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Emily Nicholson | Guatemala 2010
God has truly opened the doors for me to serve in Guatemala. This summer marks my third time in this incredible place. Previously, I came on missions trips with a group from my university. Instantly I was enamored by this country, and my heart was set on fire at the prospect of being a small part of God’s BIG plan here in Guatemala. As a college student, I have been challenged by significant transitions within the past couple years. Yet, I can say in complete sincerity, that my experiences in Guatemala have been the most life changing. Here, I have found purpose.
I do believe that the will of the Lord brought me here, to transform me through building relationships. God has spoken into my life through others, and in them I see His love. His love is pure and true, and it does not fade as the days pass. Through laughter, smiles, tickles, tears, the simplicity of his love is proclaimed. The children never cease to fill a room with joy.
However, God is so great in that neither age nor location limited the opportunity to create bonds with others. Many who I have met on this journey will forever have an effect on who I am, the decisions I make, and the path that I follow. They include my friends who joined me on my first trips to Guatemala, the children at the orphanage, women in the prison, people from the dump, the special mothers, the staff, adoptive parents, mission team members, individuals from the ghetto, and fellow volunteers. The glory of the Lord is displayed through the beauty of his people. Interactions with others reveal God’s love simply and abundantly. Guatemala, you have left me forever changed.
Tiffany Rockwell | Guatemala 2010
If you’re with me for more than five minutes, you’ll realize I have such a heart for people whom I’ve never met. For instance, my heart goes out to those starving in Africa, or the ones suffering from AIDS. While I do love the ones around me, I have such a deep love for those whom I’ll never meet.
With that being said, I already loved the people of Guatemala before even knowing them. However, going into the trip, I was terrified of how much I would love them upon meeting them. I was afraid of how attached I’d get, or how heartbroken I would be at the end of it all. I was afraid of being hurt. Not because they would hurt me, but because loving them would consume all of me.
Turns out, I was right. Loving them has consumed my being. They’re lives are engraved on my heart, forever. I no longer fear the hurt, though. Loving them has been one of the greatest things to happen to me. The people of Guatemala are the people who taught me to love - deeply, sincerely, and relentlessly love.
It started upon meeting Jenni. Her innocence and love for life captivated me. We bonded immediately, and I have never loved anyone like I have loved Jenni. Despite the feeling of abandonment she could take on, she chooses to love complete strangers who only accompany her for a week. It may not say much to you, but it spoke volumes to me. Then, the women in the ghetto who chose to love God and others who had hurt them so badly was probably the most inspiring thing I have ever seen. The wake up call came at the prison, though. There was a woman there whom I genuinely loved with every fiber of my being. I couldn’t express it, though. My fear of being uncomfortable or rejected or ineffective kept me from showing this woman, who so desperately needed to know that God loves her, what being a Christian is. It broke me. I boarded the bus feeling like a failure. It was then that I realized that my love wasn’t love at all. Real love doesn’t let fear get in its way. All this time, I have been so scared to feel anything at all. What I felt for these people was so strong, and while yes, it was frightening, it was the best feeling I do believe I’ve ever had.
So, thank you to the people of Guatemala. Because of you, I am now free to love everyone. Fear is no longer an option. I will accept the vulnerability in love, and love with the relentless love that Jesus Christ gave me.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. -1 John 4:18
New T-Shirts Coming Soon!
All proceeds from this project will go to support on-going Guatemalan missions projects. Cost $20. Click here to pre-order.
Guatemala 2010 Photos -
This summer I had the opportunity to help lead a trip with Trinity Chapel Academy. We took 10 High School Sophomores and Juniors to Guatemala for their first time. It was a powerful week to see the lives of the students be transformed through the Power of Love in a nation where injustice is all around.
The place where he is now at is not as nice as Dorie’s Promise, however it is one of the better run state facilities. My prayer is that he will take what he has learned from his time here at Dorie’s Promise and bring it with him where ever he goes. He is filled with joy and his spirit brings joy with him everywhere he is. I know God is at work and He has prepared a great purpose for Victor to fulfill. My prayer is that he will realize his purpose in God. As I was praying last night I was reminded of the lyrics of this song:
Everything Falls Apart
You said, you’d never leave or forsake me
when you said, this life is gonna shake me
you said this world is gonna bring trouble on my soul this I know
when everything falls apart, your arms hold me together
when everything falls apart, you’re the only hope for this heart
when everything falls apart and my strength is gone
I find you mighty and strong you keep holding on, you keep holding on
when I see darkness all around me
when I see that tragedy has found me
I still believe your faithful arms will never let me go and still I know
Sorrow will last for the night, but hope is rising with the sun
there will be storms in this life but I know you will overcome, I know you will overcome
Please continue to pray for him and his sister for their safety.
Thank you for your prayers.
As most of you know I am back in Guatemala doing ministry throughout Guatemala City. The heart of why I decided to come back to this country was for my little boy Victor. It was about a year ago we met and he grabbed my heart. For the last two days it has been incredible to see him and spend time loving this child that has no family outside of the orphanage. His spirit lights up any room. He is one special child.
Upon returning from doing some incredible work in the Guatmalan’s Womens Prison today I was informed that Victor had a court appearance this morning and the judge decided to take him from Dorie’s Promise and move him to another orphanage in the city. This is devastating news because the orphanage he has been at for more than 3 years is the best in the country. I have seen the quality of living in the other orphanages in the city and nothing compares to the love and quality of care that the children at Dorie’s Promise get.
My prayer is that the Lord’s Will will be done in this situation. I ask that you would please pray that he can be returned to Dorie’s Promise and that he will be safe. It breaks my heart to know that he is out away from this place where there are people that love him and are his family.