One of my favorite jobs that I have at Back2Back is being in relationship with Casa Hogar del Norte. Part of what I do there is celebrating the birthdays of each child and caregiver in a way that is individualized and special! That works out pretty great because I LOVE celebrating birthdays. The kids are always asking when their birthday is because they too love a reason to celebrate! In the mean time, my brain is always focused on the next birthday and how we will celebrate it uniquely, what meaningful gift we can give and which encouraging words will fill the card of the birthday girl or boy. Continue reading
Since I came on staff with Back2Back, I have shared the piece of their vision which is to be a voice for orphans. However, it has not been until recently that I have understood that being their voice goes so much further than writing blogs, sharing their stories, raising money for their well-being and defending their cause. I have learned that far beyond being their voice, we are called to seek out what has been lost and return it to them- among the many things that have been lost or taken from these children is their voice. I no longer want to simply be their voice but rather to give them opportunity to use it and be heard and in turn use my position to amplify their voice.
For some time, the voices of our kids have been silenced…
In a few weeks, on the famous day of cinco de mayo, a sweet set of twins who I introduced here will celebrate their third birthday. I will arrive about a week late for the special day, but promised a belated celebration upon my return. Continue reading
A year ago yesterday I slept in—finally—after weeks of less than adequate amounts of rest. I poured myself a cup of deliciously-smelling coffee and sat down to reflect on the crazy and beautiful thing that I had been swept up in during the days prior. When I finally caught my breath, I penned some blog posts about the event that we called the Cumbre, those moments when the local church of Monterrey was called to action on behalf of the orphan and marginalized child. Continue reading
Meet Eduardo. He is sweet and loving, and rambunctious and crazy all in one moment. His little voice is raspy, his personality big and his desire for attention even bigger. He is incredibly creative and if his immense energy can be channeled into something positive and healthy, I know he can do great things.
When I went on the One21 retreat in February, I met a 13-year old girl who lives at a family-style children’s home in the next state over. She had lived at the home for less than a year, but within that time, she had met Jesus.
A guest blog post by Dale Guckenberger who along with his wife, is a faithful child sponsor for a few kids at Del Norte. They are more commonly known as “los abuelos”.
Eileen and I have been blessed with the opportunity to come alongside three children living at Casa Hogar Del Norte by being sponsors for Wendy, Blanca and Kevin (Wendy’s younger brother). When the opportunity began three or four years ago we jumped on the bandwagon knowing our resources would be well spent for Wendy and Jesus (who has returned to live with his family) and then Kevin. A year later as a Christmas gift for our 10 year twin granddaughters, Reilly and Reagan, we added Blanca, also then 10 years old. We paid the sponsorship and they have the fun of writing to their friend Blanca at Del Norte. On a recent visit we carried an iPad video message from Reagan and Reilly to Blanca and she responded with her own video with Jenn Holden’s help. Everyone had fun with this face to face exchange! Continue reading
A couple weeks ago, I arrived at Del Norte and was greeted by three new faces. They belonged to three new children that had come to the home only days before, and they carried fear and confusion. I remember watching Vicky’s big eyes take it all in at lunch that day, her gaze flipping from child to child as this one had a meltdown and the other one goofed off with his friends at the table.
Meet sweet Edgar. He a rambunctious and wild 5-year-old, always getting into mischief for this or that. Yet, when he is pulled away from the chaos and receives some one-on-one attention, sweet Edgar comes out with songs and creative stories.
Forty days from this Wednesday, we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. In doing so, we recognize and take joy in the fact that death no longer has the final word. Instead, because of Jesus’ sacrifice and ultimate victory over death, we also know that in our daily lives, death does not win, all things can be resurrected, brought back to life. This miracle gives me so much hope as I look out at the “death” that surrounds us- death of relationships, death of hope, death of trust. Everything from physical struggles to emotional damage and spiritual battles reminds me that we are fighting for life and revival in a dying world, against an enemy who seeks to “steal, kill and destroy.”