Sorry for the delay in getting a May report out. Our internet here is from a satelite system and for about 10 days - it was out of commission.
May started and ended with the "Oriente" project. The good news is that the end of May was also the virtual end of the construction phase of this project. The building still needs a few finishing touches but, by the end of this week we should be up and running. We look to be in full operation as soon as June 16th.
May also represented a chance for Terri and I to get a couple of days off to go to the states to enjoy the graduation of our children from Harding and to spend a week with our little grandaughter - the rest was great and a blessing.
We were back here on the 18th and our AIM'ers arrived on the 20th. Our first TORCH Team of the year arrived on the 31st and we were with them most of the time for the past week. The week with the team from Topeka was wonderful. There were 19 and all of them were first time TORCH Missionaries. This little group was able to build 4 houses and a church building, they fed more than 350 families and another 150 or so at the dump, they gave clothes to 100's of people at Los Pinos, they visited kids in hospitals and in the school for the blind, and they touched the lives of just about everyone that they came into contact with. Did I mention that they finished a block church building in the week!
Our work here continues to be exciting and fulfilling. There are also times that we struggle with why some things happen and then we reflect on how much our God has blessed us and our work. In May, we the first 5 boys that came to live with us were returned to their mom and dad. Yovani, Marvin, Mario, Francisco, and Antonio had lived here almost 2 years and we were able to see them grow, learn, and develop. They came here because their dad was in prison and their mom was unable to feed them. She took them to a place where they were cared for and they were assigned to our care. When we got the call that our little men were going home, we were sad and fearful - the simple fact is, their family loves them and they will be loved. It was our job to rescue when they needed to be rescued and to plant seeds that well always be with them.
Since the boys left, we have taken on a 6 year old boy named Johnny and an 11 year old named Doris. We are hopeful that in the coming days there will be 4 more little girls here. It looks like we will get to be home for a 3 and 5 year old sisters and another pair of sisters that are 5 and 8.
We have also started working toward having house parents as the primary care givers to our children. The first set of house parents will be starting their training this week and will be spending 60 to 90 days getting to know the kids and learning about their needs. After the initial period, they will move onto our campus.
The church here in Santa Ana is continuing to grow. Dorian is a tireless worker and he leads many classes and bible studies throughout the week.
June and July will be a challenge as we will be surrounded by the TORCH teams as well as living with 6 AIM team members and 3 TORCH interns. These young people are a great group of people and we are blessed to have them with us.
Once again, Terri and I want to thank all of our friends, families and brothers in Jesus. Every day you prove your faith over and over again. We are able to get a lot done because you support us, encourage us, and lift us up before our great and awesome God.