Jazmin Premed Exam Update

I know everyone is eager to know what is going on with Jazmin and the exam she was scheduled to take on July 2.

Jazmin and her advisors have decided to postpone the premed exam until July 2016 to give her more time for extensive preparation for the exam.

Please continue to pray for Jazmin. She will do her preparation at La Familia.

    Bill Lee

Downers Grove, IL Mission Team Visits La Familia

A team of 13 missioners from Saint Andrews Episcopal Church visited La Familia in mid June. The team made up of half youth and half adults got a lot accomplished in between highly competitive soccer, volley ball and basketball games with the children of La Familia.

Several projects were completed during this visit:

Everything on the kitchen shelves and the storage above the shelves was completely removed for cleaning.

Tables covered with "stuff"
Tables covered with “stuff”

While the shelves were empty, the youth on the trip painted them while the adults painted the walls surrounding the shelves.

L to R: Harry, Charlie and Mark
L to R: Harry, Charlie and Mark

One missioner in particular — Mark Spitalli — with bucket of concrete in hand, roamed all over the house and outside the house looking for sections of concrete that needed repair.

Mike Spitalli making repairs to the concrete wall
Mike Spitalli making repairs to the concrete wall

The area where the garbage is kept had become full of scraps of wood from the construction of the main home, so three of the missioners — Steve DePeder, Mike Maher and Mike Spitalli — built a huge bonfire behind some old concrete block and burned the debris.

L to R: Ben, Nathan, Harry, Mike, Steve
L to R: Ben, Nathan, Harry, Mike, Steve

A member of the Saint Andrews’ team — Mary Jane Haley — is a professional story teller. In her normal workweek, Mary Jane travels to schools in the midwest telling stories. Below is a photograph of her telling the Three Little Pigs nursery rhyme to the children of La Familia.

Mary Jane Haley telling Three Little Pigs story
Mary Jane Haley telling Three Little Pigs story

Because virtually everything the children eat at La Familia is fresh, there is a huge need for missioners to help out with the chopping of vegetables. See below a photo of some of our missioners — Vera Martin, Mary Jane Haley and Jordan DePeder — helping out with the chopping.

L to R: Vera, Mary Jane and Jordan chopping vegetables
L to R: Vera, Mary Jane and Jordan chopping vegetables

On our final night at La Familia, the children put on a show for us and afterward posed with the mission team for a group photograph.

Group Photo
Group Photo

Donation Request for Second Floor Windows and Doors

Some of you may have seen Silvia’s Facebook post that a storm with heavy winds blew through the Quecholac community and blew out the temporary (plastic) covering that the directors had used to cover the window openings until we could raise the funds to purchase permanent windows.
So now we need to see what we can do to raise the funds necessary to completely finish the second floor.

Here are the prices (US Funds) we have received from the window and door manufacturer:

  • Large Windows – $275 each or $3,850 grand total for all 14 Large Windows La Familia needs.
  • Small Windows – $93 each or $372 grand total for all 4 Small Windows La Familia needs.
  • Doors – $422 each or $2,954 for all 7 doors La Familia needs.
  • Large French Doors for the balcony – $607 each or $1,214 for the two French Doors La Familia needs.

Please send your donations to:

    Embrace the Dream Foundation, Inc.
    PO Box 5558
    Greenville, SC 29606

Please also indicate which product — Large Windows, Small Windows, Doors, French Doors — your want your donation to purchase.
Thank you very much,

    Bill Lee
    Embrace the Dream Foundation, Inc.

Sumter Team Spends Their 2015 Spring Break at La Familia

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.

Carolinas Team Visits La Familia

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