Partner with us to empower the poor and disabled in Guatemala to achieve their potential through the ministry of REASON TO HOPE, INC.

To help you understand our specific needs we have developed a 

to share with you our specific needs at this time.  The year 2017 has been a challenging one for us financially due to unexpected expenses and significant medical needs on the part of the residents of Casa de Esperanza. We need your help to continue and expand our services in 2018.

Will you partner with us to bring HOPE to these neglected and forgotten individuals?

Black Friday???? Giving Tuesday??? A Balanced Perspective

I am realizing this year more than ever the truth of calling this day Black.  Even in Guatemala, a land where two-thirds of all children live in poverty, the consumerism of this day has taken over.  In fact, though Guatemala does not celebrate Thanksgiving, we now have Black WEEKEND, devoting three entire days to worship at the altar of materialism. How sad I am that, along with humanitarian assistance to developing countries, we have imported the worst our culture has to offer.  The belief that materials things can make us happy, that we deserve the best, that we need to have more.

I am in the US for Thanksgiving this year, and for the first time in eight Thanksgivings am having the "pleasure" of having my senses bombarded by Black Friday advertising and the out of control desire of our culture to have "just a little bit more." Now we cannot wait until "zero dark thirty" on the Friday after Thanksgiving to begin our consumer craziness, we open the stores Thanksgiving evening to get a jump on our conspicuous consumption. It makes me sad.

And it convicts me.  I am not immune to this social disease.  While I may only be shopping at Dollar Tree, I am still overcome by what I see and how quickly I want more.  It doesn't matter that I might want it for "the ministry," these are still things which we have gotten along without just fine for the past seven plus years.  Yet, now because I know something is available, I FEEL like we can't live without it.

So what is the response of a Christ-follower to this? 

I have not known. I have struggled with a balanced attitude toward money. I have felt guilt for the relatively wealthy life-style in which we live even in Guatemala.  I have struggled with asking for donations because I hate asking others to entrust me with their money to use for our ministry. I struggle each time I make a purchase to determine if we really need what I am buying.

Then, last week,  I heard Nick Failla preach what was probably the best teaching I have ever heard on finances.  I encourage you to watch the link I am sharing below to get the full effect and benefit from the wisdom God gave him in teaching on this hot topic.

To summarize Nick poorly, I encourage you to ask yourself just one question:  Am I using the resources God has given me to advance His kingdom or build my own?  Nick's take on this may surprise you, but I know it's worth your time to watch it. Click the picture below.

Re-evaluating my values

Sunday morning, when I went to church, I could not find a parking space.  I decided to go to the overflow parking at a nearby shopping center and ride the shuttle over.  When I got there I was disappointed to see the shuttle was not there.  (In fairness, I had arrived between services, and the second service had not let out to make room for those coming to the third.)

Not knowing for sure when the shuttle would return, I decided to go to a coffee shop in the same shopping area and splurge on a cup of flavored coffee.  It is rare that I allow myself this luxury, but being in the States, it seemed a normal thing to do.  I ordered my coffee, a small one at that, and was astounded to be told it would be $4.98!  That's twice what I would pay for the same cup of coffee in Guatemala, and I have to admit, I was taken aback, and somewhat convicted at the same time.

You see, that is what an average "camposino" or farm worker in Guatemala would make on a good day.  Many earn less.  And here I had just paid that for 12 oz. of coffee (perhaps harvested by these same workers who receive $13 for 100 pounds of beans) without really giving it a thought.  The coffee was a little bitter in my mouth, and it wasn't because of the brew.  

Now, do I think it's wrong to buy a cup of coffee? Of course not.  What I began to contemplate was how, after just a little more than a week in the States, I had spent $5 without giving it a thought.  How I had acclimated to the culture around me so quickly.  And I have to admit, it broke me. We have limited resources in the ministry, and in Guatemala I would never spend $5 in such a cavalier manner.

Please don't think I'm suffering for Jesus down there.  I live in a simple apartment by US standards, but it is luxurious compared to my neighbors.  Do I allow myself creature comforts?  I do.  I even splurge on a $2.50 cup of flavored coffee once in a while when funds are available.  (I also buy Coca-cola for the guys to enjoy.)  But it is not an every day occurrence done without a second thought.

What we think of as luxury in the US
A luxury "dream home" in Guatemala

What convicted me the most was the many years I spent money so casually on things that I thought I needed.  It never occurred to me that I was being extravagant in comparison to the majority of the world.  When presented with an opportunity to share with those who had less, I would struggle, worrying that I would not have enough left for myself and my family.  I have to shamefully admit, I was a tight-fisted giver, giving out of obedience to the Word, but not with joy.

Why am I sharing this?  First and foremost, to hold myself accountable.  In seven years in Guatemala God has changed my ideas of stewardship and taught me that much of what I thought was a need was really a luxury.  And, in a few short days, I fell right back into my previous ways.  It was a humbling experience which I don't want to repeat.

I am also sharing this, however, to challenge the multitude of people who "want to give to XYZ ministry but just can't afford it." Really?  What if you intentionally sacrificed a latte a week?  That would free up $20 a month to give to those who need it much more than you.  What if you forego dinner out once a month, and give that money to the organization God has been putting on you heart for so long?  What if you're on a limited budget, and only have $5 to give, and you're embarrassed to give so little? Do you trust God to multiply this widow's mite with his abundance.

This really isn't about organizations that need your donation, though they (we) do.  It is about our hearts and attitudes before a Father who has been so generous to us.  We who have been given much have a responsibility to care for those who have so little--and this is most of the people living in the world today.  They are poor not for lack of effort on their part, but for lack of resources and opportunities.  And we, who are overflowing in opportunities and resources, so quickly forget about them.  God forgive us.

So the next time you drive by all those expensive coffee places, open your heart to the voice of the God who tells us: 

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."~~James 1:27

I am making it my conscious goal to protect myself from "being polluted by the world" (my culture in this case). 

Will you join me?

21 Days of Prayer~~Owning Casa de Esperanza

Today, I thank God for gifting us with the ownership of Casa de Esperanza, and for all the people who made this possible.  While it is just a piece of property, it symbolizes so much more.  It reminds us of God's provision even when all seems lost.  It demonstrates to the residents that we are here for the long haul, and will not abandon them as so many have before.  It provides a sustainable base of operations for Reason to Hope far into the future.  Yes, it may be just a piece of property, but to our ministry it is home.

My prayer of thanksgiving

Father, today I praise you as Jehovah-Jireh--the God Who Provides.  I praise and thank you for allowing us to purchase the property which is now Casa de Esperanza.  I thank you for designing it to function so well for us with so few changes.  I thank you for bringing us to the community of San Pedro Las Huertas, for the friendships we have developed with the people there, and for the opportunity for us to be a light in the darkness that so often overshadows the pueblos in Guatemala.

I thank you, Father God, for all the people who contributed to the purchase of this house.  The ability to purchase it debt-free in a little over a year was truly miraculous.  Bless each person who donated or worked in any way to make the purchase of this house possible. 

You have used this house to forge us into a family.  May we use this house to bring glory to your name.  In Jesus' name I pray.

21 Days of Prayer~~Our Partners

Today I thank our God and Father for every one of you who has partnered with us in some way.

Whether it be through prayer, financial contribution, personal encouragement, or time spent serving with us in Guatemala, I am grateful. If you have helped with one of our projects or events, or come to one of our dinners, I thank you, and thank God for your presence in my life and work.

I have often said that I get the fun of watching first hand what God is doing in Guatemala, and that's so true.  I would be able to do nothing, however, if it weren't for the backing provided by each one of you.  Even taking the time to read these posts offers me more encouragement than you'll ever know, as well as allowing us to spread the news of the wonders God has done and is doing in Guatemala. So today I thank God for you.

My prayer of thanksgiving

Father, I thank you in the name of Jesus for all those you have brought alongside of me as I have been on this journey to serve you in Guatemala.  On my own, I am an earthen vessel with little strength, but in you, I can do all things. I praise you and thank you for working through by brothers and sisters who support me to bring me strength, encouragement and stamina to carry out this ministry.  

My prayer warriors are my front line of defense as we serve in Guatemala.  We so desperately need the prayer covering they provide to carry out no only the physical works of this ministry, but to make your name known and glorified through what we do. Empower their prayer lives through your Holy Spirit.

I pray for those who encourage me, through emails, calls, notes, and by reading our posts and newsletters.  While I would like to walk completely in the spirit, I still live in the flesh, and these concrete reminders of friendship and support help to keep me going, especially when things are tough. Encourage them as they encourage me.

I thank you for those who support us financially.  It is a challenge at times to trust that you will provide all we need for what you ask us to do.  The partnership our donors have with our ministry makes this promise of your faithfulness a reality in our daily lives.  Finances are a reality of serving and I am so very grateful for those who support us, whether through regular monthly donations or periodically as you prompt them.  Bless them for their generosity and multiply their resources.

Finally, Father, I thank you for the very special people who have served with us.  I thank you for those who help with events and activities stateside.  They enable us to share what you are doing in Guatemala.  Multiply their efforts.

I thank you, too, Father for the individuals and groups you have sent to work alongside us in Guatemala.  I thank you for the teams who are willing to do relational ministry in place of physical work to advance your kingdom.  I thank you for the interns who have served with me over the years, and the energy and insight they bring to our ministry.  And I thank you for those who come to visit, whether for an hour, a day or a short time to see first-hand what we are doing.  They impact our ministry more than they know, and I am grateful. All these have made personal and financial sacrifices to be with us, and I ask you in the name of Jesus to repay them generously.

For all of these "human resources" you give us to support, encourage and sustain us, I thank you, Father.

The Challenge to Be Content

This is a hard post for me to write.  I much prefer to write about the amazing things God has done in my life and ministry.  It's harder for me to share the challenges.  

As I have been preparing to share at our Taste of Guatemala Dinner on Saturday, I have felt a burden.  A burden which is not mine to carry, but I try to anyway.  This past year, in addition to some great joys, we have faced a number of new and significant challenges in our ministry.  Illnesses among the residents, significant car repairs, the need to let go of some of our workers, even some repairs to the house after a big tremor from a nearby earthquake, have stretched our faith as well as our finances. 

When there has been a shortfall in funds, it's been hard for me not to feel as if I am falling short.  I KNOW God is our provider, and He has never failed us.  I KNOW we are being good stewards of what He has given us.  I KNOW that temporary setbacks are not permanent positions. But sometimes it's hard waiting for Him to act.

You see, my name in Pat and I'm a recovering control freak.  I not only like my ducks in a row, but I like to tie them together so they can't get away.  On the mission field, I have often not even been able to find my ducks!  And immediately I default to starting to believe the lies of the enemy that it's because I am not doing enough.  I am not enough.  Smart enough, strong enough, financially astute enough to run a ministry. Surely God could have found someone with better business sense to run this type of ministry. (After all, I came down here to work at an orphanage part time, and just be responsible for myself!)

But, here I am.  God has put me here.  I do the best I know how with the advice of wise counsel.  And still the unexpected happens and it is a struggle.  I have to surrender to the tyranny of the unpredictable and continue to soldier on.

And there is my problem.  I try to do it.  I take on responsibilities which are not mine.  And I need to go back and remember what God has done in the past to demonstrate His faithfulness over and over again. This is what has led me to my 21 Days of Prayer exercise of giving thanks.  It has helped me to focus on the fact that I KNOW the responsibility for this ministry is not mine, but God's.  He has delegated stewardship of the work to me, but it depends squarely on Him.  This is the reality of living a faith based ministry.  And while I KNOW He is faithful, it's hard to wait for Him to come through.

I have always loved the stories of George Mueller and the way in which God provided miraculously for his ministry.  It has always seemed so romantic to think of him praying all night because there was no food for the children in his orphanage, and miraculously in the morning, food was provided.  How lovely those stories are.  While I have so admired his faith and trust in God, never once have I considered what it must have cost him as a man, a human being, to live that faith.  I can't imagine that, like me, he didn't have fear trying to creep into his every prayer.  Worry trying to distract him from praise God for what He was going to do.  But he persevered.  And I want to persevere. 

I want to be able to say with Paul:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4: 12-13)

I desire to live each day in obedience to His call, showing the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.  I rebuke worry, preoccupation, and the sense of failure.  I claim God's protection and provision over my life and our ministry.  

Will you pray these things with and for me?

21 Days of Prayer~~Reason to Hope & the Frisinas

Today I thank God for our independent non-profit organization, Reason to Hope.  It may not be clear to everyone just how critical this is to the sustainability of our ministry.  Our agreement with the Josiah Foundation was with me, Pat Duff, personally.  They agreed to serve as my missionary sending organization and I was an independent contractor working through them.  They held no responsibility for our ministries in Guatemala.

When I came as an individual and only required personal missionary support, this was sufficient.  As our ministry has grown far beyond what I ever would have envisioned, we need an organization to oversee the ministry going far into the future.  Reason of Hope serves this purpose.

I could not thank God for Reason to Hope without also thanking him for Mike and Marty Frisina.  (Yes, they are Husker fans!) They not only have come alongside me, but actually were the driving forces in getting me going in forming our own non-profit.  We are only beginning to see the responsibilities they have taken on as our Stateside representatives, and I am so grateful for their concern for our ministry.  I am even more grateful for their friendship and personal support as I serve.

My prayer of thanksgiving

Father God, today I thank you for allowing us to start our own organization to care for the ministries you have entrusted to us in Guatemala.  I thank you for the joys and challenges which have come with this change.  I pray your guidance and protection as we move forward in obedience to your call to serve the least of these.

I thank you for Mike and Marty, Lord God.  Bless them as they do the hard work of organizing and managing the business aspects of the organization.  Give them wisdom and discernment as they support and advise me, and give them stamina to fulfill the obligations they have so willingly taken on.  I pray this in the power of the Holy Spirit and through Jesus' name. Amen.

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21 Days of Prayer~~Day 10: Companion-Caregivers at Casa de Esperanza

It takes a special person to be willing to care for the most intimate needs of another man, and God has blessed us with a loving and gifted team to care for the spiritual and emotional, as well as physical needs of our four guys.  All are Christ-followers, who daily put the Great Command to love into action.  Most of them live with us 4 out of 7 days a week, and sacrifice time with their own families to be with us.  We thank God for them today.

Vincente is a father of three grown children who comes from Santa Maria de Jesus.  He is a leader in his church and brings a spiritual maturity and stability to our team.

Mario is a young man who works with us four days, studying in his spare time at the University to be a math teacher.  He is highly involved in the music ministry of his church.  Mario, because of his age, but also his maturity can often get the guys to do things they otherwise might resist (such as therapy).  The confidence our guys have in him is evident.

Cesar works weekends with the guys.  You might remember him as living with us to go to school when we first opened Casa de Esperanza.  Well, now he is married, and has a son who just turned one.  He and his wife Gema are both graduating University this month as PE teachers.  Cesar has been a long time friend of our guys and we so enjoy having him.

Nelson is Mario's brother.  He spent many days and nights with Roberto when he was in the hospital.  With schedule adjustments, we were excited to bring him on as a regular worker.  He is married, and leaves his wife an child in Balanya (about 1 1/2 hours away from us) to care for the guys.

Dilan just joined our team after graduating from high school.  He has been raised by his grandparents, and now is working to help support them.  He comes from Brenda's village of El Rodeo, also about an hour and a half from San Pedro where we live.

God has put together a great team with servants' hearts to share life with our guys and I am grateful.

My prayer of thanksgiving

Father God, you know better than any of us the qualities needed to care for our young men in a way that reflects Christ's love to them.  I praise you and thank you for bringing together this unique group of men to serve with us.  Without them Casa de Esperanza could not function.  With them we are thriving and growing.  Thank you for their hearts which first of all love your Son, and then love and care for our guys so generously.  Bless them in the time they are away from their families, and guard and protect their families in their absence.  Help them to grow daily to become more like your Son as they reflect Him to our residents.  We thank you for bringing us these mighty men of God.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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21 Days of Prayer~~Day 9: Concert of Praise

As I am frantically getting ready to go to the States for a month (have not packed a single thing!) I had to stop and share what we experienced last night in the small village of Las Palmas about an hour and a half (in good weather) from here. This wasn't what I had "scheduled" to thank God for today, but could do nothing else but share this marvelous night with you.

We had been invited to come by a group of churches in the area which wanted to support our ministry through a benefit concert.  What you need to realize is this town is one of the poorest in the area, and many of the people barely make it.  When there is no sugar cane to be harvested, many have no work.  And they were concerned about Casa de Esperanza.

We had been promised a concert, and experienced so much more.  It was a concert of praise to our Father, in which every singer performed for an audience of One.  For me, it was a taste of what it will be like when we all praise our God and King for eternity.

I had met Pastor Gonzalee at a Quincinera of a friend's daughter last May.  All our guys had been invited and he got to meet them.  He is connected with a group of churches in Esquintla, one of which is pastored by Brenda's (our house manager) dad, Roberto.  So there are natural Guatemalan connections which brought about this amazing night.

I had no idea that two of the singers would come from so far away.

German (pronounced Herman) came from Champerico, leaving home at 3 am to get to Las Palmas in time for the concert.

Eliseo came all the way from the department of San Marcos, which is up near the Mexican border.

Both these young men paid their own transportation, and Pastor Gonzales provided housing for them.

The entire concert was shot through with prayer and the Word of God.  Really, it was a prayer meeting.

Toward the end of the concert, those in attendance were invited to give an offering of food to be used at Casa de Esperanza.  I sobbed as I watched these folks who have so little share what they did have with us.  I wondered what their families would be going without so that they could bless us.  I have never felt so humbled as I was by this outpouring of agape (Christian love).

I couldn't help but be convicted as I remembered the widow's mite.  How often have I given of my excess and felt righteous and generous.  These people were giving from their own resources without a second thought.  I have often said that it is the poor who are the most generous.  Once again I have seen this first hand, and have been broken by the experience.

This is how many traveled, on a rainy night, 
to come to bless Casa de Esperanza

My prayer of thanksgiving

Father God, I come to you broken and humbled by the experience of last night.  I can't begin to thank you for the many blessings we received.  First, thank you for the willingness of the Guatemalan churches, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to love on our guys and partner with our ministry.  I have long desired to find a way to make this ministry more "national" and less North American, and I praise you and thank you for doing this, as only you could.  May our partnership glorify your name and reflect even more the love of Jesus and the presence of your Holy Spirit among the Christ-followers in this country.

Father, I thank you and humbly ask you to bless each of the people involved in the concert last night, from those who arranged for the hall, who brought the sound equipment, who sang, who prayed, who gave you glory.  Let their light sign even more strongly in the darkest places of this nation.

Finally, I ask you to bless those who have so little and yet brought what they could to support and bless our ministry.  I was humbled to see the Body of Christ being just that, your tangible presence here on earth.  Thank you for these generous people, multiply the little they have to sustain them and their families.  

Thank you for once again for once again allowing me to experience your presence in your people, and the hundredfold you have promised  in Matt. 19:29 to those who have left home and family and friends to follow where you lead.  Thank you for this life you have given me.  In Jesus name, Amen

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21 Days of Prayer~~Day 8: Brenda Salazar

Today I thank God for Brenda Salazar, and her love and commitment to the programs we are supporting in Guatemala through Reason to Hope, Inc.  Brenda serves as the House Manager of Casa de Esperanza.  She has the concern for the guys at the forefront, but also understands the business side of running a house such as ours.  I had prayed for three years for a Guatemalan national to come on staff who could assume the leadership of the house, and Brenda has done so.  She is responsible for overseeing all housekeeping, cooking, purchasing, scheduling and staffing of Casa de Esperanza; this is no small task. She does this all with the wisdom and grace which comes from her close relationship with Jesus Christ.

Brenda is so much more than an employee to me.  She is a friend and confidant.  Her ability to navigate the "systems" of Guatemalan society has been invaluable to the ministry, especially during times of difficulty, such as Roberto's illness at the beginning of the year.  I truly don't know what I would do without her, and am thankful that by the grace of God I don't have to find out.
My prayer of thanksgiving

Thank you, Father, for bringing Brenda into our lives and hearts.  Her faith in you and desire to follow you daily in obedience bring a spirit of peace and joy to our home.  She loves the guys like her own children, and cares for me as a sister.  Her dedicated work for the ministry is so valuable, but the relationships of each one of us with her is beyond measure.

Bless her, her family, her church and her community.  Give her strength and health to continue serving you many years into the future.  Send the Holy Spirit to guide her steps and guard her path.  I pray this in the strong and mighty name of Jesus.

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21 Days of Prayer~~Day 7: The Guys of Casa de Esperanza

I have already specifically thanked God for Fidel, and his role in the development of our ministry. Today I would like to ask you in joining me in thanking the Father for the four guys He has brought to live here, and for the work He is doing in their hearts and lives.

Fidel as a patient in Hermano Pedro
Fidel going out with our friend David in his convertible
Fidel, of course was my first housemate moving in permanently in August, 2013. His desire for a better life planted the seed which became Casa de Esperanza.  It has been a joy to watch him grow from being a patient to a self-determining adult who is moving closer to God each day.

From 2013--It is hard for me to believe that this is the same Osmi
living with us today!
Osmi is truly a miracle.  When I met him in August of 2013, we believed he was dying. Over the next year, God would bring him to renewed vigor (though he still struggles with osteoporosis and and a degenerative muscle disease which currently is in remission).  Osmi is our scholar and skeptic.  He brings a sense of responsibility to our home which the other guys sometimes lack.  He came to us at the request of Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro (a small miracle in itself) in December, 2014.

This picture reflects Osmi's formal personality so well.

Roberto the day he came
Roberto was abandoned by his family after an accident which left him paralyzed from the waste down. His addition to the house came as a surprise to us (but not God).  Roberto was brought to our attention in July of 2015 by a church in the village of Patzicia, and immediately he captured our hearts. He came home with us the same day we met him! It has been marvelous to see him grow into a healthy young man who takes his responsibilities seriously (most of the time!). While he is not much of a scholar, he loves to help with projects around the house.

Moy as a little boy
Finally, Moises rounds out the family.  I have known Moy for more than ten years, and have gotten to watch him grow from a happy-go-lucky child, through the stage of rebellious adolescence, and emerging adulthood.  Moy brings laughter and energy into our family as no one else can.  He joined us in November, 2016.

Yep, Moy is starting to walk!
Here is is practicing with Cesar.

My prayer of thanksgiving

Our Father, today I thank you for the lives of the four young men you have brought to live with us.  I know you have a plan and purpose for each of them, and it is a joy to watch this unfolding as the grow and develop as young adults.

I thank you for Fidel, and the sense of drive and determination he brings into our house.  I thank you for Osmi, and the sense of responsibility he brings to us.  I thank you for Roberto, and the desire he has to be of service to others.  Finally, I thank you for Moises and the joy he brings to our family.

It is not by accident that they live with us, but by your providence.  I am grateful that you allow me to be part of this plan for each of them, now and in the future.  l pray I am faithful to hear your voice in how to show your great love for each of them in a way that will draw them to you, not me.  Thank you for entrusting this responsibility to me.

Finally, thank you for molding us into family, not just housemates.  In the name of Jesus, I pray in gratitude. Amen

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21 Days of Prayer~~Day 6: Casa de Esperanza

Five years ago this month, we moved into the first location of Casa de Esperanza, not knowing how to "do" life together with men with physical limitations, but desiring to obey God and learn in the process.  I thank God for all that He has done during this time: for the four young men He has brought to live with us; the staff, caregivers and volunteers who have come to serve with us; the progress we have made in developing community in the house; providing a permanent facility for the home; the improving programs for the disabled made available though the home. The journey hasn't always been smooth, but it has always been exciting. Only God could have done the things we have experienced, and I am grateful and humbled to be a part of this.

The first "overnight" trial run group

My prayer of thanksgiving

Father God, today I give you thanks for the ministry of Casa de Esperanza.  Let our home be a light in the darkness of the world of those living with disabilities here in Guatemala.  I thank you for the hope in the future it has given our four young men.  I praise and thank you for all the things you have done to bring us to this point in ministry--many are only explained by your direct intervention.  Thank you for the staff you have brought us, who have become part of the family.  I thank you for the community of San Pedro Las Huertas, and their growing love for our guys.  You are the God who does not break the bruised reed of lives challenged by limitations.  You are the God of restoration, and I thank you for the restoration of lives through the ministry of Casa de Esperanza.  I am humbled to be part of what you are doing in and through this house.  In the name of Jesus, I bless and thank your Holy Name. Amen.

The four permanent residents of Casa de Esperanza
(Roberto, Osmi, Moises, and Fidel)
with our House Manager, Brenda Salazar

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21 Days of Prayer~~Day 5: Fidel Hernandez

Today I want to thank our God (Diosito as Fidel affectionately calls him) for a very special man in my life.  Fidel has been my friend for over ten years now, and while our friendship has not always been easy, it has been fruitful.  Fidel has taught me more about the struggles of living with a physical disability than any book or class ever could have.  In the time I have known him, he has changed, by the grace of God, from an angry, depressed young man who was difficult to love at times, to a caring person who it is a delight to do life with. His anger and depression were the seeds which planted Casa de Esperanza in our hearts. I love how I continue to see God drawing Fidel to Himself through the events of daily life.  My desire is that Fidel will come to more fully realize the great love our Father has for him, and respond in faith.

My prayer of thanksgiving

Diosito, today I thank you for Fidel and the work you are doing in his heart and in his life to bring him closer to you.  I thank you for the drive, energy and determination which are part of his character.  I thank you for the leadership role he is increasingly assuming with the guys in the house, and his growing desire to be of service to others.  What a joy it is to watch him as he dreams of the future.

I thank you for Fidel's friendship.  He is so much more than an resident in the home to me; he is one of my closest friends and part of my family.  I have grown to trust you more as I have had to surrender him and his future to your plan and purpose for him, and have watched as you draw him to Yourself.  His friendship and desire for a better life were the tools you used to plant Casa de Esperanza and for this I am grateful. Finally, I thank you for all you will do in Fidel's future, and am excited to be a small part of this.  In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

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