Saturday, November 24, 2018

Giving Tuesday 2018--Reason #4 to Support Reason to Hope


The above picture shows our "extended family" at Thanksgiving Dinner.  It has become a tradition at Reason to Hope to invite all our staff and their families to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, to demonstrate how thankful we are for their hard work and presence in our lives.  This year was no different, and as November approaches the residents and staff begin asking what I will cook this year.  We serve a typical American style Thanksgiving dinner, highlighting roasted turkey, which is not how turkey is usually cooked here.  Do they enjoy it?  Well, this year we went through two 18+ pound turkeys, 10 pounds of camote (Guatemalan sweet potatoes), 10 pounds of marshmallow salad, and stuffing using 4 bags of croutons.  Not to mention the four pumpkin pies with whipped cream.  There was scarely a bite left when we were done, so I guess they liked the food.
It is no small feat to provide jobs for this many Guatemalans--we are actually one of the larger employers in our village if you don't count the sack factory next door.  This is a "hidden" aspect of our ministry, equipping and empowering Guatemalans to support their families and serve their countrymen, but a critical part of developing a sustainable ministry in this country.  Salaries make up the largest single part of our monthly budget, averaging between $1600 and $2000 each month.  In addition our workers are, by law, paid bonuses in June and December, both equal to one month's salary.  It adds up very quickly.

If you would like to help "sponsor" a worker, rather than a needy family, this is your chance.  Click here to make a one time gift or set up a monthly donation to offset the cost of their salaries.  The folks in the pictures below are depending on us.

Marcela, who helps with housekeeping, is one of the mothers
from our Mom"s Support Group in Santa Maria.
Brody, her son, has a seizure disorder, and graduated from New Life.

Vicente, one of our companion-caregivers, shown here with his family.
He is from Santa Maria de Jesus, and his son, Cristofer, graduated from New Life.
His wife, Juana, is also part of our Mom's Group.

Brenda, the manager of Casa de Esperanza, with her husband
and one of her two daughters.  She is the sole support of the family,
which is attempting to rebuild their life after losing everything
with the eruption of the Fuego Volcano last June.

Pastor Roberto with his wife Rosa, Brenda's parents.
Roberto has constructed the outreach center addition at
Casa de Esperanza, and is our general "handyman."
The young man seated to the right of Rosa is
one of the singers who performed at a benefit concert
for Reason to Hope in September, 2017.

Kevin is our newest staff member, who covers any open shift
and fills in wherever needed.  He is our "utility player."

You can barely see Cesar over Roberto's head, but he is truly family
to us.  He lived with us when we first started the home and he was still
in high school.  Now, he has graduated university as a physical education
teacher but still chooses to work for us on the weekends.
Somehow I managed to miss getting pictures of Mario and Dani.  If you knew them, you'd know I can't imagine how I missed them, given their strong personalities and even stronger sense of humor.

We will begin sending Mario to university
in January to begin his training as a
physical therapist.  He will work weekends
with the guys at the house.

Here Dani is preparing to take three of the guys to camp.
He only wishes he could drive our vehicle!

I never know what to expect from our staff, but I do know that I can depend on them to always go above and beyond to make Casa de Esperanza the best it can be!  We are blessed by each one of them.

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