La Esperanza now has full government approval and is doing great, with 16 kids and a new staff member, Beatriz (Bachita). She and her daughter Ruby moved to Cuenca from Loja to work with us. Both of them are a great help. Chio, the mother of the first 8 kids has been amazing. She has the mom anointing and treats each of the 16 like her own. Tia (auntie) Paola is doing a fantastic job administrating and taking care of the kids, with the help of Bachita and Ruby she’ll be able to dedicate more time to planning, fund raising, communications, and general administration. We’re all sad to see Rachel leaving for the summer, she’s been a wonderful help. She moved into the children’s home for the last month and is the official big sister the kids are really going to miss her. The kids were so upset when she said goodbye on her way to the bus station, they all had to have a cup of chamomile tea!(Please come back baby Rach.)
We’re all one big happy family. On father’s day I got 16 gifts that the kids made in Sunday School! Last Saturday we celebrated Daniela’s Quinceañera (15th birthday - coming of age - party). I was honored to be the dad giving a toast and having the first dance with Daniela.
A couple of weeks ago Rachel, Ricky and I decided to take the kids to Baños (the hot springs just outside Cuenca). I was wondering how much it was all going to cost me when I happened to bump into Silvana, the publicity manager from our radio station, and she arranged for us to get free transportation in a brand new tour bus, free passes to Baños and a snack at KFC. The Lord is good. Many thanks to Silvana and Family Radio. The kids had a great time. Being dunked, thrown in the air, taught how to swim and being saved from drowning was a wonderful bonding experience.
Each one of these kids has a heart breaking story. Many of them were abandoned, left to live on the streets, most were physically abused and all of the girls 12 and over have suffered sexual abuse. What a blessing it is to see them responding to the love and care; participating in devotions, singing and serving in the church. Some of the kids have been through other facilities and couldn’t adapt; they’re doing great with us and the authorities have taken notice. There are lots more kids out there who need our help. We want to reach out to as many as we possibly can. Our current facility has been approved for 20 children; we might be able to extend it to 25. Right now the limiting factor is $$$. Would you please join with us? We need and appreciate your prayers and support.