For the celebration of International Women’s Day here in Panajachel, a new T shirt design was introduced. Written in Spanish on the front and in Kaqchikel (a local Mayan dialect) on the back, the words mean “I do believe you”. These words come from the supporters of three women who have filed charges with the local police against men alleged to be using a date rape drug on their victims. There have been attempts to sideline these cases, pushing them to the bottom of the pile, or — simply losing them. This is a common occurrence in Guatemala. The women have endured threats, endless interrogations and delays with the hope that they will drop their cases against the seemingly affluent defendants. They are standing strong, but I have seen in their eyes how hard it is. Two weeks ago, I was part of a group of nearly thirty individuals who stood in support of these women at a court building in Solola that is dedicated solely to women’s violence cases. Only two supporters were allowed in the courtroom because the room is so small. The rest of us stayed outside and quietly expressed our hope that these cases will finally be granted a fair trial. I never thought this would be part of the mission work I would do here in Guatemala, but it definitely was where God asked me to be. Please pray for these women while they go through this experience, for the other victims that were too afraid to come forward and for all of the women of Guatemala who face violence every day.
Update: The Lage Family will be visiting during the month of September! We are anxious to meet with as many of you as possible to share our stories and express our gratitude for all of your thoughts and prayers. Blessings to all as you enjoy the rest of your summer!