I enjoyed the days that I had the opportunity to spend with the wonderful family that is Hope For Tomorrow. I had the privilege of experiencing a plethora of beautiful moments throughout my stay here, including: sharing a birthday celebration with Carlos; attempting to teach Juan Jose and Diego how to Salsa dance; playing peek-a-boo with Leticia; coloring pictures to bring to the preschoolers at the YMCA in Southern Indiana; a movie night with Amelia and Lidia; singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” a likely record-breaking amount of times; shopping with Edwin and Miguel; cooking with Bethany; playing soccer with Rosa, Saraí, and Carlos; worshiping at church with the children; and visiting Antigua.
I am so thankful for everyone here at Hope for Tomorrow, from the caregivers, to Kenneth and Diana, to the other volunteer, Bethany; they all came together to ensure a successful and fulfilling experience throughout my stay in Guatemala. Although I was only a part of the children’s lives for a few days, I am blessed to report that they have made an outstanding impact on my life. I will continue to recount these memories as I head home and will forever keep the Hope for Tomorrow family in my prayers.
Although neither of us would call ourselves master chefs, we decided to put our cooking skills to the test in the challenge of a lifetime: feeding the Hope for Tomorrow family. Blanca does it flawlessly every day; however, we found a path with a few more bumps in the road still turns out okay as well.
It started on Friday with a rainy trip to the super market with Edwin and Miguel. We ran around Wal-Mart, translating the recipe, comparing prices, and simply trying to find the items we needed. The trip was full of laughs, as we were all happy to spend time together working to accomplish step one of our cooking escapade.
Sunday our skills were truly put the test. After church and a walk with the kids, we decided to assist Blanca in making lunch to practice for the big dinner. She shared a few tricks that helped dramatically when we began our preparations for dinner later that afternoon. We started by letting each of the kids pour out the bags of noodles we would use for our Pasta Bake. Then, Lidia and Amelia joined us to cook the meat, boil the noodles, and assemble our casseroles. We lost a few noodles along the way to hungry, curious kids but most of them made it safely into the dish.
Once the casseroles were prepared, the girls loaded them carefully into the oven. Then Bethany and the girls made a mad dash to the super market for bread while Katherine and Edwin stayed behind to set the table and wash dishes. Excitement arose as the aroma of cheesy pasta filled the house. The casseroles were done just in the knick of time and served to a hungry, eager family. The smiles, “yums”, and begging for seconds proved our dinner was a success! We showered Blanca with gratitude for the challenge she faces every day of not just one meal but three fantastic meals. We truly are blessed!
-Katherine and Bethany
My name is Katherine Clark and I am a short term volunteer here at Hope For Tomorrow. I wanted to share a memorable experience from my trip in hopes of inspiring potential ideas for future volunteers!
I have been a member of the Clark County YMCA of Southern Indiana for more than eight years. I have worked throughout this particular branch for nearly five years, spending the majority of my time in the Kids’ Adventure Room. In the KAR, my job consists of playing with and caring for the children while their parents exercise.
Needless to say, the YMCA holds a special place in my heart. When Y members and staff heard of my plans to volunteer with Hope For Tomorrow, they were eager to help and support my efforts in any way they could. Numerous members and staff alike participated in the Mark’s Feed Store Fundraiser I initiated for Hope For Tomorrow. My YMCA family also offered countless prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibes directed to my new family at Hope For Tomorrow.
At the YMCA, I also spend a lot of time working in their preschool program. I was so excited when they invited me to talk about Hope For Tomorrow and to teach the kids a short Spanish lesson. The Y preschoolers colored beautiful pictures for me to bring to the children of Hope For Tomorrow. Each of them wrote the phrase: “Que Dios le te bendiga” which translates to “God bless you” on the top of their cards.
When I presented the children from Hope For Tomorrow with the pictures drawn by the YMCA preschoolers, they were bursting with joy and excitement. Rosa was especially pleased, as she brought every picture to her school the next day in order to show her teachers and friends the beautiful drawings she had received.
The children from Hope For Tomorrow immediately wished to return the favor by coloring pictures for the Y preschoolers. The kids and I had a blast drawing pictures and decorating their cards with stickers galore! I cannot wait to present the YMCA preschoolers with the cards that the children at Hope For Tomorrow have made for them in return.
This easy activity proved to serve as a bridge to combine two very important parts of my life. I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve here as I continue to grow and develop spiritually.
The summer here at Hope for Tomorrow is revving up to be a big one. God has blessed us with an abundance of people who care about our kids and desire to serve with us. From individual volunteers to large groups, our summer line-up is full of amazing people. Following is a brief preview of what the next three months look like for our ministry:
We cannot thank each of these groups enough for the work they will be doing with us this summer. We are incredibly blessed to have such great people supporting our ministry. As we prepare for an eventful summer, please pray for everyone involved.
We are so excited for the work God will do this summer through each group and volunteer here at Hope for Tomorrow!