The 30th of March this year our little Yanessa was diagnosed with Leukemia. She and her twin Larissa are 5-years-old, and part of the 7 sisters in our care.
In the beginning God gave us a verse for Yanessa, to help strengthen our faith. In John 11:4 Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." God is faithful and little Yanessa is a walking miracle.
Yanessa was hospitalized for 2 1/2 months in San Pedro Sula. It took a couple of weeks to get the official results, but Yanessa was diagnosed with an easier form of Leukemia and the doctors said that we caught it early enough, so that it would be treatable. Then starting in May we've made two trips a month, driving the 5 hours each way and staying over for her treatments at the Fundación Hondureña para el Niño con Cáncer. We are very grateful for the care they have given Yanessa. Yanessa still isn't fully recovered, but she has responded very well to every treatment and we consistently get good reports for her. She's moved from sad and listless, to sparkly and joyful, even in the midst of all the medical procedures and separation from her sisters.
We want to especially thank Areli (Ruby's 3rd sister) and Gladys from our team for caring for Yanessa. Both ladies have spent several weeks away from family, doing 24-hour-shifts in the hospital to care for her. They have been a huge blessing and have shown Yanessa a mother's love through all of this.
I also want to thank our faithful donors for helping us to cover the cost of Yanessa's treatment. While many of her medical bills are covered by the foundation mentioned above, GiveHope2Kids has spent several thousand dollars for her care during these months. This was possible thanks to your faithful support.
Here are a few pictures of Yanessa through the course of her treatment. Please pray for her continued recovery. Also, if anyone is interested in becoming more a part of Yanessa's life, she is still in need of sponsors.
As we begin work on a new campus, we wanted to communicate exactly what is our vision for this new ministry site. The short answer is that we'll copy most everything from our Urraco Campus and have more homes for kids, more educational opportunities, and more self-sustainability projects. We're basically doubling Give Hope 2 Kids.
And if you're sticking around for the long story....
This journey started with first recognizing a need we have: We need a place for our young adults to live while they study beyond high school. While our Urraco Campus is a wonderful place to raise kids, it is a very impractical place for university students to live. (It only takes 5 hours for a round-trip to the city on public transportation.)
In the fall of 2016, God used several different circumstances to start us walking towards expansion. Near the end of the year, we felt that it was time to act, time to pursue a location nearer to La Ceiba. We started asking around and quickly felt God directing us to pursue a property in Roma, which is 20 minutes east of La Ceiba. Through God's faithfulness and our incredible donors, we've now purchased this land. The 2nd campus is 20+ acres, next to the main road, and just a 3 minute walk from a bus stop.
Our young adults will now be able to access La Ceiba's universities and larger trade schools as they work toward independence. For all intents and purposes the transition home for these young adults will be the only significant difference between the 2 ministry campuses.
Nearly everything else will be a duplicate of the Urraco Campus. We will still live out all our essential values, like the most important: Our homes for children will be led by strong, Christian families. It is our intention to carry on the wonderful family culture we so enjoy.
We firmly believe that we will have an impact in the community of Roma, just as we've had in Urraco. We've already started building relationships with the teachers and students in the public school, while doing service projects there. As we develop relationships in the community we later hope to invite the young people to be a part of a youth group.
We will also initiate several agricultural projects to help support the ministry and make it as self-sustaining as possible. By focusing on the strengths of each location, we hope to gain even more ground in sustainability. For example, our Urraco Campus has the altitude for growing good coffee and we have more acreage there for meat production. The Roma Campus has a little drier of a climate, so we will be able to produce greater quantities of mangoes, papaya, and avocados there.
Well, thanks for hanging with us to hear the long version. What God is doing in and through the ministry of GH2K is so exciting and we welcome you along for the journey!