from knowing that there are others in the world who care enough to come and support them and their flock that he and his wife shepherd.

 

So how is the flock doing? That is where we came in and where the needs are. We served around 50 people; mostly women with their children. The fact is that the people of this area, and most other areas of Guatemala, are without proper medical care. Simple stomach bugs or colds that we Americans catch, go to the local drug store for medications, and get over in a week can be a death sentence to these people who are too malnourished for their bodies to fight off the infection. Those who survived the sickness might not have been able to work for a period of time, which can have long-reaching negative consequences. In addition, there are very few drug stores available; and you need money to buy medications, which they don’t have. One young man came in with a broken foot. His family had half-carried him on their shoulders for at least two miles to come to us simply for our doctor to tell him that he needed a hospital. There are only a few hospitals semi-close, and they are private, requiring payment that they don’t have. The only public hospital is all the way in Guatemala City, which may as well be on the other side of the world. Knowing a good bit of Spanish, I heard his mother say- I don’t know what we are going to do. But she didn’t cry or whine, she just shrugged her shoulders and kept going, life as usual. But I could not help but wonder what is going to happen. He is a young male, needed for bringing money into the family to survive. By the time kids are 12 years old, they are working for simple survival. But now, this young man was lame. And that was only one family.

 

But despite the struggles of the people that came for medical services, one thing I noticed was a love they felt from their pastor. Cosme and his wife (I never got her name) knew everything going on in the lives of their people, prayed for them fervently, and cried with them through the struggles. In essence, despite the many struggles of life, here was a man and wife with four kids of their own, now grown and gone, being the light of Christ to a small town of people in need. In our world, the world of abundance, they would not be considered much to talk about, as they are not famous movie stars, rich businessmen and women, or leaders of a mega church. Here were a man and woman just loving people and doing what they could with what they had. Here were a man and woman being Jesus’s physical body here on earth, bringing the truth that these people are important, being created in God’s image. It was a privilege to get to know Cosme and his wife and to be a part of MMM ministry helping these small town pastors serve their people.

 


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