Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hope Mountain Education Program

Today, I'd like to share an important and exciting new development in the lives of our boys here at Hope, and how you could be a part of this life changing opportunity. 
The boys who live at Hope Mountain are under child protection orders from a judge, because they are orphans, abandoned or have been abused. Many were living on the streets before coming to us.

Until 2010, Hope Mountain had its own school and, along with our kids, neighborhood children came to Hope Mountain each day. Unfortunately, financial constraints forced us to close the school in early 2011. This had a very negative impact on our boys. Currently our boys attend local public schools in neighborhoods where crime and drug trafficking are part of everyday life. Just like U.S. schools in similar neighborhoods, these facilities become places to sell drugs and recruit new users. 

We have dreamed of and prayed for a solution to this problem. Recently our prayers were answered when Good Samaritan, a private Christian school located near Hope Mountain, agreed to accept our boys as students. The school has a positive, welcoming environment and a committed leader and staff. This opportunity has incredible significance for these boys. Rarely do children from public schools in poor neighborhoods receive an education that enables them to pass the Brazilian equivalent of our SAT. Our boys at Good Samaritan will be prepared for success on the college entrance exam if they choose to go on to college. This past week fifteen of our twenty-five boys started at Good Samaritan. We hope to have as many as twenty boys attending Good Samaritan in the second semester.

Some of our boys have significant learning difficulties and learning disorders, often due to the traumas they've experienced in their lives. With special education assistance and time, many of these boys will be able to enter regular school. Isanon and myself, as house parents who live with the boys, also go to teacher conferences and are active in ensuring homework is done and behavioral issues are corrected.

What can your donation accomplish? 

  •  $300 per month covers all the educational costs for one student for a month
  •  $130 per month covers a month's tuition for one student
  • $50 per month covers a student's monthly transportation cost
  • $50 per month pays for one week of a daily hour of tutoring or special assistance
  • $25 per month pays for a student's annual cost of books and supplies 
  • $15 per month buys one library book monthly
  • $15 per month pays for a student’s recreational, cultural or educational outing
  • $10 per month pays for one hour of tutoring or special assistance

Your donation is really an investment in a young man’s life and the lives of his future generations. Hope Unlimited has twenty years of success in transforming the lives of adolescents at mortal risk. Historically, 80% of adolescents who complete all phases of our program go on to be gainfully employed and have successful family relationships. Without a program like Hope Mountain, the most likely future of these boys' lives would be prison or death before age 25.

How to donate:
Donations can be made by credit card at http://www.hopeunlimited.org/donate.html
or you can make a check payable to: Hope Unlimited for Children, PO Box 100 
Jefferson City, TN 37760   with 'HOPE MOUNTAIN EDUCATION PROJECT' in the MEMO
part of your check. 

Thank you for helping us change the futures of our boys! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Carlos}

Today, we meet Carlos Israel. A couple weeks ago, I told Carlos that I was going to write about him, and he immediately protested. 
After talking to him a bit about why he did not want me to, and explaining why I would really like to....he agreed, with restrictions. 
I have read what the "system" says about Carlos' background, and I have also been told quite a bit from his own mouth - his 
story is truly one rejection after another. For this blog, Carlos has requested that I do not share his story in details, but focus 
more on the boy he is today. I will do just that! :) 

Carlos arrived at 'Hope Mountain' in august of 2012. Before coming to the mountain, he had been pretty tossed around...
and had even spent some time living on the streets. Isanon and myself arrived at 'Hope Mountain' in November, three short 
months after Carlos' arrival. I remember seeing Carlos and thinking that he looked lonely. He got along well with the boys, but there
 were many times when we would find him just sitting somewhere by himself. He just seemed to be lost in his own thoughts 
or memories all the time.

At the end of February, Isanon and I moved into a new house and were put in charge of the youngest boys. There were three boys 
who completely helped us move in. Carlos was one of those boys. From carrying boxes over, to helping scrub toilets....Carlos willingly 
helped. It was during that time, as well as the weeks to follow, that Carlos stole a special place in my heart. I love this kid.

After being at the Mountain for a year, Carlos seems to be a happy boy. He makes friends easily, and is always flying kites! The only 
negative remark I would have about Carlos Israel, is that he is easily influenced. He seems to go along with others, even if it means doing 
something he knows they shouldn't. One reoccurring issue that we have been having with Carlos, is that he continues to get in trouble
 for making bad choices. 

Carlos asked for prayer for his family and also his best friend. He also needs prayer for school. He is a very bright boy, but spent
 years out of school and is behind. He recently began going to a new private school (more on that coming this week!) and is finding it 
a bit difficult. Carlos Israel is a good kid, but I believe he needs a lot of healing and forgiveness in his life. He completely shuts 
down when asked anything about his family or his life before Hope Mountain.