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About Bradley Burck

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Child Sponsorship Needed

Monday, April 10th, 2017

The smiling faces of children whose lives have been Forever Changed at Dorie's Promise.

By Bradley Burck –

Orphans from fire in Guatemala

Marbely is a survivor of the fire at Virgen de Asuncion. She is now at Dorie’s Promise.

The current situation at Dorie’s Promise underscores the importance of Forever Changed International’s child sponsorship program.

As you may have read on our blog, the home recently accepted four children from the Virgen de Asuncion orphanage in Guatemala after a disastrous fire there in early March. The death toll at the state-run home recently reached 41, with several dozen others sustaining injuries.

In addition, we recently accepted three other children from desperate circumstances, which increased the number living at the home to 44, which is several above capacity.

Given the needs in Guatemala, sponsoring residents through FCI is an excellent way for people wanting to help to respond.

News reports outline the seriousness of the situation. Although designed to accommodate 400 people, the week of the fire the New York Times reported that 750 were crammed into the aging structures at the state-run orphanage.

The newspaper also reported that, although they had been removed from their homes for their own safety, many were victims of sexual assault and other abuse by staff members. The situation prompted criminal cases and complaints with the country’s human rights commission.

Alejandra Diaz, the director of Dorie’s Promise, says that feelings of frustration are common around Guatemala. This situation could have been avoided if the government had provided the care that the children at the state orphanage needed, she says.

Children like Elvis are in need of sponsors.

Children like Elvis (Age 5) are in need of sponsors.

“We are accepting the challenge to take more children, which has filled us beyond our capacity,” Alejandra says. “But we cannot stay indifferent to the need of a safe place for so many children.

“I wish we could have more space and resources to take more children so we could offer them the opportunities that we have provided to the children who have been with us for a long time.”

This situation cries out for prayer, which Alejandra says is one of the most important things that supporters in the United States and elsewhere can offer right now.

  • Pray for emotional relief for our newcomers
  • Pray that they would have a smooth transition
  • Pray too for the nation of Guatemala—that that positive changes can be made for so many children who live in poverty and serious circumstances

“The other important thing we need is their commitment to support us,” Alejandra says. “Not just now during this emergency, but ongoing support so we can offer as many children as possible a future and the opportunities to forever change their life.”

To read more about children who need sponsors, visit this page. Monthly sponsors provide ongoing safety and security for children and are needed now more than ever. Or give today, a special one time gift, to help the children who survived the fire at Virgen de Asuncion.

New Arrivals from Virgen de Asuncion

Monday, March 27th, 2017

The fire at Virgen de Asuncion happened just over two weeks ago. In addition to helping the leadership of that orphanage with supplies for the children still in their care, we also committed to the government to take some children at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

As of today four children from the State Orphanage arrived. Three more from other circumstances have also entered our home. The crisis at Virgen de Asuncion has created overcrowding at all the state’s facilities. Because of this overcrowding, the courts started to send children to private orphanages like ours because the state simply doesn’t have the capacity in their current facilities.

This has all happened very quickly. We want to take a moment to update you on all that has transpired at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala in the last few weeks.

As of this post, we now have seven new children in our care. That takes us up to 44 children living at Dorie’s Promise. We are now slightly over our preferred capacity of 40 children. That’s a big deal! Pray for us.

Our team in Guatemala is working their hearts out to make this happen. They value these children and want to make right the bad decisions their government made.

Cost

As you know from all the letters and emails we send, we have been making ends with 37 children in our care (just barely). Adding 7 more children to the mix changes our situation considerably. Many of you have stepped forward and made gifts to help. Thank you! The situation is that these 7 children are going to be with us until they are adults. That cost to us is close to $100,000 a year.

I think you will agree. We need to get Dorie’s Promise 100 percent sponsored as soon as possible. Help us spread the world!

Meet the New Children

Orphans from fire in GuatMyra is 14 years old. She is very friendly and has made herself at home at Dorie’s Promise. Myra’s mother died when she was younger. After being passed around to relatives, she ended up at the state orphanage. She lived there for 10 months before the fire destroyed the building.

When she came to Dorie’s Promise, she stayed in an isolation room for several days with one special mother. We do this with all new children who come to Dorie’s Promise until Doc Castro clears them. Myra told us she loved the isolation and having the attention of one person. After living at the state orphanage where the adult to child ratio was 20 to 1, she felt special having all the attention and care of one person.

Myra is a great girl. She loves to play basketball, bike, and do Zumba. One thing she wants to learn how to do is play the piano. Her favorite foods are pizza and pollo campero.

She will start at Hosanna School soon and will be enrolled in the 8th grade. She says that she would like to be a lawyer or designer when she grows up.

New at Dorie's PromiseManuel came to Dorie’s Promise on Monday, March 13th. He comes to us from the orphanage Virgen de Asuncion. The tragic fire there has changed his life (hopefully for the better)!

Manuel is 6. He has the biggest smile you have ever seen. Our staff keeps commenting on how infectious his smile is in our home.

As a baby Manuel was abandoned at the hospital because of some severe physical issues. Over the years, he has had a number of surgeries to allow him to function and get by in life. His medical issues have made it so most orphanages in the country don’t want him because they can’t care for him. Because we have Doc Castro on staff and have experience with children with special needs, we know how to care for him properly.

Manuel likes to play soccer. He enjoys coloring books and playing with cars. He is every bit a little boy!

His transition to Dorie’s Promise has been very good. Manuel started at Hosanna School in kindergarden this week. This is his first time in school. He says when he grows up he wants to be a police officer.

Guatemala's OrphansMaberly also came to us on March 13, 2017. Her psychologist called Dorie’s Promise and specially asked that she come and stay with us. How could we turn down a personal request from a doctor caring for children at Virgen de Asuncion. When our staff came to pick her up, Marberly got excited! She immediately recognized our team from all our missions’ teams visits to Virgen de Asuncion. She was so excited!

This wonderful little girl was totally abandoned at age 10 when her father died. Nobody would claim her and care for her. As a result, she was sent to the state run orphanage and lived there for three years.

Doc Castro is monitoring her health and will be working with our psychology team to make sure that she gets the best possible care and transitions well into our home.

New child at Dorie's PromiseNew orphan at Dorie'sFlor and Mateo are a brother and sister dynamic duo. They came to Dorie’s Promise on March 17, 2017. These two have a hard story. They were abandoned and then adopted by a Guatemalan family. The adoptive family eventually gave them up. They were put back into the government system. That’s how they came to us!

The change and transition to Dorie’s Promise has been hard on them. Abandonment is always tough on children. When it happens twice at a very young age, you can only begin to image the pain and frustration these two children are feeling. Despite their trials, Flor and Mateo love each other very much and look after each other. Flor is 11 and Mateo is 9. They are friendly and happy children. In the next few weeks, we will get them started at Hosanna School. We are so excited to see how they do at Dories Promise and in school. Our team in Guatemala thinks they are going to thrive!

Christina Pedro ArrivesChristina Pedro arrived at Dorie’s Promise on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. We call day a child arrive at Dorie’s promise their Forever Changed Day! Christina was at Virgen de Asuncion when the fire happened. She was moved to Zacapa (hours from Guatemala City) immediately after the fire, but her social worker contacted us and asked us to take her in at Dorie’s Promise.

The life of an orphan is never easy, but Christina’s life has been tough. She is a child of abuse and neglect. Her official record says that she is 9 years old but she has never been registered with the government and has no birth certificate. Nobody at the government agencies knows her real age or anything about her.

One of the things we do in this situation is work the beauracy and try to find out everything possible about the child. After years of working with orphans, we know how to find out things. Our team is tenacious about details. We will find out the true story of Christina’s life. As her life changes and she matures, we will share more about her with you.

Eswin arrives at Dorie's PromiseEswin is seven! He arrived at Dorie’s Promise just two days ago. Because he just arrived, we don’t know very much about him. The judge who sent him to us spent the day trying to find him a safe spot to live. He couldn’t so he called us and asked us to take him in and care for him.

Your Help is Needed

Pray about each of these children. Ask God to bless them and allow them to thrive in our care!

As you pray, remember that our finance barely cover 38 children. We need to get our children 100 percent sponsored. Whatever you can do to help with a monthly give would be a huge help.

Give a special gift today!

New Child at Dorie’s Promise

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Orphans from fire in GuatThe first of the orphans from the tragic fire at the Virgen de Asuncion Orphanage has arrived at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

Her name is Mayra. She is 13. Both of her parents have passed away and no relatives have made a petition for her.

Pray for her transition into our home.

For more information about our response to the fire at Virgen de Asuncion please read our last blog post about the fire in Guatemala and the tragic loss of life.

Orphanage Fire in Guatemala – Our Response

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

By Bradley Burck

You may have heard the horrible news coming out of Guatemala about a state run orphanage that caught on fire. We are trying to get all the details we can about what happened and how many perished in this tragedy.   The details about the incident are coming out slowly and seem to change daily.

The name of the orphanage was Virgen de Asuncion. This is the same orphanage that all our mission teams visit when they come to Guatemala. For those of you who have visited this home, you know that if feels more like a prison than the kind of home we run for orphaned children.

Our sources tell us that 34 are now confirmed dead. That number is expected to rise in the next few days.

Virgen de Asuncion was built to hold 400 people. We know that 640 children were living there at the time of the fire. The ages of those children ranged from 5 to 18 and included children who were abandoned early in childhood, troubled teens whose parents released them into the custody of the state for care and rehabilitation, special needs children, teenage mothers, and teens convicted of crime.

As you can imagine, reports of sexual abuse and overcrowing have been coming from Virgen de Asuncion for the last few years.

The night before the fire, there was rioting in the orphanage. More than 60 boys escaped the facility.

The escape of the boys caused the institution to go into lockdown. Our sources tell us that in response to the lockdown a few teenage girls set a mattress on fire thinking the fire would cause the officials to open the doors and let them out. That fire quickly got out of control and consumed that section of the building.

The office of Human Rights is now demanding the orphanage be closed and all the children living there be moved to other orphanages, returned to their parents, or put in a foster care situation.

Our immediate response to this tragedy is to work with the leadership of the orphanage to provide the supplies, blankets, food, and clothing they need to help their children until they are all moved to new locations.

We also contacted the government and let them know we have the ability to take in 8 new children between the ages of 5 and 8. This will put us well over our financial and space capacity. We currently have 38 of 40 beds occupied. Adding an additional 8 children is going to make life very interesting for the next several months.

If you would like to help the children who survived this fire, our team would like to encourage you to make a donation.

You can give to provide immediate resources to help all the orphans coming out of Virgen de Asuncion or to help Dorie’s Promise cover the costs of taking in an additional 8 children.

Please be praying for all the children of Virgen de Asuncion!

What I Saw in Guatemala

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

 

Bradley's 2016 trip to Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By Bradley Burck –

I was recently in Guatemala and spent a few days at Dorie’s Promise. As I toured the homes and saw all the improvements that have been made in recent years, I was reminded of how far we’ve come since Forever Changed International took over the orphanage.

Our children are doing better than I think I have ever seen. It is interesting to see them grow up. Gone are most of the high chairs. The homes are now split between boys and girls. Our children are growing up!

"I can tell you firsthand that special things are happening because of our work together!"One evening while I was there, Nayeli spoke to us about her plans for the future. She talked about how much she loved her family at Dorie’s Promise. I smiled when she talked about Bryan being just like a brother. I realized that we have not only taken care of the physical needs of the children there, but we’ve created a family between the children who care about each other and the special mothers who look out for them on a daily basis.

I loved walking through the homes and seeing the organization and the new furniture, beds, and painting. I’ve always said that our Dorie’s Promise home should be just like your home. That was totally evident during my visit.

As part of the leadership of Forever Changed, I want to give honor where honor is due. First — God is amazing. It is clear to me He has a plan for our children, and that He is intimately involved in each of their lives. He has provided for their care every day of their lives from the moment they were born through their time with us. To Him be all honor, glory, and praise!

Second — thank YOU for seeing the value of the children at Dorie’s Promise. Thank you for giving of your hard-earned money and time to make sure these children are given the best possible opportunity to succeed in life and grow spiritually. Without you, Forever Changed and our work at Dorie’s Promise would only be a dream.

Please continue to be involved. I can tell you firsthand that special things are happening because of our work together!

Partners of Hope Video

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

By Bradley Burck –

Hey – there…  It’s good to connect with you again.  Somebody told me that you wanted to do something that matters. Well…  I think we can help you.

I’m told you have served our children at Dorie’s Promise in Guatemala and have served the poor in the ghettos of Guatemala City…

And my guess is that God’s touched your heart in this process.  I know he’s touched mine.  I think that’s why we’re talking. I’ve held the babies, played with the ninos and ninas, and gone out and worked side-by-side with some good Guatemalan families who are struggling to put food and water on the table. When I came home, I said …  I need to do more of that with my time and my resources and my heart!

So the question I have for you is… what’s next for you?

Do you get home and just get back into life or do you stay involved and really help make a difference here in Guatemala?

I want to tell you – that you can do both.  I know because I’ve done it – maintained life – job, school, friends, kids, family whatever.  You name it – life’s thrown just everything at me but I manage somehow to keep a connection to Guatemala – to the little ones at Dorie’s Promise.

So here’s the deal…  I want to invite you to join me…   There are a lot of things you can do. We’ve developed a program to allow people to stay involved, make a difference, and keep life going.

The program is called Partners of Hope.

If you are passionate about orphans, the poor, and God’s Justice this is for you.

Here’s what becoming a Partner of Hope means. It means you speak for orphans …  at Dorie’s Promise and around the world. That to me is one of the greatest things ever – to give voice to those who have no voice. And this is how you do it…  You invite people to come and serve in Guatemala…with you. You continue to learn, mature, and grow spiritually through the process.

Not a bad gig – if you can get it.  Right?  But what’s it gong to cost me is what I always hear….  As if I’m selling something that needs to be sold…

So here’s what it will cost you…  your heart, your mind, your time, your voice, your treasure…  Not much, right.

Seriously, this is how you become a Partner of Hope.

Step 1:

Come and visit Dorie’s Promise Guatemala on your own or with a group. Since you’re watching this video, you have probably already accomplished Step 1.

Now it is time to make Step 2 happen….

Step 2:

You become a sponsor and get five others like yourself to sponsor children.  That’s a total of six children sponsored by you, your friends, family, and people you know.  There’s no time limit to this.  We will help you keep track.  You just start talking about your experience and asking people to help the children.  You will be surprise how quickly this happens.

Now Step 3: 

Bring a total of 20 NEW people to Dorie’s Promise.  WHOA….!  20 people.  Here’s the thing with this…  there is no time limit.  Come back again and bring your family.  That gets you 3 or 4 people.  Then come another year and bring your grandparents.  Maybe get your youth pastor or pastor to get a group down here.  You get credit for all those people.  You just keep coming and bringing friends.  We will keep track and when you get to 20 people you’ve brought, we will let you know.

Now here is the cool thing about this… when you do these things we actually give you some meaningful things.  Asking people to help you without saying “thanks” isn’t a good idea so we’ve tried to make this thank you worth your time and energy.

Here’s the first thing you get…  This one is my favorite. Anytime you plan a mission trip through Forever Changed International, your mission trip fee will be waived. You also get…  Your photo and bio on our Partners of Hope page on our website.  We will recommend you as a speaker on the topic of missions and orphan care to groups looking for speakers. You will also have the opportunity to represent Forever Changed International at official events. Finally, we give you a pretty nice Forever Changed International Partners of Hope speaker’s polo shirt that you can wear out to important events – you know to make you “official.” I wear mine when I go out to talk with churches.

So that’s it…  Partners of Hope.  You need to become one.

You are needed!  We need help to secure Dorie’s Promise, grow our children, launch them into the world, take in new children, and really help the families we serve in the dump and ghetto.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, let me know.  Email us.

Let’s talk!  It’ll be good!

Parenting with Love and Logic

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Special Mother with one of our children at our home in Guatemala

By Bradley Burck-

Using Love and Logic at Dorie's Promise“Their smiles are amazing!” Visitors often use this phrase, and others like it, when they describe our children here at Dorie’s Promise. It makes sense, too, because they are constantly smiling, even though many came from circumstances more difficult than most might guess. Our dedicated group of special moms are a major reason why these children are so happy, and we are forever grateful for their dedicated love.

Of course, as anyone who spends time with children knows, even the sweetest struggle at times. Our special moms do a good job of sorting through those problems, but we at Dorie’s Promise want to give them the best tools available to help them succeed. We think helping our children flourish is worth whatever investment we need to make. That is why we are so excited about Parenting with Love and Logic.

Parenting with Love and Logic is a program that will equip our special moms with the knowledge and practical experience they need to help the children break free from negative behaviors. At the same time it saves the special moms from becoming frustrated by a child’s repeated mistakes.

One of the great things about Parenting with Love and Logic is that it is taught in several different ways. This means each special mom will have the training reinforced multiple times. For instance, there are six training sessions they will each attend. They will hear what they need to do, but later this information will be reinforced by the text they are reading. They can then discuss what they read with each other in their book club. Finally, and perhaps best of all, an instructor will observe each special mom as she puts the lessons into practice. The process is private and designed to be encouraging so no one feels like they are being judged.

Special Mothers and the Orphaned Children living at Dorie's PromiseLet me give you an example of what the special moms will learn through their six sessions in Parenting with Love and Logic:

• Avoiding unwinnable power-struggles and arguments

• Staying calm when children do extremely upsetting things

• Setting enforceable limits

• Avoiding enabling and beginning empowering

• Helping children learn from mistakes rather than repeating them

• Raising children who are family members rather than dictators

As you can see, these sessions are designed to teach some of the most important skills needed to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. We want our little ones to have bright futures, so we are eager to get started.

The total cost for Parenting with Love and Logic, including all the sessions plus the reading material, is $1,350.00–a price which includes a 25% discount.

We know that as supporters of Dorie’s Promise you don’t want our children to just survive. You want them to grow into vibrant, healthy adults. This program is designed to do just that, so please consider supporting our efforts with your prayers and a financial donation. Help us to continue investing in the lives of those who need it most.

Christianity Today Article — Sponsorship Works!

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

By Bradley Burck-

Christianity TodayThis month’s issue of Christianity Today is titled, “Does Child Sponsor Work?: A Top Economist Answers.” If you haven’t picked up your copy at your local bookstore, let me encourage you to do it. The magazine has a couple of stories in it addressing the impact of child sponsorship and some great stories of children — now adults — who have benefited from people supporting them as kids.

One of the writers, Ken Walker, a neighbor of mine, has written a number of “Story of the Week” pieces for Forever Changed International. When I got my copy of Christianity Today, it got my attention. When I flipped through it and saw that Ken was one of the contributing writers, I got really excited.

For those of you who are not big readers and just need the Cliff’s Notes, let me sum up this Christianity Today issue for you: CHILD SPONSORSHIP WORKS!

Here are just some of the facts provided by economist Bruce Wydick as he writes about more than 10,000 individuals sponsored through Compassion International:

• Sponsorship resulted in better educational outcomes for children.

• Sponsored children are 27 to 40 percent more likely to complete secondary school AND 50 to 80 percent more likely to complete a university education.

• Evidence shows that there is a spillover effect to children in families and communities who are not sponsored.

Wydick’s article goes on to explain the process in which they went about collecting data and how they analyzed it. The best quote from the entire article is Wydick explaining that no matter how they critically looked at the data they collected, the outcomes all pointed to the hugely successful impact that child sponsorship has on lives.

Ken Walker’s article is a companion to Wydick’s. Walker looks at the story of a man named Moses Pulei who lives in Namanga, a town along the Tanzania-Kenya border. At age 44, his life shows the full impact that sponsorship can have. He was sponsored as a child and says it changed the direction of his life and opened up opportunities he never could have dreamed about. Today, Dr. Moses Pulei — having been trained at Fuller Seminary — serves in Africa under the banner of World Vision serving families and children all over the continent.

Walker also provides a detailed history of child sponsorship and explains why it works and why people want to be involved.

What I love about this issue of Christianity Today and why we are featuring it here in our blog is that it verifies what we already know to be true. The children we are raising at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala have better lives than other orphans in the country. And even more than that, we are giving them hope and a pathway to a better future.

Who knows … in 30 years we may have a couple of doctors, nurses, and college professors who spent their early lives growing up in our home. Please continue to pray for our children. Ask God to bless them and lead them to be wonderful servants for Him.

If you have a chance to pick up a copy of the June 2013 Christianity Today, do it. As you read it, remember that you are making a difference in the lives of the children of Dorie’s Promise. May God richly bless you for your heart, passion, and sacrifice to help them!

Main Article:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/june/want-to-change-world-sponsor-child.html

Ken’s Article:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/june/sponsoring-movement.html

On The Passing Of My Friend Alex

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

By Bradley Burck-

Sitting in a crowded restaurant on Father’s Day, I heard my cell phone ping — a new email had just arrived. It was Sunday and I was surrounded by family, enjoying a day meant to celebrate fatherhood, so I was not about to look at it. But at that moment, I heard a little voice in the back of my mind say, “You need to read this.”

As I read the message, my eyes filled with tears. It was from my friend Pablo, who works for Forever Changed International at our home for orphans in Guatemala City called Dorie’s Promise.

The message simply said:

Dear Bradley,

There is not a good way to say this. Alex passed away today in the morning in the Guatemala Hospital. We praise the Lord that he is in a better place. I personally prayed over him and in the name of Jesus Christ. I declare that he is happy with eternal life in Christ. 

Pablo

Alex was my friend. If you ever met him, I’m sure you would consider him your friend too. Every time I went to Guatemala, I made it a point to go to the “special needs” room and sit with Alex and talk. His eyes and smile just lit up when people visited him.

While I know my words and stories and songs never really communicated much to him, I always felt like sitting with him was where I belonged — like hanging out with an old friend. Ours was the type of relationship where words didn’t matter, just the company was enough to fill the loneliness and pain and strangeness of life that I think we both felt.

Alex’s smile always made me smile. His big bright teeth, open mouth, and arms reaching always greeted me, and never stopped during our time together. I knew there was a kid inside Alex just waiting to explode out of the body that trapped him and his words and thoughts in this life.

I actually skipped the second part of Pablo’s email when I read it at the restaurant. It wasn’t until later, when I was a little more collected, that I finished reading it. I can see Pablo praying over Alex’s degenerated body and imagine God reminding Pablo that He’s got this one, and that Alex will soon be with Him. I smiled at that and the thought of Alex — tall and strong and full of laughter running down the streets of heaven. His hoots and hollers ringing though the sky.

Doc Castro wrote to me and explained what had happened. Alex had been deteriorating for the last few years. As he got older and grew, his physical problems progressed. Doc put him in the hospital a week ago because of intestinal complications. He had an “abdominal band” that was either formed at birth or resulted from an appendicitis operation he had almost two years ago. Ultimately it was this “band” that led to Alex’s passing.

While in the hospital, they determined this band was causing the small and large intestines damage and needed to be removed. Last Monday, Alex went through that operation. There were complications, so Alex really struggled through the postoperative period. His struggles made recovery impossible, and he passed away early on Sunday, June 16, 2013.

I can say without hesitation that everyone at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala will miss Alex. As Doc reminded me in his email, “At age 17, Alex was happy and relaxed due to the loving care at the Dorie’s Promise home. Thank you to all the friends who supported and loved him. He was special. He is now in heaven, thanks be to God!”

So, Alex — during these days after you’re gone — I am selfishly wishing you were still here. But deep inside I know you are in a much better place. You have a new and wonderful body, a beautiful home, and are surrounded by the love of a Father who loves you more than I ever could.

Goodbye, my friend, my dear sweet friend Alex — I can’t wait to see you again!

Beautiful Backyard After One More Try

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

By Bradley Burck-

You need to have a look at the pictures of what we’ve done to the backyard. After years of trying to grow grass and failing, we brought in landscaping professionals. The results – FANTASTIC! Have a look at these pictures.

Abel who has spent a lot of time over the years watering the grass (and dirt) of our yard with a hose said, “I love the fact that we put in sprinklers. This will make sure the roots take hold and the grass continues to grow.”

In addition to the grass and in-ground sprinklers, we’ve also put bark chips around the play area and created a small garden area. The bark should make any hard landings and the falls off the play set a little easier to handle.

The back yard is finally where we have always wanted it. The grass we planted should stick this time because we chose a variety with a very deep and aggressive root system. We also grew the grass from seed instead of laying down turf. We’ve been very careful to let it grow and take hold before letting the children play on it,” said Heather Radu.

The grass, bark, and the garden area are just the next phase in the work we planned for the backyard. Stay tuned and see what’s coming. In the next year, we should have a playhouse built for the little girls.

Pablo Villigran who works with missions teams said, “This backyard is perfect for the children to play and run and work out their wiggles. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun back here with the children and our mission teams this summer. I’m dreaming of some good kickball games!”

For all those who donated their time and gave generously over the years to specifically see the backyard turned into a wonderful play area for the children – THANK YOU!

May God richly bless you for all your hard work and generosity.