Eighteen members of the Sumter (South Carolina) Mission Team returned to La Familia for the third year in a row. The visit was made up of some mammoth volley ball and soccer games, Dr. Andy gave all of the children physicals, Dr. Andy and Dr. Bert stepped out of their fields a few steps to examine all of the children’s teeth while the women and children led the children in a series of crafts and board games.

The children’s teeth are in excellent condition. Only four cavities were identified. The physical examinations confirmed that the children are healthy with no serious illnesses.

During their visit, the team bought 12 kilograms of steak for lunch on Sunday. Add a large salad and a bowl of brown beans for an outstanding meal following worship services on Sunday. After which came the athletic competition. The addition of the court in the front of the home has to be some of the best money ever spent at La Familia.

One of the missioners brought along a bag of potting soil and taught the children how to plant plants in a styrofoam cup, water them and watch them grow.

Another created a chocolate pudding concoction with cookies that the children could make themselves. Another table offered fingernail polish for the girls to paint their nails.

The casa hogar also benefitted from a new Jumbo Sequence Game that the missioners donated to the casa and several new decks of playing cards that will get a lot of use for weeks to come.

 

Departing Charlotte, NC on Thursday, February 5 and returning to Charlotte on Thursday, February 12, a corporate team from Charlotte teamed with a Church of the Redeemer team from Greenville, SC. The main project for the week was building a wall to wall and floor to ceiling set of “cubbies” for the new girls dorm room in the recently completely second floor. As soon as these dorm rooms have been completed, all of the girls will be moved to the second floor and all of the boys will sleep on the first floor.
 
cubby holes 

The ladies on the team also put the finishing touches on the “cubbies” that were built by the Fishersville, VA team in December of this past year. The girls of La Familia decorated their own “cubbies” with photographs and stenciled letters.
 
finished cubbies 

All that remains to be done before the second floor is ready to be occupied is to install the windows and doors. We are currently estimating how much each window and each door will cost so we can ask for donations to complete this project.

The smartest decision the team made was to have all of the wood precut at the lumberyard and each of the pieces were pre-painted before they were installed. This decision made the entire job progress much faster.
 
painting project 

The team also changed the oil and filters on three La Familia vehicles: the new white van, the old gray van and the blue pickup truck.

Be sure to go to the EmbraceTheDream.com site to see the new photographs of the children. Under the tab “Meet the Children” you’ll see each of the families that make up Casa Hogar La Familia. Below is a group photograph:
 
children of la familia 

Ana Karina is back at La Familia. She joins Mayo, Damaly, Raquel, Omar and Cintya as a volunteer.
 
directors and staff 

Now that the Grupo Amor worship service has been moved to the second floor, there is enough space for approximately 220 worshippers.
 
Sunday Worship

 

We are extremely pleased to announce that Juan Francisco and Silvia had a safe bus ride from Tecamachalco up to the border where they picked up the new 15-passenger van delivered by Marshall Sansbury of Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Fort Worth.
 
van interior
van profile
As you can see from the photographs the van is in excellent condition both inside and out. While we paid more for this van than we had budgeted, we believe we now have transportation that will be both comfortable and reliable for mission teams to use when they visit La Familia.
 
Our thanks to Marshall Sansbury for the countless hours he invested in locating the new van, having it checked out mechanically and then driving it down to Laredo to cross the border.

 

I just received an announcement from Silvia and Juan Francisco that this past Sunday, November 16 the first worship service was held in the large living room on the new second floor space we just completed. This is a joyful time at Casa Hogar La Familia. Our thanks to everyone who made donations and gave of their time and talent to this project.
 
worship-space
worship-floor

 

I know everyone who has ever participated in a mission trip to Casa Hogar La Familia will be thrilled to learn that we finally located and have purchased a new (used) 15-passenger van for mission teams to use for transportation during their visits to La Familia. It is a 2007 Ford E-350 with 86,000 miles on it, but it is extra clean and extra nice. It has been checked out by a Fort Worth mechanic and the van got good marks for its condition.

 

The next step is to get the van across the border, purchase Mexican license plate and decals and get the van to La Familia. We budgeted a trip via bus for someone to travel from Tecamachalco to Nuevo Laredo to pick up the van. At this point, it appears that Juan Francisco will make the long trip to the border to pick up the van and drive it back.

 

Our thanks to Marshall Sansbury of Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Fort Worth for the many hours of hard work he invested to locate and purchase the new van.