On February 11, 2015 I arrived in Guatemala at around 2:30 p.m. greeted by our passionate team and precious friends. We traveled to a local church in Guatemala City where we received 5 new water purification systems. The following day we drove about an hour to Palin to evaluate a potential new Hope Movement church-based feeding/ education center. You enter into this town with rundown cement buildings and unpaved roads and there you find a church like a lighthouse in troubled waters. We entered the church greeted by the Pastor and over 70 children who were reciting Bible scriptures. The children were well behaved and attentive to the Pastor’s words. While Pastor Neri shared a story about building your life on the rock and not the sand, the Pastor of this church came to me. He shared with me that these children come from a section of the city that is hidden, a mini city of houses made of rusted metal, nylon and cardboard. No electricity, no water, and no sanitation. He said that this feeding center will often be the only nutritious meal they will have all week. He shared from his heart how he is burdened for this community but has felt abandoned; he has felt alone in carrying this weight on his shoulders, until today when The Hope Movement family walked through the doors. I told him you are not alone, you were never abandoned and a new day has arrived for we are forever united. We then shared the vision with the children and their families, sang songs, prayed and had a simple but delicious lunch with the children. After the activities concluded I asked the Pastor if we can visit the community where these children live. We walked down a narrow alley and behind the cement building were a mini city of metal houses and mud filled streets. Rows of these houses on each side an impactful sight to behold and all of these children live here along with over 500 families. These are the people this feeding/ education center will impact; these are the ones whose lives will be transformed by the awesome power and love of Jesus Christ.
Joann Kidwell was a woman of intense faith in God. From her birth she had to faced horrific obstacles, but her strength led her through the storms of life to become a woman of example to everyone she came in contact with. Joann was born with cerebral palsy, and was abandoned by her parents at a young age. Raised by her aunt she grew up with physical difficulties and deep rooted pain from the lack of love by those around her, but she rose from the ashes of despair, reaching out to her Heavenly Father who became her everything in life.
Sandra is only 11 years old and she lives with her two younger sisters, her Mother, and her Grandmother in a aluminum one room hut that has no bathroom, no water, and no electricity which they built 8 months ago on an abandoned lot next to the Haven of Hope Center which was used by the neighbors as a trash dump where you could find used drug needles, and piles of trash. The children are from different men, her Mother does not work, and brings different abusive men into their one room shack each night.
Sandra was sponsored by Christian Children’s Fund, but her sponsorship ceased because they closed the office that was supporting her. A Christian family took Sandra into their home, and offered her a better life, a private school education, and her own room. But a year ago the child sponsorship stopped, and her Mother made her return to live with her so that little Sandra can work to support the family.
Sandra went from living in a Christian home with a room of her own, education, and hope for the better future, to living in a one room shack that has no bathroom, no water, and no electricity. Sandra works from early in the morning to late at night helping her family to survive. Her eyes are tired, her heart is heavy, and she longs for hope.
She has big dreams for the future, but her only hope is the Haven of Hope Center since there are no outreach centers or programs in Escuintla. This is a child who you can help by supporting us to make this vision into a reality.
Her name is Nayeli Esmeralda. She is 8 years old. When asked when her birthday is, she replied “I don’t know, all I know it has past”. Her eyes tell a story of a child who lost her Mother because she left her with family . A child living in extreme poverty, and is malnourished physically and emotionally. She holds your hand in a way that cries out Never Let Me Go! On New Years day 2010 we provided her with some new clothing, and shoes. When asked what are her dreams she replied, “To have my family united, and that the poor children will have clothes and food”.
This precious child who is suffering greatly set aside her own pain to think of others. Help us help her by supporting the Haven of Hope Center.
On November 18, 2009 the Hope Movement received a generous donation in the amount of $1,111.89 from a local church in Maryland for the purchase of shoes for our children in our outreach centers in the Amazon city of Iquitos, Peru which is currently serving over 200 children. Marta Noguera, the program director and Pastor of the Luz de las Naciones (Light of the Nations) Church in Annapolis, Maryland sent the funds to our center director, and on Saturday, December 5, 2009 the centers director Graciela de Flores went to the market in Iquitos, and came into contact with a store who had enough shoes for all of the children, and offered us a discount since we are purchasing many pairs of shoes. Because of this discount we will have some extra funds to have a beautiful Christmas Children's Party bringing joy and love to children who have faced difficult times in their short time on this earth, opening their eyes to their potential and the love of God.
39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Was Jesus being omniscient knowing what was about to happen fearing the agonizing physical pain and suffering or was it something much deeper?