After I finished my schooling in Calvary’s Timothy Program, I stayed in Guatemala according to the leading that God was giving me.
Soon I began working with Maria Perez, my interpreter. It was soon after this I found five families living on a missionary project, who were not being feed or having supplies for their basic needs. Even though these women worked 6 days a week, 12 hours or more a day they had not been payed for three months. We soon began supplying food for these ladies and the children.
As months went by, we developed a strong friendship with these ladies and their children. We started doing outings and bible studies. Sunday we would hold church services at their project and the ladies would cook lunch for Maria and I.
Christmas was fast approaching and one Sunday in children class, I forgot where I was and asked the children to make a list for what they wanted for Christmas. The children had no problem making the list but I soon found out, it made the mothers very awkward. When I asked Maria why, she told me that in Guatemala the very poor do not celebrate Christmas.
I felt embarrassed for only a minute or so. After I looked over the childrens’ list I exclaimed to Maria ” lets have a Christmas party and we will, like Santa Clause fill this list for the children!” After saying that, the ladies said “where is our paper for our list!” So all the women made their Santa wish list to.
Soon after that, Maria and I began searching how much it would cost to fill every list. I found out it would be no problem financially doing it. So for the next two weeks Maria traveled all over San Benito buying everything those kids wanted. We even found a Christmas tree and decorated it after our Sunday church service.
On Christmas Eve all the families joined me for Christmas dinner, we served chicken and all the trimmings. The Christmas tree was lit and the festivities began. You should have seen their faces after dinner when they went in and seen all the presents under the tree.
One lady, Carmen, wanted a queen size bed so her family would not sleep on the floor. Fatima wanted new baby clothes and a stroller for her new born baby, Joshua. We bought new dresses for all the ladies and every girl received a new doll and of course every boy had on their list a bicycle.
I think the only thing on their list that we did not get was a trip to the USA, which Fatima wrote. Before we open the gifts the women and children had a present for me. They made me leave, so they could prepare. They had no money to buy me a present, but instead they lit candles and sang a Guatemalan song which is dedicated normally to sing on Fathers Day to their fathers.
I was completely move. We finished the evening at midnight with a Guatemalan tradition. They light sparklers and every one in Guatemala shoots off fireworks at the midnight hour. I soon found out that for everyone there, it was the first time they ever received a gift and celebrated Christmas.