Who we are
About Jon and Shannon Haslett, Founders of Niños de la Luz:
"They met on a plane to Kenya thirty-four years ago. Starting their story through WYAM, working in the Philippines and studying Spanish in Costa Rica had all played a part in following what they felt called to do - work with the troubled and homeless youth of Venezuela. From then, their story took them through so many journeys of tests, losses and successes. They have seen and experienced life changing moments, good and bad. From personal experience, I have seen the passion of my parents drive them to dedicate every aspect of their lives to God. They have seen God work in inexplicable ways which has shown them that constant faithful steps, as little as they might seem, move them in directions they would never have thought to have been. Trust and motivation has brought over twenty-five years housing boys in Venezuela, seventeen years in the Dominican Republic and now three years in South Sudan!"
- Summer Haslett, youngest daughter of Jon and Shannon
A little background...
This story is just as much for Latin American children living on the streets as it is for the average person who wonders what kind of difference they can make in the world.
The history of Niños de la Luz is a story of inspiration and passion that God put on a young couple’s heart and how He turned that passion into a reality.
Early in his twenties, Jon began taking short-term mission trips to the Philippines. He volunteer with medical clinics and assisted in ministry that helped with children living on the streets of Manila. Jon's heart went out to these children. How could it be possible that children as young as five years old were living in their own in an environment of drugs, prostitution and crime? On each trip feeding and ministering to the kids, God would tug a little more... Who will help these young ones to find a way out of their plight?
In 1986, Jon's mission mindedness took him to Kenya. This is where he met Shannon. Shannon had shared the same passion to help children in poverty stricken countries. God added vision to their passion and in 1992, the Hasletts were led to move to Caracas, Venezuela. This was a city that wanted to deny the existence of these "throw away children" who were thought as a nuisance, thought to have been beyond hope and even criminals. There was only minimal Venezuelan support for a ministry whose purpose was primarily viewed as "taking the trash away". Starting a ministry like this was not going to be easy. Jon and Shannon were ready.
"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."
- Hudson Taylor