Enter Paradise | story No.2 “Tony”

His name is Ántoni. But you can call him “Tony.”

He was supposed to be one of the lucky ones. Unlike the overwhelming majority in Paradise’s virtually fatherless culture, Tony and his four siblings had a father who cared for them. Then he was killed. One fateful night four years ago, a drunk driver careened into him, and he was gone. Tony’s mother, Iris, was left to raise her children by herself. It was a dark, hopeless time.

Today, the grief is still palpable as Iris speaks and tears run down her face. But there is hope. She and her children live in a safer, cinderblock home built by volunteers. With Engadi’s support, Tony and his siblings (three sisters and a young brother) will be able to continue their education. Tony has excelled in school. And despite his family’s inability to afford books and supplies required for attendance, Engadi has seen him through to know — he is preparing to graduate and plans to attend university, where he will pursue a business degree.

Look into his eyes now, and you’ll see hope. Like so many of the boys in Zone 18 “Paradise,” there is huge potential here. In spite of giant obstacles and traumas, boys here are motivated and want to get ahead. Engadi is passionate about keeping that hope alive in boys’ hearts, to make the “impossible” a reality for them in a place where joining a gang and dying by age 24 is the norm. If the boys in this community can change, the impact on families and the entire community will be immeasurable!

The new Engadi Transformation Center (seen under construction in this video) is now a lighthouse in Paradise. Here 32 boys, including Tony, meet in safety to learn ethics and study the Bible, gain extra tutoring in their studies, and will gain access to the world outside the slum via a computer lab (coming soon as support is raised). It also serves as “headquarters” for the Derek Group’s community projects, through which the boys (with a huge amount of pride!) rebuild, paint, clean, and improve their own community in many ways!

Tony’s final year of high school and preparation for college will cost approximately $3,000. If you’d like to learn more about how to sponsor Tony, another boy, or upcoming projects including the Engadi Transformation Center computer lab, please contact Engadi at hello@engadiministries.org, or donate as you’re able right now.

Tony is a leader among his peers. We’re excited to introduce you soon to another boy (now a grown man and product of Engadi’s long-term work in Paradise) whose changed life is impacting Paradise remarkably. We will also be taking you behind the scenes into the public schools, where Engadi is strategically partnering to transform teachers’  and students’ lives from the inside out.

Please pray for Engadi’s school partnerships, and for the 32 boys now part of Engadi’s “Derek” group, where they experience hope and brotherhood.

The neediest boys in the Derek program are also candidates to enter the Benaiah House — Engadi’s boys home located in the hills outside Guatemala City, where they can enjoy a safe family life (under the care of house parents), guidance and counseling for traumas, and education catered to their special needs.

Thank you for supporting Engadi. Please watch for (and share!) more of these stories, as we introduce you to more real boys of Paradise soon…




**How can I share this story for the most impact possible? We’re answering that crucial question in our short video clip here. Watch now!…


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