Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays!!

We pray you are enjoying the holiday season. It has been a blessing for our family to celebrate the Christmas season in the United States this year, and to introduce the newest member of our family, Samuel, to our friends and family. Our last two years in Paraguay have been years of learning, growth, and great blessing.

Since arriving at the Hogar GANAR children’s home in February of 2009, the home has grown from 10 to 30 children, with the opening of two additional houses. We have begun a bible study program with the help of a local church in Paraguay and have a Bible memorization program in place. The Lord has blessed the home with a new missionary couple, Joe and Jayne Martinez. Joe has his masters’ degree in counseling and has begun an intensive counseling program with each of the children. Our farming and gardening programs are growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to a donation from the Project for the People of Paraguay of a dozen pigs and eight cattle. We now have 21 cattle and plenty of milk and beef for our children’s needs. Our tilapia ponds are adding to the children’s diet, and providing a fun activity for the children and house parents in the form of fishing. Our garden and bakery are now used as forms of job training for the children and so many of the children are now beginning to dream big dreams for their future. We also discovered that the property was home to honey bees and we have a new volunteer, Michael Tell, who will be joining our missionary staff in March 2011 to revamp our honey bee program, training nationals in the care of honey bees. Michael also plans to develop projects to better utilize the fruit produced in our citrus grove.

One of the most exciting recent developments is the transition that will take place in our elementary/middle school this coming year. Previously the school was managed by the government, but the quality of education provided was very poor. This coming year (the school year in Paraguay runs from February to November) the school will transition to private education. We are adding a Christian principal and teachers to the program and we can’t wait to see how our children will flourish with a higher quality of education. We are also going to add a full-time English teacher to the school. Dana Williams, a new volunteer, will be moving to Paraguay in February to oversee this new English program. We have received several laptops in donation and will integrate computer classes into the curriculum. If you are interested in supporting our school project, please contact us (

All of these new developments would have been impossible without the support that you have provided. Your financial and prayer support for the homes has literally changed the future of thirty precious children, and we believe will even change the future of the nation of Paraguay! THANK YOU for giving! We pray that the Lord would bless each of you and that the coming year will be one filled with the peace and joy of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Serving Paraguay,

Shaun, Sara, Abigail, and Samuel Morton

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Visit Home.

I wanted to check in with everyone and update you about what is happening at Hogar GANAR in Itaugua, Paraguay. Shaun and I are in the states for the first time in nearly two years. We are so thrilled to be able to have this time with the friends and family that we missed during our time in Paraguay and to be able to take some time to share with various organizations and churches about the ministries in Paraguay.

Deborah and Lorena from House 2- They are precious!

Leaving the children in the home was difficult for us. We love each of them so much and have not been away for more than a few days from the home since arriving in February of 2009. I can't imagine how much they will grow and change in our three-month stay in the states, and our hearts are still with them in many ways. I am learning that to be a missionary means to forever have a broken heart- we love to be with our families, but we have certainly left a part of our hearts in Paraguay with the precious children we have the privilege to serve. We appreciate your prayers for our family during this time of traveling, visiting, and speaking in churches. Also, please be in prayer for the children and staff of the home and Joe and Jayne Martinez, fellow missionaries, who are stepping in to direct the home during these three months.

We were so excited that the final children arrived to fill House 2 before we left the country, bringing the total amount of children in the homes to thirty.

Another exciting development is the change we are making in the school on the home's property. In previous years, the home has been run by the government, essentially as a public school. The quality of education, however, was extremely low and the teachers teaching in the school were not qualified to teach the children at a higher level. We are now going to make a large change and transition to an entirely private, Christian school. Our vision for the children in Hogar GANAR is that they would grow up to be the future leaders of Paraguay- positively impacting their country and culture. In consideration of this dream, we realized we must make a change in the quality of education the children were receiving. We want each child that is capable to be prepared to enter college. Before leaving Paraguay, we interviewed and hired a wonderful director for the school that has many years of classroom teaching experience, and has worked writing textbooks and in other leadership and administrative positions in private, Christian schools. Lucy, the director, is passionate about preparing our children for the future, instilling in each child a love of reading, and communicating the love of Christ to every child through a Christ-centered education.

The School.

During our stay in the United States, we have some very ambitious fundraising goals. First, one of our homes is still running off one-time donations, and we would love to find committed monthly sponsors for the $1500 necessary to run the home. This amount includes house parent salaries and health care, relief house parents for two weekends of rest a month, electricity for the house, clothing, food, and medical supplies for ten children. We are also looking to find donors interested in sponsoring the costs associated with our school. We will need money to pay the teachers and director their salary and health care (which is a legal requirement in Paraguay). If you are not currently supporting monthly and are interested in doing so, please contact us so that we can share more details about the costs with you. We know that the Lord loves the children in our home and has great plans for their future. We are trusting Him to meet all of their needs.

If we are not already scheduled to visit you or speak at your local church, please contact us to see if we can work out a time to meet with you personally during our time stateside to talk about what the Lord is doing in Itaugua, Paraguay.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sometimes I forget.

First let me introduce you to our three new children:

Oscar and Jonathan are brothers. Oscar is 8 and Jonathan is 6. Their sister Deborah, who is 10, arrived in the home in February. Oscar and Jonathan, who had previously been living in other children's homes or with other families, were back living with their mother on the street. The representative of a feeding center where the children were eating contacted me about bringing the boys to live with Deborah. It was perfect timing with the opening of the new home, so Deborah moved out of House 3 and into the new home (House 2) so that she could be with her brothers. The boys are doing very well so far and Deborah is very happy to have her siblings with her again.

Oscar, Deborah, and Jonathan discovering the basketball!

Yesterday, Antonio arrived. He is also a relative of one of our children. His uncle, Miguel, is our oldest boy in the home. Antonio arrived and was able to take Deborah's place in House 3 to be in the same house as his uncle. Antonio is 9 and in the second grade. Miguel and Antonio are so excited to be together again. Antonio had been waiting several months for a space to open so that he could come to the home. His mother and grandmother (Miguel's mom) are both single mothers that work, mainly selling food on the streets. While at work, the boys remained at home unattended. We are so glad that Antonio is now in a safer environment and able to be with his uncle Miguel.

Antonio and his uncle, Miguel!

There are two more children scheduled for an interview and two that we are simply waiting for them to finish necessary paperwork and arrive. After they are settled in, I will post another update so you can meet them.

I would also like to share a little of my personal thoughts. There are days when I just forget what it is that we are really doing here in Paraguay. I forget exactly where these children came from, and why what we are doing is so desperately necessary. Then, there are days that remind me why God has brought Shaun and I to Paraguay.

I was talking with Nayeli last week and after looking at our dog, she told me that one time she and Junior (her brother) ate dog food. Without really thinking, I asked, "Why would you eat dog food?" She looked down at her feet and replied quietly, "because we were hungry." So many of our children come to the home from horrible circumstances, situations where they not only face hunger and abandonment, but worse, the children that came from homes where they were being daily beaten or raped.

We are so thankful that our friends Joe and Jayne Martinez came to serve in the children's home. In Joe's counselling sessions we are really finding out more and more details about the kids' pasts- situations that they were never able to share before. I trust the Lord to use us, Joe and Jayne, and the other workers in the home to teach these children to trust again and to help them heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I often do not share the details of the children's pasts because we do not in any way want to exploit these precious children that have been entrusted to us. But, we need your prayers. The issues that our children are facing- the hurt they carry with them from the past- will not disappear without miraculous changes and healing in their lives. As Christians, we know that the Lord is the only one that can truly and completely heal them. Would you pray with us that each child in our home would come to know the Lord as their Savior, that they would be completely healed of their past hurts, not only emotionally and spiritually, but also of the physical damage that was done to them, that our house parents would have a passion for their work and wisdom in dealing with the children, and that every child would grow up to be responsible, honest, successful, kind, and loving?

Friday, July 2, 2010

A little behind...

Sorry for the delay in blogs. Life can be a little more hectic with a newborn! Things are going well at the home. The teachers have been on strike for a couple of weeks now and so our children are enjoying their time out of school. I have found teacher strikes to be a fairly common occurrence in Paraguay. Winter vacation is approaching as well (two weeks in mid-July), so our kids are going to have quite a long time without classes.

We are so excited to announce that House 2 has now opened and we have five children already working on their paperwork to enter the home. They should be arriving any day. We are accepting 8 new children, bringing the total of children in the home to 30. Come back soon to look for updates on the new children!

In May, we celebrated three birthdays. Amado turned 11. Amado is in the fifth grade and is a very good student. He lives in House 3 and is an only child. He is particularly talented with languages and is one of the best English students. He recently made a decision to accept the Lord as his Savior and we are so proud of the young man he is becoming. Miguel turned 14. Miguel has a rare disease, leishmaniasis, and spent several weeks in the hospital earlier this year. He is recovering very well, and has a new confidence and energy that he never had before. Miguel has trouble with reading, but we know that as his self-confidence grows, he will only improve in his studies. Miguel is a great helper for Milciades, our maintenance worker, and loves the time he spends working in maintenance/construction projects. Miguel is in House 3 and is in the sixth grade. He is the home's eldest boy. He has two older siblings that are not in the home. Alejandra turned 9. She is in the first grade and was in House 1, but will be moving to House 2 today with her two sisters. She is a beautiful girl that loves princess toys and jewelry. Because of her severe past abuse, she can be violent with her little sister and she has many moments of emotional outbursts, but we are praying that she will be completely healed of her past emotional scars so that she can grow into a successful young woman.

Amado, Miguel, and Alejandra in their new birthday clothes.

In June, Matias and Thalia celebrated their birthdays. Matias turned 8 and is in the first grade and lives in House 3. He is very smart and active, and only a little mischievous! He is also an only child, although he grew up as the neighbor of some of the other children also in House 3. His behavior over the past several months has changed drastically for the better. We are so happy to see how content Matias is and how he is growing in so many ways. Thalia turned 12. She is in House 1 and is the aunt of four other girls in the home. She is in the second grade since she had never entered school before coming to our home and loves music more than anything. She is great at memorizing the tunes of songs, and loves to sing in English, which often doesn't sound anything like English, but the other kids don't know it isn't correct. She is a joy to be around.



I would also like to say "thank you" to Heather Lutz who lived with us for six months while she taught the children in the home and the school English. She did an amazing job. The children are speaking more English than ever and will certainly miss their new tia (aunt), Heather. As her parting gift for the kids, she presented each of them with their very own Paraguay soccer jersey. I can not tell you how many times each of the children had begged me for a jersey. If you follow sports news at all, you know that Paraguay is one of the final 8 teams in the World Cup, a level the Paraguayan team has never reached before. The country is nearly in pandemonium with joy over their team's victories. The kids are thrilled to be able to wear their country's jersey during the games. Thank you, Heather, for everything. We love you and miss you already!

Heather with the kids in their Paraguay jerseys.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Welcome William Samuel!

Our little bundle arrived May 13 at 9:50 PM in Asuncion, Paraguay. At birth, he weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. He is doing well, and Abi is enjoying her role as the big sister.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Gloria and Deborah!

In April, both Gloria and Deborah from House 3 celebrated their birthdays. Gloria turned 11. She is in the second grade and is a very active girl. Gloria loves to make friends with all our visitors and you will be sure to notice her soon after your arrival in our facilities. She is also very helpful in household chores. Deborah arrived at the home in February replacing Miguel Angel, a young man that went back to live with his biological family. Deborah turned 10 and is also in the second grade. We are still getting to know her, but she is a very affectionate and loving child.

Gloria with her cake and present

Deborah with her cake and present

Abigail also celebrated her forth birthday on April 29th. She had a great party with the kids and then later enjoyed a second party with our American friends.

Abi with her cake

To give another update, our bakery is still functioning and several of the boys from the home are developing their skills as bakers. We are so thankful that Rafael, our house parent from House 1, knows how to make the delicious bread and enjoys teaching the boys how to make it as well. In addition to the basic breads, Rafael also makes Paraguay's slightly sweet specialty breads with the boys, allowing them not only to learn how to make them, but also providing a great snack for the other kids in the home.

Rafael, Carlos, Junior, and Ever making kokitos

We now have three fish ponds open and operating. Higinio, the house parent from House 3 , made several basic fishing poles from sticks during Natalie and Chris' visit so that the children could take a fishing excursion down to the ponds. It was a huge hit and now all the children ask constantly when they can go to the farm again to fish. We are excited about these ponds and the addition of fish to the children's menu.

Miguel's arm, Lujan, Higinio, Shaun, Thalia, and Chris: Lots of fish in all shapes and sizes!

Another exciting announcement is the purchase of a riding lawn mower. We received a donation toward this much-needed item, and now have a Husqvarna riding lawn mower. Grass that would take someone more than a week to cut with our small electric push mowers can now be cut in about 4 hours. Shaun literally did a dance of joy when the machine was delivered. This purchase will free up so much time to do improvements in other areas, and we thank the Lord for the donation that allowed us to purchase the mower!

World's Best Doctors!

At the children's home, we had the privilege of hosting two almost-graduates of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Natalie Rigelman-Hedberg and Chris Camp. Chris is the husband of a childhood friend of mine, Erica McCaleb Camp, and will be starting his residency in Orthopedics at the Mayo Clinic this June. Natalie will be beginning her residency at the University of Minnesota in pediatrics at the same time.

Gloria checking up on Chris' blood pressure

Since this is the first time we have hosted "medical missionaries," we were a little unsure what to expect from their visit. After their two and a half weeks at our home, we sat back and were amazed at what they were able to accomplish and the thoroughness and quality with which they worked with the children of not only our children's home, but also from the school on our property. In all, Chris and Natalie examined approximately 100 children and nearly all the staff from our children's home. Their examinations included not only basic physical exams, but also a dental and eye screenings to see what the needs in those areas were. They also created a hygiene flyer to hand out with their examination reports and preformed an interactive skit for the children of our homes to teach them how to keep themselves healthy and clean. In addition to all these exams, activities with the children, translating exam notes into Spanish to give to families, checking into prices for additional testing for the children, cleaning out ears, etc. etc, Chris and Natalie were never too tired to wash the dishes or play with Abi- making them the most wonderful house guests.

Matias learning how to brush his teeth in the hygiene skit
(Chris is the one holding the toothbrush)

While Shaun and I don't have a lot of experience working with medical students (they will soon be "doctors" after a May graduation), we feel that Chris and Natalie must be two of the country's brightest and best medical students. Not only did they have general medical knowledge, they had even studied up on diseases specific to Paraguay and tropical climates. Natalie, with only a couple of semesters of college Spanish, was able to conduct all the exams and listen to and advise patients with her own Spanish. Coupled with all of this knowledge, both Chris and Natalie have excellent personalities for doctors and made all their patients feel at ease.

Natalie with her "patients" from House 3

I am constantly amazed anew at the blessings that we have received in our work in Paraguay. Not only were we able to give quality medical care to each of the children with Chris and Natalie's visit, but we also made two new, wonderful friends. The children are already missing both Chris and Natalie (especially Abi who celebrated her 4th birthday during their visit) and we hope that in the future, they will be able to visit again.

To Chris and Natalie: Thank you so much for all your hard work! You can't know how much your visit meant to us and to the children and staff of Hogar Ganar! May the Lord bless you both as you begin your residencies!

Friday, April 16, 2010

March Happy Birthdays!

We have found that with so many children celebrating birthdays, doing a monthly birthday party is much more practical than buying or preparing enough cake for all the kids on everyone's birthday. So, at the end of March we celebrated three birthdays. It was amazing to remember that I blogged last year about Rocio and Ever's birthdays. It has been a whole YEAR since that post and I am so thankful that I have gotten to share in an entire year of their lives, watching them grow and mature.

Also, this year, we celebrated with Lorena for her first birthday in the home. Lorena is Kimberly and Alejandra's older sister. They live in House 1. Lorena turned 11 this past month, but is only in the second grade as she had never completed a year of school before entering our home. Lorena is a precious girl, who is extremely mature and responsible for her age. She is a good student who is learning fast in school. She loves to joke and is quite professional at fixing the other girls' hair.

Ever turned 10 this year. He also lives in House 1 with his siblings Nilda, Carlos, Rocio, and Cristina. Ever is extremely intelligent and also very responsible. He is in the third grade and makes perfect grades. He is learning English very well due to his memory. After revisiting vocabulary he hasn't reviewed in months, he remembers it all! I can be sure that each time I see Ever, he will greet me by shaking my hand- what a little gentleman!

Rocio, Ever's sister, also had her birthday in March. She turned 8. Rocio is in the second grade and is a social butterfly. She loves to talk and doesn't mind being the center of attention. She is very outgoing and makes an impression on all of our visitors with her personality and beauty.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Eggs and Water Balloons.

The last couple of months have been a time of great growth in our home. Our new staff members have each arrived with their individual talents and gifts and we are so thankful for how the Lord is working in the homes. We have had several special times of fellowship with all staff and children in the home in March and April.

Mauro (gardener), Higinio (house parent in House 3), Maria Lina (pastor's wife), Natividad (house parent in House 3) and Maricela (Mauro's wife) getting ready to serve up lunch

Thanks to a donation to buy piglets last spring, we were able to eat two of the pigs raised on our farm during the Easter holiday (some of the two pigs- there is still quite a bit of meat in the deep freeze for the houses to cook in the upcoming weeks). We have two more female pigs that are pregnant, so in the future, we will be able to provide a large amount of pork from our own farm. We also have several cows that are pregnant, and can't wait to see their calves and enjoy the abundance of milk that will become available after their births.

The weeks leading up to Easter were times of teaching about the life of Christ to the children and we are so excited that our children now understand the reason that we should celebrate Easter! To make their Easter (Holy Week) vacation time memorable, we planned several events during the past week. We had a cook out with own very own, very fresh pork. It was delicious. Thanks to Heather and Milciades' diligent water balloon filling, the kids had a giant water balloon fight with 600 water balloons. I took a short break from bed rest to sit on the porch and watch the action.

Milciades (in charge of maintenance) grilling up our farm-raised pork and making a face

Of course, with the Easter holiday, we had to continue the dying eggs and egg hunt tradition that we began with the kids last year. This year we hid 360 eggs (240 of which were hard-boiled, dyed eggs). The children on Saturday each dyed eggs and heard the story of Christ's last days on earth using "Resurrection Eggs." When I remember last year and sharing the gospel for the very first time with the 10 children we had in the home at that time, I am amazed at how much the Lord has worked in the lives of those original children and the ones that have arrived since. They each now understand that Christ is alive and loves them, and the prayers that they each offer around the dinner table and in our church services are so precious and genuine. Thank you, Lord, for all that you have done over this past year in the lives of the 22 children in our home!

Deney (Mauro and Maricela's daughter), Abi, and Mili (House 3) with their eggs

The oldest age group on the hunt

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bedrest and No Internet = No Blogging

Hello to everyone. I apologize that we have been so long without an update. We are between internet providers, desperately seeking some company with reliable coverage in our somewhat rural area. Also, as many of you may know, I have been ordered to stay strictly on bedrest after having some serious contractions at 30 weeks in the pregnancy. I have been on medication and bedrest since last Wednesday, but am still having some contractions. Please keep me and little William Samuel in your prayers.

Things at the children's home are going very well. During the month of February, we added a very important member to our staff. Joabson Dos Santos is a missionary pastor and nurse who was born in Brazil. He has been in Paraguay nearly 20 years and is married to a lovely Paraguayan lady, Maria Lina, also a nurse. They have been involved in church planting and directing Christian schools in other areas of Paraguay, and through a radio announcement about the pastor position at the home, the Lord has brought them here to work with us. They have four lovely children and have settled in very well, fitting perfectly with our staff. In addition to teaching in our Sunday service, Joabson and Lina have also begun a Friday assembly at the school on the property to teach Biblical values, weekly devotionals with the house parents, and a weekly prayer meeting with support staff. We are so excited about the role they are playing here in the home and we thank the Lord for bringing them our way.

Less than two weeks ago, some more key workers arrived from the United States. Our college friends, Joe and Jayne Martinez have arrived to work as full-time missionaries in the home. Jayne is a teacher and is spending these first days and weeks learning Spanish so that she will be able to teach the children in the home in the future. Joe has a masters in counseling from Lee University and has already begun counseling with each child in the home. The Lord knew that our children needed this service, and we are so glad that Joe and Jayne have responded to His call to sell everything and come to serve the children of Hogar Ganar in Paraguay. Keep them in your prayers as they continue to settle in and learn the Paraguayan lingo.

Heather, our six-month intern, has continued her English classes in the home and with the start of the school year, is also teaching all 8 grades in the school as well. She is doing an incredible job, not only helping teach English, but also helping Shaun and I around the house. We thank the Lord that she could be here with us at this time.

Pictures will have to wait, as I am using someone else's computer. Blessings to each of you!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sleepover and Camp Out.

We are preparing the children to return to school at the end of this month. The school year here runs from late February to mid November. In anticipation of the end of summer vacations, we decided to have a big party for the kids. For the girls, we did a traditional slumber party, complete with painting nails, bar-b-que chicken sandwiches (the first time any of the girls or house parents had tried that- and they loved them), popcorn, and brownies (the highlight of the evening). We watched princess movies and then tried to go to sleep. Of course, the girls were so excited to be sleeping in Tia Sara's house that sleep was a little long in coming.

For Shaun, the evening with the "hombres" was quite different. They ate various meats grilled out, popcorn, and roasted marshmallows over the camp fire (the boys were dancing with joy to be able to eat marshmallows- something that is only available if brought from the U.S.). The plan for them was to sleep in tents, but as the time for them to turn in arrived, Shaun had a little difficulty convincing them to sleep. Finally about an hour before they were supposed to be up and back in their houses, they fell asleep laying on the basketball court. For both Shaun and I, it was a night to remember!

Just woken up! I told them they should go to bed sooner! :)

In January, both Kevin and his little sister Lujan celebrated their birthdays. They both live in House three with their siblings. Kevin turned 11 and will be entering the forth grade this year. He aspires to be a firefighter one day. He suffers from severe asthma, but we are trusting the Lord to heal him. He is very competitive and has both a quick mind and temper. It is hard not to love Kevin with his precious smile. In school, he is an exemplary student and makes very good grades.

Lujan turned 7 and will be in either first or second grade this coming year (she has to take a placement exam). She is an absolutely beautiful little girl, not just on the outside. She is very affectionate and kind, always the first child to give me a hug and tell me in English, "I love you, tia." Lujan, like her brother is very smart and a quick learner. She still has some trouble sitting still in school, but we know that this year she is going to do much better.

Kevin and Lujan (on right) with their cakes. Their little sister Mili hopped in the photo, too.

We are preparing to send out a mailing. If you would like to receive a photo of the children in the home and more information about our ministries here, please email your mailing address to

The Lord is faithful! The older Lujan in the home helped us remember that when she drew the following the other day on the basketball court:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Celebrating the Holidays in Paraguay.

We spent this holiday season getting to know Paraguayans' traditions surrounding Christmas and the New Year. They do celebrate the season very differently than we normally celebrated in the States. To begin, the temperatures this time of year are soaring, with most days reaching into the 100's. Also, gifts are traditionally given to children on Day of the Kings in the first week of January, instead of on Christmas Day. The season also involves several nights of very late dinners (at 11PM or midnight) and a whole lot of firecrackers.

We celebrated in the children's home with a special dinner on Christmas Eve where each child received their Christmas presents. Thanks to donations from some friends from Peerless Road Church in Tennessee, we were able to buy wonderful Christmas presents for every child.

Opening presents at the Christmas banquet.

More donations from here in Paraguay provided the special gifts for Day of the Kings.

Alejandra with her Day of the Kings gift.

Needless to say, the kids had quite a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying their vacation from school. The coming school year will begin in February, and the kids are already asking for prayer for their studies for the new school year. The children are learning to take all their needs to the Lord in prayer and each Sunday it is a joy to hear them open up and bring more and more of their worries and needs to the Lord.

In December, we celebrated two birthdays here in the home. Nilda, our eldest, turned 14 years old. She will be going into the seventh grade this coming year and lives in House 1 with her four younger siblings. Nilda is extremely responsible. She is a very hard worker, both in school and around the house. She plans to begin studying English intensively and it is our dream that she would be able to attend college in the states one day.

Nilda at her outdoor birthday party.

Mili, one of our youngest, also had a December birthday. She turned 5. Mili is just plain adorable and lives in House 3 with her four older siblings. She will be in Kindergarten this coming year. She loves animals and playing with her tea set. Mili has a contagious smile and is so much fun to watch.

Mili- yes, she is adorable!

Another important piece of news is the arrival of Heather Lutz. Heather is a friend of ours from our home church in Tennessee and has come to Paraguay to serve in the children's home for six months. She has been involved in several short-term mission trips in Latin America and already speaks some Spanish. She is learning more vocabulary daily. This week she started her English classes with the children in the home and they are so excited to be studying with her. She is also assisting in the planning of Sunday services and other special activities with the children. When in the states, Heather worked in an after school program for at-risk children and has worked for several years in the children's ministry at church. With all of this experience, she is bringing so many new ideas to what we are doing here and I am so thankful that the Lord has sent her to be with us! Because we had problems with our well pump, we have been without water nearly the whole time Heather has been visiting. For that reason, we have not been taking many pictures (not being able to bathe well does not allow for the best photo opportunities)! She has handled it like a pro, and today, finally, our water has returned. In the future, you will be sure to see pictures of her working with the kids.

We are excited for what the Lord has in store for this new year. Our goal for this coming year is to be able to open three additional homes. We are still receiving multiple calls/visits each week concerning children that need a home. The need in Paraguay for children's homes is great. If you are interested in supporting one of our children's homes and in helping us to reach more of these precious children with the love of Christ and the security of a family, please contact us at