I have good news, and I have bad news.
The good news is that there are 48 children attending school this year as a result of the assistance which they received through this new program I have started. Also, because of some contacts which I pursued, one boy may be receiving a prosthetic hand, one boy may be receiving hearing aids, one girl may eventually be able to go to school once we get her seizures under control (she currently has 4-5 per day), and one girl, well, might improve a little. (The doctor really isn't sure what's wrong with her.) I am blessed to have access to the internet and have the ability to search for groups which can help the people I serve with their other needs. I know the families thank me, but really I'm just trying to make things more accessible to them. Those resources already existed; they just didn't know know it.
The bad news is that there is even more reason to be concerned about Maria (the mother of the 10- and 11-year olds). She did not attend the meeting, and when we showed up at her house later, she did not want to let us in. In fact, she hid and pretended she wasn't home. (I had already seen her, though, so we were persistent.) If you remember from when I talked about her in August, her husband committed suicide about three years ago. Based on a few things—including her behavior when we showed up—we are highly concerned that she is on the same path. She is not sending her children to school this year.
The rest of January, I'll be here in Solola translating for Children of the Americas (COTA). I'll not only be translating, but I'll also be helping them work with and understand the local communities. I feel really blessed that they were able to come here this year as there are so many people with a great need and the Kaqchikel are fairly distrustful of outsiders.
The Care and Keeping of a Missionary
While here with COTA, I'll be talking to a woman who has an NGO to see if my program could fall under the umbrella of her program. If not, I'll be working on achieving NGO status myself. Please keep myself and that process in your prayers.
Obviously I am asking your prayers for Maria. She is obviously in a very dark place and is unwilling to seek or accept help. I pray that some very loving and stubborn neighbor intervenes.
I'd ask for prayers for the four children who will ideally be undergoing some very drastic health changes in their lives. Even though these changes will have a positive effect on their lives, such a change can be highly stressful as we already know from the two girls who had to get blood work done.
Finally, I ask that you pray for those 48 children that their lives be enriched through school, that they study hard and make the most of this advantage which has been given to them, and that they are good stewards of their education.