June arrived and everyone is out of food and money. Guatemalans are very good about sharing with others but a scene that I had never witnessed before has now become a reality. People are standing along the roads and stores holding white flags in their hands. It is a universal sign that the person has no food or money and is starving. Sam and Veronica started taking any food they could put together to the poorest church members. Ruben and Diego focused on trying to help the students. They all came together and pooled the money for the church and school, their salaries, and the money we send down every month to operate the ministry to buy food and share it with those in the most need.
Good news, the government saw what they were trying to do and has allowed us to reopen the school kitchen and begin serving breakfast again. We wired $500 down to Ruben, who bought supplies and served 120 meals on June 2
, the first day we were allowed to serve meals. The numbers grow each day and on Friday truckloads of people began to come from the villages towards the ocean. The police just look the other way, understanding the need.
Unfortunately, the need is only going to grow. Guatemala is experiencing nationwide flooding along the coast thanks to the hurricanes. We are only 100 ft above sea level and very flat in Nueva. This means more jobs lost or not coming back due to the flooding. Standing water means mosquitos and all their diseases are going to be a huge problem over the next six months.
A glimmer of hope … it is possible that the government is going to lift the quarantine on the school July 1
. I have no idea what this would look like but people are ready to get back to work and start moving forward.
Please keep the prayers and the funds coming. There is an abundance of needs to be met.