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July » 2006 » Hope 4 Kids International Blog


Peru Team – July 22 People Spotlight
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Don and Marilyn are board members for Hope4Kids.  They went to Russia with us in 2003 and came on board shortly after that.  Don is in charge of the business aspect and Marilyn is in charge of Don.  They have been on five mission trips with us including Chile and twice to Uganda. 

Marilyn has worked with our medical teams and does an outreach to the local Catholic churches while traveling.  She met a lady who was making rosaries for the prisoners in Reno but had to stop because they were using them to choke one another!  So Marilyn asked if she’d like to make them for her to take on mission trips.  She agreed so each time Marilyn comes armed with rosaries.

Marilyn is one of my heroes.  She is willing to leave her comfortable home in order to make a difference in this world.  She doesn’t have to.  She’s earned the right to the good life of retirement but she says she has to go because “Jesus wants me to!”  She’s been put in some awkward situations at times.  Like on the road to Tororo Uganda we couldn’t find a bathroom and we all headed to the bushes.  I remember thinking, “How many people in Marilyn’s peer group would be caught doing this?  She could just go on cruises and have coffee with her friends and live a good life.  Instead she has left her comfortable lifestyle because she believes when God blesses you it is your responsibility to help others!”  She’s an awesome woman and I’d like to be just like her.

Don is a great guy.  He and Pat always bring joy to the kids with their music.  He plays the trumpet and a crowd gathers.  He says the highlight of this trip is that it is such a humbling experience to see the real needs here and to appreciate the life we have in the United States with our tremendous resources.

We all love Marilyn and Don and are so blessed to have them play such an important part of Hope4Kids.




Peru Team – July 21, 2006
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In family time this morning Tom talked about God bringing people across our paths for a purpose.  In 1973 when Tom was just starting on this mission journey he met Corrie Ten Boom, holocaust survivor and author of The Hiding Place.  He asked her what kind of advice she could give him she responded, “God never allows anyone to come across your path that He doesn’t allow them to touch your life or you to touch theirs.” 

Tom encouraged us to look at our encounters as divine appointments.  He suggested that worshiping God is not only words or songs but a lifestyle.  Our actions should say, “I love you, Jesus.”

If people come your way believe that God has sent them.  Let that person take on the face of Jesus and treat him/her as though he were Christ.  Wow!  That’s a tough one because some faces sure don’t look like Jesus.  We would be surprised at how such an meeting could impact another-not only in Peru but when we go home-in the grocery store, in our neighborhoods-even at church!

Tom challenged us to say to God, “Here am I.  Send me.  How will you use me today and who will I encounter?”  He asserts that God is more anxious to use us than we are to be used by Him.  With that he sent us on our way to the barrios to see what God would have for us today.

Barrio groupsml

I followed Carla’s Vacation Bible School team around today. 

At breakfast the two Christines, Marissa and Marilyn served porridge.

Conner, CJ and Scott played soccer with the kids.  I don’t want to say that Scott is competitive or anything but I do have a photo of him with his arms raised in victory and CJ lying face down on the ground.

Eric and Kirrin played Frisbee and ran races with wrist streamers.

Katie and Julie made Jesus bracelets with the kids for the morning craft.

Angie and Chris R played with hula hoops, bean bags and the parachute.

The morning flew quickly by and after lunch team members switched tasks and stations and kept busy serving sandwiches and lemonade, played more games and made sack puppets.  At the end of the day was a puppet show and dancing.  Then it was time to say goodbye.  We wouldn’t be back to this barrio again and in two days a lot of relationships were started.  There were tears all around when the goodbyes were said.  The team members and Peruvians kept grabbing one another hugging and then one more hug-a few more tears and we had to move on because Saturday and Sunday we are going to do it all over again in two other barrios.

Dawn’s team had similar experiences.  At the end of their fun-filled day they were entertained by two little dancers.  The men finished their project for the community center and it was their turn to say goodbye.   It’s funny how people can become so special in such a short time. . .


Peru Team – July 21 People spotlight
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Pat and Diane are not only Tyler’s grandparents but are very involved with Hope4Kids.  Diane is a board member and secretary for the board.  She also is the director of the Northwest branch.  Pat has been chairman of the board for the past five years. 

When I asked how Hope4Kids has changed them Pat immediately responded, “It brought me to Jesus!”  Five years ago their daughter Colleen made them go to church to listen to Tom speak and they decided to go on a mission trip to Chile.  Pat accepted Christ on that trip and they have been going ever since.  They have been on ten mission trips in five years!  They are loving it.  They both agree that these years are definitely the best part of their lives.  Now they are passing their legacy onto their grandchildren.  They have offered to pay the way for any of their grandchildren who choose to go on a mission trip with Hope4Kids.  This is their grandson Tyler’s second mission.  His first was when he was twelve.  He’s a great asset to the team with his enthusiasm and love for kids.  He fits right in and the kids gravitate to him.  We hope he’s going to keep coming back and bringing his siblings and cousins with him.

This time in Peru Pat and Diane have been meeting with other board member, Tom and other key people to explore ways Hope4Kids can make a difference in Peru.  Their team has visited several schools which have no water or electricity.  A child cannot attend school unless he/she has a uniform and a pencil and paper.  Most students are mal nourished and the schools don’t have the means to feed them.  One school told them not to bring soccer balls because the kids are so mal nourished they don’t have the energy to play!

85% of the kids in the poor barrios are unable to attend school.  They are left to their own devices and need to make money for the family.  An alarming number of girls become prostitutes at a very young age.  Very few boys attend school.  In a school of 1800 students only 300 were boys!

40% of the girls become pregnant between the ages of 11 to 14.

The vast majority of kids are abused and raped by their parents, uncles, neighbors and brothers.  The stats for kids are shocking.  They are in desperate need and we are grateful for loving people like Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) who care enough to reach out and devote their lives to these destitute people.

Today is Pat’s birthday.  I remember last year he celebrated his birthday in Uganda!  Maybe every year he’ll be on a mission for his birthday. 

We’re appreciative for all that Pat and Diane do to make a difference.




Peru Team – July 21 People spotlight
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Five years ago Christine watched Carla leave along with other church members for Kenya.  9/11 had just happened and Christine thought they were nuts and said, “I could never do that!”
Her five-year-old son constantly listens to a Christian group Mercy Me.  He has a DVD called “Here am I” and watches it everyday!  One Sunday in church Eric started talking about Hope4Kids going to Peru.  She said all of a sudden she felt such an urge to go.  She told her husband, “You’re going to think I’m nuts but I’m going to Peru.”  With his full support she kissed him and their two sons goodbye and came with us.

This is Christine’s first mission trip and she has really bonded with the women of the barrio.  She has washed dishes in plastic tubs on the ground, has held babies and helped do laundry by hand.  She is so amazed that no matter what your culture or economic standing-it seems to be universal-women want to take care of the homes and family.  She watched a woman sweeping the sand in front of her house and said, “she does that just like I do my front walk!”

The women seem to love Christine as much as she loves them.  I think they can see her heart for “partnership” rather than the attitude of “I’m here to do something good for you”.  She relates so well with them and many shed tears knowing that Christine would be moving on to another barrio tomorrow. 

What fun to watch Christine with her gentle, loving spirit.  She has so much to offer.

Christine washing dishes


Peru Team – July 21 People spotlight
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On her first mission trip with her church Carla’s pastor started a tradition called notes from home.  Before a mission trip they put up banners and tables at their church.  The tables hold names of those going and stacks of note cards.  People write notes of encouragement to team members-whether they know them or not-and the team leader takes them on the trip.  Each morning they have mail call and team members are given a few notes each day.  Carla said when she was in Kenya five years ago-soon after 9-11, those notes were such an encouragement to her so as international mission coordinator she has continued this tradition.

Carla also works with her church’s organization, Anthem4Africa.  They have done the global commute started by the founders of Invisible Children.  Invisible Children was started by teenage boys who went to Uganda and found hundreds of children walking to bus terminals, community centers, etc every night-sometimes they’d walk for hours-in order to be locked up so they would be safe from the terrorists who kill them if they find them.  In Anthem 1000 people showed up in support of these children.  5-600 children slept on the gym floor that night.  They wrote letters to the invisible children and raised  awareness to the horrors of Africa.  Some of these teens have completely changed since this event.  One girl, a junior in high school, changed her mind about what to do in life and is actively studying nursing so she can go to Africa to help.

Anthem4Africa spotlights organizations who are already helping Africa like Hope4Kids and Sam Crump who started an African orphanage called Sunrise.  They raise money for special projects like building a well.  Their 4 stands for 1)Education. 2)Health 3)Micro-businesses and 4) awareness of local organizations.

This is Carla’s second mission trip with Hope4Kids as well as her son, CJ’s.  CJ is 16 and went to Uganda with us last year.  He called home and told Carla that Africa was “the happiest place in the world.”  He loves soccer and always finds a game.  He has played soccer in four different countries and hopes to do a lot more.

Carla and CJ are committed to doing the work God has given them and they’re fun too!



Peru Team – Photo Album
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I just added 77 photos to the photo album. There are some fantastic photos in there!



Peru Team – Thursday, July 20th
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Today we started VBS (Vacation Bible School)   We split into two barrios with Carla leading one group and Dawn leading the other.  I went with Dawn’s group so I’ll be telling about them and tomorrow I’ll go with Carla’s group (Fellowship and North Point churches) and will report on their activities in my next update.

Jennie  TylerSML

When we reached the barrio our Peruvian hosts were already there setting up the sound system, tables and stations.  We unloaded our supplies and broke into stations.  The kids began to arrive and were lined up according to their age groups.  Each group was given a different color shirt.  The groups were split up among our stations and at the end of 30 minutes would switch to another station.  Some of the groups had translators and those of us who know some Spanish kind of winged it.

Jennie and Tyler held three-legged races, played duck duck and red rover.  It was a little difficult to explain the concept of the games but they did a good job demonstrating and the kids joined right in.

Chris, Howie and Helen played soccer.  They didn’t have to tell the kids how to play!  They seemed to have a great time with Chris and Helen using their Spanish and Howie blowing the whistle.

Uncle Tom and Sharon’s groups played with large colored balls and bean bags.  Sometimes they were pretty swamped with kids but our hosts came to the rescue and helped organize them so Tom and Sharon were able to really enjoy playing with the kids.

Marcy, Mary and Cathy ran the craft table.  The morning groups made crosses.  The mom’s stood watching for a while but soon pitched in and enjoyed crafting with their kids.  Mary, who knows Spanish quite well met some women from the barrio and enjoyed visiting with a nurse who works in a clinic there.

The Peruvians told Bible stories at their station which was in someone’s house.  Kids were spilling out the door and watching through the windows.

Eating lunchSML

Another house housed the food.  We served breakfast and lunch.  In the morning Nathan, Lynn, and Karin fed the kids porridge made in huge pots.  The kids stood around the table drinking it from large cups.  They seemed to enjoy it tremendously and loved laughing and communicating with the Americans.  Karin speaks pretty well and laughs at her mom’s accent but Lynn is actually doing well.

Robert, Mike, Kevin and Ralph helped put a new roof on a community center.  It was really interesting to observe and REALLY different than the remodeling and construction jobs these guys do in the States!  The base of the roof was large bamboo pools laid across the top of the walls for braces.  They then nailed smaller bamboo poles across the braces.  On top of that they rolled out a woven bamboo that looked like a huge place mat.  Over this they placed a plastic tarp.  Then the fun began!  They mixed a huge batch of mud and carried it in buckets up a hill leading to the roof.  Mike and the Peruvian guys spread it over the entire roof and left it to dry.

Next they were asked to take out a brick wall so they could expand the kitchen.  Mike and Kevin carefully removed the bricks while Ralph and Robert removed the old mortar and cleaned them up for re-use.

After our lunch break we re-convened with VBS.  Dawn moved people around so they could try different stations.  Word had gotten out and there were several hundred kids ready to play and eat.  I went first to the food serving area to take photos of the kids being served lunch.  They were swamped!  Uncle Tom, Nathan, Howie and Karin made sandwiches and poured drinks as fast as they could.  I ended up washing cups in a cement sink with cold water.  They were filled with Kool-Aid as quickly as I could wash them and then returned to be washed for the next group.  It was non-stop all afternoon.  With the food gone and dishes washed we all went outside to finish the day by watching a puppet show and danced to the music. 

The construction crew finished taking down the wall and extended the kitchen.  They built a header for a window and a door.

A tired but satisfied group headed for the bus.  We all were happy to take showers and have a good meal knowing we would be up again EARLY tomorrow to do it all over again!

Thanks for your prayers.  Everyone is doing well.

Check out the photo album for today’s photos!


Peru Team – July 20 People spotlight
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Kiki and Dawn

Kelly and Dawn Kiki join us from Spokane Washington.  This is their second mission with Hope4Kids.  Last year they went with us to Uganda and loved it.  Dawn, a talented artist painted a mural on our orphan store and Kelly, a school teacher visited schools, interviewing teachers and students.

Dawn owns a tea house and uses her artistic talents doing murals, painting tin tiles and other artsy textures and touches to private homes in the Spokane area.  If you are ever in the Spokane area stop by the Brambleberry Cottage and ask for Dawn.  Have a cup of tea and get to know this very lovely young woman.

Kelly is very involved in the school where he teaches.  Last year he put together a video presentation of his trip to Uganda and shows it to his students who are extremely interested in the crisis in Africa.  Maybe we’ll see some of his students in Africa one of these days!

The Kikis are a joy to team members as they bring their ideas and leadership and love and talents and generously share them with us.  We hope to see them on more trips in the future.


Kiki and kids

Dawn  friend


Peru Team – July 20 People spotlight
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Kevin and Chris joined our team from California.  Tom has been to their church to speak and three members, including their pastor, Ken Jensen were with us when we were deported from Cuba for religious activity!  Kevin and Chris heard of our work in Uganda and wanted to be on the ground floor of what we are going to be doing in Peru.

Chris  Kevin

They have worked with youth for a number of years but are feeling a strong pull toward missions.  They spent a month in Mexico.  While there the girls they were working with wanted to give back to their community.  When they started to build a church the girls asked, “Why can’t we do that?” and pitched right in.  Kevin and Chris are considering moving to Mexico as missionaries once Kevin retires.  They say that is their plan but if God has something else for them-they’ll do that!

Kevin drives a beautiful, custom “Harley clone” motorcycle and has to figure out how he can take it with him.

These two are fantastic.  They are eager to serve weather it be getting covered with mud in construction or playing soccer or just loving the people.  We are blessed to have them with us.

Chris wonders where the ball went

Roof Kevin  Mike nail down bamboo



Peru Team – July 19, 2006
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Today we visited the barrios where we will be holding Vacation Bible School for the next four days.  We broke into groups and passed out fliers announcing when and where our celebration will be held.

Barrio boys

As we walked through the barrios with our Peruvian hosts we met many poverty-stricken but happy people.  The children laughed and played and were delighted to follow us around.  We asked our hosts many questions as we walked these sand dunes people were claiming as their homes.  The government will allow you a plot of land but you have to build your house and live in it.  Your house can be any type of construction from brick to reed walls.  Some are crudely made make shift shelters while others are carefully constructed of mud bricks made right on the property.  No one has a bathroom.  Our hosts are an organization called Nueva Esperanza (New Hope).  They work in these barrios helping the people survive.  One of the things they are doing is to hand dig latrines.  Currently the people have to go find a private place to go to the bathroom and that is difficult to do here.  Often they go at night behind a little hill a short distance from the barrio.   Here women are attacked and raped. New Hope is expecting to eliminate some of the violence against women by providing public bathrooms within the barrio. 


We were also told the children are at great risk to molestation here and prostitution is common.  The people have come from the mountains to these settlements because they are hoping to find work.  When there is none they have to get creative.  Some bake and sell bread; some make and sell shoes out of their homes; women get jobs in the city doing laundry and cleaning homes or become prostitutes.  You see men making bricks.  Most men don’t like the idea of one woman so they kind of move about leaving the women and children to fend for themselves.

New Hope is constructing community centers where the public will have education, play games and attend barrio meetings.  Hope4kids is planning to help with some of this construction. 

Mike and Cathy are from Great Falls Montana where they attend Faith Center Church.  Their Pastor David is a longtime friend and supporter of Hope4kids.  A number of people including Pastor David and his wife, Susan have traveled around the world with us. 


Mike has gone to Juarez, Mexico with Faith Center for a short mission trip.  While there they built a rural community school house.  They wired it in anticipation of electricity coming to this rural area one day but to date is operating with no electricity. 

Mike is self employed remodeling and selling used homes.  This gives him the flexibility to go on missions. Cathy is an administrator for the Montana State University.  This is their first mission trip with Hope4Kids.  Cathy says the most moving part of the trip thus far is seeing the poverty and devastation in the barrios.  She and Mike discussed what they would fix first if they had the opportunity.  Mike would bring in water.  Cathy would build bathrooms so the women would be safe.  Mike says he finds it so amazing how widespread poverty is all over the world.  You can go anywhere to make a difference in the lives of the poverty-stricken people-including your own state!

We are so pleased to have Cathy and Mike on this team.  Their easy going, willing attitudes have been a great contribution to the work we have ahead of us.  We’re hoping this is just the beginning of their partnership with Hope4Kids.

Elizabeth works for Hope4Kids.  She works long hours to put these trips together.  She spends late nights and weekends working to get things done.  She works with the airlines, the hotels, our hosts and team members who have a ton of questions before going on a mission trip.  She is a tremendous addition to Hope4Kids.  Not only does she spend countless hours working she somehow manages to run a household of three kids and a husband!  Her dedication is obvious in all she does and we are so happy to have her here as she continues organizing and arranging all that we are doing here.  This is her third trip with Hope4Kids.



Hope 4 Kids International is 501c3 faith-based non-profit committed to help children around the world that are suffering from extreme poverty through Dignity, Health, Joy & Love.

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