Defend the weak and the fatherless; Uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm 82:3
Several weeks ago, on an invitation to show the Jesus Film in a small village in the Department of Quiche, about 3 and a half hours from Coban, we met Cesar, a 35 year old man who lost both his legs below the knee in a tragic accident in Coban 3 years ago. He had previously, a good job, a wife and a one year old son, when one day while standing in front of a tienda, which is a small convenience store, a car went out of control and pinned him against the cement in front of the tienda. He tells us that incredibly, in that moment, he felt no pain.
He was rushed to hospital, but the Dr.s were unable to save his legs and they both had to be amputated. He spent many weeks in hospital as he developed an infection and the incisions had to be opened and more surgery had to happen. During this time, he said he just wanted to die as he was in such pain and could not see that there was any purpose for his life anymore.
A group of Pastors from Coban heard about him and he said they began to visit him one by one, encourage him and pray for him. It was through these acts of compassion for him that he struggled through what sounded like a horrific time in the hospital.
After being discharged from the hospital, he had used up all of his savings on hospital bills and so he and his family returned to his parents home in this remote village in Quiche.
When we arrived at the village, all we knew was that someone needed a wheelchair and so we brought one along. When we saw Cesar for the first time, he walked out of his house on his knees. What struck me first was the humiliation one must overcome in these situations. I had never really thought about it before, but you could see it in his eyes.
He is a kind and gentle soul, and said that he had been praying for a wheelchair, and gratefully thanked us. We asked him if there had ever been an opportunity for him to have prosthetics and he said he had looked into it, but because of the costs, there was no way he could ever afford them.
When we returned, Denis and I both felt compelled to search out the possibility of prosthetics for this man as there are some ministries who work in this field. We contacted a fellow missionary who highly recommended and gave us the number of a prosthetic specialist in Guatemala City.
We contacted Erick, and although this is his career, he also does work for the cost of the prosthetics for situations like Cesar. He offered to come to Coban and assess him. Cesar and Erick met at our home in Coban where the assessment took place, and then Cesar returned to the city with Erick for 5 days where the prosthetics were built and he had some therapy and training for walking. The look on Cesar´s face when Erick told him that he would return from the city walking was incredible. Erick is also an amputee. He lost his leg in a motorcycle accident 20 years ago, so he is such a good advocate and encourager. When they can see an amputee working in a good career, but with such a generous heart to give back to his own people.
We returned Cesar back to his village last Monday. It was an emotional moment when he got out of the truck and walked into the home of his Mom. His boys 4 and 2 years old, at first were afraid of him. They had never seen their Dad at full height. As we sat in his Mom´s kitchen, one by one friends and neighbours came in to greet him and see his new legs. They had never seen such a thing. We were so blessed to have had a front row seat to this event. If you are able to help towards the cost of Cesar's prosthetics ($2400 USD) tax receiptable donation options can be found at the bottom of this email.
The second story is about the village of Santa Marta. We were invited to this village almost two years ago now, where we showed the film The Hope, in Qéqchí. It was well received and it was decided that they would be a good recipient of a maternity clinic. 125 families in this village and 3 midwives, but the clinic will serve 3 other villages. The rural nurse who visits once per month for each village, will now use the maternity clinic for his visits to all four villages. I have posted a photo of what the rural nurse used before for his visits. The people of the village of Santa Marta have been a real joy to work with.
Recently one of the leaders phoned Sergio, our interpreter and also a Pastor, and said that 5 families in the village want to become Christians. That they would like to be discipled and after this, start a Church.
They asked if it could be done outside of their community due to some persecution from some others in the village.
We said if they were willing to come all the way to our home, an hour and a half, we would open our home to them.
Last week hey studied for about 3 and a half hours with Sergio. They have never owned a Bible, and so we gave a gift of a Qéqchí Bible to each family. Sergio said they had lots of questions. It just blessed our hearts to look out on our deck and see 11 people so open and learning and hungry for the Word of God. They will come once per month for Bible Study.
They have received us and fed us many times in their village, and so it was a pleasure to host them and feed them, Canadian style, in our home.
Please pray for these new believers and pray for Sergio as he leads.
We had an opportunity to bring Gleaners food and our films to help another CTEN missionary, LynnAnn Murphy, in Huehuetenango, a northern department in Guatemala. We love to go and see other parts of Guatemala. Two very needy communities received the food and were very moved by the film Magdalena. We will be making arrangements for more food to be sent, as it was well received.
Blessings, Denis & Eileen