On June 8, 2017 we received word that Reason to Hope, Inc. had been approved as an independent 501 (c) (3) or non-profit charitable organization. 

What does this mean?

Pat Duff and her ministry to the disabled in Guatemala has been funded through donations to the Josiah Foundation since her work began in June of 2010.  The Foundation had received donations to support this ministry, and Pat received these funds to support this work as an independent contractor.  Thus, the relationship of the Josiah Foundation was specifically with Pat Duff.  This has served well for the past seven years, and we are very grateful to the Josiah Foundation Board, and the Foundations founder, David Penner, for helping us get started serving in Guatemala.

As the ministry here developed, services and staff added, and real estate purchased, it became evident that our ministry to the poor and disabled in Guatemala needed a more permanent status to provide for sustainability and expansion in the future.  With the encouragement of friends of the ministry, and the blessing fo the Josiah Foundation, we submitted an application for non-profit status in May, 2017.  Almost miraculously, Reason to Hope, Inc. received approval as a tax-exempt charitable organization in less than three weeks.  Such rapid approval is almost unheard of and we are so excited to begin making the transition to providing a permanent presence in Guatemala.

Pat will continue to oversee the daily operation of the ministry in Guatemala, but will be supported and assisted by a Board of Directors for the corporation.  Currently, Mike and Marty Frisina, long-time supporters of the ministry, are serving as President and Secretary/Treasurer of Reason to Hope, Inc.  They will be the US contacts for the ministry, and will receive and process donations and help promote our work.  The Board will be expanded as the need arises and God directs.

How will this affect you as ministry supporters?

Please continue to keep in touch with us, and informed on what we are up to. Pat has a new email; patd@reasontohope.org (though the guatemalagrandma email will continue to function).

We are constructing a new website, but at present it only has a donation button appearing.  We hope to have it up and running within the next few weeks.

Pat will continue to be "Guatemala Grandma" to post on blog Guatemala Journey, which will focus on her life and growth as she ministers in Guatemala.

We have begun a ministry-specific blog, Reason to Hope, which will update you on ministry occurrences and events.  If you'd like to receive these blog posts by email, let us know.

How will this affect donating to this ministry?

Currently, the Josiah Foundation continues to receive and process donations on behalf of Pat's Guatemala Mission, and will continue to do so for the near future.  If you are a current supporter of the ministry, and have arranged for automatic payments set up for the ministry, please contact your bank or Paypal, and ask for the designated recipient to be changed to Reason to Hope, Inc. and change the address to the address listed below for checks. If you need a bank account number for electronic transfers, please contact Mike Frisina,our board president, at mikef@reasontohope.org.  He can help you with this.

If you contribute through Paypal,  please designate the recipient as to Reason to Hope, Inc.  You can click here to make an on line donation.

There will be a period of overlap between the Josiah Foundation and Reason to Hope on these two methods of donations.  If you have donation currently pending through the Josiah Foundation, we will receive it, but please make this change as soon as it is convenient.

Finally, should you prefer to donate by check, please send your donation to:

Reason to Hope, Inc.
P. O. Box 284
Elkhorn, NE  68022.

There is no need to designate Mission Guatemala on the memo line of your check, as all donations received will directly support the ministry in Guatemala.  Please DO NOT write Pat's name anywhere on the check, as this will affect you ability to claim your gift as a charitable donation.

The Josiah Foundation has recently changed its mailing address, due to the relocation of the President and Founder, Dave Penner.  Though an oversight, mail addressed to the Josiah Foundation has been returned to sender.  We apologize for this mix-up, and ask you forgiveness if we have offended anyone in this process or caused you to question our support for our ministry.  Some things have been our of our control.

 If,  by chance, a donation is returned to you and you would like to resubmit it, you can just write a new check to Reason to Hope, Inc. and send it to the above address.

I know this is confusing, but the benefits of having our own non-profit will out-weigh the difficulties if we can persevere through the confusion of the changes.

Still have questions or concerns?

Please email Pat at patd@reasontohope.org.  

We Need a Little Help

Roberto, one of the permanent residents of Casa de Esperanza has been hospitalized for the past 11 days with a ruptured appendix.  Our staff has been doing a tremendous job of covering the house and helping to stay with him in the hospital, but it’s still been quite a strain on all of us—especially Roberto.  This has also been a tremendous strain on our limited budget.  Because of the emergency nature of this illness, we chose to use a private hospital. While the cost is nowhere near what it would be in the US, we are anticipating the bill will run us about $7000, which is far beyond what we have in our emergency fund.

This has been my first time to deal first-hand with medical care here in Guatemala for something more serious than a cold.  It has been a learning experience to say the least.  There is a national hospital system which provides free care to patients—however accessing their services can be a challenge.  You wait hours in the emergency room to see a doctor, and sometimes the skills of the physician you see leave quite a bit to be desired.  You often must pay for extras, such as anesthesia and surgical supplies, so, in reality, this can still cost a significant amount. Private insurance is not available to persons with significant health care needs, such as our young men.  So we did the best we could with what is available.

Our staff stayed with Roberto round the clock
for the 11 days he was hospitalized.
They were great and Calin, who had lived with us,
 even pitched in when we were short of workers.
The guys in the house missed Roberto,
and here Moises came with me to visit him.
Since I feared Roberto might have an appendicitis, I opted for the more expensive option of a private hospital.  The head doctor saw him immediately, and diagnosed him.  The problem was, the surgeon on call comes from Guatemala City only in the evenings.  In the meantime, his appendix ruptured.  

The treatment plan then changed to treating him for six weeks with antibiotics, and then returning to remove the appendix. (For those of you who are concerned about this, I checked the Mayo Clinic website and this is the preferred course according to them.  Who knew?) 

Roberto's veins were really a challenge for the nurses
who needed to set up IV's.  It often took numerous pokes
and more than a half hour to finally find a vein that wouldn't collapse.
After four days of IV antibiotics and a  couple of pints of whole blood, the infection was not subsiding, and the doctors decided to operate.  Surgery took place Saturday night, and lasted three hours.  There were some complications—previous surgeries done after his  original accident had “rearranged” his intestines, and part of his ruptured appendix was attached (?) to his bladder.  The surgeon thought he had managed to clean out the infection sufficiently for him to recover more rapidly.

Roberto's first time back in his wheelchair after surgery.
It was tough.
After another week in the hospital he was finally ready to come home last Saturday.  His previous malnutrition and physical condition have made his recovery a much slower process than normal. Please continue to pray for his recovery, and that he will cooperate fully in his care. Roberto can be a bit stubborn if he doesn’t feel like doing what he needs to do.  Sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with at 12-year-old rather than someone who is 27.  (This is understandable, given his history of neglect, but still challenging, and I find myself struggling often with frustration and impatience. Maybe you need to pray for me?)  

Today we returned to the hospital to have his stitches removed, and he is progressing well.  We are facing a new problem, however.  If you remember Roberto, you might remember that he came to us with horrible bedsores.  We have been working on them consistently, and he has been improving, except for one on his back.  The treatment for his injury five years ago was to put a steel rod in his back to stabilize his broken spine.  Over time, his spine has begun to curve forward, in part due to his poor posture.  Before his recent hospitalization, the rod had begun to break through the skin.  At first it was a small blister, which gradually increased to about a half inch opening, exposing the rod.  

He was seen by a neurosurgeon in late December, and he recommended using a particular membrane which is often effective in treating wounds such as these.  Unfortunately, it was not working, and we were making plans for Roberto to go to the orthopedic hospital in Guatemala City when his appendix acted up.  This was obviously put on hold to treat a more life-threatening condition.  After the time in the hospital, however, the opening has progress to be about 2 inches long, and very painful for him.

I have to admit this is all pretty overwhelming to me.  I thought caring for his bedsores was difficult, but it pales in comparison to having to clean and bandage this wound on his back.  I know I can only do this because of the strength God gives me to face it, but it scares me each time I bandage it.  It breaks my heart knowing that, unlike his bedsores, he feels extreme pain every time I treat the wound.  So, now that he is cleared to move on for further treatment, I sincerely ask you to pray for wisdom in deciding where to have this next surgery done.

The orthopedic hospital is part of the national hospital system, and I am very concerned about the quality of the care he will receive there.  With the expense of his recent hospitalization, however, a private surgeon seems out of the question.  Our neurosurgeon is recommending one of the orthopedic doctors who he believes to be competent, who works at the national hospital. We are trusting his opinion as we move forward.  Over everything, though, I am trusting God to direct me in how to best care for this young man who already has suffered so much.  

If you feel moved to help us with the cost of Roberto’s treatment, you can do so through the Josiah Foundation.  You can contribute on line at www.josiahfoundation.com, using the link for Donations.  Please look for the link for Mission Guatemala.  

If you prefer to use a check, please designate your desire for the funds to be directed to our ministry by noting Mission Guatemala on the memo line of your check.  You can send your donation to:

Reason to Hope, Inc.
P.O. Box 284
Elkhorn, NE 68022

A Taste of Guatemala Was Sweet

A huge thank you to all who attended our

Second Annual Taste of Guatemala.

It was an overwhelming success!

The sweet spirit among those who 120 + people who attended and the 20+ folks who served made the evening even more special. Together we raised more than $24,000 toward giving Casa de Esperanza a permanent home!

Thank you
God's richest blessings on you for your generosity.