Visiting the sick in Guatemala

By Jordan Stafford – Guatemala 2 Week 2nd Launch

The Lord is so good to His people, and His heart is so kind. If I haven’t learned anything else on this trip to Guatemala, I have definitely learned that God has a huge heart and that He truly desires good for his people. This morning we got up around 6:00 to go to breakfast, and then we went out to visit houses and pray for the local people. In order to get to the houses, we drove in the back of pickup trucks standing up, which was crazy, but also super fun. The Guatemalan driving culture is so different from America. Here, they go as fast as they possibly can and only slow down for speed bumps. They also do not adhere to ANY road signs, including four way stops. It’s a little nuts because they pack people into the truck bed like sardines and then we jostle around in the back while we go over unpaved roads, and illegally pass lots of TukTuks (the local version of a taxi). Sometimes we actually pretend that we are on a rollercoaster. It was kind of an adventure just to get up to the houses that we visited.

We ended up visiting five houses today in total. At the first house, we prayed over a man who was crippled in a serious accident several years ago. His name is Jorge and he can’t move any muscles on the right side of his body. Interestingly, his family actually isn’t quite sure what happened. He may have had a stroke that they don’t know about, or something may have happened to damage his sciatic nerves. Jorge can barely speak and he can’t walk by himself anymore, which is incredibly hard on his wife, whose name is Concepciones. She has to provide for their whole family on her own, by walking miles to collect firewood and haul it to the market to sell. She is really struggling to make ends meet. Concepciones gets up every morning and cares for her husband; she has to feed him and clothe him and wash him, just like a baby. She told us that she feels incredibly lonely because Jorge can’t speak to her, and her children have all moved out and don’t really come to help. She has no one to talk to, and no companionship, just endless hours hauling firewood home and caring for her invalid husband. Today after we prayed, God worked a miracle for them. Jorge was actually able to speak to her in clear sentences for a little bit, and he told our group some really sweet stuff. He thanked us in Sutahil, which is a local Guatemalan dialect, for praying and he told us to enjoy our health because he couldn’t anymore. He also told us to obey God because he is good, and that we should continue to visit other people and pray because it is so encouraging to them to know that people love and care about them, and a good reminder that God cares. His wife was so sweet and it was really hard to leave her there. When my group was getting ready to leave, Concepciones held my hands and asked me to stay and help her carry firewood. She was so precious, and I really hope we get to go back and see them again. If we get the chance, I’m going to bring them lots of good food and some seeds for plants that they can grow. Right now they are so poor that they can’t afford anything, since the medicine that keeps Jorge alive is very expensive. It’s almost 400 Quetzales (~$60) every single week, which is extremely pricey in San Pedro.

The second house we visited belonged to a woman named Isabel, who was having her first baby very soon. She’s the only child in her family, and so her parents are really excited to have a grandbaby and continue the family line. They don’t have great care in Guatemala for pregnancy, so Isabel is going to have the baby at her house. She’s really nervous, and she asked us to pray for a safe delivery for both her and the baby. Pastor Antonio was joking with Isabel and said she should name her baby after him, and it was really funny. We were all laughing, and the pastor said that even if the baby was a girl, Isabel could name it “Antonia”.

The third person we prayed for was named Verda (like the color green with an a at the end), and she was also having a baby. Verda got surgery for appendicitis (an infection of the appendix) about a month ago, and she is barely able to eat any food because of the pain. In Guatemala, the doctor only gives one week of medication for the pain after the appendicitis surgery. I’ve had appendicitis before, and it can be brutal, and I really empathized with Verda. She is worried about not being able to eat enough for her baby, and about complications in the pregnancy due to her appendicitis. Verda asked us to pray that the baby would be safe and that the pain from eating would reduce so she could feed her baby.

The fourth person was a woman named ‘Elizabet’ who lives on her own in a little hovel, and she is incredibly poor. She is also pregnant and had surgery for appendicitis recently, and is worried about complications and losing her baby. She said she is in constant pain, but that she has to force herself to get up in order to make things to sell in the market every day in order to eat. She struggles with getting enough Quetzales just to buy broth, which is the only thing she can eat without hurting her stomach. We prayed for her baby, and that she would continue to have enough money to purchase food for herself.

Lastly, we visited a family in a little store. The mother’s name was Alicia, and she had just had a surgery for a problem with her stomach. She was also in a lot of pain, and asked us to pray for her healing. It was amazing because right before we came Alicia had just been praying to God and asking that He would help her, and confessing some stuff that she had done. Right as she finished praying, we stopped by to pray for her. She was so thankful that we had come that she started crying, and she told the pastor about a lot of stuff she had done when she was desperate for the pain to stop. Alicia is a Christian, but she said that the pain was so bad she was willing to try anything. She decided to go try a witchdoctor in her village (which is a common practice among people in these small villages), to see if he could heal her. Alicia told the pastor that she knew it was wrong, and that only God could heal her, but she was so desperate that she ignored the warnings of the holy spirit. The witchdoctor charged her a lot of money, and none of her pain went away. After she told the pastor all of that, we all prayed for her and sang songs over her. By the time we were ready to leave, Alicia was crying tears of joy and she said that the pain had gone away. She was so thankful to God, and she said that she truly believes He will work a miracle in her and heal her completely.

It was an amazing morning, and God did so much in the lives of the people we visited. I can’t wait to see what else He does on this trip.


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