A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Habitat house an answered prayer for family who ‘just knew there had to be better life’


For years, Juan Cervantes of Lexington tried to fix up his trailer to make it more comfortable for his family, but the temporary repairs to the 30-year-old home just have not helped.

The thermostat does not work. There would be a burst of heat, then nothing on winter nights when frigid air swept in through the thin walls and floor. There are only two bedrooms, so Juan and his wife, Leticia, sleep in the living room. And the neighbors are noisy and sometimes downright rude.

And so Leticia did the only thing she thought would help. She prayed.

“I said, ‘God, I just can’t believe that this is the place you would have me to raise my children,” she said. “I just knew that there had to be a better life for us.”

A short time later, her prayers were answered when she heard about Lexington Habitat for Humanity and learned her family qualified for a home. The family is now dreaming of the day when they will move into a new, energy-efficient, four-bedroom home.

“I can’t wait,” said Leticia, who looks forward to having the privacy of her own room. “I will be happy just to see my kids happy. People say we are lucky that we are getting this opportunity, but I know that we are blessed.”

Juan, a horse groomer and caretaker at Winstar Farms, and Leticia moved to the United States about 13 years ago. They lived in Chicago for several years before moving to Lexington in 2006 so their kids could attend better, safer schools.

They have three children, Jonathan, 18, loves soccer and plans to attend Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Ruth, 17, is an avid swimmer and is making plans to start college in the fall. Hadassa is 9.

“I tell my children that God can do anything if you have the faith and believe,” she said. “I am so happy that good things are happening for my family. We are very grateful.”

The Cervantes family have started work on their home on McCullough Drive alongside Lexmark employees. This is the 19th home Lexmark has sponsored.

From Lexington Habitat for Humanity

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