Beauty among despair

June 19, 2017 at 6:00 AM

mexico-intern1.jpgJalapa, Mexico, has beautiful views to offer, but Bethany Muyskens is realizing not everything there is beautiful. (Photo by Bethany Muyskens)

(Editor's note: Bethany Muyskens of Sheldon, Iowa, recently completed her junior year at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where she is a biology-health professions major. She is interning at Vida en Abundancia de Mexico in Jalapa this summer and periodically will be submitting blogs about her experience.)

Beauty among despair

By Bethany Muyskens

Jalapa, Mexico, is a beautiful city. Located quaintly in the mountains, there is a breathtaking view everywhere you look.

Despite its appearance, Jalapa is a city full of despair.

In the few days that I have been here, I have seen young mothers (as young as 13), children abused by their fathers, people addicted to alcohol and drugs, and families who can´t afford to send their kids to public school.

Amidst all the despair, Vida en Abundancia is a light to the city of Jalapa.

Dr. Jose Luis Guerrero began the ministry with hopes to practically love his neighbor and care for the poor. The ministry provides appointments with doctors, dentists, nutritionists, and psychologists for a very reduced price.

They teach classes for women who would like to learn the trades of cooking and sewing. They also have a school for children which provides additional help for those struggling in school. Each day they feed lunch to almost 30 kids. Additionally, they are active in local schools and communities, educating the members on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

I have the amazing opportunity to come alongside of this ministry in its mission.

In the mornings, I take blood pressures, weights and blood sugar readings of those waiting for doctors appointments, and in the afternoon, I help students in the classroom with math and reading (although I am certain that they are actually the ones teaching me).

Each day, I encounter more brokenness than I have experienced in my 20 years in the United States combined. But here I also see more trust in the Holy Spirit.

Despite all of the darkness, the Holy Spirit is at work in amazing ways. The love and passion the workers of Vida en Abundancia have for serving the community is only explainable through His presence, and I can´t wait to continue learning about of medicine, love and faith from them.


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