Sherlyn’s Story: Hope Discovered at Tebow Down Guatemala

December 18 3 Minute Read????

Sherlyn’s Story: Hope Discovered at Tebow Down Guatemala

Hello December 18th, 2023

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"Why God? Why must Sherlyn be born with an intellectual disability?" 

Catalina wrestled with this prayer when she found out that her granddaughter was born with Down syndrome. She was no stranger to difficulties in her family life, as her daughter, Sherlyn’s mother, was born Deaf. When the doctors could not predict what her granddaughter's future would look like but presumed that she wouldn't be able to walk or even hold her own head up, Catalina was overwhelmed. 

Her prayers were her honest thoughts to God. She prayed that God would help her granddaughter navigate this life and hoped that Sherlyn would not suffer in this world.  

F.jpgA few short years later, Sherlyn defied doctors' predictions and began walking at five years old! At first, her grandmother strongly opposed her going outside. Those concerns were rooted in the harsh reality faced by many families who have children born with disabilities. Especially when it came to attending school, Catalina worried about how Sherlyn would be perceived by the outside world. However, Sherlyn's mother, Martina, intervened. She carried a heavy burden of sadness in her heart - the sadness of not having had the opportunity to attend school herself due to being born Deaf. Martina wanted things to be different for Sherlyn and knew this was an opportunity she wanted to pursue for her daughter.


Sherlyn's mother realized that education was not just about learning basic skills; education was a key that opened the door to a hopeful future. Along with going to school, she yearned for her daughter to experience the joy and fulfillment that a community could bring her. As she looked for resources, she was led to Tebow Down Guatemala (TDG). 

From the moment Sherlyn and Martina set foot in Tebow Down Guatemala, they experienced an overwhelming sense of acceptance and encouragement. The teachers were amazed at Martina’s determination and grit in seeking a better future for her daughter. Their efforts to go to TDG not only held the promise of a brighter future for Sherlyn but also validated her mother's efforts marking the beginning of a transformative journey for their entire family.  

C.jpgBefore TDG, Sherlyn was confined to her home. Now, Sherlyn is growing into an independent young girl with an unquenchable thirst for learning. She has been developing her basic skills in reading and writing and learning to communicate more effectively. Sherlyn has also begun enthusiastically taking on responsibilities at home and school. She has even taken on the responsibility of buying tortillas for their meals. We are truly inspired not only by how she is growing in confidence, no longer limited by her diagnosis, but also by how she is embracing her inherent worth and value as a reflection of God's image.  

Sherlyn's story, from a difficult prognosis to a hopeful future, serves as a powerful testament that inspires us to want to reach more people in Guatemala. This is why we began dreaming of building a new first-of-its-kind campus in Guatemala City, so that we could impact more families like Sherlyn’s. This flagship campus, where individuals with intellectual disabilities will be able to access a wide range of services and resources, will provide hope and a future to 250 students and their families every single day. 

"I feel God gave me everything I needed. My heavenly Father gave me my kids, my grandkids, and now my little angel, Sherlyn. I have been amazed at the many things she can do, and now, she looks after me and tells me, ‘I want to be like you, Grandma.’” - Catalina 

Catalina no longer pleads with God to spare her from suffering. Instead, her prayers are filled with praises for the life Sherlyn leads. Instead of looking away from her granddaughter, Catalina embraces her with grace, fostering a nurturing environment that enables Sherlyn to thrive with the help of Tebow Down Guatemala. It’s incredible to see Sherlyn surpass the boundaries initially set for her. 

D.jpgTTF Family, we believe every person is an image bearer of God and has inherent worth and value. Will you join us in impacting families like Sherlyn’s by helping build a flagship campus in Guatemala City? Our prayer is that this campus will support people with special needs and their families for years to come. Please don’t look away. See Them.  

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