Extra Time: Meeting Special Needs…

We want to take a few blog posts and share about our amazing staff at Club Esperanza and some of the Extra programs that they put together in their own free time.  “Extra Time”… going far above and beyond to affect the lives of our children and families at the Club.

img_5174  Henriet is one of our teachers at Club Esperanza.  She teaches kindergarten and also tutors a group of 25 third graders in the afternoon.  She has known some of the children at Club Esperanza their entire lives because she taught at Colegio Esperanza inside La Chureca for ten years until we moved to Club Esperanza when the dump was closed.

Henriet has a son Jesus who is a University student.  Jesus is almost completely deaf and raising him taught Henriet many different lessons about having a child with special needs.  It has also given her a personal burden for parents who have children with different disabilities.  Over these last three years at the Club, she realized there are a number of families with children that have varying needs and disabilities that can be challenging. Because of that personal burden, this year she is doing something to help.

On the anniversary celebration of the official sign language, Henriet and her son put together a Seminar at Club Esperanza specifically for these families.  Henriet invited the families to come for a meal, the Ministry of Education came and gave presentations and resources for the parents, they ministered to and prayed for the families, our students performed special dances, and even had specific gifts for each child.  It was pretty incredible, a real tribute to the heart that Jesus has given us at the Club to reach everyone, especially those who are often considered “the least of these.”  Oh, but there was so much joy in that assembly.  As anyone who has a child with special need knows, each one is far from the least!  We celebrate their lives!  It was special for Henriet in another way as well, her son Jesus was there beside her translating the teachings into sign language for those who came with hearing impairment.  That was pretty awesome!

Please pray for this new program at Club Esperanza.  Of the families that came, we have children with Downs Syndrome, paralyzed children, autistic children, and severely disabled children.  The first step we are taking on a permanent basis is to incorporate them into our feeding program every day.  Then as far as the future goes, I know Henriet is praying about what the next steps may be to continually support these families.  One thing is for sure, this was a beautiful beginning!