Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pray for Guatemala - Week Four

I keep looking at the calendar and am a bit overwhelmed that in less than a month, I will be in Guatemala.  I keep drilling my Spanish vocabulary words, hoping that my middle-aged brain will absorb enough to make my time at language school productive. 

Later today, January 12, the surgical team will meet in person and electronically for our second session of orientation.  I am so proud that my employer provides this opportunity for the staff.  I am proud that the Sponsors take their ministry to all of God’s people, especially the poor and vulnerable, this seriously. 

This week, we will pray for our surgeons and doctors.  While the docs have an “idea” of the types of surgeries they will be performing, each patient has unique needs and challenges.  We pray for the doctors' ability to meet each person as a beloved of God and to attend to each patient’s unique needs.  Our coordinators have told us that while there is a good system of triage of patients prior to our arrival, “surprises” always show up.  We pray for all of us, especially our docs, to be flexible and to embrace the unexpected. 
Photo from PBS

We also pray for the people of Guatemala and the coffee trade this week.  Growing coffee is an expensive, labor intensive form of agriculture.  While good Guatemalan coffee beans can sell for up to $9 a pound in the U.S., farmers receive close to .50 a pound -  not enough to sustain their families.  Many Guatemalans have left for Mexico or the United States in the hopes of providing for their families.  Organizations such as Equal Exchange attempt to keep families on their farms.  They work directly with farmers - cutting out the "coyotes" - and guarantee a price that will provide families with food, shelter, health care and education.  For more information on the Guatemalan Coffee Trade, read Daniel Wilkinson's book, Silence on the Mountain:  Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala  (Houghton Mifflin, 2002).  Let us pray for the coffee farmers of Guatemala and their families.

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