10 May 2008

Life in Guatemala

Please be praying for Guatemala.
As with many places in the world today, we face economic problems here in Guatemala. It affects everyone, but most of all the poorest are hurt the worst.
If you like statistics, here are a few...in April, the Consumer Price Index showed inflation of 4.32%, the highest ever recorded here. Over the past year prices for the basic staples, rice, tomatoes, vegetable oil, beans, corn, etc. have risen more than 50%! Groceries in general have gone up about 50% in the last year. That means a year ago if we paid $200 for a load of groceries, now that same amount costs $300. Yet, the poor here are not earning any more today than a year ago. Please pray.
Economic hardship like this also creates desperation in some, so crime increases, violence increases, the peoples sense of security decreases. Please pray.
Please also pray for the entire missionary community. It affects us also. While we are comfortable in comparison with the poor, it is making us cut back in areas also, which can affect our ability to do ministry. We missionaries receive a double whammy in a sense. Not only are prices skyrocketing, but we receive our salaries and ministry funds in dollars. The dollar is falling at a pace where, for example in our case, due to the exchange rate our salary was $120 less for May, than in March. Please pray.

Another example of what is happening here. Just like in the States, the price of gasoline is climbing, climbing, climbing. Today regular is about $4.35 per gallon. This past week, truckers were protesting the high cost of fuel by blocking the highways leading into the city, preventing the delivery of perishable products and gasoline. There was a small panic here as people everywhere flooded the gas stations to fill their tanks! However, the government intervened and the flow of goods and gas was reestablished!


As for us, we are all good, but busy. We just finished the first week without visitors since mid-February. We have interns arriving June 4, so are planning orientation and finishing putting together all of the logistics.

Felicita and Maria are in the last two weeks of the school year (last day is May 23) so it is stress time studying for finals! Please pray.

We are looking forward to a summer of interns and some groups, and watching God work in many more lives!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you mom's!