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When I Grow Up
Chicos Vivos Begins
November 2009
Chicos Vivos Begins

Jake and Renee Harder who had recently moved to Guatemala from California, USA started a children’s program in the poor community of Jocotillo, Guatemala. Jake and Renee had been involved with Redeemer’s Church, Reedley CA where When I Grow Up was birthed. We were excited to come alongside them and help fund the Chicos Vivos program they had birthed. 90 kids come to the weekly program – crazy but fun – and immediately a feeding program is started to address the severe under-nutrition the children suffer from.

Land Rights and True Freedom
May 2010
Land Rights and True Freedom

Chicos Vivos is expanded to the community of Las Mercedes as Jake and Renee work with the community leaders to try to attain land rights for the people of that community. This is a marginalized community with no school, no land rights, and no recognition. Their church Iglesia Buenas Nuevas introduces the people of Jocotillo to a Gospel that is about justice and hope for Jocotillo and Guatemala as much as it is about getting to heaven! Like us they believe the Gospel of Jesus is very much about life before you die!

Esperanza para Guatemala
November 2012
Esperanza para Guatemala

With Jake and Renee back in Reedley, CA taking another staff position with Redeemer’s Church we begin a new relationship with Jose Armas and his organization Esperanza para Guatemala. Jake continues to be our Guatemala Leader and we begin to re-engineer an effective partnership with an organization we see outworking the values and vision of When I Grow Up.

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Spark of Hope Kindled in Zone 18
January 2013
Spark of Hope Kindled in Zone 18

We begin formally partnering Esperanza para Guatemala. We are excited about the leadership of Jose and what has been happening in Zone 18, Guatemala City under his leadership. Every day Jose and his team serve breakfast and lunch to 200 children who live in the most violent area of Guatemala City. Linking with local schools they serve 1200 people providing hope. The heart beat of their program is an excellent tutoring center.

City of Hope founded
May 2013
City of Hope founded

Beyond the location Jose has in the heart of Zone 18, he begins a new location on the border of Zone 18 calling it City of Hope. The vision is to see a school developed as well as several income generating enterprises to help Esperanza para Guatemala be more self sustaining. In a quieter safer location he hopes children can thrive in their studies.

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We are a movement, not a mission.
December 2013
We are a movement, not a mission.

We take our first extended team to visit Esperanza para Guatemala and spend time with Jose and his team. Very quickly Jose learns that When I Grow Up is not your usual American mission organization. We do not go to run programs or build things rather we go to be – be their friends, be learners. We come as servants to learn and return as ambassadors; we don’t come to impose ourselves and our ways on Guatemalans. We are a movement, not a mission.

Learning from Each Other
February 2014
Learning from Each Other

Jose and Jake join us in Kenya introducing Jose to Furaha Community Foundation and the incredible work they do. Jose’ heart is stirred by what Furaha have developed and returns to Guatemala with an enlarged vision. We are excited to see what is now developed at City of Hope.

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The Children in Zone-18 Need Your Help

Please give to support the work we are doing in Guatemala's most violent places. Children there are being fed, schooled, encouraged and subsequently lifted out of poverty.

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Guatemala is just one of the places where we are changing lives daily.

We are also working hard to empower children out of poverty in Kenya and Haiti.

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