Come with us as we return to South America this summer to volunteer at La Casa De Fe, a home for abandoned and special needs children in Shell, Ecuador.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Mathew 19:14

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Days of Creation

by sara

One of the themes that we did for Bible class this summer was Creation. We talked about how God created the world, and how he created each and every one of us unique and special.

Our verse for the week was Psalms 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” The kids did really well learning their verse (in spanish). We also had fun singing the “Days of Creation” song that I had learned while helping out at Awana. It uses rhyming words to help the kids remember what God created each day.

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On the first day of the theme our art project was to have the kids use pastels on black paper to draw the world how they would have created it. Here is what they came up with.

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One day a group came to help out with Bible and they brought coloring books for the kids. It turned out that the books they randomly brought were also about the creation story! It was awesome to see how God coordinated those details.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Field Trips!

by sara

While we have been working here at CDF we have had the help of groups that come almost every week. On Wednesday the team that is here for this week coordinated a paseo (field trip) to a local river and walking trail.

Between the team and a few of the summer volunteers we had enough people to pair up one-on-one with the children from Casa De Fe. I was buddies with Edison, a 11 year old boy who is deaf. He does not always get included in activities at the house, so it was really neat to be able to involve him in the hike. We had an awesome time together running on the trails, playing games, and exploring. But I am getting ahead of myself…

After lunch at CDF we took the kids by bus to Puyo, the capital city of the region. When we got there it was drizzling and so we made a quick change of plans. We all walked over to a local hotel/conference center that had a covered play area. We played Bear-Hunter-Machete (a team version of rock-paper-scissors), and musical chairs. The kids had a great time and Edison was one of the last four players in musical chairs.

After playing games the rain let up and we had 20 minutes to explore the trails at the conference center. Edison and I decided to run with a few of the other kids and their buddies. We ran and ran and ran. I started getting tired but Edison just kept on running. Whenever we stopped I had to watch him closely because any time he saw someone else running he would join them. Calling for a deaf child to “wait up” or “come back” does not work so well….

After a lot  of exercise we had a yummy snack of popcorn and fruit juice and then went to the original trail that we were planning to hike. The paved trail followed the river and had beautiful views of the jungle. As we walked Edison kept changing pace. We started in the front of the group, were all the way at the end, and then finished in the front again.  Edison wanted to carry my backpack, and it worked out perfectly because it gave me a handle to grab when he started to loose his balance.

When we got to a grassy spot we stopped to play with the kids. Edison enjoyed throwing the Frisbee, but he soon realized that instead of throwing the Frisbee to another person, it was more fun to throw the Frisbee into the jungle and then go in after it.

While we were on the walk we got to see a few animals. Aside from the tiny fish in the river, a few people saw a big red parrot. We also saw a band of monkeys climbing through the trees and on our way home we saw some random llamas on the side of the road.

I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with the kids on the outing. They all loved getting out of the house, and having lots of attention from their buddies. For me it was so nice to be responsible for just one child and to be able to focus all of my attention on him. For the most part I did not have to worry about planning and making sure that everything was happening the way it was supposed to. It was a great day.

(We have had a few other outings, but I will have to write about them later)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vamos al Parque!

by sara

Last summer it felt like we lived at the park. We were always taking the kids there so that they would have somewhere to play. Now that the kids live in their new house they have lots more space without leaving the house.

However we still sometimes make the hike into town to let the kids play at the park. They love running around…

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Greis’ hand

by sara

I want to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been praying for Greis’ hand. After a long few days/weeks where we were thinking that she would not get to keep her new thumb, the doctors were surprised to see that the thumb was starting to get more and more circulation.

At every appointment Greis’ thumb has been looking better and better with the dead skin falling off and revealing healthy pink skin underneath!

Praising God for his answer to your prayers!!

Rubi and Greis reading with Miss Elizabeth

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Greis coloring her days of creation book

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Friday, July 22, 2011

It’s Always Hard to Say Goodbye

by sara

One of the most difficult parts of working at a home for abandoned and special needs kids is knowing that there is always a chance that the kids might go home and that you might not see them again. It is bittersweet to see any of the kids leave, but it is especially hard when the child’s home life is not that great. While they are at Casa de Fe they feel like part of our family, but we have to keep reminding ourselves that God is in control and that he is watching over each child wherever they go.



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One of the children who went home recently was Sarita, an adorable little girl who was just old enough to realize that she and I had the same name. Every time I would see her she would say in her little voice, “Look, two Sara’s!”  When Sarita was born her mother was 14 years old and was not ready to raise a child. She brought Sarita to Casa de Fe and said that she would be back when she could take care of her.

One day we showed up at CDF to find that Sarita was gone, her mother had come for her and was going to be taking care of her from now on. I am happy for Sarita that she will be with her biological mom, but it was hard not to get to say goodbye.

Gaby, Jimmy, Ariel, Kevin

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One of the family groups also went home. 13 year old Gaby went home with her mom a few weeks ago. We were told that she might be back for school, but it is doubtful. Especially because today Gaby’s mom returned to pick up her brothers Jimmy, Ariel, and Kevin. 

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         Jimmy                                Ariel                           Kevin

We are going to miss them a lot.

Nataniel and Josue

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Another two children who have gone home are the brothers Nataniel and Josue (the photo is from last year, I realized that I don’t have a good one from this year).While we call them twins, they are actually two of triplets. Hopefully their return home means that they will get to interact more with their brother who is being raised by an aunt. The preschool group seems small without their smiling faces, but we are happy that they are going home to be with their brother and family.

We are praying that Sarita, Gaby, Jimmy, Ariel, Kevin, Nataniel, and Josue are doing well with their families and we are thanking God for the time that he gave us with them.