Love & Hope is an orphanage we support in El Salvador. They take in abused, abandoned, neglected children and provide shelter, safety, guidance, and education while sharing the love of Jesus in a family setting.
Meet Shelby. She came to the orphanage to escape ongoing physical abuse suffered at the hands of her father and stepmother.
“As part of the family business I was also forced to sit in a stall all day with my sister selling fruit. One day my sister ‘got bored’ and left to go home. Being the youngest, I was afraid to be by herself in that stall and soon followed my sister home.” Shelby crossed the street without noticing an oncoming car coming towards her. At the screech of the tires, Shelby dropped to her knees in prayer hoping the car didn’t hit her. It stopped just short of where she fell. Thanks to God immediately filled her fast beating little heart. “A moment I will never forget.”
Love & Hope Children’s Home has helped Shelby and her siblings by providing protection, support, shelter and food. Recently, through the effort of the home, the siblings are united with their biological mother. They still visit the Love & Hope Children’s Home on weekends.
In March, Love & Hope Children’s Home celebrated Shelby’s Quinceañera, or fifteenth birthday. In the Latino culture Quinceañera is an important rite of passage, marking the transition from childhood to womanhood. Shelby’s celebration included a church ceremony, where she made a public commitment to follow God and to a life of purity.
The same day, there was an outdoor dinner reception. Shelby also chose to include the “Tree of Life” ritual in her celebration. This was a special moment for her to present candles to fifteen people that she believes impacted her most during her first fifteen years of life.
We proudly support the optimism Love & Hope Chilren’s Home creates for those in its care. For Shelby, it meant a transformation from childhood into womanhood with a big bright smile.