Guatemala is very dear to my heart. It was where I went on my first missions trip as a nineteen year old, and then a few years later I was asked to come on staff at our local church as missions coordinator – to oversee missions trips and start doing ground work for the Children’s Home that our Apostle, Francis Armstrong, was wanting to open.
We are very blessed to be a part of a church that has a huge vision for missions.
Casa de Alabbanza (House of Praise).
After working more than four years on this project, Casa de Alabbanza opened it’s doors to children in the summer of 2013.
If you speak Spanish you might wonder why we spell it Alabbanza instead of the actual spelling, Alabanza (just one b). Well, we partner with a local church in Guatemala, the Pastor of that Church thought it would be wonderful to add the extra “b” and emphasize the Father God’s (Abba’s) heart for children. I love the name.
The children that come to Casa de Alabbanza are broken, have been either abused or neglected. Sometimes the home is used as an emergency shelter for a few days, other times children come to the home long term. They receive medical and dental care, see a psychologist and social worker, they are given a roof over their heads, clothing, and an education. Not many of them are orphans, some have families that are just not able to care for them, or have deserted them. In some cases after time and approval from the Guatemala courts, they are able to return to family members.
There were three children brought to Casa at one time whose mother left them at a beach and never returned. There’s a precious little boy who is about two years old now who was abandoned in an alley as a tiny infant. Someone brought him to a hospital, where nurses gave him a name, and he was brought to Casa de Alabbanza. He is such a cutie.
There are so many stories I could share. But one thing they all share – these children need our help.
Guatemala has a population of about 15.47 million people, and about 370,000 of them are orphaned children. There’s a dump where 2000 children live, surviving off whatever they can find.
I have known the directors, Josh and Sarah, for a very long time. I love talking to Sarah over Skype as we work on the newsletters for Casa, and I get to hear first hand what’s happening at Casa. Their love for the children there, their love for Guatemala, is very clear. And I especially love it when some of the kids come over and say hi to me over the screen.
I no longer work full time for the church, but being on staff there and being apart of getting this children’s home established is one of the greatest privileges I have had in my life. If you are looking to partner financially with something, this is a great one to consider. To get more information on how to give to Casa de Alabbanza, click here to be taken to Casa’s website.
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27 NASB