Personal Items Needed for the Children of La Familia

Letter to La Familia Mission Team Leaders
from Bill Lee
Embrace the Dream Foundation
Greenville, SC

We are working diligently to improve communications between Juan Francisco and Silvia, the La Familia directors, and the mission team leaders who visit Casa Hogar La Familia.

The purpose of this letter is to discuss one of the needs the directors have that we can satisfy without too much trouble and expense to any of us if we all work together to coordinate what we take down when we visit the home.

One of our mission team leaders visited La Familia a couple of weeks ago and learned that there were some items that we have an excess supply of at La Familia and other items that are in short supply.

First Aid Kits

There is an ample supply of first aid kits — over one hundred — that some mission teams use to set up first aid stations and supply these kits to the local residents who live near the vegetable fields that are located behind the casa Hogar. Please do not take any more first aid kits until we advise otherwise.

Personal Items for the Children

We badly need a supply of personal items for the children to use so the purchase of these items doesn’t continue to eat into the home’s grocery budget.

The mission team leader who brought back this information suggests that each team member take a LARGE Ziplock bag and fill it up with the following:

Toothbrush Shampoo Razors Cough Syrup
Toothpaste Deodorant Neosporin Athlete’s Foot Medicine
Bar of Soap Hair Bands for Girls Band-Aids Body Wash

We believe by following this suggestion Silvia can free up money for larger purchases of food and household supplies. Thank you in advance for your help.

Casa Hogar La Familia welcomes EIGHT new children!

I received a telephone call from Silvia yesterday. She wanted to tell me that as of this week, La Familia welcomed EIGHT new children to the Casa Hogar.

  • Leonardo is 12 years old and from Quecholac. (Arrived on Sunday, February 5)
  • Karla is 11 years old and from Zinacatepec (very close to Quecholac).
  • Kamila is 3 years old.
  • Keyla Alejandra is ten months old.
    (All three girls arrived on Thursday, February 9)

In addition, they have two new children arriving this weekend from a small town near Quecholac.

And finally, they have two more new children arriving this weekend from a different small town nearby.

On Tuesday, February 28, I will be leading a mission team to La Familia from the Federated Church in Kingfisher, OK. I will be sure to get photographs of the new children and make sure I have the correct names to go along with the photographs.

Bill Lee

We Will Know In the Morning

Lighthouse Fellowship
Fort Worth, TX

We have just returned from a trip to Casa Hogar La Familia. What I forgot, is that God works in all situations.

We volunteered at the school to clean the classroom and eat lunch with the students. Some of the differences between The United States and Mexico became evident at the school. Instead of 22 students per class, this class had 48 students. No regulations to keep ratios in check. We carefully made 60 sandwiches of bread, mayo, ham, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos. Yes jalapenos! We packed up our lunches, cleaning supplies and headed to the school.

The students went to recess while we took everything out of the classroom and cleaned. We scrubbed the walls, floors, windows and desks. We swept the walkway in front of the class and picked up trash. The students came back and we passed out sandwiches and chips. The kids never asked what was in the sandwich or even looked inside. They were thankful and ate their lunch. The kids had an opportunity to ask us questions and we asked them questions. The kids wanted to know how long did it take for us to travel from Texas to Mexico, how old we are and what did we do for jobs. We asked about their most and least favorite subjects in school. All students agreed that math is the favorite and history is the least. I will admit that I was surprised by their answer.

I was also surprised by how interested the children were in our lives and their well wishes for us. It was truly humbling. For us, we were just doing what we do. It wasn’t a big deal really. It wasn’t hard work. We had plenty of money to buy what we needed, we had the time and we had the human power to do the work. For the children, it was a big deal. We showed up. We spent an entire day to travel to Mexico. We spent time at the store buying supplies for lunch, making the lunches and then working at the school. It would be easy to dismiss our work. It meant something to those students to have us there.

Our trip was a powerful reminder of the power of presence. We spent time playing with the kids. We worked on craft projects, played games, and ate with the children. We learned about their stories. At the dinner table the children shared stories about their lives. Several of the children have siblings, either living in the home or elsewhere. Some of the children have parents or grandparents they have contact with even if it is form time to time. One young lady, 15 years old, told Martie that her mother was dead and that she was alone. Martie told her that she was not true. Martie said “You’re not alone, I am here”. You are not alone. I am here.

We came up with a theme statement for our trip. One has to be careful what one consumes when in Mexico. So whenever we would eat or drink something the question of safety would come up. Doug said in response “We will know in the morning.” That became our motto. Fortunately, in this sense, all was well on this trip. There are some things we can know. And there are some things we will never know. God does not intend for us to know the outcome of everything we do. Did our presence make an impact at the school? Did we show them Christ when cleaned their desks? Will one of the children remember that we played water balloon volleyball with them and laugh at the memory? Did Martie’s words change how that young lady felt about her world? Was she able to sense a deeper meaning in Martie’s words? Not only did she have Martie’s love, she also has God’s love. Will we ever know?

Faith calls us to step out in action not knowing what the results will be. We cannot be consumed with the “results”. God is in charge of the results. It is not up to us to change hearts but it is up to us to show up and do the work God has called us to do. So we go, trusting in God in the process. A big group or small, hard labor or fun and games, God is at work. So maybe we will know in the morning and maybe not. Either way we will go to love and serve close to home and across the borders.

If you get a chance, ask one of the team about our secret handshake.

Four New Children at La Familia

We have four new children at Casa Hogar La Familia:

Marcela Utrera Lagunes is 15 years of age. She is from Veracruz. Her mom was kidnapped and disappeared. Her father is an alcoholic and takes no responsibility for his children. She has been living with her grandparents, but they are elderly and they asked the Casa Hogar for help.

Isaac Damian Jimenez Lozano is 15 years of age. He was born in California, but brought back to Mexico when he was four. His mom asked the Casa Hogar for support due to their economic situation.

Karen (I do not know her full name) is 18 years of age and is a single mom. She is the mother of an adorable little one month old baby named Adaza. Karen was living in a difficult family situation and asked the Casa Hogar for help for econoic reasons. She also asked for spiritual guidance.

News about Cintya and Omar

Since Cintya and Omar left their positions as volunteers at Casa Hogar, they have been living with Omar’s parents. However, they have been accepted as trainees in a small town a few miles outside Colima, but in the town of Esperanza in the State of Jalisco. Once they are trained, it is their wish to move into a casa hogar that realy needs them to become its directors.

Damaly and Chuy have selected April 15, 2017 as their Wedding Day

Mexico Mission Team 2016 ~ Backpacks & More!

The Cornerstone Church mission team had a terrific experience at La Familia in late June. Ms. Gina’s Crochet Club was a major success; the kids were tied up for hours making small satchel soap savers, friendship bracelets, and crosses. The boys especially took to hand-made crafts.

Ms. Gina with Josue, Juan Manuel, and Rodolpho
Ms. Gina with Josue, Juan Manuel, and Rodolpho.

Rodolpho, Chris, Jonathan, and Renato.
Rodolpho, Chris, Jonathan, and Renato.

We purchased new school backpacks, splashed a day at the local water park, played lots of volleyball, and Connect4. We also raised enough money to help purchase new wiring for the church sound system.


Juan Francisco & Silvia, and volunteer Judy shopping at Sam’s Club for backpacks...
Juan Francisco & Silvia, and volunteer Judy shopping at Sam’s Club for backpacks…

Two very important projects were accomplished during our visit. The first project, we assisted a volunteer from Texas, Ms. Cathleen, with English lessons. The younger children met for an hour and created their own visual English/Spanish dictionaries by cutting out pictures and pasting into their very own English notebooks. The older children met for about 1 ½ hours and had a very informative lesson in problem solving, again scribing English words in their notebooks.

Renato looking up words in the English/Spanish dictionary.
Renato looking up words in the English/Spanish dictionary.

Abi searching for just the right word.
Abi searching for just the right word.

Our second project took us to Monica’s Kindergarten class in Quecholac. The children greeted us with a song and many smiles, then were dismissed for a recess. While the women (Cornerstone team and Siliva & Mayho) cleaned the classroom from top to bottom (yes, we did windows!), Chucho & the older boys gave some of the playground equipment a fresh, bright new coat of paint. As the parents gathered to take their children home, we presented them with a hygiene/first aid kit including bandaids, sport tape, antifungal cream, bar of soap, alcohol swabs, (a great big THANK YOU to CVS Pharmacy for giving us a major discount on these items), and toothbrush & toothpaste (another call-out to Dr. Adam Salzberg of Fishersville, VA for his generous donation), and some bubblegum and lollipops.


Oh, and we made sure that Silvia had a Girls Night in Tecamachalco ~ we miss you already, dear friend!

Team Cornerstone is Abigail, Gina, Violet, Judy, Leah, and Jillian.
Team Cornerstone is Abigail, Gina, Violet, Judy, Leah, and Jillian.