Open for Business

The dream was never a building.

We are immensely grateful for it; overwhelmed, actually. But it was never the dream.

It was a desire, certainly. And a need. My goodness, we grew out of the first La Puerta very quickly. But a space is just a space, and we’ve become pretty good at making things work in any space we have.

The dream was laughter. It was for a place where exploited women felt safe enough to throw themselves onto the couch and fall asleep. It was a dream for the freedom to cry, to rage, and to sit in the deafening silence of grief.

But more than anything, it was a dream for a place where sexually exploited women, prostitutes, the most despised women in any culture, would feel free to praise the god they’ve been told they have no right to even acknowledge.

Dreams come true.

Friday was the official opening of the new La Puerta. I wish you could have been there to see it. I wish you could have heard the laughter and enjoyed the tacos. Most of all, I wish you could have heard them sing.

Our new building has been open for a while now, but Shawn delayed the official opening until I could crawl out from under the weight of therapy and doctors’ appointments to return to Guatemala. I’m so thankful he did because missing yesterday would have been awful.

There were games, encouraging words, songs, prayers, and lots of food. Seventy-five people, most of them women who have known nothing but the injustice of exploitation, came to celebrate with us. For the first time, our architects got to see all their hard work in action. They were thrilled. Friends from a local convent and pastors from the best church in Guatemala =) all came to join the fun. Best of all, women who were once known as prostitutes and felt there was no way out but have now made beautiful lives came back to celebrate with us.

I know, in situations like this, it’s standard to say we can’t thank you enough.

But we can’t thank you enough.

For every one of you who has paid for this, we thank you. For everyone who has prayed for this, we thank you.

It has taken years, and we still have a long way to go. Guatemalan bureaucracy works at its own pace (!), but we have come so far, and we eagerly await the papers that will allow us to build the next phase of this great place.

The ladies of La Linea LOVE the new building you have provided for them. They are excited about all of the classes, parties, and hangouts that will happen. It is stupidly, ridiculously beautiful. It is big and airy and comfortable. It’s a door to another chance, another life, and a renewed hope.

La Puerta is open for business. We couldn’t be happier.