Friday, June 26, 2015

Casa Aleluya - 1/2

Once again, I go to serve and to “give back” and the blessing was mine!

After a long day of travel on Friday we arrived after midnight in a downpour.  But the next morning we woke up in our brand new (hot water only 3 hours before our arrival) dorm… to sunshine and smiling faces.. so happy to have TWUMC return for their 18th year!

Mike and Dottie Clark

Casa Team June 2015

At the helm of CASA are Mike and Dottie Clark, known by all as “Poppi and Mommy” who have had the remarkable vision and faith to build what has now changed over 5000 tender lives in the past 26 years.   These kids arrive under the worst of circumstances… abandoned by their families, by court order due to abuse, neglect and worse…  for protection and medical needs.  What they get is LOVE, unconditional love, safety and security and to be part of the biggest family imaginable. 

The “Blue Building” is the center for all organized group activity… meals, church services, programs given by volunteer groups, weddings, christenings and funerals.  And then there’s free time!   At the center are the playgrounds.  For the little ones, swings and slides, the open area has jump rope and game activities while the soccer field is in constant motion.  All their needs are met inside this campus of CASA… from educational to meals to medical needs.  There are at least 8 dorms scattered throughout, boys and girls sides divided, and then by age group.  Even a “transitional dorm” for those attending university but still wanting the “home” they’ve grown to love.  In recent years a ministry to “dialysis kids” has grown, and the first phase of a hospital will be complete by December.

School property for Pre K thru High School

Hospital under construction, phase 1 due to complete by December.

We had 16 of us in our group and our days were busy.  We had an early rise for personal devotional time before gathering at the foot of “the bridge” to greet the kids, on their way to school.  Hugs were in abundance for the kids although a few of the young boys tried to sneak by those “loco ladies!”   Breakfast as a group and then off to a task… for me it was organizing the repainting of a dorm with colorful murals filled with inspirational scriptures for the girls of Esperanza.  
Greeting the kids each morning as they went off to school!

"Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation."
2 Corinthians 5:17
"Humble yourself before the Lord
and He will lift you up"
James 4:10

After lunch we shared a group devotional time and then split into smaller groups to pray over the special needs of each dorm and building.  In our few short days many prayers were answered and the power of prayer affirmed.  The afternoons were free for “play time.”  And each evening we spent time with the kids.  For the older girls, a craft night, pizza and game night and “journey” night.  For the boys… they like to eat!  Hot Dogs for the younger boys and Ice Cream Sundaes for the older ones… some had 4 helpings!!   We’d all gather in our dorm to re-cap our days before falling into bed at night.

"We prayed for you today"

Pizza and Game night with Dora, Gabriella and friends

This just highlights what Casa Aleluya is but doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of how it feels… more on that tomorrow.

Marisol, 9 and her little brother Jonathan, 3

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