For His Children March
A Christian ministry to children in Ecuador – April 2008
In Memory of Joyce Bourdeau August 13, 1941 - February 27, 2008
Joyce was a loving, caring wife and mother, and a precious gift to For His Children. Since 1994, Brent and Joyce have been FHC's Ministry Assistants, donating countless hours to ensure that the ministry's finances and correspondence are handled professionally. We thank God for Joyce's life and how it touched the lives of others. She served Him lovingly in many special ways. We know she now rests in His arms.
There comes a time when a mentor (Melinda) realizes that her protégés know as much or more than she does. An example: A few days ago our Administrator, Verónica, hurried by me, breathlessly explaining that Sofía, 4 mos. old, needed oxygen. The door to the Vaughn Infant Home flew open and caregiver Cecilia rushed past me to help Verónica roll the oxygen concentrator machine out of the storage room. As I watched the two of them, they attached a pressure gauge and humidifier bottle. Cecilia wheeled the machine past me with a “Buenas tardes, Señora Melinda,” and disappeared into the Vaughn House. The door closed and within a minute Sofía was receiving the oxygen she needed. I stood on the stairs for a moment longer, reflecting on what had just taken place. I thought of years ago when Clark and I would be the ones to whom the caregivers came to for help in an emergency. Fast forward to 2008, and I had to move out of the way or get run over by Verónica, Cecilia and the oxygen concentrator! It left me slightly unbalanced at first, but then a warm satisfaction flowed through me as I thought about what I had just witnessed - our staff in action, knowing what to do and how to do it, with that attention-to-detail that is FHC’s trademark. Another example: A few weeks ago, newborn Julian arrived home from a two week hospitalization. I went downstairs to the Vaughn Infant Home to make sure all was in order and started dispensing instructions to Gladys, one of his caregivers. I suddenly had this feeling that I should be quiet. I looked over at Gladys. She had been pensively nodding her head after each of my instructions. “Señora Melinda, we’ve already done everything you’re asking.” I could feel a sheepish grin spreading across my face. I thought, “These women take care of these babies 24/7, they have been taught, trained, guided and supervised, and they know what to do.” I apologized, gave Gladys a hug, and decided I’d better go make myself useful somewhere else! It’s a great feeling to witness the confidence and skill of FHC’s staff. We’re proud of them! For His Children welcomed newborn Gabriel Cuomo (at right with caregiver María Tixicuro) on February 1st. The children’s hospital asked if FHC would welcome an abandoned baby boy, born around January 21st. He had been found on the street, and the police took him to the hospital. FHC’s Director, Melinda, met Gabriel at the hospital along with members of a visiting team from Ontario, Canada (one member gave Gabriel her last name – in case you are wondering where the Italian surname came from!). Together they took Gabriel to FHC’s pediatrician, Dr. Naranjo, who pronounced him in perfect health. The “Doris Martin 2008 Mission Team” took wonderful care of Gabriel while he was at FHC-Quito, and sent him off with a prayer a few days later when he was transferred to FHC-Latacunga. Gabriel is growing and enjoying the loving care given him by FHC’s “Tías”.
Doris Martin led a team from Ontario, Canada, (at left) that visited FHC in late January. One team member wrote us: “It was a learning, stretching experience, very fulfilling.” Another wrote: “Thank you for challenging us.” Another member said: “FHC provided us a fantastic, safe mission experience. Your Tías are so patient with us. They let us love on the kids and that was the biggest highlight of the trip.” Our heartfelt thanks to all the members of this team for their time and love generously shared with FHC.
Several new families were formed by adoption at FHC recently. In January, handsome Andrés Martin (FHC-Quito) becamehe son of Danilo, 47, and Teresa, 41 (at right). Danilo is a Systems Engineer and works in the family real estate firm. Teresa is a language therapist on staff at a Christian school in Quito. Andrés is their first child. The new family is happy and doing well.
Diego Mauricio (FHC-Latacunga): Diego’s new parents are Juan Francisco, 39, and Rosa Matilde, 44, (at left). They are owners/managers of an office supply company. Diego is their first child. Rosa is looking forward to spending time with him since she can work from their home. When told about their new son’s personality, likes and dislikes, they beamed with pride, especially Dad Francisco. They couldn’t wait to meet Diego. In early February, they fulfilled their dream of becoming parents. The new family is doing well.
Pablo Santiago (FHC-Latacunga) joined his new family in February. Lesley and Greg live in Ontario, Canada, and Pablo is their first son. The Swifts spent several days with Pablo in Latacunga, and when he was ready to leave the home, they moved to Quito. Pablo was the first child cared for at FHCLatacunga, and he has a special place in the hearts of the Tías, especially those who knew him when he was a baby. There were lots of tears the day Pablo left FHC-Latacunga! In a few weeks the new Swift family will return to Canada. Everyone at FHC wishes them the best. The photo at right was taken when Lesley and Greg came to visit FHC-Quito in mid-March. Daniela, now 3, (FHC-Quito), was ready to be adopted last July, but the process moves very slowly in Ecuador and she wasn’t assigned a family until early December. Her adoptive family, Daniel and María Teresa, traveled from Italy to Ecuador in early February to meet their new daughter. It’s a precious experience to work with a child preparing her to meet her new family. We use a photo album, letters, small gifts, and often a DVD from the family. Our psychologist and Tías explain the roles of “mom” and “dad”, which are new concepts for our children. Daniela fell asleep each night holding her family’s photo album. Their first meeting went very well, and within a few days she was ready to move to her parents’ hotel. A week later, our psychologist visited the new family. Daniela was doing very well. She had gained some weight, and already learned a few words in Italian. The new family will return home to Italy in late March.
Angel (FHC-Quito), 3 ½, became the son of Tomás and Emma in January of this year. Angel is a bright child, and immediately learned the names of his parents, and identified them in the family’s photo album. During talks with Raul, FHC’s psychologist, Angel loved to make up stories about his new family and included himself in the starring role! His parents sent him a soft blanket, a small remote controlled car, and two new t-shirts to show him that they were thinking of him. The morning his parents were to arrive at FHC, Angel walked up and down the hallway in the Harlow House, saying goodbye to his “siblings”, announcing that his parents were coming soon. That same day, after his nap, Angel walked out to his parent’s car and said, “Let’s go!” After supper, with pajamas tucked under his arm, Angel waved goodbye to FHC and left for his new home. The family reports all is well.
Check out FHC’s new video at the bottom of the “Story of FHC” page on our website. (www.forhischildrenecuador.org). Thanks to the generosity of Carlos Jenks, a U.S. “ex-pat” now living in Quito, we have a professionally made video that tells the story of FHC. View it and let us know your comments!
The Village Congregational Church in Wellesley, MA, sent a mission team (photo at left) to FHC in mid-February. Team leader Tracy Accardi and group members shared with us some reflections on their trip before heading home to Wellesley: “(Visiting FHCLatacunga) was transformative. The Tías are incredibly dedicated to the children as if they were their own. …the ministry of His Spirit… is so alive here.” Others wrote: “This trip was a great opportunity to share the love of God and renew my faith. A highlight was every time the children gave me a hug. It was inspiring to see how God works on a daily basis in the lives of the Vaughns and the children.” Thank you, Team VCC, as well as those in the U.S. who supported you financially and in prayer.
In early March, FHC welcomed professors/team leaders Lorna Hayward, Ann Charrette, and a group of bright and motivated physical therapy students from Northeastern University in Boston. For one week the children at FHC were loved, challenged, encouraged and blessed by this passionate group of students. Thank you to all who participated in this “practicum/study” trip to FHC. We appreciate the knowledge and information they shared with us, and the love and caring they generously gave to the children.
Look at how FHC-Latacunga is progressing! We’re impressed and amazed! The second story concrete floor (first floor roof) is poured, and the second-story roof support columns will soon be poured. Last fall, a member of a church in Los Angeles was moved to help raise funds to complete the Latacunga home after visiting FHCLatacunga. She returned to L.A. and a few months later she wrote us: “I was blessed to visit FHC in September 2007. Clark explained that about $250,000 more was needed to complete the new facility. The thought popped into my head that we only need 250 people to donate $1,000. I would like to be one of those 250 people! Please receive this check, and I am praying for God’s continued blessing on this wonderful and amazing place….” Thank you, Maura, from all of us at FHC, and to many others who have given toward this project. We believe we are to share this challenge with you, our supporters and readers, so you may be encouraged to invest in the future of children in Latacunga. Thank you! FHC-Latacunga would love to consult with a landscape designer and/or recreational space designer (children’s play areas). Soon the construction project in Latacunga will be ready to develop the grounds and play area. We’d like to rely on the expertise of professionals in this field, and plan a quality play area for the children. If you can help or know someone who can, please contact FHC. We’re looking for adoptive families for two beautiful children at FHC: Grace, 2 ½, (at left) is a lovely little girl who waits for a family to help her reach her potential as she is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Her legal papers are in order and she is ready for assignment to a family. Marina, (at right) is 3 ½, healthy, and one of the most cheerful little girls ever at FHC. She knows she has some very special parents out there somewhere – and she’s trying so hard to be patient! If you feel a tugging at your heart as you look at these special precious children – please contact FHC. Newsbriefs: International adoptions are on standby while the government reviews contracts with foreign agencies. Please pray that contracts will be signed soon... A mandatory increase in salaries of 17% for private sector employees (that’s FHC) was put into effect January 1, 2008, significantly affecting FHC’s budget. We’re continuing to cut costs wherever possible without sacrificing FHC’s quality care… Rains and heavy flooding in Ecuador have caused extensive damage over the past months. The rains are the heaviest in 25 years and floods have uprooted about 3.5 million people in 13 provinces. Thankfully, FHC has not suffered any damage except needing to replace rain gutters on the Faith House … Clark and Melinda will be traveling to the States several times in 2008, and they would welcome an opportunity to present the ministry of FHC in your community. Dates are open for September – December 2008. Email us! …Some of our readers have asked – “on a personal note”: Melinda and Clark are well. They’ve traveled a lot the last three months, but are now settled in Quito for a few weeks until they travel to Tennessee in April for FHC’s annual Board meeting. The Vaughns are going to be grandparents again in September – their son Phillip, 26, and his wife, Daniela, (Gulf Breeze, FL) are expecting a sibling for brother Matias, 20 months. Soon-to-be Captain Phillip is a pilot in the USAF’s Special Operations Division. The Vaughn’s daughter, Lesley, now 23, is teaching dance in Los Angeles, and filming/hosting a pilot TV show, and enjoying living with her grandparents, Melinda’s mom and dad in Northridge. Thank you to all our supporters for your prayers, encouragement, your visits, and financial giving. For His Children - Clark and Melinda Vaughn, Directors Casilla 17-08-8545, Quito Ecuador Telephone/Fax: 593 2 247 0832, 280 8424 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.forhischildren-ecuador.org
Tax-deductible donations may be sent to: For His Children 9455 Elk Ridge South, Divide, CO 80814 USA Telephone: 719 686 0132 Brent Bourdeau, FHC Ministry Assistant
Thank you to the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Red Bluff, CA for printing and mailing this newsletter for nine years! Please advise FHC of address changes. If you are able to receive this newsletter via e-mail, it will reduce the cost of printing and mailing. Thank you!