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Ron and Glenda Allan 0601-168 Riobamba Ecuador, S. America

April News

Email: allans@arkchildrenshomes.com Telephone: (011 593) 3 260-2559 Web: http://www.arkchildrenshomes.com

Calls are free from Kelowna (or the cost of a call to Kelowna) which calls direct to us in Ecuador. 1-250-448-1922

The Old Starfish Story I want to recall a well-known story originally written by the anthropologist Loren Eiseley. Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean.” "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die." Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!" At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

Hell and Starfish It’s easy to look at the world around us and wonder if there’s really any point at all in struggling to bring about the kingdom of God on the earth. After all, darkness seems to be the thrust of the era we live in and many times sacrificial ministry doesn’t bring about any obvious fruit. The need is immense and rescue is not always an easy job. We know a sweet wise missionary lady who has offered up everything to see the kingdom of God come in this area of the Andes. She is loving and generous, yet about a year ago she passed through a season when life just kept dealing her blows. People were rude and inconsiderate, ungrateful and sometimes cruel. Physical circumstances were hard, but still her custom was to speak with hope and faith. Then one day she got one blow too many. Through tears of pain and frustration she sobbed, “I’ve had enough. I don’t care if they all go to Hell!”

Ismael is a jolly little guy. I burst out laughing. Okay, I know someone else’s pain is not funny. It’s just that this lady obviously DID care for the hard core sinners around her, or she never would’ve even mentioned their possible fate or her part in their rescue. Then she laughed too, and said, “You know I don’t mean that.”

Little Aidee is our latest arrival. She has a deformity under her lip that won’t be fixed till she’s a year old. Till then, it takes lots of time and patience to feed her. But we’ll fatten her up.

Our dear friend continues to persevere in difficulties out of love for the lost. That love comes straight from the heart of God. He tells us, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” (Pr 24:11) The job is way out of our league. None of us can take on the almost 7 billion people of the world; that’s far too many starfish on the beach. But God’s love encompasses everyone of them. All he expects of us is to just start picking up the starfish and throwing them back into the sea.

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The Forgotten Children One would think that because orphans and abused children get so much press, that the majority of the population would be generously inclined to take care of all the suffering little ones. Sadly this is not true. In Ecuador things are not going well for the children. The new government is against institutions saying they are not the right way for children to grow up. I can heartily agree, yet they don’t offer any other options. No one here will do foster care because it’s not lucrative. The two other homes in our area have shut down and the youth jail is being closed. Many of the less than perfect helps for the kids are gone. International adoptions are no longer permitted.

Zoe passes Moises his birthday cake.

In Canada there are an estimated 22,000 children available for adoption, but last year less than 1700 found homes. In the US there are 513,000 children in foster care. 114,000 of these are available for adoption. The truth is that most people don’t want to take care of someone else’s children. Many abandoned children have been rejected by stepfathers and stepmothers for just that reason. But those of us who have God’s heart as our first interest, see things differently. When I was about 18 or 19 years old, I used to see a little box at a checkout every week that made me think about dropping my coins in. I couldn’t see much Naomi and Daniel point in doing it really, because I didn’t know the people who would benefit, no one was watching who could appreciate my gift, and besides, I didn’t really have much money to spare. But one day I did it. I just dropped in my spare change. There was no music and nobody saying thank you; I was just out a dollar or two. I felt like a fool. I never thought about the children who would benefit from what I gave. A few years later I gave my life to the Lord and was filled with his spirit. I began to see things differently in every area of life because suddenly all that concerned God, concerned me. I learned about tithing, giving and remembering the poor. I began to care about the rest of the world. My money was no longer my money, my life was no longer my life. It was a short hop from there to the world of missions. Not every Christian has to jump on a plane to please God, but the father’s heart will always be yearning for the lost. If we have his spirit in us, we will have the same concerns he does. We will love the world.

Macas News Isaac’s doing well in Macas. He has more staff to help out and he’s finally found a larger and cheaper home to rent for the kids. His big difficulty is that Macas, which is on the edge of the jungle, is outside of the mainstream of professional help. That makes it very hard to find good doctors and a very much needed social worker. We may have to pay a very high sum to contract a social worker to come in from one of the larger cities. There’s a great deal of paperwork, social visits and investigations to take care of in the running of a children’s home. The social worker finds relatives or family who can care for the kids, works at restoring broken family relationships and does all the paperwork that goes through the police, court and families. Isaac wants to thank the family who designated funds for him. He now has a computer and desk to work with and is finally able to do all the charts and documents he needs to without going downtown. He still has to get a phone line and internet, but that can wait till he’s in the new house.

Isaac finally found a larger and better house for his group of seven little darlings in Macas. It needs loads of work though, not just the yard, but the second floor. He’s already begun repairs, but needs more funds to be able to finish.

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Rosita’s Tale Nine years ago, we got a call from a volunteer in Quito asking us to take in a 10 year old girl. She was in the hospital following an amputation of her right arm. Rosita’s mother is handicapped and couldn’t take care of her daughter. Her dad had gone off and left them, so the little girl lived with her grandparents. One day in a fit of rage, and in the presence of little Rosita, the grandfather killed his wife. Rosita was sold to a lady who had a business extracting juice from sugar cane , so she helped work the machine. One day her shirt sleeve got sucked into the grinding Rosita helping out with Fernando at machine and mangled her arm. Rosita was rushed Isaac’s Ark home in Macas. to the hospital in Quito where the lady said, ”It’s not my daughter and she’s not my problem.” Rosita her first year with us.

When we picked up Rosita from Quito, we found a perky sweet little girl who ran out and hugged us as if she’d known us all her life. My guess is that the kindness of Anja, the volunteer who found her, softened her heart towards other foreigners. Rosita began classes in our school, starting at first grade because she’d never studied before. She’s 19 years old right now and is especially close to our daughter Zoe. In two months Rosita will finish high school. I told her it was time to make a decision about what she wanted to do with her life. She’d been thinking of going to Bible school with Zoe, but she told me she wasn’t sure what to do and she would think about it. Finally she came to me and told me that she felt God wanted her to go back to her home town, get a job and take care of her mother. That’s bittersweet news for us, great the way she has decided to offer herself in service to her mom, but very sad that she will be so far away from us. We’re grateful for cell phones.

The Third World Country That Hides It’s Colours Although Ecuador is considered a third world country, at first glance it really doesn’t seem so bad. We have wide band internet in many places, new cars cruise the streets, clothes are modern and right up there with all the first world countries. You can buy DVD’s of anything that’s watched in Canada and you can order any computer component that’s available in North America. On the other hand there are still thousands of people who have dirt floors, those who have to search for firewood to cook their meals, many who don’t bathe, children who don’t go to school, and people who die from curable sicknesses. Some things are changing. It is becoming less popular to pee at the side of the road, we have street sweepers now who clean up garbage. Most villages have had water projects completed and some have even received donated tractors to help with agriculture. Construction news: Ron’s office is recently completed and now the bedrooms are underway. Thanks to a couple of generous donations, it looks like we’ll have funds to complete everything except the ceilings . We still hope enough will come in before the construction team goes home though. With a metal roof, it’s a bit noisy when it rains and can be cold at night. Either way, we WILL be moving into the addition in a few weeks!

But the mentality is the real problem. As long as a country continues to accept and propagate corruption, the comforts of the first world will continue to be just a sugar coating for what’s really underneath. The key word for this culture is “aprovechar.” The meaning of the word is “to take advantage of,” “exploit,” or “use.” Even small children are taught to get what they can by whatever means possible. Push your way to the only seat left on the bus even if there is an old lady trying to get to it. Steal your neighbour’s propane tanks when you know they’re not home. Run after the foreign tourist and see if they’ll give you a few dollars. Amazing how angelic two year olds are when they are asleep. This one is Billy. I wonder if I should really use the word “angelic” because in reality angels are fearsome. Angels historically are always telling people to “fear not.” And look at this description of an angel at Jesus’ tomb: “His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.“ So maybe I should say, “Billy looks “innocent and sweet” while he’s sleeping!”

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Fifteen year old Cristian is autistic so finding the perfect birthday present was great fun. He loves this toy.

When that gets to higher levels of government and business, the results are more devastating. Social services demands that we update our legal status every year. Our papers have been prepared for months but they won’t pass them, telling us to change a word here or there and get all our board to sign again, then telling us we forgot to include a clause, then more about how the paper is organized. After a few times, we recognize that the officials just want a pay off. Since we don’t do that, we have to hire a lawyer to present the papers and we just pay him very well, enough for him and enough for the payoff or they will continue to make us jump hoops for years.

Last November we finished all the necessary investigation for Billy’s uncle to be able to take him home. The judge wanted him to pay a large sum for a lawyer friend and since the uncle chose to hire a cheaper lawyer, the judge will not pass the case. So Billy is growing up in an institution while his family waits for him on the outside. But our first world Canada is not necessarily a whole lot better. Our acceptance of sexual perversion and in-utero baby killing will tear us down to the depths. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Pr 14:34 ) Somehow in the midst of the darkness followers of Jesus must make a difference. The kingdom of God will push sin back. That’s why we’re here. That’s why you are there.

Isaac Needs Wheels Isaac is mostly getting around on foot and occasionally by taxi. We considered giving him one of our cars , but they won’t make it down there on those rough roads. Our only solution is to buy a four-wheel drive crew cab pickup truck, which is the most popular vehicle in Macas. We’ve priced one for year 2000 and they sell for about $13,000. We’d like to set up a fund to raise the money. Isaac has 7 children, one is a baby and one is physically handicapped. He could really use the wheels.

Attention Paypal Donors:

Attention Canadian Donors:

If you need a tax receipt, simply use a copy of your deposit slip from the computer. Paypal does not issue tax receipts. Thank you for your kindness.

Just a reminder that we don’t know who sends donations to us through New Life Church or through F.R.I.E.N.D.S due to the privacy laws in Canada. For that reason we are unable to thank you personally.

Attention US donors: We trust that you are receiving an acknowledgement for your gifts from our ministry in the States. We don’t necessarily hear who our donors are for many months, so please feel free to write us and let us know of your gift. It encourages us to know of your support.

DONATIONS

Please know that we are grateful for your gifts and if you could drop us a line and let us know that you support us, it would be an encouragement.

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On our website we have Paypal which allows online donations with your credit card. Website is www.arkchildrenshomes.com For Tax Receipts in the States send cheques to: The Ark Children’s Homes P.O Box 2352, Abingdon, Virginia, 24212 USA For Tax Receipts in Canada , funds can be received through our home church: New Life Church, 2041 Harvey Avenue Kelowna, BC. V1Y 6G7 Canada

April 2008  

PDF created with pdfFactory trial version www.pdffactory.com Little Aidee is our latest arrival. She has a deformity under her lip that won’...

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