Tag Archives: missions

Christmas `13 at the orphanage report


I’m so embarrassed that I am just now writing this report in February.  I could give you the list of reasons for this ridiculously late post, but that seems a little bit unnecessary. So I think I will instead give you the basic run-down, and if you want more details please feel free to email me! julie_terrell@sil.org

Due to a variety of changes in our situation and a series of random events, God has led us to a new orphanage! It’s not actually new, because we have known the family that runs it for several years now. But God has only recently led us to start working there. We ended up putting the “Christmas at the Orphanage” funds to good use there (after checking with the donors of course)!

This orphanage used to just be the Dappen family, and they happened to take in a few kids off the street. But in recent years, the majority of the Dappen family moved back to the U.S. and it’s now a full-blown orphanage run by just 2 of the Dappen kids and a spouse! They currently have 22 children in their care, with over half of those being special needs kids. Some of them are very disabled, with need for constant care, braces, wheelchairs or medications. Others just need a little more help than the average child. But without exception, they are all precious!

Cloe playing with a couple of the boys. Precious babies!!!!

Cloe playing with a couple of the boys. Precious babies!!!!

Compared to the other orphanage projects we’ve taken on, the needs the Dappens are facing are much more practical and basic. Such as food, working bathrooms, furniture and rent money. Beyond the basic needs, there is a serious need for extra medical funding. You will be hearing more from me here on this topic soon! But for now, I’ll show you where the Christmas Project funds went.

Water filters, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food,  paper goods, and a little chocolate!

Water filters, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food, forks, soap, bath towels, paper goods, and a little chocolate!

The majority of the boys are living on a ranch, learning and trying to grow their own food. Their living conditions are… how shall I say this… rustic? Very rough. The boys were SO curious about all the soap and cleaning supplies, and wanted to know which ones could be used on their hair. Hehehe! I told them I would bring shampoo next time, but please don’t use the Pine-scented cleaner on their bodies!

It's not the best picture, but we bought 18 blankets (one of their first/most urgent requests), as well as a few kick balls and boxes of mega-blocks.

It’s hard to see in this picture, but we bought 15 blankets (one of their first/most urgent requests), as well as a few laundry baskets, kick balls and boxes of mega-blocks.

Lastly, FOOD! You can probably imagine how much food it takes to feed 3 adults and 22 kids (some of whom are teenagers). Or maybe you can’t? If you have the standard family of 4, just multiply your grocery bill times 5. That’s a lot of food! Especially if you want them to have good food that can help combat the malnutrition they have all arrived with. This, obviously, is an ongoing need. But we did what we could to stock them up for a little bit.

Beans, rice, milk, oranges, cereal, oats, honey, olive oil, eggs, and meat!

Beans, rice, milk, oranges, cereal, canned peaches, oats, honey, carrots olive oil, and eggs!

With the money you gave towards the Christmas fund, we were also able to pay their rent for the month, which was a huge prayer request answered for them. If you are on Facebook, please take a moment to follow the link to “like” and follow their page!

Thank you for being part of this project, and making a difference in these children’s lives. You will not find more deserving or grateful recipients!!

Christmas `13 at the Orphanage


It’s that time again!  Time to talk about what is quite possibly my favorite project, every year.  Christmas at the orphanage!!


Christmas has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. As I was reflecting on what we could do for the orphanage this year (our fourth year in a row to do this with Casa Hogar Canaan), I had an idea. Part of what brought this project about 4 yrs ago was the realization that this wonderful holiday doesn’t necessarily hold wonderful memories for so many children.  Especially children who have been through some of the heart-wrenching things that these kids have been through. I would like to change that. So instead of flooding their space with a bunch of STUFF, I would like to give them some really fun memories.

Casa Hogar family

Casa Hogar Canaan family

The logistics are still being worked out. But here is my idea. Right now, Casa Hogar Canaan is home to 20 orphans. I would like to take them out in groups of 4-5 kids. We will spend the day with them, let THEM choose a toy or clothing item that they love (each child would have an allotted amount of money available to them) , take them out to eat, come back to our home for cookie decorating, games, a Christmas movie, popcorn, and a sleep-over! If we have enough funds, I would like to get each of them a loaded toiletry bag to unwrap, as well. While this new plan may take more of our time, I don’t think it will cost any more money. And I believe the memories will be longer lasting than what we’ve done in the past. (If you would like to see the reports from the last 3 projects, click here!)


Here are the details. If you want to help (even $5 would go far!) you can do so 2 different ways. Send a check to our church with “Orphanage Christmas” in the memo line:

Redeemer Baptist Church

18800 E. Iliff Ave,  Aurora, CO  80013

OR you can use paypal and transfer funds to: nathan_terrell@sil.org

If you don’t have anything to give, we understand that too. Maybe you could help by posting this link to your Facebook or Twitter? Or perhaps your church or other small group would like to get involved? Whatever it is, just know that you won’t be sorry. Being a part of this project is something I look forward to SO much every year. These children are precious and deserve every good thing we could possibly give them!

I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through you this year!!

James 1:27… “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans…”

Orphanage Schoolhouse


A few weeks ago I mentioned a new project at the orphanage, and I promised to tell you about it soon. Well the day has come! Have you been on pins and needles? I was sure you were. 😉

"Muchas gracias!!!" from the Casa Hogar Canaan family

Casa Hogar Canaan (the orphanage we work with here in Chiapas) is now a certified school! This is good news for Yara (the mama) on so many levels. She was already homeschooling her 22-35 kids (the numbers are constantly changing). But now that they are considered a school as well as an orphanage, the government has sent 2 teachers to help her! I can only begin to imagine the relief she is experiencing. For the last several years, Yara has taken care of all educational needs from the dining room table and wherever else the kids found room to sit. For years, she has been thinking that it would be nice if there were a place they could do school and keep all their books and things. So they began construction on a building.

The outside of the school house

The outside of the school house

As you can see, it’s a rough start. But it’s a start! Their schoolhouse funds have been exhausted, but there is still so much to do!

This is the inside of the schoolhouse at the moment!

This is the inside of the schoolhouse at the moment!

They still need windows, doors, lighting, floors, a restroom, desks, and preferably some sort of heating as well. We estimate that all of this could be done nicely for $20,000. Wouldn’t you  love to be a part of this project?? You don’t have to have hundreds of dollars to spare. If every person who cared would send $10, we would make major strides toward finishing this building for this precious family.

Sweet boys!

Sweet boys!

I’ve set up a YouCaring account for the project. Because who doesn’t love to watch that ticker on the side of the page climb towards our goal?? YouCaring makes it so easy to donate. Just follow this link and the click on the blue “Give” button to make a secure PayPal donation.


Or if you prefer to send a good old-fashioned (tax-deductible) check, you can do so to this address:

Cross Country Ministries
c/o Louis I. Cole, Attorney
3710 Rawlins St., #950
Dallas, TX 75219
Please write “Teopisca, Mexico Orphanage” in the memo line.

I will post pictures as often as I can of progress being made on the schoolhouse. Even if you can’t send money, maybe you can re-post this to your blog or facebook? Thank you in advance for your help! I can hardly wait to post the blog that shows you a finished building. 🙂

Christmas 2012 at the Orphanage Report


This year, our Christmas project was quite different from past years! For a few reasons, we decided to go out with all the gifts on Day of the Kings (the day Mexico remembers the Wise Men who followed the star in search of Jesus), instead of Christmas Day. It was also very different because we brought a crowd with us! A bunch of our friends from here in San Cristobal wanted to be part of this fun day… and they made it so much more fun!

All the kids sang for us before we broke out the gifts. 2 tear-jerking songs!

All of the kids sang for us before we broke out the gifts. 2 tear-jerking songs!

We raised about half as much money this year as we did last year, so I was expecting it to not be quite as fun of a day for the kids. I was a little disappointed. But God had other plans! He usually does, I’ve learned. 😉

Here is most of our crew, listening to the beautiful singing.

Most of our crew, listening to the beautiful singing.

In talking to Carlos and Yara (the orphanage parents/directors), we learned of several needs they had. The first one mentioned was sheets and blankets, then shoes. After that, we learned that the trampoline that the kids love SO dearly is missing a bunch of it’s springs.

Missing springs, but still in constant use. Scary!

Missing springs, but still in constant use. Scary!

Thankfully, we had just enough funds for sheets, shoes, AND a new trampoline! We only had to purchase a couple of blankets, because several friends here bought some as well.

Mama Yara with her mountain of blankets and sheets!

Mama Yara with her mountain of blankets and sheets (along with a stack of new books)!

The chalkboard/art easels Nathan made were an instant hit!

The chalkboard/art easels Nathan made were an instant hit!

Aunt Karen made these kids' day!!!

Aunt Karen made these kids’ day!!! Since they were all receiving shoes, toothbrushes/toothpaste, and a toiletry bag, she decided they each needed a toy.

Esteban loves to have his photo taken! He was thrilled with his new nerf gun.

Esteban loves to have his photo taken! He was thrilled with his new nerf gun from Aunt Karen.

You should have seen her face light up when she unwrapped it!

You should have seen her face light up when she unwrapped it!

Rosita is a newer addition here. She will melt your heart in no time!

Rosita is a newer addition here. She will melt your heart in no time! At least, she has mine.

This precious little one is 3 yrs old, but due to a beating from his father he can not walk or talk, and still has stitches in his head from his month-long hospital stay. His mama and baby sister came to Casa Hogar Canaan for help and live here now.

This precious little one is 3 yrs old, but due to a beating from his father he can not walk or talk, and still has stitches in his head from his month-long hospital stay. His mama (Teresa) and baby sister came to Casa Hogar Canaan for help and live here now. Please pray for them!

Soon, I will be posting about a few really special needs that the orphanage has, that you can be involved in. But for now, I will leave you with one last picture and a thank you. Thank you for your help in making Christmas 2012 extra special for these amazing children! Words really can’t express how precious they are… you need to come visit them to believe it!

"Muchas gracias!!!" from the Casa Hogar Canaan family

“Muchas gracias!!!” from the Casa Hogar Canaan family

So much more than desert


By far the most common misconception we hear about when we are in the U.S. is that Mexico is one huge, hot, dry desert. Nathan and I were talking about this right after we crossed the border a few weeks ago. As we drove through breath-taking scenery and said over and over “wow… look at that… definitely is not desert.” That’s when the idea struck. I’m going to take pictures! All the way to Chiapas! Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me until the second day across the border. But hey! That’s when it gets really pretty, anyway.

So grab a tall glass of horchata, sit back, and enjoy a quick tour through the real Mexico! (You can hover over the picture for a description.)

The fields North of Mexico City

Huge basket of strawberries for $10

Volcano (on left) and mountains East of Mexico City

Mt.Orizaba with a Cocina Economica (Economical kitchen restaurant) in front!

Village nestled into the mountains above Cordoba

lunch stop at a gas station

bananas growing at the gas station (straight above Brennah's little red head)

marshy flatlands

Now entering Chiapas!

Nothin but green Our favorite mtn. We dream of going rock-climbing there!

Mal Paso. Getting closer now! On the toll road from Tuxtla to San Cris. Breathtaking!

Our town! San Cristobal de las Casas.

We have never been so thrilled to be pulling in to San Cristobal as we were this time. It’s so good to be back where God has called us to serve!

There you have it!! Mexico is so much more than desert. If you haven’t already been, you must put Chiapas on your list of places to visit! We’d love to show you around our beautiful state.

Christmas Project `11 Report!


There is something so wonderful about being the hands who deliver gifts to an orphanage for Christmas.  It really is an incredible honor, and I am so thankful that you gave us the opportunity to do it again this year!  Since their requests were practical things (sheets, shoes and kitchen utensils) it wasn’t quite as thrilling for the kids.  But Yara (the mama) was pretty thrilled!

(To see a larger image, just click on any picture below.)

Quality sheets!!! Hooray!

Cooking utensils… it’s hard to have enough for 23 kids!

Everyone received TWO new pairs of shoes!! Thanks to Westlake Fellowship in Montgomery, TX

They also received this large book of 101 Bible stories. Everyone liked that gift!

A friend of mine made a stocking for each and every child… they were adorable!  We stuffed them with little snacks, toothbrush, toothpaste, stickers, pencils, sharpener, eraser, candy canes, and an illustrated New Testament in Spanish!!!

Handing out treasures… just a little chaos!

All the kids with their stockings!

They love their New Testaments!

What better way to add life to a party than a piñata??  Most of the time, those are just filled with some cheap candy.  We filled 2 piñatas FULL of special candy brought from the U.S. (Bit `O Honey, Sweet tarts, Fruit chews, York peppermint patties, Reeces Peanutbutter cups, etc), as well as some small toys, games, and puzzles!

Before the pinatas met their fate!

Going after it!

Dive dive dive!!!

Showing the newly aquired loot!

I think that about does it!  Carlos and Yara were extremely thankful for all the gifts, and asked me to pass along their gratitude to you.  Once again, those of you who gave truly exceeded our expectations and blessed the socks off this sweet family.  Thank you!  Thank you for being a part of their Christmas (and ours as well!) and for helping meet some very basic and crucial needs!  Christmas `11 at the orphanage was another great success. 🙂

Christmas `11 at the orphanage!


Do you remember Christmas 2010?  Did it change your life?  I have a feeling, that for the kids at Casa Hogar Canan, it did!!  I still get all teary-eyed when I think of how generously you gave to them last year.  Here is the post with all the photos and stories from last Christmas.

On the playground that your gifts built last Christmas!

A couple of months ago, on a visit to the orphanage, I asked Yara (the mama)  to start thinking about what we could do for them this year.  Her eyes lit up and she asked incredulously “you’re going to do that again???”  I grinned ear to ear, and nodded; knowing that you would come through again.  So on our next visit, I asked Yara if she had thought of what we could help her with for Christmas this year.  She immediately said “Yes.  We need sheets and shoes.”  My first thought was “that’s easy!”  Then I started looking around for sheets.  They are NOT cheap here, at least if you’re looking for any kind of quality to last more than a month or two.

The shoe part of the request is taken care of.  A small church in Conroe, TX has already taken that project on!  So I’m really focusing on getting them some good bedding.  Remember they have 21 kids in the house.  So we need (at least) 21 sets of twin-size sheets, and at least 1 set of queen-size.  Since we will not be returning to the US again this year (until March 2012), we will need to purchase them here.

If we happen to raise enough funds to buy all the sheets and still have left-over, they have some furnishing needs as well.  The icing on the cake would be to have something small for the kids to unwrap on Christmas morning (I’m guessing sheets won’t be very thrilling for a 5 yr old)!

Here’s how you can help.  Get your small group, Sunday school class, co-workers, or family involved.  See if everyone wants to pitch in $5!  Last year I had a number of people say “I don’t have much to give, just $10.”  But if 3 people send $10, that’s a whole set of sheets!  It doesn’t have to be a huge amount to make a difference.  In fact, when you have SO little, it takes VERY little to make a difference.

Paypal is the easiest way to transfer money for this project.  It’s fast and free.  Just click “send funds” to this address:  nathan_terrell@sil.org  and write “Chiapas Orphanage Christmas” in the memo line.

You can also mail a check, made out to Global Encounters, to this address:

Global Encounters

151 Mitchell Rd, Unit S8

Greenville, SC 29615

If you go the check-method, be sure and write “Chiapas Orphanage Christmas” in the memo line so we will know what it’s for.

Lastly, no matter how you contribute, please send (via e-mail to julie_terrell@sil.org) a picture of yourself, your family, or the group you went in with.  Last year, we made a big poster board with all of those pictures and left it with the kids.  They still love it!

If you know of anyone who might be interested in helping us make this Christmas really great for some wonderful kids, please pass this on!  I doubt we can over-bless them.  I can hardly wait for Christmas!!