Monday 4th April 2016
I woke up this morning laughing! I was having a dream about a situation I thought was incredibly funny and found myself laughing so much I woke myself up.
Soon after I had got up ready for the day I heard lots of laughing coming from the lounge in the Centre, where I live in Guatemala City. Two children were enjoying some playtime with their mentor before heading off to school. I just love hearing the laughter here and since it is now mid-afternoon here in Guatemala there are more children downstairs enjoying being children and all this has been made possible by your support. So thank you all so much.
On my return to Guatemala one of the boys I am mentoring was waiting for me at the Centre. It was clear he had missed me and wanted to hear all about how my time had been in the UK. The following morning Walter (photo), one of the boys that I wrote about in my last blog from Guatemala, was so pleased to see me he shouted out “Dad´s home”. Walter is doing well and has recovered from his head injury. I had warned him that his employer had to provide him with a helmet for the motorbike he has to ride around La Terminal delivering dough for making tortillas. He was keen to show me that he was now wearing a helmet as his boss didn´t want me to make a formal complaint to the authorities, so a good result at last.
Then, Walter (one of our street team) informed me of the very sad news of three deaths in the rubbish dump in La Terminal. We had been asked to help cover the funeral costs of two people, one being a little girl. All three had eaten soup that was contaminated and died soon after. It was a terrifying experience for those who tried to help.
The choices so many of those we work with seem so few especially when they don´t have the luxury of choosing what they eat. The risks involved in just living each day are high and we are so sad to hear of their deaths.
This morning a boy sat near to me in the Centre and told me that it was his cousin that had died of food poisoning and wanted to just be near to someone and say he was sad about what had happened. It was a touching moment and I hope I had helped bring some comfort.
Despite the sad news there has been some good news. Over the last few months we have been working hard to help two families leave the streets. One family decided to make the move from years of living on the streets after the girl became pregnant. We have been amazed at the great decisions they took to get a small room, find some basic food and have managed to just get by each day. Marcos and Rosa are doing well and despite Marcos being offered a job as a manual laborer and working two weeks to find that his boss could not pay him, they struggled on because they wanted a better life for their unborn child.
One of my friends at church had offered Marcos an interview and that followed by a job offer that will mean him having a stable job, good training and some great employment benefits also. At the same time he and one of our workers, Frank, were invited to represent the charity at an all-expenses-paid Consultation in Mexico. The pair left on Sunday and will be in Mexico till Thursday and then on Friday Marcos starts his new job and he and Rosa will start their new life.
Our regular readers will know of Selvin. Selvin left the streets a couple of months ago and is doing really well in the rehab centre. I took some time out to visit him last week (yes, still wearing the same shirt!) and he seemed a new person from the bloody-faced young man we had rescued off the streets. Selvin was a transformed person and showed me the figures he had been making from paper and talked about all the new things he has been learning. It was so great to see him so happy and full of life.
We are very encouraged to see more leaving the streets and so I will be updating you more soon about how he and Rosa are progressing and to introduce you to Christian who left the streets with his pregnant girlfriend and all that has happened to them.
There are always more to rescue but we do know the numbers of those living on the streets are continuing to decline and are grateful for the opportunity to help make a difference. Thanks again for your support.