- Posted by Courtney Quigley
- On March 1, 2019
- 0 Comments
“It makes me really happy to see a family who didn’t have a nice home get the keys to a new opportunity in life. Traveling to Guatemala to provide service to these families has been so special to me. It’s hard to understand what these people are going through, unless you get to experience it and I love to meet them and really get to know their story. It’s sad that some of them haven’t always chosen the right path in life, but this house will give them a chance at making their lives better. It will mean a lot to me, but even more to the family we build for this summer, if you are able to support my dream of raising $6,500 to build this house. I will be forever grateful.”
-Mikayla Nelsen, 12 years old
Mikayla Nelsen was born in Mixco, Guatemala on September 18, 2006. Less than a week later, her parents-to-be, Mike and Carri Nelsen received an adoption referral for this baby girl. Without hesitation, a decision they almost immediately realized was one of the best of their lives, Mike & Carri accepted the referral of this amazing child and finished their multiple year-long process of adopting from Guatemala.
As the years passed, Mike and Carri realized Mikayla had a special heart. Compassionate for animals and people alike, “Mik”, as they started calling her, had a passion her parents recognized immediately as unique. Being completely open with her history and adoption, Mike and Carri always wanted Mikayla to know about her birth country. At the age of 8 this was met with more curiosity, on Mikayla’s part. Much sooner than they anticipated, Mike and Carri were met with questions about where their daughter was from. Wanting to present Mik with all the facts, these parents set out to find a way to share Mikayla’s native culture with her.
In 2015 Carri stumbled upon an organization called Hope’s In that traveled to Guatemala to help in a community surrounding one of the largest garbage dumps in Central America. After attending meetings and speaking with one of the co-founders, Courtney, Carri was assured 8 years of age wasn’t too young to start this kind of service. Courtney, in fact, had started her travels, with her own family, to serve at about the same age.
Mikayla, not surprisingly, was thrilled with the idea of going back to Guatemala to become acquainted with and to serve in her home country. For the past 4 years, she has grown to appreciate and look forward to this trip as part of her summer vacation.
Mikayla has served other areas of Guatemala, as well, including organizing a cardigan sweater collection, while in the third grade, for an all-girls school in Santa Maria de Jesus. She currently volunteers at a local animal shelter, where the family adopted a kitten a few years back. Mikayla also shared with her parents that her desire for the future included giving back to the United States, for all it has given to her, by going into the military and working with military dogs. After serving her country, she hopes to become a veterinarian.
After many years serving in the Garbage Dump Community of Guatemala, Mik has decided she wants to leave a permanent mark on the community that’s become so special to her. She’d like to raise enough money, with the help of her parents, to build an entire house. Building houses with her group, Hope’s In, has made a significant impact on Mik’s personal growth, and being able to raise money to give a family in need a home has been a dream of hers.
Mik needed a total of $6,500 to build just one house, A HOME, for just one family living in a garbage dump community of Guatemala City. We are so excited to share that Mik has surpassed her goal! To date, she has raised $7,455 and counting! Everyone on TEAM HOPE is so excited for her and the family she will get to meet and work alongside this summer in Guatemala City as they build the new home together. It will be a safer, more dignified place where the family can continue to grow and dream together.
To get involved and continue to watch Mik’s progress, please click here.