Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Check-up at the doctor's office

Yesterday, we took quite the crew of little ones to see the doctor for a check-up. Abby, Linda, Mynor, and new siblings Magdalena, Candelaria, Catalina and Viviana all got their vaccination updates and a check-up. They weren't so excited about the shots, or seeing the doctor, but we're glad to be able to provide the health care they need!

Magdalena cried while being weighed, even before she got her shots!

Viviana gets weighed.

Candelaria didn't mind the scale so much.

Catalina was tranquil while being weighed....

...but not while getting her shots!

Linda wasn't so sure about this height and weight thing.

Josh balancing the babies while Jessica supervised the check-ups.

Abby is a big girl now!

Mynor wasn't so happy after his shots!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Omar and Yohanna

Meet Omar, 8, and Yohanna, 9, siblings who came to Casa Shalom last week after their family abandoned them in a local McDonalds. Since their arrival, the children have been receiving lots of love, attention, and good food. This week, they will start to attend school for the first time in their lives. One of the first questions Omar asked when he got to the orphanage was if he would get a chance to learn to read and write....the kids can't wait to start attending school! Please pray for them as they adjust to life at Casa Shalom. And a special prayer request for Omar. Last year, he was hit by a car, broke his arm, and never received any sort of medical care. The arm healed crookedly, and he has very little use of it (you can see in the photo below that he's hiding his arm behind his back). We will be looking for a hospital to perform an operation on his arm, so that he can regain use of it - please pray that we will have the funds to provide this operation for him. If you'd like to contribute a tax-deductible donation toward the operation, please do so at this link (please specify in the "special instructions" that the donation is for Omar's operation):


Friday, January 21, 2011

First day of school!

On Monday, the Casa Shalom children started their first day of the new school year, which in Guatemala, runs from January to October. Before leaving for school, the elementary, junior high and high school kids took a moment to pose in front of Casa Shalom's big yellow bus.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We are so proud of Casa Shalom's kids. As you already know, a few nights ago, we at the orphanage received 8 new children ranging in age from 1-year-old twins to twelve years of age. The kids were in terrible shape when they arrived - they were all filthy, with lice-ridden hair, and they were obviously malnourished and some were barefoot. The smallest children wore no diapers, and were covered in urine and feces. Despite this, the young people of Casa Shalom stepped up to help the staff take care of these new children. Tears rolled down our faces as we watched Martin, 15, Hector, 19, and Edwin, 16, fed the new toddlers and babies who were unable to feed themselves. Andea, 12, and Maria, 15, washed and picked lice from the new girls' hair. Clemente, 16, and Carlos Chali, 16, served as translators when we learned that many of the new children spoke primarily Kachikel, a local indigenous language that Clemente and Carlos also speak. Enma, 17, and Karen, 13, gave up their Saturday morning sleeping in and got up at 5 am to help care for the new babies. Juan Carlos, 10, showed the new little boys how to brush their teeth because they'd never done it before. The amazing thing is that these young people all stepped into help without any adult asking them to! The photo above is of Martin, 15, feeding Maria, one of the one-year-old twin girls that came with the family.

We at Casa Shalom have never been more proud of our kids and teenagers. No one asked them to help, but they all pitched in with willing hearts and made a difficult situation easier. We praise the Lord that the kids of Casa Shalom are being raised to have tender hearts and to show the love of God to children less fortunate than themselves. What a powerful testimony of the miracle that the Lord has done in the hearts of the children of Casa Shalom!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New children

An update about our new children - it has been a tough night at Casa Shalom. We received 8 new children, all siblings between the ages of 1 and 12. The children arrived malnourished and very dirty. The children were abandoned by their parents, and left to fend for themselves. The youngest children are twin girls, and both show sings of physical abuse. These kids need your prayers! Please keep them and the Casa Shalom team in prayer as we minister to these kids who need mountains of love and care!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Casa Shalom + 12

Great news! We have been praying for God to send more needy kids to Casa Shalom, and today, we received two new children (a brother and sister 9 and 10 years of age), tonight, we will receive a group of NINE siblings (from one-year-old twins to a thirteen-year-old) and Tuesday, we'll receive a newborn baby girl. Watch for more information on them and photos of them in the coming days.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Take a moment to read the text from a recent news story about malnutrition rates in Guatemala in 2010 - and after that, take another moment to pray that in 2011, we at Casa Shalom can take in and minister to more needy children than ever! (Link to the article can be found here.)

More than 2,000 children under 5 died in Guatemala during the first 10 months of 2010 as a consequence of illnesses caused by malnutrition, according to a report presented Friday by the national ombud's office.

The report is based on statistics of the Epidemiology Center of the Public Health Ministry covering the period from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2010.

"It's worrying that mortality from hunger is double that of deaths from violence. Thousands of children are estimated to be at risk and there is no sufficient effort being made to save them from this grave situation," ombud Sergio Morales told the media.

Eighty-four percent of the youngsters died at home, without any kind of medical care, according to the report.

Most of the children died of respiratory infections and diarrhea, ailments caused by high levels of malnutrition.

Ministry figures show that one in every two Guatemalan children under 5 suffer from malnutrition, as a consequence of the poverty and extreme poverty in which more than 52 percent of the country's 14.4 million inhabitants live.

Most of the children who died were concentrated in provinces that make up Guatemala's "dry corridor," a strip that runs through the country from east to northeast, which during the last two years has suffered intense droughts blamed on climate change.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Maria, left, and Enma enjoy some free time outdoors. Maria, 15, is in her last year of high school and Enma, 17, will be starting her first year of college in January!