For the first time in three summers, I had the opportunity to spend an entire week in the city of Iquitos. Usually, I spend a few months living at our Girasoles home for abandoned boys in Puerto Alegria – about 45 minutes outside of the city – and spend a day here and there in the city of Iquitos, but I would always return to Puerto Alegria at the end of the day.
As our Girasoles program for abandoned boys grows, there has been a need to expand the home and property into two separate locations and have a home in Puerto Alegria, and another home in the city of Iquitos. As we already own property in the city, it was decided that the younger, elementary aged boys would remain in Puerto Alegria, while the older high school boys would move back into the city to continue their education in high school. This provides them with and opportunity for a better high school and a slow reintegration process back into the busy city life.
Before the older boys can move back to Iquitos, our current property needed to be remodeled to accommodate the 40 boys that will eventually live and study there. To help with the construction, I spent a week in the city with a volunteer group from Scotland. We spent 5 days working at the construction site, plastering the brick walls and painting the new bedrooms that the boys will someday live in.
The building is not complete yet, but sometime in the next month, our high school boys at Puerto Alegria will make the move back to the city. For some, this means they will be leaving a place they have called home for many years and others will be leaving younger brothers behind. And for all, this means they are leaving the quiet, peacefulness of Puerto Alegria and returning to the bustling city.
As the they spend their last few weeks with us in Puerto Alegria, I ask you to join me in praying for the 19 high school boys that will make the transition from one home to another and start a new chapter in their lives.