Lonely….. but with a purpose!
Wow… 2 weeks today my family & I landed back in Canada. Complete with warnings from so many people that our transition back into the Canadian culture would be difficult. Well I have to tell you that difficult does not even come close to describing what me and my family have been going through these past weeks. Incredibly, inconceivably brutal might be a tad bit closer to our reality right now. Every single thing about Canada feels foreign… even our own home feels a bit unfamiliar. It seems full of meaningless junk. Stuff…. tons of stuff that does nothing but weigh me down like I have an anchor tied to my neck. Stuff I have to clean and dust but serves no purpose. All seems pointless….. As I sit and think about it…. nothing has changed here… its all still the same… its us who have undergone a total and complete transformation.
I have at times been completely surrounded by people these past weeks. All with the best of intentions. I love them dearly. Make no mistake, I love my people here with all my heart. And I have loved every minute seeing them and catching up. But I find myself quiet now.. (and for those that know me, that is very unusual). I sit and I listen… its like my brain is moving in slow motion and it takes me a while to truly focus. Its only been 2 weeks and everyone says, don’t worry this will pass. Its the foreign nature of my surroundings that has me … um… weird I guess description for lack of a better word. Someone said to me, “perhaps its just too soon to be with people”. I took that to heart and have tried basically becoming a hermit this past week. Still feel the same. I finally pegged it down. I am lonely.
People in Canada are surrounded by people… they gather, they meet at Starbucks to talk, they communicate electronically through social media like Twitter and facebook, they text, they email etc etc…. but there is something missing. Community. True, REAL community. THAT is what I am missing. I can’t explain it unless you’ve lived it. But its real… and no matter how much you think you have community here, you do not. We segregate ourselves and our lives… We compartmentalize. We live in our homes…. we might chat with our neighbours, we gather with our friends…. but we do not have community. I miss community…. North America is a lonely place. Its not just me…. Geoff feels it… my kids are a mess right now. Surrounded by friends, school, family etc but they are so missing something that they cannot quite put into words. They don’t have to… I get it… I know what it is… and we together as a family have found an answer…..
We don’t want it to pass, we don’t want it to go away. We want it to thrive in us. We don’t want to be lonely anymore. Solution? Simple! We are going to follow where we feel we are being led. It doesn’t get any simpler. We have made a decision to turn our ministry into a full time, forever thing. Not a year or 2…. nope. We are going “ALL IN”. Our house will be sold, our belongings sold…. we are going to keep only the real memorable things that we simply cannot do without. Basically what can fit into a few meager boxes. We don’t need any more than that…. we have each other and our community. Good enough for me. Our plan right now is to live in Guatemala for 10 months of the year and return here to Canada for the summers. Simple as that!
Now, in order to go “ALL IN” we are going to need tons of help. We are still hoping for now to cover all our living expenses ourselves. I will be teaching english in Guatemala, that is already arranged. My boys are already all set up to do homeschooling. Geoff will be working on projects etc. We will find our way. Where we need you is where we always need…. financially. Every few days I get emails from Hermana Veronica… more kids have arrived… more on the way…. the rains are full force… the hospital is filling…. there isn’t enough money to help them all… etc etc… Oh how I wish I was there right now to help… I feel so utterly and completely helpless. We simply do not have the means to help by ourselves…. helpless is not a good place to be…. so here I am, taking the reins and making things happen. I cannot sit idly by anymore without asking people to make the tough choices… to commit. Words are great and we love and appreciate all the moral support, but we need so much more than that for the kids….. We need people like you to search your hearts and your lives and see if there is anything more you can do to help them.
The Hospitalito right now has well over 20 kids and more arriving weekly. We need to cover the hospital budget. They cannot function without money… they cannot serve…. they cannot save these kids if they don’t have the money to buy food. We need people to commit. To go “ALL IN” right along side us. We need people to say, enough, I am totally going for it. A monthly pledge can come right out of your bank account…. you won’t even notice. But others will notice. The precious kids will notice when more nutritious food shows up on their plates at meal times saving their lives. Im not guilting here… nor over-stating. I am merely stating the facts. If the money does not come in the kids will not have a shot. I’ve seen it. I’ve paid for funerals…. Trust me when I tell you I do not want to ever have to pay for another one.
In the next month or so we hope to have a website up and running. There will be options there too. Sponsoring a child that is currently in the hospital. Sponsoring a Hermana to get an education that can aid her to serve the poor better. Nursing, teaching, agriculture etc. Sponsoring a specific project that we can discuss and arrange, like for example an outdoor playground for the kids… etc. You could be responsible for saving a child’s life in any of these 3 ways for less than the cost of what we spend on things like Starbucks in a month. Doesn’t sound like too huge a sacrifice to me…..
In the mean time, if you want to get started right now… that is totally what we are looking for. The form to fill out can be found here…. click on it, http://www.ctenc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Commission-To-Every-Nation-Canada.pdf … print it out…. fill it out… put “The Doppenberg’s in Guatemala” at the bottom & mail it to CTENC at the address on the form, and just sit back and enjoy the pictures and updates we will send you regularly so you know exactly where your money is going. You will totally be a part of something that is beautiful beyond your imagination. Coming to Guatemala in person is something we always encourage so you can see and experience for yourself. Talk to someone who has come… we hosted 51 amazing people this year and every single one of them has been touched by the experience in some way. Consider coming down and seeing for yourself! The time is now!
There are so many plans in the works… a farm to provide fresh food and jobs… a new Hospitalito in El Salvador…. so many new and exciting things…. But we cannot move forward yet. We cannot until we have the existing hospital covered. Renovations are mostly complete on the building. It is up to snuff so to speak. This year was about getting it in better working order so that they could function better and save money. The time has come to get their financial situation in order. The monthly hospital budget is under $5000.00 for operating costs…. Imagine running a hospital in North America for that much? We need this budget covered by the people of Canada together with the people of Guatemala so that burden can be lifted from all of us and free us up to proceed forward on the path to El Salvador. Malnutrition knows no borders and El Salvador is not immune to this epidemic.
The average cost (without meds or medical tests etc) of having a child in the Hospitalito for one month is 1000 quetzals, which is $135.00. That is nothing! What would that number be in North America.. I shudder to think? I am not asking for anyone to pledge that amount of money, although it is totally do-able for most, we do understand that it may seem like a hefty number for one person… What I am asking is that you cover, monthly, a portion of that. We need to go to Guatemala and know that the Hospitalito is covered monthly. They have costs like lights, power, food, water, etc just like the rest of us. What they do not have is payroll. The Hermana’s and us are doing what we do because, in the words of Hermana Mercedes, “Some people were just born to serve the poor”. We will do without a paycheck… We will do without the luxuries. We will do without the commercial Christmas… we will do without whatever it takes to help. We are willing to do without stability in our lives in order to follow the path that we feel God has put us on. But we cannot do this alone. I have said it so many times before, “Will you help us, help them?”. Many people read this blog… many people watched the weekly videos we posted…. this stuff is not for entertainment. We do this so you can understand from afar exactly what we are all about. What it is that we do. We want to make it personal. This is NOT our families thing. This belongs to everyone who wants to be a part of it. Together we can walk, hand in hand, with God in the lead and make a difference. It is a choice… and the time has come to choose. We have now stood up and declared that we feel its not right to have these kids dying of starvation while our fridges and cupboards are full. There IS enough to go around. I am asking you now to stand with us and say, NO MORE!
Posted on May 26, 2012, in Guatemala Missionary, Uncategorized and tagged celebrate life, friends, grief, Guatemala, Hope, Malnutrition, mission, Missionary, Volunteers, World Impact, Youth. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.