The Chortí, a small Mayan tribe, had been living isolated on the steep, eroded mountainsides of eastern Guatemala for centuries. As the country developed around them, they had become a downtrodden people. With overpopulation and no more land available, they had become a violent people. Fierce fighting often would break out between families to protect their meager resources. Droughts and crop failures were common, diseases and infant mortality were astronomical, and education was not available. Fear from the dark world shaped their culture and permeated their lives with stoicism and despair. They felt their cry for help was silenced – until God heard their cry.
An adventure began when Ray and Virginia Canfield, along with their three young children, responded to God’s call to go. They relocated forty-five Chortí families to a jungle village and lived among them, offering agricultural and medical help. Would these people be able to change and adopt new ways to improve their existence? Would they be willing to break away from centuries of traditions that held them hostage to despair and hopelessness? Would this daring relocation project succeed?
God began to work in miraculous ways as the Chortí opened their hearts to Jesus. While the missionaries poured their lives into helping them improve their physical and material lives, God extended a new hope to His people. And He had even greater plans for the future of His Chortí followers.