Dear Friends, Family, Readers, Loved Ones, Donors to Our Mission and Curious Bystanders,
If you have been a friend, cyber or otherwise, for any length of time, you know that our family made an enormous move nine months ago. That move took us from Holly Springs, North Carolina - place we loved and felt so safe and secure, to Silang, Cavite Philippines - relatively unknown in every aspect for us.
We came here with a sending organization called "The Bartimaeus Project". This project is focused on serving children with blindness and visual impairments who live in orphanages here, in The Philippines.
We have taken children to eye appointments, purchased eye glasses, conducted weekly classes in our center and sponsored a life-changing surgery for a child. We have loved being a part of those things.
There have, of course, been struggles. We are not finding many children in orphanages with blindness or visual impairment. Most orphanages don't accept them. So we opened up our service model to include some children with additional special needs - cerebral palsy, down syndrome, general learning disabilities and other issues.
Every day, as we drive to serve the children in orphanages, we are struck with the same burning question.
WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?
We are doing work we enjoy but . . . let me put it this way . . .
have you ever had an itch in that "chicken wing" area of your back? You can scratch "around" it but you have trouble hitting the exact spot? When you finally hit it . . . OH THE RELIEF!!!
Well, a friend took me to a shelter for street kids a month ago. Young kids, aged 5-14. Kids who milled around in a room with little to do. I asked about the plan for these children. I was informed that if a more permanent place existed, they could go there. They are not being educated, tucked in at night, loved on or truly invested in. They are in a "holding pattern" - in the throes of being completely abandoned. They are in limbo of the worst sort. We were undone upon meeting them.
WE FOUND THE ITCH and now we're going to scratch it!
Effective today, we will be opening our own orphanage/shelter for children in crisis.
We will no longer be serving under The Bartimaeus Project.
There are no ill feelings between us and the BP. We know that they are doing good work and handling all donations with the utmost care and wisdom. We know the board members are genuine in their love for the Lord and their desire to do right by orphans with blindness and visual impairments.
We also know we have to meet the needs in front of us that are the most pressing.
We are confronted daily with the plight of children with no place to call "home" and no consistent food, support, spiritual guidance or family structure.
So, with some sadness and immeasurable excitement, we share with you that we are starting our own orphanage/ shelter!
We are hiring a full time social worker.
We have taken children in already (details in a later post)
We are almost finished with our our Social Work Development Agency application
We even have an operations manual
We are stepping out in faith
This is even scarier than selling all of our "stuff" and moving out here because we are doing this without a board of directors. We are investing the last of what we have to shelter children who, currently, are at immense risk of harm, abuse and exploitation.
This is a childhood dream-come-true for me! Ask my mother. Many of my Barbie games growing up centered around Barbie and Ken taking care of 15 children! I believe God put this type of love in my heart as a child and it has taken me years to soften up and allow Him to cultivate it to this point.
WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER!!!!
To join us in funding care for these children, log on to www.americanhelper.org , make your donation via check or online and listen to THIS: American Helper retains only 1% of donations made through them and 99% comes DIRECTLY TO US IN THE FIELD!!!! We donated through American Helper regularly before our move to The Philippines. They fund Children's Garden, the home that lovingly provided for our precious Ariel before he was ours. We know the people handling the funding and they are people of integrity. We knew our donations went right to CG because we were thanked within just a few days of donating, most of the time.
This is such a welcome change for us in ministry. Something we needed.
If you choose to support us financially in the endeavor, please make a note on your check or your online giving that says "ESQUIVEL FAMILY" -- and 99% will come to us and the children at Mercy House.
Now, more than ever, we need your prayer support. We will be sending regular newsletters so if you are interested in receiving them, please send an email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org. We can share a lot more in an online newsletter than we can on social media - including pictures and write ups on the children in our care. You'll want to meet them!
Stay tuned! Buckle up! Come and see what the Lord will do! I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!