In Loving Memory of John “Juan Antonio” Huebsch



Dearest friends,

It’s with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of John Huebsch, whose family founded Common Hope. John, or Juan Antonio as he was fondly known in Guatemala, passed away on Monday, July 21, 2014 in the woods of Minnesota, a place he loved.

His sudden, unexpected death has hit our community of supporters very hard and fast. Many of you who knew John are mourning the loss of a very generous and kind-hearted man. Please know that we are mourning alongside you. John was taken from this earth too soon, but we try to forge on as he would’ve wanted us to.

Our Founder, Our Leader

John devoted his life to working with the poor.  After receiving his college degree at St. John’s in Collegeville, Minnesota, he joined with some friends to establish a non-profit organization to serve the homeless in the U.S.  It was after he made his first journey to Guatemala in 1985 to visit his parents that he decided to work with them to establish Common Hope in 1986. This initial four-month trip planted seeds that would become 20 years of dedicated service to those living in poverty in Guatemala. John served as the executive director of Common Hope from 1992 – 2006, and he divided much of his time between Guatemala and the U.S. 

 In 2006, after careful preparation, John stepped down as executive director to join the board of directors. He also spent much of his time pursuing his interest in spirituality and he provided guidance to several non-profit organizations and their leaders. 

Services and Memorials

In keeping with Guatemalan customs, a memorial for John has been set up at our Antigua site.

In keeping with Guatemalan customs, a memorial for John has been set up at our Antigua site.

IN GUATEMALA: In keeping with Guatemalan customs, memorials for John began immediately after hearing the news of his passing. We have placed black shrouds at the gates of our Antigua site, inviting people to come in and share their condolences. An altar in remembrance of John has also been set up as a place for people to gather together and share memories. A memorial service also took place at our Antigua site for his father Dave and step-mom Bina, the Common Hope staff, and families who knew John. The gathering was held Thursday, July 24 at 2:00 pm GT in our amphitheater.

IN THE USA: John’s family and friends invite you to join us for:

A Celebration of Life for John “Juan Antonio” Huebsch
Friday, August 1, 2014
2:00 – 5:00 pm
At 3:00 pm there will be a reflection with friends and family members

Como Park Pavilion
1360 Lexington Pkwy. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108

John’s family is also planning a memorial in Perham, Minnesota for later in August.

Please Share With Us

The loss of this great man is a grief that we all share. We encourage you to add a comment on this blog in the field below with your memories of John. As a community, we can begin to heal by sharing the memories we hold so dear. All comments on this page will also be archived into a book for the Huebsch family.

John’s family has also requested for you to share photos of John in a Shutterfly album that has been set up in his honor. Feel free to upload as many photos as you’d like to share with us and the Huebsch family.  You can upload to the album by visiting this website.


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84 Responses to In Loving Memory of John “Juan Antonio” Huebsch

  1. Verlee A. Copeland July 23, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    What a tremendous grief for all of us who knew John and anticipated how he might yet serve the world. I met John in Hinsdale, Illinois about eight years ago or so, sitting together at a local cafe to talk about Common Hope. We had a far reaching and meaningful conversation about how it all began with his parents and the history, and shared stories of the people and country of Guatemala we both love. Through John and trusted colleagues, the churches I serve have supported Common Hope, and my husband and I sponsor three children. John and his family change the world for children and families in Guatemala, but also our own lives and our faith communities here in the states. May God receive John in glory with all the saints in light, and heal the grief of all who knew him.

    • Fr Joe Herzing July 30, 2014 at 11:03 am #

      Our condolences to Dave and Bina and all of John’s family and friends. Our prayers and love in this difficult time. From St Mary’s, Holy Family and Our Lady of Lourdes in Little Fallls

  2. Jerry and Margie Mullin July 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    We are saddened by this news and send our heartfelt sympathy to John’s wonderful family. He was an effective leader of Common Hope for many years and a good friend of many who worked there.

  3. Víctor Hug Hernandez Luche July 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    Una Excelente Persona Que DeJa Un Gran Legado De Lo Que Algunos Como Yo Somos Parte. Dios Bendiga Los Frutos De Estas Semillas Que Fueron Sembradas Hace Ya Mucho Tiempo.

    Dios De Fortaleza A Los Familiares.

  4. Rick Leah Moore July 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    I did not know him, but what a good man to have founded an organization that helps so many of God’s children! You never know what or why now and most ofter never find a good reason for losing good people. I can find some comfort in knowing that God has a plan. May His arms hold with comfort all those who loved him.

  5. Penny Arnold July 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    I’ve been involved with Common Hope for maybe a couple of decades, sponsoring children, going down to help with whatever needed doing, making donations. I can’t claim to have known John personally, but my occasional contact with him made me appreciate his dedication, sensitivity to others, and his humility. Without doubt, he has made a tremendous difference for thousands of people, both in Guatemala and here. He will be sorely missed, and the world is a poorer place without him.

    • Tom Game July 24, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      Hi john… You will be missed. I met John in 1996 on my 1st. trip to guatemala. Jhom was a kind and gentle man, with Love in his heart, which showed as he walk across the common hope court yard.
      Peace and God Bless to your family.
      Love TOM

  6. Julie Brady July 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    I am sorry for the loss of Johh. I attended college with him and will never forget late night discussions about spirituality with him. Now, he will know what is beyond before all of us. I am sad for his father and all those who have loved him and known his great big heart. I have sponsored ongoing kids for the past 15 years thru Common Hope as I know how he loved Guatemala and visited him there as well.

  7. Jean Gray July 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    I met John, a fellow Minnesotan, as I work with Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH)which has a home/school just north of Antigua. I convinced him to “crash” our annual meeting in Antigua some years ago so he could learn how NPH operates and meet our late founder, Fr. William B. Wasson. In return I visited Common Hope’s campus. A more gracious man one could not meet. He will be present in spirit. Rest in peace.

  8. Lizz Weidenbach July 23, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    As a newer staff member, I never had the privelege of meeting John. But over the last few days, I’ve come to learn a lot about who he was. The stories and memories you’ve shared speak volumes to his tremendous spirit. And it’s easy to see that his spirit radiates from everyone who loved him. As a staff member, I want to say thanks for sharing and please continue to do so. It brings comfort to many.

  9. Howard Lobb July 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    On behalf of Cooperative for Education, and our founders Jeff and Joe Berninger, I want to extend our dearest sympathies for Common Hope and family of John. Jeff, Joe and I knew John well when he lived and worked here in Antigua and as we were both fairly young non-profit organizations, we shared ideas and experiences. John was a great person, I enjoyed him very much, and I always thought I would see him again. I’m sure his soul is in a very good place now though.

  10. Nancy Chirhart July 23, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    Dear Dave and Bina, I was so shocked and saddened thyesterday to hear of the loss of your dear son John . I, together with so many others, had the great pleasure of having gotten to know and spend time with your very, kindhearted son John. My first few trips down here with Vision Teams date back to 2000. Back then, we were blessed with having John join our teams in the evenings for a time of reflection, which was such a special part of our 10 days here, as John indeed had a real gift in relating to others. He made each of us feel so welcomed and appreciated and I will always treasure those memories. I also had the good fortune to at least once a year get a chance to visit a bit with John, back in central Minnesota, at a variety of different functions. His love of the people here in Guatemala was very obvious and many of us are better people for having had John in our lives I

  11. Heidi Jeub July 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    In 1997, I went to Guatemala to build houses. The last day, I got to hit the town with my childhood best friend, and the volunteers from the project. And John. Rest in Peace Juan Antonio… because of you, we don’t have to except “that’s just the way it is; some things will never change.” (we listened to Bruce Hornseby and the Range at a small pub, with a frenchman in the corner, and playing pool and enjoying a night after a long mission.) I took that to heart, and you have no idea how that night out after a life changing week, changed my life just a little bit more.

    I now have the nerve to think I can change the world with my gifts… because of that night.

  12. Tari Waite July 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    It is so sad when the world loses someone who has served as such a source of inspiration for so many. I hope your family will take comfort in knowing that there are so many of us who were inspired from a distance by John. It is rare when you find someone who lives out their ideals and creates such positive change in the world in their daily lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  13. Dennis Beach July 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Prayers and remembrances from Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN. Queremos comunicar nuestro más sincero pésame a tod@s reunid@s en Antigua—familiares, colaboradores, amig@s y todas las Familias de Esperanza. Los monjes de la Abadía de San Juan le guardaremos a Juan Antonio en nuestras oraciones diarias…

  14. Nancy Chirhart July 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    Dear Dave and Bina, I was so shocked and saddened yesterday to hear of the loss of your dear son John. I together with so many others, had the great pleasure of having gotten to know and spend time with your very, kindhearted son, John. My first few trips down here with Vision Teams date back to 2000. Back then, we were blessed with having John join our teams in the evenings for a time of reflection, which was such an important part of our 10 day experience here at Familias de Esperanza. John indeed had a real gift in his ability to relate to others; he made us feel so welcomed and appreciated. Thus, I will always treasure those early memories along with my, at least once a year, visits with John back in central Minnesota at a variety of different events. John’s sincere love ot the people here in Guatemala was so very obvious, and many of us are better people for having had the pleasure of knowing John and having had him in our lives. I continue to support this wonderful foundation that your family started so many years ago. I plan on attending the memorial service with you and all the others that are able to be there tomorrow to share their memories of your wonderful son John. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time, Sincerely, Nancy Chirhart

  15. Larry Meyer July 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    There was never a person who loved the children of Guatemala more than John. I have so many wonderful memories of talking with him and working with him. You meet one of these incredible people so few times in your lifetime, that you treasure the memories and try to model your own life, spirituality, charity and love after his own.

    Dios te bendiga, John

  16. Len Zimney July 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    A tremendous loss for his family, friends, and the world.
    I went on my first trip to Antigua in the mid-90’s. The organization that John and his dad created changed my life forever. Before then, making a difference to the poor was just talk and dreams. “The Godchild Project” as it was known then, provided the means and tools. Common Hope has changed the hearts of so many people that I know, and hundreds I have never met. Many were skeptics, until they had the chance to touch the lives of those who had much less than them.
    I had the privilege of being able to call this great man a friend, even though we seldom saw each other. The last time we spent an evening with John at our home, he told one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard about his experience in trying to pick huckleberries at Lake Harriet.
    He just can’t be gone. We all need to spend more time with John. To lead our hearts to what is true and meaningful. Lets continue to due that with the spirit that he has left behind.

    • Laura (Fischer) Ernst July 25, 2014 at 11:49 am #

      Hi Len,

      We have never met, but I went for a walk with John around Lake Harriet a few days after the “huckleberry” incident. Thanks for making me smile and remember that story.

      My heart is sad with this loss. I have not seen John in a few years, but I have many wonderful memories and conversations that I am relying on right now to help process. John was a good friend when you needed a good friend!

  17. Andrew and Rosine Hermodson-Olsen July 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Dear Dave and Bina. You have our sympathy. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We remember well our vision team trips to Common Hope. Dave, I, Rosine, was at the 15th Anniversary celebration and remember our visits also visits with John. Thank you for what you do for the people of Guatemala, all God’s children. Thank you for raising a son who heard the call to serve as you serve. May God be with you in a very special way through these days of grief.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Andrew, Rosine Hermodson-Olsen and family

  18. Joanne Griffin July 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    I had the privilege of working directly with John for six years in some of the earlier days of the organization, when we still had sewing machines sitting on our office shelves because the very resourceful Huebsch family had used them to perforate the mail-in coupon books for sponsors. John was proficient at doing things for which he had received no formal training: drawing architectural plans for the Family Development Center, equipping a medical clinic, building a birchbark canoe, writing a screenplay (which a producer said was darn good), and planning and constructing a small village. He was a true visionary, as we all know, which was wonderful and not always easy to deal with. The first time he laid eyes on the land which is now New Hope Village (Nueva Esperanza), he said, “We are going to do this. Families need help and we are in the position to help them.” Then he went back to the US and informed the board we were doing it, rather than asking for their permission. He walked in to posh downtown law offices in his jeans and flannel shirt to have meetings with powerful people. He was authentic to the core and believed others should care about the needs of the poor as well. He and his dad took meager salaries for themselves. My time with the organization helped me learn how to make intentional choices with my money; I could spend $50 on a new black dress, but that money could also build a concrete floor for a family.

    We miss you, John. We really do. Thanks for everything.

  19. Roxanne Wilson July 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

    “Do small things with great love” John lived it. I hired John on the Mental Health Unit MANY years ago. I think he was still a student at St. Johns at the time. He was a generous and kind man, with a great sense of humor. He was not afraid to laugh at himself. Barb Hansen (original Godchild) administrative assistant, Mary Gottwalt and I toured Guatemala with John and his fiance Kaye when Common Hope was in the building stages outside of Antigua. The country was beautiful and the project was a huge dream requiring significant planning. We learned, we laughed alot and we came back changed; mostly through what we saw hard work and accountability could do. John didn’t lecture; he inspired, worked hard and then stepped aside and let relationships happen. We returned several times for projects, to visit our sponsored children/families and for celebrations. My sponsored child, Sylvia, graduated from high school ..difficult for a girl. I was thrilled. When Barb and I visited again, we brought pictures of Barb’s godchild’s family taken the previous visit. When we visited, the small snapshot was the only picture the mother had of her daughter who had died in the previous year. It was a “gift of gold”. John’s introduction to what we could give to others through dollars, time, commitment and friendship will live beyond him. This mother’s tears, joy, and sorrow crossed cultures as the do the tears being shed now. John knew that relationships like this would happen and that they would bring people together. He gave of himself and he challenged each of us to think of what we had to give to each other. What a gift for all of us to have been touched by him and to have his spirit live on through the families in both countries

    • Barb Hansen July 25, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Thank-you, Roxanne….you said it beautifully and I love you for that.

  20. Kim and Chuck July 23, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    We met John about ten years ago in Seattle. He inspired us to gather our community of parents with kids adopted from Guatemala to come together on behalf of Common Hope, in fact he inspired a whole neighborhood! He came to us with stories and the most amazing data about what Common Hope does! We got to see that first hand with a couple of visits to Common Hope with our daughter. John was the best advocate that Common Hope could have, and that is an incredible legacy. I have a really lovely memory of sitting with him at coffee while he told his stories. We are so sad for his passing and so grateful for his and his family’s energy to found the organization. You guys all inspire us.

  21. Geri Randall July 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    ” Before you can share Christ you have to share life and earn the right to be heard”. Those are the words John shared with me my first trip to Guatemala. I worked side by side with John on the Mental Health Unit at the St. Cloud Hospital. He brought little wooden trucks for us to purchase from the Guatemala crafters. I sat many a night shift listening to his stories of Guatemala, until I could stand it no more. I had to go and see for myself the reality of what John shared. I came home, “a life forever changed”. I spent 23 years traveling to Guatemala with HELPS International and working for the organization in development. I made may trips to Common Hope and was amazed at the wonderful things that were happening there. Thank you John for opening my eyes and my heart to a world I may have never known. You were chosen of God to share the stories of Guatemala and providing opportunities for those of us more fortunate to give. You will never be forgotten. Your legacy lives on because of your tender, passionate heart. I am so privileged to have known you.

  22. Nancy Johnson Calderon July 23, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    In honor of a genuinely wonderful person …long live J.H. and legacy of his good works.
    I met John at college and though out the years we shared intense conversations sprinkled in with many laughs. He was an “out of the box” thinker and I always appreciated his bona fide John ways.
    One of my favorite memories with him is shooting some risky rapids while canoeing the BWCA; and the look we shared when the canoe behind us tipped and the camping gear went floating on down the river.

  23. Deb Frese July 23, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    I first went to Common Hope the spring of 1995 and loved its people and mission at Common Hope, that I went back three more times. I met John a few times on my second trip and he was just so very kind and inspiring. He accomplished so much and helped so very many! My heart goes out to the Huebsch family as well as all who worked or met John through Common Hope in Guatemala and Minnesota. We can vision that John is still has his wonderful smile – especially because he is now with God in the Heavens.

  24. Ron Noecker July 24, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    In the brokenness of leaving sacramental ministry as a priest in Nebraska, John was a kind loving presence. He is what I imagine Jesus would have been in those kind of moments. He was peaceful, calm, steady and encouraging. Because of him, I went to New York instead of Guatemala. Then, four months later, the Universe put us together in Minneapolis. He just happened to be delivering the homily at the Basilica while I was making a quick trip through Minnesota. He spoke eloquently about the work of Common Hope. He invited me to lunch with him and three months later, with his encouragement, I was on my way to Guatemala.

    I was contemplating a nursing career and rather than steer me to his own purposes he lead me to avenues that helped to discern this interest at Hermano Pedro. In those first couple of years in Guatemala, he was always someone I could turn to when there were moments of doubt.

    I think he knew that I was grateful for his support. But at this moment, I want to thank his family and friends who loved him so that we was able to be such a beautiful presence to so many of us. May the kindness with which he lived, strengthen you in these days. For those who continue his work in Guatemala, may the kindness of the people there, whom John loved so deeply, sustain you through this time.

  25. Ward Joyce July 24, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    20 years ago in Minneapolis I overheard John requesting help from a fellow architecture student for the design of a clinic in Guatemala. I was so inspired by the passion and nature of the work that it set a seed in me that day that changed my life. Ten years later I went searching for an opportunity to work/help in Latin America – anywhere, really – and somehow stumbled on a description of Common Hope’s project, Nueva Esperanza. Without knowing that this was John’s project, I wrote to ask if they needed an architect in their efforts to build a community, and they accepted my offer as if it was pre-ordained.

    John and Renato orchestrated our family coming down for nearly two years to work on the project and John’s many visits help guide me in so many ways. Thanks to John’s enthusiasm and warmth, we had one of the most wonderful and gratifying two years of our lives.

    John inspired me with his native design skills, his patience, and his commitment to improving peoples’ lives…and that definitely included mine. Though my same age, I looked to John for guidance and inspiration…and I’ll never forget the impacts he had on my knowledge that one can impact the lives of others. He also had amazing insight into the capacity of people to contribute, and that’s the legacy of Common Hope that he helped craft for so many years.

    Rest in peace John!

  26. Marilyn (Klinnert) Bernu July 24, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Dave and Bina and family,

    We send our deepest sympathy and prayers to all of you! John has done the work of our Lord here on earth and now can rest in his arms. May you have peace in knowing he is with Mom and his little sister and brother. We have many great memories of John growing up at our little parish back home at Rush Lake.
    With our love and prayers,
    Marilyn and Roger Bernu

  27. John Fellerer July 24, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    I knew John from his birth and through elementary school. I would visit with Dave and we would talk about everything, sometimes all night. As an eight or nine year old boy, he would sometimes sit and listen and ask questions which Dave took great care in answering. He was a neat person. I followed his life through information from my brother who knew him from his work in Guatemala and volunteering.
    My heart felt sorrow goes out to Dave and Bina and all John’s extended family in Guatemala.

  28. Rosalina Ramos July 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Juan Antonio fue un hombre muy valioso en Guatemala, un hombre que dedicó su vida a servir a mi gente en Guatemala. El fue un maestro que no dudó en compartir con nosotros, sus compañeros de trabajo, sus habalidades para poder lograr el sueño de Common Hope.

    Juan era una persona que sabía reir, contagiaba a la gente que le rodeaba.

    David y Bina fue una noticia tremenda cuando nos enteramos de la muerte de Juan, era imposible de creer, era tan joven y tan saludable que fue difícil de aceptar. La familia Huebsch ha marcado mi vida y son personas tan especiales, Juan fue la primera persona que conocí de esta organización, ese recuerdo quedará por siempre en mis memorias.

    Que descanse en Paz, así sea!

  29. Sally & Jon Westby July 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    John first became part of our lives in the mid 90’s through our friend Barb Hansen a co-worker of John’s in St. Cloud and original Common Hope board member. Through Barb our son Renato met John. The two hit it off immediately and one month later Renato went to Guatemala to work with John. That one year has now turned into 17! Lucky for us John stopped by for dinner 2 weeks ago and we had a chance to laugh, reminisce, and thank him for all he has done for our family. We will cherish that last visit forever.

  30. Mary Windels July 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Prayers to the family of John. What a wonderful man who devoted his life to the Lord in so many ways. Peace to all.

  31. Suz Baldus-Strauss July 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Johnny was my non-convential, thinking, serving friend. We met while at college..I remember he would take a day per week out of his busy student-life just to go around and visit his friends, that meant more to him than grades or assignments. I was really impressed by was very telling of the man he was and came to be. We studied abroad together and I fondly remmeber the little islands of Greece that we would jump off on, climb up into the hills and unroll our sleeping bags, talking into the wee hours of the night. I remember him coming to visit my life in Chicago. He did whatever our family did, hockey games, coaching, gymnastic the end he said, “Wow, our lives our so different” (always with that smile and chuckle). He was always in pursuit of his spirituality..Monday was the day he was preparing for all his life really. He would have liked that he died in the woods that he loved so much. Johnny did more with his life in 53 years than most of us will accomplish in our whole lives. He lived for others, and laid compelling challenges out there for the rest of us to ponder. I know God is proud of the life he lived and has Johnny secure in His arms. Thanks for making my life better by sharing a peice of you, with me. I love you my friend!!!!

  32. Ronnie July 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Like many others here before me have already said, I too, am glad that John’s vision, passion, drive and actions led him to be part of such a great creation and demonstration of Love that is CommonHope. I’m grateful that it exists and blesses so many – the families, employees, volunteers, sponsors and all the people who hear the stories over and over again. Thanks to the others here for your comments as they have rekindled some sweet memories of 2001, touring a mountain that looked like nothing to me but one that John had envisioned an entire community sitting on. You done good here, John. I’m sure you will continue doing so in your next several chapters. Thank you.

  33. Margie DeSpain July 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Love to all who love John. My heart has been with you today in Guatemala as you remember our dear one, John. I know he would be very honored that you are celebrating his life and appreciating him…..Yet, our humble John would most likely be uncomfortable with the attention. Smiles.

    I await the Minnesota gathering…and continue to pray for all of us who are grieving John; family, dear friends, and all whose lives he touched.

    I’ve no doubt that John will continue to remind us, lifelong, about the virtues of friendship, a simple life, the enjoyment of alone time, an appreciation of the timing of the sacred force of life, and time spent with those we love and enjoy. I think that he would want us to laugh at our selves….and to not take ourselves too seriously….while at the same time staying focused on what is most important……

    Thank you to John’s father
    and mother (who I’m glad is there to welcome him with open arms),
    for raising such a creative and wonderful man,
    to his brother and sister whose respect and love have modeled his life and ability to be friends,
    and to all his friends who have loved him well. I will miss him very much. See you soon. Margie DeSpain…..with gratitude for more than 30 years of close friendship with John……

  34. Andy Walsh July 24, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    John inspired so many including myself by his character. It was easy to see that his heart was connected to God by the things that he did and by the ways that he did them. He really saw the value in relationships and took time to visit with people consistently to both learn from and care for them. I have many great memories of John from visits to the warehouse in St. Paul, workteam opportunities in Guatemala, and a great visit to my home at the time in Alexandria as he was fundraising and spreading awareness. God blessed all of us with the gift of John, and though he will be missed so very much here, may he forever enjoy spending time with God and His faithful in heaven.

  35. Cheryl Hellermann July 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Where do you begin to express gratitude for all that John did for others? I had the honor of meeting with him on several occasions in Guatemala. He was an inspiration to me and one of the reasons I began putting together teams of my own to come to work in Guatemala. Now after visiting Common Hope seven times, I understand how deeply he and the people of Guatemala have changed my life forever. He was truly an outstanding person who always took the time to listen to others and make them feel welcome and special. He will be greatly missed! I am sure that his reward is great for all that he did in his life!

  36. Linda Chatfield July 24, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    I only met John once when he spoke at our church – Columbine United Church – in Littleton Colorado. It was several years ago and we had recently brought home our son from Guatemala. John was a gifted speaker and you could tell how much he loved what he did. And he obviously was very good at it. Last summer we went to Common Hope as part of a family mission team with our sons, who were now 8 and 10. To experience Common Hope first hand was awe inspiring. What has been built is amazing. I know John will be missed greatly but I am also sure his legacy will be carried forward.

  37. Tom Voller-Berdan July 25, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Huebsch family, you are in my thoughts and prayers. John lived an amazing life.

  38. John Windschitl July 25, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    To all John’s friends and family I say “Peace be with you”.

    I knew John many years ago, when we attended Crosier Seminary and Saint John’s together. His deep love for the people of of Guatemala and his tireless work with them and his Common Hope colleagues never ceased to be an inspiration for me and for all who knew him.

    His passing diminishes me, and I will miss him deeply.

  39. Sue Illg July 25, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    I knew John when fresh out of college, he and a few friends opened a Catholic Worker House in St. Cloud, MN. Already as a very young man, he was ready to live with the poor and fearless about starting new venture. Although I did not know him well, I was always in awe and inspired by both John and his parent’s work. When John encountered poverty, he had the courage to take the leap away from us and them to just us. I wish God had let him stay with us longer. It is so heartening to see such goodness and spiritual maturity walking among us. I am thankful for the example he gave that challenges us all to be better.

    I think there must be joy in heaven to have John back home.

    Dave and family I am so sorry for your loss.

  40. Jim Marschall July 25, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    I know John from our high school and college years. I continued to know him in the years since from a distance, you might say, via Common Hope. He was a classy guy back then, and he continued to be a classy guy all his life. To all the rest of you who know and love him, my sincere condolences and prayers are with you — especially Dave and Bina, Annie and Dave. Peace in Christ, Jim Marschall (Crosier Seminary High School, 1980 / St. John’s Univ., 1984)

  41. Barb Hansen July 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    To John’s family and friends,
    I met John in the mid-80’s and we became immediate friends while working together on the Mental Health Unit at the St Cloud Hospital. Several years went by and my husband and I became “empty-nesters” as our children grew up and became college students, etc. Apparently, John just couldn’t stand the thought of an empty bedroom in our house and convinced me that the right thing to do was turn it into the Minnesota office for Godchild while he and Dave did all the really hard work in Guatemala. He had the patience of a saint…it had to be pretty frustrating teaching me the ins and outs of managing a non-profit. The day they left me to start their journey south I stood at the curb with fear in my heart and tears in my eyes until the laughter took over to see them leave with their vehicle overflowing like the Griswald’s leaving on a family vacation! Eventually the project became so successful that the office was moved to St Paul and the wonderful staff there. I was fortunate to visit Common Hope in Guatemala several times……such beautiful and life-changing memories. I visited the families of the children we sponsored….one time I gave Erlin’s mama a very simple little photo album of pictures that I had taken of her family the previous year……those were the only pictures she had of her daughter that had drowned during the time between our visits. We two mamas wept together over that small gift. But, there was more laughter than tears….John told me he kept track of how minutes into our phone calls it took me to ask him about his love life. To dear Dave and family….I am holding you in my heart. I love you for sharing this lovely man with us. To John…adios, amigo, to my forever friend

    • Maureen Forsythe July 30, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

      I had to laugh about your comment about asking him about his love life! I know I always had a crush on him!

  42. Gary 'Pablo' Rush July 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    My meeting John in January, 1995 after my divorce in 1994 helped me to refocus my life. First with many trips and vehicle relocations to Guate, and later helping at the MN office.

    John was able to focus with more intensity, all those who God’s Providence provided him….always knowing that there was a job that you were going to share with the Project, but just not sure what that skill would be.

  43. Lise and George Emery July 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    We met John briefly when he came to speak in our parish in Hollister CA, in preparation for our Vision Team trip. We learn about the beginning of Common Hope and its progress through the years.
    We do not know John personally but through some of our group who had known him and worked with him….
    We went to Guatemala when the Village was being built, we worked with the staff during our Vision week and appreciated all the work that was going on and in the great and holy spirit it was proceeding.
    We sponsor a child in St Raphael, our 3rd Godchild, and enjoy receiving the letters he sends.
    We will never forget our experience and ask God to bless John richly, along with his parents, for all the good work that is being done by Common Hope

  44. Bob and Pat Werschay July 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Dave and Bina-

    Please know that you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. We never met John but knew so much about him and have admired his vision, efforts and work in Common Hope. My visit there with you two years ago told so much about his hard work, generosity and accomplishments. All this will never be forgotten by us and so many of the people in Guatemala.
    We are thankful of having known him through you. It has enriched our lives so much.

    Bob and Pat Werschay

  45. Bob and Pat Werschay July 25, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    Dave and Bina-

    Please know that you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. We never met John but knew so much about him and have admired his vision, efforts and work in Common Hope. My visit there with you two years ago told so much about his hard work, generosity and accomplishments. All this will never be forgotten by us and so many of the people in Guatemala.
    We are thankful of having known him through you. It has enriched our lives.

    Bob and Pat Werschay

  46. Luke Friendshuh July 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    I first met John in Guatemala in the early 90’s before he took over the leadership of GodChild/CommonHope. He was contemplating how to spend the rest of his life. We had lots of deep discussions at the time and I knew I had found someone really special.

    We stayed in contact over the years and I have always admired the way he choose to live his life. He was one of the best human beings I have ever known. And he was a great friend.

    I will miss him dearly and I truly believe the world is a poorer place without him.

  47. Karen Jimenez Smith July 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    John recruited me to do long-term volunteer work in Antigua in 2001. He interviewed me twice over the phone and was the first person I met at Familias de Esperanza/Common Hope. He encouraged me to try social work, something I hadn’t thought of, and it changed my life. We became friends quickly and I had the privilege of having those wonderful, spiritual life talks with him from time to time. I worked with him in Guatemala for 2 years and then worked with him in the St. Paul office for 2 years. I remember sitting in his office and trying to solve the world’s problems…. I am so grateful I saw him at Noche last year. We caught up, we hugged, I got to see his gentle soul one last time. Like many others, I am very sad. Losing someone like John is going to take a long time to accept. Praying that we find peace, and that we can continue to celebrate John for all his goodness.

  48. Ginnie Kurr July 25, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    I knew john many years ago. When he would come back to the states he would tell me that most people in the U.S. have so much. He would then go on to say that the people he worked with had so little and seemed happier than the rest of us. To see him smile and tell stories of all the villagers dancing an singing in front of a fire at night, well he just had that look of wonder in his eyes.. He just seemed to love it so. His words never left me. I try to feel grateful for all I have.

    He was an amazing man.

  49. Sergio Rozalén July 26, 2014 at 2:15 am #

    Apenas le conocí, pero tuve la suerte de participar en esta organización que ofrece nuevas oportunidades a tantas personas, a tantas familias. John, como persona clave en su desarrollo, con su visión, con su esfuerzo, ha mejorado la vida no sólo de los niños de hoy, su huella va a transmitirse durante generaciones. Una de esas personas que ayudan a catalizar todo lo bueno que hay en la gente, el ingrediente necesario para hacer de este mundo algo más amable.
    Gracias John, muchas gracias.

  50. jennifer stevens July 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    I know John only through our sponsorship of a young girl in Quatemala through Common Hope, and I believe we honored his organization at our annual international dinner a few years ago. We honored him then, and I honor him now as a beautiful and inspiring example of the Power of One… the accomplishments and unlimited capacity of one human being to create good and expand love and awareness. His work demonstrates the real potential of the world to live as one loving community, raising our awareness that we are all connected through our Divine Source and can live our lives accordingly. Even through his transition, he continues to raise awareness and inspires us to do our best to create good and expand love and awareness. Bless you John and God speed.
    Jennifer Stevens, Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center, Savage MN

  51. John Long July 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    I met John in 1988 on our church’s first mission trip to Guatemala. Most of our small team worked with Faith in Practice, but a few of us worked at Godchild. I wound up installing phone lines and spent a good bit of time with John in that project. What struck me at that time and for the ensuing years was what a gifted leader he was as well as what a wonderful mission Godchild was and continues to be. We adopted a 13 year old boy which was the same age as our son and that has been a very special experience over the years. Edgar, our godchild, was the first in his family to graduate from high school, then university. We had lunch with John several years when he was in process of leaving Guatemala and I can remember him saying how really amazed he was that anyone would be doing instant messaging with their godchildren. A very special person who lead a very exceptional life.

  52. Erin (Rysavy) Jurek July 27, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    I am forever grateful for John. His dedication and vision have affected more people than we could ever realize. My experience living and working in Guatemala under John’s leadership was life altering. The experiences and relationships formed have created transformation that will continue to life-giving. The ripple effect he started here on earth has created a long-lasting legacy. Gracias Juan y Dios te bendiga.

  53. Greg Scherer July 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    What can I say about John? He got me in his heart; he got me on the Board; he got me to design a water treatment plant and he got me to argue, laugh, plan and pray with him. He tackled difficult problems by asking, “Does anyone want to take this on?” An away we’d go. The last time he came to New Hope was after he retired from the program. He wanted to see how his dream turned out. I had spent the summer there with Chepe and the crew, designing a generator house, water distribution plant, the park and retaining walls. After looking it over he said, “I’d have done it different. But your way is better.” It was an extreme compliment coming from the man who had devoted so much of his life to this project. It was his way of passing it on. His final passing was so John; no fanfare, no long goodbyes; just a quick jump into the peaceful next life that he had searched so long and hard for. Goodbye, John. We’ll meet again. Greg

  54. Marcia Wiger July 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Memorial John Huebsch
    I am very saddened by John’s death. It is one of those unexpected deaths that doesn’t bring the immediacy of tears but weighs heavily and constantly.
    I first met John in 1991 at the home of Frank and Elaine Wray. I made my first trip to Guatemala (without students) with the intention of bringing students from Totino-Grace H.S. for work projects which we eventually did many times with wonderful memories.
    He first showed my husband and I the coffee finca which had been purchased to be the site of the now bustling complex. Over the years we watched the buildings rise up and meet the needs of numerous families. I found John to always be warm, open, though sometimes pensive and sharing his deep thoughts and concerns. After he left Guatemala we ran into each other at odd places, even a wedding, wondering what the other was doing there. We kept up by occasional letters. I will share some of the bits and pieces of a few letters giving a glimpse of what he was doing. I debated whether sharing this would be wrong, but he is so well loved that it is nice to get something from him rather than just from us.
    Jan. 4, 2011
    “It is often hard for those who knew me with Common Hope to believe, but I am
    the most non-busy person on the planet.  And that is by design.  I continue
    on my spiritual sabbatical, which has become something of a permanent way of
    life.  I’ve basically entered – ‘returned to’ is more accurate –  a
    contemplative lifestyle, after having been sucked into the busy world for 20
    years.  The last five years have been quite a ride.  I read for about a year
    until I threw away my books, moved to Sedona for a year of intensely deep
    personal work, and then spent 18 months in the deep woods of Wisconsin in
    silence, meditating for months on end.  It’s been often difficult, and
    occasionally powerfully sublime.  It’s as if I have been broken down, and am
    being rebuilt.”
    He dabbled in establishing a spiritual direction practice but felt that people weren’t serious enough, that they were often “spiritual tourists”. He moved to Hawaii for a short time where he wrote a book and decided not to publish it. “I continue on my spiritual sabbatical, which at this point means spending most of the day in meditation/contemplation. It’s enough to almost kill a person of boredom. So, there’s not really too much to report from this end.” he kept me filled in about his father (Rising Villages), Bina and Renato whom we had met as a student and eventually moved to Guatemala to become active with the project.
    “It seems that each time I write to you I am living in a different place.
    After nine months in Arizona, I moved to northern California about a month
    ago. I’m living about five miles outside of Mendocino. It’s been percolating
    for some time to move to this area, so I wrote an inquiry about renting a
    house to a woman named Cathleen Crosby. She then forwarded it to a fellow
    named Peter Reimuller who posted it on a listserv, a digital bulletin board
    for the Mendocino coast. In response to those two acts of kindness to me-a
    stranger-I soon received five responses to the posting. (I discovered later
    that Peter is a neighbor to Bob, a friend from Common Hope days who moved up
    here from San Francisco.) I narrowed it down to one. I spoke to the owners
    on the phone and a few days later I was making the 1050 mile drive. The
    synchronicity has been stunning.

    So, I am renting a very quaint cottage that sits on 20 acres of beautiful
    land where the Little River Zen Center is also located. The owners of the
    land are a Buddhist priest and her husband, a psychiatrist. They are lovely.
    The second night they invited me over for supper and we spent hours talking
    about psychology and spirituality. She needs some help organizing her newly
    formed non-profit (I have a little experience with that). He wants some help
    with gardening and building projects (I can do that too). The rent is even
    within my budget, and at the rate I have been working, it should be easy to
    work off the rent and perhaps make enough for food and gas.

    The small cottage sits on the edge of a forest and the southern windows
    overlook a meadow. It’s quiet and beautiful and actually reminds me of
    northern Minnesota. It’s very tastefully built and furnished. I burn wood
    and carry my drinking water from the homestead. The water for the bathroom
    and kitchen comes from a nearly pond. I am slowly meeting some people in the
    area. Physical work has been totally wearing me out after months of
    meditation, but I welcome it. It should get me in shape.”

    The love of northern Minnesota remained with him to the end. He told one of our teachers, “Being here [in Guatemala} will permanently rearrange your brain.”   I have never forgotten that and have shared those words with many people since that time in Guatemala. Helps keep my life in perspective.”  John’s life as rearranged many a brain. He will not be forgotten. Rest in deep peace, John.

    • Barb Reid August 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

      Thank you so very much for sharing this. I hadn’t seen John since 1994 when I volunteered with Common Hope, then called The Godchild Project. I had gotten to know him quite well during the year I stayed and lived at old center.
      I had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and after finishing my service wanted to remain in Guatemala, helping in some capacity.
      This helps me to understand John a bit after he left Common Hope.Thank you for helping me to process this sudden news. He was a wonderful man.

  55. Mike Menzel July 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    I met John in the early 90’s while on a surgery trip at Hermano Pedro. John was running Familias de Esperanza out of a garage in Antigua. My first and lasting impression was this is a person with a clear focus and the will and faith to carry his mission out. And did he ever. Who could have predicted that Common Hope would be so hugely impactful on the lives of so many Guatemalans? John, you made a difference in a lot of peoples lives.

  56. Trinidad S Herrera July 28, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Querido,Juan Antonio. Hasta siempre.
    haberlo conocido, compartir con usted fue muy hermoso, y ver todo el trabajo que realizo en Familias de Esperanza. Gracias, Que Dios le bendiga y lo ponga en un lugarcito especial en el cielo. por que ha hecho la diferencia en Guatemala Honesto y lleno de Amor para mis hermanos Guatemaltecos. Juan, olvidarlo no será posible ya que este edificio Familias de Esperanza, Es su Imagen es parte de por esa razón que siempre estará con nosotros, trabajar para esta institución ha sido llenar mi vida, hacer algo por mi gente.Dios lo bendiga gracias.
    descanse en paz.

  57. cristabell West July 28, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    We are grateful FOR HIS LIFE AND what he did for my people in the LAND OF ETERNAL Spring. his memories will remain in the hearts of the Guatemalans specially in Antigua God bless his family always. Cristabell west
    From Guatemala.

  58. Susana Martínez July 29, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    El destino me llevó hace ya algún tiempo a trabajar en Familias de Esperanza en donde pude conocer y escuchar a Juan Antonio, él me hizo cambiar totalmente la visión que tenía de la forma de ayudar a los demás,su trabajo y enseñanzas seguirán vivos a través de todos esos niños y sus familias que ahora son adultos y pudieron mejorar sus condiciones de vida, y también de las nuevas generaciones que gracias a Common Hope luchan por sueños que ya no son imposibles de lograr. Su trabajo y legado como formador de formadores, que transformó las vidas de tantas familias en Guate y en Minnesota.
    John fue uno de esos ángeles que raramente se asoman a la tierra, llegó a la tierra del café y volcanes de fuego y agua, de caminos de flores, de gente buena y amable y acercó los corazones del norte con los corazones del sur para fundirse en uno solo por el bien común. Gracias John y qué el Señor ilumine tu camino como tú iluminaste nuestros caminos aquí.

  59. Therese Blaine July 29, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Several decades, and what seems like lifetimes ago — I met John though Central Minnesota TEC. Even as a teenager, his compassion was deep and his longing for oneness with God, deeper. At TEC, and at TEC reunions, we had common anthems that folks would sing over and over. One, “this little light of mine-I’m going to let it shine,” clearly resonated in John’s work with the poor, his friendships, and in his quest for connection with God/LIfe/Love. That kind of light shines in all environments and can never be put out. May we all “pass it on.”

    To Dave, Bina, Annie and Dave, I pray that all loving forces on earth and in the heavens conspire to bring you tender comfort and peace as you grieve John’s death.

  60. Sue Wheeler July 29, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    I will always be grateful for the gifts John shared – his vision, his passion, his focus, his humor. His presence here enriched many lives, including my own. My thoughts and prayers are with John’s family, and with all who loved him.

  61. Sue McKenzie Wagener July 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    I met John our first year in college. I have a lot of good memories of those times. One was when a group of us thought it would be funny to “camp” on the 50 yard line of the football field. Brother Willie didn’t think it was as funny as we did! Another time we took trays and went sledding on the Prep hill. John ended up getting stiches in his head that night. My fondest memory will always be driving up from Northfield, stopping in the cities and then Little Falls, loading the car with friends and driving up to Perham to surprise John for his birthday. John was such a kind hearted person, in search of his purpose. Not only did he find it, he lived it and then found his way home. May God Bless you my friend.

  62. Carrie Evana July 30, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    I send my deepest sympathies to Dave and Bina and the extended Common Hope family in both Minnesota and Guatemala. Thanks to Elena Campbell-Martinez for letting me know of John’s passing. I knew John while working at Familias de Esperanza in 1996-98 and indeed he was a memorable part of memorable chapter of life. John was a complex person; never satisfied with the ordinary or the superficial. I believe he has always walked with one foot in a higher spiritual realm. He asked deep questions and was so gifted at seeing a bigger picture while working with community steeped in difficulty. He was the perfect man for the work and shared solution by his example. I am sure the silver lining to his passing will be guiding some of us back to this good work as he operates from his new spiritual office. Thanks for sharing John with us

  63. Lynn Sheree' Lynch Lesmeister July 30, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    To John’s Family, I met John when we were in college. He and I had a J-Term class together…a Youth Ministry class. He was a quiet young man who I so enjoyed hanging out with. He had a gentle spirit and kindness was so apparent in all he did. I haven’t seen John since St. Ben’s/St. John’s….but he is one who I will always remember because of the fun we had. I have seen how he spent his life making a difference in so many parts of the world…That doesn’t surprise me because he always had such a big heart. I know he is an angel that will always be close by watching over his family. Thank you, God, for giving us the faith to know that we will all be reunited again someday. Bless you all. Lynn Sheree’

  64. Gerry Morrison July 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    It’s impossible to find words. He was my family. I first met John in 1994 when I became a trabajadora social in Familias de Esperanza. For three years we laughed and talked and shared our daily struggles with the families. I returned to California and began a new life in 1997, but brought many work teams down to Guatemala and visited many times thereafter. After John retired and began his full-time spiritual quest we saw one another on occasion. Just before Thanksgiving last year he moved in with us to take a job with a start-up company in a nearby town. Three months later when he realized it was not his thing he moved out and continued his life of wandering and following his heart and soul. I am so grateful for those months with John–the daily conversations over breakfast and dinner and just hanging out. I missed him terribly when he was gone, and, of course, even more terribly now. He is a part of me.

  65. Kathleen Sullivan July 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Dear Huebsch family and friends,

    I am very sorry for the loss of this gentle, loving, and witty man. I have such fond memories of John hanging out at our little duplex in the 90’s visiting with his good friend Anne and us her roommates. He’d get us engrossed in fun, spriritual, and philosophical conversations for hours and hours. Then he’d say, “It’s so much great how you guys just hang out talking.” We’d say, “only when YOU are here, John!” He was the best. And the work he was then just contemplating in Guatemala was obviously amazingly successful. What a wonderful human being he was. I’ll remember him fondly. Warm thoughts and prayers for all of his loved ones.

    Peace, Kathleen

  66. Kathy Kramer July 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    John was born walking with Christ, lived walking with Christ, and, I imagine is having a great chat with the Big Guy right now!

  67. Joseph Shank August 1, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    The Spirit which transcends each of us and all of us resided in John. It grounded him and graced us. It was a blessing to know him and love him and be loved in return. I can see his face and hear is laughter as I write this; I treasure his friendship, and the way his life was woven into my families life, especially my daughter Maggie’s. Being with John was transformative, sometimes troubling, always joyful. Harry Emerson Fosdick used to say there are people who lift the world and do not lean upon it, who make it a better place to be…O how John lifted the world.

  68. Judy Jeub August 1, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Keep Your Face to the Sunshine
    by JUDY posted on AUGUST 1, 2014 [EDIT]
    Dave Huebsch

    Today, Bernie and I will go to the cities to attend the memorial for John Huebsch, cofounder with his father, Dave, of Common Hope which does work among the poor in Guatemala. As I prayed this morning, I expressed deep gratitude for having known this man. We were not friends that reached out to one another, but we encountered one another each time we went to Guatemala. He had a sense of balance that I so wanted for myself. Conscious of the world’s problems, he chose to focus on the problems in front of him. Aware of the suffering of people all over the earth, he chose to be present only to the person in front of him. He used to talk about “Changing the world one person at a time.” When people would bring up world issues, he’d say, “I just attend to my little corner of the world.” This was managable for him, it seems, and he taught me that when you put your energy and soul into that which is before you, miracles happen. And a miracle happened in Guatemala. He and his parents planted seeds that have grown into huge, life-giving trees. He was a saint in the truly human sense of the word.

    I read this in my spiritual reading this morning, remarkably by Helen Keller who was blind and deaf: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” Guatemala is called the land of eternal sunshine. I think John kept his face to the sun.

    For more about Common Hope, the ministry to Guatemalan children John headed, see


    The above is my post today. I will always remember John and the way he touched my spirit and the spirits of all I love.

  69. Sandra Ortiz August 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Dear Huebsch family and friends: Yo llegué a Commonhope en el 2012 el lugar me inspiró enormemente, recuerdo haber respirado algo que necesitaba; hoy creo que fue Esperanza; Conocí a Johy porque leía sus cartas (newsletters) y no podía creer que hubiera alguien con tanta pasión y conciencia de la Humanidad; le conocí y platiqué con él en algunos momentos, efectivamente, como dicen muchos, él tenía algo al caminar y sonreír, era paz… creo que como pocos seres humanos la tienen, pienso que esto era porque sin duda podía decir que tenía un “deber cumplido”… sin duda de él se puede decir lo que el Poeta Alemán Bertolt Brecht dijo en unas de sus frases más famosas… que la comparto con ustedes “Hay hombres que luchan un día y son buenos. Hay otros que luchan un año y son mejores. Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida, esos son los imprescindibles”, en vida me inspiró enormemente su ejemplo y sus reflexiones escritas y divulgadas por medio de Commonhope newsletters… hoy su muerte sin duda me inspira para seguir haciendo algo; ojalá un poco parecido a lo que él hizo en vida. Sé que sin duda, descansa en paz.

  70. David Schmid August 6, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    I came to know Common Hope in the summer of 2008, the last year I believe that elementary school instruction was provided at the Headquarters in Antigua. I assisted in one of the classrooms while learning Spanish at one of the immersion schools in the city. John’s hand was clearly evident then and I felt proud to have been a Johnnie to see his handiwork. I returned the next year with a Vision Team from the Second Presbyterian Church, Chicago, and went to San Rafael el Arado to meet the young Kaqchikel student I sponsor to this day. My sympathies go out to the Huebsch family and to all who are leading Common Hope in the mission John challenged you to follow.

  71. Dorothy Zumwalde August 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    When my daughter Hallie called and notified me of John’s death we cried and comforted each other. We are so sad. I met John’s parents at a TEC w/e in the mid 1980’s; and wonderful to meet up with the family (John) again at the Mental Health Unit as we watched the missionary work unfold on tape those nights on the Unit in the 1990’s. Wonderful to work with Barb, Roxanne, Mary. Ginny etc. and spread the word of the Project. I volunteered at the Godchild Project and then the renamed Common Hope Project for many years, always looked forward to meeting up with my friend John. When my daughter Hallie requested to work as a social worker as a volunteer at Common Hope 2001 to 2003 I was very happy. She had an experience of a lifetime. John was a great missionary, a personal friend. He along with his family will continue to be in our prayers. I continue to sponsor 2 children to this day. Blessings on the Huebsch family.

  72. Joan Vorderbruggen August 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    John (or Johnnie, as I knew him) and I were always close as cousins it seems, but in later years – even when we didn’t see each other as much – we could still write, call, or visit in person and pick up where we left off. Only 2 months younger than me, I always felt that he was my guide and inspiration! He encouraged me to explore a larger world, to travel to other countries and understand how differently others lived – something that expanded my mind and world vision enormously! John got me interested in participating in TEC in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but more than that, John was my spiritual compass. His heart was open to such a large and loving God, and his quiet, caring and seeking ways were truly an example to many.

    For his family, my deepest and most sincere sympathy. For all whose lives John touched, we are richer than we ever would have been without knowing him. John’s memory will live on strongly in our hearts!

  73. Dick Wegscheid August 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Johnny, I took time to read all of the wonderful things your family and friends have said about you. You have touch so many lives in such a positive and spiritual way. I have such fond memories of you as a child to your years as an adult. It was so easy for you to smile. All a person had to do is look at you and a warm friendly grin would spread across your face. It was so easy to be around you. You were so comforting.
    John, you accomplished so much in your short life on earth. So many people always want, want, want. With you John, it was different. You always gave, gave, gave. I love you.
    Dave, Bina, Annie, Davey, and the rest of the family, I know John will be missed, but you must be so proud of him. I feel John is in heaven in the loving arms of his mother. Betty too was such a beautiful woman who also gave, gave, and gave some more. Love all of you. Uncle Dick

  74. Patti Sutherland August 27, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    Dear Dave and family,

    I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of John’s passing.

    Meeting John and working at the then, Godchild Project, created a transformation in my life and changed what I knew about myself and the world.

    He was and still remains an inspiration to me in so many ways.

    He was a powerful force for good in this world (just like his Dad).

    Together, you changed a great many lives and lessened much suffering.

    In more recent years he helped me through some very difficult times and always made me laugh with his witty sense of humour.

    I will miss him very much.

    Much love to all of you,

    Patti Sutherland

  75. Ted Weir September 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    I was searching for a way to contact John because I was planning a trip to San Lucas, Guatemala with my teenage daughter. I was shocked to see that John had recently died.
    I was a year behind John at crosier h.s. He was the quiet, cool kid we aspired to be like. He had such a smooth shot on the basketball court, was kind and funny, witty really.
    After visiting a friend at the San Lucas mission in 1984, I learned that John’s folks had refurbished a building in San Lucas for mission work. My understanding was that was a building that had been used by govt troops to torture locals suspected of being “guerrillas”. A dangerous undertaking for his parents, during a civil war when a local Indian could be killed for wanting to plant their own coffee plants, rather than starving working for plantation owners.
    I wasn’t brave, or able enough to follow a dream that John lived his life doing. I guess we may have seen a glimpse in h.s. of how ‘cool’, and committed, John would become. Wanting to be near him because he had a presence, something deeper about how he thought about life. I join in the sadness people have expressed and in how John’s example has left us all richer today.

  76. Kat V February 23, 2016 at 12:34 am #

    i just did an Internet search for John early this evening, and am in disbelief to hear of his passing in 2014. I first met John when I came to Guatemala on holiday in 1998, and took a tour of Common Hope. John left a strong impression with me….his passion for the Mayan poor so evident. I returned a year later and volunteered at Common Hope, and when I left, we remained in touch off and on for several years. We had several conversations about my Christian faith and his spiritual understanding that many paths lead to a god. I remember John as such a compassionate soul, a deep thinker, and just steadfast to serve the poor, qualities I found admirable and attractive….how I hope to see him again on the other side to tell him these things face to face. Peace and grace to his family and loved ones.

    • Lizz Peterson February 29, 2016 at 11:01 am #

      Hi Kat,

      Thank you for your kind words. John’s passing has left sadness in the hearts of many who knew him. But sharing wonderful memories like you have means much to his family, friends, and loved ones.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Lizz Peterson
      Marketing & Communications Manager
      Common Hope | Familias de Esperanza

      • Kat February 29, 2016 at 11:08 am #

        Liz, thanks for your response. If I may ask, how exactly did he pass? Feel free to email me directly is lieu of a public post.


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