During spring break I was in Guatemala working alongside some amazing young leaders in Christ. Josue is a young man who has taken a break from medical school to focus full time on the Guatemalan children and their health issues. This week Josue and I partnered with Mariela who leads the educational efforts and the teachers. I look back at the trip and remember fondly our books materials spread out across Josue’s kitchen table as we mapped out ways to work with children in two very distant communities.
After a productive day in Los Verdes we were inspired to engage the teachers, the children, and the parents to work toward healthier life choices. It never ceases to make me pause how we take for granted clean water, easy access to healthy food and bathroom facilities. I think about these things and then it is not hard to comprehend why the moms understand parasites and diarrhea as a part of everyday life, despite the fact that diarrhea is responsible for 11% of all child deaths under the age of five.
Despite the overwhelming obstacles, the Guatemala team has “assets” to work with and committed teachers as their partners. We are starting small with a six month lesson plan including understandings germs, hand washing, personal hygiene, and making healthy food choices. We have some very fun events planned for the kids culminating in participating in the worldwide school health effort on hand washing. The kids will “compete” with projects around the world for creative ways to remember to wash their hands. Simply washing their hands will have a huge impact on their basic health and has been proven to decrease the impact of diarrheal diseases by more than 50%.
God offers us an abundant life, for VisionTrust kids this means having people around the world reach out in God’s love to bring them the water, food and supplies, to live abundantly. Through our kindness His presence is magnified!