Monday, October 26, 2009

New Life & Peace Ministries

From long before the beginning of AAB, we knew that we have a two (or three) fold care for orphans AND vulnerable children and families that are at risk of becoming orphans or leaving their children as orphans. I have always said that we have to do both, but can rush neither of them. For more than a year I have looked for, researched and talked to I have no idea how many people about orphanages in Guatemala that need or want to partner with an outside organization to provide orphan care. There are many orphanages in Guatemala and around the world that need assistance, but finding the right one...not the one(s) WE chose, but the one(s) HE chose for us, was quite the task and honestly, there have been times that I thought we may never work in any orphanage in Guatemala. No matter how much I love orphans and want to provide orphan care, I knew that we could not rush into this, just as we have been and are working slowly to establish ourselves in Pueblo Nuevo.

After hearing about New Life & Peace Ministries and their children's home, Rehoboth Children's Home in Parramos, I had a feeling that this may be where we needed to be in providing orphan care. (Note: This ministry does not have a website and is not the one that appears in a google search for Rehoboth or New Life & Peace.) We spent our last day in Guatemala at Rehoboth and each member of our team was blessed by the directors, staff and especially the children that call it home. During our time there, we learned more about Victor and Chici, received the history on each child, replaced their expired vitamins with enough new vitamins to get each child in the home through at least the next 6 months, played with children and just learned more about all that Rehoboth is. Victor and Chici founded New Life & Peace Ministries in 1992. Each came from difficult backgrounds. Before taking over Rehoboth, they opened residential Christian centers for alcoholics, drug addicts and prostitutes in both Guatemala and Nicaragua. Victor, along with another missionary, started a church in Antigua in 1994 and it has since become what is called a mission's church, which we attended the Sunday we were in Guatemala. Victor continues to serve as pastor of this church.

The Barbella's took over the children's home years ago after learning that the home was about to be closed. Rehoboth, once a boy's home, but now a home for all children, is home to children that have been severely abused and neglected. Each child has his or her own story and each one bears physical and/or the emotional scars that come with abuse. Some of these children do not have living parents, others have parents that simply do not care and will never see them again. But at Rehoboth, they have found the love of Jesus Christ because of the love that has been given to them by the Barbella's and others working at Rehoboth.

We are excited about getting to know the Barbella's and the children they love so much. Our first goals are to help them create a website and obtain sponsors for the children at Rehoboth. We will be at Rehoboth in December to throw a Christmas party for the children there...this is something that has never been done there before...and to bring supplies that we have been told are needed, such as shoes and school supplies and hopefully the good news that more of their children have been sponsored. We love the vision the Barbella's have of building a home for those 18 years of age and older that need more time with them before leaving Rehoboth and we pray that we are able to help with this vision in some way.

I will post more details about New Life & Peace Ministries and Rehoboth Children's Home soon, but for now, you can learn more about them by watching the video below.

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