Be the change in Guatemala

(Photo courtesy Orphan Outreach)

(Photo courtesy Orphan Outreach)

Guatemala (ORO) — Editors Note: This is an article from Orphan Outreach’s Web site written by a student member of Women for Orphans Worldwide (WOW), an auxiliary of ORO.

The human eye, “A window into our soul,” Shakespeare said. Our eyes can convey despair, detachment, hopelessness, surrender. But they can also convey joy, peacefulness, and hope. In March of this year, I traveled to Guatemala with a mission team from Indiana. We visited local communities, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Many families lived in wooden shacks with tin roofs that looked much like a chicken coop. As I stood in one home, my eyes scoured the tiny room where they lived. The Guatemalan family cooked on a table with rusty nails that sprang out of every corner. They had no running water, let alone clean water. Chickens and dogs wandered around; they too were starving.

I wasn’t prepared for the images that flooded my eyes. I kept saying, “This is not okay.” I imagine children running, playing, and giggling. I imagine parents who can provide for their families. That is the Guatemala, and the world, that I want to see.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to return to Guatemala this past August with WOW. Thanks to WOW and the work its done in Guatemala, I had a completely different experience. I saw hope and I saw Jesus in the eyes of the children–at school, in the orphanages, in the children’s homes, even at the city dump! One day we visited children at the Ravine School. Loud, beautiful music was playing as the children rocked and danced. Their eyes sparkled like brilliant diamonds as they gazed upward.

Even though there is still great sadness and sorrow in Guatemala, the kids who’ve been touched by WOW know that greater things are yet to come and greater things are yet to be done in their city. They believe this in their hearts because they trust us and they trust Jesus. Because of that, there is hope. I left Guatemala with peace and joy in my heart. God is at work there because my eyes saw it; and the children’s eyes reflected it, too.

There are at least 153 million kids that are orphans. Picture this: Dallas Cowboy Stadium. It has 100,000 seats. You would have to fill that stadium 153,000 TIMES to accommodate all the orphans in the world.

Together we can be the change. If we volunteer to help the orphans in distress, we will see change. If we travel to other countries and love the children who are broken, we will see change. If we donate to WOW and to our local charities that support orphan care, we will see change. The orphans need us, their eyes are beckoning. Can they count on you to help? Can they count on us?

You can donate to Orphan Outreach here, or to WOW here.