- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: July 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jody and I head for Guatemala next week. The building is on hold until he can get down there and check to make sure all the plumbing and electrical systems are where they are supposed to be. We have been super busy here in the states. We married off child number 7 yesterday. Only 11 more to go. All my kids, their spouses and my grandkids were there and we got some awesome pictures.
Back to Guate. We are anxious to finish the new building for the children and have them move in as soon as the school year is over in October. They will have so much more room to play and be outside. Our next big project will be to raise the money to build the next building as it is desperately needed for space and kitchen and dining and volunteer rooms and staff rooms and classrooms. Our gardens are going with beans and potatoes and corn. We need to plant more as the food shortages all over the world scare me. I want to get chickens and more goats and pigs and maybe a cow out there as well as more fruits and veggies. We are having tremendous help from volunteers. Here is a quote from the leader of one of the groups that just got back.
"The volunteers there were helpful and pleasant and we were so glad to get to know them. We loved Tracey. What a marvelous girl. She has such a big heart and loves the children. I'm sure you are extremely anxious to get the kids out to the new site so there is more room both inside and out. Everyone wanted to be able to meet you and tell you and Jodi how they admire you for all your work and the heart-felt commitment you have to the children. Pedro was absolutely wonderful in helping us and being available for us.
Here's how our projects went:
Loren and his group made benches (I don't know how many), 5 kitchen tables, 4 study tables, 4 units of cubbies and shelves for the whole bodega.
Concerns: I was told there is a lot of wood left over but you should be able to put to good use. One of the tables buckled a little on top because it didn't have time to completely dry after the resin was put on so Jodi or Pedro will want to glue that down.
Kathy Bartlett and her group at the bodega pulled out everything, went through every item that was there on the shelves and in the suitcases. They sorted everything and put it all on the shelves that Loren built which they labeled by size and gender. They also bought additional plastic containers for the small items.
Rocking the babies was something we all enjoyed although the workers were upset that we were changing their routine and the routine of the babies. However, since you had told us to rock, we rocked. We also did activities and played with the older ones. They are all so dear. (I'm sure that's not true all the time -- no child is, but we loved them.)
Concerns: We need more $ to hire workers who will just rock, play with and nurture the children. Also, of course, more space which should be taken care of shortly. One of the women suggested that you inquire about a trained pre-school teacher to train the workers who will be working with the children and then stay there for a couple of months to get them going.
Planting the potatoes was accomplished without any difficulties and done in just a few hours.
Building the new orphanage seems to be coming along. Dave Anderson and his group did all they could with what Diego gave them to do. They built a retaining wall in front of the porch and perhaps a couple of other little jobs."
This group and what they did means so much to us. Not only for the help they provided, but the emotional support they give to us and the children. Things get very discouraging from time to time and we need the energy of others.
We receive two new children on Monday. They were in the adoption process and in a big fancy adoption orphanage, but were moved somewhere esle when they was a question about the birthmother. Now they are being moved to us. NEW ADOPTIONS ARE AT A STAND STILL SO NONE OF THE CHILRDEN IN OUR ORPHANAGE CAN BE ADOPTED AT THIS TIME. This is true all over the country. It makes it really hard. Alot of the orphanages have closed because of no adoption money to keep them running. Thankfully that is not what funds us. Anyway the two new ones are 2 and 3; a brother and sister. We are full except for a couple of more baby beds.
Noah, our precious 5 month old at the orphanage, goes to court Aug. 5 to see whether he stays with us. My 14 year old here at home just cried and cried at the possibility that he might go somewhere esle. It is hard to make kids understand that the government rules, we just pay the expenses and love them while they are there.
Well my last point is money. We need it to build the next building. I have gotten a $11,500 donation since I have been home and that will start the new building fund. I also have a donor who will match any money donated up to $10,000.00. So please give what you can. We had a little girl request money for the orphanage instead of birthday presents and she raised $500.00. Thanks to all of you who have sent donations. They are so helpful and needed. My husband met a man from American Airlines who is going to try and get us space to send donations down.
Well time for church. thanks everyone.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This is some of what I have been doing here in the states. These pictures were from the name blessing of my oldest daughters 3rd child. And you can see 3 of my kids with 3 of my new grandkids. the fourth one could not make the festivities. The final pictures are of most of my grandchildren. two are missing. they are all so special to me.
We have had much help from volunteers last week. They built tables and shelves for the kitchen and the bedrooms and the stroehouse. They built a front patio for the new house. They helped plant potatoes. And they rocked little ones and played with bigger ones. And they brought much needed donations. Donations we will use all year long.
The new building is ready for the stucco. My husband and I travel to Guatemala as soon as we marry our 22 year old son this week-end. My husband needs to make sure the plumbing and electric go where they are supposed to. We have a volunteer team coming in August to dig for the septic system.
We had much trouble from four of the last eight teens we took. they had to be returned to the courts. They were using extortion to get the younger children to steal for them. Plus they were threatening violence and we feared for the younger ones.
We have been told we will be receiving 2 more children between the ages of 2 and 5 and then another 2 from another children's home that are 9 months and a very developmentally delayed 3 year old.
Well that is all for now. I will take pictures while i am ther and post them. Thanks also to those of you who have sent donations. they are so appreciated.
If you need my home address, write me privately via my email.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We have had a bunch of wonderful things happen for the orphanage. I hope everyone on the email group list got the picture of Lydia as several people have been asking for it. I got a new digital for Mother's Day so hope to take lots of pics when we go Guate in the next few weeks.
We have a wonderful team there right now working hard to make thngs better for the children. Thirty two people who all brought donations. They have divided into work teams and some are building shelving and tables that we desperately need. Others are building a porch onto the new building, others doing landscaping and finally others who are helping at the orphanage with the kids. I heard from my daughter that they brought lots of bubbles and the kids were loving that.
We so appreciate the work teams.
Another blessing has been a new volunteer who is working with the kids, but also helping us with the farm. She and the kids and part of the work team put in a 100 pounds of potatoes yesterday to add to the black beans and corn that is already in.
The final blessing is I met with a couple yesterday who have an adopted 3 year old son from Guatemala. They had some money they had to donate to a charity and they picked us as one of the three they gave to. They gave me a check for about $11, 400 yesterday. I started crying. It is the first of the money we need to start the new building fund. 100% of it will go to the building fund. We take no personal expenses or administrative salaries from Safe Homes.We are turning down children until we can get into our new facilities. The first building is close to completion. He will start stuccoing in about 2 weeks. It is dorm space for 64 childlren, but we need the next building for the kitchen/dining area and volunteer rooms and tutorial classrooms
My daughter has been such a great help working down there and Pedro is doing a marvelous job.
thanks for all you do