Billy and I have just returned to Lima after a whirlwind trip to Detroit and Orlando to participate in the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ (CAFO) Summit and Collaborate: Forum for Global Leaders.
Our trip was to start with a weekend visit to a family in Dallas. The family and their friends have faithfully supported one of our children’s homes for the past few years, but a change in health made us have to modify our plans and we found ourselves with plane tickets to Dallas and nowhere to stay. As we researched possibilities, it was going to be economically unfeasible to change our original itinerary, and since it was last-minute, flying to visit other supporters was going to be cost prohibitive. On a whim, we checked availability and cost to head to Detroit for the weekend and by some minor miracle, last minute tickets that would fit our itinerary were cheap.
(Since our weekend in Detroit was a last-minute change, we decided to surprise our parents. Billy’s parents were called as we boarded the flight to Detroit and I ended up surprising my mom by showing up at her work.)
We spent the quick 72 hours just spending as much time as possible with family and relishing in “being home”.
After our quick trip to Detroit, we headed south to Orlando for the conference. This was our second time attending Collaborate and Summit with CAFO and this year was just as good as the last. We first heard about the Christian Alliance for Orphans about 18 months ago when Billy was Google searching “best practices in Christian children’s homes” in an effort to better train himself in working with the Girasoles ministry.
Collaborate is a two-day gathering of global leaders who are working with orphans and vulnerable children. While we are the only participants who are working in Peru, the seminars gave us an opportunity to meet others working in similar situations around the world, and specifically in Latin America.
Summit is another two-day conference geared to those interested in adoption, foster care and global outreach of orphans and vulnerable children. Summit is comprised of so many interesting and applicable workshops and sessions that Billy and I had to divide and conquer. Since participating in a training last October about trauma competent caregiving, we both have developed an interest in child development and psychology so many of our sessions were in that vein, in addition to sessions about how to better your orphan care ministry.
In addition to the sessions, Summit has been a great networking opportunity as we look to train and improve the Girasoles ministry. Last year Billy was introduced to a couple who has in turn connected us with a few other people who have in some ways served as mentors and have been able to give us guidance. Through connections made at Summit last year, Billy was invited to attend the World Without Orphans Forum in February. Each time we participate in Summit, we return armed with new connections, materials and tools for this ministry.
Now that we are back in Lima and as we shift gears into full-time volunteer groups, we ask that you pray continued development meaningful relationships with the children within SU’s care, for safe travels as we visit the homes with volunteers, and for health as we spend a lot of time over the next few months away from home and on many bus rides!
To continue our ministry with the children at SU’s homes, we need to raise new support in commitments of approximately $1200 per month. Your continued support would allow us to continue being God’s hands and feet here in working alongside the Peruvian staff and being a continued part of the 120+ children’s lives as they grow up in our Girasoles homes.
Would you consider partnering with us?
To give, please visit the United World Mission website. Any gifts will help, no matter what size. Thank you!