Children's Haven International


In Canada:

International Children’s Haven

47982 Yale Rd.
Chiliwack, BC

International Children’s Haven: Vital & Valued Partners for over 30 years

The following article comes to us all the way from our sister organization up in
British Columbia, Canada and was graciously written by Mrs. Nellie Epp.

In 1977 my friend, Beverly Baerg, a young Canadian R.N., traveled to the Rio Grand Valley to deliver babies at a Maternity Clinic run by Dr. Joe Sudermann. Dr. Joe was a friend of Childrenís Haven and soon had Bev also volunteering at the Home. When Bev finished her two year missions assignment with the clinic, she worked at Childrenís Haven for another 20 years. Her love for the children was so infectious she soon had us at her home church (Central Community) in Chilliwack, British Columbia also involved. We contributed to her support and several young women from our church also came to work, including my sister, Esther, who stayed for a year as a house parent, and came back home beautifully tanned and speaking Spanish!

Beverlyís parents set up the Canadian Board, International Childrenís Haven (Canada) Society, so that Canadian donors could receive a Canadian Income Tax Receipt. My husband, Vic, and I were asked to become Board Members about 20 years ago, and since there is no expiry date on such a position in Canada, we are still on the Board!

Then in 1995, a work team of 14 adults from our church went for 2 weeks to work on the construction of the outdoor concrete play area. Al and Lorianne Gerbrand were on that team and a year later the Lord brought them back and they stayed for 5 years, most of that time working as the Directors at the Office in Pharr. Once again our church rose to the challenge and faithfully were their biggest financial supporters.

Our Canadian government has put increasingly strict guidelines for charitable organizations and Societies, one of them being that we know exactly where the monies we send to CHI are being used. It is strongly suggested that we visit the Home regularly, something we eagerly comply with. Vic and I feel privileged to come, and try to coincide our visit with the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Lunch and Business meetings. It is so invigorating to meet face to face with the people of Children’s Haven; the staff, the volunteers and the children, and to be able to witness first hand all the positive changes and dreams that are being realized.

We also greatly enjoy being able to visit with our old friend Bev and her adopted twin sons Ricky and Len, who live and work in McAllen. The highlight for us this year was attending the First Homecoming for former staff and children at the Home, with Bev and the twins. It was awesome to meet so many adult children who are now gainfully employed, respectable citizens of Mexico. Ricky and Len themselves are former children of the Home, having been brought to the Home 23 years ago, as severely malnourished babies. Because of their fragile and critical condition, Bev brought them to her own home where she lovingly and exhaustively nursed them back to health, and became their Mom.

A really exciting development for us in our church is that Al and Lorianne are organizing a work team to come to CHI in October. We had an information meeting in March, and about 70 people attended! Pastor Gary, one of our Pastors, is planning to come with the Team, with the intention of ‘surveying the Land’, to see if Children’s Haven may be a fit for our church to become involved with long term.

We are so thankful for all the faithful support from Canada. Giving has substantially increased. In 2006 we received $20,753, in 2007- $25,759, and 2008 – $37,648 (Canadian Funds). We are overwhelmed with Godís Blessings!

This year, members of all of our Boards:
Children’s Haven International (C.H.I-USA), Refugio Internacional de Niños (R.I.N-Mexico) & Int’l Children’s Haven (I.C.H-Canada) got together from January 29th – 31st to:

-Praise God for all the blessings we have seen in the last year

-Do some strategic short & long term planning, while evaluating last yearís endeavors

-Recognize the selflessness of our Staff, Volunteers and Donors on both sides of the Border.

-Help raise additional funds for the Home

-And most importantly, spend some quality time with both present and former residents of Refugio; solidifying the importance of this life changing, life saving Ministry