Tío Pablo y Tía Ani

Profiles of the Young Ladies in House 4

I have been thinking lately that, although many of you know the work we do and some of the stories of our girls, not everyone is really familiar with everything that goes on at Villa Esperanza (the Village of Hope) and may not know each of our current girls and where they are in life.  So I figure it might be a good idea, every once in a while, to highlight a particular house, just for you all to get an idea of who the girls are and how you might be able to pray for them.  And what better place to start than in House 4, our "semi-transition" home for girls who are close to graduating from our program.  Each of these girls has a pretty-well-defined life plan (vocational plan, if you prefer), and is following through on that plan.  Some are in higher formal education (which, by the way, is just amazing given where their context!), and others are pursuing great careers in a particular vocation or trade (hey, we need more folks in vocational training here, I love seeing our girls in these schools).Needless to say, I'm a proud spiritual papa of each of them.  Apologies if I'm a bit wordy as I describe what each is doing; each just has a special place in my heart.  But I'll try and be brief so you can get a quick idea and at least catch their names (I won't get into their history as much of that is sensitive, but there will be a link on each photo to their bio to give you a quick idea of their context).  Please, I ask you, pray for each one of these girls by name.  Knowing they have so many people loving on them is a huge encouragement for them to move on.  And believe me, the temptation *not* to move on and finish a career is heavy, very heavy, for these girls.  They need all of us pushing them to complete something in their lives, so they can see that they can do this and that they have value beyond their bodies.

Want to help these girls succeed?  I encourage you to watch our Join the Village campaign videos and see how God leads you to support the Villa.

Side note to my dear spiritual daughters in House 4: if any of you are reading this, please hear me out.  Don't waste your life, my friend.  I know, you've heard it all before, but take this to heart.  It's worth living a crazy, meaningful life for Jesus Christ.  It may not seem that way yet, you know this place we call Earth isn't easy, it isn't meant to be.  But living for Him and accomplishing His will for your life will all make sense one day, and it's worth it even now.  And listen, I know the Villa is hard; tons of discipline, plenty of boring days, lots of work ... I get it.  But once again, you know better than any of us, "valdría la pena."

OK, in no particular order except for when I remember them entering House 4:

This is Reyna, she's 19, and joined us when she was about 15. This girl is a rock star in formal education, completing high school at a very early age for her community.  Reyna has a tough story, as do many of our girls, but I think she would be one of the first to say how much she has been impacted by coming to the Villa.  God has done much with her life, and continues to mold her character in very positive ways.  A once very shy young lady, she is now a leader and example for others.

Reyna is currently studying at the most prestigious public university in Nicaragua (one you have to test into, not easy to get accepted).  She is studying International Business and, one day, hopes to use that career to travel abroad while supporting Nicaraguan international businesses.  She is also completing a full English vocational program; her English is excellent and will serve her well in her career.  Pray for her as she continues through the university years; pray she will remain strong in Christ and lead others to Him.


This is Luisa, our 22-year-old stylist-to-be.  Luisa came into the Villa program several years ago, and man, she was a tough kid back then.  It's just amazing to see the transformation the Lord has done through the Villa program with Luisa.  She is becoming a mature adult who is going to break the cycle of poverty and unhealthy psychology in her family, I just know it.

Since recently graduating high school (first in her family to do so), Luisa is studying at a very good beauty school here in Managua.  On Saturdays, she also studies in a formal dance program, a passion she has had for years now (she's got some talent, too!).  So far, she's loving both the dance school and the beauty school; I hope to one day be her practice dummy and get a nice hair cut and maybe my first facial :-).

As you think of Luisa, pray for her continuing maturity and her relationship with Christ.  Also pray for her siblings and her grandmother, who takes care of them all.  Though Luisa comes from a difficult background, we know God has some great plans for her life.


This is Ileana (21), one of four young Villa ladies in the now-famous Military Nursing program of Nicaragua.  Since coming to the Villa program, has grown as a strong example to many in her community and within the Villa.  From the very start, Ileana has been driven; she even became friends with the whole Villa leadership team on Facebook prior to entering so she can market herself as a candidate.  Now that's initiative!  Since coming to the Villa, she built a relationship with Jesus and has been growing (and, reasonably, struggling at times) in her faith ever since.

Ileana is now in her second year at the Nicaraguan Army's nursing program.  This is, by far, one of the toughest university programs I have seen.  These gals are gone from 5am till about 6pm, sometimes even later.  The program is not just formal education, but involves many of the same practices the rest of the Army does.  There is plenty of physical education (lots of swimming and running/marching) and practical nursing training at the well-respected and largest hospital in Managua.  Pray for Ileana and the other girls in the nursing school.  And pray she will continue to grow in her faith a become a spiritual friend and "older sister" to many others.


Here are sisters Katherine (19) and Emely (18).  These two girls entered the program about a year or so ago, thanks to a recommendation from Ileana.  They are all classmates in the Army's nursing program, all in their second year.  Katherine and Emely's family live about an hour away from the Villa, and her mother (single mother of four) was struggling to keep up with the costs of education and transportation (all while men would harass these two on the bus rides. Young men, I have a few words for you in an upcoming post - grow up!).

As the two sisters get to know the program better, and understand why we exist (hint, it's not only about education, but Someone very important who can give eternal hope), we pray they will see that they have value - they are worth much in Christ - and understand what their calling is in this life.  Pray for their salvation and a deep relationship with Jesus, as they get to know Him more and more.  And, of course, pray for their education to be fruitful and help change the course of history in their family.


This is Miriam Massiel (17), one of the younger girls in House 4.  Massiel has been in the Villa program for several years now, and she has been a pretty solid student throughout high school and now in the university.  She has a passion for art and cooking (very talented in both!), and has chosen to use her artistic gifts in studying for her degree in Graphic Design.  She believes her education in graphic design will be able to launch her into several different industries as well as give her the possibility of entering an architecture program in the future.  While she studies, she wants to keep working on her art in her spare time.

As a younger lady in the university setting, there is much you can pray for Massiel and our other girls.  There is plenty of distraction there, but also just the temptation to want to give up when things get tough.  Thankfully, Massiel has learned to keep pushing through hard times even when she feels down.  Pray that she continues with that spirit.  Also pray as she works out her faith in Christ.  May she understand her true purpose here, and that one day it'll all be worth it if she lives fully for Him.


And now to our youngest, Elaysa (about to turn 17).  Graduating high school at 16 years old is something to be proud of coming from any community, for sure.  But knowing Elaysa's context makes this even more of a milestone.  She comes from a complicated and difficult environment, where one's psychology can be very much tainted.  But I see some hope for Elaysa as she continues to work through her faith, her education, and her worldview.  I know things won't be easy as there is much to work through, but I am believer that our Lord can do great things with a young woman who puts the effort in.

Elaysa is studying in the same university Massiel attends.  She is working on her Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, something she has a lot of interest in and a rather solid career choice for a growing economy like Nicaragua's.  Once she completes her degree, and at her young age, we believe she has many possibilities for further education and/or in the work force.

Pray for Elaysa's faith (ok, that's been a common thread, I know - we should *always* be praying for these girls' relationship with Christ!).  Pray also that she would see that she has great value and can accomplish much if she stays focused on the task.  And pray that she continues to mature in her view of the world, and in her relationships.


Last, but definitely not least, this is House 4's Mentor, Xiomara.  Xiomara is a true ministry Champion in my view.  She's been here from before the beginning, as we say, supporting her sister, Gloria (Director of FEI Nicaragua) from before the Villa even opened.  She has multiple roles here at the Villa.  One of her major roles is to be a mentor to all the girls you just read about.  And that is no easy feat, my friends!

In addition to being Mentor, Xiomara is in charge of all the inventory for teams and is the main buyer of the food for all the houses and teams.  That is a lot to take care of.  We're very thankful for her.  And she does this with a great spirit about her.

Please always keep Xiomara and the other house moms in mind.  This is not easy ministry.  This is deep.  And deep is always harder.  But it'll be worth it.  Pray for Xiomara's growing faith.  And also pray for her and her family, as they recently lost their beloved mother; she is with the Lord now, but we all know it's hard to not have them around (till we see them again soon enough).

There is much more to say about these young ladies, and those who work tirelessly to manage the program.  Please keep them all in your prayers.  We do this life together.

Posted by Paul Barmaksezian on April 4, 2018

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  1. This is so beautiful — I feel like I need to print it and keep it in my Bible/journal to remember to be praying specifically for each daughter.

    Thank you.

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