Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Construction of a New Playground
This picture is of a group from Michigan who came for a work visit last week led by Bill and Jill Thomason (who previously spent some extended time with QSOBS). The group is from the Flint/Flushing Michigan area. There were 7 adults and two teenage boys. They purchased steel in Ecuador and welded a swing set for our school playground. The men worked hard on the swingset and teeter/totter frames while the ladies helped teach English in the school, planted flowers, and sanded window and door frames. Thanks to this wonderful crew for contributing their time and love to the children!
Diana Turns 7!
Diana celebrated her 7th birthday on Saturday, January 26. She came to us 4 years ago at the age of 3 following her mother’s death. She is thriving as a student at the School of Hope and is a vital part of the Hacienda of Hope family! Thanks to all of you for providing stability and hope for Diana during a time that would otherwise have been turbulent and bleak. Thanks to God for providing the opportunity to transform her life spiritually and to introduce her to Jesus!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Good Bye to a Wonderful Couple
It was a sad day in the middle of August when Martin & Lorena Valdivieso announced that they were leaving their work as houseparents at the Hacienda of Hope. Martin and Lorena came to work as houseparents in January of 2004. We were renting an apartment in Tabacundo at that time and Martin & Lorena made it into a home for the 10 children given to their charge. Since that time, they became the first houseparents to occupy the first house built on the HoH campus. Their help in creating a loving home was filled with hard times, good times, sad times and happy times. They gave countless hours of themselves in God's service to the children of HoH. They were present to start the new congregation and school on our site. They cooked countless meals and doctored colds and cuts, scrapes and bruises. They helped to plant trees, flowers, vegetables and move bricks, wash windows, mop floors and welcomed hundreds of visitors along with other team members in this great project. Our past has been shaped in part by their labor with us and we will miss them in the future. They are presently considering a church planting team position with a mission team in another city while taking some time off and visiting with family in Rio Bamba. We pray for God's blessings on Martin, Lorena, Darwin, and Santiago. (Posted for Jerry Snyder)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Three New Children
This was an exciting week as three new children were added to the Hacienda of Hope family. Gloria (12), Angel (9), and Luis (5) Cacuango all come from the same family. They were orphaned earlier in the year, and since that time have had little adult supervision. They all seem to be adjusting well to life at the Hacienda and are enjoying the friendship of their new brothers and sisters. For children who have had to grow up far too quickly, they have also been relieved of the responsibility of providing for themselves and are truly enjoying being children again. It will certainly take time for them to fully adapt, and there are many emotional scars that they carry. Please be in prayer for these children, and for the other Hacienda of Hope children, as they adjust to each other and as the new children adjust to their fresh surroundings.
At 12 years old, Gloria is quite a bit older than the children that we typically bring into the Hacienda of Hope. The extended family asked if she could stay a few days to help the younger boys get adjusted. They would also like for us to take her full-time and we are all praying about this possibility. So far she fits like a "hand inside a glove" with Leo and Patty. She and her brother, Angel are (as the family described their closeness) "like mud on a boot". Gloria is quiet, willing to work at any household job, and enjoys singing at our devotionals. She fills a maternal role with her brothers. Please pray that God will direct all of us concerning her future.
When Angel’s extended family came with him yesterday, he turned his back on all of us and stood there crying for about an hour. Cristian tried to get him to play ball and several of us attempted to speak words of encouragement to him. However, it was Jorge who began to change things for Angel. After his aunt left, Jorge and Jhon began to put their arms around him and got him to go with them to see their bedroom and toys. He quickly began to talk with us and act like he might enjoy the Hacienda of Hope after all. Angel has helped with household chores, slept in a room with all the other boys (in his own new bed), and is eating well! I have also noticed he and Jorge walking around with their arms around each other and pushing each other in play. He seems to really have adjusted quickly!
Luis is 5 years old and is very close to Gloria and Angel. Like the others, he has experienced far too much turmoil in his short life. As a result, Luis seldom smiles. We pray that laughter and smiling will become natural things for Luis as he learns about the love of God at the Hacienda of Hope.
Posted for Jerry Snyder
School of Hope Teacher Training Workshop
Over the last two weeks, we were blessed with a training workshop for our School of Hope teachers. The training was provided by Justin Snyder to provide extensive training in what to expect at the School of Hope, introduction to the Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) curriculum (http://www.aceministries.org/
), and presentation of the daily teaching schedules. We were also treated with a special visit from one of the A.C.E. staff members. All of the children attended the first training session in order to meet their new teachers and to demonstrate some of the things they learned last year to our visitor. Please pray for our teachers and students as we prepare to begin the fall school semester.
Posted for Jerry Snyder
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Appointed to Build
Construction continues on casa number three at a steady pace and brings promises to another group of abandoned children when completed sometime around the first of the year. As the third building emerges, it is exciting to see more clearly the design of the entire complex or hacienda. When the final casa and corner apartment is complete, then the two playgrounds will be finished and the center courtyard will be constructed. The finished hacienda will be a beautiful group of structures providing a small village of great activity (like these boys shelling peas).
The most beautiful aspect of the completed project will be the 40 or so children and groups of caregivers who live there. It is a vision I see many times as I walk around the site working with the construction crew. It is exciting to read in the Old Testament how God gave many construction jobs to His people that clearly intended to fill future needs (i.e. the huge ark, the massive temple, etc.). Our responsibility to Him is the same as was theirs …to see the job complete! That is my motivation on site here as well as you who are reading this …as God’s financial allies. God will be faithful in sending those He chooses to labor in His work here as He was in all those O.T. examples. He blesses us richly in His master plan to help those who are helpless. Please pray with excitement that God will help us help Him each day to accomplish all He has put into our hearts to do!
Posted For: Jerry Snyder
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity
My name's Becki Schellinger. I'm from Girdwood, Alaska and that has been the recurrent scripture as I prepared for and throughout this psuedo-mission trip. I started feeling the call for Ecuador about September last year, plans went in and out and come the end of June every plan I had made or tried to make had been changed. My plane left July 15th and I only knew I was spending two days at a hospital in the Amazon and my friend Ross was picking me up from the airport to stay for an indefinite amount of time. Without going into details, God's plan was well laid out and revealed as everything just came together. Through a series of unfortunate events Ross and I got hooked up with the Hacienda de Esperanza. We came here about July 22nd. Ross left for the states the next day but I stayed for a week and a half. I've played with the kids, did a bunch of sewing, and if I accomplished my goal--shared God's love. It was great to see the language barriers break down...and amazing that they seemed to do so 3x as much whenever the conversation was revealing God's glory. Someone once said, "Spread the gospel at all times using words when necessary." This has been a great opportunity to try that out. And as a secondary benefit, I've learned to trust God as never before. The rest of my travels are at http://www.beckischellinger.blogspot.com/
Vaya con Dios.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Hello, fellow supporters of the Hacienda of Hope my name is Matt Brittain and I am 19 years old, and I have been working down here for about the past two months. I first found out about this place from my high school, Madison Academy. A school group comes down here every Spring Break on a mission trip. I have come twice before with the group from Madison Academy and have fallen in love with the work down here. I have done a lot of different chores from taking care of Christian, Jhon, and Jorge to doing construction work. God has blessed me so much with what I have, and He gave me the opportunity to come down here to do this work. I also have learned so much from just walking down the streets in Cayambe/Tabacundo to learning Spanish in Otavalo. I had the chance to do a little bit of traveling, and I have fallen in love with this country and with travel even more. I do not know what I want to do for a career, but I know I want to help people. I also want to travel all of South America and learn the different cultures. Even possibly find out a way to help others down in South America, such as teach English to the natives. I only have less than a week before I leave this place and return to the states. I do not know if I will be able to return to La Hacienda de Esperanza, but I will never forget this experience. Please keep on supporting this ministry if you are able to. God has done amazing things with this place and He will do so much more. Take care and God Bless.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
When the Cat's Away ...
The children will play! Many thanks go out to Larry and Charlene, Jerry's brother and sister, for spending a month with the kids while Jerry and Pat returned to the U.S. to visit both family and sponsoring congregations and attended the annual Operation Ecuador conference. The kids have had a fantastic summer with their temporary house parents, and Martin and Lorena have enjoyed a much needed vacation from their normal house parent duties.
Larry and Charlene took the kids to the big Quito Zoo, to a large group of Indian ruins very high in the mountains, and they spent the whole day at the Cayambe public park. The kids have had a great summer vacation doing things with Larry and Charlene, Katy Snyder and Tyler Grissom and also Matt Brittian. Many thanks to those who have served God by serving these precious children this summer!