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Looking Back


Looking Back

Lori Connell

Looking back at the past fifteen years of Mi Esperanza, we often speak of the women we have helped, the lives we have changed as we empowered the women and mothers in our classes and measured success in those numbers. And it is all true. It is all good.  

Lori and Janet making cosmetology internship site visits.  

Lori and Janet making cosmetology internship site visits.  

Yet, personally, I have neglected to mention the impact it has had on me. As a mom in her just past mid 40’s in 2002, it sounded crazy to even speak aloud the voice that was growing louder and bossier in me. When I finally allowed it to be said, I discovered my friend Lori felt the same way. We met on a mission trip. In Honduras. Our paths would never have crossed in the US. Neither of us could quit going to Honduras and the plight of the women and children lay heavy on our hearts.

Often when God has something new in store for us, something that requires great courage and digging deep into ourselves, it is terrifying. But, I believe God had been preparing both of us for what the next fifteen years would bring. 

If you are reading this, you know us as who we are today in 2017. This has been a journey that easily feels like we have each raised another child. We have loved it since it first became a conversation, moving out of our hearts and into our hands and feet, becoming an action - an action grounded in much love.

We have both poured our hearts into Mi Esperanza. It is our life passion. 

When I speak to groups about Mi Esperanza, especially the mission teams that come to our training center in Honduras, I remind team members that this was how Lori and I started. This is exactly what connected us. God planted that seed deep within both of us and we followed the call to nourish it. 

What I want to convey is how important it is to pay attention to the seeds God has planted in each of us. I pray our visitors go home, burdened to participate in life differently and seek the story being written in each of them. We are all called. Not necessarily to begin a program like Mi Esperanza but He planted a seed in each of us when He created us. It is up to us to nourish it, yet, we also have the power to crush it. God wants us to make a difference in this world and He has empowered every one of us to do just that. 

The last fifteen years of Mi Esperanza has required much of Lori and I and our families. This month Lori and Mark are celebrating their ninth year living full time in Honduras. I am in Honduras cumulatively at least two months every year. We have shed tears and shared broken hearts many times. But, I don’t think either of us would have made a different decision had we known what lay ahead.

So, to you all, our community, I humbly and gratefully want to thank you for believing in our passion. Thank you for coming along side us and sharing the hard work. Thank you for how you have supported us and thank you for your continued support in the future. This has not, and will never be, for the faint of heart. 

I can’t wait to see what the next fifteen years bring.  Janet