Jackeline and her kids surrounded by her dad, niece and grandmother

We sat down in this woman’s very nice looking house in a secure neighborhood and based on what we saw, it didn’t seem from the outside how this family can be at risk of falling apart (as the SARF ministry aims to prevent). Looks can be very deceiving…

Since Jackeline started dating her now deceased husband, his parents did not like her. For 7 years of marriage, they always gave her trouble because her family is not as well-to-do as her husband’s family. September 27th, 2012 her husband decided to try to go to the U.S. to make more money for her and the two kids. October 21st, 2012 his body was found in McAllen, TX and immigration called her to send dental records to confirm it was him. It took them 3 months to send the body back for burial.

Jairo thanking a team member for bringing school supplies.

Jairo thanking a team member for bringing school supplies.

Alejandra making a new friend.

Alejandra making a new friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since her husband’s death, Jackeline has been in a rough situation. Her in-laws have treated her even more poorly since their son’s death; they have been constantly working against her. “Even though we never got along, I would have never imagined they would treat me like this. Maybe it is because of grief over losing their son, I don’t know, but I need to take care of my family.” She told us. Her in-laws have been fighting against her and haven’t been much help and tried for a short time to get custody of her two children.   Jackeline said, however, that she knows they are just trying to kick her out of their life and steal her children. They have even resorted to telling the children they won’t have as much fun since Jackeline’s family isn’t rich like they are. The in-laws decided to sell the house she and her children were living in and in 2013 she had to move back in w/her parents.

Jackeline’s mother had kidney disease and was receiving regular dialysis for it. Jackeline was trying hard not to ask her mother to move in so as not to bring disruptive kids into a small house with a sick mother. However, her mother insisted they move in for the time being until Jackeline can find a new job and house. Part of her struggle with that is that she has only been able to find temporary work and until now has not had to pay rent since she was living in the house of her in-laws with her husband.

Jackeline’s mother died in 2016 and Jackeline’s 2 sisters then moved in with their children and pets. Her sisters treat Jackeline and her children poorly. Jackeline’s father has cancer and does little to help keep peace in the family. It is a very hard situation for everyone.

Jairo, Jackeline’s son, has been having a lot of trouble with losing his father and grandmother. He asked all the time where his father was and when he would be returning. When Jackeline told him that his father died and he wouldn’t be coming back, Jairo started acting out at school, being more aggressive with his playmates, and even started cutting and stabbing himself because he wanted to “go stay with his daddy.” As heartbreaking as this is, Jackeline said they have gotten some help from the social worker at the school they were attending and Jairo has come a long way. When Jackeline found out about her in-laws trying to convince her kids to live with them, she asked Jairo what he thought about it and he said, “In the movies and on TV, you never see kids living with their grandparents. Kids take care of and live with their parents and I’m going to take care of you mommy, now that daddy is gone.”

Since Jackeline moved in with her parents, the kids had to transfer to a different school. Servants helped Jackeline move into her parents’ house and has been living there since. This woman is extremely strong willed and open to discuss her hardship. The children are amazingly smart and sweet. Jackeline has the desire to do what it takes to provide for and protect her kids.

With the limited housing, unstable job, coupled with the emotional and spiritual pain they are experiencing, we can see that in the not-to-distant future this family could very well end up in the same cycle of physical and spiritual poverty as many other Guatemalans we have come in contact with.

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