Mirna Diaz and her two children are suffering from a lot of emotional hurt as a result of her husband leaving. One day he left to go live with another woman, abandoning her, Carmen and Oscar. This is yet another example of how some things in Guatemalan culture set up families for failure. Mirna doesn’t have much specialty for work because most Guatemalan women stay at home and care for the house and family while the husband is the sole provider. When the husband does not live up to his obligation and abandons the family, the wife cannot normally obtain and maintain a suitable job for supporting her children. The children are then usually forced to fend for themselves while the mother works and sometimes the children have to quit school just to help their family survive. For now, this is not the case (thankfully) since Oscar is too young to work. Carmen tríes to do different odd jobs in the neighborhood now that she is old enough to work and Mirna has a small business selling food to her neighborhood.

Mirna enjoying time with our missionaries

They live in a squatters village, an area of land set apart by the government where the basic necessities are trucked in like water. Spiritually, the family is slowly growing. When we first met them, Mirna refused to talk about God. She did not permit her children to read the bible although they still tried to when they could. Now, open to hearing about  God and the ability to have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. She always wants us to pray with her now when we visit and she and Carmen asked us to teach them more about Jesus.

Carmen and Oscar receiving school supplies for the year.

Carmen and Oscar receiving school supplies the first year we helped them.

Even though this family does not have much, they cling to small things in order to brighten their lives. Carmen loves animals and has a cat. She loves chasing it around, catching it, and holding it close. Mirna, with the very little land they have in their makeshift home, has created a beautiful garden. The first time we met them, it was just dirt and every time we visited, Mirna had a little more tilled and planted. Oscar is very shy and has some trouble with school work, but loves playing soccer when he has free time. The absence of his father, it seems, has been very hard on him and he is trying to adjust to his new role as man of the house.

Oscar and Carmen in their garden.

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