Saturday, October 24, 2015

Our Recent Trip; Through the Eyes of a New Volunteer

Pascuala; holding photos of when she first entered FFF

"You allowed me to see some people's stories." "FFF let me go into the heart of the towns and ride their streets in the backs of trucks on the terrible roads. We went into houses that had bugs, dirt floors, terrible 
structures, no electricity, limited or no running water. We saw people who have had 
awful health problems. You let me into a world where the word "poor" is an 
understatement. Despite the bad conditions I witnessed, I saw women who looked 
awful when first entering FFF who now look great."
No longer sleeping on the floor
" I saw somebody just happen to walk up a hill to ask us look to at their house and with your simple question of "Are you all up for it?" their lives are being changed and will continue to change; for the better. By following them down the hill, they now have school fees paid, beds to sleep in, and a loan paid off - all because you decided we would walk down a hill. That house was my first big emotional moment - just listening to that girl cry in such relief, happiness, gratitude, and hope. She had a big effect on me." 
Offering a prayer
"I saw a family wanting to pray with us, which was some of the most passionate praying I have ever heard in my lifetime. They have nothing, yet they are so thankful to God for what they do have. They have nothing, yet still have such a strong faith. I have listened to that prayer at least once a day since being back home."
"I saw tons of kids, all of them happy. Kids here get bored with the countless toys they have, saying they have nothing to do. Kids there find the joys in the little things and always seem so happy and loving despite having virtually no worldly possessions."


"I saw a family go from nothing, to having a very nice FFF donated house; observing the family look markedly better, and seeing them thrive and doing pretty well on their own now. These are just a few of the things that made such a great impact on me. I held back tears several times on the trip, but I let them go a little bit while writing this email and thinking back on all the memories (manly tears of course...). I am so incredibly thankful to you for allowing me to see a side of the Guatemalan country and people that I have never seen before! It was such an amazing trip! "

In front of their newly donated FFF house
"God really is doing great work through your organization! Thank you!"

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Dalai Lama Had A Mother

Of course he did. 
Biologically, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, originated in the womb. Once I embraced the idea that The Dalai Lama was once an embryo, I became fascinated with the thought:
Who was the woman that was his mother? 
What kind of woman can produce a son who is so radiant, wise and spiritual that he changes the world through his mere existence
What maternal skills did she possess to pass these gifts down to her biological child, born to her in 1935 in northern Tibet? 
If the Dalai Lama's mother, wife of a farmer, could give the world such a gift in the way of this transformational son, what life-changers, spiritual leaders, or world leaders are other mothers capable of raising, if they had the resources available to them? 

What would Sylvia's only son (Left), one of seven children, do with his innate sweetness and gentle spirit if he were allowed to dream his perfect life into existence? If his mother could provide proper nutrition, stimulating education, and adequate shelter, could he be a village leader; a man of integrity who might lead people to do the correct thing for the well-being of the community? Would he guide his politically unstable country to a place of diplomatic leadership? Or more simply, if William were allowed to access adequate higher education, perhaps he would become financially self-sufficient and raise children who had their basic needs met, thus creating a family built on a solid foundation.

Meet Adonias, his brothers Pablo and Alejundro (right). If their mother were free of her daily concerns over her five children's health, educational and nutritional needs, how would she parent? The stress of unrelenting poverty robs the spirit of a mother and leaves little emotional or physical reserve for dealing with the many needs of her children. 
The Dalai Lama, and indeed the majority of the  spiritual leaders of the world, hold steadfast to the basic tenants of the promotion of basic human values, happiness, and a culture of peace. There is nothing so profound in these belief systems that any child who grows to be a man under the guidance of a sustained mother could not carry forward into his family, community and country; given the proper support system. 
The World Bank reports that almost 60% of rural northern Guatemalans live below the poverty line, which is defined as the ability to purchase a basket of food. Those of us working in these areas would argue that the actual statistics are much higher, especially in the population of widows we serve. The lack of nourishment, physically and otherwise, rob this current generation of the ability to change the future of Guatemala in any significant way. 

The world is a poorer place for the loss of this potential.
How many life-changers, spiritual or community leaders and future fathers are languishing within the bodies of nutritionally and emotionally deprived children in developing countries? The number is impossible to calculate. 
Even one is too many.