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Tiffany Applegate

Justice for One!

She was only 11 when it happened. He hurt her badly, but not only her. He also hurt her mom and her little sister. Can you even imagine? She was just a kid herself and now she was going to be mother.

While she should’ve been playing with friends, going to school, and fighting about taking a bath, she was fighting for her life. Hiding what was happening. Hoping it would it go away. But it didn’t, and now she was pregnant. What was she going to do?

Finally, someone came and rescued her. The abuse stopped but the pregnancy progressed. However, now it was progressing in a safe place. No one was hurting her. She was getting to study for the first time. She had plenty to eat and a safe bed to sleep in. She felt seen, and loved, and still very, very scared.

She turned 12 and then it was time to give birth. Her beautiful baby was born. But how could she survive and what would happen to her and the baby? In a country where most crimes against women and children are ignored, she didn’t hope for justice. She didn’t hope for much. But she found more than she ever dreamed.

While at James Project, she found hope in Jesus. While here, she fell in love with her baby. She also found healing and strength through the Lord and with the help of psychologists and loving caregivers. But even though she didn’t want to leave, the judge sent her back.

And what happened next is incredible! She took her love, healing, and change with her when she went home. She used it to touch her mom’s heart and show compassion to those around her. She took the Gospel into the darkness, and He’s been faithful to change what’s possible.  

And recently, she had a court appearance where the judge noticed and admired her change. He also heard her cry for justice and her abuser received 3 life sentences. He will never hurt another little girl!

“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” Psalms 33:5

The Proverbs 31 Woman

A mother of 3 who is a widow at age 22 isn’t suppose to succeed on her own. She isn’t suppose to be able to change the futures of her own children, let alone her entire community, She isn’t suppose to finish her education, let alone graduate with honors. She isn’t suppose to feed the children in her home, let alone the other school age child in her community. She isn’t suppose to build her own brick and mortar building, let alone build a successful business.

Water comes to her community once a week, but that didn’t stop her from providing it daily.

Electricity is an hour away, but her new solar charger brings it instantaneously.

Going to the nearest tienda (store) owned her time, now she owns and operates her own store.

The neighbor kids went to school hungry (if at all), now she provides breakfast and tutoring for them.

This widow refused to be put in a mold, to fit a stereotype, or let tragedy defeat her. Instead, she took counsel and advice. She prayed and trusted. She worked and toiled. She walked 5 kilometers to charge her cell phone and submit assignments. She read and studied under the sun and by candlelight. She started a business with seed money and harvested the benefits. This widow did everything she wasn’t suppose to do.

This widow didn’t let culture decide who she would become, instead she let God decide who she would become. She didn’t let tragedy determine her fate, she let God determine it. She let God redeem her and bring glory to Himself through her story.

People walk from communities all around to attend church services in her community, because they see the blessings of God on her life and her story. They want what she has. Not her store and its inventory. Not her profits or her education. They come seeking the REDEEMER and the redemption that He and only He offers. 


Worth Far More Than Rubies

“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.” Proverbs 31:16-17


When you invest time, energy, and financial resources into something, you do so with the hope that the return on your investment will be fruitful.  Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes the return comes slowly, sometimes quickly. Then sometimes, in very rare cases, the return is supernatural.

When Aracely joined the Redeemed Women’s Program, her immediate goal was to continue her education, as she’d only graduated from 6th grade.  Her long-term goal was to own a store in her remote community.  The store would allow those in her area to have easier access to healthy food and other daily necessities. JPLA’s goal with Aracely help her succeed, become self-sustainable, and give her and her children a brighter future.  Her location was a hindrance to her success, but we hoped that over time, she would be able to provide for her family.  The odds didn’t look to be in her favor.  But God was.

Through our Redeemed program, not only has this widowed mother graduated junior high and high school, she has accomplished far more than was ever expected.  In only 3 years she completed 6 years of schooling, has launched her own business, built her own home, purchased a solar powered light for her home (there is no electricity in her community), and is providing daily breakfasts and tutoring to the children in her community. She is also working expand her store and construct something in block, so that it is more sustainable. And most importantly people are being drawn to the Lord through her and what they are witnessing. Her own mother recently decided to get baptized and people are coming to her community for church. God is using her to inspire hope and change in others. 

Before Redeemed, Aracely lived like everyone else in her community – in makeshift homes of sheet metal and adobe, wooden posts, and dirt floors.  Water was only available once a week, there was no electricity, and it was an hour’s walk to the closest town. This walk was required to buy food, clean water, go to school, or charge cell phones (a necessity through COVID with remote schooling).  Most importantly, the community was spiritually dead and without hope.

With God’s help, this has all changed. Aracely has overcome great odds to make a difference in her life and in the lives of others.  For someone who had nothing, she is now giving back to her community. She is an inspiration to us all. 

Aracely would like to expand her tienda (store) and build it in block. This would allow her to bring more food options and necessities to her community, including refrigerated items. We’ve already seen the benefits to the community of having healthy food available and we are excited about her dreams for the future. She needs approximately Q11,000 or $1,500 to build her tienda. She has saved Q4,000 of her own, but we would like to help her with the rest. Would you consider making a donation and supporting the amazing work she’s doing in her family and community? 

With God’s help, Aracely has changed the future for her family and is impacting her community for generations to come. She truly is a Proverbs 31 woman!


Written by: Russ Peterson, Pastor, Team Member

Papa?  One word, that communicated more than most 4 letter words are able to communicate.  The word was spoken by Anderson, one of the boys, towards Hugo.  Hugo, father to Casa Pablo, had just led our short term missions group in singing “Cumpleanos Feliz” to one of the James Project missionaries.  It was at that point Anderson spoke that one word, “papa” with a tone of admiration and respect.   I don’t know what Anderson went on to ask Hugo.  That is besides the point.  What caught my attention was the one word.

In that moment I thought, “this is how God designed things” to be!  For every child to have a “papa” and a “mama” in their life.  One that they look up to with admiration and respect, knowing that they are loved and protected.  Knowing that they are not alone.  Knowing that they won’t be abused or abandoned.

God’s design for families is based on the relationship that He desires with us as well; a relationship in which we entreat Him with that same title, “Papa”, and in the same tone of admiration and respect, knowing that He is “for us and not against us”.

And when and where things have fallen away from God’s design in this world, our “papa” would have us do our part to restore it.  To take up the cause of the fatherless and motherless; the widow and the orphan; not just giving them shelter, but restoring their understanding of relationship, and restoring their image and understanding of God in the process.

In a nutshell that is a big part of what shapes the mission at The James Project of Latin America.  Please join us in our ongoing partnership with JPLA.

Katy’s Story

Written by Katy

My name is Katherine Stephany. When I was 9 years old I began to work in “La Terminal” [a very dangerous section of Guatemala City where all the public buses come through]. I got on the buses [to sell things to the passengers] and I had to get up at 4 in the morning to begin working. All I had for breakfast was coffee and bread. I did that for 2 years. I tried to get there early to sell more for my mom to be able to buy food for my 6 brothers and sisters.

I went to school at 2 in the afternoon and went back to work at 4 to keep selling. I studied at a school called Pennat (Education Program for Boys and Girls who Work).

After living like that for 2 years, there was one day that I lost Q100 [about $13]. I was scared that my mother would hit me, so I ran away to my grandmother’s house.

I spent a year living with her when my sister Sharon came to my grandmother’s house telling me that our mother was hitting her a lot. So, I told my grandmother we should go to the court and Sharon and I went alone.

That day was the 30th of December, 2008, the day they sent me to live at Shadow of His Wings. Since that time I have received God as my personal Salvation and my life has changed. Before I worked and sold things, but now I can play with the other children.

Since that moment I have understood the purpose of God for my life. I have grown and learned a lot academically and also have developed an interest in sports.

I am in middle school now. I pray to God to allow me to become a bilingual secretary and to be able to play team soccer in the future. I want to go to college and help my brothers and sisters. I am praying that they will also be able to come to the Home.

I live a much better life thanks to the mercy of God. I have been living as part of the Magdalena Family now since January 2014.

Sight for the Blind

Written by Sarah Rose

I first met 14 year old Sandra on a bus ride to Guatemala City to have her eyes checked. I noticed that she wasn’t very interactive, didn’t make eye contact, and only spoke when spoken to. About 20 minutes later I found out why. Sandra had cataracts and sees very little. I almost cried during her eye exam as we discovered she could only see light out of her right eye and only out of a tiny window in her left .

However, GOD IS FAITHFUL! Sandra’s amazing sponsors has donated the funds needed to have her cataracts removed this month and she continues to see better every day!

Over several weeks of return visits and pre-op consultations, I had the chance to get to know Sandra. It was heart warming to walk up to a guarded Sandra only to have her face light up when I was actually close enough for her to recognize me. I was sitting with her on a Thursday waiting for her eyes to dilate and I started asking her questions. She comes from a town close by where malnutrition and poverty are epidemic. Her father is in prison and will be for some time. Without a breadwinner in the home, Sandra and her siblings spent their days selling large, heavy bags of soil or manure to help support the family.

She has been at Shadow since March of 2013. I asked her what her most favorite thing to do is. She thought for a few minutes before answering, “washing dishes”. Washing dishes? I questioned her again as sometimes my Spanish is not clear, but she answered again, “I love washing dishes”.

I considered her answer on the way home and remembered what her life was like before. The Dr. had asked her about carrying the manure (which she preferred to carry because although it smelled, it weighed much less than the soil). He asked her if it colored her skin and if it was hard to wash off. She mentioned that it was, and that she hated how it stained underneath her nails. That makes her love of washing dishes make so much sense.

After years of feeling dirty, she now enjoys cleaning things. That and she can most likely see her progress. It has been so exciting to see her explore all of what life has to offer as prayerfully her vision continues to be restored.

Mily’s Story

Written by Mily

Hi!! I am Najari Mireya, but most people know me as Mily. Since I was a little girl I have only wanted a mother I could love. When I was little, because of the very low pay she received at her job, my mother left to look for work elsewhere.

At the place where she left me, the people didn’t love me. The lady had two children already and they didn’t like me. They hit me and didn’t accept me. During that time, I saw my mother only a few times when she came to see how I was.

A few years passed and I left the house where she left me and went and found my mom, where she took good very good care of me. A short time later my mother died. Before she died, she asked a lady who had been raised as her sister to take care of me.

From that time on, my aunt took care of me until I was adopted by a family of doctors. I lived with them for three years but then I couldn’t live with them anymore because they didn’t have very much time or attention to give me.

So then we found the home Shadow of His Wings and I came to live here the 12th of February in 2008. When I came in, they treated me very well. I have now finished middle school and have started careers. I have achieved some of my dreams and goals and have been able to develop the talents and abilities that God has placed in my life. I plan to finish school.

I am very thankful because God has taken me out of the place where I was suffering. I give thanks to God for the lives of the people who have cared for me, like those who direct the James Project.

Since I have been living here, I have learned to be obedient and to go past limits and achieve things that I used to fear. I know that one of the purposes God has for me here [at Shadow of His Wings] is to form me into a leader.

Thank you for all of the love, happiness and above all, the support to be much better and helping me to know my Heavenly Father. God bless you all.