The GOD'S CHILD Project

The GOD'S CHILD Project mission is "to break the bitter chains of poverty through education and formation." While GOD'S CHILD is rooted in education, we aim to support the communities we serve at every level of development. Through our wide range of programs, we help children and families living in extreme poverty to meet their basic needs and find a restored sense of hope, self-worth and human dignity.
Feb 27, 2013

History of Maria Amarilis Antonio Miguel

Amarilis is the daughter of Efrain Miguel and Maria Miguel Francisco, who live in Comunidad San Vicente Guanagazapa in the state of Escuintla, Guatemala.  Amarilis is the youngest of four and has 3 older brothers;  Francisco Antonio Miguel who is 12 years old, Moises Estuardo Antonio Miguel who is 8 years old and Diego Miguel Francisco who is 6 years old.  

The Miguel Francisco family has very few resources and presently they live with their in-laws because they do not have the necessary resources to construct or even rent their own home.

Taking into account that they are a farming family and work is seasonal, Maria has shared that they don't have the most basic resources like water, plumbing or even electricity.   Nor do they possess any type of furniture, they sleep on the ground and their clothes are stored in sacks.  Maria has an iron skillet that she uses for cooking; however, it belongs to her mother-in-law.

Maria has also shared that she finds herself in a desperate situation and recently, her daughter was admitted to Casa Jackson due to complications of malnutrition.  However, she is worried for the well-being of her other children because they are still at her mother-in-laws home that they share with her two brother-in-law's who treat the children very poorly.  They are very unstable men who regularly smoke marijuana and abuse drugs; she is tremendously uncomfortable and is fearful that something could happen to her children living there.  They do not contribute anything to the household, only her husband does, and the little food that he is able to bring home , her brothers-in-law and their friends with whom they do drugs, eat.

Maria has asked The GOD'S CHILD Project for its help in order to build a small house on a piece of land that her father left her so that she will be able to take her children from this environment and for the well-being of her family.

She is very Grateful to Casa Jackson and to the entire association for all of the help that it has given her daughter.

Feb 26, 2013

Seeing, Serving, & Speaking...

Seeing, Serving, and Speaking: An Experiment in Intentional Living
 

Considering the chaotic lifestyle prominent in Western culture, it is difficult to live an intentional and enriching lifestyle. Despite the bustling nature of life in the United States, the Foncea family constructed a countercultural move of a lifetime. Little did they know that as they left their home behind in the United States that they would be building new homes, futures, and hope for poverty stricken families in Guatemala.


Foncea family, parents of two teenagers heavily involved in year round sports, AP classes, and extracurricular mayhem, rarely had time to eat dinner together as a family. For years they discussed slowing down; jumping off of their merry-go-round way of life. But when and how could this small family accomplish such a daunting task? After months of prayer, in August 2012, the Foncea’s sold their home, cars, and possessions and promptly moved to Guatemala.


The Foncea’s affectionately entitled their year of living in Guatemala: The 3 S’s: Seeing, Serving, and Speaking. According to Dr. Foncea (the husband and father), “the goals of the year are to 1) show our children what life looks like outside the bubble of suburban North America,

2) spend more time serving others than having our own needs met, and 3) learn to speak Spanish.”


Their serving experience began in Antigua, Guatemala when the family was introduced to The GOD’S CHILD Project. The Foncea’s toured the campus and immediately fell in love with Casa Jackson. They began volunteering there as often as possible. Each day the family arrived at Casa Jackson, Saul or Esau ran to meet them at the stairs with open arms, Humberto sported a huge grin, and Joshua was always counted on for a snuggle. As they said, “these children share all that they have with us: their love.” The Foncea’s had the unique opportunity to walk alongside Guatemalan children as they were nourished back to health.


It is during their weeks at Casa Jackson that the Foncea’s discovered the opportunity to build a house for a family affiliated with The GOD’S CHILD Project. The family joined a group from the United States as they built 5 homes for extremely poor families in Guatemala. Their teenage children cherished each moment that a Guatemalan family was presented with the keys to their new safe haven. For $2,000, the Foncea’s typical Christmas expenditure, they were able to invest in the life-changing gift of a brand new home. Usually around the holidays, many of us are making lists, trying to think of unnecessary things to put on them, and racing to numerous holiday parties and events. As Dr. Foncea said, “I don’t think we will ever view the holiday season the same way again.” On December 13, 14, and 15 the Foncea’s mixed concrete, painted walls, and cut the boards that provided a family with a sense of security and warmth they were once lacking.


The GOD’S CHILD Project empowers Guatemalan families by providing homes for the homeless. Every human being deserves a warm, dry, and safe place to call home. Their current substandard homes constructed of cornstalks, plastic, and if the family is lucky, corrugated tin, crushes hope, causes health problems, and works against family unity. Could you imagine a home no bigger than your closet where the floors are dirt, the doors and windows don’t lock, and your entire family must learn to survive in these tiny living quarters?


Your prayers and support literally construct new lives for impoverished families in Guatemala. Will you partner with us in providing this basic human right?


Feb 15, 2013

Juan's Story

It is often hard to imagine the atrocities that victims of human trafficking experience, especially when those victims are children. This case is no different.  We can’t use his real name, so we’ll just call him Juan. 

Juan lived on a small farm in a cattle ranching community of Guatemala.  When Juan was seven years old, his cousins began to sexually abuse him and continued to tease him. In another year, he and his mother moved to a shantytown outside of Antigua, where his mother met a new boyfriend. When Juan confided in his mother’s boyfriend about his awful experiences, this man’s response was to sexually abuse Juan just hours later.

When Juan was twelve, he encountered an opportunity to leave his horrible life.  A couple from El Salvador offered to take him to work in Mexico. Juan accepted the offer and left with them that same night.

After years of brutal treatment at the hands of those who were supposed to love him most, Juan thought that this was his ticket out.  What Juan didn’t realize was that the offer made to him was a doorway into a world of abuse and exploitation that would change his future. 

For four years, Juan, just a young teenager at the time, was drugged and forced to swallow and smuggle bags of cocaine and heroin across international borders.  As if this was not enough torment in itself, after each transport Juan was locked in a small room where he was sexually abused by multiple men a night. Each time he complained, he was injected with a drug that would make him more compliant.

While most sixteen-year-olds welcome their birthdays with a big celebration and a new driver’s license, Juan was not granted this rite of passage.  On this day that is special to many teenagers, Juan was being forced to smuggle more drugs.  Fortunately, Juan gained enough coherence to break away from his traffickers. Soon after, he met a woman who offered to help him.  Once again, Juan was the victim of a broken promise. He was sold to a black market brothel, where he was drugged, shaved, and exploited for sexual purposes.

Months went by before Juan saw an opportunity to escape the hell he was living in. He ran away and began life on the streets of an Oriental Marketplace, surviving by digging through the trash. Though he wanted to return home, the drugs had taken their toll on his mind and he did not know how. Eventually, he was found by the police and was sent to jail, where he experienced more abuse before being sent to a group home.

It was here where the bitter chains of slavery were finally broken. The home talked to the government and the government talked to us. 

Despite being threatened by government officials and encouraged to commit suicide, the long battle was won. One of our staff members stood with Juan a few weeks later at the Guatemala City International Airport. Juan was coming home.

The Institution of Trafficked, Exploited, and Missing Persons encounters situations like this all the time. Juan’s story is just one of many.  In fact, each year there are millions of victims of human trafficking in the world. Many of them are children who are robbed of simple pleasures, such as a sixteenth birthday party. 

Your prayers and support are what makes recovery for victims like Juan possible.  Every little bit counts. Please donate and join the fight against modern-day slavery.

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