My husband and daughter are heading back to Perú with Recovering Hope in 2018. I invited them to share a few words from their hearts about why they can't wait to get back to Huánuco and serve again.
I finally made it to Huánuco last summer and it meant even more to me than I thought it would. It was a school holiday for the girls at the shelter, so I was able to help them with their chores, lead some art therapy activities, take them to a public pool, and just be regular kids with them for a week. We had so much fun and became friends. What I saw and learned made me sad, but also helped me appreciate where I live and how my parents protect me. It was really hard to know that there were seven year olds there that had experienced something no one should ever have to go through. It was amazing to know that I could do something to make them happy during a really hard time. I was surprised how well I could communicate with them and was really glad I've been taking advanced Spanish in school. When it was time to leave, all my friends were begging me to come back. I started saving money as soon as I got home.
A lot of the children and young women at Casa del Buen Trato are around my age and have suffered from some pretty bad experiences. Thankfully, I have never been put in a situation like theirs and I hopefully never will. I want to go back with my dad to show the children and women at Casa del Buen Trato that there is hope for the future and that they are loved.
As a father with a heart for justice, I could not be more excited to be returning to Peru with my oldest daughter Mayah this summer. In 2014, I had the beautiful opportunity to go and serve at the Casa del Buen Trato in Huánuco, Peru (more info below). It was an emotionally hard trip, but it affirmed in my heart that God has given me a holy discontent for those who hurt these children and holy purpose to love and serve the victims of sexual abuse there. Since our kids were little, we have been taking them along for the ride and teaching them to love and serve people around the world.
In 2017, it was Mayah's idea to travel and I was so thrilled to be along for the ride with her. Our team was made up of several father-daughter pairs. Mayah and the other travelers her age prepared some activities for the girls there. It was a transformative time for them to bond as teenagers and to bring hope and normality in the wake of horrible abuse. The dads spent a lot of time with the kids there, too. It is so important for them to see and know loving, Godly men after their trust has been shattered. We were able to help the maintenance staff with some odd jobs and anything else that needed to be done around the shelter. I was also asked to complete a security analysis that allowed the shelter to receive grant funding to improve the property and make it an even safer place for them to be in the wake of rape or sexual assault. Mayah's determination to return in 2018 has inspired me to plan on returning once again as well. I'm honored to be able to contribute my skills by assessing the progress on the security plan and continuing to work for justice on behalf of the vulnerable. I'm so proud of the young woman my daughter is becoming. Her heart for serving others and her dedication to her school work, cross country, youth programs, and fundraising efforts challenge me to be the best dad I can be for her and to step up and do more for those in need around me.
Our family would like to invite you join us in this work. We'd cherish your prayers and so appreciate your financial partnership. Knowing she had to be 14 to travel, Mayah had been saving her money for two years in anticipation of finally journeying to meet these girls last summer. She babysits regularly and puts away cash received as gifts. Last year she was able to pay her own deposit and worked hard to save more than half of the cost of her trip. She started saving for 2018 immediately upon returning home. In the midst of finishing a degree and all of his other responsibilities, Joel picked up side jobs last year to contribute to the cost of the trip as well. This year we want to raise funds for Recovering Hope that exceed far and above the $4,000 needed to travel. Won't you join us?
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Recovering Hope partners with the Casa del Buen Trato, a Paz y Esperanza shelter in Huanuco, Peru to provide support and encouragement to the staff and residents.
The Casa del Buen Trato is a temporary shelter for children and adolescents who have been victims of sexual abuse; as well as women who have been victims of domestic violence. The shelter provides holistic care; including legal services, psychological therapy, emotional support, health care, social work services, pastoral care, education and life skills training. Only after their homes and communities are safe again, do they return home.
The shelter sits on 25 acres of farm land that includes a restaurant. Seventy percent of the profits of the farm and restaurant are given back to the shelter each quarter. So even staying in the guest house and eating at the restaurant give back to the shelter.