The trees stand along the crowded boulevard in Guatemala City, offering shade and beauty. They are majestic and sprawling, with strong branches and leaves that seem to never turn. They reach toward the sky with power and grace.
Years of erosion have stripped away the soil, leaving a winding map of life beneath each tree. Their roots trail along the incline, exposed. It seems the toll taken on the very foundation of each tree would kill it. Yet the trees rebel against the elements. Still they grow.
Today, I’ll see strength like those trees at Cerecaif in the faces of the women caring for the 65 children who have been removed from abusive homes. The women cook every meal, tend to every hurt, wipe away every tear, mend every donated garment. They love and nurture and guide and direct the God-crafted family ranging in age from 3 to 18. They teach the children how to tend to the pigs and chickens and goats, how to cook and bake and clean, how to make up their beds in the morning and say their prayers at night.
And they are exposed.
The small cinderblock orphanage sits on the side of a busy road, shielded only by a retaining wall and metal gate. A bakery was built – but it is outside the gate. A man used to work at the orphanage, making repairs and tending to the livestock, but he moved. The women pray every day for a man to join them in caring for the children and the orphanage. But that type of work isn’t something most men want to do.
Mission teams come to Cerecaif – but few men are on those teams. If heavy construction is needed somewhere, the men are ready to travel. But if the construction needed is the restoration of a child’s confidence or security through things like a simple hug or swinging on a swingset, the teams are filled with women.
Today, as you pray for our journey, will you pray for the women of Cerecaif? Will you pray for a man to answer the call to work at the orphanage? And will you pray for more men to say “yes” to being role models and friends to the discarded?