We are so incredibly thankful to Steyning Grammar school in England for all the wonderful support they have given us over the years. Their fearless leader, Tim Treadwell, deserves a huge round of applause for keeping the kids, staff, and parents motivated. The energy and creativity they have put into extending such heartfelt generosity towards The House of Dreams Orphanage here in Cochabamba, Bolivia astounds me. From selling cakes, to running concession stands, to a day of sponsored silence they have truly rallied to assist us.
The efforts from the students of Year 7 helped in the following areas:
Covered one month of salaries for the caregivers, who are affectionately called “Tias” (Aunts)
Paid for one month of transportation costs… getting 15 kids to and from school and around town for their appointments and activities adds up
Bought one week’s worth of food for the orphanage
We really could not provide such a great home for these kids were it not for the individuals, such as the Steyning Grammar group, who help with financial donations. Thank you so much!
Enjoy this little video as a special thanks….
(The volume may be low, you might want to turn up your sound)
Please consider following the lead of these students and join us to help provide a safe and loving home for the Dreamers at The House of Dreams. Contact us for more information on how to give.
A couple of weeks ago, I told our older three girls how impressed I was with them. Our cook, had given the girls some knitting lessons, and after just a few lessons they were knitting away on their own. I told the girls how at their age (10 and 11), my mom tried to teach me how to knit but I had a hard time with it. They on the other hand, are knitting pros.
Anne and Estefan
For their first project, Anne knitted a skirt for her Barbie doll, and Estefani is halfway through knitting a scarf. Our three older girls can now cook, paint and knit….I’m impressed!
As our Dreamers get older, we want them to try a variety of crafts, trades or skills so that they can discover their talents and have many experiences that will help them to be successful in the future. This summer vacation our three oldest Dreamers were presented with such opportunity. My mother-in-law, who is a very talented painter, offered to give the girls classes in painting.
Anne and Estefani working on their handpainted tablecloths
The girls have been taking once a week classes at my mother-in-law’s house, in learning how to paint with acrylics on cloth fabrics. They’re learing how to handle the brushes, how to mix and blend colors, how to add shading and highlights.
Jhoselyn’s first finished work
In a few years as our Dreamers begin their teen years, we may have a new opportunity for you to participate in their lives through the Projects Link on our site – helping with the costs of specialty classes, such as painting, mechanics, carpentry etc. In the meantime, check out our Projects link to see where you can take part.
Not too long ago some longtime monthly supporters of The House of Dreams Orphanage made a comment, “Those kids really need you guys”. My response surprised them. I explained that I think I need the kids more than then they need me.
I came to that conclusion through a defining moment. I was sitting in my office and the question arose within me, “What tangible difference are we currently making in the lives of others?” At the time we had published several books, we were doing leadership conferences in several different countries, and had planted countless Bible schools around Bolivia. But in all these things I could not see the tangible fruit. I knew they were making a difference in people’s lives, but aside from the occasional thank you letter I could not see the impact being made.
As I looked over all we do I came to the realization that The House of Dreams Orphanage was one of the things we did that has tangible, measurable results that we can see. I do not know how many leaders will be impacted as a result of a leadership conference, but whenever I need to see a life being impacted, I can always go to the orphanage and spend some time talking with the kids. These little lives will forever be impacted by something we do. So the truth of the matter is that I need The House of Dreams Orphanage just as much as the kids do. As I looked in the eyes of that pastor and saw his heart to bring leadership principals to his region I realized that what we do is so much bigger than ourselves. It helps people impacts lives for Christ. For that reason we have, and will do, whatever we can as a ministry to help others.
About a week ago, Anne went with me to the market to help with the grocery shopping. While we were standing at a distance from a lunch menu, Anne started reading it, but with some difficulty. Knowing that Anne is a good reader, I became a little concerned. Sure enough after a visit to the opthomoligist, we found out Anne is slightly far-sighted.
Now, each one of the three sibling group at the House of Dreams are wearing glasses. The brothers are happy that Anne has glasses too and Emelin is happy to no longer be the only girl in the home with glasses.
With Anne, we now have 9 dreamers with glasses. If you would like to help with the cost of lenses and eye doctor visits check out the Glasses link on the Projects page.
Last Saturday, our Dreamers participated in the school’s arts and physical education fair. There were dances, songs, and P.E. routines with all of the grades, along with displays of the year’s arts work. Below are a few snapshots from the fair.
Fernando and his kindergarten class singing about a little man called Martin Tin
Anne and her 4th grade class performing a hula-hoop routine
Estefani, at the end of her 5th grade class dance routine
The Dreamers displayed their skills in English at school on Friday. Each class prepared posters, snacks, costumes, maps, and other interesting things about their English speaking city or country. It was fun to see them exploring the diversity of other cultures.
Benancio showing the British flag, Anne by the map of England, some of the classmates by their booth
(top) a friend with Emelin, (left) Jhamil with a friend, (right) a friend with Jose Luis
Estefani dressed as Mary Poppins by the model she made of the famed Hollywood sign
Shirley and Jose in very itchy, but very cute Tinkerbell and Peter Pan costumes
The kids work hard on their English with the help of many dedicated volunteers. We believe that dominating two languages will give them a competitive edge as they grow. We are blessed to be able to give them this advantage due to the generous donations of many individuals.
Thank you to all the volunteers, school staff, and donors who help give the children such a high quality education.
A few years ago, 3 computers were donated to the House of Dreams for Christmas. The children were ecstatic, to say the least. They have mostly been using the computers to play learning and development games.
Recently, there was a married couple who decided to come down together and spend a few weeks volunteering at the House of Dreams. During their time there, they noticed the computers and that there was no internet connected. Seeing that there was no internet, hey decided that they wanted to pay for internet for the House of Dreams for a few months.
Anne using Wikipedia to help with a homework assignment.
Having the internet has been great. They have been able to explore and learn new things, and take advantage of it as the great resource that it is!
The Dreamers got all dressed up in traditional garb from the 9 different ‘departments’ (like States in the U.S.) of Bolivia to celebrate the anniversary of our independence. Today, August 6, marks 187 years since the Bolivian people, under the leadership of Simon Bolivar, proclaimed their liberty from the oppression of the conquistadors as an independent nation. It is with great patriotism that the school organizes an annual cultural festival for the children to demonstrate their knowledge of the land. In separate booths they serve special foods, model the clothing, talk about economics, relay historical moments, and show maps and pictures from their assigned regions. Friends and relatives come to visit and enjoy the festival. This year was the best yet.
Enjoy a few pictures of the kids from the House of Dreams on this special day. (Click the pictures to see them full sized.)
Jhamil with his teachers
Joel talking about the pottery of Santa Cruz
Shirley dressed in traditional wear from Potosí
Estefani dressed like a person from Tarija
Anne and Isaura looking at their tickets hoping to win a prize in the drawing
Roberto with a costume from Cochabamba
Roberto and Jhoselyn in the Cochabamba booth
Shirley giving a presentation with her teacher
Shirley giving another presentation with her teacher
Why not do something Bolivian today? Look up a recipe and serve it at your house. Listen to Bolivian music. Read about the nation. Learn some new words in Spanish, or even Quechua. Dress in red, yellow and green. Root for the Bolivians competing in the Olympics. Celebrate this wonderful land! ¡Feliz Día de Bolivia!