Here is an update on how life is unfolding with our Program Leader in Guatemala. Hilmar, Carmen, and their five children are fine. Everyone is home, and schools are closed along with most businesses except for groceries and medical. Both of Senderos du Luz’s feeding centres and educational programs are closed. When it is safe to do so, Hilmar distributes food hampers. Fortunately, a previous team brought a supply of N95 masks when they came to Guatemala, so he has a few to protect him during his deliveries.
The message from the government is similar to ours (to stay home and stay safe) which is great to hear, although Hilmar says some people are still working at their own risk, as there is no CERB for Guatemalans to fall back on.
Understandably, fear has spread which creates artificial price hikes in food and empty shelves as we have seen in many countries. There is concern about future food availability; many Guatemalans can barely put food on the table during regular times, and do not have the ability to stock up. The community is not taking kindly to food hoarders, so Hilmar needs to be very low-key as he buys small amounts of food at multiple grocery stores to be able to build food hampers for the most needy. He is trying to work on one community at a time and must be careful to not be perceived as being rich or showing favouritism.
Hilmar says, “Maybe we cannot give hundreds of food bags, but one by one we have been sharing God’s provision. We have been giving to the most affected ones; many of the widows have been blessed. We are praying that we will be able to share more … Please pray with us for all the widows in our area and keep in touch.”
Hilmar and Carmen are finding time to reconnect with each other and with their children. They play sports in their small courtyard, play guitar, sing, attempt to do school work, and love their small menagerie of rescue pets! There are many blessings, even during this difficult time.