L to R Violeta (13), Aldo (10) and Naeroby (9)

L to R Violeta (13), Aldo (10) and Naeroby (9)


Valeria (3)

Valeria (3)


L to R Monica (16) and Andrea (18)

L to R Monica (16) and Andrea (18)


Cristofer Emmanuel (2)

Cristofer Emmanuel (2)


Cristian (9)

Cristian (9)


Luz (7 mos)

Luz (7 mos)


After being away for several years, we are so happy to have Erik back at La Familia.  We missed him.

After being away for several years, we are so happy to have Erik back at La Familia. We missed him.

 

Marshall Sansbury led a team from Fort Worth to the Casa Hogar during the first week of November. Then four other missioners Bill Lee and Robbie Hamilton from Church of the Redeemer in Greenville, SC along with Rex and Lensie Fensler from New Haven (IN) UMC spent the following week there. We not only did maintenance on the vehicles and bicycles, but also got to know the eight new children who arrived at La Familia since were last there.

Children of Casa Hogar La Familia

Children of Casa Hogar La Familia


Vehicle Repairs

Rex Fensler working on pickup truck

Rex Fensler working on pickup truck

Robbie changing oil filter

Robbie changing oil filter

Both Robbie and Rex have excellent mechanical skills, so they made a great team. They changed the oil, the oil filters and the air filters on the two 15-passenger vans as well as on the small pickup truck. They also replaced all of the bulbs on the brake and parking lights. In addition, they replaced a part to reduce the noise and improve the safety of the steering system on the white van.

Then Robbie went to work on the old bicycles that were piled up in the bodega. He robbed parts from the older bicycles to use to repair others. After he finished, there were eight bicycles that were in good enough condition to ride.

Silvia and Lensie Shopping for Girls

Silvia and Lensie Shopping for Girls


Lensie brought enough “tote bags” for each child and filled each with all sorts of treats. She and Silvia also went into Tecamachalco and Puebla to do some clothes shopping for the children.

On the last morning of our visit, two members of the church Solomon and his wife, Gris invited all of us to come to their beautiful Palmarito home for breakfast. Solomon is manufacturing the basketball goals and soccer goals for the Casa Hogar.

Below are photographs of both the soccer and the basketball goals.
New Soccer Goals

New Soccer Goals

New Basketball Goals

New Basketball Goals


The soccer goals will be positioned on the soccer field beside the home and the basketball goals will be positioned on the basketball court that is being poured this week between the entrance into the home and the front wall.

Dormitories Reconfigured

A friend of the Casa Hogar has donated enough money to complete the second floor. But before construction can begin it is necessary for us to reconfigure the dormitories to comply with new Mexican Government regulations that reduced the number of children allowed in one dorm room from 12 down to nine.
The new drawings have been completed which will allow the worship services to relocate to the second floor and increase the capacity for worshipers from around 120 to approximately 300.

Second Floor Open Space

Second Floor Open Space

Pizza Dinner

On the last night of our visit we ordered pizza for all of the children, watched the children present some excellent entertainment, said our good-byes and drove back to our hotel in Tecamachalco to pack our bags and get ready to leave the next morning.

Our thanks to the directors and volunteers for all of their excellent hospitality during our 10 days in Mexico.

 

For the second year in a row, a large team of 17 will spend Easter with the children of La Familia. I am blessed to be able to lead this team made up primarily of three families and their children.

Juan Francisco and Silvia have assigned this team the project of building out the closets in one of the two rooms that have recently been constructed on the second floor. Since two of our volunteers, Omar and Cynthia, are getting married on Saturday, April 6, their one-room apartment will receive top priority from the Sumter Team. In addition to working on the closets, the Sumter Team has also funded professional quality metal goals (along with nets brought from the US) and the smoothing of the field next door to La Familia’s main building that will give the children of La Familia a world-class “fútbol” field.

In Mexico there are actually two different wedding ceremonies and the Sumter Team has been invited to not only attend Omar’s and Cynthia’s civil ceremony that will be held on Tuesday, April 2, but also a dinner that will be held in the newly married couple’s honor at the home of Don Sergio and Agostina, Omar’s parents who live in Palmarito just a couple of miles from La Familia.

“Papa Joe” Memorial Bench

Silvia has set aside a special place in her garden next to the side wall of the front yard to place a “Papa Joe” Lupo Memorial Bench. Joe Lupo served as a member of eight different mission teams that visited La Familia and actually spent several weeks serving as a volunteer at the home. It was during his time as a volunteer that “Papa Joe” introduced the children to what is now their favorite American meal: crunchy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or crema de cacahuete kronche y mermelada.

The large custom constructed bench will be made of concrete and will given to La Familia by Joe’s wife, Betty. When the Redeemer Mission Team visits La Familia in June of this year, the “Papa Joe” Lupo Memorial Bench will be dedicated by Juan Francisco and Scott Anderson, rector of Church of the Redeemer, Joe’s home church in Greenville, SC.

Our thanks go to each of our donors whose generosity has made the build out of the second floor possible. Anyone wishing to donate to La Familia should send their checks made payable to Embrace the Dream Foundation, Inc., PO Box 5558, Greenville, SC 29606.

Bill Lee
President
Embrace the Dream Foundation, Inc.

 

This winter, the weather has been sunny and warm with few clouds in the sky at Casa Hogar La Familia. The children had a fabulous Christmas and are now back in school for the winter term.

Last week, Bill Campbell, MD and his wife, Diane, from Greenville, SC, visited La Familia and completed physical examinations on all of the children, directors and volunteers. Except for some minor exceptions, all of the children are in excellent health.

Jasmin has an appointment this month to visit an orthodontist to get her braces installed — the braces are 15th birthday gift from a missioner.

In March, Casandra and Alicia will be honored with a joint quinceañera that is a gift from a missioner from California.

The City of Palmarito has announced that at the end of February 2013 construction will begin on a small hospital on the property in front of the main building at La Familia. The directors are excited about this news. It will give La Familia a good neighbor and a convenient place for the children when they need medical attention.

Plans have been finalized for Omar’s and Cintya’s wedding that will take place in April. There will actually be two weddings: a civil ceremony that will take place at 4:00 PM in Quecholac on Tuesday, April 2 and a religious ceremony that will take place in the living room at La Familia on Saturday, April 6 at 5:00 PM.

Omar and Cintya will make their home in one of the new one-room apartments on the second floor in the main building at La Familia. The three remaining volunteers: Ana Karina, Mayo and Muriel will occupy the other room that is currently under construction.

A 16-person mission team from Sumter, SC will build out the closets in both of these rooms as their project during their visit in late March and early April. This team has also asked permission to pay to bring in a piece of equipment to level the soccer field out beside the home and install new goals and nets.

Isabel is progressing nicely in hairdresser school and is scheduled to graduate in December of this year. Her son, Josue, is scheduled to begin first grade this fall in Quecholac (How time flies).

In a few weeks, Juan Francisco and Silvia will be traveling to the Baja of California for a well deserved and much-needed few days of relaxation as the guest of a missioner from Texas. Muriel will be joining them and will serve as translator.

Alfredo and his family made the decision for him to leave La Familia join his mom in her new home in Acatzingo. She had been living in Nevada for some 15 years before returning to Mexico in 2012. I have known Alfredo for 14 years and will certainly miss seeing him when I visit La Familia, but I also wish him the best of luck as he moves into the next chapter in his life.

Be sure to visit the EmbracetheDream.com website from time to time to see new photographs of the children.

Please keep the directors, volunteers and children of La Familia in your daily prayers.

Please send donations to Embrace the Dream Foundation, PO Box 5558, Greenville, SC 29606.

 
Peeking Sheep

Peeking Sheep

Baa Baa
Baa Baa