God is Good-All the Time!!
We feel so blessed at Mary’s Hope, and we are so thankful to God for leading us to our project manager, Claudia, who in turn led us to the community of Santa Maria de Jesus in Guatemala. After looking at several villages, in order to find the right community to establish our school, Claudia was led to this little area near the mountains of Santa Maria de Jesus by the local priest, who resides in the main town area. Immediately Claudia could feel in her heart that this was the place where Mary’s Hope belonged. First of all, the name of the village, itself, told her that God and Mother Mary were guiding her steps. The people of Santa Maria were so welcoming and loving and were very open and responsive to receiving help. Their situation in life, like many of the citizens of Guatemala, is desperate. The families live everyday in a one room home with no electricity and running water. Most of the homes have dirt floors, no refrigeration, and some meager form of a fireplace for cooking. There are many days that these families do not know when they will have their next meal. With all that to contend with, education is not even considered. Everyday is simply a matter of survival. When Claudia and Mary’s Hope came to the outskirts of Santa Maria, the people in this mountain area, felt that their prayers had been answered and that there were people that wanted to help them. Claudia began to work with the families, getting to know them and building relationships. Mary’s Hope started to help with their daily struggles and emergencies. It was soon clear that Claudia and in turn, Mary’s Hope, was a true presence in this small community and a feeling of hope started to occur. So now six months later, we have a program that helps eleven families in this area. We have 36 children in our program. In October, we did a month long ‘pilot program’ to see how the children, who haven’t had any experience with school, would do in a classroom like setting, with a set schedule and the daily challenges of learning. The children were so thrilled to be involved and going to school. They were able to do the things that they normally don’t do in a day, such as coloring, singing, listening to stories, and most importantly learning new things. They also received a meal each day. Because of the success of this pilot program, we decided to give our 11 families a choice. Starting in February, they have the choice of either having their children in our pilot program, or having them go to a public licensed school. We would help them get enrolled in the school. Those who would enroll in the school, would still receive a hot meal when they got out of school and help with their homework. All the children, except for three, are continuing in our pilot program. Our goal is to continue our pilot program until we have built our own legal school. We have also just set up our sponsorship program. Please check out our Sponsorship Page on the website and see how you can support a child on their educational journey. It is a wonderful opportunity to really make a difference in a child’s life by supporting his or her educational journey. So, we take another step on this road. We hope that you will walk with us, and please keep us in your prayers. Every month check out this page for news and updates from Claudia, Mary’s Hope, and the people of Santa Maria de Jesus. May God Bless You and Your Families, as we prepare for the birth of our Savior.