Elaine & Sophia
“Sophia’s parents abandoned her and her sister at the children's hospital when she was one year old. She is now two and is the sweetest little girl. When I first met her, she barely smiled, and always seemed worried and scared. I made it my goal to make her feel loved and make her smile every week. I loved her to pieces. Every day that we would come to the orphanage, she would be in her crib waiting with her arms out for me to pick her up. I would play with her, talk to her and tell her she was beautiful and loved by God. She would cling to me and would never leave my side. I was seriously thinking of adopting her until I found out how intense the adoptive process here in Guatemala is. Every day when I left the orphanage, I would put her back in her crib and she would cling to me and cry because she knew I was leaving. Slowly as the weeks went by, she would smile more and laugh more. About a month ago, I noticed she was just radiating pure joy— no more sadness (until it was time for me to leave again that is). I was so amazed by the happiness God had given her and the faithful way He brought her through the abandonment of her parents. A couple weeks ago we left the orphanage and again she cried. It hurt to say goodbye and leave her there crying. I didn't know it then but her parents would come back for her the next day and would take her to a village 9 hours away. I was very sad when I found out that I wouldn't see my Sophia anymore, but I am so happy that I was able to love on her and show her the love of God. I will never forget her, and I hope she remembers the silly white girl that loved her.”
-Elaine, PJM Missionary
Pastor Roni & Hugo
“Two children, Quique (8) and Hugo (6), came to the orphanage a couple months ago. They were only there for a short time and have already left the orphanage. While they were there, I played with them many times. I remember one moment with the youngest boy, Hugo. I was playing soccer with the younger kids. They made a line, and they took turns hitting the ball with their heads. When I threw the ball to Hugo, he missed the ball and fell to the ground. I expected him to get upset and cry, but he started to laugh. All the children started to laugh and then I began to laugh. We laughed and laughed, until we fell to the floor. My stomach hurt from laughing so much and tears of laughter fell down my face. I had not laughed like that in a long time and neither had the children. The next time we visited the orphanage, all of the children remembered what happened. For Hugo, it was something unforgettable. Every time he saw me, he said, remember the time when I tried to hit the ball with my head and fell? And we began to laugh again. It’s an experience that is seemingly insignificant, but something that I will never forget and I believe something that Hugo will never forget either. I think that one day, I will see him again and he will say, ‘Do you remember the time I tried to hit the ball with my head, and we will laugh together again.’”
-Pastor Roni, PJM Director
A Night at the City Dump
“I want to share with you one of the ministries I have liked very much, one of the ministries that makes me reflect a lot on the love of God. This ministry consists of spending an afternoon and night with several of the families living in and around the city garbage dump. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to get to know these beautiful families very well and to spend time with the children.
Spending time with each of these families has been an incredible experience— eating, playing, watching movies, and talking. I’m so grateful to each of them for the trust they have given me and for the opportunity to share with them not only of their time, but share the love and joy of God.
One of my favorite parts is when we talk about how our day was. Sometimes it makes me sad, however, to see the example the children receive from their parents and other people that live close to them— such as parents that get drunk, families that fight, vocabulary that is inappropriate for children to hear. There are times when some of the children share with me the problems their parents have and some tell me, “Christian, can you pray for my parents, it’s that they aren’t talking to each other and are fighting.” As a result of all of this, some of the children do not have the mind of a child— They have already lost their childhood innocence. Their form of talking, their attitude, and their mind are not of a child anymore, but instead of an adult.
Sometimes children come that are not a part of the family. I remember one night where eight children came to the house where I was visiting. The family I was visiting opened up the door to their home and welcomed the children in. They shared with them the food that we had given them. Later we all watched a movie on my laptop, played games, and finally talked. After this happened, I reflected on my time with them, and I realized that everything we shared with this family, they shared with others.
The experience that I had every night and made it hard to sleep were the incredible amount of mosquitos that were in each of their homes! I asked myself, How in the world can they sleep so well and not feel the mosquitos bite them?! Maybe they are accustomed to it!” And I couldn’t wear insect repellant because I am allergic to it, but I thank God for protecting me from any illnesses that can be passed by mosquitos.
It is incredible to spend an afternoon and night with one of these families and to get to know them better. It's amazing that through this ministry, I can share the love and joy of God. I really want to thank everyone who has supported me in your prayers and also economically. Thanks to God and to you all for making this possible. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me to share the love and joy of God.”
-Christian, PJM Missionary