Sunday, December 23, 2012

We’re growing again!!!

We are late getting our Christmas letter out to everyone because we have been working hard on getting new members taken care of here at Casa de Fe. You will see in our family photo in the back row the family of Josue and Rita Beltran with their 2 daughters. They are moving here to Casa de Fe to help care for the children. Rita will be working with Lupita while Josue works outside the Hogar. They are a great Christian couple who bring strong values and traditions to the children, giving them the benefit of many aspects of Mexican life to learn from in addition to Lupita. They are a humble and quiet couple from the Acapulco area who are in service to the Lord and have many of the same ideals and goals as we do. Please make it a point to come by and meet them, but you will need a translator. I am always happy to help if I’m here.
In Rita’s arms you will see Alberto. With DIF’s permission we accepted him as a private placement to give his mother an opportunity to change her life in a dramatic way. He is 17 months old and has a great smile and laugh. It is a great thing to be able to help his Mom as well as help him grow and learn new things. He should be with us for anywhere from 3 months to a year.
With Rita and Josue coming on board this will allow Lupita and I to direct more attention towards our longer term goals of building the Preschool and getting a small office trailer to convert into the boy’s dormitory facility. DIF told us we can still use the Hogar for communal meals, study and family time but we needed a separate structure for them to sleep in.
There have been a lot of changes happen here in the last year and now plans and dreams are starting to come to fruition which allows us to continue to build a safe haven for children here in San Felipe as well as Baja. With your continuing help we are making a difference in the lives of our children as well as children in San Felipe.
God Bless us all. He is the reason for this season and we are here to serve Him.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wedding Plans & Happy Thanksgiving

We had our Thanksgiving today with Lorna and Byron since we have a normal schedule on Thursdays. It was nice explaining the reason behind the holiday; it’s not just a day to eat until you burst.

We are planning our wedding to be here at Casa de Fe on Dec. 15th  around 2pm. We are going to have music at the reception as well as chicken with mole and all the fixings. We are trying to get a head count so we can have enough for everyone so if you could reply back and let us know how many we can make arrangements. It’s going to be a simple service and a family style gathering afterwards so it will be great to have our friends here to help us celebrate. Everyone is welcome!!
Please check out our needs list, it's been updated.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Casa de Fe Wedding Announcement!!!!

We are planning to have our wedding on Saturday Dec. 15th here at Casa de Fe and naturally will have the reception here as well. We are letting everyone know so you can let us know how many of you and your friends would like to attend. We are simple people and are planning a simple service and reception, but we’re ready for a good Mexican party to celebrate. Everyone is invited so please let us know. Please no gifts, donations to Casa de Fe would be great.

We started the San Felipe Egg Company today!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to the help of Richard Paiva, the group from Oregon, the guys from Chiliwack and several people here in San Felipe we have a deluxe chicken coop and today we received 27 chicks. We spent a lot of time trying to find grown hens to no avail. Now that the weather has cooled we decided to start from scratch and get chicks, 25 female and 2 males. They are getting adjusted today and the kids are naturally excited to have them here. This spring we are looking to have our own eggs and maybe have some for sale.
Remember, we are baking custom breads and cakes. We are offering them for sale at the swap meet but we are also open to have people come to Casa de Fe if they would like to buy one during the week. We also are taking orders for baked goods and are happy to bake on request. Call us at our new number,
686-688-0355, and let us know what you would like.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary Baby

Not many people will remember this but on Nov. 2, 2010 we received our first 3 children from DIF, Alejandra, Perla and Rosita. Several days later we were given Amanda who had just turned 2 yrs old. It was an eventful learning experience getting comfortable with the girls and establishing a family environment for them to grow in. We have had many things happen along the way, especially this year, but God has had His hand on us and we are doing what we do one day at a time. We couldn’t do this without your help and support so this really is a celebration for you and what you have accomplished with us. We will be taking the girls to the Shrimp Festival here in town to celebrate the anniversary and birthday amongst ourselves if nothing else.

With the holidays coming up I have been asked to broach a subject I haven’t really talked about before. We are always happy when groups or individuals come and share clothes and toys with the girls. They are always very happy to see you all and to receive your gifts, especially the food. Consequently we have a LOT of clothes and toys but we are in need of other things like gasoline, propane, electricity, medicine; things that take cash. We have never asked for money outright or given you amounts for donations for things, but we have received enough things for the girls for Christmas already that they will not need anything else and will still have much more than many kids here in town. If for this Christmas you could take the amount you were going to use for the girls and make it a donation to Casa de Fe we can use it for other things that they need. You can either mail it to us or to 99+1 Ministries if you need a tax receipt (just put Casa de Fe in the memo space). Thanks for understanding.
Wedding plans are being finalized; we will let you know where. The date will be Dec. 15th here in San Felipe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It’s been a busy month.

We started the month by formalizing our board with John and Bonnie Gilbert of 99+1 Ministries and our Pastor Cesar Sanchez and his wife Rebecca accepting formal positions on the Casa de Fe board. It’s reassuring to have people you can trust and that have San Felipe experience to be able to advise you. One of the things we discussed and unanimously agreed upon was the need to develop a reliable income stream. God has always provided for us with everything we have needed but He also wants everyone to be good stewards and be able to be more self-sufficient. We have decided to put the boy’s home on hold and to develop a child care center to bring in steady income. I will be putting a detailed information page on our website to let everyone know the costs and income possibilities, but it will give us a good financial base to allow us to plan our growth more responsibly. We are also baking custom breads and cakes to sell here in San Felipe so if you need or want something come see us here at Casa de Fe or the El Dorado swap meet on Saturdays.
We are excited to let everyone know that Lupita and I were married this summer.
After many independent long prayer sessions, with both of us saying “really God, are you serious???”, and talking with our pastor separately without the other knowing, we were affirmed that we were put together for a reason. We are definitely committed to Casa de Fe and the girls we have. As with many parents there are days we look at each other and think “what were we thinking”, but we see the changes in the girls and the way God is working in their lives and it is all worth it. We are having a church wedding on Dec. 15th and everyone is invited. We will have the details firmed up and will let everyone know when and where as it gets closer.
We want to thank everyone who has been here to visit and for the donations that always seem to come right when they are needed. It is always a life saver to have His help. Seeing Him working with and through you all is thrilling to witness.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rosa’s B-day Party

Thanks to Alejandro, Mike, Gonzo and way too many to name, we had a huge party for Rosa’s 6th birthday. This is the 3rd time we have had this awesome group come down from Mexicali and Imperial County to celebrate with us. We had met Alejandro in Costco in Mexicali and he remembered the “princess”, Rosa. One thing led to another and this group of philanthropic off roaders put together this awesome party. They brought a piñata, good food and a lot of presents and clothes for all of the kids to enjoy. We were also blessed to have them bring food and things for the house as well. It was an eye opener for the new girls, they had not been exposed to a large group of such nice people who just wanted to have a good time and help others.

 The Center for Cultural Arts here in San Felipe contacted us last week to tell us they are offering us 3 scholarships for the older girls to take folkloric dancing. We had gone to a book presentation with all of the girls and because they were impressed with them being so well behaved they were moved to give the girls a chance to be involved. It makes a difference to the older girls to be recognized like this; they are not used to being viewed and treated this way.

We are going to be at the El Dorado swap meet again this year, but we’ll be selling custom breads and cakes to raise awareness of the house and help raise a little money. We are constantly blessed by everyone when they bring us food items and things from our Needs List. We know that God will provide all of the things we need and doing things like the swap meet helps us to get in front of people to let you all know what is happening in our little world.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Blessings continue / Thanks Rotary!!

We were blessed to have the San Felipe Rotary Club step up and donate monies for the cost of the uniforms for our children. We would have had a much harder time if it weren’t for the Rotary Organization here and in the US. They have been behind us from the beginning and have always asked how they can help. From helping to build or the grants and donations that they have blessed us with, Rotary has by far been an angel watching over us. 
We were actually given an additional girl for the school year after we had given Rotary an amount we would need, but true to His word Mike and Tina came that day and donated enough to cover the extra uniform we didn’t expect. I am always amazed in His timing.
Today I was getting ready to go to La Vaquita for the Wed. discount vegetables and fruit when some gals from the Better Together in Christ group came and delivered veggies and some fruit, actually a little more than we had planned to buy.

To all of you that have helped us with food donations know that no matter what we receive, it all makes a difference to us. We use it all. This year we were donated a bread making machine and as some of you know we have been making bread that is to die for. We are trying to be as self-sufficient as possible, so cooking large batches of stuff to freeze or baking our own bread is good for us. We are now using large amounts of flour and sugar, but it’s all good.
It has been a challenge getting the older girls settled in school. 4 days before school was to start someone broke into the school at night and stole the electrical wiring for the air conditioning for 9 of the 12 classrooms. They did the same at a Kindergarten school close by as well. For us it extended the vacation by 2 weeks for all but the 1st grader, they didn’t want to have the first year for the young ones spoiled. Amanda, Florecita and Rosa are excited about Kinder here in the Ejido. It’s nice to have the kids excited about going to school.
We’re looking forward to having everyone come by when you come back. Maybe we’ll have some fresh bread for you. Call us a couple of days ahead and we’ll see what we can do.
God Bless

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What a Summer

It has been an eventful summer here. We swelled to 13 children with emergency placements coming and going for the last few months, one of them was an 11 yr old girl with 2 brothers, 16 months and 5 months old that was with us for a couple of weeks. They just went home this week with many tears from everybody. It makes it all worthwhile when the grandparents take the time to personally thank us for the help. We didn’t expect to have this influx; it has taken a toll on our supplies. We have been hiding in the house for most of the summer, watching movies, studying school and scripture and basically trying to make it until now.
We are starting to get ready for the girls to go to school. This year we will have 7 girls going from kinder to the 6th grade and luckily we have some supplies and uniforms stored; but not near enough for everyone.  It is always a scramble to get everyone ready, but we are praying for help along the way. The owner of La Vaquita III was very generous in donating backpacks for school. This helped a lot.

We were blessed to have the groups come from Canada this summer. They were both fun groups and it was nice to have them here to help. More importantly for me, it gave us a perspective from new eyes. We get so caught up in the day to day challenges sometimes we lose sight of the goal. Our girls can be challenging but they need a lot of help to break the life cycles that brought them here.
Lupita and I are looking forward to everyone coming back after the summer. Without your help we would not be able to do the things needed to help them. We are reminded daily that we are a team effort and none of this could happen without His help as well as all of yours. Many times that comes in the form of a smile and a hug. Lupita is a lot more huggable than me, but I like smiles
Look for our photo page soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We are full up!!!!

We are full with 10 children right now, though in an emergency we will find room. This is 5 in the last 2 weeks. We have been blessed with 2 sisters who are with us for at least 3 months. They are victims of physical abuse and it is hard to believe that someone can beat a 2 and a 4 year old hard enough to leave bruises on both and a swollen kidney in a 2 yr old.

We have been here at home for a while and the summer is keeping us inside for most of the day. We are going to Mexicali tomorrow for our Psychologist appt. and that will be exciting with 10 little girls, 5 of them under 6 yrs old. Luckily for us Marty at Mirror Image takes good care of us and keeps our van detailed to make the trip bearable. When you are here he is the guy for cleaning your vehicle.

We had 2 different groups of volunteers from Canada who came and did things to help that we have not been able to do and it made an incredible difference around here. We were able to finish many projects, like the chicken coop, and the group from Chiliwack even painted our house on the outside. An incredible blessing, we are ready for a couple more years. All of the volunteers that have and do come to help us here make all the difference in the world for us. We couldn’t do this work without everyone’s help and support.
We are looking forward to everyone returning when the weather changes. We have talked with DIF and we are going to be able to have some of you that have asked to be certified to stay with the kids at night to give us a chance to have a little time off. This is only available to residents with homes here, but it is possible if you want to help. Please let me know if you are interested and I can get some info to you. Also, please check out our needs list on the website. We will be changing things to allow for the new girls.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We Have 3 More!!!!

We have been blessed with 3 more girls today. They are sisters from Mexicali and are 5, 8 and 11 years old. They are good girls and as usual, the youngest is the most vocal and outgoing. Luckily for us its summer and we will have a chance to get everyone together, get our routines established and have everyone on the same page. We are very happy to have these girls here and it will make up for some of the losses we have had with some of the temporary girls leaving. Yamilet came to us at 3 months old, very thin and very sick. With the help and advice of Dr. Dara we helped her recover her health and almost double in weight before she went to live with her Aunt just before she turned 7 months old. It was a very sad day for us to see her go, but in the big picture it was best for her. Like it says in the Bible, some of us plant seeds, some tend and water and some receive the fruit. We are glad to be able to do our part with your help.
With our donation of a freezer from Mark L. we have been able to make large quantities of chili, spaghetti sauce, quiche, pies and lasagna to help keep our food costs down. We were really blessed by George W. with a new high quality pressure cooker so we are now planning on canning foods as we can buy them in bulk. I know Audrey has donated jams and jellies she has canned and if she or someone who knows how to can would like to help teach us, we are looking to get started.
The more we can make our money stretch the more effective we can be helping these girls, and none of this would be possible without everybody’s help. Thank you all and God Bless.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rotary Came to the Rescue!!

Last week Dr. T from the Clayton Valley Rotary came and presented us with $500+ dollars donated by the club members to make up for most of our losses from our burglary. It was a definite blessing from out of the blue.
We also received an ice maker from Tia Bert. This will absolutely be in use this summer, we cannot keep up with making ice in the trays we have and buying ice is a luxury we cannot afford.
On advice from our Pyscologist we had to divert funds from our second home to make a room to separate some of our older girls. We would rather make accommodations in the home rather than send someone back. Most behaviour problems can be corrected with time and love if you are willing to suffer through the bad times. It took enough away from the fund that we have to wait on donations to continue. We need another $2000 to be able to put the entire roof on and we are going to be praying hard for this to come soon. We were talking with our social worker from DIF today about taking in 3-4 babies to fill the house and she had a lot more boys than girls to choose from. They are definitely anxious for us to complete the boys home. We have decided to take in babies to alleviate some of the problems the older children bring with them, but babies come with their own baggage as well. Mostly effects from the mothers behaviours while pregnant. We are going to have 2 more Tias coming to Casa de Fe in Sept with a years commitment to help with the new children, that will be a blessed relief. Hopefully they will be staying on after they get to know and love the kids like we do.
School is over the first wek in July and we are looking at various classes being offered here in San Felipe for the different ages. If anyone is interested in helping us with the costs please give us an email and we will let you know what we have found.
God Bless, have a good summer. Come and see us if you are down, you are always welcome to visit.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We were robbed today!!

At 7:30 this morning we had someone break into our rear gate and start loading things from our storage room in the back. Only because we had a worker doing some maintenance did we know they were there, as soon as they were discovered they scurried away like the rats they are. I have spent all day dealing with the Misiterio Publico ( the local DA) who were all incredibly professional .
We lost about $750 in computers we were saving for the boys home and tools that we were using to do work here on the property. The most important thing to Lupita and me is the loss of security for the girls. We have worked hard to make this a safe place to forget their old life and this is working to bring it back. We just had the police come to the house to let us know they are implementing a system of patrol with a signed log to let us know that they are going to be here. This will also help the patrol problem here in the Ejido as well. Praise God!
Pray for us. The attack today only enforces to us that we are doing the right thing and it only makes us more determined.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

We’re almost full!!

We are now at 7 permanent girls and a brother and sister temporarily. This house rocks when everyone is excited and the 4 yr old boy is a true boy. He plays hard and does what seems right without some guidance. But they’re all good kids and are happy here.

We are going into the egg business, I hope by the end of this month. We have been working hard to get it done and without Richard’s help it would still be a skeleton. I asked the local vet, Dr. Solis, what else we needed and he had many things on his list that we needed so we’re searching for everything this week and we’ll be installing everything ASAP.  If you need a vet down here he is the only one we ever go to.
We will be raising our own eggs to eat and expect to be able to sell 30 – 40 dozen a month for now. It doesn’t sound like much but it pays for itself and we produce free range organic eggs which are nothing like the local eggs. We have stores and bakeries wanting the eggs but I think it would be better to sell to our Casa de Fe family here in town first. I’ll let you know when they are ready.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I am so glad we are doing what we were called to do. Read the whole email.

I am amazed by the blessings we have received from all of you and the incredible joy that we see in the faces of everyone that is involved with us. I want to thank all of the people who helped with our very successful fundraiser / memorial on the 25th of March. It was good to have everyone there dancing and having a good time.
We were asked to take the girls to Campo Cristiano in San Matias the Sunday after for 3 relaxing days and we got to hang with our friends from Henderson, Nv. and just be part of the gang.

This is the most important thing to us right now. We are now starting construction on the roof for our 2nd home. If anyone knows someone who can do a simple truss design for us, please let us know. I have the $$ for the lumber and we are going to build the trusses here on site. The reason this is most important is that we are desperate to continue helping the children here in Baja and to be here to help children who are abused and abandoned. I saw this photo on Facebook and am amazed how little mention there has been of this baby. Help us help them. This is why we are here!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It’s been a fun 2 weeks!!

We have been selling tickets like crazy and I hope there are enough for everyone. We are filling up our fundraiser for Wed. the 28th at the Pavilion and it going to be a great time for everyone.

Last week I sent out an email to some people I know asking for help and we were hugely blessed by DJ & Lynette at Door of Faith. They arranged to have Rachel come over from their staff for a month to help Lupita and me until we can find some more people to help staff the house. Carol & I would stay at the house on Lupitas day off. I can’t stay there by myself so we need to find someone to fill in and stay here at night with Lupita. Rachel is great with the girls and is already a valuable asset for us.

We had a “pre-party” event with some friends from Mexicali, Calexico and El Centro who came down for a fun time with all of us at Casa de Fe. Miguel and everyone came down to spend time with the girls and serve us a lunch that never stopped. We had hamburgers, carne asada, hot links that were too hot for the kids and all of the trimmings to go with it. It was fun hanging out with everyone and we’re hoping to make it an ongoing event here at the house. They brought some really nice clothes for the girls, had a HUGE piñata and made us all feel special. The girls had a great time and Tia, Rachel & I enjoyed hanging with everyone and getting a break with some adult time. It was also very cool seeing these tough off road guys melt when the baby was passed around and they ended holding her longer than the ladies. Life is good.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I am asking you all for some help!

With what has been happening in the last few weeks, the marketing that was usually done for our event has been delayed. I am asking you to help us make this an event on the 28th at the Pavilion at El Dorado Ranch that will memorialize Carol like never before here in San Felipe. We are having a superb dinner with live Rock N Roll for dancing the night away. We’re also having a silent auction with many incredible items, including a painting from Louis Cogley and many hand crafted pieces from the San Felipe Artist Guild. Carol will be there with us, let’s celebrate the vision.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We Are Getting Another Girl

Even after what happened last week, we have been incredibly blessed. Clayton Valley, Ca. Rotary Club had taken responsibility of providing us with the items from our Needs List. When they told us this we were ecstatic about getting the items for the kids. They outdid that with a 1996 15 passenger, 1 ton Ford van that they had a club member go through mechanically and put on all new tires as well. It couldn’t be better to us if it were new. We are humbled to have received it and are going to use it to go to Mexicali tomorrow. Rotary has been an integral part of our being able to do what we are doing, from work volunteers, a grant to buy the furnishings we needed to open and now this. You are all a part of our family.
I also want to take this time to thank everyone who has helped us in our time of need. I don’t want to start listing names because I don’t want to forget anyone but all of you have helped us all with your love and support. Be it a donation, a card or phone call to a simple hug and prayer, it has all been important and appreciated.
We had our annual inspection today with DIF. They wanted to see where we were at with the house and our determination to continue. Lupita and I have talked at length over the last week and told them solidly what we had mentioned in the last newsletter. We were told we passed our inspection, they were very happy with the home and children and they are going to give us information on another 3 year old that we should receive next week.
We are blessed and are looking forward to getting the next house finished and filled.

Friday, February 24, 2012

We Love You Carol, Happy Birthday Today

  It’s taken me a few days to sit down to write this so please forgive me.
     Tuesday morning, Feb. 21st, Carol and I were in San Felipe doing errands when she had a heart attack and died. I thank God I was there with her and was there the whole time that Cruz Roja worked to help her heart restart. She has had heart problems for many years and this was something they could not help her with. They worked tirelessly for an hour and never faltered in their work. I applaud them greatly.
     We were married for almost 35 years and have lived here in San Felipe for the last 8 years. Just last week we had talked about the evolution of our dream of Casa de Fe and how God’s hand had been holding us up for the entire ride. There were so many obstacles that only He could have resolved that we knew we were doing the right thing. We were to be simple servants here for the people we are privileged to have in our lives.
     The greatest joy in our lives was and still is being with and helping these girls grow and develop into the strong women we know they will be. Also, last week we had made decisions about forming a formal board or “consejo” to be able to continue the work of Casa de Fe if something happened to one or both of us. We had made a wish list of people who we wanted to work with and in the last couple of days they have all graciously agreed to work with us. We are blessed to have 2 strong women, Lupita Perez and Bonnie Gilbert, who will continue the clerical and financial administration of Casa de Fe and John Gilbert and Pastor Cesar Sanchez to help guide us into the next phase of our vision. We are still dedicated to filling this home with more girls and finishing the second home for boys, with 7 houses being the final goal for Casa de Fe on the property we now have.
     Thank you for your prayers and blessings. Get ready to rock; we’re catching our breath for the next round.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thank You All

     We want to thank everyone that joined us at Los Arcos on Sunday. Cliff and Susie put on a great brunch and it was great to see everyone that came. Cliff and Susie have been friends of Casa de Fe from the first day we received the girls.
    We have people who have donations in San Francisco and Henderson, Nv that have donations. If you are from or are going through those areas and are coming down to San Felipe please let us know.
     I also want to thank someone who helped us out a couple of weeks ago. Robert emailed me months ago and said he wanted to help us with his Off-road group from Mexicali and Calexico. I told him we would be appreciative for any help and what could we do to help him. He said when it came closer he would let me know. I didn’t hear from him for a couple of months but true to his word he called and we made arrangements to meet on Sat. afternoon on the Malecon for a ceremony to present us with a “small donation”. What they had there was enough to fill the back of our Suburban and we were very happy with this. We met a lot of good people and enjoyed their fun of riding off road from Mexicali to San Felipe. The surprise was the next day when 5-6 groups of riders who had finished later than the ceremony came by the Casa. We made a lot of new friends and were overwhelmed with the donations that they brought. It was enough to supplement us for a good 3-4 weeks. To me the important lesson was how easy it is to help when a lot of people each do what they can, no matter how large or small.
     All of you are the reason we are able to help these girls. From the first person who donated for our septic system, to the people who come to help with the girls during the day, to the people who donate food, to the people who sponsor needs on a monthly basis. We are blessed by you all. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gonna Have Some Football!!

We are having a Sunday Football Playoff Brunch at Los Arcos Restaurant on Sunday, Jan. 22nd. You can see either or both games, have a fun time with your friends and spend the day seeing who is going to the Super Bowl. Cliff is putting on one of his sumptuous brunches and at $10.00 or $130.00 pesos it’s a deal for all. Bring all of your friends. We will have tickets at the El Dorado swap meet, Los Arcos Restaurant, Sunrunner Mail and at Casa de Fe. If you want to come by the Casa for tickets please call 576-0379.
Last week Lupita was sick for the whole week. I was staying at the house at night helping Carol with the new baby that came just before Christmas. I have an immense respect for Moms who have young kids, especially if they have more than one. Luckily Lupita is doing well, has returned and we are developing a new system to take care of the younger kids.
We are now sheltering a 15 year old who needed temporary help. We have had a running agreement with the Ministerio Publico ( Local Mexican District Attorney) and Local DIF to open our Casa for emergency help since the summer and have had many children as well as abused mothers who have stayed here for 1 night or up to a week. This has made our project of a second home for boys a priority. Please see our Progress page for more information.
Thanks to everyone who was able to bring down things from our needs list, it is great to meet with you and we have met many new friends who have been told about us this year. Thank you so much for your help; it really makes a big difference to have you on our team helping the girls.