Busy Summer or Busy Winter?

Greetings friends and supporters of El Puente!

Thank you for your patience, El Puente has had a very busy summer, or should I say, winter season. Remember, that continents on opposite sides of the Equator have opposite seasons. So our summer is their winter.

And what a winter, here are several months worth of activities and photos of our kids in action:

First, our Psychologist and Social Worker, who meet with the girls monthly, send us updates and pictures of planned activities they do with the children. In their report, they said:

          The girls interests have been identified: baking, dancing, art, hairdressing, sports, manicure, carpentry and devotionals. Each of these activities will be practiced as a group, to promote a healthier communal living, and to build confidence in the girls. The goal is that through these activities, the girls will develop skills in areas that they enjoy, learn to work together, and start thinking about their futures. 

The first activity was baking, and the end result looked very tasty. (See pictures at the bottom). This happened in the month of June.

Second, in the month of July, the girls were treated to a night out and dinner for good grades as well as to celebrate a birthday. 

Then a friend of El Puente and his church organized an early Children's Day Celebration (a national holiday in Paraguay, on August 16). They brought a bunch of gifts to share with the girls and the children in the community. (Photo below).

Also, as a gift to two of our girls who had their Quinceaneras, they were able to go to their first soccer match and see their favorite team play and win, team Olimpia! This was truly an event they would never forget.

The next monthly activity our staff did with the girls was a traditional Paraguayan dance. They also spent time with with each child and had important group discussion.

Some big news is that the construction of the new home should be complete as you read this and the girls have moved their belongings in. They were also able to add a small addition to the volunteer's house. Everything is looking lovely.

And the most recent report and pictures show the girls participating is dancing, painting and making homemade chocolates.

Of course El Puente has its ups and downs as well. The kids and staff and family that hosts the home all need prayer for different needs. What they and we can rest assure of is this: that our God is in control, He already knew every what was coming and what to do. He's given us His Son, Jesus and His Word to guide us, and give us wisdom. Please continue to lift up all these amazing, brave, beautiful kids as well as the hard working, compassionate staff at the Home. We thank you all for your love, prayers and support. No matter the distance, what you do will be a great help and makes a difference.

 

 

 

Roof is Up!

Just three days ago we received these photos of the new little house built at El Puente, now with a roof! Construction is really coming along despite some harsh, rainy, winter weather.

Praise be to God who works out all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

We were very excited and needed to share the good news. Please continue to keep everyone at El Puente, the leaders, staff and children in your prayers. Until next time!

Wonderful News

Last month Friends of El Puente received a great update regarding one of our girls, she was safely and carefully reinserted back into her family. Since El Puente and the team are working together to change the Home into a transitional home, this is a great step in the right direction.

Earlier this year a girl was brought to the Home and the El Puente team was able to work together to get to know her, her needs and development and were able to contact some of the girl's family.

After meeting with the girl's family, and interviewing them, the Recaldes, the Social Worker and Psychologist from El Puente decided to help her be reinserted back into family. This occurred just last month and we arestill going to keep her in prayer, that the Lord would bless her, her family, for healthy growth and bonding in Jesus Name.  And to everyone who is reading this update, please keep this girl as well as the rest of the kids in prayer, each are a blessing and deserve a loving family.

CAFO Conference

It's hard to believe that a month has already passed, but in early May, three ladies from the Friends of El Puente team went to Nashville, Tennessee for the CAFO conference.

CAFO is the Christian Alliance for Orphans, an international organization that meets once a year in the United States and allows for people who are interested in Orphan/ foster care, adopting, care giving, supporting, and/or have a whole lot of questions, to come together to worship, pray, meet and take classes to educate and teach on various subjects concerning orphan/ foster care in this country and multiple others.

So we were blessed to have the opportunity to go and be educated in different areas regarding the girls' benefit, such as caring for and disciplining children and teens with trauma, using art therapy, how to prepare children who can be safely returned to family/ family members, and how Caregivers need and should nurture themselves.

We saw many families with adopted children, Care givers from many different countries and adults who shared their story about how they became orphans and were adopted not only by a new family, but also how they were adopted into God's family, through our Savior Jesus Christ.

From a Soccer Ball to Baseball

Happy to see the kids open to trying to new things! The girls had been wanting to learn how to play softball for a while. Steven and Jessica (missionaries from the US living a block away from the Comedor) had the idea of not only teaching them, but also organize outings where the girls would visit nearby communities and show others how to play -using it is as an outreach event.

Laurie, a Paraguayan who had been living in Orange County for many years, heard about El Puente and wanted to visit. She was there two weeks ago, and she brought softball gear for all the girls! Thank you Laurie!

Brick by Brick

Progress on the new smaller home for the girls is coming along brick by brick. We are encouraged by the pictures we receive and want to share them with you all.

Meanwhile the kids are going to school, meeting with the psychologist, playing games, having dental check ups, reading and praying on Sundays, and doing other activities.

GOAL!!!

Back in early March of this year the El Puente girls had their first "official" soccer match against a team from Asuncion. They played very well, and confessed to being quite nervous as they have never done anything like this before. Some played barefoot! They were overwhelmed by how new this experience was.

After the match, they were all given lunch and medals.

They also went on a boat ride together. Thank you to all our supporters who make it possible for these kids to experience activities outside the home and visit the outside world around them.

Team Valientes

In the United States, the month of January is part of the winter season. This is the opposite if you go south of the equator, where the girls live this is their summer time. And this past January a group from a church came to El Puente and organized a weekend-long camp for all the girls. They not only had a blast but also shared about the Lord, and encouraged the girls to be valiant and strong in Him, which was the theme of the camp.

This group is committed to visiting El Puente once a month for the rest of the year, which is an amazing answered prayer of ours.

 

Getting Up To Date!

A lot has been going on with the Home El Puente for the last few months, important and necessary changes, so please take a moment and read and see all that is happening!

Before the end of last year, as the site already explained, El Puente is on the way to becoming a transitional home, which means preparing the child to be reinserted back into their families, or be adopted into a family. We've been so blessed to be able to find a social worker, psychologist and dentists who come monthly to spend time and help the girls with various needs.

We have also been so blessed to help break ground for a new smaller house next to the original, for the benefit of the children. The future goal is to hire several house moms who would look over a certain number of kids to give them more parental oversight and attention.

We also celebrated the birthday of one of the girls. Thank you to everyone who prays and contributes to the daily needs of these precious kids at El Puente!