2020 and beyond - Challenging, and Victorious Years, in Spite of the Pandemic!
From Donie's 2020 year-end letter:
"Where to start? Each one of us has our Covid 19 story to share--curfews, lockdowns, masks, social distancing, etc. Businesses closed or went out of business, jobs were lost. Clinics closed, hospitals filled or closed, airports closed; family members and friends who were infected and survived, or maybe not. It was a year (and more) to remember, and yet, it seems to be a blur.
And Covid hit Guatemalans particularly hard, since many do not have reliable jobs or transportation. Much of the country was shut down, struggling economically, trying to get enough food and medication to stay afloat. At-risk women and children were particularly hard hit, and...
we are thankful that during 2020 and beyond, A Song in the Night has been:
June 2022: As in the rest of the world, Guatemala has suffered greatly through COVID. Things are better now. Most businesses are re-opening, at least in part, but still, many people are desperate for work of any kind. The poor have become poorer. Parents who are unable to pay even the small public-school fees have been forced to take their children out of school. The sick and injured are unable to get medical care. More have been forced out of their homes, into crowded sub-standard housing, or onto the street. Many are hungry – some are starving. Because of your support (financial and prayer) we can provide food, education, medical care, housing, and cottage industry to those God sends to us.
Navigating the pandemic, which is still ongoing in Guatemala, requiring all ages to be masked into 2022, was a great challenge. Schools were closed for in-person instruction, making completing a grade even more challenging.
Giving Food Assistance to at least 13 families on a regular basis and many more on a non-regular base, with staples (beans, rice, pastas, packaged soups, oatmeal, cream of wheat, Incaparina, milk, cornflakes, sometimes a pkg. of wieners, or cookies, or a fruit or vegetable that we were able to buy or someone donated. Also, helped at times with soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, laundry detergent bar, disinfectant, etc.
Protecting Homes by helping to "buff up" at least three different houses during the rainy season (to stop water and mud from running through their houses) and helping two families move to a better living situation. Right - a family who we helped to shore up their home to divert water in the rainy season from running through their living room.
Meeting Medical Needs by providing medicines, treatments, therapies, vitamins, and sometimes hospitalizations to people of all ages, from infants to grandparents.
Helping to Start Small Businesses by assisting to fund and establish a Tortilleria, and a Laundromat that provide families with income now and in the future. See our Employment page for more info!
Providing Education by supporting 15 students all the time, and at least five more sometimes, paying for inscriptions, tuitions (unfortunately we had bought uniforms and shoes at the beginning of the year before everything went virtual)! Then we were scrambling to get everyone online that needed it. For most of the little ones it was a matter of buying books and materials. For some it meant fixing and reactivating an old phone, and buying internet access!
Celebrating Three Graduates - for more info, see our Education page!
Right: Along with the families whom we normally support, Song was able to give packets of food to many who came knocking on our door, including an elderly couple, who would've likely starved without the help. And yet, we ALWAYS had enough - a true miracle!
Left: Sarita, whose mother died 2 1/1 years ago, was recently diagnosed with Lupus. She suffered a stroke at the age of 13, needs assistance to walk, does not speak, and is relearning her letters and numbers. She enjoys making beautiful pictures with help, and is a joy to all who are with her.
Right: Many of those who receive regular assistance also "give back" with what they have, by helping to maintain the property, or contribute by working or assisting others in our program.
This opportunity for all to be contributing members of the community makes us stronger together, and builds success and self esteem. This young man assists on the property, and receives help with school fees and other expenses.
All in all, Song was able to provide one full-time and five part-time jobs for those in our program, for which we are so grateful!
Thank you so much for helping us to help others and to be able to pray in the name of JESUS for healing, for provision, for direction, and that they might know Him, Who He is and what He has done for us, and the power of His resurrection in our lives, here and now, as well as all eternity! That's what it's all about, isn't it? With or without Covid 19, we need to be lifting up the name of JESUS, in whatever way we can, whenever we can, to all that we can!