Guatemala COVID-19 Update

By Dr. Tito Palacios

The pandemic in Guatemala has caused the country to enter a time of great uncertainty. Our country has always had economic problems, but despite the ongoing quarantine, with many people infected and the hospital system completely collapsed, businesses are beginning to reopen because they face bankruptcies and can no longer sustain themselves. Many people are without work and it is very hard to receive calls from friends who have lost their jobs. Some of our mission members have been infected and have gone through moments of anguish, being ill in Guatemala is very stressful because of the lack of medical care and some fellow doctors have lost their very lives. It has been really hard, especially in the capital city.  

However, God has been abundantly faithful to help us. One friend shamefully came to us and told us of the difficult situations he and his wife were in because they had lost their jobs. We were able to supply their family with food and were able to hire this friend to take food to communities like Puerto Barrios, thereby helping the family financially.

In many of the villages where we work, we have heard reports of many people being infected. This is concerning because these communities are at high risk due to insufficient nutrition and inadequate resources.

Last month, we started a food distribution program. We are able to give food to families with vulnerable young and school aged children, to help prevent them from being malnourished and underdeveloped. We have also been able to assist Evangelical pastors and their families. With the churches closed, they are experiencing financial challenges as many in their congregations are without work. We also help the elderly in different communities, many of whom we have helped with our medical ministry in the past. With food and financial help over the next few months, these people will have resources to survive this pandemic. We have included a small devotional with each distribution, to remind families that God loves them and to be grateful to him for their care.  
 
We have also started having medical consultations via video in the one of the schools. The teachers who are connected with our ministry, La Mision, help take the vital signs and give medications that we have provided. They also pray with the patients. It hasn’t been easy, but we have been able to provide medical help in this way.
God has manifested himself in these efforts, people have felt the love of God, even though we have been unable to minister to many of these people in person. The people who have been blessed pray for our ministry and for all the “gringos”, as they call them. Several people have cried as they have received bags of groceries, they feel supported by the Lord. The time that we have invested in these communities previously has not been in vain.

Thanks to all of you who have been part of this mission in Guatemala. The entire staff of La Mision is very grateful to you for your faithfulness, even in hard times. We believe that God will continue to lead us by faith as we offer His love to others. Thank you for continuing to be a part of our lives and the lives of many people here.

Blessings,

Dr. Tito Palacios
Guatemala

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