Monday, December 9, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--the Becks!

If you haven't been to Casa de Fe lately, you may not recognize some of these newer faces. The Becks joined us at the end of the summer after spending six months in Quito for language school. Both originally from Georgia, Kyle and April--along with their daughters, Mary Kellen and Vivi Kate--have committed two years to serve at Casa de Fe.

 How long have you lived in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?

We have lived in Ecuador since February, and have worked at CdF since August. 

What did you do before you came here?

Kyle was attending seminary in Louisville, Ky. and April was working at Kosair Children’s Hospital in the Emergency Department. 

Why did you come here?

We came here due to the Lord’s call in our lives to serve and minister based on the gifts He has bestowed on us. 

What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?

Kyle - Pastor/Chaplain    April - Nurse

What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at CdF?

Our favorite thing about Ecuador is the people.  And our favorite thing about CdF is the relationships with the kids. 

How can our readers pray for you?

Pray for wisdom, patience, and obedience to the Lord’s calling.
 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fundraising Friday--Sponsor a Child for Christmas

For the past several years, Casa de Fe has had a Christmas sponsorship program. This is your opportunity to help us provide Christmas--a special meal, a day of festivities, and a personal gift--for each child currently residing at Casa de Fe.



This year, we are offering the opportunity to sponsor two different age groups for two different dollar amounts. Our younger children can be sponsored for $35 each, and our older children for $50 each. 

This is a great opportunity for individuals who don't feel they can commit to our monthly sponsorship program, individuals that are committed to monthly sponsorship but want to do more, Sunday school classes and small groups, and even entire church bodies. In fact, the Christmas before we moved here, we challenged our church to sponsor ALL the kids at Casa de Fe for Christmas... and THEY DID! Perhaps your church could do the same!?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fundraising Friday--Buy a T-Shirt

There are only 9 DAYS LEFT in our first ever US online fundraiser! Asia Klassen, one of our current staffers, set up this awesome way to support Casa de Fe. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can make a donation to Casa de Fe and have a t-shirt delivered to your door in time for Christmas. Get one for yourself, and give one as a gift! Head on over to Bonfire Funds to order your t-shirt today. 

This is also a LIMITED EDITION design. Once they're gone, they're gone! Don't miss out!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Still Waiting for a Sponsor

These children are still waiting for a sponsor. If you are interested in sponsoring one of these precious ones, you can get more information at the Casa de Fe website. For only $45/month, you can help us provide for the daily needs of either Antony, Kuka, Giovani (Coco), Jose Luis, or Moises.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Antony

Antony was found abandoned in a hotel room when he was 11 months old. Police were unable to find his parents, and so, he came to live at Casa de Fe. Antony is healthy, energetic, and (usually) happy. He is currently attending 3-year-old preschool here at Casa de Fe school.

Will you help us continue to provide for Antony? For only $45/month, you can become Antony's sponsor. Your money will help us to provide food, clothing, an education, and a future for Antony. You will also have the opportunity to establish a relationship with Antony via email. For more information, please visit our Child Sponsorship page.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fundraising Friday--Just Get on Your Bike and Ride!

At least, that is what this guy from Pleasantview Baptist Church in Maryland is doing. In just a couple of weeks, Moses will begin a 3000 mile journey across the United States from St. Augustine, FL to San Diego, CA. Moses is looking for sponsors--one for each of his 3000 miles. He is asking for a $10 donation per mile with a goal of $30,000 total. The total donations will be shared between Casa de Fe and Lighthouse Christian Academy--two ministries supported by his church.  




What about you? Will you give? Head over to Pleasantview's webpage to sponsor one mile for a $10 donation. The donation link is at the bottom of the page.

I'd also go one step further and encourage our friends that live along Moses's route to keep an eye out for him, and look for an opportunity to bless him in his travels.

Thank you, Moses, from all of us at Casa de Fe!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Giovani/Coco

100% boy! That's the best way to describe Giovani, or as some of our friends may know him, "Coco". That's the nickname he earned when he was at Casa de Fe the first time. At 6 years old, this is Giovani's second time to live at Casa de Fe.

The first time he came to Casa de Fe, he was just about a year old and had been left alone while his mother was working. About a year ago, the police called Casa de Fe and asked to bring a young boy. Patti Sue admits she almost said 'no' simply because the foundation was 'at capacity'. Praise the Lord, she agreed to consider receiving the child. And boy, was she glad she had when she realized the boy was our very own "Coco"!

Would you consider becoming Giovani's sponsor? For only $45/month, you can help us provide food, clothing, shelter, and an education for Giovani. At Casa de Fe, we want these kids to have as many positive influences in their lives as possible, so you will have the opportunity to establish a relationship with Giovani via email. For more information, visit our child sponsorship page.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Meet the Staff--Cheralyn/Charito

Meet Cheralyn, also known by her Spanish name, Charito. She's been faithfully serving Casa de Fe since 2009, sometimes here in Ecuador, but mostly from her home in Ontario, Canada. About her homeland, Cheralyn says, "Contrary to what many people I've met here believe, Canada is not part of the United States; we are a different country, haha. Yes, I speak some French. No, I didn't usually ride a polar bear to school."

How long have you lived in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?
I came in August 2009 with a small team from my church in Belleville, ON. We were only here for a week, but I knew I had to come back. I worked here for the next three summers and then I was here again from January - April of this year. I returned (again!) a few weeks ago and will be here until the end of this December.  

What did you do before you came here?
Currently, my time is divided between being here as CDF staff and being in Ottawa, ON as a student at the University of Ottawa. I'm studying International Development & Globalization. My program has a CO-OP option and they've allowed me to do my co-op placements here at Casa de Fe. How great is that?! 

Why did you come here?
At the beginning it was a combination of really wanting to be part of these kids' lives and feeling very strongly that God had something(s) for me here. More recently, I've begun to see how those have become the same thing. 

What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
I saved this question to answer last, because I really didn't know how to answer it. The first few times I was here, I spent most of my time organizing and leading activities for the kids within the summer schedule. I've taught a variety of "classes" over the years, facilitated teams' times with the kids, tutored kids in a number of subjects to get them ready for the upcoming school year, helped out with some administrative stuff and I've even done some construction. Somehow I've been accumulating more and more responsibility, so more recently I've helped out with various aspects of coordinating and hosting our work teams. During the summer of 2012, I spent months researching the possibility of developing a child sponsorship program for CDF and was able to launch our program in April. I'm currently managing that and some of our web-presence. I think the sponsorship program and communications work are officially my main jobs, but I'm also involved with CDF merchandise, writing grant proposals, and other fundraising initiatives. Unofficially, I have been known to carry children across raging waters and capture runaway toddlers during naptime. 

What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at CdF?
I have way too many favorite things. 
My favorite things about Ecuador include (but are not limited to): the mountains, the price and variety of fresh produce, street food, artisans' markets, wild flowers, special teas and spices, the music, and sometimes the rain.
I have even more favorite things about working at Casa, but especially since I hardly work directly with the kids anymore, I've come to count the few interactions I do get with them as even more precious... whether it be a serious conversation over dinner, or a quick hug on the way to my office, or a silly face from across the room, the simple (and sweet) interactions with the kids bring me lots of joy. Finally, as I sit with the kids to draw pictures or write letters to their sponsors, it is delightful to see the way their eyes light up as they internalize how much they are loved by so many people. This is when I will be spending most of my time with the kids from now on, and I'm very much looking forward to it!
I also adore the staff. I love getting to know the tias, the teachers, and the maestros. And I love figuring out how to do life with the ever-changing community of American staff as well. I love them a lot.

What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at CdF?
There really aren't too many things I don't like about Ecuador. I hate red tape when it comes to anything official, I strongly dislike both the privileges and the disadvantages of being white, and sometimes I hate the rain. Oh, and I'm not particularly fond of rats either. 
I really love my job. I think the hardest thing about working here is watching kids struggle with their pasts and/or being separated from their biological families. I also dislike a common assumption that working somewhere like this is just fun and games because the kids are beautiful and so eager to love and be loved. It's hard to find a balance between highlighting the hard realities we face here and living out of a place of hope that God will do great things. That said, despite everything, it's been worth every single drop of blood, sweat and tears.  

How can our readers pray for you?
Sometimes working here is really hard. Sometimes it seems like things are constantly changing with very little time to process the last thing while preparing for the next. God has been teaching me a lot about finding rest and peace in Him in the middle of everything. That's something I always still appreciate prayer for, though. Sometimes it's also really hard to deal with the brokenness I see here while dealing with my own. My desire is that God will be able to use my story to encourage people and point to Him. I would also appreciate prayer that I would continue to find hope and grace in Jesus as I try to trust him to restore the brokenness as he brings his Kingdom here. I want to live vulnerably, lead fearlessly, and love fiercely - that is my prayer.

What is your time commitment to CdF?
I have to be back in Ottawa to start classes again in January, so I will be leaving right after Christmas. I'm hesitant say much more than that for now, but... I wouldn't be surprised if I end up here as long-term staff. We'll see where and to what God invites me next! 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Cory & Asia

Cory grew up in Georgia and Asia in Missouri. These two met at college in Georgia and married in 2012. They have dedicated the 2013-14 school year to serving here at Casa de Fe.


From Cory--

How long have you lived in Ecuador and/or worked at Casa de Fe?
We have been here since early August 2013.

What did you do before you came here?
I graduated college in December of 2012 and substituted in schools around our area. I coached baseball at the local high school.

Why did you come here?
I came here because I felt an overwhelming peace of God's presence in my life about being here. I had never been out of the country for anything before, so it was a stretch for me. In the end, God really laid it on my heart to leave our comfort zone and be open to his plan--no matter where He might take me.

What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
My job is teaching PE to all of the school-aged children, and the other half of the day is helping out with construction.

What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at Casa de Fe?
My favorite thing about Ecuador is the slow pace of life, and the opportunities that come up for great conversation and community to begin. In the States, I felt like I was so fast-paced that I missed so many opportunities to pour into people's lives and vice versa.

My favorite thing about Casa de Fe is getting to do PE with the kids and staying active with them. Sometimes I think I must be doing something wrong, or I have the wrong job; because, I get to play games with the kids every day, and I love it!

What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at Casa de Fe?
My least favorite thing about Ecuador is not knowing the language of the people very well. That's also my least favorite thing about my job at Casa de Fe. I feel like I could have so many good relationships, but the language barrier is a struggle.

How can our readers pray for you?
You can pray that while we are here that we won't just be gearing our time towards training the kids to be "good students", but rather have them understand that we love them and desire for them to be able to succeed later on in life.
Readers can also pray for our marriage, that in difficult times we will not only lean on each other, but that we would rely on God to encourage and strengthen us.


From Asia--

How long have you lived in Ecuador and/or worked at Casa de Fe?

We moved to Ecuador August 11th of this year.

What did you do before you came here?
I taught self-contained special education.

Why did you come here?
I came to Casa two summers ago while in college. I was majoring in special education and wanted to see what a special needs orphanage/home looked like and if it was the direction I thought God was leading me to long-term with the passion he had given to me for children with disabilities. I was never able to shake the deep way that God imprinted each face at Casa on my heart. We came because we love to love on others. My favorite quote/life motto is "The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." We know here that our gladness and the needs in Ecuador, specifically at CdF, meet and we feel privileged that God is using us.

What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
I am currently working in a marketing role in the mornings and teaching and working with the special needs kids in the afternoons.

What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at CdF?
I love knowing that every ounce of knowledge that these kids soak up, whether it's learning English or simply learning to sign yes or no, will empower them. They have the potential to be anything they want to be and to be here even for a moment in their lives is such an awesome experience. 

What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at CdF?
I wish I knew more Spanish! I took sign language as my foreign language in college and as much as I love it, it's not getting me very far in Ecuador!

How can our readers pray for you?
Pray that we would continually be challenged everyday - as a couple, as friends, as workers, as Christians. Not only to be challenged, but to work through the challenges and grow each day.




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Adrian


Meet Adrian.

This little guy is just about a year old. He came to live at Casa de Fe when he was only three-weeks old. Born to a single mother with no extended family support, she felt bringing him to us was her only option. Developmentally, Adrian is on target.

Would you consider becoming his sponsor? For a donation of only $45/month, you can help Casa de Fe provide food, clothing, medical care, an education, and a hope for a bright future. You will receive regular updates about Adrian's progress and development. If you would like to learn more about becoming his sponsor or to sponsor another Casa de Fe child, please click over to the Child Sponsorship program page on our website.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fundraising Friday--Just Give it Up: UNPLUG!

Did you know that 61% of all US teens spend an average of 20 hours each and every week connected on the internet?!  That is according to a recent study in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The study also reports that 32% spend 40 hours a week online, while 7% spend 50 hours or more.

That’s a lot of screen time, and while the internet surely has some benefits (like connecting with our Casa de Fe supporters), there are definitely drawbacks. Excessive screen time has been linked to ADD, ADHD, as well as depression.

So what in the world does screen time and internet usage have to do with fundraising for Casa de Fe? So glad you asked…

What would a parent, grandparent, relative or friend pay to get a teenager (or adult) to unplug for a set amount of time? Consider organizing a TECHNOLOGY FAST. Have participants gather sponsors that will donate a specific amount of money for each hour spent OFFline. The organizer will need to decide the amount of time to fast—8 hours, 12, 24—and plan alternate activities for the Unplugged time.

So, exactly how will you spend all of that Unplugged time? Here are some ideas:

1.      Play basketball, volleyball, or flag football.
2.      Play mini-golf or ride go-carts.
3.      Bake cookies or a cake.
4.      Go for a walk or run.
5.      Do a service project.
6.      Do a Bible study.
7.      Write a story.
8.      Act out a story.
9.      Paint or draw. Create something.
10.   Memorize Scripture.
11.   Sing a song.
12.   Read a book.
13.   Go for a swim.
14.   Enjoy meals together.
15.   Play board games or cards games.
16. GO DOOR TO DOOR ASKING FOR CASH DONATIONS!

Now, let’s imagine a few scenarios…

10 participants each gather 10 sponsors. Each sponsor pledges $5 for each hour the participant abstains from technology. The fast lasts 12 hours. Each participant collects $60 from each sponsor, for a total of $600. Multiply that by the 10 participants, and you have raised $6000 for Casa de Fe!

OR

10 participants each gather 10 sponsors. Each sponsor pledges $3 for each hour the participant abstains from technology. The fast lasts an entire 24 hours. Each participant collects $72 from each sponsor, for a total of $720. Multiply that by 10 participants, and you have raised $7200 for Casa de Fe!

Obviously, every sponsor will not pledge the exact same amount, and some will want to make a straight out donation. Whatever works.  Every dollar helps Casa de Fe to provide for the needs of the 70+ children currently in our care. 

Don't forget--once your fundraiser is over, mail your tax-deductible donation to CornerStone International, P.O. Box 192, Wilmore, KY 40390. Be sure to write "Casa de Fe" in the memo of your check. 

And if you're in Canada, you can write your cheque to our Canadian sending agency, ACCI at: Adventive Cross Cultural Initiatives 89 Auriga, Nepean, ON K2E 7Z2 Canada. 


So how about you? Would you fast from technology to raise funds for Casa de Fe? 
Can you think of more activities that don't require screen time?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Jose Luis

Would ya just look at this cutie patootie?

Jose Luis is a precious one year old that came to Casa de Fe when he was only three days old. Born into a poor family with many more mouths to feed child, his parents felt they had no choice but to bring him to Casa de Fe. For the first several weeks, his mother walked to Casa de Fe daily to visit him. She still visits, but there is more time between each one lately.

Jose Luis is a happy and healthy fellow who seems to be progressing at an average pace, but he is not yet walking independently. For a donation of only $45/month, you can help Casa de Fe provide food, clothing, medical care/therapy, an education, and a hope for a bright future. You will receive regular updates about Jose Luis's progress and development. If you would like to learn more about becoming his sponsor or to sponsor another Casa de Fe child, please click over to the Child Sponsorship program page on our website.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Renee

Meet our Occupational Therapist, Renee. When her husband was called to serve on the mission field here in Shell, Renee didn't waste any time finding her place of service at Casa de Fe. All the way from the shores of Lake Michigan, this family is committed to serve for as long as the Lord will use them here. 

1. How long have you lived in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?  2 years in Ecuador and at Casa de Fe

2. What did you do before you came here? Studied Spanish for a year in Costa Rica and prior to that worked part time as an Occupational Therapist and full time as mom.

3. Why did you come here? My husband and I felt the Lord leading us to return to Shell after a one month trip in May of 2009. We did not know the plans He had for us - just that we were to return. Although we serve with separate ministries we know that this is our home for now.

4. What is your job/role at Casa de Fe? I work part-time as an Occupational Therapist, which means I get to "play" with the little ones who need a little extra help fitting in with normally developing children.

5. What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at CdF? Absolutely love the kids at CdF. I can't imagine not being a part of their lives and sharing in their triumphs.

6. What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job at CdF? My least favorite thing (and I'm pretty sure this has been mentioned multiple times already) about Ecuador is the number of people who cut in line or push their way in front of you when you are waiting to check out your groceries or ask a question.  My least favorite part of my job is watching the little ones grieve when they are separated from their families.

7. How can our readers pray for you? Pray that I and my family would come to know and love the Lord better each day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Naomi Needs YOU!

Details of her condition can best be viewed at the link at the bottom of this post, but her picture was so beautiful, I just had to share it. 

All of us here at Casa de Fe appreciate your prayers for a successful surgery and recovery for Naomi. If you would like to donate to the costs of her surgery, please click here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Evelyn

Meet this week's Wednesday's Child, Evelyn.

Evelyn is 13 years old and in the 9th grade. She came to live at Casa de Fe at the beginning of the year due to difficult circumstances at home. We do not believe that Evelyn has been directly abused, but she has witnessed much abuse in her family. Please pray for her emotional healing.

Evelyn is sweet and kind, with a little bit of silly added in for good measure. If you would like to help us provide food, clothing and an education for Evelyn for only $45/month, please visit the Casa de Fe Child Sponsorship page. At Casa de Fe, we want these kids to have as many positive influences in their lives as possible, so you will also have the opportunity to establish a relationship with Evelyn via email.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to School

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Thank you to all of our summer teams that brought backpacks, shoes, uniforms and school supplies. Monday, September 3rd, was the first day of back-to-school for the kids at Casa de Fe.



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Friday, September 6, 2013

Fundraising Friday--Our Current Needs

Instead of sharing another fundraiser idea with you today, I have decided to share with you more about WHY we need funds raised on our behalf and WHAT we do with the money we're given.

WHY? Why does Casa de Fe ask YOU to support us financially? 
The simple answer is because we must. All of the Americans serving here have raised the funds to support themselves and their families while they are here as serving as missionaries. All of the missionaries are here as...missionaries. People issued a missionary visa are not allowed to participate in any for profit or wage activities. The missionaries serving here have no way, except you, to raise funds while serving here.

Casa de Fe receives NO funds from the Ecuadorian government. The foundation is completely funded by generous donors like you.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL THAT MONEY?
Here are just a few of our regular monthly expenses...

Medical Needs:  $  1,520.00 (Regular medical needs, not emergencies or surgeries)
Food/Household:  $  3,550.00 
Salaries/Workers: $21,636.00 (Understand that we employ nearly 50 Ecuadorian employees as caregivers, teachers and construction workers)

Add in maintenance expenses, vehicle costs, and utilities. It doesn't take much to add up. 

We also currently have a special financial need from a surgery and several emergency room visits totaling $12,000. The hospital here in Shell is patient with us and allows us to make small monthly payments, but our hearts long to "let no debt remain outstanding except the debt of love one to another" (Romans 13:8).

No gift is too small. We appreciate all of our supporters and their partnership with us as we attempt to do our best to care for "the least of these" (Matt 25:40)
A few of the faces that benefit from your generosity!


Mail your tax-deductible donation to CornerStone International, P.O. Box 192, Wilmore, KY 40390. Be sure to write "Casa de Fe" in the memo of your check.

And if you're in Canada, you can write your cheque to our Canadian sending agency, ACCI at: Adventive Cross Cultural Initiatives 89 Auriga, Nepean, ON K2E 7Z2 Canada.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Joel

Meet this week's Wednesday's child, Joel.

Joel is a sweet 7-year old little boy. He is very energetic, eager to learn and gives the biggest, best hugs around. Joel has been at Casa de Fe for less than a year. From what we understand, Joel was left in the care of grandparents for a very long time. When the grandparents felt they could no longer provide for Joel, they could not locate his mother so they brought him to Casa de Fe.

Would you consider becoming Joel's sponsor? For a donation of only $45/month, you can help Casa de Fe provide food, clothing, medical care, an education, and a hope for a bright future. You will also have the opportunity to correspond with Joel via email. If you would like to learn more about becoming Joel's sponsor or to sponsor another Casa de Fe child, please click over to the Child Sponsorship program page on our website.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Jeff & Steph

This week's featured staff members are Jeff and Stephanie. These Bama fans are originally from Mississippi and have already fulfilled 15 months of their original 2-year commitment to Casa de Fe. Married for 19 years, they are parents to Jesse (16), Abi (9, almost 10), Ana Claire (7) and Ainsleigh Grace (4).

Jeff--

Q: How long have you been in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?
A: We moved here on May 19, 2012. 

Q: What did you do before you came here?
A: By trade, I was a plumber for nearly 20 years. By calling, I had been a youth pastor for about 13 years.

Q: Why did you come here?
A: My son, Jesse, and I came on a short-term team in March 2011. I saw what God was doing here, and I saw that Casa de Fe needed help. I began to pray on the plane ride home for God to make a way for my family to move here if this was what He was calling us to.

Q: What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
A: Maintenance Manager and Team Project Leader. 
As Maintenance Manager, it is my responsibility to keep all of the buildings and appliances maintained in the four buildings on Casa de Fe property. I also help with maintenance at our Casa de Fe missionary staff homes when needed. 
As Team Project Leader, I work with short-term mission teams. I make sure everyone is assigned appropriate tasks for their skills and abilities in an effort to make the most impact for their short time here.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A: I love the weather, even the rainy days. I love the kids. I love people, our Ecuadorian and missionary staff as well those that travel here on teams.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A: About Ecuador: The inconvenience of not being able to get all that I need at one store. And some things have to wait until a team can bring them.
About my job: Again, the inconvenience. It's frustrating to not have the tools or parts that I need to complete a task. I am thankful for the teams that help us by bringing tools and parts when we ask for them.

Q: How can our readers pray for you?
A: Pray that I would always yield my will for His will. Pray that I would reflect Christ in all that I say and do.


Steph--

Q: How long have you been in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?
A: We moved on Ainsleigh's 3rd birthday, May 19, 2012.

Q: What did you do before you came here?
A: I had done lots of things. My main job had always been 'Mommy', but I had also owned a couple of businesses through the years including a daycare and a consignment shop. In the year or so before we moved to Ecuador, I was a full-time stay-at-home mom to our children and foster-mom to a total of 8 foster children (not all at the same time). Looking back, I can see clearly now how God used all of those experiences to prepare me for my work here.

Q: Why did you come here?
A: Jeff and Jesse came to Casa de Fe on a short-term team in March 2011. Jeff came home ready to pack up and go, but I wasn't so sure. Jeff was praying for my heart to change, and eventually the Lord turned my heart toward Casa de Fe. I began to pray that if this was the Lord's will for us that God would break Jeff's heart for this place and have him lead us here as a family. That is exactly what happened.

Q: What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
A: Donations Coordinator. I communicate with teams and individuals that are planning to travel here about items needed for the foundation. I receive those items, organize their storage and distribute them to the proper departments as needed. I manage the children's wardrobes, and have just spent the past month fitting everyone for school uniforms and school shoes.

Last year, I taught an Enlish-as-a-Second-Language class every day at Casa de Fe school. This year, I will be a substitute teacher for the English classes when needed.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A: About Ecuador: I like the weather, and the people are generally very friendly. The landscape is breathtaking as well, a constant reminder of a Wonderful Creator God.
About my job: I love seeing smiling faces when I give a new child a wardrobe and she realizes it belongs to her. I love being a part--even a small part--of something so much bigger than myself.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A: About Ecuador: I don't mind walking, but the terrain, even the city streets here in Shell, are pretty rough. I also don't like that I can't order things online and have them delivered to my door. Spoiled, I know...
About my job: I am a bit of a perfectionist and often feel that I don't do my job well enough. (If you saw my work space right now, you might agree!) Also, my work space is on the 3rd floor of the Multi-Use Building, so it gets very hot up there. I try to keep a positive attitude by calling it "my sauna"!

Q: How can our readers pray for you?
A: Pray that I will hunger and thirst for Him above all else. It's so easy to get caught up in "working" for the Lord and neglect being still before Him, worshiping Him, enjoying fellowship with Him and being fed from His Word. Pray that I will love like Jesus--with grace and mercy and sacrificially when necessary.

You can read more about the Freemans' experiences in Ecuador at their family blog Life with these Kids.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Juliana

Meet our sweet 7-year old Juliana.

Juliana has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. And while her biological family loves her very much, they are not able to provide the care and therapy that she needs. Through the generosity of supporters like you, Casa de Fe is able to provide 24-hour care for Juliana as well as therapy five days a week.

For $45 a month, you can become Juliana's sponsor and directly help us to continue to provide for her care. Casa de Fe will keep you updated on her progress. If you would like to sponsor Juliana, please click over to the Casa de Fe Child Sponsorship page and follow the instructions for sponsoring a child.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Rick & Rebekah

This week's Meet the Staff Monday features two of our EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers from Casa de Fe School. Meet Rick & Rebekah Estes.

Rebekah--

Q: How long have you been in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?
A: I've been in Ecuador for 2 years, and have worked at Casa de Fe for 1.

Q: What did you do before you came here?
A: I was a foreign English teacher in Taiwan for 9 years, with a heavy dose of music, theatre, and kung fu on the side.

Q: Why did you come here?
A: I came here to become more acquainted with my husband's country of origin, and to take a little break to figure out what was next. Casa de Fe was next.

Q: What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
A: I work full-time at the school.  I'm the supplies coordinator, administrative assistant, an English teacher, and the music/drama teacher.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A: My favorite thing about Ecuador is its biodiversity - more specifically how in just one little country, you can travel to snow-capped mountains, cloud forests, rain forests, and the beach.  I'm also so thankful for the opportunity to get to know my best friend better by seeing the country he grew up in.

For my job, I like seeing the third-graders take pride in their English introductions, I like leading morning brain gym aerobics, and I love seeing kids "get something" that they've had to work for.

Q: How can our readers pray for you?
A: Golly.  Fervently, I guess. ;o)  This job is hard.  I need wisdom, patience, persistence, and unfailing (sometimes tough) love.  And margin.  I need more margin.


Rick--

Q: How long have you been in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?
A: I was born and grew up in Ecuador as a missionary kid.  I've been working at Casa de Fe for a year.

Q: What did you do before you came here?
A: I was a foreign English teacher for 8 years in Taiwan.

Q: Why did you come here?
A: I came back to see my parents and Ecuador after a long time away, and to show my wife Ecuador as she'd never been before.  I was a short-term volunteer at Casa de Fe during this time, and found out that they needed teachers, so here we are!

Q: What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
A: I'm the vice principal, an English teacher, and the visual arts teacher at the on-site school. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A: My favorite thing about Ecuador is being home again, and my favorite thing about my job is teaching kids English.  I also like catching wild animals and teaching the kids about them.

Q: How can our readers pray for you?

A: Two things: keeping the balance between empowering the Ecuadorian staff, but also sharing my experience; wisdom, patience, and unfailing love with kids and coworkers.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fundraising Friday--Car Wash

Okay... am I the only geek that hears the song playing in my head every time I hear the words "car wash"?!




Silly songs aside, a car wash is a great and fairly easy fundraiser that our supporters can use to raise money for Casa de Fe. Step-by-step, here's how we've pulled off several successful car washes...

1. Recruit help. A carwash is NOT a one-man show. Recruit your family and friends to help.

2. Select a date, and secure a location. These two need to be done pretty-much simultaneously, especially if you are using someone else's property for your location.

In choosing a location, your own driveway will work fine IF... you have a lot of traffic on your street and IF... traffic can still flow smoothly. Your neighbors may not be very pleased if they can't get off their street on Saturday morning.

For choosing a date, weekdays can work okay, but Saturdays are probably best.

3. Collect your necessary tools. You'll need water hoses, buckets, carwash soap, carwash brushes and rags. You may also want to use glass cleaner on the windshield and lights.

4. Make signage. You can't have a successful carwash without posting signage to let people know you'll wash their cars! This is a great project for the kids. A few posterboards and markers are all you need. Be sure to post your price per car, or as we've done successfully, advertise "FREE Carwash--Donations Only!"

5. Show up on time and ready to wash cars! Be sure to tell your customers that you're raising money for Casa de Fe. Many will donate extra for such a cause. This is also a great opportunity to help spread the word about our Child Sponsorship Program. It could be as simple as handing out a flyer to each customer with information about Casa de Fe and the link to our Child Sponsorship page.

Carwashes can easily profit $500 or more! When your carwash is done, don't forget to mail your tax-deductible donation to CornerStone International, P.O. Box 192, Wilmore, KY 40390. Be sure to write "Casa de Fe" in the memo of your check.

And if you're in Canada, you can write your cheque to our Canadian sending agency, ACCI at: Adventive Cross Cultural Initiatives 89 Auriga, Nepean, ON K2E 7Z2 Canada.

So, do you have tips for holding a successful carwash?
Are you planning to hold a carwash to support Casa de Fe?
Leave us a comment, and tell us about it!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Moises

Meet Moises. This adorable 3-year old needs a sponsor. Quiet, but 100% boy, this little guy is always pleasant.

Moises's story is a somewhat complicated one. Moises came to live at Casa de Fe when he was an infant. One of his brothers lives here as well; however, he has a few other siblings that still live with his mother.

At one point, Moises's mother claimed that he was not her child. Please pray that Moises would always know that he is a child of God, no matter what his earthly familial relationships are.

If you would like to help us provide care for Moises, you may become his sponsor for only $45/month. When you do, you will receive more information about him, and you will have the opportunity to build a relationship with him via email.

You can visit the Casa de Fe Child Sponsorship page to learn more about the sponsorship program.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Summer Staff, Round 3!

ALSTON--
Where are you from? Brookhaven, Ms

How old are you? 19

How/when did you first come to Ecuador? Through my home church, Philadelphia Baptist Church, this past March

Why did you give up your summer to serve here at CdF? Because I felt it was where I was supposed to be and really wanted to be. I fell in love with Casa de Fe during my first visit, and I definitely felt the Lord calling me to come back.

What is your favorite thing about being summer staff? OR What has been the favorite thing about this summer? Not having to do construction, comic relief, getting to play and talk with the kids. Getting to sit and talk one on one is awesome for really getting to know that person. Each of the kids is amazing and getting to spend my summer with them was way more of a blessing to my life than anything else I could have done this summer.

What are your plans when you leave CdF this summer? I plan to spend a few weeks with family before going back to Mississippi College.


MOLLY--

Where are you from? I'm from Bismarck, North Dakota.

How old are you? 20

How/when did you first come to Ecuador? My first trip to Ecuador was this summer. I first heard about Casa de Fe when Patti Sue came to my college campus during my freshman year to talk to students about the foundation. I knew after hearing her talk that I needed to go volunteer at some point. My college takes a small group of students to Casa every spring break, but I knew that a week would not be long enough and that a summer would be better for me. After praying long and hard, I felt the Lord calling me to volunteer this summer.

Why did you give up your summer to serve here at Casa de Fe? I've had the desire to come to Casa de Fe for the past two years. I just wanted to serve where there was a need and love the kids like Jesus loves. Jesus clearly showed during his time on earth that he loved children and said we are to do the same. I'm just trying to do that the best way I know how!

What is your favorite thing about being summer staff? OR What has been the favorite thing about this summer? My favorite part of this summer was doing physical therapy with the children with special needs. Not only did I learn a ton, but I also grew so close to those children. My job did not allow me to get to know all of the kids at Casa de Fe, but I was able to spent large amounts of time with several of them and really get to know them personally. I was truly touched by the amount of joy they had and the unconditional love they showed me every day.

What are your plans when you leave Casa de Fe  this summer? I am spending the rest of my summer relaxing at a lake cabin with my family. I have also enjoyed spending time with my two newborn nieces! I will soon be back at school at Concordia College in Minnesota, where I'm majoring in biology and desire to become a physical therapist.

XANDER--
Where are you from? Shoreview, Minnesota.

How old are you? 19.

How/when did you first come to Ecuador? This summer was my first time in Ecuador and in South America.

Why did you give up your summer to serve here at Casa de Fe? It doesn't feel like giving up anything at all, but rather like God allowed me to have such a blessed experience. I spent a month of this summer down in Shell and the time flew by. I had no connection to Casa de Fe before this summer, but falling in love with the organization and the kids (at least in my opinion) is inevitable no matter how much time you spend there.

What is your favorite thing about being summer staff? OR What has been the favorite thing about this summer? Getting to know the Ecuadorian staff at Casa de Fe was an unexpected blessing. It also helped me learn Spanish, of which I know little to none. Being teased mercilessly when I struggled was a great motivator. (I did deserve it, though; there was one instance when I tried to ask if the kids could play foosball outside and accidentally asked if they could play with matches instead.) But my favorite thing about the summer is definitely seeing the individual personality of each kid. All of the children at Casa de Fe have a work ethic and eagerness to learn that amazed me every day.

What are your plans when you leave CdF this summer? To come back again. Also to get ready for my sophomore year at Wheaton College.

 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fundraising Friday--Buy a Book!

That's right. By buying a book, you can support the work of Casa de Fe. But you can't buy just any book. No. When you buy THIS book,
100% of the profits are donated to Casa de Fe.

Author and Casa de Fe supporter, Christie Pettus, wrote this book about her family's first experience visiting and serving in Ecuador. Since that first trip two years ago, the Pettuses have organized and brought a team made up of a group of their friends for another mission trip to Casa de Fe.

From the book:

What would compel our young family of four to step way outside of our comfort zone and board a plane to Ecuador to spend a week hanging out with a group of orphans? God’s voice. This is our story about hearing God’s call, pushing aside fear to listen, and allowing an unplanned experience to change our family forever.
 
This e-book is available for immediate download on Amazon Kindle as well as Nook. At only $8.39, you can support orphans and be inspired by a great true story.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Alondra

This week's featured child is Alondra. Alondra is the younger sister of Talia and Abigail. Abandoned by their mother, they have lived together at Casa de Fe since 2009.

Alondra is a bright, energetic young lady. She enjoys school and is helpful around Casa de Fe.

 
If you would like to help us provide care for Alondra, you may become her sponsor for only $45/month. When you do, you will receive more information about her, and you will have the opportunity to build a relationship with her via email.

You can visit the Casa de Fe Child Sponsorship page to learn more about the sponsorship program.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Summer Staff Round 2!

Yesterday, our last five summer staff left Shell heading back to the US. The rest of us here at Casa de Fe are sad to see them go; yet, we are glad to have shared part of the summer with them, and we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for them.

Abbie--

Where are you from? That's a hard question for a missionary kid to answer! I was born in Chicago, where my parents are from, but we moved to Shell, Ecuador when I was two. At the age of twelve we moved to Tennessee. I consider both Shell, Ecuador and Newport, TN home.

How old are you? 18

How/when did you first come to Ecuador? My first time in Shell I was just a few months old. My parents came down as working visitors and then moved here more permanently when I was two.

Why did you give up your summer to serve here at Casa de Fe? I have visited Casa de Fe twice as the member of a work team after moving back to the States. I realized that second time that coming for just a week just wasn't enough. I wanted time to get to know the kids and more fully experience living in Shell again. Coming for a week just wasn't going to cut it anymore. I didn't want to just know a few of the kids' names and give them quick hugs, I wanted the opportunity to make them part of my life. I am so humbled that each and every day I get the opportunity to just be with them--whether that's tutoring, working on craft projects, playing games, or just cuddling while watching a movie.

What is your favorite thing about being summer staff? OR What has been the favorite thing about this summer? Once again, the kids. It was such an awesome feeling when they began to greet me excitedly in the morning by name, or when they began to ask how soon they could go up to the school for their class or reading time with the other summer volunteers and me. It's truly humbling how much they enjoy the simple activities we prepare for them, and great motivation to keep giving everything we have to make the summer fun!

What are your plans when you leave CdF this summer? After completing eight weeks at Casa, I'll be spending some time at home with family before heading back to Wheaton College (IL) where I'm studying International Relations and Spanish.



Bailey-- 

Where are you from? Jacksonville, Florida

How old are you? 20

How/when did you first come to Ecuador? I first came as a junior in highschool, in 2010. My dad knew Patti Sue and knew that I had a heart for kids so he brought me along with a small team from my church who was working on the Multi-Use Building and making a short video for Casa de Fe. When we first came, CdF was still in the old space. Getting to be a part of the building process and seeing it completed was truly amazing.

Why did you give up your summer to serve here at CdF? After my first two trips to CdF, I realized that coming for a week just wasn't long enough. I wanted more time with the kids, building relationships and serving however I could. My heart was broken for Ecuador not only the first time I came, but every time that I have returned since then. Basically, nothing made more sense than coming back and serving for a month this summer; I just knew this was where God was calling me.

What is your favorite thing about being summer staff? OR What has been the favorite thing about this summer?

Is it too cliche to say the kids?

My heart melts every morning as I walk through the doors and see those sweet faces turn to look at me with bright eyes and smiles. I want to be a teacher so, for me, what better way could I spend my days than hanging out with kids?

Plus, how cool is it to be spending a summer living on the edge of the jungle?!

What are your plans when you leave CdF this summer? I am an education major at University of Florida, so I am going home to complete my final two years of college. BUT, I hope to be back as much as possible throughout those two years.


So, the common theme from these two ladies? ONE WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH! How about you? Are you considering a trip to Casa de Fe? A week may not be enough, but it is a good place to start. We'd love to have you be a part of what the Lord is doing here in the lives of these kids.

For more information on volunteering whether a few days, few months or few years, drop an email to Christy (Christy (at) lacasadefe.org) and Tandy (tandy (at) lacasadefe.org).