John grew up on the streets in Honduras. At the young age of six, his mother died and he went to live with another family in the community.
His life was difficult and strange in this new place and he had to work hard, giving any earnings to his host family. He received very little in return, often going without shoes.
At the age of 12, he decided to run away and live with his grandmother. While there he saved enough money to come to the U.S.
John was received by Bethany Christian Services when he first arrived in the U.S.
“God had a plan for me,” shares John. “For me to have the opportunity to be here – it’s a big gift that God gave me. This country has given me hope and a better life.”
“When I came here, I didn’t have anything. Bethany opened a door for me. I had no money, no house, some but not enough education. Bethany provided me with a house, a school, counselors and a job.”
It was through the outreach by Bethany that John grew in his language and leadership skills. He was the first peer mentor for Bethany. He served as a role model for other kids coming through the immigration foster care system. He even took in an older kid who had some developmental delays to make sure he remained safe and received services when needed.
John met his future wife through the immigration foster care system, as well. Both he and Grace overcame their turbulent pasts and remained positive about their futures. Since their marriage, Grace’s sisters have come to live with them and they now have a three-year-old daughter. They are both active on the youth advisory boards of the program and in their community.
Names changed to protect privacy