A shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected girls
The Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte – “Strong Tower Home for Girls” has provided a safe place to live, healthy meals, new clothing, proper education, Biblical values, and the Good News of Jesus since it began in 2004 . It has been home to hundreds of girls who have been sent there by the court system because they had been mistreated, abandoned, or neglected. Many come from poor families and have lived in homes with dirt floors and no running water or electricity. This Home is not only a shelter during a difficult time, but the drastic change in living conditions helps them see that they are worthy of being treated with dignity and deserve a better quality of life. There are generally 20-30 girls in the Home at any given time who range in age from 2-18. Some are there for only days while others have lived there for several years. Most of them do not have any family visit them while they’re there.
Torre Fuerte has recently opened it’s own on-site, private, Christian elementary school to provide excellent education for these girls and the surrounding community. Providing high school classes is a hope for the future.
Restore and heal
The girls come to us from the court system, from severely dysfunctional homes. They have been hurt and betrayed by the very people who should have protected them. Their wounds and scars run deep.
It is not uncommon to see a new girl sit alone and cry. But the good Christian people at the Torre Fuerte home will soon overwhelm her with love, compassion, and understanding that may well be a brand new experience for her. It is just as common to see that same girl playing, smiling, and laughing with the others in less than a week.
That’s not to say that total healing takes place so rapidly. A on-staff female psychologist will work with her, along with pastoral staff and “dorm moms” committed to fostering a “family” within the sheltering walls of the home.
And even in that, the physical walls of the home, there is healing. The home is called Torre Fuerte, or Strong Tower, and comes from Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
The home is built to look like a castle, with high walls and a strong gate. The girls feel safe here. Protected and sheltered from the chaos they escaped when they were delivered to the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte.
A girl typically comes to the home absolutely shattered. She has, perhaps, suffered physical beatings or sexual abuse, or maybe she was abandoned or severely neglected. In any case, it was her version of “normal”.
At the Torre Fuerte home, a girl learns by watching, experiencing, and finally participating in normal family relationships – without the yelling, without the beatings, without the abuse.
The dorms mothers, the pastors, the professional staff, all share the responsibility of modeling normal, loving, respectful, and Christian behavior, and that modeling, over time, can change her world view.
The Torre Fuerte home is a thoroughly Evangelical Christian ministry, located next to a small independent church with the same name – Torre Fuerte.
There are Bible studies, Christian counseling, (psychological and pastoral), Youth Group, and a general Christian home environment where the girls experience the love of Jesus in a very tangible way.
New girls are often bewildered that foreigners, like you, would support them. When they ask why, it is simply an open door to explain the love of Christ expressed through His people, the Church.
We are thrilled that we now have two girls studying at a school in Columbia, preparing to be missionaries!
A life of fear, abuse, and poverty does not lend itself to big dreams. Over time we have found that most of the girls who come to us have no dreams. It’s hard for the typical American to fathom, but their lives have been about day to day survival, and there is no time or reason for hopes and dreams of a career and a future.
So, we teach them to dream. We ask about their favorite – and least favorite – school subjects. We ask about hobbies and interests. And we take that information and begin to look at career possibilities.
We teach the girls the importance of preparing for their future. We explain that it all IS possible, with a program like ARISE, and that they are now connected to a network of compassionate Christian people who will help them reach their dreams.
If only you could see the difference that this all makes in the lives of these girls.
Religion that God our Father accepts…