“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Fred Rogers
I think we can all agree that we are in the thick of some very heavy world events. It can be overwhelming to see a continuous barrage of stats and numbers representing lives lost or significantly affected by disease and injustice.
Isaiah 58:9-10 says, “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Children’s HopeChest’s CarePoints are lights on a hill, and today I want to introduce you to seven helpers in Guatemala who contribute to this light.
I met these seven people last October, when I visited Guatemala CarePoints to hear stories of hope and share them with HopeChest’s partners. One of the most impactful parts of my visit was meeting those who volunteer their time and talents at CarePoints to work on the behalf of vulnerable children in their community.
Odilia does not have a grandchild or relative who attends the CarePoint, but when she saw the impact that Cuyotenango CarePoint was making in children’s lives, she wanted to help. She comes to the CarePoint everyday and selflessly volunteers her time to wash dishes. (There are over 100 children who attend this CarePoint, so that’s a lot of dishes!)
At My Special Treasure Education Center CarePoint, the mechanics course is taught by a man who teaches at a well-known Guatemalan technical university. He volunteers his time on Fridays teaching and mentoring the young men in the mechanics course. This course is important because without extensive experience in mechanics, you may be paid low wages, like $1.50/day. With this experience, they not only have an opportunity to make a livable wage when they leave school, but they also gain the mentorship of an adult who cares about them and their success.
Janeth is a skilled stylist, and she generously spends her time teaching a hair-cutting class at Cuyotenango CarePoint. These classes occur on Saturdays and the girls who participate in the class learn a new vocational skill.
Allan is the bakery teacher at My Special Treasure Education Center CarePoint. He owns his own business, but takes time on Fridays to come to the CarePoint and teach girls how to bake delicious and decorative cakes. He is passing on his talents and inspiring teenagers to dream of their future occupations.
Odilia has been helping with speech therapy at Cuyotenango CarePoint. When she discovered the need, she jumped in and decided to begin working with the children. Her exams help to explore why some of the children’s speech was not developing at a normal pace. On the day we visited, most of the children she saw had ear infections or were tongue tied. Her exams are the first step in getting these children the resources they need to communicate well.
This is Antonio and his family! Fourteen years ago, Antonio’s grandfather became the first Christian in their community. He met Almita, the leader of Oasis de Amor CarePoint, and now plays guitar at the CarePoint’s prayer services. Through sharing his music, he leads children and their families in finding the same joy and peace that he experiences in his relationship with God. His daughter, Carmelina, invests a lot of her time helping at the CarePoint. She is the cook who makes the children’s nutritious meals!
These seven generous people spend themselves on behalf of the children in their communities. Nine months after meeting them, I still think of them often, and am encouraged by their commitment to use their time lifting others up. As you continue your week, I encourage you to intentionally look for the helpers who are carrying God’s love and raising light in the darkness.
Learn more about Children’s HopeChest’s work in Guatemala.