I am eagerly anticipating my return to Guatemala on July 11 as I am blessed to be returning to the country that Sarah and I first visited with Orphan’s Heart in December 2013. My co-worker and friend, Kelsey, and I are flying out of Miami and landing in Guatemala City, Guatemala where we will join 30 other team members. From there we will travel about 45 minutes to Antigua, Guatemala. Antigua is a beautiful small tourist town with a picturesque canvas of mountains that greet you, in the distance, every morning outside your hotel room.
I will serve again at the Malnutrition Center (Colonia Infantil CERN) in San Juan Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. On our first trip Sarah and I were assigned to the Canary Room to care for the infants and young toddlers. Even though some were toddlers, some had not sat up on their own, crawled, or taken their first steps, due to growth delays caused by lack of proper nutrition. On the third day there of having the duty of changing several kids’ diapers after a long night, I was proud of myself for no longer gagging. This Guatemala diaper changing ministry tops any church nursery worker experience I’ve ever took part of, and there were about ” 19 kids and counting” with not enough hands at times, although we thoroughly enjoyed it! We also helped with bath time, rocking them, playing with and hugging them. And of course, we fed them twice a day while patiently watching their tiny mouths opening to receive the food. What a delight! The first day or two, we encountered many of our children who were quiet and reserved, except at diaper changing time, because total strangers had invaded their home and they had not yet decided to fully trust us yet. But by the third day, their faces started smiling and they reached for us, arms outstretched, as we greeted them each morning. There were about 50 of us who ministered to the children, 7 hours a day, with a 30 minute lunch break. The Center averages about 80-100 children , newborn through age nine. Their families are unable to care for these precious children, some at death’s door, so they entrust them to the dedicated staff to nurture them back to health. The Center provides weekly visits for the parents and children until they are healthy enough to go back home. When we tearfully said our goodbyes to the children and staff, Duane and I committed to sponsoring a tiny, one year old girl I cared for, who shares my mom’s middle name. I’m so excited to return to see her soon! Thanks for taking the time to read, and please stay tuned, because I will be sharing more posts before we leave.