Common Hope Day #5 with John Kittleson

We know it as Common Hope.  Here it is called “Familias de Esperanza,” an enclosed compound consisting of housing for staff, long-term volunteers, and guests; a kitchen and cafeteria; a school with a library; a clinic; an activities center; office administration; and a workshop, where the walls are built for the 40 – 60 houses that are built a year. 

Common Hope is an amazing organization with much respect and admiration within the communities it serves.  Employees and long-term volunteers alike inspire with friendly smiles and warm, joyful greetings.  Laughter fills the air as evidence that employees and volunteers love their jobs here. 

Today I met my second sponsor child and her family.  The response from the mother when I asked of her greatest worry?  “That my children have a better life.”  My follow-up question, “Is this possible?”  Her reply, “Yes, thanks to Common Hope.” 

Today the house was constructed.  The concrete floor was poured Tuesday as another group stayed behind to build the wall panels at Common Hope’s facility.  Yesterday, the walls and roof were delivered to the site.  Everyone had a hand in the construction of the house. 

Other meaningful activities include tending to daycare, packing emergency food bags, painting and grounds maintenance, assisting in the library, auditing of social worker visits, and sorting, packaging and distribution of school supplies and uniforms.  There are 80 schools that include students affiliated with Common Hope. 

The highlight, however, are the visits with our sponsored students.  There is shyness at first, but they quickly warm up to us.  They are excited to see us.  We meet the families.  We witness firsthand the meager living conditions.  We also get a sense of the love and care within the family units.  The lack of resources and some of the many obstacles that are potential barriers to their success in school become apparent. 

These visits have been sobering, enlightening and uplifting.  One can easily feel God’s work in creating wonderful opportunities for these children and their families through the efforts of Common Hope. 

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