Love should give wings to the feet of service, and strength to the arms of labour. ~Spurgeon
This afternoon Courtney and I will journey more than an hour to Hogar Solidario, a home for teenage girls that’s part of a large government institution called the City of Children. Located outside the city limits, this facility currently houses more than 800 children ranging in age from infants to 18. Most of the children have been relocated from other orphanages as the Guatemalan government works to find more effective ways to manage the orphan crisis in their country. Some kids have no family, but most are “social” orphans who have been placed in institutional care for a myriad of reasons – from an inability to provide on the part of the parents to an inability to cope with authority on the part of the child. The teenage girls we will visit have come from a home called Manchen (which was located in Antigua). At present, 225 girls live in a facility we’ve heard described as “prisonlike” and “sterile.” Most have been abused, and there are a lot of young moms. We’ve spent time with these girls, laughed and wept with them at Manchen. We know them by name – Flor and Heidy and Josabeth and Vanessa and Iris…
A friend shared, “When I walked into the City of Children, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. You see it in the faces of the children and workers. They need to see hope.”
We ask that you pray for our time at the City of Children, and in particular Hogar Solidario. Pray we are able to have meaningful conversations with the girls. Pray we are sensitive to needs unspoken. Pray for trusting relationships to be formed so we can have ongoing ministry. And pray for courage – for us and for the kids.