Buckner Guatemala gives new eyes to local family

Four-year-old Oseas was playing in the yard with his older brother in the quiet community of San Luis Puerta Negra in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala. The boys roamed around the large yard, exploring and playing with each other. When 6-year-old Emanuel found a machete, he started swinging it around playfully pretending to mow the lawn. Interested, Oseas tried to get closer to watch and the tip of the machete pierced Oseas’ right eye.

When she heard their screaming and cries, Aracely Marroquin Tortolia, the boys’ mother, frantically raced outdoors. She found Oseas’s eye bleeding profusely. She was able to contact her husband, Edwin Rolando Marroquin, at his job and they went together to the hospital.

“It was very difficult,” Aracely said with tears running down her cheek. “And thank God my husband was here.”

Oseas was hospitalized for a week and had several check ups with an ophthalmologist for the following month. Though the doctors tried everything, Oseas was blinded and his eye continued to deteriorate.

“That was something that was very hard to accept,” Aracely said. “I didn’t know it had been that bad of an accident. I started crying. I started praying to have the means to be able to accept that.”

As the years went by, Oseas was suffering. The bones around his right eye were growing slower than his left side, causing his face to deform. The condition would only get worse as he got older. A prosthetic eye would help, but that would cost 5,000 Quetzales (equivalent to about $650). Oseas’ parents were devastated. Though Edwin had a stable job in construction, they couldn’t afford it.

Emotionally, Oseas was having a difficult time as well. The children in his school often made fun of him, calling him names and teasing him about his eye. Often he would come home from school crying, begging his mother not to send him back to school.

About this time, Aracely stated attending a sewing class offered by the Buckner Family Hope Center in San Jose Pinula. As the family continued to participate in the Hope Center programs, Buckner Family Coach Lesbia Castillo worked on a family plan to improve the Marroquin’s financial, spiritual and physical health. Aracely confided in Lesbia about Oseas’ need for a prosthetic. The Hope Center was able to provide the cost needed for the operation.

Since getting the prosthetic eye, Oseas, now 8, is much happier and is improving in his schoolwork.

“I know these blessings are because of those people who came here to pray. I’m very, very thankful,” Aracely said. “God is very good. Sometimes I want to cry of how thankful I am and realize how good God is to us.”

Since the Marroquin family has entered family coaching, they have improved their physical and spiritual health.

“We have seen a positive change in the family in all areas,” Lesbia said. “We have seen how the family’s faith has grown. And just like how the center says, ‘Hope shines here,’ I do believe that applies to this family, because thankfully we have been able to show them there is hope beyond what they are going through.”

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