Children's Haven International


Summer 2009

Friday, April 16th, 2010

    We had a  great TEAM program this summer, thanks to the seven churches that felt led to join us. Each group left CHI/RIN thankful that they had come. Every group worked on several projects. Some small, some large, and all did a lot of painting! But most importantly all touched the life of a needy child!

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   As usual, Maria prepared wonderful meals and this year, each morning began with a devotional. Upon arrival, most group members joined the children for their Sunday night service in the Gym, led by Clifford Smith. “Hermano Alberto”, as he’s known to the children, is a missionary from Canada, whose been a constant spiritual force at RIN for well over a decade.

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    Other opportunities for spiritual growth & to worship with the children were held on either Tuesday or Thursday nights, with time for singing and a short devotion.

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     We decided to try something new this year for our TEAM’s “Day out”. Wednesday morning, sometime between 9:00 & 10:00, we packed everyone into the vans and headed off to the neighboring city of   Progresso, for shopping, fellowship, and fun! Progresso tends to be very “tourist friendly” with it’s numerous street vendors & souvenir shops.  

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    After driving back to Reynosa, the TEAMs enjoyed a buffet lunch at La Calle. All   enjoyed the variety of Mexican &  American food offered at this great restaurant.

   Next, we made our way to the Colonias to hand out rice, beans, and clothes. For most TEAM member’s this is the most humbling part of the trip. It makes you realize how richly blessed  we are in every way. While offering folks a glimpse of what life might be like for so many of our children, were it not for the ministry of Children’s Haven.     

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    The change in schedule was very well received, especially since it gave the groups an extra evening to spend hanging out with our little ones.

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 Our first TEAM of the summer was Emmanuel Bible Church from Missouri. They came for their 6th trip, the week of June  7th  – 12th. .

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     This group did a lot of painting, sorting of clothes, and cleaning in the warehouse. But without a doubt, the most important thing they did, was to help us host, Refugio’s first ever, Vacation Bible School- open to community! The program ran from 3:00 to 5:00 the entire week. Emmanuel’s TEAM led in crafts, games, singing, devotions, and skits. 

   To finish the week off, we invited the community children and their parents for a hot dog party and saw eleven youngsters commit their lives to Jesus!

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Rejoice Lutheran Church from Minnesota (Intern Eliza’s home church) visited us the week of June 21st-26th. This was the largest group they had ever assembled and it was their 6th trip!

    They started the outside work on the gym, did some finish work inside the extension in Casa #5, worked in school, painted the interior walls on the soccer field, as well as other small painting projects, clothes sorting, and general cleaning.

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 Plus like all other groups this summer, they made sure they had plenty of time to spend with the niños in our pool!

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     Rejoice also had the privilege, for the second year in a row, of joining us at the Home’s Graduation Ceremony. You can read more about it in a separate article; but clearly this was a highlight for each and every TEAM member.

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 Our next group to come, June 28th- July 5th, was small – but we sure had great fellowship with them. It was, BJ Mesnick, our other Intern’s family from Colorado. There were only five of them- but it was the perfect number to prep, sand, prime & paint a bedroom and  bathroom in casa #3.

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 As you can see from the photo above,  this  is where Uriel, our college freshman, lives now. It’s our “transitional housing suite”designed to develop a sense of greater privilege,responsibility & independence … all under our watchful eye!

        Ironically, after what has to be considered one of CHI’s slowest summers, the week of July 12th- 17th, was probably one of our busiest ever! Our dorms were filled to capacity, by three separate TEAMs.

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 The first group to arrive were “newcomers” from Gainsville Baptist Church in  North Carolina (Our new team coordinator, Brad Boyles & his family, had been virtually  their neighbors back home!) Pastor Mike and his group painted the outside of old house #7, outside of new house #7, worked in the school and did several other small painting projects.

    Because of flight times and cost, this small group of  6 arrived on Saturday, which allowed Pastor Mike to preach at a small mission church on Sunday morning. After the service, he and several of the TEAM members commented on how much they had  felt the Lord’s presence, despite the heat, the poverty and the language barrier.

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     Second to arrive, and also from North Carolina, was Salem Baptist Church (where Randall was baptized & he and Betsy were married!) This group’s last visit was approximately 12 years ago and a lot has changed since then. With several highly skilled workers- jobs were tackled in the school, casa #5 extension, and of course, a few miscellaneous painting projects too.

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 Then came this summer’s “Veterans”: Christ Reformed Church, all the way from Pennsylvania, making this their their 9th trip to CHI/RIN! They brought young, old, and a lot of fun to us this year.

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    This group also had skilled workers who continued the work on the gym, worked in casa #7, finished painting the walls of the soccer court, amongst a few other things.

    Probably, the most memorable moment for each of these three TEAMs, was joining the children for a bitter-sweet event that Wednesday evening. After six years of faithful service, Tio Hugo & Tia Rosa were saying goodbye. Their daughter Dahlia, would be starting High School in the fall and they felt God calling them to return to their home city, Tampico, and concentrate their love and energy on her and her older brother, Natanael, while they still had the chance.

    While we miss them greatly, we know that there is no better place to be than in God’s will – and we pray God’s blessings upon them. The sweet part was that we didn’t only say good-bye, but also hello to two new couples the Lord has brought back to our TEAM! Tio Jorge & Tia Lucy (RIN 01-05 ) and Tio Mariano & Tia Silvia (RIN 06-07 ).

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    Our last TEAM of the summer was First Brethren Mennonite from Kansas, making this their 4th trip. They were a great group & we had a wonderful time with them. They painted the interiors of  casa #7 and the 2 new school rooms, in addition to  many other projects.  – B.B. & B.C.

Clearmont Community Church

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Banner, Wyoming
November 22- November 27
(Click on picture to see more photos)

Central Community Church

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Chilawack, British Columbia, CANADA
November 7- November 14
Central community
(Click on picture to see more photos in facebook)
Constructed the roof for the new extension of casa 4
Framed interior of the new extension of casa 4
Installed and painted the new playground equipment in front of the school (more…)