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Summer 2012

Sid Wilson's Story

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Meet Sid Wilson, who tells an amazing story from his first trip to Peru in 2007. He went to the Refuge of Hope with his wife Carol and a group of fellow church members for a week of volunteer work. "The reason I love the Refuge is because of this story," says Sid. "We were waiting at the tiny airport in Pucallpa on our way back to the States. I saw a woman in her early twenties, wearing a floor-length skirt and selling ice cream from an airport kiosk. I walked up and asked, 'How much?' She served me the ice cream and asked what on earth I was doing in the Amazon. 'I've been working at the Refuge of Hope,' I explained. Immediately her eyes welled up with tears, she put her hand on mine, and raised the hem of her skirt to reveal a large brace supporting a leg paralyzed with polio. 'Thank you,' she said, 'I am a graduate of the Refuge.  Without the Refuge, I would not be alive.'"
"I boarded my flight and returned to the states, realizing that we were part of something much bigger than a one-week work trip," Sid explains. "This was about changing lives, and I wanted to give more. On the flight, I brainstormed with Carol how we could help. What eventually came to us may be an idea others can do in the future. When I retired in 2009," Sid continues, "I requested that instead of gifts, people give donations to the Refuge of Hope. Over 50 people did just that, and we raised over $5000. This spring, we used this money, together with a donation from our church, to help pay for the land at 'Quince'. Neither we nor the church donors knew that the total sum of our donation exactly matched the remaining balance on the land's mortgage." Quince is twenty-five acres of land used by the Refuge for growing trees and raising hens. The goal is that the trees and hens will generate revenue to support the operational costs of the elementary school, which serves over 400 children with disabilities.
Sid concludes his story sharing, "There is nothing I could have received as a gift for my retirement that I would have enjoyed more. To me, this is not a random act of blind charity. This is an extension of a real, tangible project that is saving lives. The land will be a permanent perpetual source of revenue and livelihood for the people at the Refuge."

Alumni Spotlight:  Marlith Pillco Martinez

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Marlith Pillco Martinez (called "Marly" for short), came to the Refuge as a teenager after meeting Pastor Victor in Iquitos. She was paralyzed from the hips down from polio and was living with her family on a small floating house on a tributary of the Amazon River. At 15 years of age she could not read or write, she had no wheelchair, no money, no education, but she had a desire to learn.
She advanced quickly after arriving at the Refuge; she learned to read and write, to get around on a wheelchair and even to walk with crutches and proper orthotics. She earned her primary and secondary education, followed by vocational training in both sewing and cosmetology. Marly met her husband Richard Panduro, who was also a polio survivor and a student at the Refuge. They married at the Refuge and now have a beautiful son named Paris. Marly returned to the Refuge with her family, where she now serves as a the dorm mother for the female boarding students. She is a role model and mentor to young women and an example of a life changed through the Refuge of Hope. 

Creative Ways to Give in 2012
Give your expertise:  Paul Browning gave his expertise in accounting to file the 2011 taxes for the Refuge free of charge.  Thank you, Paul!
Give land:  Sid Wilson donated money raised from his retirement to purchase land for the Refuge of Hope which is being used to raise trees and hens.  Thank you, Sid!
Give trees:  For $1 you can donate a tree in honor of a friend or family member. 
Give hens:  For $3 you can donate an egg-laying hen.
Give cash:  For $500 you can feed all of the boarding students 3 meals a day for one month. 
Give wheelchairs or braille equipment:   Many new students have arrived who need wheelchairs, braille typewriters and school supplies.  You donations can sponsor these items for students.   


  • Jun 3 2012