Help Our Girls

Well … November is here again. That means two especially challenging months in a row for Torre Fuerte. Gov’t. mandated costs cause our expenses to rise by nearly 50% in November, and nearly 100% in December.
Please consider helping us by donating at the link to the right (or below, if you’re seeing this in an email), and by spreading the word about the work of Torre Fuerte to your friends. Thanks!!

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Love in Action

In this post I want to share a couple of pictures with you; pictures that tell the story of the kind of people we are working with here at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte in Arequipa.

P1050626This first picture was taken in the town of Pedregal, where I visited with my friend Jake Beaty from Chelan, along with a translator named Freddy, and Pastor Dario from Torre Fuerte.

Our purpose in Pedregal was to visit a young boy named Abel that Jake sponsors through Compassion International.

It was great to be a part of the first encounter between Abel and Jake. We saw the Compassion Intl. project, Abel’s school, and his house. What made the day all the more special was what happened in the background along the way.

In the picture you can see Freddy on the left, then Abel and Jake, with Pastor Dario between them in the background. Just behind Jake you can also see Abel’s father.

At the house, Pastor Dario let us know that he had some news. As we had walked from place to place, he had been talking with Abel’s dad … who was now ready to accept Jesus! We prayed together and celebrated the answer to that family’s prayers. What a great day this was for Abel.

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This next picture tells another story about the people of Torre Fuerte.

While our team from Chelan was here, in the middle of a work day, I was called away from the work  to carry some heavy bags of beans and rice.

The odd thing was that I was asked to put the bags outside, by the street, rather than carrying them to the kitchen, as usual.

As I put the bags down, and went back inside, I found the reason for the strange request. There is young man with Down’s syndrome who hangs around out front each morning. His elderly mother had recently injured her arm, and had it in a sling. Her husband has died, and now she had no way to support herself and her son.

Inside, a couple of the ladies from TF were gathered around her, sharing the Gospel and praying with her. They were taking some of the food that is so needed at TF, and passing it on to someone whose need was even more desperate. And they were seizing the opportunity both to tell and to show someone the love of Jesus.

God has called us to work alongside these people, and we count it a privilege.

With a Little Help From My Friends

DSCF2185What a great Church family we have in Chelan! After only five months in Peru, we have a nine person work team here to help the home. Jake, the leader of the group, is accompanied by Lisa, Bonnie, Cheryl, Brittany, Mark, Dustin, Jessica, and Zack.

On their second day here, the team was treated to the cultural lesson of attending a Peruvian wedding and reception. It was a great time, and another event at which Leslie and I were called on to be “padrinos”. Micah and Katie were involved in the ceremony, as well.

DSCF2258On Sunday, we took everyone up to the restaurant on the roof, overlooking the Plaza de Armas, the historic center square of the city. The view is always fantastic, but the sunset that night made it all the more special. For another cultural stretch, several of the team ordered the alpaca steak, while a few really brave souls ordered the cuy … deep fried guinea pig, a delicacy here in Peru.

We’ve had three days of work now, and the team is proving to be very productive and hard-working. It may in fact be a little bit of a challenge to keep them busy the whole time they’re here, because they’re knocking out the projects faster than we had expected. Yeah, we’re pretty happy about that.

These friends have not only brought along a willingness to work, but also a great attitude that’s a pleasure to work with. We’re having a great time together!

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Escape Velocity

That’s a phrase I heard from a friend and a big supporter of the Torre Fuerte home. The idea is that the problems that plague the families of the girls here tend to be generational. That is, behaviors and habits are repeated from one generation to the next, in spite of their destructive nature.

A rocket requires tons of force to reach the velocity required to escape the earth’s gravitational pull and blast into orbit. In the same way, it takes determination, drive, ambition, a little assistance, and God’s grace, to break free from the “gravity” of generations of abuse, poverty, and similar issues.

Here are the stories of a few of our older girls who are on their way to leaving the struggles of their birth families  behind them:

Karen C

Karen Cinthy is well on her way. She is studying medicine at the university in order to achieve her goal of becoming a lab technician. She is an extremely bright young lady, and very diligent in her studies.

Karen is old enough that she no longer lives at Torre Fuerte, but we are all very excited to see her achieving her dreams of becoming a professional woman.

Carmen

Carmen Rosa is attending a beauty school in Arequipa, where she is learning hair styling, cosmetics, and manicuring. Along with that focus, she is continuing with her academic studies, in the hope that she will one day be able to run her own business.

All of this is made more complicated and difficult, of course, by the fact that Carmen is already a mom.

Janet

Rosa Janet is also studying cosmetology, but she has already finished her academic studies. She had already made her move out of Torre Fuerte and on her own, but the major setback of a burglary of her apartment forced her back to the safety net of Torre Fuerte.

She hopes, with Leonor, to be able to operate a small business from a TF storefront in order to help her pay for her studies.

LeonorIn her own words: My name is Consuelo Leonor Flores Paucar and I’m 18 years old. I am from Lima, but live in the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte in Arequipa, where I feel at home.

I am studying Computer & Information Technology. I enjoy studying that, but my dream is to be able to study Elementary Education so that I can teach children and move ahead so that I can help my family.

Mirella

Mirella is still working on exactly what it is she wants to do with her life. At the moment, she is following her passion, studying English at an institute here in Arequipa.

She has an amazing capacity to learn, starting two weeks late and yet passing her first quarter with a 95%. She’s a smart girl who could go far, using her language skills in business, tourism, education, or various other careers.

Katherine

Katherine is still in high school, but one of the best students at Torre Fuerte. Because of her grades, she has the opportunity to attend a pre-university institute while she is still attending high school.

This institute is a preparatory school, helping students prepare for the very difficult entrance exams for the university here. With help, she could start in November.

All of these young ladies are examples of the miracle of God’s transforming grace. If you could see where they have come from, you would be all the more impressed at their accomplishments.

Each of these students has the determination to reach “escape velocity”, and each represents an investment where a little assistance could go a long way. Here is a real and tangible way for you to know that you have helped to change a life. All of these girls could use a helping hand, a sponsor, a scholarship – just a little more fuel to help them break free and find their own personal orbit.

Please, contact us if you would like to help our girls.

Updates

Just a quick note for those of you who subscribe to our Peruzings blog –

1) We have updated the photos and the bios of the girls at Torre Fuerte. They are no longer the clunky pdf files, but instead they are integrated into the website.

2) We have added a photo gallery! You can find the link in the menu bar above. We have photos of our first four trips here, and then we have photos month by month starting with this past May, when we made the big move to Peru.

Your time spent on our blog is very much appreciated, and your feedback is welcome.

Up and Running

DSCF2084The tienda is stocked and opened! Thanks to some great generosity and the hard work of a few others, we were able to make this dream a reality.

Because it was Angie’s dream and sacrifice that got things started, the tienda has been named in her honor: “Comercial Angie”.”

The store was finished and opened just as the new electric poles went in, along with the great new neighborhood improvement of street lights. There is a big new street light just across from the store, so it’s lit up all night, and easy for new customers to find.DSCF2089

Although there aren’t other stores nearby, this little tienda is pretty typical of many others in Arequipa. They are selling water, soda, and juices; snacks and candy; school supplies; and food staples like rice, flour, and sugar.

Many of these small shops try to sell meats, too, and you can tell when you walk by. The smell of raw meat laying out in the open air is anything but appetizing. But “Comercial Angie” features a new refrigerator, so they can sell good fresh meat in a tienda that is a pleasure to enter. Already they are seeing a growing customer base.

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Once the floors were tiled, the walls painted, the shelves secured and stocked, and the sign placed on the roof, it was time for a photo of the family in business. Here you can see Liliana and her girls, Katiuska, Angie, and Lisbeth. While Davey works outside of the home, these ladies will work to make the new family tienda a success.

Please continue to pray for this family, and for the continuing work of the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte, as we work to help the desperate and the shattered to have a new hope and vision for their future.