The images rip into our hearts. Children with stoic faces, old beyond their years. Children whose young faces cannot quite hide the fear that peeks from behind the resolve. Growing up too soon. Possibly never to grow up at all. Risking life itself for a border crossing and an unknown future, because it has to be better than their future in Guatemala. They love their families, their homes, yet desperation and hopeless circumstance push them to leave it all behind. Parents making impossible choices. Children setting off on a dangerous journey. Their hopes and dreams no different than our own.
For those of us who know what it is to hear her story, to feel his small arms encircle your neck, to watch a mother anxiously await the return of her baby to her arms after surgery, this is not a political issue or a policy. It is painful and all too real.
The issues are complex, no solution easy. On one thing we can agree. Every single child is a child of God who is in need of our prayer, our compassion, our hands and hearts. Please join us in prayer for those in Guatemala and across this world who are afraid, have no home, face violence every day, who are sick and hungry.
And, thank you. Thank you for being a part of easing their pain, for the hope and the hugs that you bring to these incredibly strong and loving people each and every year. Your efforts make a difference in their lives in more ways than you can begin to imagine. Because with your care, you are telling them that they matter, they have value and they are loved by the One who shall never let them go, even when the world tells them differently. It may not seem like much in the face of the enormity of the challenges they face. But, don’t you believe it. It tells them, and reminds us, we are not alone.
In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. (United Church of Canada)
Rev. Linda L. McCarty
President and CEO
Faith In Practice