Ever want to be somebody? Perhaps your dream was to become a lawyer. Or you wanted to become a pilot for a major commercial airline. You kept your dream at the forefront of your mission, and then later in life… Guess what? You accomplished it. Now you are living the dream you always wanted and are doing what you always wanted. Perhaps it was due to your own personal will and determination? Perhaps you had great family and emotional support from those who love you. It’s an incredible journey, isn’t it? To dream and to achieve your dream. Congratulations. What an incredible achievement.
Relationships are among the most engaging and empowering aspects of serving in community unification projects, such as the one currently happening in Ventanilla, Peru. The relationships that come and go are part of the journey that brings the sense of family, friendships, and community among individuals, families, and organizations.
I remember when I first started serving on the hill of Las Lomas with those precious souls who lived there. Imagine living without running wáter and without a single place to use the toilet, except on the back wall of your wooden slated plywood house, or more like a cookie cutout of boxes put together to be labeled as your house. Those even less fortunate would just use a bucket and find a hole to dump their personal waste into a nearby rock heap. Some of those images will never leave my mind, as I personally had to use a tire for the toilet for the 21 days that I lived in the Peruvian desert in January 2014 to raise awareness for the Voices4Peru private school that we are running for children in Ventanilla where 4 out of 5 children in the city will not get an education.
It’s humbling to know that the presence of the Voices4Peru private school will change that national statistic here in Perú. One of those friendships that has grown over time has been with a humble youth named Guino. Guino has always been a soft-spoken kid from the day we first met him all those years ago.
He quietly observed a lot, said little, but always wanted to know what we were doing on the hill and asked just by being present. As the years progressed, Guino started attending our Youth Group, although he wanted to attend from Day 1 as a kid, and resulted to standing outside the youth group hall where we met for games, events, activities, and community connection. As the years went by, he was estastic when he got to finally come into the youth group program. Always quiet and humble, but always present. A gentle soul with a love for people, he quietly would ask about life in North America, and the place where “white people” came from. I used to share what life was like back in the day when I lived there, and we used to sit out on the cement steps and watch the local soccer game being played on the cement basketball court makeshift soccer field. As time went on, not only did Guino continue on with youth group, but became one of the best goalies on the Club Deportivo Dan Soccer Club that I had founded back in 2008.
Guino attended the training sessions for the Sporting Club and became more involved, playing on our 2nd división team and even into the 1st división team. He was the best goalie we had, yet he was on the shorter side, but that didn’t stop his passion to play for his own community’s soccer team. Humbled and quiet, he would do his part on the team, and play to the best of his ability, which was inspiring to each of us.
As time went by, Guino managed to be one of out of the 5 to graduate from high school, but then, he lost hope. This is when the tragedy sets in. Guino, one of the sweetest souls who thrives in maintaining hope for a better future has goals and dreams. He passionately desires to become a contributing member to society with great ambitions to achieve great success.
The struggle is that Guino’s dreams, hopes, and goals are squelched by the reality of poverty. He cannot attend university. He cannot attend technical school, and he cannot even attend a trade school. No money. No funds. Guino has had to give up his dreams and hopes to just survive. He lives without running wáter or sewage disposal, and is working just to pay for his food and a bed. He is losing hope. The glimmer that he once had in his eyes to achieve greatness is dwindling because of the reality of what is yet to come. Guino will become one of those national statistics who live to survive, and die to live in eternity in glory.
Guino’s little brother is attending the Vocies4Peru private school. Thankfully there are funds because some generous soul out there in this global community has donated. He sees that and realizes that. I know that he is so grateful for the opportunity for his little brother, but yet, I see the fading flame of hope he once had. It breaks my heart and I feel the pain in his soul of realizing that his dreams are fading away. He is beginning to accept that he will live to survive and die to live. There is one lingering possibility of life change that could happen.
There is one chance of hope. There is just one. As we at Voices4Peru don’t have extra funding for sponsorships yet for people like Guino, however, there is someone out there reading this right now who could be the very person to send Guino to attend university or trade school or tech school.
It just takes one person out there reading this right now to say yes, and HOPE is restored to the life of Guino. Just one person to say, “Yeah, I want to bring hope into Guino’s life,” and then “BAM.” Life change begins. Guino will start to study to achieve his dreams and goals and wishes to become what he feels God has called him to become. All because of someone like you who is reading this.
Guino wants to finish university culinary school, and one day have his own chain of cuisine and have a culinary school institute for adolescents from the “barrio” or the “ghettos” in which he grew up can have an opportunity to study for reduced costs or free. What an incredible dream by an incredible young adult who is ready to change the world. He just needs someone to fund his schooling. The cost is $400 USD a month, which includes books, tuition, fares, and materials from the university. That’s $4,800 USD for one year to change the life of one young man. Who is up for that challenge? Who wants to do one year and make it happen ?
—- Imagine. Monthly life change happening in your life and in the life of Guino, all because of human kindness…
Which begins with the relationship…
Who is next?
To change the world …..