Doug Bursch is a radio host at 820 AM KGNW in Seattle. He traveled with Food For The Poor to Guatemala, where he met severely malnourished children, visited parents desperately trying to scrape together a living and witnessed Food For The Poor-supported nutritional centers at work.
What follows are excerpts from his Fairly Spiritual blog post about his trip.
Guatemala has a beauty, and a first glance tranquility, that can skew one’s perception of the dire poverty which permeates almost every hill and valley. Driving through the scenic mountains of Guatemala is a captivating journey. It’s a memorable experience due to the twisting roads, the volcanic mountain vistas, and the increasingly thin air.
At 10,000 feet above sea level, the breath and heart rate quicken. As I walk a dirt-road path to a house of desolation, my heart begins to resonate a deep, rapid rhythm, my breath becomes shallow and focused. It’s nothing severe, but I take notice of the change within me. This exaggerated biology could be explained by lack of exercise or the excitement of anticipating the unknown destination just a quarter-mile up the road. But it seems more than physiology and elevation. Instead, it’s as if my mortality understands the reality of the moment. The reality is that I am very much alive and full of life, and these families are very much dying.
Everyone will eventually die, but not this way. No, everyone will not, and should not, die this way. But at 10,000 feet above sea level, in the scenic hills of Guatemala, families are dying daily. They are dying physically, psychologically and spiritually. Poverty steals their dreams, stunts their growth, destroys their youth and takes away their children. Within the breathtaking vistas of the Guatemalan countryside, poverty is destroying lives made in the image of God.
So my breath, my heart and my soul testify to the truth that these mountains contain both beauty and devastating sorrow…
Our journey through Guatemala also showed us many signs of hope. We visited new communities where Food for the Poor had built houses and provided ways for sustainable living. Every day was a day of miracles among the ruins, joy within the sorrow, hope out of the ashes.
I don’t want to paint a bleak picture for the purpose of swaying your emotions. However, I don’t want to leave you settled. You and I need to be reminded of the truth of our health and prosperity. We need to do more than just remember the poor. We must abide with the poor and their burden must abide with us…
Please see them with the eyes of Jesus and donate today. Your gift of $44 will feed one child for a year.
To read Doug’s post in its entirety and see more photos, click here.