On August 15, Children of Hope hosted a volunteer appreciation evening for all those who are part of the Hope for Children thrift store. About 40 of the 70 volunteers came to hear updates from Aaron Toews, Brian Heppner and Jeremy Van Beelen about the work in Mexico. A big THANK YOU to all the efforts of the volunteers in helping the children in Mexico. Please pray for the thrift store ministry and that another 30 volunteers will step forward to help in the store. Spread the word and donate your goods to the store!
It has been a busy start to 2015 for Pan de Vida. We have hosted three teams since January from different parts of Canada.
From January 2 – 14, we hosted three couples from Manitoba who helped build some cabinets, fix cars and weld some roof structures. On January 21st, Pan de Vida hosted a team of nineteen people from Manitoba. Some have been down before, but there were new faces in the group as well. The team had a great time interacting with the children through different afternoon events with the girls and boys. They also managed to finish some major projects like laying 341 square meters (about 1100 square feet) of paving block in front of the new boys’ dorm. They poured the back patio area behind the boys’ dorm kitchen, painted Ginger and Kike’s new apartment, installed a 12 by 6 meter roof for the animal shelter, as well as other welding and painting projects. The team went to help for a day at the Esperanza para Ti orphanage, visit the Casa Otomi ministry in Amealco, and went to the town of Guanajuato for a weekend break.
From February 13 – 23, Pan de Vida hosted a Children of Hope team comprised of seven people from Ontario, a couple from Alberta and a couple from British Columbia for a total of thirteen with Brian and Bety Heppner as the leaders. The team was busy with painting the bleachers of the football/soccer field, pouring curbs for the paving block, painting steel beams, welding a roof behind the boys’ kitchen patio, fixing the playground and fixing cars. The team went to visit the Casa Otomi in Amealco, a soup kitchen outreach that Children of Hope supports. The team also made hamburgers for all the children as part of their goodbye party. A big thank-you to all the team members for their hard work in their time of service at Pan de Vida.
Pan de Vida welcomed Herman Aikema from my home church in Langley, British Columbia. He stayed for two weeks to help with different carpentry projects around the property. It is always surprising to see the list of projects that people give me when I tell them that a carpenter is coming!
Did you know?
Over the past couple of years a number of Pan de Vida youth have been involved in local soccer teams and camps. One of these youth is now involved in try-outs for the below seventeen age group for the Gallos Blancos (White Roosters) soccer club in Queretaro. This club plays on the national scene in Mexico, so it is no small feat to get to this stage. We are really proud of Borre and wish him the best in these tryouts, and above all hope he’ll be a Christian witness to the other players he plays with.
Speaking of sports, the American football pre-season for the Bufelos Dorados (Golden Buffalos) is just starting up again at Pan de Vida. There are three different groups playing this year: the medium- aged boys, the girls’ team, and a youth boys’ team. We give thanks to Alfonso Venegas and his coaching staff who all volunteer their time to help train these children! A number of team members come from outside the orphanage. Pan de Vida has one great advantage and that is it has its own field to practice and host games on. This field isn’t a dirt field like most in Mexico but rather a field with GREEN grass. Due to the irrigation improvements implemented last year, this field has stayed green all year long. This might not sound like a big feat to some, but in Mexico this is a big deal! It costs a lot of money to keep a field green all year due to the water costs, but Pan de Vida uses recycled water for its irrigation system, so it is all free other than the gasoline to run the pumps!
A big thank-you to all those helping with the Hope for Children thrift store that opened its doors on February 10th in downtown Langley, BC. May God use this opportunity for His glory and honour. Check out their facebook page at: Hope for Children Thrift Store, or better yet, visit them yourselves if you are in the neighbourhood.
• Please pray for the thrift store that the Lord will continue to provide the donations and the staffing needed to keep the store running at full capacity.
• Please pray for protection from the frustrations of the Devil in the work of the Lord that is going on at the orphanages in Mexico. These frustrations comes in different forms, but it is all the same in the end, and as sinful human beings we need God’s help all the more.
It is that time again to send an update from the “field”. It seems time is just flying by! I hope you are all having a great start to 2014. Pan de Vida sure is! On January 10th the Sika Lubricant company and Banamex officially handed over the keys to the new boys’ dorm and Pan de Vida took possession of the building. The representatives of the respective companies were present as well as the mayor to make the event official. Even though this facility is all built, there are still a number of big projects that need to get finished before the boys could move in. The biggest project is a septic field since the current field is too small to incorporate another building. This project just commenced on February 6th and will take a month to complete. Pan de Vida also needs to hook up the electricity to this new building. A temporary extension line is being used at the moment. The propane gas lines are needed to be installed and will be in place soon. All in all, we are very grateful to God for providing this building. What a blessing to have this building completed in just eight months! This property will provide many new work projects for the mission teams that will be coming to serve at Pan de Vida in the coming years! Speaking of teams, on January 16 a Children of Hope team from Winkler, Manitoba arrived for two weeks of service. This team accomplished alot. There was only a list of 31 items to complete in their two weeks here! This included installing 40 window protections, clothes lines, kitchen for Javi, master bedroom for Javi, new front fence with gate and concrete ramp in the new boys’ dorm, painting the school, holiday inn, and racks for the trucks, fixing the vehicles, welding shelving unites, a gate, stands and window protections and much more! The team did a great job and served willingly in all the work that we placed before them. May God bless each and every one of them for their service at Pan de Vida. It was a pleasure getting to know you and to work beside everyone of you. Here are some pictures of the work on the new septic tank…..We hope to have this done in a month, with 5 guys working on it. There will be one cistern for the sewer water of 4 by 6 meters and another cistern to capture the rain and road runsoff of 3 by 5 meters. Both will be about 2.5 to 3 meters deep…
On November 5, 2013, we welcomed Faithworks team from the greater Toronto, Ontario area (plus 1 from Vancouver, BC). It was an awesome 10 days filled with many firsts. First missions trip, first time trip leading, first team to stay in the dorms with the kids, first time taking the kids to a pro soccer game, first team I have hosted, first time mixing concrete for some… The team was busy all week scraping paint, digging trenches, pouring concrete, bending rebar. Those were the things they did for the kids. What they did with the kids was even more challenging, rewarding, and in my opinion impactful. They took the kids to a nearby mountain for a early morning hike, stoked the fires of futbol dreams by treating them to the local professional futbol (soccer) team- Necaxa, and of course the ever popular Sunday afternoon park trip. Even in their “free time”, the team gave of themselves spending many hours playing futbol, doing hair, and all around loving on the kids and just spending time with them. It was a beautiful thing to watch. They exemplified Christ’s love to the kids by being His hands and feet. By far, it was the best team I have ever hosted…………(and also my first). They are now part of the Dulce Refugio story, and I think and hope that many of them will be back to visit soon. Here’s some of the highlights:So when you add up over 5 tons of cement mixed, 3,000 lbs of rebar, 56 kids, 10 team members, a little sickness, a little soreness, and 10 days of memories… I’d say you’d have a pretty great week. Thanks for reading! Jesse
On October 27th, two girls from Pan de Vida celebrated their 15th birthday. This is an important milestone for Mexican girls and is celebrated with lots of fan fare! There was a special ceremony prepared for the girls as well as a great meal for everyone afterwards. Many people came to be a part of the event and to share this special time with the girls. A big thank-you goes to all those who helped with buying all the special items to make this event so special for the girls. On October 28 to 30, Children of Hope hosted its yearly leadership conference for its missionaries in the state and city of San Luis Potosi. Pastor Eduardo Paulin, director of the Otomi House, led the conference on the topic, “The necessary ministry of the Holy Spirit”. There were three sessions over two days. It was a great time of spiritual up-building for all involved. On November 15th, the Men of Hope team from Winkler, Manitoba visited Pan de Vida. This team of 15 men were busy completing some different projects in the new boys’ dorm. A kitchen was made for the directors, window projections for 31 of the 40 windows were welded together, some clothes cabinets were started, and some tile was laid in the different patios around the Pan de Vida property. Most of the vehicles were also checked by two mechanics on the team. The Men of Hope team had the opportunity to visit the Esperanza para Ti orphanage to pour a 80-square-meter concrete pad for a new pig pen. The team also visited the Otomi house in the mountains close to Queretaro to seal and paint the building, install a new sign and give breakfast and donations to the children. The Pan de Vida orphanage was blessed with a new boys’ dorm. This project was started in July of this year and the projected end date is December 7th. A lubricant company from Switzerland called Sika provided three-quarters of the funding, and a Mexican bank called Banamex provided the remainder. At times there are 23 construction workers building this facility. There are three parts to the facility: a dorm for young and medium-aged boys’ dorm as well as the director’s house in one part; an adolescent boys’ dorm in another part; and the last section is a big kitchen /dining room and TV room. There are plans to build a second storey in the not-so-distant-future, funding permitting.
We had a team of 14 people head down to Queretaro from the 5th to the 15th of July. We arrived on a Friday and first thing Saturday morning we were off to the Casa Otomi for a great day connecting with many children and even a little time for clowning around. Lots of great things happening and we are seeing many lives being changed. This place is up in mountains a good hour out of the city of Queretaro.
We were able to be involved in a number of work projects at two of the children’s homes of Pan de Vida (bread of life) and Esperanza para Ti (hope for you) which involved welding, painting, digging and always some concrete work. Of course always time for getting to know the children.
We were also able able to be part of the inauguration of the new boy’s dorm at Dulce Refugio (sweet refuge) which was very special for the whole team. These buildings are beautiful inside and out.
We even were able to catch the final football game for the Bufalos which is the Pan de Vida mixed football team. Great game that ended tied so they went to sudden death overtime very exciting finish. And a couple of shots just hanging out with the kids. Thanks so much for this team that took of their time and resources to be part of these children’s lives.
On July 13 Dulce Refugio celebrated the inauguration of the boys’ dormitory. Many people came to be a part of this event, including the representative of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City, Ginette Martin. A representative from the State government and social services were also present. Brian Heppner also came to the event. He brought a team that was visiting the Pan de Vida orphanage in Queretaro to visit Dulce Refugio and to share a few words in the event and cut the ribbon. A local university called UVM, Mexican Valley university, made 1200 appetizers for the event as well. We give thanks to God for letting this event happen by seeing the completion of the boys’ dormitory. Thanks to all who helped financially support this project over the years as well as to those who physically came down to make concrete and bend rebar!! We couldn’t have done it without you. THANK YOU
Sorry for the late posting. We had a team of 12 people from Southern Ontario serving at our orphanages in Queretaro. They were able to accomplish numerous projects with painting, concrete work, building shelving units as well as connect with the children. Thanks so much team for your support and willingness to serve in central Mexico we hope to see you back next year. We have been so blessed with the team we receive each year from Southern Ontario.
The Men of Hope team (15 men)returned after a very successful trip to Queretaro. They stayed at Pan de Vida and were able to accomplish many projects but most importantly they connected with the children of Pan de Vida. They were able to minister to the Otomi an indigenous group up in the mountains about an hour and a half away from the orphanage. Also they spent a day at Esperanza para Ti another orphanage and worked there for a day and bonded with the children. Also they spent some time at the boys and girls transition houses to do some repairs. Children of Hope is so thankful to these men and the families they left behind to help out at these ministries. Their servant attitudes and lots of energy they did some amazing things. We thank God for each of them. I have included a few pictures highlighting projects and activities.