August Newsletter

I had a real treat in July, I was given the opportunity to escort Juan Francisco and Silvia on a short visit to the USA. Although they had a lot going on at La Familia, they accepted an invitation to sing at the wedding of one of our donors and veteran missioners who lives just outside Chicago in Downers Grove, IL.

Juan Francisco and Silvia at wedding in Downers Grove, IL

En route to Illinois, they stopped off in Fort Worth, TX to appear at a fundraiser at Lighthouse United Methodist Church. During the normal time Lighthouse would have held their worship service, the pastor interviewed Juan Francisco and Silvia with questions about their work with the children of La Familia. Marshall Sansbury, one of my mentors in the mission field, also shared with the audience his experiences working in the La Familia ministry.

Bill Lee with Juan Francisco, Silvia, Marshall Sansbury and his wife Dottie at their home in Fort Worth, TX

The fundraiser was a tremendous success in that over $30,000 was donated.

Next, my fellow missioners, Brian and Liz Walter, from The Federated Church in Kingfisher, OK, met us in Branson, MO to give Juan Francisco and Silvia a few days of R&R. These two servants in the Lord’s work serve the children of La Familia 24/7 and we felt that they could use some “down time” enjoying the entertainment provided in Branson.

Juan Francisco and Silvia with Brian and Liz Walter at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO

The highlight of the time we spent in Branson was attending the JESUS SHOW, a stage production put on by Sight and Sound at their theater in Branson. I highly recommend it. The play was made up of the highlights of Jesus’ life and the production included not only two story tall props, but live animals that had been trained to exit the stage through the audience. Seeing camels, sheep, goats, etc. live on stage was remarkable. I could go on and on.

The JESUS SHOW is available on DVD from Amazon for $11.99 with free shipping. Target and Google also offer the DVD of the JESUS SHOW. This is terrific for showing at your church for a special family night.

On Thursday evening, July 15 we arrived on the last leg of our trip in Downers Grove, IL. On Saturday, July 17, Juan Francisco and Silvia sang at a most beautiful wedding and also participated in a fundraiser at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church following the worship service on Sunday.

GREAT NEWS: At La Familia, all of the children are getting ready to return to school.

As you can imagine after ten months with 32 children quarantined in the casa, the staff is exhausted. Through a special fundraiser at one of our donor churches we received enough money to transport eight older girls on the 15-hour bus ride from a casa hogar in Colima to Palmarito to help with the children. It was a win-win because most of the girls had never before traveled that far away from their casa.

University News

Fernanda has moved to Colima and is attending university there.

Jazmin has been offered an opportunity to begin an internship at a hospital in Colima and after two years to accept a job in Puerto Rico working as a nurse in her speciality, which is anesthesiology.

Josué and Rodolfo are moving to the City of Puebla and attending a university there. They will be renting a room in Puebla.

Daniel continues to study at the university in Colima.

I feel sure all of you who have been involved with the children of La Familia are as excited as I am to see our children do well in high school, graduate and excel in a university setting. Please keep these young people in your prayers.

We have been blessed to have had only two cases of Covid in the casa. Pray that we can continue to avoid having to deal with more infected children.


Two mission teams have set firm dates to travel to La Familia in 2022, the first in February and the second in June. The Directors are extremely happy to know that mission teams will soon be returning.

July 2021 Newsletter

Juan Francisco and Silvia Are Presenting a Program

about their ministry at Casa Hogar La Familia at

Lighthouse United Methodist Church in

Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday, July 11.


To Sit in on their Presentation

Click on the Link at the Bottom of this Page

at 9:30 AM Central Time Zone



April Newsletter

A lot has been happening at Casa Hogar La Familia over the past few weeks. The best news is that Juan Francisco’s and Silvia’s son, Aleksei and his fiancé, Johana, were married in April in Colima. A large group representing La Familia made the 12-hour drive to Colima to attend the wedding.

The sad news is that Juan Francisco’s father recently passed away. His health had been failing for sometime. Then in April, Juan Francisco’s mom also passed away. She had moved into the home with her daughter when her husband died. Her health was such that she was unable to live many more weeks. Please keep Juan Francisco and his family in your prayers.

Lighthouse UMC in Fort Worth, a long-time supporter of La Familia, raised the funds to enable the directors and staff to put on a huge “Taco Party” for the children. A professional cook was recruited to bring in his team and prepare the tacos for everyone in the casa.

The children had not had haircuts for several weeks and asked Silvia if she would give them all haircuts so they would be as handsome as possible for the party. Silvia gladly accommodated their request. Karen and her team made the decorations for the party, Damaly and her team made the dessert (Karlotta) and Silvia and her team made the fresh mango drink to go with the meal. Aleksei and Johana, who were at La Familia for a visit, were in charge of preparing all of the games for the children to play.

The party began at 5:00 PM with lots of games. Following the games, the tacos were served followed by homemade ice cream, the Karlottas and the mangonadas. At the end of the evening, the children gave Joan, who celebrated her birthday, birthday cards and also cards of congratulations to Aleksei and Johnna, their newly married brother and sister.

The party ended at midnight and the very tired children were really ready for bed. The children send many thanks to Lighthouse UMC for a delightful evening full of delicious food and great fellowship.

Thanks to Altech, a Mexican-based donor from the town of Ciudad Serdan, the casa has been outfitted with solar panels to help reduce the casa’s cost of electricity. They have an electrician coming to the casa on Saturday, May 1, to complete all of the electrical connections.

In April, also, Jasmin Urbina was finally able to walk across the stage at the University of Colima and receive her diploma that makes her La Familia’s first resident to graduate as a Registered Nurse. Now Jasmin must make one of the biggest decisions of her life: to enter medical school or stick with nursing.

We pray that we will soon feel safe traveling to Mexico to participate in mission trips to serve our friends at La Familia and the Quecholac / Palmarito communities.

On behalf of Embrace the Dream Foundation, we cannot thank each of you enough for your unselfish commitment to this casa hogar and these children. Were it not for you, 33 children would miss the love and opportunity they each receive at La Familia.

With the pandemic forcing 33 children to attempt to attend classes via the Internet, the death of Juan Francisco’s parents, Juan Francisco actually contracting the virus himself and Aleksie’s and Johana’s wedding taking place in Colima, it has just not been possible to synch all of the photos with the newsletter, so we are sending the newsletter and the photographs separately.

It is my hope that all of you will be able to figure it all out.

Embrace the Dream Foundation
Bill Lee, President

January Newsletter

On Thursday, December 17, Silvia and Juan Francisco returned to the casa from Colima where they attended the funeral of Juan Francisco’s father. They also packed up and cleaned out Juan Francisco’s mom’s and dad’s home and moved his mom into the home of Esther (Juan Francisco’s younger sister) where she can receive care from a family member.

Then came the challenging job of last minute preparations for the children’s Christmas celebration. Silvia was faced with returning to the challenge of going out and purchasing Christmas gifts for each of the children, wrapping close to 100 gifts, decorating the casa for Christmas, while at the same time catching the children up on the virtual learning programs they are taking through the public school system.

Juan Francisco and Silvi welcome three members of the Urbina Family to the Christmas celebration. (L to R) Jazmin, Isabel, and Fernanda

On Friday, December 18, they drove to Tehuacan to pick up donations from Sam’s Club and to do some of the Christmas shopping. On Saturday, December 19, they drove to the City of Puebla for Christmas shopping. And also on Saturday afternoon late, they drove to a nearby market and purchased a pig they will roast for the main Christmas meal.

Then on Sunday, December 20, they led worship services in the morning and they spent all afternoon wrapping most of the children’s gifts.

gifts under the tree
Beautiful gifts under the La Familia Christmas Tree

Silvia said the children were super excited about everything they have planned. Silvia’s sister, Alejandra, brought gifts for the girls and her Uncle Sergio brought all kinds of food (tacos, chalupas, fresh corn, waters flavored with various fruit juices, cotton candy, quesadillas, French fries, etc.). She also said she will send me photos of the festival (which I will pass on to all of you who have signed up to receive our newsletter).

There is a company (Alltech) located in Ciudad Serdan that has always taken a big interest in the children. Alltech also contributed a gift for each child.

Christmas Eve Has Finally Arrived

All of the children helped prepare Christmas Dinner. They began cooking in advance of Christmas because there was so much to prepare for so many people. So when Christmas Eve arrived they were able to concentrate on getting dressed up for their special dinner.

Before dinner, all together they thanked God for the reason for the party, for each of the people who supported them to have such a beautiful Christmas and for each of the blessings that he brought into their lives throughout the year.

Children of La Familia, Directors and Staff, Special Guests

This year they roasted a pig. They hired a young man to make carnitas and chicharrones. The Christmas Dinner menu was shredded leg of pork, loin stuffed with cheeses and almonds, pork and beans, baked potatoes, mixed salad, punch made with different fruits, and for dessert they made brownies with ice cream.

Alucy (Silvia’s sister) and her family brought coffee, cheese, jellies and delicious cookies. Everyone at the casa really enjoyed this time together. They played, they had dinner, they talked a lot, and enjoyed the desserts. PLUS, the children were so excited about their gifts, BUT everyone had to wait to open their gifts until Christmas morning.

La Familia children and staff looking at presents under the La Familia Christmas Tree

Silvia and Juan Francisco were humbled by the money that was donated to replace the love offering they nor the staff received this year because due to the pandemic, there was only one team that was able to visit. They thank everyone from the bottom of their hearts.

I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and thank you for the continued support you provide for the children or Casa Hogar La Familia.

Juan Francisco and Silvia at Christmas and New Year celebration