I have had a special place in my heart for the children and staff at the Casa Shalom orphanage in Guatemala for many years. My daughter’s friend Jessica Hanson and her husband Josh are the directors there and they have done a phenomenal job. Recently I purchased some soap from their Soap For Hope program and I was so pleased with it once it arrived that I asked Jessica to please write a post discussing what wonderful programs they are doing there. Here is a picture of my soap and then the following post is written by Jessica.
From Jessica Hanson-
When many people in the United States ask about the realities of orphan care in a developing country, some reference an “Oliver Twist” scenario of dirt-covered children crowded into warehouse-style buildings, fighting over scraps of dinner. While this is sadly the truth in some orphanages around the world, at Casa Shalom Orphanage, located in San Lucas, Guatemala this could not be farther from the truth! Casa Shalom, which means “House of Peace” truly is a beacon of hope and restoration for 100 boys and girls in Guatemala.
Children come to Casa Shalom after experiencing the worst that life has to offer. Many have witnessed the violent death of their parents; others are victims of trafficking or severe abuse at the hands of friends or family members. Still others have been severely neglected by their families or forced to work long hours in dangerous jobs instead of attending school. They arrive at our gates frightened, ill, often never having been to school or a doctor, and usually wounded in body, mind and spirit.
They are placed under the care of loving, Christian house mothers and fathers who have been trained on how to provide quality care for traumatized children. They are given excellent medical and dental care. They participate in Christ-centered therapy with one of Casa Shalom’s four licensed psychologists, where creative therapy methods are utilized to bring the children to a place of emotional restoration. They receive an excellent education in local schools, from preschool through career training.
Most importantly, every child who comes to Casa Shalom is introduced to Jesus Christ. They are discipled in Casa Shalom’s children’s church, middle school group, and youth group, where their individual spiritual gifts are defined and nurtured. The mission of Casa Shalom is to raise our boys and girls to become strong, capable Christian men and women who will one day change their country from the inside out, and who will shine the light of Jesus into every corner of the country.
One of our newest endeavors at Casa Shalom is our Soap for Hope training program, where our teenage girls 14 and older are being taught to make beautiful shea butter oatmeal soap, a skill they can use to one day earn a living for themselves and their families. A portion of the sales to go the girls themselves and the remainder goes to support the operations of Casa Shalom. The soap comes in lovely scents like lilac, coconut mango, lemon herb, and much more! For more information on Soap for Hope, or to place an online order, please visit: http://www.casashalom.net/buysoap