An Ending and a New Beginning

In Jewish tradition there is a festival called Simchat Torah, Rejoicing with the TORAH. It is a fall holiday with two hallmarks - joyous dancing with the TORAH scrolls and completing the lectionary of reading from the Book of Deuteronomy and immediately beginning the reading of the Book of Genesis. This act of starting anew immediately is thereby both literal and symbolic.
So it was this year in Coban, Guatemala. After a decade of trips to this land of stunning vistas and beautiful souls, I turned the scroll of Guatemala to be read by a new leadership team and a new university. The holy words of Interfaith, Medical and Guatemala could not be in more caring hands than with Lauri, Richard, Eric, Stephanie, Kristen, and Roland. And, Regis University, our new academic and inspirational home.
The experience this year in Coban was a direct continuation of the work we began in Jamaica, Patanatic and San Lucas more than a decade ago. And yet it was incredibly different. We brought healing and hope where there was little We brought medical supplies where earnings would not allow their purchase. We brought goodness where governments showed indifference. We brought young minds to be mentored and taught by learned elders and experience.

Though many suffered from hypertension and diabetes, the hearts of those we saw were strong, their sweetness evident in every smile. We travel to Guatemala to affect change, we return changed to our core.

But this year rather than inventorying and warehousing our supplies, we left them for Comunidad Esperanza to continue our work during the year. We taught the young staff of Padre Sergio how to apply their gifts of compassion and love to the health care needs of the Coban community. How incredible it was to see a clinic being literally built around us, medical supplies and shelves of glasses left for the school and the surrounding community.

Many of our best young people are often asked when they will start establishing a family? In March of 2020 our beautiful young students began that very task. I could not be more proud of my young charges.

The medical team and new generations of Regis students will be back. The holy scroll has been opened and read. It is being rewound to begin creation again. May God bless the work of their hands. May God bless Guatemala. Thank you God for my blessings.

Gracias a dios,

Rabbi Abie 


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