A Note from the Regional Director of Latin America…
Thank you so much for taking the time for welcoming me as the Regional Director of Kids Alive Latin America and as interim Country Director for Kids Alive Guatemala.
It has been a great joy for me to see the work of the staff here, their faithful commitment and love for children, their constant striving toward justice, restoration, and ideal family placements.
Last month we celebrated the birth of our Savior Jesus, the great gift that God gave to humanity. I want to encourage you with this fulfilled promise of God’s faithfulness. In a year when many people around the world have gone through periods of confusion, pain, anxiety, and difficulty, it was extra special to celebrate Emmanuel — God with us.
Recently I have been reflecting on the detail of Jesus’ genealogy in the Gospels. His bloodline is interlaced with the story of God’s grace, redemption, and faithfulness. Many in Jesus’ genealogy weren’t exactly perfect or worthy to be His ancestors, but then I was reminded that God uses our history, redeems it, and uses our life and our past to be a channel of blessing.
Jesus came into this world as a child with a historic genealogy, a history of God’s grace and fidelity to fulfill His promise of restoration and rescue of humanity.
In Jesus’ birth story, I am also captivated by the obedience of Mary. Amidst the multiple implications of that sudden call, Mary’s response, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38) speaks of her deep modeling of obedience. It was not an easy decision, and it had terrible social implications, even to the point of death. But she accepted the call with all its implications to her, her family, and Joseph’s.
That is why her life, ministry, love of God, and the modeling of obedience extol and inspire us even today.
She put God’s plans before her own personal desires, dreams, and plans. God honored her obedience, fulfilled her dreams, and honored her with the privilege of being the mother of our Savior.
Thank you for your obedience to God’s call to serve, support, and help sustain the ministry of Kids Alive Guatemala. In a year like no other, your faithful commitment helped us rescue, redeem, and restore the lives of vulnerable children even during a global pandemic.
I am grateful for your support this past year and into the new year!
Happy New Year and Emmanuel — God with us. Let’s be encouraged in this hope as we welcome 2021!
Regional Director of Latin America, serving Kids Alive International in Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Peru
Casa Ester Highlights for 2020
- Three young ladies from the Estercitas Program successfully completed the second stage of the accelerated primary school program. Another two of our girls graduated from high school.
- The self-sustaining project of Casa Ester, which includes artisan soap making, hit a high note with expansions this year. We were able to obtain our own stand at Big Brands, a high-end apparel and shoe store in Guatemala City, and within D-XELA, a restaurant located in San Lucas Sacatepéquez. We are also exploring opportunities to export these products to the United States.
- In the Casa Ester self-sustaining project, the Pre-Independence ladies have been involved with making jellies and jams, and necklaces and earrings. We continue to make cloth bags for Big Brands.
- Three young ladies will complete the second stage of the independence program (1stQuarter 2021) and will start their independent lives.
- Accompany, supervise, and support the young ladies who will complete their high school education and trade programs.
- Expand the entrepreneurship project to include a beauty salon, bakery, and water purifier business.
- Hire necessary qualified personnel to elevate support for the young ladies in Casa Ester (education, nursing, psychology, social work, accounting, and security).
- Start the new Pre-Independence program within the Oasis residential program, which will start earlier with girls who turn 15 instead of the current 17.
- Start the new Hope Program, which will center on serving the young ladies being treated for severe psychiatric disorders.
Click on photo for caption.
On December 7, Kids Alive Guatemala had the privilege of hosting the visit by the personnel of Guatemalan Social Services – Secretary Francisco Molina, and Sub-Secretary of Protection, Dr. Carlos Gómez. Throughout the visit, we were able to share experiences and challenges, committing to pursue even higher levels of excellence. We are grateful for the partnership and look forward to working together in the future.