The vultures circle overhead as smoke rises from the mountain of refuse and mixes with the dirt that falls like sandpaper on weathered faces. The days are long at the Ravine, a dump on the outskirts of Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Families come here to sift through waste in the hopes of finding anything of value that can be reused or sold to provide for their own. It’s the hardest of lives, and the pain has been passed down from generation to generation.
On the morning of her 42nd birthday, Edith Suazo Fernandez (a former nun) arrived at the newly constructed home for orphaned and abandoned children in La Paz, Honduras. The country’s president's daughter, the mayor, many of Edith’s family members and friends, and hundreds of residents had gathered on January 20th to celebrate the new San Jose home. Involved parties made speeches, teens tottered on stilts and formed a drum line to pound their joy into percussion. Then Edith cut the ribbon and opened the door to her long-awaited dream.
It’s been a very good day for the second grade class at Precious Moments, located near the Santa Fe slum in Guatemala City. The students were introduced for the first time to the computer lab at their school and then received new backpacks filled with school supplies from Christ Church Plano and Monterey Church of Christ in Lubbock.
Serving orphans was a dream of mine, something that burned deep inside me, something I had felt was my calling for years. I finally had the opportunity to go on a mission trip this past December, along with my boyfriend, who was inspired by my passion for wanting to help and decided to join me. Traveling to a foreign country and meeting new people whom I had only spoken with on the phone or through email was scary at first, but the second we walked into the hotel the night we arrived a warm feeling came over us and we had instant friends. Having never been to Guatemala before we immediately felt at home.
Nehemiah Ndete is the founder and Executive Director of KWA Watoto Center which provides education for children living in the Sueta Slum in Nairobi, Kenya. His story is an inspiration to the children he serves. Born in a poor family in Western Kenya one of sixteen children of which only 4 survived was a childhood washed with sorrow, hunger and extreme poverty. Nehemiah recounted that he buried a sibling every year.
We are very excited that more than 260 people attended the 5th annual luncheon to hear what a difference the WOW auxiliary is making for orphans and vulnerable children in Guatemala. Most thrilling of all, more than $50,000 was raised to help with the needs of the children in 2014!