Thursday, December 30, 2010

Children of the World

If you are on Facebook, check out this link to see a photo album of Casa Shalom's kids recently put together by Children of the World Ministries, Inc. A team from Children of the World Ministries visited Casa Shalom in December, and brought funds to purchase Christmas gifts for our kids! Check out the great photos!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

From left - Marlon, Alex, Clinton, Cesar and his brother Brayan take a moment to pose for the camera. Marlon and Clinton came to Casa Shalom in 2010, while Alex, Cesar and Brayan have all grown up at the orphanage. In 2011, we have a goal of taking in many more needy children from the surrounding area, and giving them the love and care they need.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Tortillas and Coffee' as Baby Food?

Please take a moment to watch this video from last night's 20/20 with journalist Diane Sawyer. The video highlights the problem of chronic malnutrition in Guatemala. The problem hits close to home - the feeding center featured in this video is in Antigua, a town about 10 minutes away from Casa Shalom. There are brief moments of this video that are difficult to watch, but we ask that you take a moment to learn about the serious effects of malnutrition in Guatemala. Many of the children at Casa Shalom have been affected by extreme hunger, and several were even hospitalized for malnutrition before they came to Casa Shalom. We thank the Lord that the children of Casa Shalom no longer have to worry about where their next meal will come from, and in 2011, we hope to take in many more children at the orphanage. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation via Paypal that will help Casa Shalom provide for our precious children please click on the Paypal link on the top left of this screen.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Christmas shoes!

Yesterday, a visiting team from Florida, Alabama and Mississippi took all of the Casa Shalom kids to a local Payless shoe store, and bought each of them two brand new pairs of shoes! It was a bit of organized chaos, but each child got to choose one pair of dress shoes and another pair of tennis shoes. A BIG thanks to the team for providing the funds to purchase these much-needed shoes.


Tony shows off his new shoes









The girls deliberated before making their choices!























Baby Mynor catches a nap with Elias....














....before he tries on his new shoes.













Cesar required a bit of help with his shoe choice.














Jorge wanted to buy them all!











Sarai gets fitted for a pair of dress shoes










Chaos in the toddler aisle!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vacation Bible School, Day 1

Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School led by a team from Florida and New York. The kids were divided into 3 groups based on their age, and had lots of craft time, Bible study and games. 3 more days of VBS to come!



The teens enjoyed their group discussions and Bible study.







Craft time



































Clinton shows off part of his craft.











Karen and Alfonso















The toddlers learn a new song with the volunteers.












Little Abby and Linda enjoy some outdoor time.












Hello Linda!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Casa Shalom! No, Guatemalans don't celebrate this holiday, but everyone here has lots to be thankful for. A BIG thanks to the teams from Florida, Boston, Louisiana, and St. Louis that we have hosted in the past 3 weeks! You guys have made a big difference at Casa Shalom, and we are grateful. And all thanks to the Lord for His mercy and blessings for the kids at Casa Shalom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hector's big accomplishment!

More GREAT news from one of Casa Shalom's oldest kids. Today, we learned that Hector has passed all his exams to be accepted into one of Guatemala's finest military academies, where he will study aviation engineering! We are so proud of the accomplished young man that Hector has become! Hector is an amazing example o...f how God can bring a person out of a horrible situation and bring them to a place of peace and success - when Hector was a young boy, his parents and younger brother were murdered in a home invasion. During the robbery, Hector was shot in the face. That same night, Hector and his 2 siblings that survived were brought to Casa Shalom, Hector with the bullet still lodged in his cheek. At Casa Shalom, God has healed him spiritually and physically, and provided for Hector to become a strong young man of God who has a very bright future in front of him! Thank you Lord for working miracles in the lives of the children at Casa Shalom!

Friday, November 5, 2010

New driver's license

Look out highways, another one has their driver's license! This week, Elias became the newest Casa Shalom kid to get their license. Elias, who is in his career program and studying to become a computer technician, is proud to be a licensed driver.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Graduation day!

Today, the children of Colegio Shalom celebrated the graduation of students from kindergarten, sixth grade, and high school! Everyone got dressed up, attended a ceremony where they received their diplomas, and enjoyed lunch afterward. From Casa Shalom, Evelyn and Raquel graduated from kindergarten, Jose Alfredo, Colim, and Ada from sixth grade, and Enma from high school. We are so proud of all of our children and their academic accomplishments!

Left: Evelyn and Raquel in their caps and gowns.







Walfer and Gabriel, from the local AIDS hospice.


















The kindergarteners take this graduation business very seriously













Raquel with her teacher and her diploma.



















Evelyn with her teacher and her diploma.



















Colim with her sixth-grade teacher.


















Baby Mynor wasn't too impressed with the celebrations, and decided to take a nap.















Marina, Raquel and Evelyn's house mother, presents them with a special graduation ring.











The 2010 Casa Shalom graduates (from left: Jose Alfredo, Enma, Evelyn, Colim, Ada and Raquel)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Going home

Today, Josh and Jessica will be returning to Guatemala to continue ministering at Casa Shalom, after a 2-month fundraising furlough. A BIG thanks to the many pastors who allowed us to share our ministry with their congregation, and to the many who have supported us financially and in prayer. Please continue to keep us in our prayers, as we ask the Lord to provide for us financially and to bless our work in Guatemala.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New beginnings

At Casa Shalom, we value the education of our children very highly! They are given every opportunity to succeed beginning in pre-K, and continuing through elementary school, high school and eventually, college. This October, the end of the Guatemalan school year, the orphanage had 1 high school graduate: Enma, 17. She has successfully completed high school, and in January, will begin studying for a tourism degree, a popular choice in Guatemala due to the great number of tourists that visit Guatemala each year from around the world. At Casa Shalom, each young person is given a choice to continue studying after college, even though our legal responsibility for them ends at 18.
They have the freedom to choose whatever career path interests them. We believe that by providing them a trade school or college education, we can break the cycle of poverty end their lives. Enma with be the sixth Casa Shalom kid who is currently studying for an advanced degree - other young adults at the orphanage studying business and marketing, computer engineering, accounting, mechanical engineering, and more!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rayos

The Rayos, the Casa Shalom boys ages 10 - 14, pose outside the front gate. Our children are divided into individual houses by age and gender. In their houses, they have a house mother or father who cares for them and provides spiritual and academic guidance and lots of love. Beatriz, seen in the photo below, provides care for the Rayos house.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Book time

Linda and Abby, both 2, take some time of from playing to "read" their new books! Both little girls love to be read to, and love to turn book pages and call out the names of items they recognize.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Casa Shalom aims to provide a quality Christian education for not only the children that live at the orphanage, but also for children from the surrounding community. Colegio Shalom, the private school located on the orphanage's property, is open poor children from the area at a very low cost, in order to make a good education possible for all nearby kids. Kids like Sergio, right, study basic subjects like reading, math, science and history, as well as more advanced subjects like English, computation, local indigenous languages, music and more.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Big,big news!

We are happy to announce that after ministering for over 2 years in Guatemala, we have been named Directors of the Casa Shalom Orphanage! At the end of October, we will be signing the legal paperwork that will make us the legal guardians of all 50 children at the home. We are so excited at the opportunity to further bless the children that we already love so much. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin the next leg of our exciting, challenging journey! We are currently fundraising for our third year at Casa Shalom, and are in need of financial support to continue our ministry. If you are interested in becoming part of the Casa Shalom family by donating to our ministry, please contact us at: TheHansonsinGuatemala@gmail.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

CasaShalom.net

Great news - Casa Shalom's website (www.CasaShalom.net) is newly remodeled and offers the latest information about the orphanage, as well as updated photos of the kids. The site is both in English and Spanish. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Sunday, Josh and Jessica had the privilege of speaking at two great churches - in the morning, we shared our ministry at Casa Shalom with the people of the Salem Community Church of God and in the evening, we spoke at the Oleander Avenue Church of God. We were blessed by both congregations and met many great people who are interes...ted in partnering with us in ministry. A big thanks to Pastor Doug Phillips at the Oleander Ave. church and to Pastor Serge Jerome, pictured below, of the Salem Community Church. The Salem church is a Haitian church, and it was humbling to see the people of the church, most of whom have needy family members in Haiti, sowing into our ministry in Guatemala. We pray that the Lord will bless them for their sacrificial giving!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Generosity around the world

Check out a report on the most charitable nations in the world. Not surprisingly, the happier a person is, the more likely they are to give! See where the USA ranks at the link here: Charitable nations study

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

video

Yuliza, Evelyn, and Raquel sing a special song about having little hearts that are big enough to worship their Lord!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Heavy rains and mudslides

Please keep Guatemala in your prayers, as the country is experiencing another bout of heavy rains, which are causing landslides. Today, a bus full of people was buried under a mudslide, and over 30 people are confirmed dead. We have spoken to workers at Casa Shalom, and all the kids and adults are safe and sound, if a bit soaked! For a link to a story on the storm, click here: Storms in Guatemala

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Big news!

Big news from Casa Shalom - we now have a "Cause" page on Facebook where you can donate to the orphanage via Paypal. At the link below, you can visit the page, which was the idea of Dr. Rick Waldrop, founder of Casa Shalom. Today is Dr. Waldrop's 60th birthday, and he is asking for a $20 donation to the orphanage to celebrate the occasion. Please take a moment to visit the page, join, invite a friend, and maybe make a donation that will help us provide food, clothing, a Christian education and quality care for the 50 children of Casa Shalom!

Click here to visit the page: Support Casa Shalom Home for Children

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tough guys

Tony, Jorge, Lester and Josue show off their "tough guy" faces and their pajamas.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

video video
Linda is two-years-old and she loves to say her prayers before bedtime! In these videos, she's thanking Jesus for her crib, her milk, and her toys. When she was six-months-old, Linda was found lying the street next to her mother, an alcoholic, who was passed out from drinking too much. She was brought to Casa Shalom, and now, Linda is a happy and healthy little girl who loves to praise Jesus!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Please take a moment to watch the video that Josh and Jessica put together and will be showing during their upcoming speaking engagements at churches in the USA. Lots of cute video of the kids!

video

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mynor's miracle

Some wonderful news regarding a miracle in the life of baby Mynor, Casa Shalom's youngest child. Now 8-months-old, Mynor was diagnosed many months ago with a hernia that would need surgery to repair. We had to wait until Mynor was big enough to schedule the surgery, and anyone who has seen him recently knows that put...ting on weight has not been a problem for the little guy! His surgery was scheduled for a few days ago, and an exam was done last week, where it was again confirmed that the procedure was necessary. He was taken to the hospital for the operation, where the doctors discovered that all traces of his hernia had disappeared! 3 different doctors examined him, and all said they had never seen anything like it. We give praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for healing baby Mynor and sparing him this operation!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Going Stateside

Tomorrow morning, Josh and Jessica will be leaving for the USA, to begin a six-week fundraising tour, with the goal of raising support for their 3rd year on the mission field. We ask for your prayers as they speak to churches around Florida, and share with them their vision for the very special kids of Casa Shalom. Continue to watch for updates on this blog, and on the Casa Shalom Facebook page. (www.Facebook.com/CasaShalom)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Church of God Youth Day

Today, the Church of God in Guatemala celebrated Youth Day by having a special service in Guatemala City that was attended by teens from all over the country, including the youth of Casa Shalom. Bands played special music, there was a special message directed at the teens, and Casa Shalom was given part of the service to speak and raise awareness about how we minister to our kids. The teens had a blast!

The kids, armed with their VIP passes, prepare to enter the service.






Brothers Martin and Clemente are excited to attend the youth service.















Free Casa Shalom buttons were passed out.
















Benjamin and Elias manned the Casa Shalom information booth.












Karen and Enma especially enjoyed the music.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Video in progress

We at Casa Shalom are in the process of making a promotional video that will be distributed in Spanish to many Guatemalan churches and civic groups. We have recorded lots of video, interviewed the kids, and are now recording the audio in English to share on this website!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Micah Challenge International

Please take a moment to check out the website for Micah Challenge International, a group that works to establish awareness and action in favor of the world's poor by combating poverty and malnutrition, fighting for universal primary education, gender equality and more. Dr. Rick Waldrop, Casa Shalom's founder, was recently named Church of God liaison for the Micah Challenge, and will be encouraging churches to act on behalf of the poor!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Casa Shalom featured on Link for Health

Casa Shalom is currently the featured project on the website Link for Health, which is dedicated to linking Guatemalan non-profit organizations with those who are interested in bettering the quality of life in Guatemala. To check out Casa Shalom's profile, clink on the following link:
Casa Shalom on Link for Health

Monday, August 2, 2010

A note from Josh & Jessica: We are getting excited about our upcoming trip to the USA to fundraise for our 3rd year on the mission field! We will be there from the last week of August through mid-October. If you are interested in having us speak with your congregation, we would love to share our ministry at Casa Shalom with your church! If you are interested, please send us an email at: TheHansonsinGuatemala@gmail.com

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A special birthday boy

Today is a very special day for Casa Shalom child Martin Cox Garcia - today is his 14th birthday! In some ways, Martin is just like any other teen boy; he loves pizza, doesn't shower quite often enough, and is a sports fanatic. But unlike other teen boys, Martin asked for some pretty strange birthday presents. He wanted a Biblical Concordance, a study Bible, and a Bible dictionary! You see, Martin has a call to be a preacher, which is a miracle given his background. Martin and his brothers are indigenous Guatemala Indians, and Martin's grandfather was their village's Mayan priest. Before coming to Casa Shalom, the boys saw animal sacrifices and ritual blood lettings, and Martin was in line to become the next village shaman! But when he came to Casa Shalom, he accepted Jesus as his Savior and got a call to preach. He takes his calling very seriously, which is why he already spends much time in prayer and Bible study, and why he wanted such atypical birthday presents!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Casa Shalom on Facebook

We have just uploaded a whole brand-new photo album on Casa Shalom's Facebook page! The photos are of last month's 2-day camp at Florencia park. To check out the whole album, click here: Casa Shalom on Facebook

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camp photos

Last month, a team from Maranatha Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and Gates of Praise Church of God, held a 2-day camp for the kids of Casa Shalom. During their trip, they also made s'mores at a night-time bonfire, played lots of games with the kids, and passed out shoes, clothes, socks and underwear to each child. Here a few photos from the trip!









Tony was really excited about his superman underwear!

















Abby loved her new pants.



















Even baby Mynor got some new clothes - a Florida Gators football jersey!














Jorge was happy about a new shirt.




















And Yuliza liked her new pants.











The night of the bonfire, the teen boys found a big lizard, which Vinicio walked around with on his head all night.



















Team member David roasts marshmallows.













Andrea enjoyed several s'mores!



















So did Victor.