Back to school is in full effect here at the Casa. The children started school last week and so far so good. Wow, it was a bit crazy getting 13 children (including our daughter) prepped and ready for school. But, with our great staff and a lot of work, everything fell into place and the kids are loving the new school year. We have 4 kids in Jr. High, 7 kids in elementary and 2 in kindergarten. Our staff was just as excited as the kids, for school to start because now we have 8 hours of peace and quiet each day. I do miss the kids, but I too am enjoying the quietness. Now I know why my mom was so excited all those years for the 5 of us kids to start school.
We had quite the busy summer, and time FLEW by. Our Casa family continues to change and grow constantly. At the beginning of summer, I think we had 14 kids. Most of the children were able to spend part of their summer vacation with their mom's and extended family. Overall, the kids enjoyed their time. It is usually a challenge when kids come back from vacation because they are use to the freedom and lack of rules with their family. However, for the most part, the kids have adjusted just fine being back at the orphanage.
Mary, the mother of Delia, Zuley and Victoria, also went to spend time with her sister in Chihuahua city. We were really hoping and praying that they would come back to the orphanage by school time, however, they decided to stay in Chihuahua. There are mixed feelings and emotions about this. Obviously it is hard when children leave, but, in this case, Mary has found a job and will be living with her sister. We are very thankful for the time the Lord allowed us to minister to this sweet mother and her girls. Please continue to pray for them!
We also had a surge of new children come to the orphanage. This past week, 3 new precious kids joined our family. Natalia (age 6) and Valeria (age 5) came to the orphanage 6 days ago. Both of their moms live locally here in Bachiniva, but need to travel to try to search for work. They were wanting the girls to get a chance to go to school, but couldn't do that on their own. These two girls are beautiful and have already been a blessing thus far. Valeria is in the same class as our daughter Ayantu and already they are best friends.
This past Sunday, another young boy named Osvaldo (age 10) joined our family. Osvaldo's mother works locally here at the nursing home. It's a blessing that she has a steady job, however, she works anywhere from 60-70 hours a week. Whether its the morning shift or graveyard shift, Maria works constantly which forces Osvaldo to be home alone most of the day. We were able to enroll Osvaldo in school and he is doing great. He is a very nice and polite young man. He has already become friends with the boys here at the orphanage and is adjusting very well!
Not only were we busy with children coming and going, but also with activities and missions teams. This summer we were able to host 2 different missions teams. Our first group consisted of 16 individuals from Horizon Christian Fellowship and Immanuel Christian School, both located in El Paso. Then earlier this month, we hosted 8 individuals from Cottage Grove Calvary in Oregon. Both teams did an amazing job loving on the children, serving, encouraging and working hard. The focus for both teams was laying the foundation and plumbing for our new offices. We are SO exited to have these as it will free up space and allow for further growth.
I had the chance again, to travel back to Seattle for our annual golf invitational. This year we had 81 golfers come out for an incredible day and we raised over $6,000. I was absolutely amazed and had an incredible time with so many people supporting the ministry!
GOD IS FAITHFUL...and continues to show that to me every single day. Most recently, it has been in His financial provision. I am absolutely amazed at the individuals, families, churches, businesses and even people I've never met, who give to the orphanage. When Paul encouraged us that God would supply all our needs, he was speaking wonderful truths. Anytime we've been in need of something, be that a vehicle, clothes, school uniforms and supplies, washing machine, utility bills, food, etc for our ever growing family, GOD HAS PROVIDED. He has put it on the hearts of so many individuals who tirelessly give, pray and support us. To all of you, we thank you from the bottom of our heart. Truly, we could not do this without your help and support!