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Staff Stories: Daniel Ben

Staff Stories: Daniel Ben

We're excited to continue sharing more pictures and stories from our staff members, each of whom has adapted to the changes required by this unprecedented time, and who are contributing in so many meaningful ways to Mission Guatemala's goal to continue to "do all the good we can!"

This week, we're sharing a story from Daniel Ben, Mission Guatemala's Team Coordinator.

By Daniel Ben

First of all:

I am thankful to God for life and thankful for the opportunity that Mission Guatemala is giving us to express how we feel during this time of the pandemic.

My family and myself are doing well. It is an adjustment time for everyone here in Guatemala and also, I think, around the world.  I'm so thankful for life, for family and for friends I've made along the way these years. I’m enjoying the extra time with my family. The restrictions in Guatemala are up and down and there are a lot of adjustments, but we are adapting to this new normal for now.

I pray that each of you are doing well physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Second: 

I feel emotional typing this message to you all because this year is different from other years. This pandemic has changed things in our plans for this year. Here in Guatemala there is a lot of fear within the people because of the coronavirus. 

The pandemic has affected the style of life we are used to. 

Being part of Mission Guatemala's family, it has been a blessing for me because I've met lots of amazing people. I miss every team I've served with over the years. Each volunteer I've worked with has made/left a footprint in my heart. Every week working beside teams is a week of a lot of fun, play time, laughter, good work, and a good tired. Preparing and putting things together for teams is the best investment of a lifetime. I miss all of this.

Third: 

This year has been full of surprises. Who knew that this year was going to be a year of challenges? This pandemic has altered our roles at Mission Guatemala. Under the director's leadership we have been adjusting to new roles. 

My new roles at Mission Guatemala are:

* Help make face shields (for doctors)

* Help make mask (many many steps to get the final product)

* Help make lab coats and pants.

These roles are new for me and I have had good teachers like Abby teaching me how to use the sewing machine, and Dave teaching me how to use new tools to get the face shields done. Dave and Abby are good teachers. They have lots of patience and this makes it easier to learn. The positive thing about this year is I am acquiring new skills. I have to admit that one of my fears was the sewing machine. I've heard stories about sewing your fingers and guess what, I almost sewed my finger lol (well, the needle hit my finger), but I learned and am more careful. 

It is amazing to contribute with these new roles and to see the final product. I enjoy seeing the PPE on doctors and nurses and also seeing the indigenous people wearing the masks to protect themselves from the Coronavirus. 

Fourth:

I know you would have loved to be here, in your first or second home GUATEMALA. But we know it is not possible this year. So stay at home, stay healthy, save your energy, enjoy time with your family and when this is over, God willing, we will see each other to make more memories, because Guatemala, Lake Atitlán, the communities, worksites, and staff will be here waiting for you.

Thank you for your support, thank you for being part of this change because it wouldn’t be possible for us to be making a difference without your help. I’m so thankful to Mission Guatemala for not letting go of their employees; Mission Guatemala is more than just work, it is home and family.

Fifth:

I hold on to the hope and I know for sure at the end of all this situation there is a huge light to shine on our paths until we meet again.

I pray for everyone’s lives and I miss you all. May God take care of you, your family, and your jobs. Blessings on all the different aspects of your life!

Don’t forget the protocols for taking care of yourself and of your family.

Sending each of you a big virtual hug...