An Education for the children of our center

In our efforts to ensure that each child in our center attends school, we drove through the dirt roads and alongside the dirty river where some of  them  bathe to visit with their mothers. We were shocked to hear that the local school district would not allow their children to attend school. As each mom told us their stories, I could not ignore the holes in their roofs. What happens to these children when it rains? My eyes wandered to the naked little boy running around in the midst of germs as if he had no cares in the world. I couldn’t help but notice the looks of despair as neighbors began to flock around us in hopes to be heard. “Will you please open a center over here too?”, they asked. “No one cares about those of us out here,” one mom griped, “how will we do better if no one is willing to come out here to teach us?” I must admit that my heart ached as I realized that these precious children walk such a long distance to our center each day and knowing that I sat in the back seat of a comfortable vehicle to arrive to their location.
“I can’t make any promises,” I told them, “it takes a lot to run a center, but I will do my best to get your children in school.”
I went home that day with new resolve. If a child attends the Cien Fuegos HOPE Center, they will also attend school!
I made this astonishing announcement to my husband as we settled in for the night. He agreed, “I will do everything I can for them honey, that’s why we are here.” I rested comfortably that night knowing that God was at work and that He would go before us as we did our best to defend the poor.
A few days later, my precious husband, our center’s psychologist, and the parents headed to the local schools in their district.
“These children are residents of this district, yet were not allowed to attend school,” the psychologist demanded, “they need an education!”
The school principal shook her head and told them that there was no room, the school was overcrowded and they absolutely had no place to put them.
My husband gently responded, “If they don’t receive an education, what will become of them? Look at their surroundings, if they can’t come here, where will they go?” He continued, “If you accept them, I promise that our center will be sure to help them complete all homework assignments and keep them up to date. I am here to serve you as well, how can our center help you?”
The principal smiled and accepted the children.
Each school in the district accepted our unschooled children that day! We are happy to say that all but one child in our center is now enrolled in school.  Students attend school for a half day in the Dominican Republic, the other half of their day is spent at our center.
WE ARE EXTREMELY GRATEFUL TO GOD FOR THIS VICTORY BECAUSE THERE ARE STILL MANY UNSCHOOLED CHILDREN IN CIEN FUEGOS.
Thank you for your support!

Lives Transformed

As we walked through Cien Fuegos a few nights ago, my heart was heavy for the people in our midst. I can’t help but to love them. They are precious souls simply searching for the truth. It brings us much satisfaction and joy to know that we posses what they are longing.
It was such fun to give the children a party this summer! Their eyes were bright as they were allowed to eat large pieces of cake and chocolate candy! The sad reality is that many of them never had cake before! They were very grateful for the sweets and for the fun!
Your $16/month is making a difference in these lives. As these children’s lives are transformed, their community will be transformed. You are making an investment into lives and God honors that kind of investment. Thank you!
The children had a great time at both camps this summer, but it is now time to re-open the daily doors of our center. Please pray as we make transitions with our staff and as we pursue a larger facility.
Remember that you are greatly appreciated and you are transforming lives!

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

I remember when I was child. Although my children think that is was a very long time ago, the vivid memories still live in my mind.
Just as I can easily recall the early years of my life, so will the children of our center one day. The day will come when they are adults. What will they have to say about us then? Will they look back in joy at their childhood because others from afar cared for them?
God has a dream for each of them. His dream was embedded upon their lives at conception. His dreams are not limited to our environments, yet we live without even knowing what they are at times.
We don’t want that to happen to the children at the Cien Fuegos HOPE Center! It is our desire to see each one of them walk out God’s design for their lives. Thus, it is imperative that we all stand for them. Let’s continue this great work in transforming lives. Let’s link arms for the sake of these blessings in Cien Fuegos. They are worth every effort.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

A Pathway to H.O.P.E

She awakened to the rooster crowing once again. The cold morning air was a bit too much for her today, would her mom every buy blankets? The wet mattress that she shared with her siblings was a little too much today. The cold outside air kept her shivering as she awakened her little sister to get her dried up before mom caught her wet in the bed once again. Why couldn’t her bladder hold out until morning? She lowered a bucket into the large barrel that stood outside her house, she only needed a small amount of water to boil for a bath. She would share a bath with her sister. They would stand together on the small patch of cement out back and pour water all over their naked bodies. Just a little water, there was no soap today. As she raised the bucket into the barrel, it was empty. “Not again”, she thought. Not today, today she was turning 13. Today she wanted a bath. But there was no bath. She crept into the living area of their shack and fished through the piles of dirty laundry. She just had to find something for her younger sister to wear, something that didn’t smell like urine. Then she remembered the small bag of clothes that her little sister received at the Center yesterday. She searched for the bag, hoping that her mom didn’t sell the new clothes for today’s meal. Happily she found the pink dress and panties and carefully changed her little sister’s clothes. Her other 4 siblings were up by now. Everyone searching for something to eat, but there was nothing to be found. Nothing. They didn’t even have any drinking water. Mom was up too. She tried her best to smile as mom gave her a birthday hug and told her that she loved her. She still didn’t understand love, she was hungry. As she walked her siblings to school that morning she was approached by a handsome man in the neighborhood. He had a house not far from hers. She heard that at his house, she could find food, blankets and water. He gave her a birthday hug that made her feel special inside. He asked her out for a date that night. He was 23, she was 13. She went out with him that night. He said that he loved her and she now believed that she knew what love was. She moved out of her house a few weeks later to become his live in girlfriend. Within a few months, she was pregnant. Within the year, he was beating her and bringing other women into the home. She endured, where else would she go? After a few years, he kicked her out, she wasn’t pretty enough for him anymore. She became a prostitute. She sold herself to feed her children. She didn’t know what else to do. She didn’t know where else to go. Her children ended up at the Center, they now have a meal each day and she gets the help that she needs to stay off the street.

SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY AND BECOME A PATHWAY TO H.O.P.E.

THIS STORY IS A COMBINATION OF STORIES OF DIFFERENT FAMILIES AT OUR CENTER, IT IS NOT A TRUE VERSION OF ONE PERSON. STAY POSTED FOR MORE STORIES LIKE THIS ONE.

Unheard Voices

Most of us live each day expressing our hearts or our needs knowing that they will be fulfilled. Basic needs like a safe home or clean water for bathing, drinking and cooking. Have you lived a lifetime not really knowing where your next meal would come from? Do your children wander the streets barefoot while you search day and night for work, just to return empty handed?

Each time I walk into our children’s center in Cien Fuegos I hear voices that the world never hears. Voices like little Carlos that begged me for a piece of bread because he was too hungry to wait for lunch. I also heard beautiful sounds from innocent children who sang with all of their hearts to God. Such a lovely rendition of His work, but the world did not hear.

These precious lives have voices that must be heard. They cry out for understanding, but no one hears. The plead for justice, did they ask to be born into poverty?

What will we do with these voices? We can not stand by and just let them shout alone. We know that they are there, but we close our ears.

These children need you. It doesn’t take much to ensure that Carlos gets a meal each day. It only takes $16/month to make their voices heard.

Please sponsor a child today! Your sponsorship will save their lives and create better opportunities for the next generation.

Sponsor a Child

I was astonished once again as we drove through Cien Fuegos.The dirt roads and pot holes had already blown me away! Some houses were wooden, some were made of a tin material. Most of these homes do not have bathrooms nor running water.

Some children in this sector of Santiago, Dominican Republic dig through the garbage dump for scrap metal to sell for food. Many of these precious ones don’t go to school.

I am amazed each time I take the 20 minute drive to the place that is translated “100 Fires”. Sometimes I wonder how those precious children and my sweet children share this island, yet their lives are so distinct. “We must do something about this,” were the words of one of my sons, “we can’t keep allowing those children to suffer that way.”

So we did! We provide spiritual growth, education and meals to these lovely children Monday-Thursday. Join us as we embrace the lives of these children and their families. Sponsor a child today for only $16/month and change a life forever!