Very Exciting News...

I love to read occasionally, but don’t think I’m actually a “reader”.  In fact, I’m one of those that starts a bunch of books and only finishes a few.  That, however, was not the case with “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Ever Seen” by Christopher McDougall.

In this best-selling book, the author writes about tracking down members of the reclusive Tarahumara Native Mexican tribe, who are mainly located in the Mexican Copper Canyons.  This tribe of “super athletes” are known for their ability to run ultra distances (over 100 miles) at incredible speeds.  Often, running barefoot or only using sandals.

We are only about four hours away from the breathtaking Copper Canyon Mountains and where one of these ultra marathons UMCB (Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco), or White Horse, will take place this very weekend.

Most of the children in our orphanage are Tarahumara Indians who come from these mountains.  One in particular, Juan, loves to run.  Like, he REALLY loves to run.  In fact, this weekend Juan, along with our friend Aaron, will be running in this marathon.  

Aaron is a fellow missionary in our town who has been training with Juan for months.  The race begins on Sunday, and Juan is very, very excited for this.  As are we.  I so wish I could be apart of this historic event in his life.  Not running, of course, but witnessing in person this incredible opportunity for him.

As many of you know, Juan is one of our true orphans.  The government brought him to our care four years ago.  There is little to no information on Juan’s background, family, parents, etc.  Juan has spent most of his life being passed around to different orphanages.  The DIF felt that our home, being very new, would be a fresh start for this troubled, damaged young man.

Through many challenges and hardships, Juan has pressed through and made tremendous progress.  He is an incredibly gifted athlete and a joy to have here at the home.

One of my prayers from the very first time I met Juan was that one day he would be adopted.  Adoption in Mexico, like in a lot of countries, is incredibly hard and almost impossible, especially international adoption.  Also, statistically, most people don’t want to adopt a troubled, damaged teenage male.  Nevertheless, the prayers of many were that one day our Great God would do the miraculous and bring this young man a “forever” family, as they call it in the adoption circle.

Well dear friends, brothers, and sisters, it is with the greatest privilege and honor and excitement to be able to share with you all that our God has answered those prayers.  God has brought a wonderful, loving, Christian family from Canada to adopt Juan.  Our staff, along with this family, have been working very hard for quite some time with the government to see this come to fruition.  And it now appears there are only a few steps left before it is finalized.

Juan has been living with the Wiebe family for about 4 months now, and he absolutely loves it.  The joy and smile on this young man’s face, who has never known or had a mom or dad or permanent family, is absolutely priceless.  I cry tears of joy every time I think of it.

I miss Juan.  I miss him a lot.  I miss seeing him everyday.  I miss working in the yard with him.  I miss our talks about life.  I miss seeing him serve at church.  I miss eating hamburgers with him.  I’m really going to miss him when he moves with his family to Canada.  However, the sadness is quickly replaced with overwhelming joy to this new life he will have.

“When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me,” (Psalm 27:10).

Our verse for the orphanage couldn’t be more true for Juan.  Yes, his physical mother and father forsook him, but, thanks be to God, his Heavenly Father never did.  And now God has blessed our Juan with a wonderful family.  

Please continue to pray fervently with us as we see the adoption through, that there would not be any issues.

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When It Rains, It Pours...

Many of you have either heard of or used the famous saying, “when it rains, it pours.”  Since being down here in Mexico, I have come to find this statement to be incredibly true, both literally and figuratively. 

Right now, we are literally in the heart of the rainy season.  Any of you who have been down here for a visit or mission trip between July and September, know how powerful, beautiful, and intense the thunderstorms can be.  This year, however, has been quite interesting since it has hardly rained.  Nothing like in the years past.  Some are fearful that they might lose some of their crops due to this lack of rain.

Now to the “figurative” side of the statement “when it rains, it pours.” states it like this: misfortunes or difficult situations tend to follow each other in rapid succession or to arrive all at the same time.”

This past week, we have definitely experienced a rapid succession of misfortunes and difficult situations.  In the past seven days, we have had one of our vans break down, our stove quit working, our washing machine break, and the pump at our water well give out.  So, in just a short period of time, it has felt like we are swimming in a series of unfortunate events.  This can be incredibly discouraging, defeating, exhausting, etc.  And yet, somehow, light shines through, a new day dawns, and things end up working out.

We were able to tow our van and get the wheel bearing fixed.  I found the washing machine part we needed on Amazon.  Our stove, unfortunately, will not be cooking for us anymore, so we will be looking for another one.  Our well pump?  Well, that is a whole different story that we are praying will be resolved within the week.  Fortunately, our guys down here and a visiting missions team have been working with a borrowed trailer, water tank, and the use of our neighbors’ well (who are graciously allowing us to use their water to fill up our tanks).

So I guess in the end, it does at times feel like when it’s raining, it’s pouring; both literally and figuratively.  But, thankfully, there is a calm after the storm, and things get better, and life will continue, and we get a chance to be amazed at how our God leads us through!

"And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he (Jesus) was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’  And he said to them, 'Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’  Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?’” (Matthew 8:24-27)


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Summer Happenings...

Memories…I came across this picture in Facebook “memories” this week and was absolutely amazed.  It was 6 years ago, this month, when we first came down to Bachiniva to start the orphanage.  Not having a clue of what we were doing, in those first 3 months we purchased 40 acres and began building the 7,300 square foot facility.  It’s a bit hard to comprehend all that has taken place since then.  Our compound keeps growing, children keep coming, mission teams from all over the U.S. keep serving, churches and donors continue giving, and we are able to provide more jobs within the community.  I am very exited to see what the next 6 years are like.  To God be the glory!

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Schooling…We are only 10 days away from our children starting another school year.  We were very proud of our kids who ALL finished well and strong this past year.  All of them passed with above average grades and will be moving on to the next grade.  We were especially excited for Juan and Luis (who will be going into 10th grade).  These two young men are our true orphans and have worked very hard in their schooling.  Luis is in the special education program and had classes in this program for an hour a day, 3 days a week.  Juan was enrolled in a special school to help him get caught up with his elementary certificate.  The junior high school administration was very helpful with us, and everyone was excited to see these two young men receive their diplomas under special circumstances.  Please continue to pray for Juan as he has 2 more big exams to pass to receive his elementary certificate.

Back-To-School Drive…Preparations are going well for the 16 children that will be in 4 different schools.  This school year we will have 1 in kindergarten, 8 in elementary, 3 in junior high, and 4 in high school.  We are excited to be launching our back-to-school drive in which we hope to raise $3,000 to help fund all the school uniforms, shoes, supplies, clothes, fees, etc. for the children.  If you would like to help out with a donation, you can check out more info on our website

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Children…Speaking of children, we are very excited to have received two new young boys last week: Julio and Luis Modesto.  They are both from the Sierra Madres, about 7 hours away.  Luis Modesto is the younger brother of Erasmo, Maria Ana, and Carolina.  Julio is their cousin.  They both are transitioning well here at the Casa and are excited to be starting junior high this year.

Earlier this summer, we had to say goodbye to our sweet dear Valeria.  We’ve had the incredible blessing and honor of caring for this little gal for a few years.  Although it is always hard to see children leave, we are excited that she is reconnected with her mom and family.  They are living in a town about an hour away, and she will be attending a school closer to her home.  Please continue to pray for her.

Sanchez Family…Jackie, Ayantu, and I are doing very well.  It is hard to believe we’ve been down here for 6 years now.  We were able to take some vacation time last month, which was much needed and very restful.  We had a wonderful time last month in Florida for our family reunion.  It's not often that my four siblings, spouses, kids, etc. are all together in one place.  In fact, it happens every 2 years.  We had an incredible week hanging out with everyone at the beach.  After Florida, we headed to Washington for our annual Golf Invitational for the House of Blessing.  It was a huge success as we had 100 golfers come out for an incredible day to raise support and awareness for the orphanage.

New Staff Member...We are very excited to have my aunt, Kim Vargas, working with us 3 days a week.  Kim is my administrative assistant and is doing a fantastic job both in the office and with the children and their schooling.  This was a huge blessing as we said goodbye to Cesar, who worked with us for over 2 years.  Cesar was our children's administrator as well as boys dorm steward.  The Lord lead Cesar back to Chihuahua in June to purse a different work path.

Prayer Requests…The rest of this month is incredibly busy with school preparations and 2 more mission teams coming down to serve with us.  We would love and appreciate your prayers for…

  •  The children as they begin school on August 20th
  • Our back-to-school drive … that we would raise enough money for all our needs

  • Mission teams from Washington and Oregon

  • Our very hard working staff and volunteers

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