|Soon to open women's house|
We need a name
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.
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|
|But we still need beds and furniture|
We estimate our monthly expenses to be as follows:
Rent and maintenance: $675
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.