I have volunteered and worked for various organizations which support this population including summer camps, after school programs, and respite work. I got my bachelor’s in Signed Language Interpretation and worked for the public schools for a short time before beginning graduate school. When I heard about the opportunity to travel to Guatemala with GOT ministries I knew that it would be an incredible way to learn and give back.
I feel excited about the chance to learn another language, experience a new culture, and challenge myself.
GOT Ministries has had the privilege to work with Alvaro for three months this year though the job skills program created and implemented by our doctorate level Occupational Therapy student, Admeth. Alvaro is a 4th grader who enjoys playing with friends, eating bean sandwiches during recess, and learning in school. When we first met him, Alvaro had difficulty making eye-contact and had little confidence in himself to participate during the job skills workshop groups. He has had surgery in the past to remove a brain tumor, and has slowly but surely overcome obstacles, and has since been thriving. In the last few months, news arrived that doctors have found a second tumor growing in his brain, and deemed it too dangerous to conduct a second surgery. Alvaro does not let his medical situation hinder him on a daily basis. During therapy he demonstrates great progress and now has the utmost confidence and straightforward attitude that allows him to engage and participate in the workshops. He takes advantage of every moment by engaging with his peers and playing soccer every chance he gets. Alvar has achieved his therapy goal of increased self-awareness and self-confidence since beginning therapy three months ago. Now, Alvaro is the first person to start any task and does not allow mistakes hinder him, but uses those experiences to grow from them. Alvaro is a strong emotional child that is going to blossom into a smart young man, who will be able to tackle any challenge.
Please consider sponsoring continued therapy services for children like sweet Alvaro, so we can continue to give him hope and teach job skills that supports independence and future success. Click below to sponsor therapy for a child.
Santiago is a gentle and handsome 5 year old boy with cerebral palsy who has received 6 months of therapy along with his older sister Rosario. His major challenges have been controlling his head when sitting, engaging with toys, bearing weight in his legs, and connecting with his mother. He is a strong little boy, and has been making such progress with his positioning, has been engaging with musical toys while standing with support, holds his head up well, and has been searching for his mom when she talks to him. Santiago has the best giggle when Admeth played the drums for him, and he loves looking around when his mama carries him through the market. We are thankful for the privilege to work with Santiago and his mother to give hope, encourage the mom to complete therapy in home, and to share with his family how amazing he is, because the Lord loves him.
To sponsor therapy services for children like Santiago, to make progress possible for him and his family, please click the button below.
Our sweet friend Rosario is 7 years old, and has been receiving services from GOT Ministries since September 2017. When we first met Rosario, she would not respond to anything or anyone in her environment, screamed frequently, bit and hit her siblings and mother, and went potty on the floor 4 times during our visit. It was apparent that she had little to no previous experience with other people, and may not be treated very well in the home. We have had so much fun getting to know Rosario since September of last year. Three additional months of therapy with our doctorate student, Admeth, Rosario has grown and learned SO MUCH!!!! We are so proud of how far she and her mother have come. Now, Rosario is able to play ball back and forth, sit on the potty (we are currently working on a bathroom routine), play with toys while sitting at a table, giggle when enjoying a game, follow commands from her mother, and respond to her name being called. Rosario has even learned how to be gentle with her younger brother Santiago. She loves popping bubbles, and spinning in circles. We hope to serve her again when GOT Ministries returns to Santa Maria de Jesus in September 2018.
Please consider sponsoring 3 more months of therapy for this sweet girl by clicking the button below.
Fidel is a 31-year-old man who lives in San Pedro Las Huertas, Guatemala. Fidel lived in an institution specifically for children with disabilities for most of his life up until 5 years ago when he moved into the home of Pat Duff who began the ministry called Reason to Hope. Pat has welcomed 4 young men with complex disabilities who use wheelchairs for mobility into her home. Fidel is the leader and the oldest of these men and has begun a business collecting recycling materials from homes around his community for money. Fidel has cerebral palsy that effects his use of his hands as well as making speech difficult. His neighbors are not able to understand his speech, which makes his business difficult in the community. GOT Ministries was able to partner with Andrew Lewis and provide a state of the art communication device for Fidel. Andrew provided valuable services while in Guatemala at the end of February, to mount the communication device and a mouse pad onto Fidel’s wheelchair, as well as teach Fidel how to use this amazing resource. Fidel, because of his limited use of his hands, excels with the use of his toes and feet for everything he does, including accessing his laptop computer and cell phone. Andrew and Megan mounted a mouse pad onto his foot rest so that he could navigate the options on the communication device screen with the use of his toes! Now Fidel is able to use the communication device to tell a girl he likes that she is pretty, to ask for recycling from neighbors to continue running his business, and expand verbal vocabulary to truly share his vast intelligence and knowledge with others. We are thankful for the donation of Fidel’s communication device and the support of individuals to financially make this trip possible for Andrew to serve Fidel.
Why do we work? What is its value?
How does it give us purpose in our families, community, and personal lives?
Work occurs inside the home and outside the home, some earn money and some do not for their hard work. All work is purposeful, valuable and is needed to keep the world moving forward.
We are teaching 5 typical Mayan community jobs to our kiddos with special needs we serve.
WORKING IN THE FIELDS
SWEEPING AND MOPPING
We love our kiddos and want to support them to achieve their potential in life. Admeth, our Doctorate Occupational Therapy student is creating the job skills program that includes one weekly job skills workshop, and an individual visit with each child to support their success even further. Check out our newsletter for more pictures and stories.
Love is a funny thing and it is demonstrated and shared differently depending on what country we are from. With Valentine's Day this week, or Dia de Carino as they call it here in Guatemala, I felt like it is an appropriate topic. Carino in Spanish means: affection, dear one, care and caress..... What a beautiful word that expands beyond a wife or boyfriend relationship. Care for others.....Let's make a difference by caring and showing kindred affection for others.
My student and I have discussed LOVE multiple times since our arrival a week and half ago; we discussed the need for loving on these amazing children we serve. We are serving a need, a functional need, and a need that deserves addressing- the achievement of potential and independence through therapy services. However, one of my more important purposes while we are here is to be a presence of love, to be a source of unconditional joy and love for these sweet, sweet children of our Lord.
The children we serve have many sad stories; most have been abused both physically and/or sexually, some have lost their parents to extortion and murder, most are seen to have no value or purpose in life, and all are trying to find their value in the people around them. We all do this I think, try to find our value through what is spoken over us and how we are perceived by our families and communities. This is not right, we need to be seeking our value through the abundant and generous and gracious Lord. We are all His creation and loved by Him. For most of us, this is a hard discipline and we need amazing people in our lives to teach us how to receive love and to love others. Love prevails, it always does and always will. GOT Ministries was created to be the people who teach love and joy and acceptance; we can do this through this beautiful thing called occupational therapy.
We are here, in Guatemala, for these three purposes: TO LOVE THESE CHILDREN, TO SEE THESE CHILDREN THROUGH GOD'S EYES, AND TO BE A POSITIVE, ENCOURAGING, AND EMPOWERING PRESENCE FOR EACH CHILD AND THEIR FAMILIES.
Thank you for your love for us and your love for those we serve. We couldn't do this without you!
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY or FELIZ DIA DE CARINO!!!
Junior and his family are a blessing
Little Junior is 3 years old and one of the most adorable tiny humans GOT Ministries gets to work with.
We invite you to
IMAGINE THE IMPACT
we could have in this family
He has cerebral palsy, and crosses his legs and extends his whole body when trying to engage with his environment, because it's the only part of his body that he can somewhat control. We work with Junior to provide an opportunity for his body to experience different positions and engage with his environment. We do this through stretches, as well as activities for supporting weight on his hands/elbows and knees to prepare him for future crawling. Even though this is hard work for Junior by the end of the visits, he makes gurgling noises and cuddles into our side.
We are intentional about communicating with the mom regarding what we are doing, why, and the importance of integrating the therapy in the home. This is important so that Junior can experience other positions daily, which are important for eating, crawling and hopefully someday walking. Through occupational therapy, Junior and so many other kiddos can experience and participate in the world with a higher level of independence.
Junior has shown some significant gains since we began working with him in May of 2017. His mother has been so great to work with, and thankful for the opportunity to learn more about how to help her son engage with his environment.
**In order to have the impact that we desire in this family, we want....
-to encourage Junior's mother, Marta Lidia, in ways to help her son
-to support the family system and educate on the value that Junior has with his different abilities
-to teach the family about Junior's seizures, and how to respond appropriately, as well as the importance of medical care
-to help Junior grow and develop his potential
We seek to provide consistent therapy services for Junior and his family, in order to share hope and love for them, and to support Juniors growth and independence in the future.
Please consider partnering with us to serve little blessings like Junior.
If you would like to sponsor therapy services for Junior, click below to be a THERAPY SPONSOR.