A World without Legacy of Hope

Sometimes I sit back and think of all the children the Emergency Placement Home has served. I don’t just think of the children; I imagine their faces, their sweet little laughs and tears, the story of victory that is waiting for them on the other side after conquering their trauma.

You see, I don’t just go home after a long day of work and continue on with my day. I come home and I imagine what life would be like for them if Legacy of Hope wasn’t there to receive them.

Where would they go?

Who would empower them to use their voice and teach them how to file a police report if they ever were unsafe again?

Who would introduce them to a childhood they missed and make sure they had time to study and play?

These simple things should not be a luxury, but to most children who come to our Emergency Placement Home they are.

A few months ago we received a “sibling” group of four children. These “siblings” were in fact four children, ages 9 months to 15 years, with the oldest being the mother of the youngest. The 3 oldest children’s mother was trapped by the man who fathered the baby and the 7-year-old girl, the baby’s half-sister. Thanks to the police report filed by some good samaritans the children had escaped his physical and psychological abuse, but the effects and impact of the trauma he inflicted continued to haunt them.

When the 13-year-old brother experienced what the staff thought was a seizure, we rushed him to the public hospital. Following many hours and countless tests, a neurologist diagnosed him with “psychogenic seizures”. These seizures have the appearance of epileptic seizures but the similarities end there. Psychogenic seizures are related to the highest form of PTSD. This can be the result of an identifiable traumatic event or a series of prolonged events. Following this episode our psychologist started therapy with the sibling group and a specialized care plan was made for them with our staff.

I think about the healing this sibling group experienced during their stay with us; so many victories. I worry about where they would have gone if we had been unable to receive them.

While they were with us, the baby learned how to crawl and walk.

The youngest girl, who use to hide under a table from her dad, learned how to enjoy playing as a child without fear.

The teen mom was able to embrace moments to be a kid again, enjoying spending time coloring and making bracelets.

The boy who suffered from these seizure episodes recovered well and enjoyed playing soccer.

We were able to advocate for them, and they were recently reintegrated with their biological mom after she was able to escape the abuse and rebuild a life for herself in a different community.

Because of the government change in Honduras, there has been uncertainty as to whether the contract that provides the majority of the funds for our Emergency Placement Home will be extended. So many times we’ve had to have the hard conversation about whether to close our doors. We’ve found ways to cut down budget and come up with any/every solution to keep things going despite the difficult times, even when that meant that sometimes the other Director and I would have to go over and fill in for caregivers.

March was the most difficult when the situation escalated to the point where we had to stop receiving new placements; our funds were running out and a new contract was not promised. However, after many phone calls to child services we eventually received a temporary extension of the contract for the first couple months of the year and the “promise” of payment within the near future. Part of the payment eventually came which allowed us to immediately open our doors to new placements. Today, over 10 children live in our Emergency Placement Home as they await a safe living arrangement either with a family member or a permanent children’s home.

We are currently waiting and praying for a new contract for the remaining months of this year, and payment for April through June. In the meantime Legacy of Hope continues to tirelessly love and serve children in our Emergency Placement Home.

Whatever the outcome is with the Honduran government, I believe God is faithful. There are countless stories like this sibling group that I could share, testimonies of God’s redemptive victory in each child’s lives. But that’s another blog post for another time.

Since our official opening in 2016, God has provided time and time again for this ministry. So as we serve these children and families, I will trust and believe He has a plan for the Emergency Placement Home and the hundreds of children who depend on it each year, and I pray that one day soon I won’t have to ask myself what Honduras would look like without Legacy of Hope.

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