Monday of last week I shared a post about Ivan and our goal to open a transition house to help teens like him move from orphanage into independence. Later that same day, I found out Ivan has 1 month before he needs to leave the orphanage for good. Shocking… as reality hit.
The next day over coffee, I shared this news with my husband Evan.
(Mind you, we live in the same household, he’s on the board of directors for Heart4Honduras, he’s very aware that when I’m not at work, at church, or with family, I’m working on stuff for Honduras, we’ve had multiple conversations about the need for a transition house and why…)
Yet, when I shared this sad news with Evan that Ivan has 1 month before Senderos de Amor lets him go, he asked, “Do they give him anything to help him?”
“They don’t give him some money. Or help him find a place to stay?”
“No,” I said.
“That’s crazy! That can’t be true. They don’t have any plan to help them? They just let them go?”
“Yes, they just let them go,” I said.
It’s shocking when it affects someone you know.
Evan’s question was one of the most memorable I asked on my first mission trip to Honduras. What happens when these orphans become adults, what happens when they turn 18? And the answer was the same 2 1/2 years ago: They just let them go. Shocking as I looked at all these faces who would one day turn 18. The next question asked of me was, “Do you want to start a transition house??”
At the time, I barely even wanted to travel to Honduras, let alone start a nonprofit to help. But, God had bigger plans. And through my conviction to help Alex, He brought me to this place where I am now willing to start a program to help bridge that gap for teens aging out orphanages.
We live in a very different country here in the U.S. Orphanages are thing of the past. They don’t work. And at the turn of the century, our government began realizing the importance of keeping families together, began helping struggling families with public programs and financial assistance and began focusing on foster care solutions, and after WWII, traditional orphanages began closing and gradually went extinct entirely. Unfortunately, orphanages still do exist in Honduras. Orphans are released at 18 and end up on the streets, homeless, without a job, without an education, lured into gangs for survival, girls become pregnant and the cycle continues…
Our transition home is an effort to end this cycle of poverty and, at the very least, change Ivan’s future… If this story has touched your heart at all, please consider helping, and become a monthly sponsor by clicking the donate button below. Thank you.