Lorena is 18-years-old, and lives with her family which includes her mother, father and her two younger sisters. They live in a wooded, remote area called Agua Shuka.
Since her childhood, her father took her to work on crops; an activity that, to this day, all perform as a family. This is their primary means to sustain the family. Cutting crops is very hard, sometimes dangerous, work. Picking from dawn to dusk in the hot, humid sun, one must avoid being cut by another’s machete, or bitten by a poisonous snake. She said that, one day, they sat down to rest in the middle of work and Lorena looked at her weary, dirty family and said to herself: "When I grow up, I will study and have a good job and they will not have to work so very hard as they do now."
Since she was very small, she has always helped her parents cut coffee, corn and sugar cane. They work from the beginning of the season, in May, throughout the 6-month rainy season. "There are days that we arrive completely soaked to our home. But it is like this. My father says we have to work very hard to move forward. " Lorena does it because she is aware that she is an example for her sisters: "if they see me, they will also dare to follow". But her dream has always been to study and take her family forward, out of deep poverty.
At age 15 she finished 9th grade, and she said, "I earnestly hoped I could go to high school". She did just that. Lorena had to face many challenges to study high school, but, in 2017 she met her goal and attained a high school diploma. That same year she met Christ and was baptized.
Lorena is a girl who enjoys belonging to the body of Christ and serves joyfully whenever she is able. She has always enjoyed working with little children who chase her through the village crying, “Ooorena!”, because they can’t say her name properly. It delights her heart to hear them call out to her! She loves being out in nature; she enjoys reading, playing soccer, is learning to play the guitar, and she likes to learn English ("even though my tongue gets tangled") and also drawing. She likes to write, and usually writes positive things "This helps me a lot when I'm having a bad time".
"Now that I've finished high school, I don’t want to stop there. My greatest desire is to go to study at the university, earn a degree, and find a good job so I can help to support my parents to go forward.”
Lorena is a gentle, kind, strong, passionate young woman with an awesome sense of humor! She has a desire to help her family, to serve God and to serve others. She currently serves as a leader in one of our girl’s clubs in the village where she lives. She is faithful and can be depended on to do what she says she will do.
Three weeks ago, Lorena began the process of moving into our Hope House discipleship/scholarship home and is now a full-time resident. This week she began classes in the Evangelical University where she will be studying International Relations, with a focus on business.
Yesterday, while driving in the car with her to shop for school clothes, she said, “Sometimes I feel like this is all a dream. I never in my biggest imaginings thought I’d be living in a home like this, with people like you, studying at the Evangelical University!” As she shook her head and chuckled in disbelief, I reached over and pinched her arm, nice and hard! Haha….she started and looked at me with her big, brown eyes smiling, and said, “Whaaaat?” I said, smugly, “You are not dreaming.” She began to laugh her sparkling, contagious laugh.
In Hope House she will be living in community with seven other young women and two little girls. She will be discipled and mentored in her walk with God, she will learn important life skills and she will ultimately become a change agent for her family, her community and her country as she is inspired to give back and to pour into the lives of other young women and girls in her community.
As of today, we have no support team for Lorena. We took a step of faith believing that God would provide and touch hearts to meet all of Lorena’s living and studying expenses. Are YOU part of Lorena’s dream team?
Here is a breakdown of the costs for Lorena:
Here is what we need for Ale’s support team:
Room and board: $270.00 per month (includes rent, food, personal items, water, electricity)
Educational costs: $115.00 per month (includes university tuition, bus fare, books, labs and uniforms.)
Total cost of: $385.00 per month