As far back as Juana could remember, the gang her biological dad called family had called the shots in her life.
As a tiny girl, Juana remembered the fear that would grip her when she was in the presences of the gang members. She instinctively knew she was in danger and unsafe, and her mother was in no place emotionally to protect her. She, too, was trying to survive and lived in constant fear of displeasing her husband and incurring his wrath that was not only reserved for her, but also their little daughter.
As a 6-year-old, instead of a life that was filled with baby dolls and kindergarten, Juana remembers the first time her dad, leaned in close to her face, alcohol on his breath, fear in his eyes and threatened to kill her.
Family life was a nightmare that was filled with fear, hunger, abuse, neglect, and living in and out of government run children’s homes. At 13 years old–with a precious baby girl of her own and more tragic stories than a child should ever have–Juana was brought to another children’s home. As she gripped her baby tightly in her arms, she squeezed her eyes shut so as to not appear weak and let tears escape as she mentally prepared for the abuse that was about to face her. Her worst fear?–that her baby would be taken away from her.
What Juana didn’t know was that her life and her baby’s life had forever changed as the staff of Village of Hope, a ministry partner of Lifesong for Orphans, was already waiting to welcome her, to cover her with grace, love, therapy, and healing, and to introduce her to a Father who would never fail her.
Update on Juana
Juana is now a light to everyone who has the honor of being in her presence. For the first time in her life, Juana is seen, known, celebrated, fought for and it has brought and continues to bring the deepest levels of healing to her heart and soul. Juana continues to blossom at Village of Hope, where she goes to school, is a part of a family who loves her unconditionally, and is learning what it looks like to be a healthy mommy to her baby girl. She will proudly tell you that she wants to be an attorney when she grows up.
Our children now have the freedom to DREAM BIG dreams for their lives and we have the honor of cheering them on from the sidelines as He receives all the glory for lives as beautiful as Juana’s!
When you sponsor a child with Village of Hope/Lifesong Guatemala, you help children like Juana reach their potential and experience the love of their Heavenly Father.