AMG November Newsletter

For those of you who might not receive AMG's monthly newsletter, there is a great article on 2 boys from our "Las Vistas" project (one of our Guatemala City projects).

Huelepega (Glue Sniffers)

I went running one morning this week and got caught in the rain. I walked up the hill from the track to a small building with an overhanging roof in order to escape the rain. A few minutes later a man (probably in his late 20's) joined me. I greeted him and we exchanged typical small talk. He then lifted a filthy plastic bottle with a sticky yellow substance in the bottom of it to his mouth and inhaled deeply. I was surprised at how "un-surprised" I am becoming with experiences like this. Here I was standing alongside a drug-addict...using his drug alongside me. I said a prayer and then decided to talk with him. I asked him what he had and what he was doing with it. He explained that he lived there at the "polideportivo" (sports complex) and spent his days looking for more "cemento or pega" (glue) to put in his bottle and inhale. I asked him why he would want to live this way and he shared some of his life with me... abandoned by parents early in life, relatives that wanted nothing to do with him, life in the streets... he told me there was no love in this life. I was deeply sad talking with this man.

When you ask many youth (or adults) why they started using drugs or alcohol they generally respond with something like "I just wanted to try it" or "I was curious as to what it felt like"... the answer you get from men like I met is a little different. Glue/adhesive inhaling is a serious problem wherever there is extreme poverty or hopelessness. These people use glue, not because they wondered what it was like, but because from day 1 they wanted to "feel nothing" or "stop the bad feelings". My friend at the track, Jorge, uses glue in order to "leave this world for a bit". What Jorge and the millions of other users don't necessarily realize (or maybe they do) is that sniffing glue causes irreversible brain, liver and kidney damage and is extremely difficult to stop using.

I spent an hour with Jorge and even prayed with him. He seemed genuinely touched that this "gringo" would take the time to be with him. I talked with him about God and the Joy that comes from living in His service. He told me that he knew of God, having visited several churches in the past, but then got a bit irritated with me and said 3 times "Dios no existe!" I calmly but firmly told him that yes indeed God exists and would like to help him change his life and experience true love... there are two words in spanish for our word "to know" conocer and saber. Saber is to know information... conocer is TO KNOW a person, area,ect... I explained that many people know of God (saber) but KNOWING him (conocer) is about having a relationship with him...accepting his direction...spending time in prayer...following his commands...that life with God is different and holds the hope of an eternity of pleasure in his presence.

I will look for Jorge each time I go to the track and pray for God's direction in how I could help him. Having little experience with drug-addiction and homelessness, I am going to seek some advice on what might be available for this poor soul. Pray for Jorge and others trying desperately to escape the pain of a lifetime of rejection and poverty.

Halloween Costa Rica Style

With our limited supply of "costumes" we were able to dress up Eve as a ballerina, Jordan as Pocohontas, Jordan as Batman and Brody as Batman's assistant. They do not trick or treat in C.R. so we all got together, had pizza and then had a campfire in my friend's garage. People looked at us like we were nuts as they passed by and saw us sitting around a fire in the garage. We had a wonderful night with several other missionary families.

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Fun at Home

Brody loves to build forts in the living room using the sofa and his blankets. Eve was reading to Brody in the middle picture (in their fort). She was speaking her unique blend of gibberish, spanish and english... giblish?
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