Friday and Saturday were packed. Friday we spent some time at Antigua and then at a state-run girl’s orphanage called Manchen. Over 120 girls packed this place. It was my first time there and I was a bit freaked out. After a tour we painted the girl’s nails. It was a great excuses to talk to them one-on-one. Stories that encouraged and enraged me.
On Saturday Morning we spent considerable time with leaders of Buckner Ministries. They shared their dreams for the future and we shared some of ours. Although the details are not in stone, I was greatly encouraged. Sitting around the table with them, I was again confident that God is calling exchange to dig deep into Guatemala.
After the meeting we hit a whirl-wind tour, including . . .
Babies home. Here we hung out with some of the cutest kids in the world. All of these kids are “true orphans” meaning that the parents have no rights and they are legally adoptable. This is where Juan Pablo lives until John and Emily Wiggins can get him legally adopted. Watching them interact with him was awesome. God is doing some great work in the home. Picture: Mariah with Estuardo and Danny (AKA “Buzz Lightyear”).
Transitional homes. Once orphans are a certain age, the state kicks them out of the orphanage. Most of them are forced back to the streets. Buckner has transitional homes that takes young men and women and helps educate them and prepare them for independent living. It is a tremendous ministry with exceptional results.
Clinic. We toured a clinic owned by Sergio (some clinics are privately owned here). Sergio provides medical care to low income people. It is a fantastic ministry that survives on dated equipment, donated supplies, and a tremendous staff. I was again blown away by the passion of people who give up a high paying job in order to make the name of Jesus famous.
Dinner. We ended the night with a long dinner with the team. I have no doubt that God put this team together for this time. It has been a pleasure to travel, pray, talk, and dream with them, and I know that it is just the beginning.