Sunday, February 23, 2014

Praying for Guatemala - Week 10

Our prayers are with the Mission Coordinator, Team Administrator and US Support Team as we are just days away from realizing our surgical mission to Reu and Hospital Hilario Galino.  Putting all the pieces and people together is an incredibly many-armed thing to coordinate.  Their frequent e-mail communications, question answering, and allaying of concerns has been a blessing to each of us bound for Reu.  May God continue to bless them.  May their efforts bring forth bountiful fruit.  May their continued duties be as calm as possible.  

Guatemala Rain Forest
Photo from 
This week we pray for Guatemala's rain forests.  Home to the second largest rain forest in Central America, Guatemala's rain forests are dwindling at a rate of 3.72% a year from 2005-2010 according to the Guardian.  Reasons are complex, as in any environmental issue.  One cause seems to be the Western demand for palm oil and sugar.  Plantations are expanding forcing subsistence farmers to look elsewhere for land.  Narcotics fincas are also devouring land. The Guardian continues "The drug barons are trying to acquire a social status with land and cattle ownership," explains Cerezo. "They're setting up a new type of feudalism, with thousands of hectares being turned over to intensive cattle farming." Extracting natural resources also plays into the deforestation.  There is hope through programs like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards by the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood Program. A product bearing the FSC mark tells the consumer that the wood has been harvested in a responsible manner.  Other NGO's are also working towards conservation and responsible management as climate change further complicates the issue.  We pray that the needs of the poorest among the Guatemalan people are cared for so that they don't have to clear rain forest land just to exist.  We pray that the world may work as one force to manage the rain forests, pollutants, and other factors to address climate change.

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