Milk and Honey

My fifth day in Guatemala.  My heart has been broken by what I’d imagined existed but never fathomed my eyes would see.

Before embarking on this trip, I had jokingly claimed God was sending me to the promised land since I’d just turned forty.  Yet after only a short time in Guatemala, with complete sincerity, I pleaded with God to give me a glimpse of milk and honey in a place where giants loom.

Giants of poverty.  Abandoned children.  Hopelessness.  Hardship.  Lack.

They reported to Moses, “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit.” (Numbers 13:27)

Show me some of its fruit.  A taste of milk and honey on the tip of my tongue.

Our guide, Joel, came in to deliver morning devotions. I looked into his innocent, yet deeply faithful, eyes.  A young gentleman whose love for the children is undeniable.  A shepherd with a flock.

God spoke.

Milk and honey.

I stepped outside to find the orphans lined up ready for us to join them for church.  Little Maria ran to me with arms open wide.  “Mama Maria!”  (The children at the orphanage call me Maria.  Long story.)  I drew her into my arms.  She cupped my face in her soft, small hands.  Moving her innocent, yet orphaned, face toward my ear she reminded me with a gentle whisper, “Dos Marias.”

Two Marias.  She and I.

Milk and honey.

That afternoon,  I trekked down the side of a Guatemalan mountain to an impoverished village.  Maria Teresa Community consisting of 150 homes with three to four families per dwelling.  There are over 1,000 residents of Maria Teresa.  The homes consist of plastic, cardboard and tin shelters with dirt floors.  One room abodes.  Families sharing space.  Neighbors sharing a mountainside.

In the midst of poverty, I discovered beauty.

People soaked in peace.  Courage drawn deep from within shining in their eyes.  Grace and hope a constant sanctuary.

One woman meets us at the gate with many others.  We travel a long, arduous distance to her dwelling.  Maria Sylvia, a single mother, travels two hours to work each day and two hours back to Maria Teresa.  She cleans a home to earn money to feed her family.

Maria Sylvia asked us to pray for her.  Not for riches.  Not for advancement in her social system.  She wasn’t seeking comfort.

Maria wants to begin serving women and children at a greater capacity.  She tends to the needs of others.  Maria feels a calling to begin a ministry.

In her lack, she beckons God…

Show me how to give.

A woman possessing very little on the earth.

With the Kingdom in her heart.

Milk and Honey

About Cristal

Living life fully as the wife of one, a mother of two and follower of The One.
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10 Responses to Milk and Honey

  1. kthroyal says:

    My prayers for you are being answered. Grace to you and peace….!

  2. mary says:

    Larazo WILL be the Light for his fellow men. Larazo will know God’s strengh and be able to share the Lord’s strength with others. This is my prayer that will be answered !

  3. Celebrating Eve says:

    Cristal I am praying for you as you minister and are ministered unto. God sure does know how to inspire the heart to see the Milk and Honey. God bless you. Keep us posted.
    Kerry-Ann

    • Thank you, Kerry-Ann. I am amazed at the power of prayer (even in another country!). 🙂 And, yes, God is able to open our eyes to see the fruit of a land even when it’s easier to see the giants in front of our face.

  4. Jana says:

    Beauty and heartbreak, poverty and hope. I am humbled by how much we take for granted, yet amazed at what our God can do. Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to reading more about your trip and the souls you minister to. I’m so blessed that you found my blog so I could in turn be blessed by yours.

    In Christ,
    Jana

    • Thank you, Jana. Truthfully, the trip ministered to me. We often embark on “mission trips” assuming we’ll be a blessing to someone. However, it’s usually the missionary who is changed. And, I am thankful.

  5. Pingback: Life among the dead | Refusing to Tiptoe

  6. Naphtali says:

    What an amazing journey. Your pictures tell it all. Prayers for the people there and for your gracious work.

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