“We are here to help nurture, love and guide these children, to show them that God has not abandoned them and that He has a plan for their lives”. -John and Tanya Rule
We were married in August of 1993 soon after I graduated from High School. In 2001, we got pregnant with our first son. When my son turned one, I felt it was time for me to leave my career to become a full time mother raising my son. Soon after, God blessed us with two sweet girls. In 2008, we thought our family was complete but to our surprise we got pregnant with our youngest daughter. My husband and I carefully picked out a name and decided to name our little girl “Esperanza”. Two months after her birth our daughter began to have seizures. When we took her to the doctor they soon diagnosed her with a genetic tumor disorder called Neurofibromatosis also knows as “NF”. We faced very difficult medical challenges with our daughter during the first couple of years of her life. We had no choice but to turn to God for hope during this difficult period in time. After three years of persistent prayer our little girl soon began to recover and her seizures became less frequent. We held on to God’s promises throughout it all. She is now five years old and has received a clean bill of health from all of her doctors. She has also remained seizure free for two years now. We know in our hearts that God heard and answered our prayers by healing our little girl.
My motivation and desire to serve started from childhood. I witnessed everyday how my mother sacrificed her wants and needs to take care of my older brother. He was born with a severe case of Spinal Bifida which bound him to a wheelchair. This experience and the example of my mother prepared me for the challenges I would have with Esperanza. This gave me the passion to want to care for the less fortunate and those that require special needs. I knew in this moment that one day I would live my life caring for the physical and spiritual needs of children.
My husband John has spent the last 16 years as a Public Servant. He has worked in the field of Emergency Medical Services as a Paramedic, dedicating each day to serving others. He has a heart to care for children without a home, because his mother was orphaned at a young age.
In January of 2013, we would receive the first opportunity to serve on a Missions Trip to Hope of Life. We began to seek the Lord for His will. He clearly spoke to our heart and said “The same Hope that you found in me through the healing of Esperanza, you need to share that Hope with others”. He said he placed the name “Esperanza” in our heart and now He wanted us to go serve at “Esperanza de Vida”. What are the odds that we would name our daughter Esperanza before we knew that one day we would go and serve in a ministry that shared the same name. This was the confirmation we needed to go on this mission trip.
We had the privilege to serve at Hope of Life through multiple Mission Trips in 2013 -2014. During this time we had the opportunity to lead various Medical Clinics within the surrounding villages of Zacapa, Guatemala. My husband was able to utilize his Paramedic experience to help meet the physical needs of the people. It was such an amazing blessing to be able to help the mothers and sick children by providing medicine and medical advice while sharing the love of Christ all at the same time.
During our time serving in Guatemala, the Lord began to break our heart and flood us with His thoughts of love towards the children at the orphanage. There was one particular child at the orphanage that we connected with. Each trip back to Hope of Life, this bond became stronger and stronger. We saw the desire in this child to have a mother and father in her life. The Lord revealed to us, through this child, that all children are of royal blood because they are His children. Every single child matters to Him and is precious in His sight. My family is willing to commit ourselves to serving God by taking part in Safe Haven Village which will be providing family-style orphan care. For the past 21 years we have been blessed with the ability to work strongly together as a family, and with the Lord’s help we will carry out this burden he has placed in our hearts.
There is such a huge need in Guatemala, but we believe our God is bigger! Our thought is to provide each child which the Lord will place in our home, with the love they deserve. We wish to instruct them in the ways of the Lord and equip them with essential life skills they will need for a better future. In the end we will not take any material things with us to heaven, so eternal life through Jesus Christ is essential! We wish to provide a loving family to those who have never had it. To provide a family to the children the way God intended it to be, with a mother and a father.