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.
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.
Birth Dates for the Children of Casa Hogar La Familia
Name of Child Birthday
Abigail Glez. Barrientos September 27
Isabel Urbina González June 8
Fernanda Urbina González July 5
Alicia Urbina González March 18
Jazmín Urbina González December 24
Juan Carlos Urbina González September 29
Brisa Cassandra Jiménez C. June 27
Damaly Hernández García June 10
Aleksei Z. Hernández Arias October 15
Daniel A. Hernández Arias December 28
Dulce Angélica Jiménez C. June 27
Arturo Jiménez C. May 15
José Alfredo Jiménez C. May 16
Cintya López Muñoz January 10
America Jiménez García January 10
Elizabeth Jiménez Garcia March 22
Dylan Luna Ortega February 25
Brandon Luna Ortega August 20
Rodolfo Flores Rosas September 26
Juan Miguel Monterrosas September 29
Cintya Lopez Muñoz January 10
Surisadai Cebad Soto August 9
Eduardo Cebada Soto April 12
Juan Miguel Castellanos Berrientos December 31
Josué Glez. Berrientos September 14
Sarai Glez Barrientos June 28
Abigail Glez. Barrientos September 27
Cristofer A. Glez. Berrientos March 29
Jonathan Yael August 12
Cristian Alexander February 12
Yoana Margarita February 4, 1999
Cristina Guadalupe May 2, 1997
Joe Lupo, a member of my church and at one time a volunteer at the home, will long be remembered by the children of Casa Hogar La Familia. And this past week, the children were able to meet for the first time Joe’s wife, Betty and renew their relationship with Joe’s grandson, 17-year-old, Cullen Walker. Betty practically received celebrity status because of the children’s close relationship with her recently deceased husband, Joe.
A team of eight missioners joined in to give the living room of the new home its first coat of paint. The walls badly needed painting since the “sala” is used constantly for dining, study, worship and just hanging out. Director Silvia seemed very happy with the work the team did.
And thanks to a team from Fishersville UMC, two soon-to-be occupied rooms upstairs were painted two weeks ago.
Visitors can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel when walking up the stairs to the second floor. One of the first two upstairs rooms to be occupied will house the female volunteers and the other will be occupied by a couple who will be married at the home on April 6, 2013. The soon-to-be married couple — Omar and Cintya — recently began their engagement.
Thanks to a gift from Acton UMC in Fort Worth, we believe we have enough capital to complete construction of these two rooms.
We have two very good reasons for wanting to complete the second floor: the first is to give us space to accommodate more children and the second is to bring us into compliance with Mexican Law. We have more children housed in the dormitories downstairs than code permits, so we are receiving pressure to get into compliance as soon as we possibly can.
As you can see from the partially completed second floor, we will have much more room to conduct worship services on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. Right now, Pastor Juan Francisco often has standing room only in the much smaller living room on the first floor.
It’s my pleasure to introduce a new volunteer who joined the La Familia staff this month. Her name is Mayo and comes to La Familia from Colima. She has made a one-year commitment to service at the home. This photograph was taken during my visit to La Familia this past week.
Now, meet our newest resident at La Familia. Her name is Yoana. She is 13 years of age and is originally from the city and State of Colima, located in Southwestern Mexico about three hours south of Guadalajara.
And here is a brand new photograph of the children of La Familia along with the volunteers and the directors.
Each summer, the children of Casa Hogar La Familia travel to the City of Colima in the State of Colima, which is about an hour’s drive to the Pacific Ocean. Colima is where Juan Francisco and Silvia are originally from and where they began their ministry.
Courtesy of Alexi, we have some photographs of several of the children enjoying a rare visit to the Pacific Ocean. Please click on the following link to see the photographs: