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Volunteers help create Emergency Food Fund

Volunteers who come to the Mission typically spending their time help care for the children, since the 7 missionary sisters are overwhelmed caring for the 78 children who live here. The volunteers help feed the children, care for the babies, play soccer, help with homework, get the children ready for bed, etc. The missionaries (and kids) love having volunteers! Our recent group volunteers went even further to help organize an emergency food fund.

The Mission home relies on a combination of donations and government programs to care for and educate these children. A government program pays about $6000 a month for food for the children. Recently the government has been late sending the money for food. The orphanage eventually receives the money, but late payments mean the orphanage can’t afford to feed the children while they wait for the money to arrive. In April, the government was four months late and the orphanage had no money to buy food for the next month.

Some of our volunteers raised $5000 for an “Emergency Food Fund” to cover the cost of the food until the government payment arrived. Thank you to our volunteers and new donors who raised the first $5000 and to all who have donated for this special project! We are so grateful!

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Transforming the lives of 78 children- The Mission Home

A residence. A roof over your head. A dwelling place. An oasis. A sanctuary. Home.

The Mission Home is currently home to 78 children ages 8 months – 17 years. Children arrive from the state only after a search to see if the child could be placed with a family member. Almost all the children here come from significant abuse or neglect by family members. Only in situations that are so desperate and hopeless, with no other option, do these children require placement at the Mission Home. This is a home for the most vulnerable. The forgotten and abused. For the children that otherwise might have fallen through the cracks.

When a child first arrives they are hopeless and desperate. Most have just survived immense trauma, both physical and mental, struggling with feelings of abandonment. But then a transformation occurs.

They are welcomed home as if their room was always meant for them. Missionary Sisters who have dedicated their lives to the Mission care for them like mothers. They are showered with love. And it is a love that is not only spoken but demonstrated in every interaction from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. The are provided for with new clothes, plenty of food, healthcare, education, and much more. For some, it is the first time they will go to school. For many, it is the first time they will eat three meals in one day. For all, it is a home where they will be safe and loved.

These are the children you help.

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One of our scholarship recipients tells us her story

Meet Julie. Julie loves being at the Mission School. Julie has a deformed hand due to a birth defect (she covers her hand when she speaks to me. Children from other towns often make fun of her, but not at the mission school. She says her classmates are kind to her and she has made good friends. Her teachers are also very kind. Julie gets straight A’s except in English. When I tell her learning English is hard, she tells me the school in her town never taught English, so when she came to the Mission school 6 years ago, she was behind her classmates.

Julie is 17 years old and is one of our 170 scholarship recipients at the Mission High School. Julie is the middle child of 5 children and is from a town about 30 minutes from the High School. Her father works his small plot of land with lime trees and coffee plants and at night drives a taxi to make ends meet. Even with the extra work, her family is unable to afford the $20 monthly tuition for her attend the Mission School.

Julie’s dream is to go to college. Her older brother had to drop out of college last year while studying petroleum engineering. He received a full scholarship but his family couldn’t afford the incidental costs of studying (food, bus fare- about $250 a month). She tells me since her family “has limited resources”, she needs to work as quickly as possible in order to pay for a full nursing degree. Instead, she will take a short course in medicine to which will hopefully lead to a job in order to pay for her college nursing classes.

Julie is grateful to all the donors who are helping her stay in school.

These are the children you help!

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Some Big Changes

For those of you who have not heard, my wife Grace and I recently moved to Ecuador to work at the Mission full time. Although we were sad to leave so many of our friends and family, we are excited about dedicating more time to the Mission and the children here.

Grace is a nurse practitioner who worked in Kenya for a year in an orphanage and then in New York City for 3 1/2 years in pediatrics. She will be taking Spanish classes as we wait for our work visas to come through and then will take an exam here that will allow her to practice in Ecuador. But in the first week she has already been put to work by the missionary sisters and has been caring for some of the children.

I will be spending all my time working with the charity, including sending more updates on the work we are doing here. Our programs are helping so many children and families through your generosity, but more children need our help. We will dedicate ourselves to significantly expanding our programs over the next few years.

Finally, we would like to extend an open invitation to anyone who would like to visit us. You are most welcome! We would love to have visitors.

Thank you for all our your support and generosity over the years! We look forward to this new step in our lives with the Mission.

Jim

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