We had our annual Christmas party for the widows last Monday. We use the donations from the baskets to fund their monthly food as well as special gifts for their Christmas party.
This year we put together a "Caja Básica" for each of them which just means that we put all sorts of practical items in a box and wrapped it. The box had laundry soap, sugar, coffee, typical consomme, a plate & cup set, and some treats like a small mirror, marshmallows and lotion. The nurses/translators also planned some food and games for the party. It is so fun to bless these women with this annual event.
We moved the party inside because it had been raining all morning. It is the dry season so it was kind of weird weather for December.
It made the roads a little interesting as well!
We began with buying their baskets. This is their financial provision for the next month so it is important that we don't forget this part of the gathering.
All 16 widows plus kids and grand kids were in attendance!
Next was the Christmas story. Then we prayed in Quiche, Spanish and English. We thanked the Lord for the gift of His son. We prayed for the Lord to be glorified in all of the activities. We prayed for the ladies and their families - that He would be their provision.
Then the games! The prizes for the winner (and for all participants) were the packages of rice from the Orphan Grain Train. More provision for them and their families.
They were a little confused by musical chairs at first . . .
But they figured it out!
Time for food!
And traditional Christmas fruit punch!
One of the widows came to me after she had finished eating. She had a present for me! It was many ears of corn that she had cooked. She also took out her audio Bible that she had received a couple of months ago. She turned it on for me and told me that she listens to it all day and all night. She was so appreciative and blessed by this gift and wanted to give back. It was so sweet to see her heart!
Many of the widows walk a great distance to get to our clinic building. Often on the way out, we will give some of them rides until our path takes a different turn. We gave several of them rides this last Monday.
The first sweet lady to be let out brought her granddaughter to help her carry her gift. The granddaughter jumped out of the back of the truck. Don and I got out to help this older lady out. Don touched her to help her down and it embarrassed her a little. She got down and giggled with her hand covering her mouth! I giggled with her and then she wanted a hug. Not just the Guatemalan 'pat pat pat on the arm' but a full-fledged hug. So sweet!
The second family to get out was the lady who gave me the gift of the corn. I got out to say good-bye. She again thanked me many, many times. And then she pointed to all of those with her and said 'this is all of my family.' I told her they were beautiful. She also wanted a full-fledged hug and then her son (or grandson?) came up to me and wanted a hug as well. I grabbed him tight and picked him up! More smiles and giggles!
Being a part of this program is such a blessing to my heart. These ladies do not have options for earning money in this country. They have either been abandoned by their husbands for other women or their husbands have passed away. Women in our area have very little opportunities, in general, but especially if you can't speak Spanish and are uneducated. They rely on making these baskets for their monthly provision for their family. Many of these women walk a great distance and take away less than $10 for the month.
God's word tells us to defend and fight for the widows. He tell us that He is their Protector.
"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows " James 1:27.
Thank you to all of you who have supported this project by your donations for the baskets. Even if you have never been to Guatemala or met any of these sweet ladies, you have blessed them with your generosity! The Lord has touched them through you! Thank you!!