Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Casa Shalom's girls are all smiles after a long day at school. From left: Yohanna, Maria, Vivi, Evelyn and Raquel. We are so grateful that God has granted these beautiful girls the chance to get a good education.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome to Walter!

The last of Casa Shalom's new children is Walter, who arrived a few days ago after being released from the hospital. Walter was recently severely burned on the lower half of his body by his stepfather. His wounds are extensive, but we are going to make efforts to get him plastic surgery to repair his skin. Walter, just like the other children who've recently arrived at the orphanage, has experienced trauma that we can't even begin to imagine. But we are believing that God will bring healing to these children and that one day they will have a powerful testimony of how He healed them and is using them to further His kingdom! An update on Walter: What a difference a few days make! We are happy to report that Walter, the little boy who came to the orphanage a few days ago after being severely burned by a family member, is happily and quickly adjusting to life at Casa Shalom. In the photo below, he is on the left in the front row with a smile on his face! Look at the difference between Walter in this photo and his photo taken upon his arrival (Wednesday's post).

Back row, from left: Victor, Juan Jose, Miguel, Omar. Front row, from left: a smiling Walter, Santiago, Alex, Chepe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Little Nelsi, age 9, and her big sister Gladys, age 11, are among the 6 new children that Casa Shalom has received over the past few days. The girls were abused by their stepfather and their mother was aware of the abuse, but chose to ignore it. Because of this, the girls were permanently removed from their home and placed at Casa Shalom. We hope that we can truly be a "house of peace" for these beautiful girls, and that the Lord will work to bring healing to their minds, bodies and spirits.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The state of Guatemala

Did you know that Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in children in the entire world? Given that the price of common Guatemalan food staples like corn has risen 60% - 70% in the last few years, this statistic is unlikely to change any time soon. We at Casa Shalom are so blessed to be able to provide our children with a diet specially created by a nutritionist to combat the extreme hunger and malnutrition children are often suffering from when they first come through the orphanage's gates! Thank you to all those who donate and help us care for these precious children of God! For more info about the state of Guatemala's children, check out this link here .

Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome little Jose!

Among the recent who have come to Casa Shalom in recent days is little Jose, who is approximately 4-years-old. He was found wandering alone on the street in Guatemala City two days ago. He doesn't know where he lives or his parents names. Social workers believe he was abandoned. He was brought to Casa Shalom dirty, hungry and in shoes 4 sizes too big. He was quickly welcomed into the toddler house and given clean clothes, good fitting shoes, and a hot meal. Welcome to Casa Shalom, Jose! We can't wait to share the love of Jesus with you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Emilio

God is opening doors for needy children to come to Casa Shalom! We've been praying for the Lord to send us more children, and we've received 6 new children at Casa Shalom in the last 48 hours. Baby Emilio, below, is one of those children. He arrived at Casa Shalom last night after being found alone in his grandmother's house yesterday morning. The neighbors say she's an alcoholic and leaves Emilio in the care of his 3-year-old brother (who is now missing) while she spends her days drinking in local bars. When social workers found Emilio, he was all alone in the house and had only one bottle and a hot dog, which was supposed to be adequate nutrition for a baby that we estimate is around 10 - 12 months old. We are so grateful for the chance to minister to this precious baby boy, who is now the youngest member of the Casa Shalom family. Please pray that Emilio's brother is also found so that he can receive the help and attention he needs. Be watching for photos and info about all of Casa Shalom's new children in the coming days.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Welcome to Margartia and Chepe

On Wednesday, Casa Shalom received two new children into our very special family. Margarita, 11, and her brother Chepe, 9, are with us because their mother abandoned them several years ago. Since then, they've bounced around between the homes of many relatives, none of whom want to care for them any longer. We are excited to be able to pour into the lives of these precious children!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

From left: Julio, Juan Carlos, Jose, the other Juan Carlos, Alfonso and Clinton are all ready to attend class!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back to school!

Today is "back to school" for Casa Shalom's kids! The Guatemalan school year runs from January - October, and today Casa Shalom's preschool and elementary school kids started class. As you can see in the photo at left, they are VERY excited about starting school!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tony's a big boy now!

Today is a big day for Tony, age 5. Casa Shalom's kids live in homes based on their age and gender, and today Tony transitioned out of the home for babies/toddlers to the Luceros, the house for boys 5 - 10! Tony came to Casa Shalom as a little baby after his mother tried to sell him. He's lived in Casa Shalom's baby/toddler house for 5 years, but today he becomes a "big boy." He has been so excited about the move, and has hadhis bags packed and by the door for days.
Left: Tony in the blue shirt, Doris, the Luceros' house mother, and Victor, one of the other Luceros.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Update on Mynor's case

We have good news to share with you regarding Mynor's case (see yesterday's post), although we still need your prayers for this special little boy! Today, Mynor was declared legally adoptable, but the Guatemalan family in question's request to foster him was denied. They will be allowed to petition to adopt him, but the outcome will not be known for at least a few months. We are celebrating Mynor's new status as adoptable, and praying that this precious family is able to make him their own.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Prayer for Mynor

We have a prayer request we'd like to share with our Casa Shalom family all around the world: tomorrow is a very important day for 2-year-old Mynor, whose birthday we celebrated a few days ago and who was found abandoned in a ditch as a newborn(see Saturday's post below). At 12 p.m. CST, Mynor will have "definitive audience" with the courts to determine his legal standing. He will either be declared adoptable or will continue in "limbo" as unadoptable but without blood relatives, and likely to spend the rest of his life in an orphanage. There is a local Guatemalan family that has been trying to adopt Mynor since shortly after his arrival at Casa Shalom - they are a wonderful Christian couple with the means to give Mynor the loving, secure home he deserves! But due to complicated and restrictive Guatemalan adoption laws, the chances of this family being able to adopt him, or even become his foster family, are slim. Mynor needs your prayers! We are praying that the Lord touches the hearts and minds of the officials who will be handling Mynor's case tomorrow and that a miracle will be done so that he will be able to join this family that loves him. We ask that you join us in prayer tomorrow that the Lord's will be done in Mynor's life!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy birthday, Mynor!

Happy birthday Mynor! Today is the 2-year anniversary of his birth and the day when he was found abandoned in a ditch on the side of the road in Guatemala City. The firefighters who found him said that had he not been found when he was, he would have died of exposure because his mother had cut the umbilical cord and left him lying alone in the ditch after giving birth to him there. Praise God for Mynor's rescue and for bringing him to Casa Shalom as a precious 5-day-old baby. Mynor is now a happy, healthy, thriving boy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Children without an identity

Please take a moment to read this touching article about the great number of Guatemalan children who are without any legal identity whatsoever. At Casa Shalom, we have several children who face this problem, as they came to the home without ever receiving a birth certificate, attending school or receiving medical attention. We are working hard to establish a legal identity for these precious children so they can receive the legal protection and education they deserve!