by Rick Fulton
Up early and excited to take on the day!
Breakfast at 7! It was a wonderful family style breakfast of eggs, tortillas, Guatemalan black beans and fried plantains! Breakfast of champions!
After a short drive to the community center in the middle of Salama, we arrived.
We went straight to work preparing for the day. We took the shrink wrap off all the wheelchairs and organized them by size. Same with the walkers and crutches. We set up our work stations, and were ready.
After some speeches by the local mayor and officials, they thanked us for our helping the folks in their city. We were quick to thank them for welcoming us to their community, but we emphasized to Give GOD all the Glory for what was about to happen today! We are but instruments in HIS journey, today and every day!
After a quick fitting demonstration from Ben, we broke into 5 stations for the fittings. Although MOST of us speak NO Spanish, we all conveyed God’s love through smiles and hugs in the universal language of LOVE! The team was moved by the powerful, impactful prayers that the recipients and their families bestowed on THEM! They praised God for his greatness and answered prayers for providing their new mobility and independence! We fit people from age 10 – 86! (the 86 year old lady said she was 100….but her son said she was only 86 )
Megan and Ingrid operated a station to fit people with glasses! Their simple process was to let the folks try on glasses to find some that provided clarity in their vision. Many could not be helped, due to cataracts or simply not having something that provided the proper correction. But to the handful that got the “new ” glasses, they were elated to have another opportunity to see God’s world through a clearer lens than before. Many old women were excited to be able to return to their sewing, with their regained sight!
I forgot to mention…after the folks got their chairs, they had the opportunity to visit with a pastor, receive a bible and salvation bracelet. Many seeds were sewn today through the interaction with our team and the powerful witnessing by the pastors. At the end of the day, 13 of the visitors accepted the Lord! AMEN!
So, we packed up after the final folks were fitted. Then lunch that was provided by the Mayor’s office as a token of gratitude from this city and our helping the locals.
After lunch, we broke into two teams. Home visits, and stove installation!
The home visit team met with a family who had a father with a very bad alcohol problem. The team met with and prayed with the family and spent time loving on them all. They also provided the family with some much needed shoes and clothing….and toys for the kids! Such beautiful gratitude was experienced! A used toy car, or soccer ball means the world to one of these kids who literally have NOTHING!
The stove team met with a single mom of 3. The dad abandoned them when the youngest daughter was but an infant. She now worked at a local store and also did laundry to make money…..$3/day to feed her family of 4! And she took off the afternoon to be with us! The mom had been given a “house” by her parents. It was about 10 x 15 shack. Block wall on one side, old boards on another, 2 walls were 1 sheet of old rusty tin on the bottom and the top 5 feet of was was plastic feed sacks! The roof was old tin as well. It looked like a planetarium, so many holes in it that rays of light shone through! I would imagine in a rain storm, it would be very wet inside! The room had a bed, and a pallet on the floor that had a cardboard box that was her dresser that held all the clothes the family had!
Normally we take out an old, bad campfire “stove” and replace it with an efficient, vented Onil stove. She had NO stove at all! We made quick work of the install! She was SO happy and grateful for her new stove! We played with the kids, provided shoes, and toys and many utensils, hotpads and towels for her new kitchen! We prayed with the family and said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel.
Everyone was tired….overwhelmed by the day’s events! We had dinner and met for our evening gathering. We call the gathering . “God sightings – where did you see God today” . This is ALWAYS a highlight of any trip!
As I write this, most are crashed….I am in the balcony hallway of the hotel. Levi and Danny are laying on the tile floor of the hall, because their room is stuffy and hot!
We are all ready to take on tomorrow and see what God has in store for us! Day 2 will be similar to today. Wheelchairs in the morning and 2 teams to do home visits and stove install.
Dios te Bendiga!