Desperation. This is the attitude that has begun to cover this valley. Can you picture downcast faces? Can you picture deep brown eyes that appear empty? Can you see the child clinging to the skirt of his mother as they walk through market? This time of year is generally the hardest. Their harvest of corn from the previous year has dwindled and they are still waiting for this year’s crop to be ready. Except that there may not be a crop this year. We have been without rain in what is to be the rainy season. The corn is looking pathetic and dead. Even if it were to rain now, it would not save the corn. They have spent much money on this year’s seed. They have spent more money on fertilizer to make it grow. This money was spent with the hope of a new crop. And yet, this crop has not born fruit. When I walked through market this last week, there was a heaviness that hung upon everyone. The prices for everything have begun to rise. Corn prices are double what they usually are. And in this culture, corn is life. It is what they use to make tortillas, and without tortillas, many of them do not know how they will survive.
When we entered into San Andres on Sunday for clinic, there was a procession and idol in front of us going through the streets with many people gathered around. We could hear the bombs being set off. Yet it wasn’t a holiday. Our translators told us that it was for the “Rain god” … the bombs were to wake him and make it rain. It was a very spiritually dark place. Desperation was evident and abounding.
And so we have begun to talk about what can be done. We are preparing to see more malnutrition, more hunger and more illness. We are preparing to hear more stories of hungry families and to see more tears. This drought is different from the drought five years ago. We have been told that it has reached much of Central America and isn’t isolated in one area like in the past. That means that corn will not be coming into the country through neighboring countries as well. And so we will wait and see what kind of harvest we have and what can be done from there. We are sure that it is not a rain god that needs awoken to cause rain, but that the God of our Universe is the one who cares immensely more for these people than anyone else. And so it is with hope that we look over this valley and pray for these people…. That their desperation would turn them towards God…. That they may experience His provision and love over the next months as they walk this path.