Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Casa de Esperanza

We are holding steady at four residents in our men's home, but even at that, we require 6 caregivers, working full-time shifts in rotations, to care for them.  God has blessed us with an amazing team of companion-caregivers who see our guys as a ministry opportunity as well as a "job."

Sometimes our patio looks like a junk yard, and
I feel I need to hang a disclaimer that the liquor bottles in the trash
are not from our consumption, but recycling!

Fidel is quite the entrepreneur.  He continues his recycling business, but invested some of the profits to begin selling small electronic accessories, such as phone cables and head phones.  Most of his first purchases were to our workers, but I hope he can make a go of it as people in the town find out what he is doing.

Osmi will graduate from high school this November after attending school on Saturdays in Santa Maria de Jesus.  He would love to attend university, but we are still trying to figure out how to make this happen.  The tuition, books, and fees would require quite a financial investment, and in addition, we would need to pay for special transportation for him into Antigua.  I don't doubt, for a moment, though, that if God wants this, He will make it happen.

Osmi in "white face" after participating in an activity
in Santa Maria de Jesus as a mime.
He sure doesn't show up this way, though,
when Ali, his girlfriend comes over.

Roberto is trying to earn a bit of money selling coconuts at the door to our home.  He buys 30 at a time, trims them down, pokes a hole in them and inserts a straw, and there you have a natural drink!  He still struggles with academic learning, and sometimes with his relationships with those in the home, but he really wants, and needs to be with us.

Roberto when we found him,
July 4, 2015
August 5, 2019

Moises--what can I say about Moy?  No matter how tired or down I might feel, he always can make me laugh.  He does not have a "outside job" (he's much younger than the other guys) but helps out a lot in maintenance and cleaning of the home.  It's a standing joke that whenever I ask him to do something, he says, "No!" and immediately goes and does it.  I say he's 22 (can you believe that) going on twelve, but that's what happens when you grow up in an institution.

Yes, that's Mosis STANDING next to Fidel.
He now walks around the table three times before
each meal, and his balance, control and gait are improving.

With the other activities I'm responsible for, I don't see the guys as much as I used to, and I miss them.  God has provided a wonderful house-manager in Brenda, and she keeps me constantly appraised about what is going on.

The home church, Rey de Gloria, continues under the leadership of Derrick and Brittany Burden.  They are amazing, Biblically grounded, and genuinely love the guys.  About once a month, Pastor Harold Salvador, a national pastor, comes and visits and preaches.  They are being well discipled.

The Burden Family with some of our guys

As you can see, Derrick is not a small guy,
and has a playful nature.
Perfect for our men.

Pastor Harold "preaching".
I love that our guys get to hear from a Guatemalan just who Jesus really is.

Often I am approached about taking other residents, but have had to say no.  It breaks my heart, knowing that really there is nothing like our home anywhere in the country, but to add more people would make us become more and more a small "institution" (even if we call it a home) and less of a family.  We could easily start another home, though, if we had the funds and could find qualified staff.

Eight residents, seven staff members, two friends
made turning 67 much less painful!

So, there you have it!  Recently I celebrated my 67th birthday (at my age I don't hide it but am proud I'm still around) with both the men and women who live with us was well as the staff who serves us so well.  As I looked down the table at the dinner, Fidel and I reminisced about my birthday 6 years ago when there were 3 of us at the table our rented house in Antigua. Now there are 18, in a house with own.  Not a bad six years progress.

And my birthday cakes could have burned down
a small village!

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