Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life in the Back 40 — Life's Challenges and their Solutions

"Extending into the Back 40" doesn't just mean Go. Teach. Leave.

It means become aware, learn, and care.

Click here to learn more about the 30 60 100 and the Back 40

Last week the news carried a tiny blip about an earthquake in Guatemala. We read that news, and thought of the families in La Esperanza, the village outside of Quetzaltanango, three hours northwest of the capital, Guatemala City. Then we received an email from Mildred Plumley, our beloved friend and sister in Jesus, telling her story of what it's like to experience an earthquake in a remote place like theirs.

I invite you to read it and listen to your responses. We'd love to hear your comments after you finish reading.

To all of my dear contacts:  Greetings

Several of you have written emails asking about the earthquake that happened this morning.

First of all, we are all fine, and we only lost a few little glass items, like flower vases and knickknacks, albeit, some of our furniture moved around, framed pictures were all askew, but still on the walls.  Hilda and I were waiting in Quetzaltenango for commencement exercises to begin.  More than half of the crowd was still outside, but when it was realized that it was indeed an earthquake, those of us inside got up and made for the door.  Hilda HAULED me out, leaving my crutches inside. Screams and anxiety reigned while the very excellent marimba band played on.  But nothing bad happened. Hilda, like many, many others, was trembling pretty hard, but, am I stoic, or what? I don´t enjoy quakes, but they don´t scare me. Folks waited for an aftershock which never came. We entered the building again and enjoyed the graduation. There is a 48 hour ¨red alert¨ which means that the next 48 hours after the initial shock could bring another quake, so be prepared.  That means, have flashlights, drinking water, food, etc.

When we reached our street after the graduation, we were shocked to see our neighbor´s house right across the street from us in shambles. I hadn´t realized the house was of adobe, but plastered over, and the folks had put two rows of cement blocks on top of the adobe wall on the street side, and all of the blocks fell on the street. Many houses are at the street, ours is back a little ways. A relative of this family lives next door to them and Hilda´s sister Blanca, who lives next door to us, have taken into their homes the furniture; the ruined house is empty. All of the family minus papa was in the house, but at the back, so no one was even injured. There are 7 children, from 18 down to 2 years. 

Hilda served supper to the whole family here in our home. 3 of the boys are staying with us, the parents plus the little girls and one boy are with Blanca, and the 10 year old girl is with Hilda´s cousin who has girls near her age.  Relatives and neighbors have been over there ever since the quake, and help is getting to them, praise the Lord.  They will now have to build a block home.

This family is extremely poor, the mother and children are salt of the earth folks.  Papa hasn´t always worked, I guess he just wasn´t ambitious and he drank a lot to boot.  But, for about 2 years now he has held a job and is really a dad to his kids.  The mother has trained her kids to be very polite, here we say, translated, ¨well educated.¨ Hilda and Amilcar have hired the boys to do garden and yard work, and they are excellent, eating at our table on the days they work here.  All of the boys know how to work, and that has boosted greatly the income for the family.  And when we want a good quantity of tortillas, or other Guatemalan foods made of corn, Mama Odelia will do that for us, well made, and that helps her financially, too.  She is a very sweet patient lady.

So this is how things are here. Friends from the department of San Marcos called to say that they were OK, just shaken up. But the city of San Marcos has 30 collapsed homes and about 40 dead plus 100s injured. The epicenter was offshore from the port city of Champerico on the Pacific coast, the quake was 20 miles deep, without tsunami.

With love to each and every one of you,


Learn more about 30 60 100 MINISTRIES work in the Back 40.

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