On the main page of our website, you can see some of our girls in yellow folkloric dress. They were participating in what was the largest folkloric dance event in the world, according to Guinness. Some 5,000 people participated in this event. It was huge! - even more people than what you can see in this photo, which was a warm-up practice for the event a couple of hours later. So, where are our girls in this photo? Good question! They were mixed-in somewhere with thousands of others just like those you see in this picture. Folkloric dance is a very important part of our program with our children and teens.
Late last year, 2018, we were gifted with a large and beautiful new home! It is located in an upscale neighborhood in our city of Arequipa, Peru. For security purposes, we cannot show the exterior of our home. But, here is a photo of a few of our girls in one of our living rooms. The house was in need of much remodel work both in the interior, exterior, yard, and garden areas. We were gifted with not only the house, but also with all the finances needed to do every bit of remodel work! We are so thankful to those who made all this possible for us and our children. And, above all, we give our Creator the thanks for making all this possible through these wonderful people!
Just right after doing our own miniature "Exodus" out of our former rented home that we have been in for five and a half years, we were able to celebrate our first Seder dinner in our new home this last April. In attendance were all of our children, invited guests, and their children too.
Here, our kids are all getting ready for the annual Olympics event that was held at the very large Don Bosco children's shelter in our city of Arequipa. In Peru, we are known as Restaurando Esperanza Internacional which, in English, is Restoring Hope International. This event helps to foster participation and friendship between all the different children's rescue centers located in our Peruvian Andean city. Our girls took first place in Volleyball!
We received a grant to purchase commercial sewing equipment for our home in Arequipa. Its purpose is 2-fold. One is to teach our kids a trade. The second is to eventually generate an income for our home with the produce of our sewing shop. Additionally, this will also give our girls some spending money too. Surprisingly, almost immediately word got out about us and we started receiving orders.
The kids have a professional commercial instructor (left) who, very lovingly, comes to our home to teach them this important trade. This will serve to help them fend for themselves in the future.
Our girls had earned, for our home in just 2021, enough funds to finance our family trip to the beach in February of 2022! This paid for the fuel for two vehicles, rent on a beach house, food and outings!
In addition to receiving a grant for our sewing equipment, we also received a grant to purchase commercial baking equipment for our kitchen. Fortunately, we have a large kitchen area that is able to accommodate such a large blessing! We now have 2 commercial ovens. The newest one has the added feature of injecting moisture into the baking chamber so that our breads will come out of the oven much tastier. Additionally, we also received commercial mixing equipment not seen in this photo.
As stated above, our purpose is also 2-fold with the kitchen: To teach our children the baking trade and to eventually generate an income too. Our kids have fun selling their desserts and breads to our neighbors and even a business who has taken a liking to our bread.
In this photo, you will see a chef who worked with our girls and staff to learn how to use the equipment, make breads and desserts.
I do want to take this moment to thank all those who have worked so hard to help us to receive this very special grant!
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