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June » 2009 » Hope 4 Kids International Blog


The Butler family meets their sponsored girl
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Monday, June 22, 2009
by Angie Simon

Today was our last full day to work in the barrios. We visited Jorge and Carola’s barrio that sits high overlooking the ocean. On a clear day, you can see the break of the ocean waves on the shoreline. Since many of our team was from California, we commented that if this property was located in California, these individual homes would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Liza, Phil, Angie & Jenna served and played with the kids in the morning and Lindsey, Dwayne, Tom, Mark and Sam built chimineas throughout homes in the barrio.

Our “kids” team split into three stations: bandanas, games and breakfast. We rotated the 80+ kindergarten kids around in the various stations. These kids were so sweet and well behaved. We served them chocolate milk, a slice of cake and a tangerine. Liza and Angie helped the kids drink their milk and eat their cake. Many of the children hide their milk and their cake into their school uniform pockets and bring it home to share with their families. There is an overwhelming sense of sharing with these kids and they all look out for one another.

Phil helped the kids create their bandanas and looked so precious as they were exiting his station. Jenna is so wonderful playing with the kids. They all gravitate to her and she is great keeping them all entertained! Thanks Jenna for all of the fun games you thought up to entertain all of these hundreds of kids throughout the week!

Before lunch, Phil, Jenna, Mark and Liza visited their second orphan they sponsor. We walked through the barrio with Danelle up to their quaint little home. Inside we found the grandmother that takes care of four grandchildren. Rose Marie, their orphan is a beautiful little girl who greeted all of us with hugs and kisses. Her face lit up as she met her sponsored family for the first time. It was a kindred connection on both sides and both families were excited to meet each other for the first time. Rose Marie has a loving family that lives in a modest nice clean brick home. Danelle pointed out a bunk bed that Hope 4 Kids recently purchased for them through our sponsorship program. The Butler family brought family photos and a coat for Rose Marie to keep her warm. Rose Marie and Jenna are just a couple of weeks apart in age, but Jenna is a foot taller than her sponsored sister! Danelle commented since Rose Marie has been in the sponsorship program, she has filled out and looks healthier. Thank you Butler family for directly impacting the life of this special girl and her family! We appreciate your support!

After lunch, the team changed places. Everyone has had fun getting an opportunity to do construction and playing with the kids everyday. The kids on are team – Jenna, Mark, Sam and Lindsey have all done an AMAZING job not only playing with the kids, but with the construction of the chimineas. They are so awesome!



Happy Father’s Day!
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Sunday, June 21st, 2009
by Liza Butler

Happy Father´s Day!

Tom started our Family time with a memory of how his father had influenced his life by how he modeled being a prayer warrior, spreading the gospel and allowing God to turn his life completely around. A great reminder of how our lives can influence others.

We joined people from barrio 6 this morning in worship, singing in Spanish and clapping along. Several of the songs were ones we sing at home. The message was on how fathers and mothers need to teach their children (thanks Lindsey for the translation).

We helped serve many children a lunch of rice with veggies and 2 small pieces of chicken. One little boy of 5 wouldn´t eat his chicken. He had it wrapped up in his napkin and he was going to take it to his dad.

Our afternoon consisted of playing games with the kids. We got out a small bucket of chalk and watched as they drew on the cement, probably for the first time. It took most of them watching Lindsey and Angie for several minutes before they joined in and then there were many photo ops with their pictures. One little boy named Jonathon even drew a house and wrote ¨HOPE¨ on it after looking at Angie´s name tag.

The kids also played volleyball and drew with markers on 76 bandannas. Meanwhile, Mark and Sam helped build a table for a chimney and Tom and Dewayne helped finish 3 chimney tops (like an outdoor barbeque with a grate). They were watched by a group of young women, many with kids. One young lady asked Tom to take her toddler back to the US with him, every mom´s hope to give their child a better life.

We finished the day with the youth (teens) playing musical chairs (good try Mark in getting 2nd) and watching a wonderful play about the pressures of this world and how Jesus will always be there to protect you from them if you turn to Him.

Most of us left the barrios at 6pm. Angie, Lindsey and Liza had a mini Peruvian adventure on the way home. We rode with Jose´ and his wife Heidi, the barrio leaders who live on the way to our hotel. It only took them about 40 minutes to load up electrical equipment, a big pot and a propane tank, along with several kids and a couple extra adults in the van, then untie the volleyball net from he top and we were off. We stopped 3 or 4 times in the barrio to unload a few items and people until everything and everyone but us were dropped off and then they got the extra bench seat off the roof of the van and put it back in. A quick 5 minutes stop at the market, which is quite dangerous so you don´t want to carry a camera and Angie got 2 pair of fuzzy pajama pants for 11 soles each, or about $4 each. We enjoyed talking to them on the way back to our hotel, laughing when we discovered that Jenna and Heidi have the same birthday, as well as Angie and Jose´!


Retreat Day with Peruvian Youth & H4KI
Posted by

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
by Angie Simon

We had the best day today! Danelle (Project New Hope) organized a retreat for the youth from the different barrios today. It was so amazing! Oftentimes, the youth are forgotten and left to take care of themselves. They are particularly vulnerable to drugs, crime and prostitution because there isn’t much of anything for them to do in the barrios outside of school.

These kids are the brightest kids and many of them or currently receiving scholarships. We’ve learned that the average education for someone living in the barrio is 3rd grade. In order for them to stop this cycle of poverty, receiving a quality education is the most critical. These youth are so full of life and they really remind us of our Unifund kids that we sponsor to attend the university in Romania.

We chartered a big bus for our forty-minute drive to the beautiful gardens where we would spend the afternoon. Our retreat was officially kicked off with Milly, our youth director, leading us in games along the way. Everyone was interacting and laughing and having so much fun! We arrived to an incredibly beautiful garden preserve filled with lush flowers and trees and lots of grass! Most of the fifty youth that accompanied us today had never seen grass. You can imagine what is must have been like for them – living in a desert barrio filled with sand their entire life and then coming to a place like this. It was magical for everyone! Just seeing their facing lit up for the entire day was so special for us. Everyone immediately ran to the playground adjacent to the large open grass field and climbed on the swings, jungle gum and teeter-totters. We all joined hands and formed a circle to pray – took some photos of the youth and started with our fun activities.

For one game we played, we formed human “icons” from phrases we received. For instance, God is Love – our team formed a human heart. We stood up and shouted them in Spanish. Other teams formed a smiley face and a cross. It was so fun! Another really fun thing we did was to remember to pray for all of our team members. Everyone received a large paper cross necklace and everyone in our group wrote down their individual names on the cross, so we can remember to pray for them either in Peru or the US. It was very touching and our groups really enjoyed getting to know our Peruvian friends on a deeper level.

Throughout the day, we played volleyball and lots of soccer, two sports that Peruvian kids really excel at playing. They were really good. Their national team is ready! Also, these kids had only played soccer on concrete – never on grass. It was exciting to watch them! Kids had an opportunity to go swimming or go to the onsite zoo here. A DJ was hired and many kids danced together under the pavilion. Next to soccer, dancing is many kids second favorite sport. We even got Mark and Tom out there dancing! We had a beautiful lunch of chicken and flavorful rice and a yummy funnel cake-like treat for desert!

Set in the middle of boulders, this retreat gave people an opportunity to climb to the top and see a 360 view of Trujillo. Overlooking farmlands and mountains, this view was amazing- one of which the kids really enjoyed!

We were sad to see the day finally come to an end, but we are all so thankful for the opportunity to fellowship with our dear friends in the youth program. Thanks Danelle!



Serving in Marco & Ginniny’s Barrio
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Friday, June 19th, 2009
by Angie Simon

Today, we worked in Marco & Ginniny’s barrio – the newest barrio that Project New Hope is developing. In a couple of the small schools, we started the day doing crafts with the kindergarten kids. Mas bandanas para the ninos! One of the directors commented that they love it when the gringos come because the kids are so happy – it brings happiness into their homes. We split into teams of kids and construction. Liza, Jenna and Lindsey helped the kids color the bandanas in the morning while DJ, Tom, Mark, Sam, Phil and Angie helped with construction. The construction team continued to build chimineas for families that have been consistently serving in their barrios. So often, we will find families that cook with charcoal in their plastic tarp or reed houses causing so much smoke making it difficult to breathe when you walk in their house. Living there under those conditions in just unimaginable….but thousands do it everyday in the barrios around Trujllo, Peru.

We created tabletops for the chimineas in a few homes and built several chimineas in the afternoon. In order for us to build their chiminea, each family must provide the supplies: mud bricks, barro (mud & sand mixture) rebar, chicken wire, metal sheets and a long pipe. Some families have improvised on the materials, so you just have to learn to use what you have!

During the afternoon, we had so much fun playing games with many of the kids in the barrio! They LOVED Pero, Pero, Gato (Duck, Duck, Goose!) It was fun to see them do the hard boil egg race on the spoons. When they got to the end, they got to eat them, of course! We played musical chairs, tangerine balancing, tag, volleyball, soccer, you name it – we played it! It was so encouraging to see these children laugh and play in spite of how little they have or the surroundings they live in. Today, was a great day.



A little about the barrios
Posted by

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
by Phil Butler

People come to the barios from many parts of Peru including the mountains and Amazon for something better (we wonder what they left). There are 100 barrios up in the sand on the hillside with ´ 10,000 people in each. There are few men with most of the families led by the mom. Each family is given a plot of land by the government that is 20 x 60 ft. Initially, a small shelter is built of reeds or plastic. Then, when the family has more money they build a small mud brick room that they add to over time along with a wall around the plot. After a while, the government brings in electricity and water along the street to each home. One power connection was on a 3 x 5 ft brick wall with wires running to a reed hut.

We were able to visit a number of homes today while making chimneys. One of the homes was at the end of the barrio where the garbage was more exposed and it smelled even more then the rest of the area. The house was made of plastic bags stitched together and had no electricity or water. They cooked inside the house so the smoke swirled around inside. We built the stove w/ chimney outside so that the home would no longer be filled with a mixture of smoke and fumes from the heated plastic. Another house we built a chimney at was much nicer – made of fired brick, a cement floor (rare), and had several rooms. Of course, the family that lived there was still living in a community built on top of a landfill with much of it exposed due to erosion. Just outside the nicer house was a long ravine where all the garbage was exposed. At times, people walked through with a hoe looking for something useful to use.

The barrio we visited was known to have a large gang presence. Project New Hope had built a community center for the barrio. It was nicely done with a cement floor with tables, chairs, and lighting. The center offered a clean place where kids could come together to play and/or learn in a safe environment. It also seemed to allow leveraging of the volunteer moms who could watch 10 children instead of a few in a house.

I was amazed that most everyones clothes were quite clean – impressive as hard as it was to clean and dry our clothes at our nice hotel. Each evening when we left after a hard days work, we all had the luxury of showering before dinner. One of the quotes during family time was “it is better to not have and not want then to have and want”. I don t think most of realize how much abundance we have.


Serving in the new hillside barrio
Posted by

Thursday, June 18, 2009
by Liza Butler

Today was our fourth day in the barrios. The barrio we visited today was set on a hill and they continue to add houses up the hill. We helped in 2 kindergarten classrooms in the morning, coloring scarves that the children then wear tied on their heads. They are soooo cute running around with them on. At one of the kindergarten classes, the children had sore arms, as they had received vaccines sometime prior to when we arrived. It did not dimish their enthusiasm and we were happy to see they received this protection in an environment with high risk for disease.

After lunch we visited the home of a lovely 14 year old girl named Carolina who is one of the sponsored children in the Hope4Kids program. Her home has a dirt floor and their free standing closet holds about as much clothes as the closet in our hotel would. She had received a letter and pictures from her family and the translator, Patti, read it to her and wrote down her response to be sent back. The children always love to receive photos and I see them study them and share them with others each and every time they get one. Carolina wants to join the Marines when she grows up and hopefully she will break the cycle of poverty in her life.

In the late afternoon the school children joined us to play games together. Despite the chilly, damp weather, they CAME with laughter and joy. The boys took 4 blow up cones and a soccer ball and they were happy as could be running around in the sand and pebbles, often in bare feet, playing football. Although they originally had a rubber ball, when we got the real soccer ball pumped up, their faces lit up and they CAME running to switch them out. The little ones played tug of war and they loved the parachute, as always. And the older girls honed their volleyball skills. We notice with so little, they are very good at playing group games together and not sitting inside.



Working in Lois’s barrio today
Posted by

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
by Jenna Butler

In the morning, we had 80 kindergarten kids – 40 inside and 40 outside. Fortunately, there were also a lot of mothers who also volunteered. The group outside played duck, duck, goose (pero, pero, guto or dog, dog, cat). It was so funny watching them play because sometimes they would run away from the circle to try and get away. At one of the homes where we made a chimney, a 60 year old women was weaving. She spins her own yarn from wool alpca wool. She uses a fancy loom to make a long rug that is sewn together to make a bag to carry corn. Each time she pulls the yarn threw she tugs hard on a cord with her back to make it tight. It looks like a lot of work. She said it takes 4 days to make a 10 foot length that she sells for 20 Solos or $7. Her work was very precise and beautiful – you would think she was making a blanket. The women grew up in the mountains and has 11 children.

For lunch we had another huge plate of “dirty rice” – chicken, rice, and egg. In the afternoon, we had competition with the kids – we split in teams with one gringo and 5 Peruvian children. Jenna won one of the games for her team. It was fun. We got to go home early at 5 pm today instead of 6 o’clock. We went for a walk on the beach on our way to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Peru. Everyone loved the food! Carlo, the owner of “The Wave” restaurant is the #2 surfer in all of Peru. He and his band played Peruvian music for us. On the way back to our hotel, we stopped for our nightly desert of ice cream.


Visiting the landfill barrio
Posted by

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
by Jenna Butler

Today we visited another barrio – one quite different than on day 1. It is built on a landfill that was covered over and is now being exposed due to erosion. There was a lot of garbage on top and it smelled badly. The young girls, Jenna and Nicole, went off to help the guys build chimineys for families in the barrio. They thought it was fun and interesting and they thought the mud used as mortar was fun to mix and move. In the morning they helped the kindergarten kids make bandannas and then played outside. Jump rope was a highlight as they held kids and then jumped with them. Lindsey jumped with 3 kids, a boy on her back and a girl in each arm. The houses we saw were either made of plastic, bamboo curtains, or bricks made in the barrio of clay and dried in the sun. Jenna saw a lady with a baby on her back walking through the garbage dump area and using a hoe to look for things to sell or use. Some of us also visited Angie’s orphan, Lorena and her grandmother named Beatrice. Lorena is 10 years old and has been bedridden since she was 4. Her grandma takes care of her 24-7. It broke our heart to see the grandma break down in tears worrying about who would take care of Lorena one day if she were not there and to see the fatigue in her eyes. A quiet and faithful caregiver, whose sacrifices and labor probably remain unnoticed by all but Jesus.

We ended our day with games with the older youth. It was precious to hear them sing and see them laugh and play balloon popping games with us.



Jaime’s Barrio
Posted by

Monday, June 15, 2009
by Jenna Butler

When we arrived at the Barrio, all the girls went over to the kindergarten to serve breakfast, play, and help with crafts. The men went of to build cooking ovens with chimney,s. We started off by moving ¨100 brick by Wheel barrow 1; 4 mile to 3 homes. Tom and Dewayne competed to make sure they each carried as many bricks (don’t tell their wives). Then we moved a cement made of clay and local sand by Wheel barrow. Two of the men from the Barrio had been trained in how to make a chimney. First, we just mixed cement and handed bricks while the craftsmen did the building. By then end Sam, was doing the finishing work on the store table. Mark, Dewayne and Tom built at Karla’s house – the Butlers sponsored girl. We had a great lunch of chicken and tons of rice. Jenna and Dewayne licked their plates clean. After lunch the Butlers went over with a group to meet Karla and bring her one of Jenna winter coats she had outgrown (it fit perfect).

Alter lunch, the 3rd – 6th grade kids came and we drew on bandanas and played outside too. At 5 pm, we the youth came. We played Janga and Uno. Then we prayed and did an interactive game where we moved around, then a person would tell us to stop and say a country, then he would tell us how you greet -say good bye, and we all did it to each other. Then we repeated. Next 2 people danced a Peru dance with costumes and then we all danced. At 6, we all went back to the hotel for showers and dinner. Everyone had fried local fish. Mark said it was the best he had ever had (in his 14 years) – better then Salmon, Blue Crac (don’t tell his grandpa), and lobster. It might also had something to do with being so hungry alter working all day. Once again, Dewayne and Jenna licked their plates clean and then ate a big piece of lemon merangine pie.


Flying to Trujillo
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Sunday, June 14, 2009
by Angie Simon

This morning we our on our way to Trujillo, Peru where we will spend most of our days working in the barrios. Trujillo is the largest northern city that is surrounded by ten barrios of about 10,000 people each that are living below the poverty line. Currently, we are working in seven barrios with the help of our partner organization Project New Hope. Hope 4 Kids sponsors around 140 kids in the barrios of Peru – helping them out with their basic needs including sending them to school and helping them obtain a vocation to provide for their family.

Today, was mostly a travel day- but not without an adventure of course! The team flew from Cusco to Lima then on to Trujillo. When we arrived in Lima to pick up the rest of our H4KI bags from storage, the front airline desk wouldn’t allow Tom, Angie and Dewayne to check in because of the weight of our bags. Even though we were under 50 lbs each, our interior flights would not allow us to take two bags because our international connection was longer than 24 hours. The rest of the team was able to check-in and Tom, Angie and Dewayne were left down to the wire. Through a lot of red tape, personal escorts through security and a long run through the airport, we made it!

Dewayne and Tom enjoyed a cappuccino in the Cusco airport that they they said was so good it was only second to the cappucinno we enjoyed in St. Petersburg. It was over the top!

Around 6:30pm, we finally got settled into our beautiful oceanside Bracamonte hotel. The team walked a few blocks down the street to our favorite Italian restaurant. Afterwards, it was time for some traditional Peruvian ice cream!


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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