You have made a difference in an area where people desperately want a better quality of life but are unable to get even basic health care. Sister Jane Buellesbach, M.M. shares with you the story of Guadalupe, one of many children in Guatemala that grow up praying to survive and holding on to hope for the chance at a better life:
“Years ago, Guadalupe’s mother decided to participate in the Health Promoters program which we have been running for some years. Guadalupe entered primary school in this rural village where she was taught in a classroom with two other grades (three in all). She loved studying and finished primary school with no trouble. Secondary school was a different story. The only thing available in her village was a radio school, which operated several hours a week. Guadalupe did very well, although the preparation was far from adequate for any further studies. Undaunted and inspired by her mother´s work in Health, she asked to go on and study professional nursing. Since she is one of five girls and her father only works as a farmer, there was no way her folks could afford such an expense. Because of her mother´s faithful, voluntary service to her community, she asked about the possibility of a scholarship for Guadalupe.
Thanks to friends and donors we agreed to sponsor Guadalupe. Once again she amazed us, overcoming insuperable obstacles. She wanted to help pay for her studies so looked for work cleaning houses in the late afternoon, after attending classes until 2p.m. Her evenings were spent studying. She saved every penny and was able to pay her own tuition, the scholarship providing books, uniforms, transportation and room and board. After her first year she was leading the class scholastically.
At the end of the year only 16 of the 160 students who started the course finished, and yes, you guessed it, Guadalupe was at the top. She is now in her last year of study looking forward to graduation and being able to work to help her younger siblings study as well as help with family expenses. She has a job offer after she graduates which is unheard of in this area. She is truly an extraordinary and remarkable young woman!” – Sister Jane
Sister Jane has established programs to involve the Guatemalans in becoming self-sufficient in matters of personal hygiene, preventive medicine and the treatment of parasitic and contagious diseases. A small medical team that traveled by horseback was developed to bring much-needed health care to people living in desperate poverty. Local residents are trained as certified health promoters who perform various medical tasks. The health volunteers are taught how to diagnose, treat, and prevent the most common diseases. A scholarship fund was set up to help train the volunteers.
Sister Jane has seen what can be accomplished when we not only bring in support services but also train local residents to help themselves. Together, we are making God’s love visible.