This is Armando on the day of practical exams, speaking to the class concerning the causes of juvenile delinquency in Guatemala.
This story actually began months ago when a family moved down from a mountain so their children could receive an education. Armando began classes at our school in January and honestly has been struggling since the beginning. The school that he attended is far from town, meaning that the quality of education is even less and the opportunities there very slim. It has shown from the beginning that he was behind the other students. He also hasn’t been in a school for a gap of time.
His mom, pregnant with another child (number 10) began to come to our clinic regularly. We detected preeclampsia early in her pregnancy and recommended her to a hospital. Her blood pressure was sky high. She went – and was sent home – without them even taking a blood pressure. Her family listened to us as we told them the situation that was before them and they decided to try the other hospital within a day’s drive. Yet, she received the same result – no care – and was sent home. We checked on her often and knew there was only a small chance that the baby would make it – and prayed that the mother wouldn’t loose her life as well.
Last Thursday a family member came down to school to say that she had given birth the night before and the baby was born dead. When we visited the house, we were greeted by a typical sight – the baby in a small casket, the father drunk, and family members mourning. They knew the situation, we had just hoped it would be different. The mother still had high blood pressure and that first night had a seizure as well.
This day happened to be the day of practical exams – and so after the funeral Armando put on his uniform and walked to school. He was so downcast, so sad. And yet the environment was one to heal his broken heart. The kids reached out to him – asking to go to his house to pray for his mom, taking the cultural gifts of food and drinks to help heal her body. As we stood there and prayed for his mom, I was reminded of how these were the moments that really make the impact. Armando’s spirits were lifted as the kids showed love to him. I sat there watching all that was going on, watching the kid’s eyes as they took in the scene, watching the mom weep, listening to Miguel talk to the dad about his responsibility and the importance of caring for his family. And as I took it all in, as I prayed, as we provided encouragement, I wasn’t thankful for the situation, but I was thankful to see the hearts of our students. I was thankful for their willingness and desire to reach out. Please pray for this family to come to know the Lord – to experience healing – and to know that there are others out there that truly care for them.
This is Armando, Cesar and Edgar after exams celebrating with our competitive games – the egg race!