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Kristen & Joe’s Guatemala Mission Trip: Joy & Heartbreak

Today was pretty similar to Monday. The morning was spent doing construction and the afternoon doing VBS. Joe was feeling better, so he was able to join us. In the morning, we did more manual labor–carrying blocks, cutting wire, carrying water to the site, etc.

It was also our last VBS which made me sad. I really enjoyed being with those kids. Their faces would break out into huge smiles when they saw us, and after we left, they ran behind our van until they couldn’t anymore.

During VBS, a drunk woman named Marie showed up. She started singing the songs and crying. When we started to do crafts, she ran into the church, clung to the alter and started praying. It was so sad. We have met a lot of drunks here. Biologically, the indigenous people have a really hard time processing alcohol. Also, life is so hard here, that many turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping. My heart really goes out to these people.

Anyway, after Lloyd and Hector (another person leading VBS) talked with her it was agreed that she would come with us. We took her back to Pana, a couple women got her cleaned up, and she was taken to a doctor to sober up and get help. I really hope she will be ok and gets the help she needs. After talking with Lloyd about this, I’m not certain she will. The problem in Guatemala is that even if she wanted help she may not receive it. There aren’t resources here like in the US; No halfway houses or rehab clinics. Once they sober up, there is no one to help them, and they go back to their old lives where it is all too easy to slip up again. It breaks my heart.

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