Issuu on Google+

Welcome Home

Summer 2008

“What is a tree without its roots held deeply in the soil? What is a cup without its saucer? What are letters if they aren’t put into words and sentences? What is a child’s life like if there is no home and no family to belong to?” — SUSAN SCHAEFFER MACAULAY

“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.... You will be like a wellwatered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” — I S A I A H 5 8 Growing in Faith: Casa Viva Milestones March 2004

February 2005

Viva International, LeaderTreks and Aspegrens brainstorm the Casa Viva idea

Casa Viva hires first staff and initiates pilot project

May 2005

October 2005

Formal agreement with the Costa Rican government

First child placed in a Casa Viva home

February 2008

April 2008

Casa Viva receives 25th child in care

Casa Viva incorporates as a Not-for-Profit organization

July 2008

Casa Viva’s first Board Meeting in Chicago

Building Momentum by Jill Aspegren

I clearly remember the day our dear gardener and friend stripped our garden bare with his machete. I was so shocked I could hardly speak. What happened to my trees? my flowers? Where did everything go? My sweet gardener assured me that all was well, that I needed only have patience. It will all grow again, he assured me; just wait. Our gardener had complete confidence that new life would come from the sticks and stumps scattered around our yard. In many ways, the growth of Casa Viva has mirrored that experience. The life within Casa Viva is God designed. Time and time again God has orchestrated the details, all with complete confidence that life would appear. The churches and families of Latin America are ready to take on the challenge of caring for their

children. They are opening their doors and welcoming children in the name of Christ. Today we share with you a big moment in the life of Casa Viva. We’re moving from the shelter of the greenhouse to the great outdoors. Casa Viva is officially stepping out on its own by forming a board of directors and becoming a 501(c)(3) organization. Casa Viva began with a dream of an idea and the ingredients for growth—the support of the local church and families willing to become the solution for children in need of Please care. We grew the Celebrate idea by creating a With Us The team that would Growth Of handle all the details of government Casa Viva! relations, legal decisions, relationships with the biological families—all the details that limited a church’s ability to respond. We are clearing pathways for lifegiving families to connect with children who desperately need them. And it’s working. The garden of families is growing, with bright splashes of color scattered across the city. Poco a poco the idea is taking root, children are being cared for, and growth is happening.

Casa Viva P.O. Box 120 Wheaton, IL 60187


Summer 2008

Ways You Can Connect with Casa Viva Casa Viva is now receiving donations directly! Checks can be payable to Casa Viva. Please begin sending your contributions to our new address: Casa Viva P.O. Box 120 Wheaton, IL 60187

GIVE

All donations are tax-deductible gifts. Contact Matt Schulte at mschulte@casaviva.org about electronic funds transfers, or donate online at www.casaviva.org.

As Casa Viva embarks on this adventure of empowering Christian families throughout Latin America to be the solution for the millions of children in need of residential care, we invite you to participate with us in this important strategic shift.

Interested in seeing the vision of Casa Viva in person? Contact Matt Schulte at mschulte@casaviva.org about organizing a Vision Trip to Costa Rica.

PRAY

ENGAGE

Please pray for the Casa Viva children currently placed with families and those awaiting placement. Ask God to send new churches and new families to expand our capacity to care for children. Special events are planned in many churches for the months of July through October. Thank God for the fourteen churches currently enrolled in Casa Viva. Pray that our relationship with PANI (the Costa Rican Child Protection Agency) would continue to improve as they trust us with more children in need of care. Please consider becoming a part of the casa viva community. We will be giving you and your church opportunities to engage throughout the year. Some of these will include collecting supplies, raising awareness, and interacting with Casa Viva families on the Web site. For starters, you can: Visit our new English-language Web site www.casaviva.org. Sign up for the electronic newsletter at the Web site. (Note: If you’ve been receiving e-newsletters, you’re most likely already on this list.)

We depend on you to help make Casa Viva great.

stories became neighborhood complaints that reached the ears of government officials.

The Growing Casa Viva campaign will run through 2008. We count on your financial gifts to help us care for children in Costa Rica, prepare conferences and training manuals that allow family-based care to multiply through the region, and support our local professional staff. We are growing in many different areas. The Growing Casa Viva campaign is a chance for you to encourage the growth.

Join the Casa Viva community on Facebook by searching “Casa Viva.”

The typical response to complaints is to remove the child and place that child in a government-run children’s home—an institutional response. But for Augusto, a different response was set in motion, one based in family, a Casa Viva family.

Casa Viva in Action – Augusto Casa Viva Family

A Christian family connected to a local Casa Viva church who receive a child into their own home.

Casa Viva Center

Biological Family

Casa Viva’s goal is to reunite the child to their family if it can be a safe and loving place.

The team of professionals who support the church and family, who place the children and monitor their progress, who work with the biological family, and who fulfill the government requirements.

Remember the experiments in kindergarten with tiny plants? Plants in the sun versus plants in the cupboard; plants with water, plants without? Those experiments were God reminders about the necessary components for growth, God lessons about balance and resiliency. Augusto’s story starts in the cupboard with way too much darkness. His story is one of abuse, of secrets he held in his heart because he was so very afraid. His story is complicated like stories in the darkness often are—cycles of abuse and neglect that feed on each other, a hurting family with little hope. Augusto was removed from his home after dark

And so it was that Augusto, abused and facing the frightening separation from his family, moved directly into the home of Judit and Tobias. A couple with limited economic resources, but an amazing capacity to love, they became part of Augusto’s story. He entered a safe refuge while Casa Viva went to work—Susana Marin, a Casa Viva social worker, coordinated the case and started working on Augusto’s behalf. Susana coordinated specific counseling for Augusto, and also engaged the biological family. Week by week more members of Augusto’s family arrived at the Casa Viva center and felt the welcome of our team. Six months have passed, and the interventions have had dramatic results. Augusto’s mother has made significant life changes that have allowed Augusto to return to her home. She recently shared at a “new beginning” party Casa Viva hosted to celebrate Augusto’s return to his biological family: “Today I want to testify to what God has done for our family. I want to pray and thank God for the first time for giving me Augusto. I want to return to church so that Augusto can continue learning. I want all our family to return to God”. Light shining in the darkness made all the difference for Augusto. God is using Casa Viva to heal and restore families, to give children hope.

Cava Viva believes care solutions based in family make sense.


Welcome Home

Summer 2008

“What is a tree without its roots held deeply in the soil? What is a cup without its saucer? What are letters if they aren’t put into words and sentences? What is a child’s life like if there is no home and no family to belong to?” — SUSAN SCHAEFFER MACAULAY

“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.... You will be like a wellwatered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” — I S A I A H 5 8 Growing in Faith: Casa Viva Milestones March 2004

February 2005

Viva International, LeaderTreks and Aspegrens brainstorm the Casa Viva idea

Casa Viva hires first staff and initiates pilot project

May 2005

October 2005

Formal agreement with the Costa Rican government

First child placed in a Casa Viva home

February 2008

April 2008

Casa Viva receives 25th child in care

Casa Viva incorporates as a Not-for-Profit organization

July 2008

Casa Viva’s first Board Meeting in Chicago

Building Momentum by Jill Aspegren

I clearly remember the day our dear gardener and friend stripped our garden bare with his machete. I was so shocked I could hardly speak. What happened to my trees? my flowers? Where did everything go? My sweet gardener assured me that all was well, that I needed only have patience. It will all grow again, he assured me; just wait. Our gardener had complete confidence that new life would come from the sticks and stumps scattered around our yard. In many ways, the growth of Casa Viva has mirrored that experience. The life within Casa Viva is God designed. Time and time again God has orchestrated the details, all with complete confidence that life would appear. The churches and families of Latin America are ready to take on the challenge of caring for their

children. They are opening their doors and welcoming children in the name of Christ. Today we share with you a big moment in the life of Casa Viva. We’re moving from the shelter of the greenhouse to the great outdoors. Casa Viva is officially stepping out on its own by forming a board of directors and becoming a 501(c)(3) organization. Casa Viva began with a dream of an idea and the ingredients for growth—the support of the local church and families willing to become the solution for children in need of Please care. We grew the Celebrate idea by creating a With Us The team that would Growth Of handle all the details of government Casa Viva! relations, legal decisions, relationships with the biological families—all the details that limited a church’s ability to respond. We are clearing pathways for lifegiving families to connect with children who desperately need them. And it’s working. The garden of families is growing, with bright splashes of color scattered across the city. Poco a poco the idea is taking root, children are being cared for, and growth is happening.

Casa Viva P.O. Box 120 Wheaton, IL 60187


Casa Viva Brouchure