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Who We Are
Causa de Esperanza serves as an umbrella association to provide support and leadership to all the ministries with which Pat Duff is currently involved (including Casa de Esperanza, our community living home). The work here in Guatemala has become more diversified than when Pat began her ministry here in 2010. The new association of Causa de Esperanza will allow for the maintenance and expansion of current ministry activities, along with providing the opportunity for new partnerships and new areas in which we can serve.
This name change (from Guatemala Grandma) also better reflects the way we minister in Guatemala. Pat no longer ministers as an individual. We have an increasing number of staff members, both paid and volunteer, working in Casa de Esperanza. In the future we hope to expand our staff to work in other areas of our ministry as well. (If you believe God may be prompting you to join us full-time, or as an intern, email Pat for more information.)
Early in the ministry in Guatemala, God gave Pat the following Bible verse to guide her approach to ministry:
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," (1Peter 3:15)
This verse admonishes us as Christ-followers to always be ready to explain why we live lives of hope amid a broken world with so much suffering. The reason for our hope is clear—it is Jesus Christ. This verse gave birth to the name of our ministry, Causa de Esperanza, translated "a reason to hope." Our name will be a constant reminder to us of why we are here--to share the hope we have in Christ. We believe this will prevent our ministry from slipping into work that is nothing more than humanitarian service. We are here first and foremost, not to meet human needs, but to bring glory to the God who has sent us here.
In our daily lives we try to follow the advice of St. Francis of Assissi:
Preach the gospel at all times.Use words when necessary.
Our work with the handicapped is often met by the question, “Why bother?” It provides us a perfect opportunity to share the Good News of Christ’s love for all people, especially the least of these.
We stand firm on God's promise to us and to them:
"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)
Whether through education, community living home, communication systems and wheelchairs, or by sponsoring children and families, we strive to help those we work with find hope in Jesus, and in the future He is offering them, living in union with Him.
What We Do
In June of 2010, Pat Duff moved to Antigua Guatemala, hoping to improve the lives of those with disabilities living in this impoverished country. Since that time, the ministry has grown to include a number of "service streams" as well as to include other Guatemalan and volunteer American staff members.
Three mornings a week, Pat teaches at New Life School, in Santa Maria de Jesús, about 10 km. outside of Antigua on the side of the dormant Agua Volcano. Founded in 2000 by Judy Kerschner, the school serves more than 100 special needs students from this traditional Mayan village. Using special education techniques, Pat works with about 20 children who are not making progress in the regular, individualized program at the school.
In January, 2013, Casa de Esperanza (Hope House) opened to meet this gap in services. Not a traditional group home, Casa provides a Christian environment in which those with disabilities can live in community with able-bodied peers. These peers serve as personal assistants and companions for our disabled residents, helping them do the things which they cannot do for themselves.
Wheelchairs and Communication Systems
Working in coordination with Hope Haven International and other ministries in the area, we help those with disabilities acquire wheelchairs and other assistive devices, free of charge. Pat also frequently works with Hope Haven at their wheelchair distributions, assessing those who are unable to speak, and designing alternative communication systems for those who are able to "talk" using pictures and line drawings.
SponsorshipsOften in the course of our "normal" ministry, we are asked to help families who are unable to provide food, housing or an education for their child. We cannot meet every need brought to us, but, through prayer and discernment, we try to respond to those requests for help which come from families with a disabled family member, especially when this can help the individual be cared for in their own home.
Through regular donations from our sponsors, we provide monthly support to a number of families in the form of food baskets and stipends for school expenses. We also have a small medical fund which enables us to assist with treatment in a private hospital or clinic when such treatment is not available from one of the government or missionary medical facilities.
This ministry is made possible through the donations of our financial partners. If you would like to support this special work, you can donate through the Josiah Foundation which funds this ministry. You can donate on-line at www.josiahfoundation.com, or send a check (noting "Mission Guatemala" on the memo line) to the foundation at:
The Josiah Foundation
2112 S. 163rd Circle
Omaha, NE 68130.