November has been one of the busiest months this year. We had the ground-breaking ceremony for the Tres Reyes Community Center, then we had an appreciation lunch for all our volunteers, the next day all the staff got together to bake cookies for the sponsor letter-making party and the next day we had the party.
During that week, after the appreciation lunch, we also had our first CFT (Children and Families in Transition) Program gathering at Casa Hogar San Jose.
I was the most excited and nervous about this first meeting to kick off our new CFT program. But before I write about what happened during our gathering let me tell you what this program is about and how it started.
Last August we went to Monterrey, MX to visit my family. During our trip, my sister invited her pastor to have lunch with us and before he left he wanted to pray for all of us. While he was praying for Andrew and I he also gave us a prophetic word.
He said: “You will go to broken people, I don’t only see kids but also women and families that are being restored because the vision gets bigger. You will be so productive that you will not only accomplish the focus toward kids but to all broken people. I see women that will be restored through you Anna, God will use your life as a factor of restoration in whole families, because you will meet these people and you will see their hearts and God will use your mouth with words of love, with words that will restore their hearts. And God gives you both the heart for spiritual parenthood. God is giving you the power to restore lives. You will see how they lay their lives at Chist’s feet, and a purpose is established for their lives and God will do awesome things through you…”
So our commission was stablished and it was to work with whole families.
Last year, our Executive Director, Todd Guckenberger came to Cancun to train the staff about all the changes and transitions that were happening in Back2Back as a whole. One of the things that stuck with me was that Back2Back was moving toward family based care for children. This means that the best environment for a child in order to develop correctly is within a family environment as opposed to an institutional one. With this in mind and our prophetic word we were ready to start something at here in Cancun at San Jose Children’s Home.
Andrew and I developed the program that I already mentioned before: Children and Families in Transition (CFT). This program is designed to not only work with the kids but also with their parents, with the sole purpose of restoring their lives and families through God’s transformation so that some day the kids at San Jose or any other children’s home can move back to a safe and healthy home.
We knew we had God’s support, and Back2Back’s with their new focus on family based care. We also had the program designed and ready to start working but we were only missing one piece of the puzzle: the director of the children’s home’s permission.
We didn’t know how to go about it with her. Madre Polita is a very polite woman with a calling to care for the orphan child but I didn’t want her to feel pushed to do something that she didn’t want to do.
So during the summer we sent two of our staff members to the convent that runs San Jose Children’s Home in Mexico City to provide some training to all the nuns about orphan child care. One of the things that stuck with Madre Polita about the training was that our staff said that poverty is not a reason to separate a family.
After the training, Madre Polita wanted to talk to me. I was a little nervous because she has never asked me for a meeting so I didn’t know what to expect. During our meeting she told me that she wanted us to start working with the kids’ parents because her desire was to reunite the families!!!
I didn’t have to say anything about our plans for San Jose! God had put it in her heart before I could even say anything!
So back to our first meeting this past November…
The girls parents came and we had a time of fellowship. I started by telling them about what Back2Back has been doing with their children through our 5 Point Child Development Plan and our goals for each one of their kids. I finished by telling them that for this plan to fully work they (the parents) were an essential part of the processes and we needed them to be involved in it.
They agreed and starting next year we will be conducting parenting orientation as well as providing family therapy! And this is only the beginning of the family unification and restoration at San Jose Children’s Home!
Here are some pictures of our first meeting.