Greetings from Puebla
As we begin 2019, we are hopeful for all that lies ahead for our ministries and also grateful for the accomplishments, victories, and even the challenges that 2018 brought. We invite you to join us in praying for many more children rescued, more people trained for serving in the kingdom, and many to hear and accept the gift of salvation. As we look behind in gratitude and forward in expectation, please know that we can only accomplish this through joining efforts and hearts with people like you. We sincerely thank you.
Jerry and Susy McNally
In late December we had an incredible opportunity to represent LHI at Urbana, a four-day conference with more than 10,000 in attendance. Hundreds of students expressed interest in visiting the ministry or partnering in other ways.
Upon completion of La Viña Ministry Institute, Brandon Davis was accepted to join the LHI team of full-time missionaries. Brandon has been visiting Esperanza Viva Youth Home annually for seven years, and now, with his university studies in Spanish complete, he desires to serve the Lord with our ministry. We are excited to have him on board. For further information about Career Missions with Living Hope International, visit LoveHopeMercy.org/JoinUs
Orphan Sunday Initiative
November brought us the opportunity to present our Gift of Hope sponsorship program in many churches across the United States for Orphan Sunday. Start planning now to be a part of the 2019 Orphan Sunday initiative, visit LoveHopeMercy.org/OrphanSunday
Esperanza Viva-Puebla and -Matamoros received 20 new children and youth between September and December. The majority of these children are groups of siblings, and all of them are adjusting to their new home. If you would like to become a sponsor for one of our newest children, visit LoveHopeMercy.org/Sponsor
VIP Sponsor Weekend
In October, more than 20 of our children at Esperanza Viva-Puebla were blessed to have a special weekend with their sponsors. The weekend ended with a special dinner which was a highlight for many. These VIP weekends are a great way for child sponsors to spend one-on-one time with their child and bond with them for several days. If you are interested in our next VIP Sponsor Weekend, visit LoveHopeMercy.org/SponsorVIP
Our fall Level 1 course was our 29th group of students and also our largest, with 41 students. Of these graduates, 11 are continuing their training in Level 2, including one student from Wisconsin. These students are serving at Nations Church, Nations School, and Esperanza Viva.
Of our Level 3 students, one relocated to our Matamoros campus to serve full-time as a boys dormitory supervisor.
In December, David and Sandra Acosta, the couple who have been the coordinators of La Viña Ministry Institute for the last 5 years, moved on to new ministry roles and Jake McNally is now leading in this area.
With open enrollment year-round, our school now has 168 students and eight in daycare.
This school year we’ve added five new teachers to the school, including a full-time gym teacher, an additional kindergarten teacher, and a full-time aide in the daycare center.
Our entire full-time staff, along with teachers and volunteers, were trained by two nurses in a CPR and first responder course, complete with mannequins and a final evaluation.
We had a visit from an occupational therapist who worked individually with the children to improve their motor skills. Our staff also received a lot of practical advice and techniques that will be useful for guiding the children during day-to-day challenges.
In December, 95 children and staff were able to receive a flu vaccination free of charge thanks to a local vaccination campaign.
Connection groups accounted for a new wave of participation from the members of Nations Church, with 18 groups meeting weekly in homes for Bible study and fellowship.
The youth and children’s ministries made significant improvements in their overall approach and added to their team of volunteers.
The staff and children from Nations School put on a beautiful Christmas program at our newer campus, with 300 people in attendance from the church and the community. All of the Esperanza Viva children received a Christmas gift, there were special dance and drama presentations, and a Gospel message was given.