Earlier this month, a riot and fire happened at Hogar Seguro, a large government-run orphanage in Guatemala City, because children and teenagers living in the facility protested the documented abuse and notoriously inhumane living conditions. Dozens of teenage girls died in the fire and dozens more died as a result of injuries in the days following. Further investigation revealed the girls were locked in a tiny storage closet as punishment.

Due to the public outrage in recent days, lead government officials began the process of closing Hogar Seguro. Church of God orphanage Casa Shalom has received two children, and have plans to receive more.

Guatemala, along with Casa Shalom, is mourning this tragic loss of 41 lives taken too early in life. Anger at the conditions the vulnerable children were living in has produced determination to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. The mission of Casa Shalom is more important now than ever before … it’s a matter of life and death.

Children who have already suffered extensive trauma in their lives deserve better than to be sent to a place of supposed refuge where they are further abused and wounded. These precious children of God deserve to thrive!

Casa Shalom is more committed now to provide quality holistic care as they strive each day to provide a place of safety, security, healing, and the unconditional love of Christ for each child who comes through their gates.

—Josh and Jessica Hanson

Directors, Casa Shalom Orphanage

Project number 040-0030