Peru 4.0 – A Legacy of Hope
Quick note about these pics. We visited
The Refuge of Hope – the school for handicapped kids where we put a clean water system in last year. Much of the place is pretty dark, so some photos leave a little to be desired in terms of clarity and focus. But I’ve included them anyway since they all help paint a picture of the incredible work that goes on there.
Unfortunately, the kids were all still out on summer break (apart from one, strangely!)… but it was such a privilege to catch up with Victor and watch him tell his story to a new batch of eager listeners…
Meet Victor. As a child, he suffered from polio, which paralyzed him from the neck down. In those days, many people couldn’t handle the shame that came from having a disabled child, so he should’ve either been abandoned in the jungle or kept hidden in the home as the family refused to publicly acknowledge his existence. But his mum didn’t do either of those; rather, she tried everything people suggested that gave her a slither of hope that Victor would be healed. To cut a long story short, God healed Victor as a young boy. It took him several years of learning how to walk and do things we take for granted… and although he still walks with a distinct limp, he has a vibrancy and joy about him that’s totally contagious!
Over 25 years ago, together with his wife, Ana, he founded The Refuge of Hope – a school for kids with disabilities, their siblings, at-risk children and abandoned children. They started with 6 kids and no money, and now they serve hundreds of families and they’re partially funded by the Peruvian government (so they still have no money!!). Such an incredible story.
He laughs a lot. No, really… a lot!
Victor had us all laughing… and crying… as he told us his life story.
It was hot – we were trying to stay under cover!
If you ever see a request on social media from Peet asking for people to donate feet, this is the guy who needs them!! I wish I could remember his name… ugh! This miracle worker is responsible for building things like prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, and the like… all from his own wheelchair. His workshop has to be seen to be believed (one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?)… but it was way too dark for me to get anything on film.
This is the physical therapy room… and believe it or not, it’s been updated and painted since our last visit!
The school’s physical therapist. Yep – “the” physical therapist. Singular. There aren’t enough hours in the day to give the handicapped kids the amount of time and attention they need. The school is always looking for PT residents and interns to come down and dedicate several months of their residency programs to help relieve the pressure… so let us know if you’re interested!!
There’s always someone who wants to play with visiting gringos.
The school was the recipient of our second clean water system in October 2016, and here’s the evidence that it’s being well-used! Peet told me off for drinking the water from here, but what’s good enough for the kids is good enough for this Brit!
This is a mural that someone did that depicts the origin of the Refuge of Hope… complete with the mango tree that still exists and still bears fruit! Victor and Ana are on the left of the mural, and their first 6 students are under the mango tree. The rainbow represents hope.
Robyn had the challenge of doing some follow-up training on health and hygiene with some of the staff and faculty. It wasn’t the most conducive of environments, but she did great… as usual.
Every time we’re in Pucallpa, either Tom or William indulges our requests to take us shopping to buy hammocks. Tom pretends to be really impatient… but as you can see, he secretly enjoys every minute of it!
And this is our trusty hammock seller!
I loved this guy with his makeshift watch-fixing workshop. A lot of the little stores in Pucallpa are just a front for money laundering or drug deals… but this guy clearly has nothing to hide.
We spent the evening at the South American Mission (SAM) Academy – a school for missionary kids. Gorgeous property.
There’s Ash, the Pied Piper, with her regular handful of kids at her side!
One of the few pics of our friend, Bill… and Glenn in the background…
… and one of the few pics of our friend, Susan.
I love how these glasses make Jenny’s eyes pop.
A little blurry, but I love this one of John and Robyn, so I had to include it.
The reason we were there was because they’d invited Chris to speak at their weekly prayer meeting. Chris did great, obviously… but I don’t think they were used to his style of delivery. Fortunately, the post-prayer-meeting ice cream made everyone feel right at home again!