Monday, May 11, 2015

Growing Local Involvement

As some of you know Kids Alive Peru has had the goal of increasing the involvement of local churches in our ministries, as well as increasing local support. At our childrens home that looks like having our kids involved in and growing up in local churches. Because of our kids' situation of not having families of their own, being grounded in a family of local believers becomes a unique way of belonging, and belonging in a way that we hope will last a lifetime. A local Baptist church in the district of Chorillos is one church that has taken up that challenge. It is the home church of two of the couples who serve at our childrens home. One of those couples are house parents, and take their six children with them. As a body the church has committed to provide for transportation to and from church on Sundays, and one member of the congregation has the kids over for lunch after church. She is the housefather's mom, and she loves these kids! It does our hearts good to hear them talk about their "abuelita" (grandma), at whose house they eat at on Sundays! A few weeks ago they were unable to attend and apparently it was hard to tell who was the more disappointed, the kids or their abuelita :)

I visited the church a couple of weeks ago and was given a couple minutes to share about our ministry. I thanked them for what they mean to our kids, and spoke about the impact they can have on the children by continuing to be family for them. I was touched by the response, so many people with a heartfelt desire to serve in this way. But my favorite part of the visit was watching our kids; their interaction with other kids, families, Sunday school teachers... and their participation in everything. They really do have a place to belong.

This weekend we had a small team sent from this church come to the Home to help us with a project, planting passionfruit vines and fruit trees in a small orchard we will maintain at the home. They arrived Friday night, made a bonfire and sang songs around it with our kids. On Saturday we planted trees and passionfruit seeds. We thank God for this "local team" and hope to see more in the future.
 
The Chorillos church team with Juan Carlos (childrens home director),
Dan and some of the kids

Our older kids from the home worked alongside the team.
 Here they are in action!

Part of the project was to plant Maracuyá (passion fruit) This fruit grows
on the vine and we are using it to create green fences. The fruit makes a very
delicious juice and grows very well in the Pachacámac valley.

Las Señoritas hard at work

Planting a fig tree. Lemon, orange, apple, bannana, papaya,  avocado, chirimoya
and mandarin orange trees are all part of the new orchard.

Here is where the new orchard was planted. Besides  having
the fruit to one day help sustain the childrens home, our kids gain the
experience of learning about plant cultivation

Dan

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