A Whole New World

Written on Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. Spending the day with my new Compassion child, Stefanie, was amazing. I did see some hard things during the day, but I gave myself permission to feel the joy fully because I knew what was coming next on the agenda.

This morning I woke up with a bit of a weak stomach. I knew we were visiting the city dump and the people who lived and worked there. I wanted to see it – well, sort of – but I was very nervous. I had a mental image of myself wandering through the homes in sackcloth and ashes and wailing at the top of my lungs. I wasn’t sure what that was going to do for anyone. I was also a little concerned about losing my breakfast in front of the team. That was a real possibility. My mom and sister have both been down that road before and I didn’t want to complete the humiliation triangle.

Our team got on the bus and immediately started chatting away. Somehow we got on the subject of weird foods and I was repulsed to the point of nausea by something about sheep brains on toast. I could have gone my whole life without hearing that, I thought. Moments later I was asking Shaun Groves to sing along to A Whole New World, which was playing on the radio. (Remember Aladdin and Princess Jasmine?) Shaun still hasn’t blessed us with his vocal talents and we’ve been giving him a hard time.

It wasn’t long before we arrived at the settlement on the dump. Why would anyone want to live on a garbage pile? That was the question on my mind and you’re probably wondering, too. The people who live there don’t pay any kind of rent or taxes on the land. They only pay for power and water. It is very cheap, but they pay a high price in countless ways. The families who live there arrived in desperate situations. Eight years later, they are still living in dwellings made of tin, cardboard, and blankets.

We had a very tough visit with one family and then began walking to another home. On the way, I saw a light-headed girl Annabeth’s age in the alley that we were walking through. She was very dirty and was playing with a filthy plastic doll. She never turned her face to me, so of course I pictured my daughter’s. I could have gone my whole life without seeing that, I thought. Ironically, within those few minutes we heard A Whole New World playing on a radio again.

We went deeper into the dump to see where people sort through garbage to find things that can be sold. The trash went on for two kilometers. I looked up and saw one of the most horrendous things I’ve ever seen. Circling above us in the sky was a whirlwind of vultures. Hundreds of vultures. I could have gone my whole life without seeing that, I thought.

We ended up driving to a cemetery where we could look out over the dump and get a better view of the settlements where 20,000 families dwell. The cemetery itself was fascinating. All of the graves were above ground, so it was just tomb after tomb after tomb. I’d never seen anything like it in person. It was ironic that the dead were housed better than the living people we’d just met.

A short walk took us to a cliff that overlooked a sea of filth. Below us, trucks were driving in and out and men were unloading trash at a frenzied pace.

The tombs were all around us and vultures were resting in groups on top of them. Hundreds more were circling above our heads. I was so thoroughly freaked out that I hid under the overhang of a sarcophagus. I could have gone my whole life without seeing this, I thought. I feel like I’m in hell. Thankfully, because of Jesus, that was the closest I will ever get to it.

I was desperate to get back in the van. I couldn’t take any more. The smell, the horror flick reality, the freaky birds, the desperation, the children living in the dredges of a sinful world. Stick a fork in me, I was done. When we finally returned to the van, I pressed my forehead on the back of Ann Voskamp’s seat and cried.

What if I had gone my whole life without seeing that? What if I anesthetized myself so much with wealth that I was convinced this wasn’t so? It needs to be known.

My original title for this post was “To Hell and Back,” but I didn’t think anyone would stick around to read it. If you’re still here, please stay with me because I want to take you to the “and Back” part.

It was time to visit the Compassion Child Development Center that serves the children who live on the dump. We were put to joyous work right away, serving lunch to the children and workers. The children eagerly approached the serving area where Lindsey and Lisa-Jo filled their bowls with rice and soup and Ann ladled lemonade into their cups. I was in charge of handing out tortillas. Dos o tres tortillas? I asked. The tortillas were very warm and so was the atmosphere. My sadness and hopelessness began to fade as the joy of doing something to help took its place.

Our leader, Patricia, brought bags of shoes to be given to the children in this community. I had brought a few of Annabeth’s shoes from home and stuffed them in the bag with the others.

At one point I heard someone calling my name and motioning for me to come. It was a mother holding her baby girl who was wearing Annabeth’s black mary janes. Oh, thrill of my heart! She was absolutely precious and medicine to a homesick mama’s heart.

We were invited to visit each of the classrooms and interact with the students. There were boys and girls ages 3 to 16 spread throughout the building. As we walked through the halls, it was like a breath of fresh air. The church was clean and spacious. The children had room to play in safety, under the watchful eye of loving adults.

We entered the room with the teenagers. Most of them were boys. I was thankful to see that because boys in these neighborhoods are very likely to join gangs. The child development program is a HUGE deterrent for them. We had met a handful of strong, godly fathers during this trip and seen a big difference in the disposition of their children. I have hope that these boys will grow up to lead their families in strength and godliness.

Before we left, we had the pleasure of hearing the pastor’s testimony. He said he had lost seven years of his life to drugs. When he was 21 years old, he came to faith in Christ. He sought out a church and during the altar call, he laid on the floor and surrendered his life to God. When stood to his feet, the need and desire for drugs had been completely taken away. Now he only needed and desired God. He has been a pastor for ten years. His wife is a doctor. Can you imagine what a great team they are? The pastor has a heart for the people of this community because he knows what it’s like to live in desperation. He knows what it’s like to live in redemption.

God is at work in the desperate situations. Honestly, when we were in the dump today I couldn’t see Him. I was blinded by buzzards as Satan hissed in my ears that God is not powerful enough to deliver these people. That He must not really love them. But when we walked in the doors of the church the lies were dispelled. We saw the salvation of our God.

Did you know that on average, 500 Compassion children around the world give their lives to Christ every single day? Isn’t that mind-boggling? You can be a part of giving spiritual, physical, and emotional hope to a child living in a desperate situation. Please consider supporting a child through Compassion International. If you’d like to change the life of a child from Guatemala, click here.


130 Responses to “A Whole New World”

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  1. 1
    Kelly says:

    Amen. Thanks for being willing to see Amanda. And thanks for bringing the experience to my eyes. Has helped me today so much.

  2. 2

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING!! It is such a BLESSING to my husband and I to read you stories! We have been to Peru and Honduras. We would MOVE to either place today if we could! We have two children Savannah-15 and Austin-12 and we would LOVE to go into the mission field as a family! GOD BLESS YOU!

  3. 3
    fuzzytop says:

    Oh Amanda… I am without words.

    We sponsor a girl in India, and I’m hoping we can sponsor a second child in Guatemala.

    I grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and I saw things like what you have described in your posts. Probably not as severe, but awful, nonetheless. The last year we were there in KL we lived in a very poor area, with open drains in the street, etc. I remember the filth, the pervasive rotten smells. But to see the photos of the Compassion project – the joy, the hope, God revealed. Wow! I want the blessing of helping! Thanks for reminding us all of things we don’t see, and that we can help.

    Much love to you,

  4. 4
    Country Wife says:

    Thank you for posting that. It was sad and lovely.

  5. 5
    Deb Weaver says:

    How we need to see those things that break the heart of God! Thank you for sharing.

  6. 6
    Michele says:

    Thanks for sharing Amanda.

    One thing struck me about your pictures and it seemed to come together at the end of your post. I am sure it is hard to really get a feel for the dreadful dump atmosphere from just a few pictures, but what I noticed was the beautiful sky overhead.

    So when you mentioned you couldn’t see God, it was like – sure He was there, you got Him in the pictures. That beautiful blue sky. He was there, still on His throne above, watching, knowing everything that each person there deals with every day, shedding tears over his children living in those conditions, and beaming with pride about what Compassion is doing there.

    So glad you made it back safe to your family.

  7. 7
    Donna Benjamin says:

    I’ve been following you on your journey through this blog. Thank you for “taking us along” on your mission trip.
    Yesterday at our church our pastor reminded us of a group that “Sisters in Christ” are sponsoring from Nepal. They are raising money to help stop the human trafficking there. Well, I didn’t realize until then, but this too is a Compassion International project! I’m so thankful to know that this is the same organization you’re working with. God truly is doing amazing things and it is nice to be reminded of His blessings.
    Thank you for helping, “the least of these”…may God watch over you continually, and your family waiting for you at home.
    In His Love,
    Donna Benjamin

  8. 8
    Leanne from Canada says:

    Thank-you so much for bringing the work of Compassion to life for us. Your words and the pictures with them have touched our hearts deeply. At the simulcast on Saturday we are having a Compassion table in the foyer and I have 20 Compassion children packets in my possession right now that we hope will be sponsored out. Reading the bloggers posts this week has burned an even greater desire to spread the news of Compassion’s work. Astounding!! You would have to be made of ice to not be touched in some way by the reports from Guatemala. Thank-you for your sacrifice of time and separation anxiety that has allowed many to be stirred into action.
    With Gratitude……Leanne

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Warm in Alaska says:

    So many mixed emotions reading your words and looking at the pics. Life can be so hard. But God is always so good. Those are my two thoughts – they keep banging into each other. I’m really glad you’re willing to be “boots on the ground” for all of us this week. These are words I need to hear and images I need to see. Gracias, Amanda ~

  11. 11
    Sheryl says:

    Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your experiences in Guatemala. God has used your posts to burden my heart to sponsor a child. I have shared your posts with my husband who has been touched and compelled to help. We have signed up to sponsor a 6 year old girl. We are already praying for her, and are so excited to be able to share what we have with her. Had it not been for your trip there and your open and honest sharing of your experiences, we would not have even thought about doing this. We realize the need to expand our world vision. Thanks so much, Amanda. There is a little girl in Guatemala getting sponsors because of you! God bless you.

  12. 12
    Ernie says:

    Thank you for sharing. To remind us of what is truly important.

  13. 13
    Hilary says:

    Amen! Glory to God! I want to cry and shout at the same time. Praise His Name.

  14. 14
    Ann Ludeke says:

    Excellent again today, thank you.
    So heart wrenchingly sad, & then so hopeful. PTL!
    I also enjoyed the YouTube Video tour of the “home.” It’s beyond what most of us can comprehend.
    Thank you for going on a trip that many of us wish we could but are not able to do.
    You are a blessing! (and so is your support system at home).

  15. 15
    Kathy B says:

    Our brave Amanda. Thank you for going and sharing this with us. Really? 500 children a day? Really? My cheeks are still wet at the marvel of it. Of Him. Oh yes, let’s “click here” indeed!

  16. 16

    Wonderful. Too wonderful for words.

    That’s all.

    Marilyn…in Mississippi

  17. 17
    Donna says:

    Thank you, Amanda, for enduring such a horrific situation and sharing it. Those in this country that think they have it bad need to know there are those that have it a whole lot worse. My step-son has been to El Salvador on several occasions and tells similar stories. I started sponsoring a girl in Brazil after Melissa’s trip to India…one of the best things I have ever done. She & I share the same birthday!…cool, huh? Thank God for Compassion International and those who keep it going.

  18. 18
    joyinthejourneys says:

    My heart is stirred up and spilling over…I want to go!! I think Nicaragua is where God is calling me, but we’ll see! Thank you Amanda for walking where I couldn’t at this moment…and being my eyes for a short while. Everyone must see…
    I’ll be praying for you as you “re-enter”~
    love ~ Traci

  19. 19
    Chae says:

    Thank you Amanda!! Today my family decided to support a boy name Angel De Jesus from Guatemala through Compassion.

    • 19.1
      Amanda says:

      Chae, God bless you for your generosity! It will mean the world to little Angel. He will be thrilled to hear from your family. We saw firsthand how much the letters meant to each of the children.

  20. 20
    Beth says:

    You have done such a great job, Darling. You truly gave yourself to – and for – the cause of Christ. The life of a child the age of one of your own may change wildly because you were willing to go.

    Kiss Scaredy Cat good-bye, Baby. You are BRAVE.

  21. 21
    toknowhim says:


    You have done such an awesome job with your recap blog posts about your Compassion trip. You have given me insight through your writings in which I felt joy and sadness. Thank you… You have given me much to ponder and think about in the coming days and beyond.

    Blessings, and the picture of the little girl in Annabeth’s shoes is priceless…

  22. 22
    Fran says:

    Oh I’ve got big ole tears in these eyes. Thank you Amanda for the work you have done and the lives you have helped change!


  23. 23
    Kathryn Hill says:

    My make-up is all messed up and I’m so glad for it. Thank you so much for writing this. I shared it on my facebook page and I hope others are inspired too.

  24. 24
    Martha Helen says:


    Thanks so much for sharing all week about your travels. This post really moved me. A couple of Septembers ago I was in South Africa in the townships around Jo-berg.. and feeling very similarly to what you were describing. Feeling broken and destitute to change those people’s circumstances. But our God is mighty! And its so true.. just one person reaching out in compassion to another person with whatever we DO have to give is how change happens, one sweet life at a time. My hubby and I sponsor a boy in Kenya.. thanks for giving us a sense of the hope that sponsors can bring to those children through Compassion. It’s so good to remember so that we don’t lose heart.
    May God continue to bring a rich harvest from your time and effortst there!

  25. 25
    Kim says:

    I am so in … just filled out the form, hit click and began to sponsor a child this afternoon.
    Thank you for your efforts and thank you for telling this story, Amanda … it needs to be heard!

    Cannot wait to see what blessings come from your visit because I have to believe there are many of us who read the LPM blog that will act upon your story.
    May God bless this ministry and every life it touches!

    So grateful for LPM!
    Kim / Austin

    • 25.1
      Amanda says:

      Kim, thank you so much for blessing this child! He or she will be eager to hear from you. Your encouragement and “I love you’s” will mean so much.

  26. 26
    rene sandifer says:


    …and to think you ALMOST went your whole life without experiencing any of that…oh for your courage to press on!!…and neither would many of us if you had not conveyed it to us through your eyes. thank you, really.

    I especially love the part about the pastor…that is so God; and AB’s shoes on that little girl, ok. wonderful. and the vultures were like a scary scene from “the birds” (that i never really watched , but saw glimpes of it from my cracked bedroom door at age 8 when my parents had it on tv in 1968). Frightful!!!!!

    Sadness and joy so closely entangled. God is at work.

  27. 27
    His Jules says:

    Amanda – you have made me cry, and laugh and shout with Joy over the compassion and the grace that our Father has – 500 children a day? Amazing!! You have touched a place in my heart and my first instinct was to imediately hit that blue button to sponsor a child…but because of past mistakes and disobedience on my part we are not in a financial position right now to do so. I know that the submission and obedience that is coming so hard for me right now will be rewarded someday…but just so you know – I will pray for these children and for more sponsors to come forward so that even though I can’t be one right now…someone else may reap that blessing. I am in awe of your faithfulness and bravery. God is surely bursting with pride over you.

  28. 28
    sepik-meri katie says:

    amanda, i’m so thankful for all you’ve shared here. and proud of you for what you DIDN’T turn your head (or heart) from… i feel a tiny bit as if we’ve shared an experience now. your feet have tread in some similar places, and eyes have seen some similar horrors -but isn’t God’s glory BRIGHT there in the darkest corners?! love you for walking through that experience and being changed by it. how sweet it must have been to get your own two back in your arms!! i was praying for you! hugs to you girl.

  29. 29
    Denise says:

    Thank you for your opening up our eyes and reminding us of the plight of these families. But also showing us the hope.

  30. 30
    Diane says:

    Hi Amanda –
    So glad you got to take this journey and tell us all about it. I have been sponsoring kids through Compassion for more than 25 years and each one is amazing in their own way.

    As to the number of children accepting Christ, I want to assure your other readers that the children are not coerced into a “confession of faith.” They are loved and taught but not pressured.

    But what a joy it is when they do accept Christ! I asked my boy in the Dominican Republic if he had accepted Christ and he replied that he hadn’t yet… he was thinking of it and he wanted to but he hasn’t. He asked me to pray for him to believe. I responded and told him I would be praying and that I hoped some day he would believe.

    About a year later, he wrote and said he was now a follower of Jesus. About 7 or 8 years have passed since that time and he is in the last year of his sponsorship. He is a leader in his church and is very involved in ministry and he is being mentored by the pastor at his church. He worked in helping to meet the needs of Haiti after their earthquake. I know that God has his hand on this young man and will use him mightily.

    There are many, many stories like this among the children who benefit from Compassion sponsorship. Thanks for spreading the news!!

    Oh, and PS: Yes, as a matter of fact, I DO WANT TO POP WITH PRIDE AND GRATITUDE when I think of Juaquin!! 🙂

  31. 31
    Fran McCurry says:

    Oh my, Amanda.
    Your pictures tell a story we all should know firsthand, but thankfully you are in a position to share this with those unable to see it for themselves. I started going to Quito, Ecuador in 2001 and was blessed by being able to see exactly the same sights. I never know the extent of my blessings until I saw the children (and their families) who live in “the ring of misery” surrounding the city- children who were left alone while their parents foraged garbage heaps (just like in your picture) to find scraps of food and discarded clothing or junk to sell. These children lived in grave danger until an organization called SIFAT led short term missions into the area to renovate and build day care centers to take care of them. Until that time, wonderful women as poor as the children themselves opened their homes to take care of these children during the daylight hours. I was on the first mission team to the area, and after 5 visits saw God’s abundant blessings bestowed on these wonderful, humble, appreciative people. I haven’t been to see them since 2006, but I hope to be part of a team going back this summer. These people changed my life in a way that no others could. I owe so much to them for what they have given to me.
    Siestas- if you ever get a chance to do something like Amanda did- jump at it! You will always be ever grateful.
    Gulf Shores, AL

  32. 32
    Bethany says:

    My heart is spilling over reading this.
    I am changed by your trip. Thank you for taking us along with you. I was reminded of Psalm 102:17 last night as I was reading and it hit me between the eyes. He hears their cries, and He sees them, He really sees them.

    In His glorious love

  33. 33
    Michelle says:


    I don’t even know how to put into words the impact your blog from Guatemala has had on me. I feel so deeply for these children now and don’t want that to fade with time. I plan to print out your posts and put them with all the information I will be getting on our new sponsor child, Manuel. I pray that helps me keep this same sense of urgency and joy and sadness and hope with me.

    During this same time I’m reading/studying “So Long, Insecurity” and am in the chapter referencing pride. I think of your posts about Guatemala and compare it to the things I buy to feel better about myself and more secure. Wow, is God using both you and your Mom to speak to me these last several days!!

    Thank you!

  34. 34


    Every day when I read this post it just gets to me. today I just layed down my head and sobbed. Amanda, I have lived in countries like Peru and Ecuador. I have visited Guatemala. I have sponsored a little girl from Ecuador for 10 years. But the shock and the horror of poverty never leave me. It is fresh each time I see it.

    I needed to see the “and back” bit so very badly. What an incredible blessing of the LORD Jesus! I saw where your mama said “you are no scaredy-cat” ditto! You are very brave to take us all there with you today. And we are all the better for it.

    bless you woman!

  35. 35
    BK says:

    A favorite quote of mine by Moyer:
    “Are you willing to take on the burden of sight? Because you will be responsible for everything you see.”
    It’s true – choosing to really take on sight is a burden and a responsibility. It’s so worth it when it’s Jesus opening our eyes. But sometimes I don’t think I can stand the heartbreak of it.

  36. 36

    Oh, what an awesome testimony! I wish my testimony was as miraculous as that man’s! I never do things the easy way! I had to work very hard to stay clean and sober and it would be many and I do mean MANY years before I would experience any relief from severe depression as I know many at LPM know!

  37. 37


    The photo of the vultures, that feels like my family’s house. Another place where the dead exalt themselves above the living. Where there is death, the vultures will gather. And how overwhelmed and wretched the whole scene makes me feel. What can I do? It does feel like hell. I could relate to right where you were, in my own familial relationships.

    So then, I see. Your trash heap, it is all a very physical picture of the spiritual reality of the poverty that we all live in, came from, often because of, our wealth, our self-assuredness. What a wretched woman I am. And how can I show those around me, the vultures that are circling?

    I am glad to be made poor that I might be made rich in Christ.

    Thank you for your post. It is encouraging and enlightening because I see, through the debris, that Jesus is the only real wealth of life, the cleanliness, the joy, the health, the compassion. To see you come out of the hopeless pit and minister in love speaks volumes to what I, too, can accomplish in my own surroundings. Jesus is my life and my wealth. And I have to say that if He can overcome in Guatemala, what also can He do in my life?

    My God is able.

  38. 38
    Joyce Watson says:

    Thank you, Amanda for your service to God.
    We live in a hurting world, a world that is sometimes unfair,a world that is in darkness, a world that would go forsaken__ if it was not for Christ.
    My family and I have been on several mission trips with our church group.
    If we go without seeing, we wouldn’t know to be thankful and to praise God… We don’t know if these people would hear the gospel. We have so much in America, we have no room to complain, grip or condemn_we should be so very thankful to God. It is very humbling.
    Thank you for your sacrifice to God, for your compassion on his people, for your dedication to his work, and giving to these people hope.

  39. 39
    Kelly Jo says:

    Amanda this has touched me so much. Last Christmas I was in a christian bookstore and was ask if I would be interested in sponsoring a child from Guatemala. I did and her name is Shielyn. They have sent me one picture of her and I look at it everyday. Some of those pictures were unbelievable. This may be terrible for me to say but I kept thinking why don’t they try to just clean it up?? (I just feel so bad for them and it makes my heart sad) Thank you for being such a servant for Jesus! Love you

    • 39.1
      Amanda says:

      Kelly Jo, I wonder what project she was at! I should have asked before we left if anyone had sponsor kids in Guatemala already. It would’ve been fun to meet the ones at the projects we visited.

  40. 40
    Shaun Groves says:

    Thank you to all you LPMers for your prayers, encouragement, and for sponsoring many children. Thank you for releasing little ones from poverty in Jesus’ name!

    Amanda and Melissa brag on y’all. And now I will too.

    Thank you,


  41. 41
    Maria says:

    Man, you Moore ladies know how to hit us right in our hearts. I wouldn’t want it any other way!!! I feel like I am there with you!

  42. 42
    Beth Todd says:

    thank you so much for sharing your experience and trip. I sponsor a precious girl in Bolivia, but have never had an opportunity to visit her. It’s so good to see Compassion in action and the results for all. You have definitely encouraged me to try and get to Bolivia soon. God bless you all.

  43. 43
    Cindy Moses says:

    Thank you so much. We sponsor two children. Sarai (we call her Sweet Sarai!) is in Nicaragua and John Mark is in the Phillipines. We are developing relationships, but it is somewhat slow through correspondence, and oh how I wish that I could lay my eyes on them…and put my arms around them! But honestly…I’m laying it out here in Siestaville…I’m scared to death that I could not handle seeing what you are seeing on this trip. You have my deepest admiration! You are brave and bold. And I want to thank you for helping me to remember that it is NOT money that is sent, but Christ’s love. Sometimes all of us who sponsor need to be reminded of the magnitude of those few dollars. Thank you for my tears today. They were tears I needed to shed.

    • 43.1
      Amanda says:

      Cindy, one thing that really broke my heart was seeing the homes and then imagining the reality of the sponsor child we’ve had for a number of years. I feel very connected to him and I just have never let my mind imagine his home life as being that extreme. I am really not a brave and bold person at all. God’s grace definitely covered me during this trip. I know He would cover you too if you ever went. Bless you for sponsoring your two kids!

  44. 44
    Carolina Cheesehead says:

    Amanda, This one was my favorite post of your trip – what a visual contrast between despair and hope. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

    My family was in Co. Springs this summer and one of the CI executives who is in our small group arranged a tour for us of their headquarters. They had just completed a model of what an on site project is like and even though its no where near the joy of getting to visit your children in their home country it still was very eye opening.

    The most profound thing we walked away with though is how very much the children treasure our letters and pictures and sadly how many of we sponsors write way fewer letters than we receive from our children.

    We asked God to forgive us and help us not to let the busyness of “life” keep us from this very important part of being a sponsor.

    I so appreciate how you emphasize that over and over and I just want to echo it too. Sponsors think of your letters as treasures in a place where luxuries are few and how such a small thing on our part can have such a huge impact on a child!

    Thanks again Amanda!


  45. 45
    Letty in Las Vegas says:

    Thank you so much for being a voice for these children. I am reminded of the song that say’s Lord break my heart for what breaks yours… Grace and Blessings..

  46. 46
    Rosalie says:

    Amanda, because of your last few blogs I adopted a child today from Compassion. His name is Juan, he is 5 years old, he is from Columbia, and we share the same birthdate.

  47. 47
    Jennifer says:

    I’ll just add to all of these wonderful sentiments that the faces of the bloggers with the children makes my heart sing. Your faces shine with the love of Christ. Thank you for going, and for showing us what CI does.

  48. 48
    Janet says:

    Thank you for showing me hell and back. I visited Guatemala a few years ago, but I never saw this. I wouldn’t have lasted as long as you did. I am very afraid of birds, especially flesh-eating birds. I plan to sponsor a child from Guatemala because you took pictures of the unthinkable and wrote so compellingly about the difference hope makes. Thank you.

  49. 49
    Dodgermom03 says:


    Thanks for sharing your missions trip with us.

    I’ve wanted to sponsor a child for a long time, and just hadn’t gotten around to do it. Thanks for helping me. I can’t wait to get Carlos’ info in the mail and share it with my boys.

    I thought it was perfect that the child be from Guatemala. All year I’ve called it the year of the chapina (Guatemalan). My co-worker started it in January by bringing me a tortilla warmer from her trip to visit her mom in Guatemala. A couple months later a church friend brought me a purse when she went to visit her mother in Guatemala. Then one of my best friends who is a proud chapina started teaching me some of the cultural differences between Guatemalans and Mexicans
    (me). Now I sponsor a Guatemalan 9 year old 🙂

    I promise to write lots of letters, hopefully I’ll be able to write them in Spanish. Dios te bendiga!

    -Laura Aldana

  50. 50
    Dee W says:

    The photos alone are FANTASTIC!

    This post makes me so glad, once again, that I’ve registered to sponsor a child from Guatemala.

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