Current Child Count

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the view from here

Forgot to post this a few months back. Both babies visible here are now with their families (one adoptive, one biological)!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

remember those in prison...

See this post first!

This is a direct copy of the sign I created to explain the jail ministry for the Cochabamba guesthouse that will display and sell the artesian items.

"Remember those in prison as if you were together with them..." Hebrews 13:3

Prisons in Bolivia are nothing like the Western system. There are no handouts.

From the minute Ana (name changed) entered the Penal San Sebastian Mujeres, she had to come up with money for fees...but that was only the beginning. Stripped of her liberties since May 2009 and still awaiting a court hearing to prove her innocence or guilt, Ana receives a monthly stipend of 180 Bolivianos (approx. $26) from which to live. She is now 22 years old. She buys clothes, simple footwear, food, rents a cell, and cherishes something as precious as shampoo or soap. Jobs are few and far between in this overcrowded jail, a small, old building that is home to nearly 200 women and their over 200 children ages 0-12.

At first Ana had some family visitors, but now no one visits and her husband was detained in another jail just weeks after her. Ana’s children live in Casa de Amor but have no contact with their mother due to the long judicial process and uncertainty of her future.

Casa de Amor’s director Jennifer Thompson looks out for Ana as well as several other young women that she initially met when they lived on the street. A plate of simple food, a couple of dollars, or any simple toiletry item means the world to them. Seeing their abilities with any sort of thread or yarn, Jennifer began taking in supplies, paying the girls for the finished product, and selling the items among CDA staff members and friends. It’s a great way for the girls to spend their days more productively and be able to support themselves without falling into debt.

Consider supporting this ministry by buying one of the beautiful items they create! Donations of supplies are also welcome. Call Jennifer for more information — or if you’d like to visit her friends in San Sebastian!

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’" Matthew 25:35-36

Friday, September 23, 2011

new enterprise

On my last night in the US, while having a slumber party with my youngest sister Emma, we were talking about stuff and something occured to me.

I could help my friends in jail by selling stuff they make, particularly the creative, skilled girls.

They make something, are more productive with their days, and if I do it right, I can make something back for what I spend in street/jail ministry.

Simple, but it took me 10 months of visiting (street) friends "inside" before this dawned on me!

Within a couple weeks of getting back and catching up with everything and everybody, I was already taking yarns in to the girls. At first I just asked them to make in bulk some of the things they'd already given me, like this little monogrammed change purse...

This would be my name spelled Bolivian-style :)

And a beautiful scarf that they declared matches my eyes...

So far, things are going wonderfully!! I just need to start focusing more on selling than constantly taking in materials and picking up the products, which is always a fun surprise, and they do such quick, high quality work. I've had multiple other women come up to me in the jail and hug me or shake my hand, thanking me profusely for helping these girls who "have no one" by giving them legitimate work.

More stories and pictures in an upcoming post!

Thursday, September 22, 2011