“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36
As our ministry at BuildinGUATE grows, so does the expanse of the needs we come across. The desire to help meet some of the nutritional needs of the folks we work with was really at the core of why this ministry was born. Providing soup kitchens was the first step to tackling this fierce giant of malnutrition. In the last couple of years the Lord has provided us with the means to have soup kitchens more often and expand to supplementing the school with extra breakfasts for the children as well.
Little by little we began to see positive changes in many families. The signs of malnutrition have faded here and there but we still see the problem raging on. Over this last year we have had many mothers come to us asking for extra help for their underweight babies and small kids. As we could we would purchase formula to supplement what their families could provide. Word has spread to outlying communities, and more need has come to light than ever before.
In response, we have set up a program to give aid to as many families we can. We have begun to mix formula so as to be more cost effective all the while doing our best to have it packed with vitamins and nutrients needed to help these children healthily gain weight. As of now, on a regular basis we are assisting over 30 children and each week we have new requests to join. We are walking in faith and believing that where the Lord guides, He provides.
While malnutrition has always been an issue many people face in the areas in which we serve, lately we have been confronted with more severe cases. In ways that could only be orchestrated by God, we have developed a relationship with the Health Center of Escuintla. They have a desire to help the people in their city but as with many governmental programs, they just don’t have the funding to be able to effectively do so. With their knowledge of and influence in these communities and our resources, we have been able to team up and expand the reach of the help provided. For example, nearly a month ago, they introduced us to a family living about 30 minutes (driving) away from the ministry site at the dump. The town is called Aceituno. All we knew going in to this meeting was that this family had just recently suffered the loss of their smallest child, a three year old, to starvation. And that there were other high-risk children in the house. We walk into this small, dark home and on the other side of the nurses, we see 3 small children and a very skinny mother. One of the boys in particular, Oliver, stuck out to us. He looked to be no more than 3 or 4 years old but they told us he was nearly 7.
The timing of meeting them was perfect. We had a couple of empty homes and offered them to come live on our property in order to better help them get healthy. They have just recently moved in and we are seeing more clearly the seriousness of the situation. Oliver has already been in and out of the hospital a couple of times and he is not completely out of the woods yet. Also one of his sisters was recently hospitalized. The nurses and social workers at the Department of Health are continually coming to check on them and we have been able to start providing food bags filled with basics like rice, beans and vegetables.
This is not the only family with great amounts of need. Just this week while visiting Aceituno, news came to us that two children just passed away due to malnourishment. One was a four-month old baby and the other a young boy. It is an epidemic and the Lord is clearly leading us to help remedy the situation. We do not know exactly what it will look like but some immediate things we can start doing are more frequent soup kitchens, food bags, formula for babies as well as mothers, and water filters. An extra challenge we face is that the hospitals and clinics are so underfunded and have nearly no medicines or ways of treating patients. For the kids in the hospital we have had to provide everything from meds to diapers to even filtered water.
I would like to ask each of you to prayerfully consider joining us in this great task. Our immediate needs are:
- More frequent soup kitchens
- Formula (30 families and growing)
- Food bags (3-5 families on a regular basis and growing)
- Necessities for hospital stays
- Prayer and direction in starting a rehabilitation center for severely malnourished families
If you are interested in partnering with us you can go to http://www.buildinguate.com and click on Donate Now. Indicate that you are giving towards “NUTRITION”. Or you may send funds directly to: BuildinGuate, Inc. 2314 Rugby Lane, College Park, GA 30337.
THE LORD IS CLEARLY AT WORK WITHIN THIS MINISTRY. I AM HONORED TO BE A PART OF IT. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT BUILDINGUATE, VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE BUILDINGUATE OR OUR WEBSITE AT HTTP://WWW.BUILDINGUATE.COM
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN MY SUPPORT TEAM AND HELP ME CONTINUE WORK WITH BUILDINGUATE, YOU CAN SEND CONTRIBUTIONS TO:
SOUTH TULSA BAPTIST CHURCH
10310 S SHERIDAN
TULSA, OK 74133
****SPECIFY THAT THE CONTRIBUTION BE ALLOTTED TO THE“GUATEMALA MISSION ASSOCIATE” ***NOT MY NAME