Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bringing Their Son's Body Home

On only their second day in Petén our interns went with Jimmy to take the Macz family to go exhume their son's body in Sayaxche, an hour away. 34 people fit in our microbus!
The Macz son's name was Lucas and he was only 19 when he died. The story is that he was involved in a bar fight late one night and was found the next day drowned in the river. We have never met him since he did not live in Santa Rita but his father, brothers, sister, and niece (Claudia who just accepted Christ) come faithfully to Jimmy's Bible study. His mother has never been.

Jimmy had already driven the family (30 people) there almost a month ago but the judge wasn't there to release the body. This poor family had to wait for weeks after they had already prepared themselves emotionally (as much as you can) to identify the body of their son and bring him home.
This was Lucas' grave in Sayaxche. The man in the blue shirt is José, his dad.

They had to dig up his body.
This is his mother. The boys and I did not go that day. It was at this point going through the photos that I started crying too. I cannot imagine having to live through something like this. It is even worse for them. Where is their hope? I don't want anyone to have to go through something like this without hope. How could your heart not be broken for these people now?
Lucas' body was in a bag. The stench was so bad that people started running out of the cemetery. Jimmy tore off grapefruit tree leaves to put under his nose to smell... this was an idea that became very popular.
They took his body out of the bag and sealed it in the metal box. Then they placed that box inside the casket.
Then everyone made the trip back to Santa Rita and there was a brief service for him in the Macz' home. The service was a mix of Catholic and Mayan traditions. A Mayan witch doctor that lives in Santa Rita spread incense around the grave.
This is where they put his casket, it was a cemetery way back in the jungle behind Santa Rita. In Guatemala they bury people above ground.
We were very thankful that God gave us a small way to minister to this family during such a painful time. This was an opportunity to connect with so many people in the village beyond just his family since everyone was there and Jimmy got to talk to so many people. It is through meeting outward needs that builds the relationships needed to minister to their inward needs. This is accomplished much more effectively in these personal acts of service than in giving handouts.
(This is Jimmy talking to a man that has just moved into Santa Rita while waiting for the family to do some legal paperwork. That is our micro that the family members road in and friends of the family road in the back of that big truck that belongs to Santa Rita.)

We do not know what Lucas did with Christ while he was alive, but we do know that some of his family members now have Hope; their lives will be different. Please pray for Lucas' family as they are mourning their son and pray that soon more of his family will come to know the Lord.

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: Footlong caterpillars!

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