A Huge Need Met!

Since we made the full-time move back to Guatemala in February, we have been relying on help from friends and cheap rentals when needed in order to get around and do all of the things we need to do. Our houseparents have a single cab pickup truck that their family of five goes to church in. They have another vehicle that is in the shop right now so for now their truck is it for them.

Jeff and Esther raised some of their personal support to purchase a Hyundai Terracan that they were able to purchase a little over a month ago. They got one with third row seating so that we can transport the girls along with Alberto and Rocsana to church on Sundays as well as any classes or activities during the week.

Sundays have been especially difficult trying to figure out how to get everyone to church so what we have been doing is making multiple trips. It has been working but also has been a real challenge. We had some money that had been previously given towards a vehicle but not enough for a decent one. Our friends from the First Baptist Church of Ark City asked us what needs we have and so we shared with them our need for a ministry vehicle that we could use to transport the girls. They came through in a huge way and, coupled with the other money, we were finally able to purchase a Kia Sorento Diesel SUV with third row seating just this past week. The girls were so excited that they wanted to with us when we finalized the deal on the vehicle. We had a blast and the girls all rode with me when we picked it up back to San Lucas. The Kia has a sunroof that opens up and so we did that and the girls just loved sticking their heads out on occasion while we were stopped in traffic. I really enjoyed watching them enjoy a vehicle that finally has the room to help them.

Needless to say we are deeply grateful for the people that we will probably never know that helped give to this need and help to meet it. So we give thanks and express gratefulness to God for how He touched people to help and give and we are asking God to bless them as only He can.

Rocsana’s Hope Welcomes Two New Girls!

Fabiana, on the left, came to be with us at Rocsana’s Hope on Monday, May 19th and has been an absolute gem and a huge blessing. Her mom died when she was very little and her dad is in prison. She was living with her maternal grandfather until he remarried and his new wife no longer wanted her with them so she was forced to leave. She slept where she could until Esther met her on the street. One thing led to another and we decided to invite her to come and be a part of our ministry. She accepted with deep gratitude and has already been such a huge blessing to all of us here. She is so excited that she actually gets to have a future with hope.

Darling, on the right, was accepted into our program on June 1st of this year. She was in a government orphanage. In March of 2017 there was a fire at a government orphanage in Guatemala City that saw 40 girls lose their lives. Darling was in that orphanage when the fire occurred but through God’s grace survived the incident. She turned 18 and would have otherwise had to live on the street but for the efforts of Myrna, a lady who works for the government that now knows about Rocsana’s Hope. She asked if we would be willing to take her, and we did with joy. Darling has responded to the loving atmosphere we have here and she is doing wonderfully.

She Is Everything We Hoped… And More!!!

Diana has been with us for two weeks now and we are so very happy.

The moment was everything I had hoped for and more. In what has been an announcement a year and a half in the making, we are beyond thrilled to announce that Rocsana’s Hope has finally received the very first young lady and accepted her into our program. Her name is Diana.

Diana has spent the last 8 years in an orphanage approximately two hours from our ministry headquarters in San Lucas. She actually left her orphanage after her 18th birthday hoping to find relatives who might help her. What she found instead were people who were trying to exploit her. After two months of hard living and having nowhere else to go, she reached out to her original orphanage for help. They were simply unable to take her back because of the possible risks it might bring to the other children, so they began searching for some place where she might be able to live but also have hope for a future. Again, there are no ministries like ours that are designed solely to help these precious girls once they turn 18. Somehow they heard about Rocsana’s Hope and reached out to me personally through Facebook and asked if there was any way we could take her.

The funny thing is this: I told Jeff and Esther as we prepared to return to the United States “I’ll bet you we will most likely receive our first girl while we are in the states.” Sure enough we were presented with Diana’s need. After some quick praying and assessing the situation the decision was made and I messaged the ladies from the other orphanage and told them to bring her to Rocsana’s Hope. I then contacted our Guatemalan staff and instructed them to prepare the first bed.

Diana arrived at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 5th. I was in the US but my heart ached to be there not just greet Diana and make her feel welcome but also for our staff who were a little nervous accepting the very first girl without us being there. God touched a precious lady at the First Baptist Church of Ark City, Kansas on Sunday the 7th and they purchased a plane ticket for me to return to Guatemala the very next day, which I have. I will only be here for three days but I have had the amazing privilege of being here to get to know Diana, help make her feel welcome, do some shopping for her, and also to provide leadership and encouragement to our staff. They were all grateful to see me and all greeted me so warmly. Finally Diana came out from the house and she just came right up to me and hugged me. We both cried and it was truly one of the most exciting and precious moments of my life.

Now of course the REAL work begins. We have to begin the process of assessing her needs, aptitudes, goals, dreams, abilities, and desires for her future, and then construct and implement a plan that will help her achieve her goals and provide her the opportunity to have a bright and shining future. We also need to address her past from a psychological and emotional standpoint and help her overcome any residual issues she is dealing with from being an orphan. We will gather as much information on her as possible to help us ascertain where she is educationally and see what we can do to get her moving forward in that area. Then we will work in conjunction with her to devise a plan for her future that will help her be successful and happy. In order to do that, we will introduce her to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because He alone can transform a person’s life.

So now we need your prayers more than ever before, and so does Diana. Pray for her that she will thrive in our program and for us that we will be able to provide her with a future of real hope.

The Next Step is Here!

Rocsana with Stan, Denise and Nick

Jeff McClaran and I depart for Guatemala on Monday, October 15th. We will be providing regular updates as we go. We have several objectives that we hope to accomplish while we are there and ask for fervent prayer as we go that God will prepare the way, open the doors, and connect us with the people who will be able to help us take these next steps. While there we hope to:

1. We are setting up meetings with orphanages, local ministries, and other missionaries to begin networking with them and share the vision of Rocsana’s Hope. Pray that God will bring us to the right people who will be able to work with us and that we will be able to help through our ministry.

2. This is a big one. We are going to dedicate much time to looking for our ministry headquarters. In order to find what we are looking for, we will need to connect with local people who know the area and can show us what is available. In general they do not have rental listings like they do in the United States. We will have to find people that know the area and can show us places that are available but are not listed in any way. Pray that God will direct us to the right people who will be able to show us the place we are looking for.

3. Also pray for the exact place. We are honestly not sure what will be best for our needs, whether it be a single large home, a complex with several houses on it, or separate homes and buildings in proximity to each other. We are going to see what is available and trust God to show us the one we need the most. We are truly going in faith on this and believe God will direct us to the right location and place.

4. Pray also for God’s provision should we find the right house or complex. If it is possible, I am hoping to put a deposit down on a place if we find the right one. I have no idea how much that will be but I am asking that God will provide whatever is needed to secure the right place when we find it. Pray that God will provide the necessary funds and make those available when the time comes.

5. We are going to be visiting churches as well and looking for those who we can partner with and work together with in our community. Pray that God will lead us to the right churches and that we will meet local pastors and congregations who can help us and we can help them.

What Amazing Things God is Doing

Next trip, possible new staff members, laying the foundation, the girls can’t wait, and God opening doors that no one can shut.

While you may not be seeing too much on FB or other social media, we have been extremely active in preparing and laying the foundation for our return to Guatemala and for the opening of Rocsana’s Hope. I want to share with you a few things that God has been doing behind the scenes. While in the United States we have been working hard behind the scenes to lay a solid foundation that can be built upon for years to come so that once we begin the work on site in Guatemala the ministry will be able to grow and have room for growth. There is much work that is being done behind the scenes to get everything ready. It is a necessary step in the process of opening a ministry that we believe is going to help hundreds of girls in Guatemala and Central America.

First item of business: I am planning a trip to Guatemala in September to begin doing several things. One of the primary things that we will be doing is looking for a Guatemalan house suitable enough to become the home and headquarters of what will be Rocsana’s Hope in Guatemala. We will be staying close to and looking in and around the city of San Lucas which is between Guatemala City and the City of Antigua. We have also been making connections and contacts with missionaries, ministries, and orphanages that we will network and partner with as we carry out the ministry of Rocsana’s Hope. There is much to do on this trip and we are looking forward to getting the ball rolling in on the ground in Guatemala.

There is something else we are extremely excited about. Denise and I have very dear friends that go back to our days at Youth for Christ many years ago. Their names are Jeff and Esther McClaran. Jeff and I have been working together developing all of the foundational work that we are doing for Rocsana’s Hope. Jeff surrendered to go to the mission field when he was 14 years old. He went on a mission trip to China as a young man and met Esther, a Chinese National. On his mission trip a relationship formed and they later became married. Jeff has felt the call on his life to be a missionary his entire adult life. They have visited several areas, one of which is the country of Thailand. They have been praying about going to the mission field and they have been looking at Thailand as an option. Now that Jeff has been assisting us and helping us get the groundwork laid for Rocsana’s Hope, he has become open to the possibility that God may be calling his wife Esther and him to join Denise and I in our mission in Guatemala. Jeff will be making the next trip to Guatemala with me to visit the country, meet the nationals, see the culture, and meet the girls. He will also be prayerfully considering the decision that they face about where to serve on the mission field. Please pray for Jeff and Esther as they prayerfully consider where God is calling them and asking them to go, whether it be to Thailand or to join Denise and I in Guatemala. We are praying for both of them that God will give them discernment and make it very clear to them what they are supposed to do we ask that you pray for them as well.

This last weekend we visited the town of Ozark, Missouri and were given the opportunity to present our ministry in a home meeting on Saturday night, then in a combined Sunday school class that featured 60 to 80 people on Sunday morning at First Baptist Church of Ozark. It was a very fruitful trip and one that we are so grateful for our dear friends Mark and Joy Specht who set up the home meeting and to a new friend of the ministry name Lacey who coordinated the Sunday morning event at the church. We are so grateful to you all for the work that you did behind the scenes in helping us and giving us the opportunity to share the ministry of Rocsana’s Hope. A huge shout out also to Todd and Jenell Wagner for allowing us the privilege of staying in their beautiful home during our time there.

The weekend of August 12th we will be in Arkansas City, Kansas to present the work at the First Baptist Church of Arkansas City. We have dear friends of the ministry that go to the church and have worked to give us an opportunity to present our work to the pastor and the church’s board of directors. We will be sharing the vision of Rocsana’s Hope with them. The church is interested in getting involved in possibly helping us and also bringing groups down for mission trips and visits in the future. We are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing with the leadership of the church in Arkansas City, Kansas.

Finally, the girls. I hear from at least one or both of them almost every day. Paola will even record her voice so we can hear it here in the US and send it to us telling us how much she loves and misses us and can’t wait for us to return. I know they are counting the days until our return and we ask that you continue to pray for both of them that God will encourage their hearts and give them the strength to continue walking with God. They are both so excited about our return to Guatemala and their part in the future of the ministry. Pray for us also that God will continue to open doors, blaze the trail, and prepare the way.