Shattering Our Excuses

I posted this video on our Facebook page, and it’s been the most popular video I’ve ever posted. So… I thought I would share it here, as well. This all happened on December 23rd…

Most of our girls have come out of extreme poverty. At Torre Fuerte they have found the comfort and security of decent food, clothing and shelter.
This Christmas, the girls had an idea: to collect whatever they could of their old toys, games, dolls, and clothing. Then to wrap everything and give it away to the poor children in the nearby community of Horacio Zevallos. This is an area of grinding poverty, as you can see in the background of the video.
As the bus rolled into the neighborhood that day, the girls were announcing from the windows that they had gifts. By the time we rolled to a stop, there were maybe 300 people gathered, with the children anxiously awaiting a gift. Most of these kids would not have received a single thing if not for the plan our girls had devised.
The girls did all of the actual organization and distribution of the gifts. As thing wound down, it was apparent that there were more children than gifts. Our girls responded in a way that surprised us. Watch…

Keith Green
Open Your Eyes

Open your hearts to the ones who are desperate, open your hearts, open your hearts.
They may never repay you, but their souls are worth it,
The life you impart when you open your heart.

I didn’t get video of all of it. As I stood a short distance from the crowd, chatting with Pastor Dario, a mother walked by with her two daughters. The younger one had a gift, but not the older girl. One of our girls, who was standing at my side, took off her new red coat and handed it to the young girl. A moment later, another of our girls removed her earrings to hand to a young mother standing nearby.
As we wrapped things up and piled back onto the bus, we saw that most of the girls had given away the shoes they were wearing, as well as their jackets. Two of our girls had even given away their new jeans, and wore plastic bags on the way back to Torre Fuerte.
I couldn’t help but think of the excuses I had made in the past for not being generous. These girls had demolished all of my excuses. Maybe they just understand poverty better than we do. Or maybe God is doing something in their hearts that we all could use.

Happenings

It’s been a looong time since my last post, so there’s a lot of catching up to do. Let’s jump right in.

We’ve had three new arrivals at the Torre Fuerte home since August. I’ll be adding these young ladies to the “bios” page, with a little background for each one. For now, let me just show you a picture and give you the name of each girl.

IMG_2910IMG_5482IMG_4518

In order of their arrival, the first is Edi, the second Julia Rosa, and the third, Ana Belen. We welcome each of these girls to the big TF family!

IMG_5696I had a little adventure in the end of November, heading to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where I was honored to be the best man in the wedding of my good friend Jake Beaty. He and his new wife, Jennifer, are ministering to a big crew of little ones, as well as a completely different group of street kids. It was great to see Jake again, to meet Jennifer, and to get a glimpse of the ministry they share.

While I was gone, a couple of churchIMG_5916 groups, from Lima and Trujillo, came to TF to minister to our girls. They brought gifts, shared their hearts with the girls, involved them in evangelism and helping the poor, and in the process bonded very strongly with our girls. I was able to catch the tearful goodbyes here.

December 8th was a big day for us. The youth of the Torre Fuerte Church put together a big fund-raising event to help the girls’ home with the always difficult month of December.

IMG_6055IMG_6086IMG_6090

There were games, tons of great food, and live music. It was great to see the youth take on such a big project, and to do all that work for others. A big, big thanks to the TF youth!

IMG_6128IMG_6132

And finally, a couple of videos to give you a taste of the Christmas preparations going on at the Torre Fuerte home. Enjoy!!

A new tradition is starting: decorating Christmas cookies with Leslie!
A decorating party!