We were exhausted.
Like many Christian organizations, the calendar year ended with a flurry of Christmas season activities. In the past month, our little group wrapped and distributed over 1,000 toys and blankets for children and put together dozens of food baskets for needy families.
We traveled to locations around the city as well as some rural areas hours into the Guatemalan mountains. Sometimes, we had to carry our treasure up hills and stairs to reach the churches or schools that hosted us.
In between our own activities were family get-togethers and other church or charity events. By Christmas morning, it was all I could do to find the strength to hand my wife her Christmas present.
Time to rest? Don’t bet on it
Guatemala’s school season starts the week after New Years’ Day. We walked into church Sunday to find mountains of boxes filled with school supplies that had to be separated and packed into knapsacks for the school children that the church sponsors.
We had to get back to work. The start of the school year means our feeding programs kick off a new cycle, too. We had little more than a week to register the children for 2018 and make sure each had a seal-able food and beverage container. Menus had to be planned and food deliveries arranged.
By the end of January, the Women’s Ministry, children’s Bible and social classes all kicked off and the first visiting mission team of the year had come through.
On top of that was the church planning. Services, servers, and preachers were set up and Sunday School classes were scheduled.
What’s the point?
There is a point in sharing this with you beyond the solicitation of a little sympathy for how much work we do. It is a point that matters not only to A Couple of Christians and MCUGuatemala.org, but to most churches, charities, and non-profit programs.
Every December, our flurry of activities is bolstered by increased ranks of volunteers and a spike in donations. The Spirit of Giving is most experienced and executed during the Season of Christ. It is rewarding to see the cheerful attitudes and generous sharing of time and resources from people we don’t even know.
But the work has to continue during the other 11 months of the year, too. There is always the next thing. Kids remain hungry. Poverty continues to challenge families. Crises happen. We need to be ready.
So, here’s the point
One of the hardest things for us to do is appeal to people for money. Yet, it is the life-blood of our work here. We received some very generous monetary donations for the Christmas project. The notion that someone trusts us to do good with their hard-earned money is extremely humbling.
But we have to ask for more trust during the year. Last year, we canceled one of our planned projects due to lack of funds. The children never knew, but that didn’t make it much easier to think about.
In 2018, we added another small neighborhood to our special projects program. We will also increase efforts around our home base of La Cuchilla. The needs of our neighbors are astounding. The war against poverty continues.
Our battle plan is to extend our work beyond the children, building the strength of faith, families, and fortitude (self-confidence) among every resident of La Cuchilla as we fight to save the neighborhood from gangs, drugs, and more.
Can you help us?
Monthly commitments help us budget these efforts confidently. One-time or irregular donations often save the day and are greatly appreciated. But we can commit to plans when we know certain amounts of money will arrive on a regular basis.
Please don’t wait until next Christmas to consider helping others. Anything you can contribute during the year is just as important to improving the lives of desperately poor children and families.
We can’t say “Thank you!” enough to all who have helped us throughout our mission here in Guatemala, not just those who donated monetarily, but to all those who shared words of encouragement and prayer, too. But here it is one more time…
Thank you and God bless you!