This is the first part in our #ConradQ&A series.

We wanted to ask our partners, sponsors and followers on Facebook and Twitter what they wanted to know about us and what they wanted us to blog about.

WARNING: Bear with me on this as it is quite long and detailed.

We got a great response, and here are some answers to your questions.

Question (Series) #1 – From: Ty Morelock

What have you done? 

What are you doing? 

What are the goals for the future? 

How can we help reach those goals?


What have you done?

Our first year here has been a whirlwind, but we have spent the majority of our time doing the following: moving, finding a place to live, learning the language, adapting to a new culture (this is still happening daily), leading short term groups, and we took over Casa Hogar San Jose as captains and began orchestrating all work done at the home as well as overseeing each area of the child development model  in each child to make sure that they are receiving holistic orphan care. This is the short list, the long list involves many more hats and many more projects and planning sessions.

On top of these things, we have also launched an entirely new web site with specifics about the Cancun site and how to get involved here as well as keep up with us and what we are doing with our ministry partners.

I have also been taking photos and videos that are being used by staff worldwide for marketing and fundraising including the Fall 2012 Back2Back Magazine cover image as well as many of the photos for the articles inside.

What are you doing?

As we continue to move forward as an organization, our focus is shifting increasingly toward holistic orphan care and what that means down to an individual basis for each child that we serve.

What I mean by this, is that along with continuing in what we are doing with the the physical properties of the children’s homes, continuing to invite others to serve alongside of us through short term groups, pioneering a Hope program based on foster families rather than residential group based living, and pioneering a program for orphan and trafficking prevention through family assistance, we are continuing to generate new processes and ideas toward fulfilling holistic care in all of the five areas of each and every child’s life that we serve.

For Anna and I, this means a continual evaluation process and paperwork for each child at San Jose and planning out tutoring, therapy, one on one time, and activities that will continue to build into the areas where the child needs the most attention.

What are the goals for the future? 

The overarching goal of everything we do at Back2Back is:

“the sustainability of the orphan child, each child becoming prayerfully dependent on Jesus, and independent in his or her community”

Underneath this overarching goal, we have developed our Child Development Model (CDM) that covers five distinct areas of a child’s whole being: Spiritual, Physical, Educational, Emotional and Social.

Everything we do as a ministry and as a staff is filtered through these five areas. Every dollar spent, every activity planned, every project worked on is either approved or cancelled based on these five areas. If we can see no value in one of these areas in something that we are doing, then it is placed on hold or cancelled and the resources (both staff time and donor monies) are reallocated toward programs and activities that are meeting the needs of the children in these areas.

So within this, we have many goals for the future. I cannot speak for the organization as a whole or even for the Cancun site as a whole, so I will speak only of Anna and I’s goals for this next year with San Jose.

#1 – Get the Head caretaker’s and their superior in Mexico City to Monterrey in April for the Latin American Summit on the Orphan that is being jointly hosted by Back2Back and the Christian Alliance for the Orphan. We desperately want the nuns to be educated on the dangers of institutionalized care for children as we continue to try to move towards family based care.

#2 – A second story for San Jose. This is the sisters’ greatest need right now as all of the sisters and the 11 kids at the home share two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We need a significant donation to move this forward, but want the sisters to attend the Summit in April first as we want them to consider using this additional space to create separate family apartments where one sister would live with 2-4 kids creating a more family like environment.

#3 – Psychological evaluations for each child, and those that need therapy or medications receive it as well as continued mental health care

#4 – Develop relationship with the DIF (Department of Family Services) in the county in which San Jose is in in order to better understand the needs of the surrounding area where the children’s parents live and to begin to look at options for assisting the parents in order to reunite the families (where it is appropriate and safe).

#5 – Get the HOPE program for Cancun off the ground and fully funded as we have one child graduating this year and another next year and need to be prepared for them, should they choose to further their education.

#6 – Continue and expand our tutor program to continue to help the kids catch up and/or excel at school. We have already begun to see great results with a few kids even making the honor roll for the first time ever!

How can we help reach those goals?

This is such a great question and as someone who fundraises daily, is one of my favorite questions to hear.

There are always so many areas to to help, wether that is leading a group to come down to serve alongside of us, or just mailing a check in. Here are a few areas that you could donate towards to help us achieve these goals:

#1 – Staff Support. The only way that we are able to be here working daily for these kids is through the support of individuals just like you who have a heart for the orphan and partner with us by donating so that we can be here full time working towards achieving these goals. This is a very important aspect of us being able to reach these goals, because the less time we have to spend fundraising for ourselves, the more we are able to work towards achieving sustainability and success in these kids lives.

#2 – Donations towards our ministry partner workers being able to attend the summit. Back2Back’s role is one of support for the locals doing the work, and the more educated they are in what we are doing and trying to achieve in each child’s life, the easier it is to work together and see progress.

#3 – A second story for San Jose. We are in need of roughly $30,000 USD to upgrade the existing building as well as add on the second story of living space for San Jose. Obviously, not many people are able to write a check this large, but every little bit helps toward this project and you could always lead a fundraiser in your community or at your church to help even if you can’t give a dime.

#4 – HOPE Program funding for Cancun. We have one student already in the program, David, as well as one entering this year and one more that we are hoping to accelerate as she is the top student in her entire school. This is a great need for us to be able to achieve this goal in the coming year.

Question (Series) From: Shannon Runnels

What does the day-in, day-out routine look like for you? Do you get weekends “off” or do you work seven days a week?


What does the day-in, day-out routine look like for you? Do you get weekends “off” or do you work seven days a week?

I have often remarked: “there are no weekdays or weekends in this job, only group days and non-group days”

During the spring and summer months, this is very much the case as most of the time, I honestly don’t even know what day of the week it is. I can only tell you which site we are going to and what projects and activities are planned for the day. During these 5-7 months, we are “on” or working whenever there are groups here. A typical group day begins by leaving the house at 7:30am and getting home between 8:00 and 11:00pm.  We do try to schedule to get a day off every now and then, especially in the summer when we have 7 weeks of continuos groups.

The other 5-7 months of the year, we average about 1-2 groups per month and the schedule is a bit more relaxed. We have much more time to spend at the children’s home by ourselves. Anna and I go to San Jose at least two to three times per week when we do not have groups here. This is also when we do the majority of our staff trainings, strategic planning, project planning, long term CDM mapping and evaluations as well as fundraising, traveling for support development and some date nights with the wife here and there 😉

It is a schedule that is very far from “traditional”. It goes from feast to famine as far as time goes and you have to be able to manage stress and your time very well as well as flip a switch to go into overdrive when things get crazy (which seems to happen to often).

So those are the first two series of questions. Hope they were helpful and informative for you and I will have the next set of questions and answers up soon!

#ConradQ&A2012 – Post #1

One thought on “#ConradQ&A2012 – Post #1

  • February 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Andrew and Anna. What a great way to educate us about your ministry by asking people what they would like to learn.

    I’m not sure how you’re feeling with stress levels, etc so I pray that the levels will go down as you continue to gain experience and sense God’s hand upon you every day. From my limited perspective, you seem to be in a place where you are able to use you giftedness. Blessings to you and the orphans and glory to God.


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