Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all of Casa Shalom's children! We pray that 2012 is a year filled with God's blessings and provision for you!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Casa Shalom's newsletter

Check out this link for the latest Casa Shalom newsletter. It's full of the latest Casa Shalom news and photos! Don't forget to share it with a friend.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas message from Casa Shalom's kids

Merry Christmas from our Casa Shalom family to your family!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Check out this video of Casa Shalom's kids enjoying their 2011 Christmas party!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This year, we are saying a bittersweet goodbye to Elias, one of Casa Shalom's oldest kids. Elias has been at Casa Shalom for over 10 years and is now moving on. Currently in his career program and studying to be a computer technician, Elias is moving this month to join the ministry of Brent and Yuliza Potter, missionaries from Texas who are opening their home to young men transitioning out of orphanages. We thank God for the chance to pour into Elias's life for so many years. He is a responsible, intelligent, and wonderful Christian young man. Go with God, Elias!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas video

Check out this great video of Casa Shalom's Christmas party with the Monroe Church of God in Monroe, Georgia!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sign up for our newsletter!

We will soon be sending out the 2011 Casa Shalom Christmas e-newsletter! If you'd like to receive Casa Shalom's newsletters in your inbox, please send us a message at:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Team members have been working hard alongside Casa Shalom's oldest kids to move dirt for the foundation for a new secure parking area for the orphanage's vehicles

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New shoes for Christmas!

Today, the visiting team from the Monroe Church of God in Monroe, GA, took all of Casa Shalom's children to a local Payless shoe store to purchase 2 pairs of shoes each! Each child and teen received one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of formal black dress shoes, which are a required part of the children's school uniform. Check out all the photos of the fun excursion below!

Right: Catalina gets sized for new shoes.

Juan Jose gets a little help finding a pair that fit.

Josue David found his tennis shoes!

Twins Magdalena and Candelaria get some help from their house mother.

After convincing her that women's high heels would not be a good purchase, Viviana found some sparkly tennis shoes she loves!

Carlos tries on a pair.

Fernando, 11-years-old.

We caught Candelaria trying to give herself kisses in the shoe mirror!



Alex gets a boost while looking for shoes.

Elias and Cesar, two of Casa Shalom's college kids.

It took a whole team to find shoes for Mynor!



A whole stack of shoes ready to load onto Casa Shalom's big yellow bus.

The receipt from the shoe purchase was
over four feet long!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Welcome Monroe Church of God!

Today Casa Shalom welcomes a short-term missions team from the Monroe Church of God in Monroe, Georgia! The team will be working on a few light construction projects around the orphanage and, in the greatest blessing of all, will be bringing the children's Christmas gifts and celebrating Christmas with them at a very special party on Thursday night. Please keep these short-term missionaries in your prayers this week as they serve at Christ's hands and feet in Guatemala.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Enjoying a new life!

This weekend, Casa Shalom's children enjoyed free pizza courtesy of Domino's, which donates free pizza to orphanages across the country in the month of December. Below, Casa Shalom's newest child, Juan Carlos, enjoys his first slice of pizza, has unwrapped his first chocolate candy bar and has it waiting as soon as he's done with his pizza! Two weeks ago, he was living on the street and shining shoes to make a living, and now he's thoroughly enjoying his new life at Casa Shalom!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Goodbye to Alejandro

Yesterday, we said a very happy goodbye to a long-term Casa Shalom child! Alejandro, 16, has been at the orphanage since he was around 7-years-old when he was found abandoned in the streets of a nearby town with no idea who his family was or where he lived. Alejandro has grown into a respectful, responsible, caring young man who wants to be a botanist when he grows up! Over the past few years, he has developed a close relationship with a great Christian family and the family recently applied to become his foster parents. Yesterday, they were awarded custody and Alejandro left Casa Shalom after nearly a decade to be with his new foster mom and dad and brother and sister. Praise God for this happy ending for Alejandro!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Meet Juan Carlos

Meet Casa Shalom's newest child, Juan Carlos. He is 10-years-old and came to Casa Shalom on Thursday. His parents abandoned him and he was living on the street, selling gum and shining shoes in the town of Quiché in order to feed himself. Juan Carlos has never been to school and is illiterate, but he's already receiving quality medical attention and will start school with the rest of Casa Shalom's kids in January of 2012! We are grateful to be able to make a difference in the life of Juan Carlos and we thank the Lord for sending him to us!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Magdalena is home and keeping her house mothers busy! She wants to run and play instead of rest! She has her arm in a sling, which should come off on Sunday. Again, we praise the Lord for His healing mercies and we thank everyone who has joined us in prayer for this precious child.


A very special reason to be thankful today: Magdalena will be coming home from the hospital this afternoon! Her doctors say her finger will be just fine, and that she will have no permanent damage, despite the blood vessels being almost completely severed and the bone being broken in many places. We are so thankful that our God still works miracles! We also thank our brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world who have kept baby Magdalena in their prayers during the past few days. Our God is greater!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

God is faithful! As of this morning, Magdalena's doctors have been surprised by her progress. She's able to move her thumb inside the cast, which the doctors say she shouldn't be able to do! They are cautiously optimistic that when the cast is removed tomorrow, they will be able to save her thumb! She's in good spirits and is making her doctors smile by singing at the top of her lungs in her hospital bed. Please continue to pray for more miraculous progress.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Update on Magdalena

Magdalena's hand has been put in a cast. Her doctors are saying that without a miracle, she will most certainly lose her thumb. But we believe our God is able to perform the miracle this precious child needs! She will remain in the hospital for the next 48 hours until the doctor can determine if the finger can be saved - please continue to be in prayer with us that the Lord will miraculously repair the severed blood vessels in Magdalena's fingers.

Pray for Magdalena

An urgent prayer request: a few minutes ago little Magdalena, 2-years-old, shut her thumb in a door and is on her way to the hospital. The last joint of her thumb is barely attached, but we are praying the doctors will be able to repair it and that she won't have long-term damage. Please pray for a special touch from the Lord for Magdalena!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The 2011 school year has come to a close, and Casa Shalom's teenagers are enjoying their vacation! From left: Edwin, Flora, Karen, Alejandro, Spike the dog, Maria and Enma are all smiles.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In case of emergency

Yesterday, local firefighters gave an all-day first aid/emergency preparedness course to Casa Shalom's staff. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the firefighters will be training the staff for free in exchange for the new ambulance tires the orphanage provided for the firefighters' vehicle. Now, the orphanage staff will be more prepared in in case of broken bones, earthquakes, fires, etc.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cesar's degree

Cesar, 18, proudly shows off his diploma! He came to Casa Shalom as an 11-year-old with no where else to go, and recently graduated as a certified mechanic with plans to begin studying mechanical engineering next year. The cycle of poverty has been broken in Cesar's life, thanks to a good education, and most importantly, the healing power of Jesus Christ!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mynor, one and a half years old, didn't play any soccer but he still enjoyed his trip to the soccer fields last week! He was more than content with his snow cone and straw. This special little boy who was found abandoned in a ditch on the day of his birth is growing into a handsome, happy child!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fun at the soccer fields

Each week, Casa Shalom's kids make a trip to the local town of Barcenas to private soccer fields where they enjoy exclusive use of the fields and enjoy snow cones, all courtesy of the fields' owners who were looking for a unique way to bless Casa Shalom. The kids always have a blast at the fields - in this photo on the left, Juan Carlos, 11, goes for the goal against Juan Jose, 9.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Casa Shalom's Christmas list

Christmas 2011 will be a very special time at Casa Shalom! The children will celebrate Christ's birth at a special Christmas party where they'll open gifts provided by a visiting team from Georgia, and they'll enjoy eating traditional Guatemalan chicken tamales! Apart from the children's gifts, Casa Shalom has created a list of "wishes" for this Christmas season. The items aren't soccer balls and shoes like the children usually request, but are more practical items needed to keep the orphanage running and in it's best shape! A few of the items are a "special request" for Casa Shalom's college students - the 3 young ladies and men who are pursuing higher education degrees need laptop computers to help them prepare their homework and presentations. These young students often leave for school before the sun comes up and don't return to the orphanage until after the sun goes down - so we want to help them maximize their study time! If you are able to make a donation to purchase one Casa Shalom's Christmas wishes from the items listed below, please let us know! Because Guatemala doesn't have a reliable postal system and there's no way to mail items to Guatemala, all items will be purchased here in country. For more information or to donate, please contact us at:

- 3 HP laptop computers at $450 each

- 5 hammers at $25 total

- 2 small crowbars at $14 total

- 2 big crowbars at $22 total

- 1 large pry bar at $30 total

- 5 trowels at $10 total

- 1 socket set at $43 total

- 1 screwdriver set at $24 total

- 1 staple gun at $33 total

- 1 cordless drill at $94 total

- 1 grinder at $107 total

- 1 circular saw at $173 total

- 1 concrete blade for saw at $40 total

- 1 wood blade for saw at $29 total

- 1 palm sander at $74 total total

- 10 discs for grinder at $20 total

- 1 two hundred-meter measuring tape at $27 total

- 2 pickaxes at $28 total

- 1 set of metal drill bits at $23 total

- 1 set of wood drill bits at $15 total

- 1 set of concrete drill Bits at $9 total

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another valedictorian!

Casa Shalom is proud to announce another valedictorian for the 2011 school year! A few days ago, Martin graduated from the 6th grade and was named valedictorian for his grade! He was given the honor of carrying the Guatemalan flag during his graduation ceremony. We are so proud of Martin and all the other Casa Shalom students who made great academic strides this year.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Casa Shalom blesses the bomberos

Tires so worn the wires are showing - not exactly the best for an emergency vehicle! A few days ago, the local bomberos (firefighters) knocked on Casa Shalom's gates looking for a donation to purchase new tires for their ambulance and we were able to buy them 4 new tires in exchange for a tour of the fire station for Casa Shalom's kids and a first aid course for our staff!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Starting tomorrow and ending Friday, a group of volunteers will be riding 120 miles around Lake Okeechobee, in Florida, in support of Casa Shalom and orphans in Haiti! The ride is called "120 for Orphans" and has the potential to raise some much-needed funds! Please take a moment to visit 120 for Orphan's website, and please consider making a donation toward the ride. Your small donation can make a great difference in the lives of Casa Shalom's kids!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Academic crunch time!

It's crunch time for Casa Shalom's school-aged children! The Guatemalan school year is ending soon, and the next few weeks will be dedicated to final exams, which are taken by all kids from kindergarten through high school. Over the next few weeks would you please keep Casa Shalom's school children in prayer as they study and prepare? We are praying for understanding, good memory recall, and good grades for all our children like Raquel and Yennifer below.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Casa Shalom named Ambassador of Peace

This week, Casa Shalom had the great honor of being named Ambassador of Peace by the local
City of San Lucas. The Ambassador of Peace ceremony is held monthly in commemoration of the end of Guatemala's 36-year-long civil war, and honors local organizations that strive to promote peace in the area. Casa Shalom Directors Josh & Jessica Hanson were honored for their work in raising responsible, peaceful Guatemalan children who will serve as the next generation of leaders. Jessica had the honor of placing a white rose on the Statue of Peace, and gave a speech promoting Casa Shalom's work and goals.

Jessica placing the white rose on the statue of peace.

Directors Josh & Jessica Hanson with San Lucas Mayor Yener Plaza, and the commemorative Statue of Peace replica
given to Casa Shalom

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fun with paint

With a recent visiting short-term missions team from Yakima, WA, the teen boys enjoyed painting their house. They painted lots of designs like these before the walls were covered in one solid color. Marvin, left, and Carlos were happy to get in on the painting action!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Hansons in SOW Magazine!

Take a second to read an article on page 6 of Save Our World Magazine that features Casa Shalom Directors Josh & Jessica Hanson, and other young missionaries who are carrying the Gospel around the world! The online version of SOW magazine can be found here: SOW Magazine

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Some of the Estrellitas (girls 4 - 12) show off their teamwork! On top: Karen, second row from left: Estefany and Vivian. Bottom row from left: Yohanna, Maria and Yennifer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Karen's quincienera

This weekend, a very special Casa Shalom young lady celebrated her 15th birthday in a big way, with a traditional quincienera, the Latin American ceremony and party that celebrates a girl's transition into womanhood. Karen got a pretty, new dress and had her hair done by the other teen girls from the home. Right, her brother Edgar escorts her into the ceremony.

Karen is admonished on what it means to be a Christian young woman in today's society. She was told that she must be an example in love, purity and responsability.

The Estrellita's, girls ages 4 - 10, performed special praise and worship songs during the ceremony.

Karen, 15, and her brother Edgar, 16.

Karen loved her new dress, provided by her sponsor!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet Carlos

Meet Casa Shalom's newest child, Carlos, age nine. After Carlos was orphaned, some friends of his parents took him in and began abusing him and denying him food and the chance to attend school. To feed himself, Carlos tried to steal some plantains from a nearby store and was caught by the store owner and burned with hot metal. We are so glad to have the chance to care for Carlos and to help him heal physically, mentally and spiritually. Please pray for Carlos as he transitions into life at Casa Shalom!