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Recently, I was driving down a major Bismarck thoroughfare and saw her. It wasn't uncommon to see drifters, homeless men standing on this corner at the intersection where the red light stops the cars. Poverty looks very different here in the U.S. than from what I experience in rural Guatemala. What struck me this time was a disheveled middle-aged woman standing at the corner holding a cardboard sign that said, ‘Lost my job, need help’. And I noticed she was crying. The green light whooshed me past her, but as I turned the corner, something in me said, “Go back.”
Recently I attended a lovely outdoor wedding in southern California on the property of where a one-story beautiful stucco house stands on a hill overlooking land dotted with avocado and fruit trees. Tropical flowers, vines and plants grace the area and even the bathrooms, with exquisite tan tiles and gleaming porcelain, added to the charm. I felt like I entered a mini-spa to do a basic function.
When Jesus mandated his followers, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation," I never connected that mission mandate with well, building latrines.
While spring Flowers bloom in the 'north', here in the Ixcán during the months of April and May, spring is 'summer' when rain rarely falls and the heat index soars. We sweat just sitting, we bake while walking under umbrellas to deflect the sun’s rays, and in the hottest time of day with no air conditioners, we seek refuge in the shade of trees or in the wet coolness of rivers. Often a conversation will begin with, “Que calor!” (What heat!) and “No hay agua!” (There is no water!)