Ismael (pictured at the bottom) taking a selfie with a few of the Hope House boys.
(Editor's Note: This is the second installment of a two-part series on parenting at Hope House. You can find the first part of the series here.)
Baseball player Wade Boggs once said, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” Family is more than blood, especially to the boys at Hope House. Training up children to be good men, husbands, fathers isn’t something that is done by a “players handbook,” but the many teaching moments between “Dad and son".
While there are many “dads” at Hope House, one in specific fills this role 24/7. He’s the one who picks up the boys after school and takes them to the barber to get their haircut. He is present in their lives when biological fathers are not. He is the sounding board when big decisions are to be made and the biggest fan at any accomplishment.
He’s papa Ismael.
Many boys remember Ismael’s first night at Hope House as I remember it vividly. After several nights of learning, well, attempting night shift at Hope House, Ismael was hired to help relieve the worn out staff. He was a natural. Chatting with the boys about soccer and the latest sporting event; the boys clung to him as their favorite. He became the one they loved to see arrive to take the next shift, which became more often than not.
Over time, his day to day role changed, as he grew into the “Dad” to the boys. Most of the boys have been separated from their parents or haven’t even met them, but each of them know they can count on Ismael. Though the job isn’t easy to parent 20+ boys, none have suffered from fatherlessness.
It’s the men like Ismael that the boys are observing, learning the how to’s and the what not’s to parenting. They’ve seen him become a husband, father and friend. These real life example of God's work in our lives is what is being used to teach these boys everyday.
We are grateful for Ismael and all the staff at Hope House who continue to pour themselves into the boys. We are thankful for the sponsors and everyone for their prayers and support as we continue to impact and change the lives of many boys. If you’d like to become a sponsor to one of the boys, please click here.