Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mission Moment: June Newsletter (Stateside)

 My clock reads 8:30 am, but I know to add 2 hours. I have found the large jars of pickles waiting for me in the cupboard, but can't seem to find cereal. I'm listening to the CD which I purchased from At some point later today, I'll have to try to find my keys to the house and car which we keep in the same place. In some ways, it's strange to be in this place that I still call home when I'm here; I won't go into all of the ways, but let's just say that sometimes I pause and think, “Something isn't right. How/What do I...?” However, this post isn't about the United States.
The past month has offered a wealth of experiences and has helped shaped my future. May 13-15, I was delivering water filters with Iglesia del Camino (the church I attend in Guatemala) donated by Compassion International and provided by Sawyer. These filters cost Q400 (about $50 each), and I'm looking at providing some of them to the families with which I already work in Guatemala. I think that God is using Solola to provide me with an area that is in need of help both economically and spiritually. He has provided me clear needs which can be quantified and categorized. It's a structure which I appreciate and feel able to work with. Additionally, the political and legal structure in the indigenous community of Solola is, in a word, “fair.” I have heard and seen many examples of their judicial system in the area, and I'd like to share a couple of them with you.
Story #1: A woman stole a chicken so that her children would have something to eat. The woman is caught, but the chicken is already dead. The woman has no money to pay for the chicken and it can't be returned as it was. The reason why the woman stole the chicken is because her husband is a drunk who works but doesn't provide for the family, instead spending his money on alcohol. Who is guilty? Well, the woman is guilty of robbery, but her husband is as well. (Most of the country is rooted in the idea that the man needs to provide for the family, and if his provision is not enough then, and only then, should the woman take work outside of the home.) The woman, whose job it isn't to earn money for her family, is sentenced to a half a day of washing clothes for the family whose chicken was robbed. The man, whose lack of care for his husbandly and fatherly duties caused the robbery, is sentenced to a week of work in the fields with part of his earnings going towards paying for the chicken and the other part going straight to his wife; he is also given a stern warning about responsibility. Should the situation occur again, the wife would serve the same “sentence” while that of the man would be heavier.
Story #2: Juana is a woman I work with. She was abandoned by her husband when she was pregnant with their 7th son. He mortgaged the house and land to the bank and took off. 5 years later, the bank wants payment or the land. He isn't interested in paying off the mortgage because he lives somewhere else with another woman. Juana was able to raise some money to work on paying off the mortgage. (I am unsure if she has completed that or not.) However, her husband—having the mortgage paid—said that he now wanted to sell the house. Basically the indigenous legal system told him “You can pay child support (including 5 years in which you have not paid anything) and the property will stay yours. Otherwise, the deed is being transferred to Juana's name.”
The plan is to move out to Solola sometime in September-November. This is still a recent decision, and I will of course be praying about it over the course of the next several months; I invite you to join me in prayer.

The Care and Keeping of a Missionary

I hope to see you all in church! I fly back to Gautemala on June 6th. I look forward to this time of sharing with all of you.

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