Restoring Hope

My grandmother would have loved my friend, Rick Daviscourt.

A woman of faith, my grandmother’s Bible was a treasured possession. People with prestigious job titles didn’t impress her. She most admired and respected those who gave up a life of personal achievement to serve the poor and spread God’s word as missionaries.

I met Rick by coincidence about six years ago. We happened to be in the same place at the same time. He noticed I was reading a Christian novel and struck up a conversation. We’ve kept in touch since.

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Luke 18:16 NIV)

Rick is the president of Restoring Hope International, an organization he created after working with a similar ministry in Peru. RHI reaches out and cares for abandoned and abused children living on city streets in Peru. If you had the chance to sit and talk with him, you’d find him to be very passionate about his calling.

In order to carry out this work, Rick learned to speak fluent Spanish. He and his wife downsized their living accommodations here in Washington. He spends part of his time in Peru at the sites with the children, and part of his time back here with his family, speaking, and raising funds to keep the ministry going.

Connected with a prayer group via email, I’m able to get updates on immediate needs. When a child is in danger, I’m made aware. These children are no longer strangers in another country. It's become personal.

The Torre Fuerte Project

Torre Fuerte means Strong Tower. This site is located in Arequipa, on the western slopes of the Andes at an altitude of 7,200 feet. The facility, under construction, will house up to 50 girls.

Another project opened its doors in 2004 and gives round-the-clock care to 48 girls ranging from 3-20 years of age.

Food, shelter, education, self-esteem, and love is given to these children and young adults.

Although this location maintains three businesses on site to help with costs of caring for the girls, it’s impossible to cover all needs with those profits alone.

Pachacutec Project

Parchacutec is located 1 1/2 hours north of Lima, Peru. Government authorities trucked destitute families out of the city with the promise of free land and housing. The community is still without running water and modern sewers. The extreme poverty and lack of medical help has caused diseases to run rampant. Due to lack of work, fathers abandon their families or force the children to leave the home. Alone, mothers can’t care for their children and leave them with relatives, who may also abandon the children.

Children, from a very early age, wander the streets trying to survive.

The goals here are to:

* Help at risk children and adults by providing them a spiritual haven in the midst of the turbulence of poverty.

* Provide children and adults with medical aid, food and other basic necessities.

* Construct a school that will provide a quality education to the children of that area.

Delia’s Story

Delia – in the picture here with Rick - was born in 1997, the offspring of a man and his sister-in-law. Her mother left, leaving her in the care of her father and his wife. The result was that Delia was unloved and unwanted.

As she grew older, she was required to do chores, but was frequently beaten for not doing them correctly or finishing fast enough. There are no birthday presents or celebrations for her, like there were for the other children.

When she was 10, the flu season hit, and she became very ill. Delia was still expected to complete her chores. While her parents were at work, she ran away to the Catholic church, where she found help and was placed in the Torre Fuerte home.

Today she knows that there are people who love her. God loves her. And she has hope.

Not everyone is called to leave their homes and jobs to travel to foreign countries and spread the word. Sometimes we’re called to remain here and do what we can in our own communities. Sometimes we carry the responsibility of contributing financially where we can to help those who are in the trenches, getting their hands dirty.

But maybe we need to ask ourselves - are we doing all that we can?

If you’d like more information on this ministry, please visit Restoring Hope International

Have a great week!

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