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.
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.