The Gencarella and Secker family developed a friendship with a dear lady in Guatemala, Lilly, who had a vision and a passion to help the vulnerable children of her country who had no home to go to - many of whom were abandoned on the streets. They had the privilege of working closely with her in a local hogar (home) she helped establish. Through her leadership, this home provided more than just the basic needs for survival but was a place where these children experienced hope, love and prepared them for a meaningful future.
Through their joint work, they realized they needed to find a more sustainable solution to the problem and try to reach the mothers, who were typically very young, before they reached the level of desperation that would cause them to harm or abandon their children.
In 2012, they realized their dream to open a home, Esperanza y Futuro (Hope and Future), that not only provides for children and teen-aged girls but also has a special program specifically designed for pregnant and teen-aged moms with their babies. Their goal is to break the cycle of abuse and abandonment that is so prevalent in the Guatemalan society.
At Esperanza y Futuro, they work closely with the girls to teach them healthy habits for themselves and their babies and give them 24/7 support on how to become confident, nurturing mothers. They provide a safe, loving atmosphere where the girls can heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In addition, they provide them with an education, either through private Christian school or home tutoring. They also have programs that will help the girls learn practical, marketable life skills such as cooking, sewing, flower arranging, and beauty.
Currently, Esperanza y Futuro is blessed to have 28 children and teens in their family.
Esperanza y Futuro also has a commitment to the surrounding community and shares clothing and food through local organizations and churches. In addition, they have a continuing relationship with many of the children who have been re-united with their families. Through their involvement they are not only able to provide continued support for the children but also are able to impact their communities as well. What a blessing!
They believe that God is working through Esperanza y Futuro and has called each child and teen there for a reason. He has a plan and purpose for each one of them. All of the staff and children of Esperanza y Futuro hold close to their hearts the truth found in the book of Jeremiah:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11