Our first stop in Guatemala, was the beautiful “Oasis” in San Lucas, Guatemla. San Lucas is a small town, about 45 minutes from Guatemala City. It was established many years ago, but about 4 years ago, a man named Corbey Dukes, and his wife Janie were asked to be the head staff there. The Oasis has many little homes, and in each home lives 2 house ‘tias’ or aunts, and up to 10 girls, ages 4-18. The little girls, and young women who have been sent there were court ordered to be removed from their family situations because of abuse. The staff here are amazing, because they possess more patience than most, and they also experience all forms of exhaustion.
Darla brought to them the conference, “Returning to Joy When the Pain is Too Deep For Children,” while we were there. Not only the staff from Oasis were there, but some local leaders from there communities, as well as staff from other surrounding orphanages. Altogether there were around 50-60 attendees. The concepts they learned, they were riveted by, and really found uses for.
The Oasis is now transforming from just solely being a place of shelter for these girls, and teenagers, into more of an emotionally and spiritually driven place for them to heal. The time we spent here was amazing, and we’v been invited back for a consultation trip.
La Limonada was our last stop, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. La Limonada literally means ‘The Lemonade” and is labeled as the most dangerous place in all of Guatemala. It is one mile long, and one mile wide, and has over 60,000 residents. La Limonada is over run by gang members, massive poverty, abuse, and drugs and alcohol.
But here we met a woman named Tita Everest. Seventeen years ago, Tita was invited to a birthday part in La Limonada, and felt that God was calling her to start a school right in the middle of the chaos of this place. God answered her prayer, and now there are two schools in La Limonada! There is also a micro finance system here, where they loan people money to start their own small businesses, and a safe house called “Mi Casita.”
Darla, again, did the conference “Returning to Joy When the Pain is Too Deep for Children” for their staff and it was amazing! God really opened many of their hearts, and taught them many things.
Before the conference, we were apart of an awesome opportunity to tour La Limonada. We got to experience, first hand, the poverty, danger, and darkness that this place portrayed. But that wasn’t all that was there. Hope is rising within this slum, you can just feel it. We got to meet many families, some of which are lost, but some of which are alive with Christ.
One instance, in partficular, sticks out to us. We entered a house of a small family, where we were taken back to the back room. There, laid a 90 year old man in his bed. His hair was silvery white, and the walls around him were pure cement, with nothing else in the room besides hisbed, a radio, and old bike, and a ladder. But this man had the light of Christ in his eyes. He was absolutely glowing! Our friend and translator, Hubert, immediately sat with him on his bed, and held his hand. They laughed and joked, and the elderly man was very spunky. We sang with him, and prayed for him, and as we left, we noticed that Hubert set a radio right above his head. We of course couldn’t understand what was being said on the radio because it was in Spanish. Darla asked Hubert what he was listening to.
Hubert’s response was simple: “The Bible.”
This man gets it. Completely bed ridden, dirty, probably pretty hungry, and lonely, he makes sure that his number one priority is to listen to the Word of God, and act on it. Let’s hope that when we’re that age, we are half of what this man portrayed to us.