Tyson and I wanted to make you aware of an ongoing situation happening here in Guatemala. As of this writing, we are on day 10 of protests and the outcome of these historic events is uncertain at this time. This is civil unrest due to political issues. At this time, more and more Guatemalans are joining together to demand the removal of certain people in governmental power, stating they want the corruption to end.
At one point, there were 140 human blockades around the country, blocking passage of all major highways. According to the news, many people are making their way to Guatemala City. There are food and fuel shortages, public transportation has been minimized or ceased and many businesses are closing early or closed completely during this time. There are people without access to transportation in order to earn their daily wages, which means there are people without access to food. Many Guatemalans buy their food daily. Those who have money for food are faced with little to no food at the tiendas OR the cost of food has risen exponentially due to supply and demand. The president has warned the people that force will be used to remove the protests, however, thankfully, police presence has seemed to be mild mannered, only using tear gas so far.
Our hearts are hurting for all that is happening. We want to communicate that we are safe. While we have experienced some inconveniences reminiscent of the country wide shut down during COVID, we are doing well. We have been having online meetings, checking on people, making sure people have groceries, praying and playing baseball in the evenings to keep us occupied. Even with everything happening, we have some really great opportunities shaping up for 2024. More on that to come....
We are keeping up with news the best we can tell as gringos, except for some extortionists and a few people who infiltrated the protests, these blockades seem to be peaceful, beautiful and even comical at times (albiet, not so funny for those trapped for hours by the blocks ).
Today, we saw news of blockades made with SO MANY beautiful bright yellow flowers. We have seen singing and dancing. We have seen other Guatemalans bring food and water to their people standing in the protests. We have seen several videos of the protestors asking the motorists to dance in order to pass. In the last instance that we saw, a gentlemen took the microphone and said he wasn't going to dance but instead he shared the Good News of Jesus Christ. The unfortunate part is that the blockades are also hurting many Guatemalans. Watching everything unfold has been a mixture of emotions, from pride for the people standing up for their rights, to concern for the way things have unfolded and could continue to unfold, to amazement at the heart of these beautiful people.
The world feels very chaotic at the moment. We don't pretend to know or understand everything, however, we DO know the One who does. We are praying for you, for Israel, for our beloved friends of Guatemala, and quite frankly, the world. Family, don't lose heart. Even in the chaos, He is faithful and we can trust Him.
Would you join us in prayer?
In His Love & Service,
Tyson & Carrie Long