Friday, August 21, 2009

Meet Andres and a Need.

Two blogs back, I posted about Andres' surgery to repair a hernia. He is completely recovered now and doing great. He celebrated his 9th birthday on August 18th. Andres lives in House 3 and has four brothers and sisters that are also here in the home. He is a pretty quiet child, but is always the first person to give you a hug when you enter the room. Andres is in the second grade.

Andres with his cake.

Also celebrating a birthday this past week, was Shaun. He turned 29. Sadly his birthday was a rainy day with a hail storm. In the evening, however, each of the kids came to our house to sing to him and to either present him with small gifts or in one case to give him a rehearsed speech about "coming without a gift, but coming because the children wanted him to know how special of a person he is to them." Kevin, delivering the speech, paused in the middle and looked up at his "tia" to ask how the speech was supposed to go. It was all very sweet.

Shaun with Lujan.

On another note, I am posting a picture of the recently repaired street lights on our property. Several months ago, we became aware that there were several very dangerous issues with the electricity at the children's home. The estimates for repairing the problems ran anywhere from just over $1500 all the way up to $3000 for the necessary repairs. We had this project in our minds as a priority when one day Mario from house 1 came to tell us that his plant in his front yard shocked him. We went with a meter to check out the problem and the plants and bricks around the house's meter box were holding 200 volts of electricity. After this discovery, we called the electrician and asked him to please come and start the work- that we could not afford to wait- for the sake of the children's safety. These repairs, including replacing several power polls, repairing transformers, replacing street lights, tightening existing wires, and trimming all trees interfering with the electric lines have now been completed (for just over $1500). Our property is now much safer for the children- and much brighter at night. If you are interested in donating to this electric project (or future electric projects dealing with each house's wiring), please contact us at

The street in front of the homes at night- with the repaired street lights.

Día del Niño

Last Sunday was Paraguay's "Day of the Child". I didn't realize how giant of a celebration this day was going to be until the events began. On Friday the children's school celebrated with an event. On Saturday, the foundation GANAR (the owners of the facility here) hosted a large grill-out picnic, complete with a blow-up bouncy slide.

No paraguayan asado is complete without a whole load of meat!

Lujan and Mili at the grill out in their new skirts brought by the High Point mission team.

On Sunday, we had two different groups come for a visit that hosted activities for the kids.

The clowns singing a song with the kids.

A game of musical pillows led by our friends Julio and Vivi!

Each of the events included a lot of candy and cake- I feel like we need to celebrate National Dentist's Day the Monday after Day of the Child. This holiday seemed as big as Christmas with the kids receiving quite a few gifts. With this holiday falling on the heels of our visitors from High Point, North Carolina, our kids have been overwhelmingly showered with gifts- which they don't seem to mind! I thank the Lord that so many people came to visit over this weekend! I am especially grateful for our friends Julio and Vivi that we met shortly after arriving in Paraguay, who also presented a gospel message to the kids after leading them in several games.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Come on down!

We have spent the last month preparing our multi-purpose building to house mission teams. When we arrived the building was basically abandoned. After a little initial cleaning we began to have church in the its largest room. Now after a lot of hard work (thanks Shaun and Milciades) the building is repaired, painted, equipped and open for housing mission teams.

One of the bunk rooms

Our first team arrived last week. They came from the High Point COGOP in North Carolina. Because they are sponsoring the children we have at Hogar Ganar, they came ready to minister to the kids in the home. We had a great day last Saturday when they took the kids on a shopping trip, to eat lunch at McDonald's, and to see Ice Age 3. The following day, we had a giant BBQ and the team prepared crafts and sports games for the kids. Sunday evening they coordinated our weekly kids' service and gave an age-appropriate Bible to each of the kids. Their trip here has been a great blessing to us and the children. Thank you, High Point!

Mili, Lujan, Rodi, Kevin, and Gloria enjoying the playground at McDonald's

If you are interested in visiting Paraguay on a mission trip with your local church, please contact us ( We have the facility ready and are waiting for you to come on down!

I would like to thank the Lord for keeping Andres (from House 3) safe during his operation to repair a hernia. The surgery went well, and Andres is healing very nicely. He was able to participate in the activities with the visiting mission team, is back in school, and feeling great.

Andres on the day of his surgery

Another piece of important news concerning the homes is a staff change that will be taking place. Mario and Suni, the house parents in House 1, will be transitioning to another position. They will be moving to House 10 to oversee the gardens, fruit groves, and crops. They have been serving as house parents now for 5 years (they worked here in a previous program) with no break and are ready for a transition. They, along with their two sons, will continue to live on the grounds, but they will be serving in a different way. As you could see in my posts about the garden, Mario loves his work with plants and is extremely talented. He is thrilled about the extra time that he will now have to focus on expanding our garden and planting larger crops.

The replacement for Mario and Suni will be Suni's sister Delia and her husband, Rafael that were both working here already (Rafael in the bakery and in lawn care and Delia in housekeeping). They have already taken care of the children in House 1 on many days and know each of the kids very well. They are frequently out playing sports with the kids and they love their time spent with the children. I feel that the transition will be a smooth one. Please be in prayer that God would prepare Delia and Rafael's hearts for this important transition and that each of the children would accept the change well and be respectful to their new house parents.

Rafael and Delia