Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Monday, August 16, 2010


This is a post I have had nearly finished for months.  But, for various reasons I have put off posting it until now. I hope it gives you a glimpse into the lives of so many people in this country.

There are stray dogs everywhere down here.  They are in the roads, on the side of the roads, picking through trash, hobbling along with broken limbs, broken tails, manged, flea infested and starving. As a dog lover, and animal lover in general, it is hard for me to see these poor creatures day in and day out. Though some of them look healthier than others, for the most part they appear pitiful, miserable and sitting on deaths doorstep.  I almost feel relieved when I see one dead on the side of the road, because I know they aren't suffering anymore.
(This is a dog we see often which is covered with some sort of bug/disease and often bloody and twisted in the middle of the road gnawing at himself.)
So, after being here a little while, I dumped on my mom all the terrible things I've seen with these dogs.  And though sympathetic as she knows how much I love animals, she told me, "Just wait until you see children like that."  Thanks, Mom, for putting it into perspective for me, and preparing me for what I had not yet seen.
The last village we went to in Chiapas was called Maiz Blanco (White Corn).  We parked on the side of the road at the foot of a mountain, to walk across a bridge over a small stream.  Seeing a few buildings near by we figured one of those nice places was the church we were going to.

We walked right past all those buildings and continued on up, up, up.... 
As has happened many times before in my life, I was hilariously unprepared to climb a mountain wearing flip flips and lacking bug spray.  I ended up jogging up the path in an attempt to keep the mosquitoes from consuming every last drop of blood in my body.  I had one of those itchy bug bites on my arm for well over 2 weeks.  Fortunately, so far it seems that none of the many mosquitoes that managed to land on me while I ran had malaria.
When we reached the village the families came out to meet us.  They obviously don't have cars, as there was no road up to their village, and I wonder how often the women and children get down the mountain.  They told us the men work with crops.  Somehow I doubt that the children go to school.  Devora told me later on that the Mexican government has, "forgotten Maiz Blanco."  I guess they don't get any help from anyone, and obviously aren't making it very well on their own.
Again, we had packed a bag full of goodies for the sweet ones and hauled it up the mountain with is.  We also had heavy blankets in tow to give to the mothers for winter. We were shocked to see the way these people live.  Though we've seen some pretty rundown places, I don't know that I've ever see any like these.  The children were playing in the dirt.  They were filthy.  Their skin was dry from the sun and being unable to bathe.  They had snot encrusted on their faces.  Covered in bug bites and bugs (gnats, flies, etc), they looked so pitiful.  I was reminded then, of the pathetic dogs I see everyday, and how insignificant their suffering is to the way these poor children live.
(This little boy was covered in gnats. Here he is wiping them out of his eyes.)
After Jonathan shared a message with them, I got to hand out the gifts.  I can imagine it had been a while, if ever, since they received a gift.  I've said previously that the poorer the people were, the more excited and appreciative the children became.  Well, these children topped them all.  I wonder if they'd ever had Crayons, or a baby doll.  One of the little girls obviously had a mental disability.  When I handed her a few things, she became so incredibly excited - almost to the point of crying.  She just wiggled with joy as she sat in the dirt.  I was so taken aback and wanted to reach in the bag and grab her more, but in all honesty, I do not know that her precious heart could have taken it.  She was beside herself with excitement.
(The girl in the purple is the one who had the mental disability.  You can't see her joy in this picture, but the other little girl is expressing hers pretty well.)
Though I know what these people need is not a gift, nor running water, it does bring joy to my heart to think of brightening their gloomy lives with a small gift.  There is a local pastor who ventures up this mountain regularly and is ministering to these 'forgotten' people.
As we were about to leave, two men from the village came walking (stumbling) up the mountain.  It didn't take me 10 seconds to figure out that one was sickeningly drunk and the other had seemingly been drinking.  It infuriated me to think that these women and children live in this manor helpless, while the men drink their sorrows away with what little money the family has.

I don't believe I'll ever forget that day, that village and what I saw there.

1 comment:

  1. Abby, you'll always remember this day. I'm glad you could be there for those kids and be a shinning light. God is using you for His kingdom and I love to hear about it. I've seen children like this as well, in Kenya, and it truly just broke my heart. Glad I have someone to talk about it with now. I love you girl.