If you have been to Chanco before, you probably know this sweet face. This is Marta. She lives with her mother, father, and two brothers at the top of a steep path bordered by a bean field. Her family professes to be Christian – some of the only believers in the village. Marta, her mother Elsa, and brother Anivel often make visits with the teams and are so generous and supportive in their efforts.
When we first reached Chanco this week, we heard that Marta was ill and we were very concerned. The whole group visited with her Monday and found her up and alert, feeling much better. By yesterday, she was playing games with us and the other village children. It was so good to have her there.
To many of us, Marta represents Chanco. She is a light in an often dark place. Through her trust in Jesus, we find encouragement that others will come to know Him. We can see fruit in Chanco – if only a tiny sprout making its way out of the soil. That’s why it’s so hard to leave.
The title above was Marta’s parting words to us this morning. In fact, I heard this from several children today. And while it’s heart-breaking to hear, it’s so good to know we’re welcome and wanted there. I’m thankful that others will follow us, and that we can confidently say that another team will be visiting in January, if it’s the Lords will.
Many visits were made this week, and the team is already comparing notes and strategizing about how we can reach even more people next time. Some of us have heavy hearts as we sit in Guatemala City tonight, hundreds of miles from Chanco, but we have joy in a God who is good and faithful, and we hope to take this burden for the lost back home with us to Mt. Pleasant. There’s certainly work to be done there, too.
Here are a few more snapshots of our last half-day in Chanco. (The visors were accessories in our “Sharks and Minnows” game.) Enjoy!