Sunday, December 30, 2018

Partnering with Reason to Hope

In June, 2010, Pat Duff move to Guatemala with a passion to serve the poor and disabled in this Central American Country.  Since that time, she has founded Reason to Hope, Inc. and now employs a staff of six full-time and two part-time Guatemalan employees.

With all the “worthy causes” competing for donations, especially at this time of year, it’s hard to know how to direct your giving where it will be used effectively and efficiently. 

God has called us to care for a group of people that is often forgotten and frequently neglected or rejected.  Those with physical, emotional or cognitive limitations who live in Guatemala.  As an American, it is often difficult to understand the challenges and even abuse those who are different face in this country.  The government provides no assistance to them or their families.  The churches don’t know how to respond to them.  Their neighbors wish they would live somewhere else.

I could share story after story about my friends with disabilities that would break your heart and hopefully anger you.  The disturbing thing is that, for these friends of mine, this is their daily life living in a country where they truly are the “least of these.”  They are an unreached and unwanted people group in every sense of the word.  God has charged our ministry to reach them, value them, then go a step further and care for them.  To do this we need your help.

It's as simple as that.  

If you give to Reason to Hope, this chart shows how we are using your donations.




To meet the various needs we found among the disabled in Guatemala we developed different strategies which we use in our ministry:


COMMUNITY LIVING




Our new Assisted Living Home
for women with disabilities
on the outskirts of Antigua

Can you help us name our new home?
Casa de Esperanza, an Assisted Living Home
for men with disabilities
located in San Pedro Las Huertas
outside Antigua Guatemala

EDUCATION

Pat serves on the Administrative Team
of New Life School in Santa Maria de Jesus.
She offers teaching training and consultation services
based on her 30+ years experience teaching special education.

Reason to Hope also provides scholarships 
to those with special needs and 
those training to work with 
the disabled 


VOCATIONAL TRAINING

& JOB COACHING

Fidel has started his own small recycling business and
"employs" Moises and Roberto to help with the things he
can't do independently.

Additionally, we are forming partnerships with other
NGO's in Guatemala to further our residents
job opportunities.


FAMILY SUPPORT


Through nutritional support and
educational scholarships
we help families prevent disabilities and
care for their children with special needs
in their own homes.

These ministries are made possible through the donations of our financial partners. One hundred percent of all funds received do directly to the mission field.  We receive no support or assistance from the Guatemalan government or social services to serve these special individuals.


If you would like to join us in serving the least of these, you can send a donation to:


Reason to Hope, Inc.

P. O. Box 284

Elkhorn, NE 68022

or donate on-line at
ReasontoHope.org



Reason to Hope, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

Opening Doors, January 2019

Soon to open women's house
We need a name
Any suggestions?
While it has been a desire of mine for many years now to have a community home for women with special needs, the timing never seemed right. It seems the home has taken on a life of its own now that God has given us the go ahead.

It has been scary to look at opening another home when our income just covers what we need for the men's home.  However, when we started the men's home, we didn't have the funding for it, and God has been faithful as we have been obedient.  We trust Him to do the same as we open our doors to women.

I knew two of our graduates from New Life School needed a home in which they could continue to develop their potential.  While both of these young women have families in Santa Maria who care for them, they needed a safer environment than their families could provide.  They had been on my heart for months, and my move to a house in Panorama, just outside Antigua, seemed to be a step in being able to care for them.

The actual events leading to opening this home began when Elsa, my landlady, offered me the house across the driveway from my home, at a more than reasonable rent, considering our location close to Antigua.  We had talked about my desire to open a women's home, and I had heard that she had "plans" for the house which would be come available in November.  I put a fleece out to God that if she brought it up, I would move forward.  She did and I have.

When I talked to both of the young women and their families, they immediately said they were interested in living with us.


Petronila has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair.  She is completely independent in self-care and wants to start a small business since she has graduated from high school.  Our location will give her the opportunity to do this.


Griselda has Down Syndrome and, while she can care for herself, needs supervision and help with decision making.  Having only begun to speak about a year and a half ago, she needs continued education and speech therapy. 

Both of them excited to move in and begin their new adventure.


Leah West, a young missionary from Tennesee who works with Building Guate, had been living in the house with the missionaries who had rented it previously.  She has agreed to stay on to help the women transition to "city" living.  Oh, yes, it just so happens that she has a degree in special education! Her main focus will continue to be serving with Building Guate, and she hopes to involve Griselda in serving there also.

With these first three residents, we were ready to begin.  God confirmed this decision with a gift from a friend of our ministry to help us set up and furnish the house.  We were on our way.

As I looked at 2019, it seemed once again my workload would be increasing significantly with the need to be hands-on in my oversight of the new home.  I felt a burdened by this new responsibility, but was ready to take on the challenge.  Last week I discovered why I had felt burdened by this.  It was not my challenge to take up!


At dinner on Christmas Eve, Marilyn Salazar, the daughter of our house manager at Casa de Esperanza, surprised me by saying she wanted to come and live at the women's house and help out.  She has agreed to manage the daily running of the house, including meal preparation and helping Griselda and Petronila as needed.  Her previous work at a home for girls with special needs makes her uniquely qualified for this role.  She initially offered to work as a volunteer, but, considering the responsibilities she is willing to assume, I believe we need to give her a small stipend in return for her service.  She will be moving in January 8th to help set up the house.


Completing the group who will live at the home is Flor Raxjal, the daughter of our principal at New Life School.  Flor is studying preschool teaching and will be doing her practicum in the Antigua area.  She lives about two and a half hours from here, so will be with us during the week to make her studies a bit easier this year.

Our kitchen is equipped
So, God has provided a full house. Again, we will have able-bodied women as well as those with special needs living in community and sharing life together.  I get to be part of this new endeavor, and still maintain my personal living space.  Only our God could so perfectly orchestrate this new beginning.
But we still need beds and furniture




We estimate our monthly expenses to be as follows:

Rent and maintenance:  $675
Electricity $75
Food  $300
Phone and internet $50
Stipend for volunteer $150
Personal needs of two permanent residents $100

You can see that this will increase our monthly budget by about $1400.  If you would like to become a part of giving these women a change to live independently and develop their potential, we welcome your one time donation or monthly gift.

You can donate on-line or send a check to:

Reason to Hope, Inc.
PO Box 284
Elkhorn, NE 68022.

We appreciate your gift of any amount, and all donations are tax-deductible.