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Journey to Guatemala: Knowing Olga

Blog post by FH blogger Sarah Matheny

Imagine you are 8 years old.  You live in a small village in Guatemala, in a small house, which perhaps would be better described as a hut.  It’s at the top of a very steep, very rocky hill that you travel up and down several times a day to get to. You live there with your six brothers and sisters, your oldest brother is 24 and your youngest is 2.

Imagine your home has two rooms, one where you all sleep, in three beds made from pallets, and a few thin blankets. There is an adjoining room that holds the fire pit in which your mother and your sisters cook and wash all your clothing.  It is a blessing to have a separate room for the fire, as many of your friends do not, but the smoke is still so thick that it fills the entire house, your lungs, clothing and eyes.

Photo by Jessica Taylor

Imagine a woman came to your home one day and asked if you could be “sponsored.”  You are not sure what this means.  You only know that the woman works for an organization that has been working in your village–an organization that saved your baby sister Rosa’s life.  Food for the Hungry came in when she was suffering from chronic malnutrition and pneumonia and got her to a hospital quickly.  Your parents are so, so grateful.

Imagine they say, “Yes, please, please, let her be sponsored.”  Your parents tell you that by saying yes, your village will get more help.  More houses will get stoves and families spared from the smoke.  There will be better water.  Better schools.  Lives, like Rosa’s, will be saved.

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Sarah Matheny is an FH blogger who started blogging to share the joys, successes and laughs that come from raising a family with a love of veggies and a love of God. She’s published a New York Times best-selling memoir cookbook, “Peas and Thank You,” and continues to feed her readers their daily recipe and/or glimpse into life with the Peas at peasandthankyou.com.