While visiting the beach community of Punta Gorda in Roatan, Honduras Calvary missionaries Justin and Ashley Guest met 11-year-old Carlos.* After a short conversation they learned that Carlos lived near where they were staying and everyone became fast friends.
Carlos came often to play and just hang out with the Guests, who have two young boys but he seemed to be drawn by more than just an opportunity to play. Carlos was hungry for God’s love and for a feeling of family. He even had to be lovingly reprimanded when it was discovered he was skipping school to come and be a part of the Guest family household!
Like most children in the community of Punta Gorda, Carlos does not have a father “in the picture.” His single mother works long hours so, in many ways, Carlos is raising himself. Acute poverty, widespread promiscuity and the resulting sexually transmitted diseases have ravaged the families leaving them broken and in a generational cycle that’s hard to break.
One day, Carlos suddenly turned to Justin and asked, “So, how many kids do you have?”
Justin was confused by his question. Hadn’t he just been playing with their two boys? Carlos continued, “I know about those two but how many do you have with other women?”
Carlos was shocked to learn there were no other women with whom Justin had children. He turned to Ashley, “What about you? How many kids do you have with other men?” Of course, Ashley’s answer was the same.
As the conversation continued, Justin and Ashley were able to share with Carlos that they had been married for more than 10 years. Carlos’ eyes grew big in astonishment!
Justin and Ashley are currently raising the additional support that will be needed to start a community center in Roatan, the island off the northern coast of Honduras where Carlos lives. In this center, kids will be able to be in a safe environment to work on homework, build meaningful relationships and enjoy all kinds of activities that will help them understand God’s perfect plan for their lives according to His Word. It’s also the Guest’s vision to let kids like Carlos see a godly example of a family that loves each other, works through problems and stays together.
It’s a privilege to stand with missionaries like Justin and Ashely Guest, who are offering hope to children like Carlos!
*Names changed to respect privacy