Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Staff Shout-Out!

This week I was chatting with a longtime supporter of Casa de Amor. Her husband had recently stopped sending their monthly child sponsorship donation and she had some questions. I realized that their questions could possibly be the same with many of our supporters, so I’ll address them here.

She asked if the homes were doing alright. I shared that we’re having difficulties with certain “Bolivia” issues.

I could have also added corruption in the court system…

an environment that does not favor non-profits…

laws that are not practical for those caring for children around the clock.

She asked if I trust our administrative staff at Casa de Amor Bolivia.

Let me just say YES!

and…

YES!!!  



I’m sorry that I haven’t been more proactive in sharing that publically. I assumed that people would know I couldn’t leave and move to the US without a trustworthy, capable staff on the ground. Now I see that was a mistake.

First of all, it’s so awesome to have passed the work to nationals!!! This is a great goal of us in missions.

Secondly, I know my staff VERY well. We worked alongside each other for years and years. We bonded and I KNOW they caught the vision for Casa de Amor because I’ve seen it played out in their decisions again and again!

Right now, I long to be with them there, looking them in the eyes and saying I’m sorry for how hard things have been, and assure them that they are doing a great job looking at the challenges from every angle.

We have not been able to replace the English communicator role, which greatly pains me, but Rosa stepped right into the role as director and is doing a great job. She wears many hats with grace!

Even though I’m not there, thirty beautiful children are being cared for. They receive food, education, medical and dental care, and of course round-the-clock love and care.


If anyone has questions about their giving, please don’t hesitate to write me!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Important Administrative Announcement

Casa de Amor Children’s Homes is in urgent need of these three staff members:

Bilingual Communication Administrator (Bolivia based)
Facilitate communication between the Bolivian ministry and international donors

Child Sponsorship Coordinator (US or Bolivia based)
Match children to sponsors, support communication between sponsored children and sponsors on a regular basis

Volunteer Coordinator (Bolivia based)
Coordinate every aspect of a volunteer’s service period in Bolivia from the moment of inquiry until the end of their stay

Our challenge through the years, particularly as I stepped back to care for my own family, has always been finding dedicated people as passionate about high quality ADMINISTRATION as CHILDREN. While sitting on the floor and playing with a child is important, there is a constant stream of national staff ready to do that. Sitting at a desk and telling supporters what is going on...in English...now THAT has been a hard role to fill!


August 2008
I still did plenty of baby holding!!


We will not be able to continue operation for much longer without English speaking administrative support to communicate with our amazing donors. Thank you! 

Write Jennifer for more information.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Homework Time


Like the majority of children, the kids at Casa de Amor LOVE homework. Ha!
Like most children, homework time is not the highlight of the day for kids at Casa de Amor. However, it is a time when the children receive special individual attention. Because school is half-day in Bolivia, the children often arrive home with 1-3 hours of homework. (Depending on the concentration of the child) Several of the children struggle with learning abilities and attention difficulties, and this often makes homework time even more difficult.

Due to our wonderful long-term volunteers, and local volunteers, lately, there has been no shortage of help at homework time.

After arriving home from school at lunch time, the kids change out of their uniforms and sometimes wash their overcoats and socks by hand. This is a great way for them to learn responsibility, and to prepare for the reality of life in Bolivia. Once this is taken care of, lunch is served, and we gather around the table to eat and hear about the kid’s days. (The littlest ones often fall asleep at the table!)

After lunch is finished, and dishes are done, homework time begins. The youngest kids with less homework finish first, and typically nap for an hour or so. The older kids have more homework, and sometimes work until dinner time. Although this can be a tedious time, it can also be a great opportunity to talk with the kids and hear about their days and interests and dreams.

Yesterday, I got to write simple and complex sentences with 11 year old Edgar. 45 sentences seemed like a daunting task, but I began to enjoy laughing and joking with Edgar as we worked. Edgar is very intelligent, but has had a hard childhood, and can often be trying to work with. He is the oldest of the boys, and often feels lonely. As we were writing sentences, he opened up about his friends, classmates, soccer team, and interest in World War 2.

Although homework time is not my favorite time either, I am thankful for the way God uses it as an opportunity to spend time with the children at Casa de Amor!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Children's Day

Dia del Nino!

Children’s Day, April 12th, is a largely celebrated holiday in Bolivia. Restaurants offer special deals, hire clowns, and offer face painting. Schools give large goody baskets to children of snacks and candies. In general, it is a day for children to be spoiled, but it is also a day where the children at Casa de Amor are showered with love and attention from local churches and individuals.

Last Tuesday, I arrived at the home in the morning to find the children- and some tias- with clown face paint. A very generous group of physical therapy students had planned a special day for the little kids with games, snacks, and most importantly – lollipops! We have a ways to go in learning how to eat lollipops, but for the most part, it was a successful day! :)

Matthew 19:14 says: Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

While Children’s Day is not a specifically Christian holiday, it is a good reminder of Jesus’ love for His children, and the responsibility we as adults have in pointing them to Jesus. Please continue to pray for wisdom for decision that need to be made at Casa de Amor, and as always for God’s provision for these precious lives.




Wednesday, April 6, 2016

School Anniversary!




In Bolivia, (and with 31 children) there is always SOMETHING to celebrate! 

This last week, on Thursday afternoon, the kids excitedly announced that they would be preforming in the school anniversary celebration in the morning. This led to an exciting turn of afternoon events!

Each class participates in a different school holiday, and Friday 8 of our school aged children participated in traditional dances. Each dance requires a specific costume, according to native dress in each region. The 4 Pre-K students were required to rent their costumes- normally a fairly simple task. However, due to a road block by local dairy farmers, this turned into an all afternoon event for our fearless volunteers.

Friday morning, we arrived to the school prepared to help and cheer on the kids in whatever way possible. The kids divided into their classes, and the volunteers and tia decided to divide and conquer! The volunteers and Tia Marcela helped the youngest with their costumes, I supervised Shyrlen as she prepared for her dance, and Franco helped keep Daniel and Benito from taking their cowboy looking costumes too  seriously. 

When it was time for the dances to begin, we were all busy taking pictures and making sure everyone was in the right place. The kids danced extremely well, and were happy to show off for the audience.

Enjoy a few pictures of our older kids at Casa de Amor! Until April 12th for Children's Day, and then we'll celebrate again!   

Maybe not everyone enjoyed themselves....


Handsome little cowboys... or dancers from Santa Cruz!

S- the littlest- all dressed up!
B is not so sure about dancing with a GIRL!
They say it takes a village to raise a child...and an army to dress them up!







Thursday, March 24, 2016

An Apple a Day....

They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but unfortunately it isn't always that easy! Especially when there are 31 children living in semi-close quarters...

As the weather starts to change ( in Bolivia from Summer to Fall) , the children start to get coughs and colds. Although Casa de Amor does everything possible to prevent this, the normal cold is hard to beat completely.

This morning, I went to the homes with the intention of spending the morning helping the tias and playing with babies, and soon saw that was not going to happen. Three of the babies were in their nice clothes, and Tia Maria (the healthcare tia) was looking for help. Taking one sick child to the doctor is never fun, but three is nearly impossible! Volunteer Cecilie and I each grabbed a child and headed to the clinic with Tia Maria. The clinic was luckily nearly empty, and the kids were attended quickly.



The price of healthcare in Bolivia is realtively inexpensive, but the expenses do add up. The visit for each child cost 40 bolivianos, approximately $5.75, plus medicine. The nurses were very friendly, and helpful, and the babies enjoyed the extra attention... even if it doesn't show on their faces. :)

We are thankful for access to good medical care, willing volunteers, and wonderful staff committed to the care of these precious children!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Visiting Team from Denmark

For many years, Casa de Amor has been blessed by the visits and hard work of teams from Denmark. The team is called Alterna, and visits Bolivia for several weeks each year. Alterna is made up of high school students and teachers, and always comes prepared to love and serve! Many wonderful long-term volunteers have also come out of these teams.

This year, Alterna arrived at Casa de Amor and listened to a little bit of the history of the home.



After a quick tour, everyone got to work! The guys were a huge help with yard work that often gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. They mowed, weed-eated, trimmed trees, and rooted out lots of weeds! 



The girls were a huge help with the babies, and also went through the toy collection to throw away broken toys and small pieces



After working hard all morning, the tias had cooked a delicious meal, and everyone sat down to eat.
As the older kids arrived from school, they were slightly overwhelmed but very excited about having so many visitors!

After lunch, the team presented several skits with the gospel presented clearly. The kids laughed and enjoyed watching the “silly visitors”! (Most of the kids, some of the younger ones weren’t fans of the clowns. J )  The kids even got to participate in some of the skits!




Thank you to the Alterna team, and to all who pray and support the children of Casa de Amor!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Water Fights!

Every year in Bolivia, the city celebrates carnival, and the entire city becomes a water war zone. Children and adults alike throw water balloons from passing cars, spray neighbors with mega size water guns, and look for anyway possible to get wet! 

The kids at Casa de Amor look forward to this time of year that they can escape from the heat, and participate in water fights from the safety of their own yard. This year the volunteers were good sports and played with the kids and Tia's until they were soaked! 



They ran out of water balloons, but buckets of water were more effective anyway. :) 


Back to School!

As of February 1st, the oldest 15 children from Casa de Amor are back to school! 

We are so thankful for the generosity of many people in providing school supplies, uniforms, and backpacks for the kids. Many of our kids struggle academically, so providing them with what they need at the beginning of the year is vital. They are able to start the school-year with a fresh start, feeling prepared and well- cared for!


Our three youngest girls... Be praying for their teacher!:)



First day of school ever for these four! Looking nervous....

M. Is looking so grown up!

First day of Middle School! 

Sisters!!

All 15 kids...with differing levels of excitement for their first day of school! 





Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Day #3



J. is our second to oldest girl and child at Casa de Amor! Just a few days ago she celebrated her 12th birthday. This year she is in 6th grade and has many friends at school. She loves going to church and enjoys reading her Bible. Her sweet personality makes her a great influence on the other children! ‪#‎20k20days‬
If you'd like to make a one-time donation toward her care or become one of her monthly sponsors, you can do so at this link:http://casadeamor.publishpath.com/supporting, or email Denise our child sponsorship coordinator at denise@casadeamor.org

Day #2



Many of you already know this little boy, but for our new followers, I’d like to introduce you to B.! He is 7 years old and has lived with us since he was a baby. This year he is in second grade and is learning how to read. He has some physical challenges that have made life a little more difficult for him, but he is overcoming these challenges every day. He is rarely seen without a smile! 
‪#‎20k20days‬

If you’d like to make a one-time donation toward his care or become one of his monthly sponsors, you can do so at this link:http://casadeamor.publishpath.com/supporting or email our child sponsorship coordinator at denise@casadeamor.org

Day #1


Today we would like to introduce you to our first child of our ‪#‎20k20days‬campaign! It is our first "Surgery Saturday," and many of you are already familiar with this little boy, C. He had open heart surgery on August 3rd and has made an amazing recovery! You would never know all that he has been through in his short life. He came to us at 6 months old with a heart murmur, but about a year ago we were told that the hole hadn't closed and instead had grown larger which required open heart surgery to close it. He started pre-school this year but is having to take some time off due to his recovery. He can't wait to go back! #20k20days
If you'd like to make a one-time donation toward his care or become one of his monthly sponsors, you can do so at this link:http://casadeamor.publishpath.com/supporting, or email our child sponsorship coordinator at 
denise@casadeamor.org.

Friday, September 4, 2015

EXCITING UPDATE!

He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah17:8



In June, a wonderful team of volunteers from Orphan World Relief came to Bolivia and painted the dining room of our Boy’s Home. The bright yellow color has given life to the dining room, and makes the room feel like a home. Several of our current volunteers are very artistic, and worked together to paint a tree with hundreds of leaves. The children watched as the volunteers painted, and begged to join in painting.

As the leaves were painted, we spent time praying, and thinking about all of the people that have been involved in the children’s lives. Between mission teams, previous volunteers, child sponsors, and the many people that have prayed for the children – hundreds of people play a role in the children’s lives. An analogy began to form about the leaves on the trees, and the people the Lord has put in the life of Casa de Amor.

Over the last few months, due to surgeries, hospitalization, government mandated pay increases/ bonuses, Casa de Amor has experienced a time of trusting the Lord in our finances like never before. He has always been faithful to provide, and He has used many of YOU to do that.
We would like this mural to be a tree of remembering the Lord’s faithfulness in a tangible way. During the month of September, we  would like to memorialize the Lord’s provision by “selling” the leaves, branches, and trunk of the tree. We are so thankful for your generosity to Casa de Amor, and we would love for the children to tangibly see how many people love them.

By “buying” a leaf, branch, or trunk, you will be providing for the operating costs of Casa de Amor such as rent for the children’s homes, staff salaries, and daily necessities.  Leaves will be sold for $100, branches will be sold for $500, and the tree trunk will be sold for $5,000. Donations can be made on PayPal or by check, and we will then paint the name of the donor in the leaf, branch, or trunk. If you would like to make a donation on behalf of someone else, or as a church group, that is also a possibility. Mail a check to GOAL PO Box 357 Collierville, TN 38027.  Or click here for the link to PayPal https://casadeamor.publishpath.com/supporting.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 in the next 20 days. We know that the Lord is faithful to provide, and are excited to see how He will work. Each day for the next 20 days, we will post a photo and update on one of our children with a link to donate. Please feel free to share these updates with friends and family, and check back here often for the latest updates! We will also be using the hashtag #20k20days !

We serve a great, powerful, and loving God, and are so thankful for everyone of you – your generosity, prayer, and love for the children of Casa de Amor. Please join us in praying and sharing about how God is at work in Bolivia!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sharing Our Heart



For those of you who have been following our financial situation, we scraped up enough money to pay the staff their portion of the July salaries on time. We still have a few more days to pay the social security portion and taxes that are required.  To do this we still need another $5000 just to finish paying July's salaries.  Ideally we would be able to pay August's by the end of the month and get back on track (this requires an additional $15,000 by the end of the month).  God has been so faithful in always providing what we need and we know He will not fail this time.  Will you please pray with us for support and creative ideas this month.  If you like to keep up to date on how to pray, we will keep the thermometer updated with the current giving for August on our website casadeamor.org.  We would so appreciate any help you can give!