The Impact of Opportunity
I am Josue Miguel. My mom became pregnant with me when she was very young. My biological father told her to abort me, but she decided not to. When I was six years old, my mom met and married my stepfather. This caused us to start having arguments. There were times when I don’t think he knew how to measure his strength, and he would hit me very hard. I became a very rebellious boy. My teachers didn’t know what to do with me anymore. There were those who said that if I managed to finish elementary school, it would be a miracle. My stepfather’s mistreatment only increased. One time, he locked me in the bathroom and left me there the entire night. When friends and family found out, they decided to find a safe place for me. A close friend who knew about Esperanza Viva Youth Home (EV) told them about this place and he said, “I think the best place for Miguel is Esperanza Viva.” I knew it was an opportunity, but I didn’t want to go. In the first few months I was already getting into trouble. I was hitting the other children. I was disobeying the supervisors. At school, I was doing very badly. At the same time, I was closing myself off, saying, “What is the point of my life? What is there for me? Is there anything else?” Until one time I remember that a missionary came to visit us at EV and brought us a lot of toys, some cars, and built some tracks with us. I remember that I felt, for the first time, like part of a family. I thought to myself, “how could someone who has nothing to do with me, who has nothing to do with these other kids, decide to give away his money for us to enjoy these toys?” I realized that living at EV gave me an opportunity for my future. I finished high school and an opportunity to attend college opened up. It was very expensive. So I said I knew how to run. The coach looked at me and said, “I think you are a runner. I believe in you.” He offered me a scholarship as a runner on the track team and I was able to finish my studies. For three years, 75% of my studies were covered by the scholarship. During my time in college, I was also helping at the youth home, as a supervisor to the adolescent boys. I got my degree in 2016. Currently, I am working in graphic design and social media, and I get to do it here, at Esperanza Viva. It has been 16 years since I first arrived and I have been able to succeed, but not alone. It has all been thanks to the help of many people who have been praying for us, and have also been financially supporting this ministry. I am very grateful for the friends I have made here, and among them I met a girl who struck my heart and is now my wife, Angie. I think it has been a great blessing to have met her in this place; she is serving full-time in ministry and is loving what she does. I think there is no better way to thank God than for the two of us to be serving in this place together for the next 50 years.