Many of you probably know Ruby. She and her sister have lived with us for many years. They came out of a family situation with many problems, so not surprisingly, Ruby is a challenge! She can be a cheerful, loving, happy girl! But her behavior can also turn quickly into tantrums and other misbehaviors. She struggles with learning in school and getting along with others. She was having so many problems at Rosarito that a few months ago, she was moved to Soler. After a few months here, we are seeing that the change has been very good for her. She is calmer, plays well with the other younger kids (most of the time), and is helpful. She is taking more pride in her appearance and following the rules (usually). Today, she showed us that in addition to the changes in her external behavior, there are deeper changes internally, in her heart.
Another one of the kids here was in trouble, and there was a serious discussion going on as to whether he should stay or go. Ruby came over to encourage him to stay and follow the rules. She was kind and gentle and encouraging. It was awesome to see her love and compassion coming out! The boy in trouble is repentant and going to try again.
There is a verse that says, “He who has been forgiven much, loves much.” That is true of Ruby! This place is a place of love and forgiveness for her, and she is learning to share that with others. Praise God!
The months of March and April are busy times here, with lots of missions teams coming to help us out! We have already had groups from Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and California, and more are coming! The groups have been busy at Soler, Rosarito and the Women’s Shelter. Here are just a few samples of the things they are doing around here…
Spa Day for the girls of Soler
Working on the wall at Rosarito…
Painting at Rosarito
The groups have also served breakfast at the church near the canyon, built flower boxes for the women’s shelter, bought groceries for us, and most of all, PLAYED with the kids! The relational time is so wonderful for both kids and groups.
We are thankful for all the hard work and love they bring to share with us! Looking forward to the next groups as well!
KaiLi and Hannah are two college sophomores who chose to spend their spring break with us at TCM this year, loving on our kids and helping out with homework and tortillas! They found out that when it rains here, school gets cancelled… that sometimes there is hot water, sometimes there is cold water, and sometimes there is no water because the water truck can’t drive over the rainy, muddy roads! They had a great time. Here is what Hannah said about their trip,
“We are back in the USA! But leaving was so incredibly bittersweet. In such a short amount of time I grew so attached to all the kids we met at the orphanage. I learned way more than I ever expected I would. We literally lived the life of an orphan for a week, and I feel so humbled after the experience.
This trip has been the most impactful missions trip I have ever been on.
I have SO many stories to share, but in short, here’s a few things I learned: The kids in Mexico love Frozen just as much (if not more) than American kids, hot water (really water at all) is SUCH a blessing that I take for granted, homemade flour tortillas are the most delicious things you could ever eat, and you really learn a lot of Spanish when only one child speaks some English. I loved this trip so much.”
We know their time impacted the kids here too, as KaiLi and Hannah poured out love on them!
If you are a high school or college student considering a missions trip this year, we encourage you to plan a trip here or check out our summer internship program!
In our state, the government is in the process of passing news laws governing orphanages. ALL orphanages in this state (we have heard that there are at least 100 in Baja California!) will be affected by these new regulations, and all will have to make updates and changes to comply with these laws. The regulations cover everything from staff training requirements, fire safety, restrictions on visitors, changes in how kids are accepted, and more. At TCM, Seth Gomez, has been working with other orphanage directors and Congress in an effort to make sure the final version of the law which passes is good for the kids. Meanwhile, our staff is working hard on making sure our facilities and other things are all in compliance. If you would like to help us with costs of these updates (which will improve fire safety, among other things), let us know! Here Josue is painting the required exit arrows and signs!
The Super Pandas (the 5th and 6th grade girls at Rosarito) are continuing their small group study of a famous missionary, Amy Carmichael. Last week, they read about how she preferred to pray to God when she needed something, without asking people directly, and God always provided. So we learned the verse Luke 18:27- “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
I then asked the girls if there was anything they wanted to pray for that was needed at the orphanage. (I told them, more candy was not an option! 🙂 One of the girls immediately said, “More food.” When I asked what specifically, she said “frutas”, fruit. So we agreed to pray for more fruit for Rosarito. This was on Tuesday afternoon.
I didn’t tell anyone about that prayer, but the next morning, Wednesday, I woke up to this email from a friend in San Diego.
“You mentioned back in the fall that the kids could use more fresh fruit. Would you like me to buy fruit for you or just give you money to purchase some?” Wow! That was a really fast answer to a specific prayer! I couldn’t wait to tell the girls how God answered their prayer!
So this week, the Super Pandas went fruit shopping 🙂 This may have been a one-time donation, but it was a wonderful way for God to remind our kids that no matter how many bad things have happened to them, God cares for them and is listening to their prayers.
*We are thankful for a church which recently started giving monthly specifically for fruit at the Soler site. If you would like to help provide more fruit for the Rosarito site, please let us know!*
Two of our girls from Hacienda Victoria were selected to represent their school in the Dia de la Bandara (Flag Day) parade and ceremony in Rosarito! Every school in Rosarito sent a delegation to the parade. Then there was a ceremony which they all participated in as well.
Both of these girls are doing so well in school that they are taking a city-wide exam. If they do well on that one, they can move up to the next level. We are proud of Fanny and Yadira!
Polished Girlz is an international organization of girls serving others. We have started the first Polished Girlz chapter in Mexico with the girls who live at our Soler site. Yesterday was our first event. We went to another orphanage which is for younger children with HIV/AIDS. Our girls painted nails, played with the little ones, and gave lots of hugs.
Another group was there doing face painting too!
We also met a man who connects orphanages in Mexico with an organization in the States that provides free eye exams and glasses. I exchanged info with him and asked him to add TCM to his list! That would be great!
We took a few of our boys too, to play with the little boys while the girls were having their nails done!
It was great to see the teens of TCM sharing Christ’s love with others in this way. Can’t wait til our next event!
The kids love to receive mail and packages from their sponsors! Last week, we had a big day, where 15 of our kids all had a card or letter! It was exciting to give them their letters (translated) and help them to write back. It is one more tangible expression of God’s love to the kids! You can send mail to your sponsored child at the PO Box address listed on our site. It does take a few weeks for us to translate/deliver and get a response translated and mailed back, but we will do our best to send you a reply! Thanks for loving our kids!
We are so thankful for a group of dentists from Eastside Church who come down to our home and care for our kids every couple of months. It is a huge blessing for our kids (and staff too!) to know they can have their teeth cared for! If you live close enough to come visit our home and have a specialty of any sort that you would like to share with us (dental, medical, educational, etc.) please let us know! We welcome your help and expertise!