Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Krushkaya

Before I introduce this week's featured child, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU! Last week, 44 children needed sponsors. This week, only 42 need sponsors! So again, THANK YOU!
Now, allow me to introduce Krushkaya, or as she is known around Casa de Fe, Kuka. 
Kuka is a very affectionate 11-year old girl. She has been diagnosed with epilepsy and high functioning autism. She has lived at Casa de Fe since she was 5 years old. Kuka loves exploring outside, and we can always tell where she's been by the trail of grass blades left behind. ;)

If you would like to help us provide care for Kuka, you may become her sponsor for only $45/month. When you do, you will receive more information about Kuka, 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, July 29, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Dwight & Tandy

This week we introduce the couple that has served at Casa de Fe longer than any of the rest of us, aside from Patti Sue. Dwight & Tandy Martin arrived as a newlywed couple in March 2009. They have since become a family--adopting Jonathan from Casa de Fe and awaiting the birth of a new baby brother in September.

To learn more about their family, you can visit their blog. It appears that Tandy is a little behind on updating it, but if enough of you visit, maybe she'll be motivated to post more often. ;)

From Dwight--

Q: How long have you been in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?
Photo Credit: Chad & Andi Irwin
A: We have been in Ecuador working at Casa de Fe since March 2009 (4 years, 4 months).
Q: What did you do before you came here?
A: I served in the US Military.
Q: Why did you come here?
A:  My wife had been to Casa de Fe with her mother on a 10 day visit before we got married.  After we married a few months later, we talked about our options as my service contract was coming to an end.  We were in a transitional time in our lives, so we decided to contact Patti Sue to see if she could use our help for the next year.  It wasn’t a decision that we contemplated for a long time.  It just seemed like the right step to take next.  Looking back we can see how our Lord had so much more in store for us, and he continues to lead step by step and day by day.
Q: What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
A: It has changed over the years as Casa de Fe has grown as an organization.  I currently serve as the Director of Construction, Maintenance and Future Projects.  Along with that my role has involved offering direction, discipline and encouragement from a male perspective to both the kids and staff of Casa de Fe.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A: I enjoy working outside, working with great maestros (Ecuadorian construction employees), problem solving, seeing the kids and staff enjoy the projects we complete and enjoying the delicious food that Ecuador has to offer.
Q: What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A:  My least favorite thing about living overseas is being so far away from family and not spending time with them.  I feel this even more now that we have Jonathan and another baby on the way.  My least favorite thing about my job is having to prioritize the projects and maintenance and then wait to complete them.  There are so many things that could be improved at Casa de Fe, but the truth is that time, money and resources are limited.  I feel that my God is showing me that none of those things (time, money or resources) will ever satisfy me or the kids.  In wealth or poverty, in happiness or sadness- He, and only He, can satisfy what we all are lacking.  
Q: How can our readers pray for you?
A: There are so many mission teams, volunteers and kids who come and go through Casa de Fe that it’s tempting for me to only engage my heart at a surface-level.  Please pray that I would be vulnerable and willing to connect at an intimate level with those whom God brings through my life and this ministry.   Please pray that I entrust my heart and relationships to God my Father, that I will love and serve my wife well, and that I will lead my children in the truth of the gospel while loving them humbly.

Photo Credit: Chad & Andi Irwin
From Tandy--

Q: How long have you been in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?
A: We moved here in March of 2009….so 4+ years.

Q: What did you do before you came here?
A: I worked in home health as a Recreation Therapist.

Q: Why did you come here?
A: I really wanted to serve in an orphanage/children’s home for children with disabilities, and I was praying to find an overseas ministry site that I could maintain a long-term relationship with.  I assumed this would be short-term mission work, but God definitely had other plans in mind!  He led us here to work full-time, and we’ve just been following as He leads.

Q: What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?
A: I’m currently transitioning out of my full-time work for Casa de Fe.  I have been serving in administration, leading mission teams, coordinating short and long term staff, donations and communications.  We have been in the process of adopting our son Jonathan, and I have been able to work more from home this last year.  We are also about to have a baby, so I’m in the process of transitioning out of the majority of my current work responsibilities. I am so thankful that God has brought an amazing lady (whom you will meet soon in another blog post!) to take over my work. I’m also excited to see what He has in store for the future in terms of different ministry opportunities within Casa de Fe.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A:  I love living in Shell, because it has a great small-town feel.  I also love the Ecuadorian people and how they are so welcoming and loving.
My favorite thing about Casa de Fe would be what God used to stir my heart to come here in the first place- the kids with special needs.  Although they are special to me, I love every child that God brings through here.  The tias are another ‘favorite,’ and I’m so thankful for the trust and friendship they have shown to me over the years.  This ‘favorite’ list could go on for a while….. Just being a part of what God is doing here is incredible.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?
A:  PEOPLE CUTTING IN LINE….like physically nudging you backward so that they can fit in the two inch space in front of you.  It’s done so blatantly and is so generally accepted that it’s almost comical.  *Almost.*
 The least favorite thing about my job is that I don’t actually get to work directly with the kids with special needs.  Although that is what God used to bring me here, there has always been other work that needed to be done.  I pray that I can have more time for this in the future.

Q: How can our readers pray for you?
Please pray that I would be full of grace and wisdom through this time of transition.  We have several new staff coming on board this year, and I want to be an encouragement as they settle into their new lives here.  Please pray that I would be the wife, mother and friend whom God has called me to be!

Photo Credit: Chad & Andi Irwin

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fundraising Friday!

It is no secret that raising just one child is expensive. At Casa de Fe, we care for an average of 70 children. It costs approximately $35,000 to provide food, shelter, around-the-clock care, education and necessary medical treatments each month.

When you "do the math", that's only $500 per month, per child.

Casa de Fe receives NO government funds. Therefore, we rely on generous donors to help us make ends meet. Each Friday, we will highlight a different fundraising idea. Perhaps something we feature here will inspire you to raise funds for the children of Casa de Fe from wherever you are.

We'll begin with the simplest idea for fundraising that we've ever done... Spare Change!

Not only could you make a habit of saving your own spare change, but you could challenge your entire family. Think about others that would like to get involved, and challenge them to do so.

Your Sunday school class
Your small group or Bible study group
Your neighborhood
Your siblings or other extended family members
Your friends
Your co-workers

Set a deadline. Make it a competition. Have a prize for the person or family that raises the most money. Celebrate together when you're done!

And after you celebrate, write a check for the total amount raised (put the change in  your bank account) and send it to CornerStone International, PO Box 192, Wilmore, KY 40390. Be sure to write "Casa de Fe" in the memo.

Are you saving spare change for Casa de Fe? Do you have fundraising ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday's Child--Dennis

The Child Sponsorship program at Casa de Fe is still a new one. We have many children that still need sponsors. Each Wednesday, we will feature one of those children here on the blog.

We begin with Dennis.

Dennis is an energetic 2-year old that makes me smile.

I hope that my readers will prayerfully consider getting involved in this small way. For only $45/month, you can make a difference in the life of a child. When you become his sponsor, you will receive more information about Dennis, and you will have the opportunity to correspond (as much as a 2-year old can) via email.

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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet the Staff Monday--Patti Sue

This is the first of many "Meet the Staff Monday" posts. We'll begin with the founder and director of Casa de Fe, Patti Sue Arnold.

Q: How long have you been in Ecuador/worked at Casa de Fe?

A: I came to Ecuador in July 2001. I accepted my first foster child (Cintia) in 2002. We moved to Shell in 2003, and Casa de Fe became a legally recognized charitable foundation in 2007.

Q: What did you do before you came here?

A: I retired from the U.S. Army in August 1998. I went to language school in Costa Rica in 2000.

Q: Why did you come here?

A: I believed I was following God's will to open a shop to repair wheelchairs in Quito. Little did I know how much bigger God's plan was for me here in Ecuador.

Q: What is your job/role at Casa de Fe?

A: Director. Some say 'visionary', but I am only trying to allow God to work through me.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Ecuador/your job?

A: My favorite thing is obviously the kids and seeing God work in each one.

Q: How can our readers pray for you?

A: Pray for continued financial provision for Casa de Fe. Pray that we would find favor among those that have authority over us. Pray that I and all of the Casa de Fe staff would reflect Christ in all that we say and do.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Welcome to our new little corner of the web. For the past year, I have been trying to keep up with posting all of the exciting things that happen here at Casa de Fe on our family blog, Life with these Kids.

Most of the time, I have felt overwhelmed!

There is just so much to share. I haven't been able to find a rhythm that I enjoyed and felt worked for me. So, I have decided to start this second blog for the sole purpose of sharing about the children and staff at Casa de Fe.

The plan is pretty straight-forward, and I think it will help us all feel better connected. I plan to have three days a week with regular posts.

Meet the Staff Mondays--I'll introduce a staff member and help you get to know them a little better.

Wednesday's Child--Like many television stations do in the U.S., I will feature a different child each week and give you the opportunity to become his/her sponsor.

Fundraising Friday--Casa de Fe relies solely on donations. The foundation receives NO government funding. Each Friday, I will introduce a fundraising idea that will hopefully encourage and motivate our readers to get out and raise some funds for the daily expenses of caring for 70+ children.

If I am able, I hope to throw in updates about other things going on at CdF as well--construction, school programs, new kids, adoptions and anything else noteworthy. If you'd like to read about what our family is doing, check out Life with these Kids.