Dolls Repaired by Maria the “Doll Lady” Now Available

The Guatemala City Dump is the largest in Central America. 24 football fields would fit within it’s walls. 11,000 people live near and work in the dump as a means for survival. It is here where we found one of the central figures in our documentary.

Maria Del Fina Hernandez – affectionately known as the “Doll Lady” uses micro-finance loans from the Potter’s House to buy discarded doll parts, which she cleans, repairs and eventually sells for a small profit. Her story makes the perfect visual metaphor for ‘Reparando’.

Athentikos supports Maria’s micro-enterprise by selling her dolls in our online store. Each doll is uniquely hand-made by Maria and is a tangible reminder of how God repairs the broken. You can purchase yours today.

Watch the video:

Our Guatemalan team recently visited Maria and asked her a few questions on camera. In this video, Maria expresses her gratitude for your help.

Road Trips

If gas wasn’t so expensive, I would recommend that everyone take a road trip at least once a month. I love road trips and often get emotional when taking one. Perhaps I am simply nostalgic – especially when traveling through places I traveled earlier in life. Perhaps it is because I am normally so busy that it is a relief to just sit behind the wheel of a car, watch the landscape pass by and simply remember …

We recently took a couple trips through familiar places to exhibit our documentary, ‘Reparando’. These trips wore me out physically, but they inspired me in many ways. I tried to remember back when I was a child on road trips with my family. Many of the details are now a blur, but I have been able to savor a few vivid details. I remember the distinct smell of my family’s van on hot summer trips from Virginia to Texas back in the early 80’s. The icy air-conditioner blew on my face like a winter blizzard and made my eyes water. I remember imagining I was riding a motorcycle, racing over the hills and jumping ravines next to our vehicle. Somehow this “motorcycle” could fly and I would zoom over the hills and up the mountains. My mind would then imagine being the first explorer to ever set foot in this new territory. As I look back, there were a couple mountains that always stood out to me. I always marked the progress of our journey by these peaks that reached up to the heavens in East-Tennessee.

Somehow we all seem to grow up and have less time to see things the way we did when we were children. But every once in a while, we are blessed with a memory that sparks new thoughts. As we traveled to Philadelphia a couple weeks ago, we drove through east Tennessee and I noticed these same peaks in the distance. They still look the same, but many other landmarks have changed. I noticed new sights (buildings, overpasses … etc.). I also noticed the absence of some familiar landmarks that were evidently removed in the wake of development (most noticeably, the huge Guitar building outside of Bristol).

I had this moment while my wife and children were asleep (they often sleep on trips). As I looked up, I couldn’t help but notice the white clouds dancing across the deep blue sky and it dawned on me. These vapory ghosts are always changing, but I rarely take the time to notice; at least not recently. I have been too busy with work … important work … but work that many times imprisons my mind. These clouds reminded me of the need to do more than take mental pictures of things around me as I plow through a mountain of to-do’s. They challenged me to take breaks, engage with my family and friends and reflect on the things I should be thankful for. This is easier said than done for all of us as North Americans. We are born to be busy. It’s in our DNA. However, James 4:14 says “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”

I’m just a white cloud dancing across the sky against the backdrop of an unchanging mountain.

Life is short. I need to focus on what matters … and if need be, I’m ready for another road trip.