Changing the plan is a part of being young. Actually, it’s a part of the whole of life — but it’s especially prevalent in the crossroads we often meet as we grow. It takes maturity to know which path to take, and courage to make a move in that direction.

Jelbin, who lives at Casa de Esperanza, recently graduated high school as his class’s salutatorian. As part of preparing for graduation and adulthood, Jelbin took part in a micro community program known as a Life Project. When we wrote about Jelbin’s Life Project last year, his sight was set on law school — with the grades and motivation to back it up!  

Though Jelbin had begun the application process to study law, he recently had an experience that left a lasting impression on his life — including his future. 

While attending a local church with a family from Casa de Esperanza, he felt a deep stirring in his heart.  “I felt the need to accept the Lord into my heart,” Jelbin says of that experience. Jelbin had been praying for the Lord to take control of his life, and after talking with the pastor, Jelbin had made the decision to be baptized that same day! “I feel a peace about that decision,” he says. 

Jelbin's baptism.

That life change sparked something in Jelbin he couldn’t ignore, even if it meant foregoing his prior plans. “I have felt in my heart that I should enroll in a Biblical institute to study theology and serve the Lord,” he shared. Though community staff and parents are dedicated to supporting Jelbin on this journey, it’s never easy to pivot from a plan that’s  already in-motion. Jelbin had to face some fears that come naturally with a change in plans: namely, that others may perceive it as a lack of commitment to his original vision. “It is hard to change and communicate that to others,” he says.  

Jelbin at his high school graduation.

Jelbin’s decision is certainly one to be proud of – the ability to graduate from high school and have options for further schooling or training of any kind is a great privilege. While it takes courage to change the plan, having that supportive community around in the midst makes it all a little less daunting, a little more possible.

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