Thursday, December 29, 2011

The real deal

This photo was taken on a night that Boo describes as "one of the best nights of my life."  Sandra, the woman on the right, is the founder and director of the Fundacion Salvacion orphanage in Huehuetanango, Guatemala where C and Boo and a team from various churches work for a week every January.  At some point during each visit, Sandra opens up her home to the team and creates a climate of hospitality that leads to belly-laughing fun and soul-nourishing warmth between our team members and the Guatemalan staff and translators.

When Mowgli took this trip a few years ago, he was fairly cynical about the church but he returned from Guatemala singing Sandra's praises, saying, "She's the real deal," which is the highest praise he can offer another person.  Just today, he commented on her authentically loving relationship with her husband, saying how much they love each other and how good their marriage seemed to be, which in Mowgli's eyes, is pretty rare.  For Mowgli, the fact that Sandra, a psychologist married to a doctor, could live a self-centered consumerist life and instead gives her life away to support and care for orphans makes her an example of the best our faith has to offer.

So we were so, so sad to hear today--the day before our team leaves DFW for Guatemala--that Sandra was killed in a car accident, which her husband survived.  She leaves behind three young adult daughters, several grandchildren, the husband Mowgli described and about 70 children who live in a home full of love because of Sandra's vision and sacrifice.

It seems like a real blessing that our team will be arriving on Saturday, ready to occupy the children while the staff and volunteers begin their grieving.  I'm sure that C and others on the team will be called on to offer pastoral care and comfort to the people that they work with every year and have come to love.  He is fighting illness and fatigue and both he and Boo are dealing with sadness and grief.  Please remember all of them this week in your prayers.

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