Shane’s Prayer Letter, August 2012

Isaiah 25:4a
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm, and a shade from the heat…

As another day draws to an end I make my final round checking the house to make sure everything is ok. In the darkness as I pass by one of the children’s rooms I hear the softest most innocent voice, “I love you Papa Shane.” It is the day’s final reminder and reward for my labor of love. I softly reply, “I love you too.” It is always Jimmy. Throughout my day every so often I will hear his sweet voice utter these same precious yet powerful words. It is the only English he knows. But he fully understands its meaning.

Jimmy came to us at the end of last year. When he was six months old his mother abandoned him to his aunt and left for the United States. At age six, his mother returned to Guatemala and reclaimed Jimmy. She kept him for a little while and then again gave him to his aunt. Within the next few months Jimmy ran away. He told the police he ran away because his aunt often abused him. When he came to us Jimmy had whip marks on his back and front. His aunt used an electrical cord to beat him, and she also burned him with fire because he repeatedly wet the bed. The judge ordered the mother into court but she made clear she did not want Jimmy. No one wanted Jimmy. But we did. He has been placed with Casa De Mi Padre permanently.

Jimmy’s first months here were a little difficult. At one point he had repeatedly disobeyed one of our staff members and was brought to me. It was time for Jimmy’s first paddling. When he was brought into my office he was crying and literally shaking with a look of terror in his face. It was obvious his fear was wildly out of place. He was in total panic.

I sat at my desk and put the paddle down and called Jimmy over to me. I explained in my broken Spanish when he hurts other children and does not obey when he is told to stop, he will receive discipline. I said here is how we do it. I use this paddle on your behind and that is all. We do not use fire, we will not hit you in the face, we will not punch you. That’s it, the paddle goes here, that’s all.

Jimmy took a deep breath and exhaled with a sigh of relief, and immediately began to calm down. The look of relief which came over him was almost comical. This emotional expression communicates the words, “That’s all, that’s it.” His terror completely subsided. Jimmy was quite relieved to understand he has limits for behavior and so do we. He received his swats, cried a few moments, and went out to play. I think he has been paddled a couple of times since then, but he steps up and takes it like a trooper. It has been a long time since we have had to discipline him. Jimmy now responds exceptionally well to all the adults here and at school.

Since those early weeks and months Jimmy has grown to become a joy to us all. He is a little scrawny and kind of goofy, but he is what I call a sleeper kid. By looking at him you wouldn’t know it but he is a straight A student. His grades are almost all perfect. And he hardly has to try. His teachers love him, and he is a joy here at the house. Jimmy has become very special to me. He constantly reminds me of his love, and is always genuinely thankful for everything we provide for him. He has also matured in his relationship with the other kids in Case De Mi Padre. I look forward to seeing him grow up here. Yes, we want him.

He still does have one little problem. Jimmy is a faithful kid. He faithfully wets the bed every night. He doesn’t get beat or burned for it, he just has to clean it up. He hates having to clean his bed. Pray for him.

The other day I was listening to a song from one of my favorite artists, Steve Camp. The song is titled, “Shade For the Children.” It made me think of Jimmy as well as our other kids. Here are some of the words:

Unless the Lord builds the house oh they labor in vain
How it is good to be under construction under His name
Like mighty warriors our quivers full for them
Like an arrow they will go where we have never been
As for me and my house we’ll serve the Lord each day
We’ll draw our strength from him as we make our way

Oh Lord we pray
Let us be shade for the children
A shelter from the storm
Be a place where they can grow in the ways of the Lord

To train up my child to live a pure and godly life
Through the struggles and fears, dreams and tears of every day
To be shade for the children

Several times I have responded to Jimmy’s words, “I love you Papa Shane,” with a question. “Why do you love me Jimmy?” His answer is always the same, “Because you care so much for me.”

My words could never express how precious Jimmy and all our other children are. I pray God would make me and our house, Casa De Mi Padre, as He is, a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy, and a shelter from the storm, and shade for the children.

Every day we are busy from morning till night meeting the emotional, physical, spiritual, and educational needs of all 22 of the children we have. It is a big job. I have made it clear to the children and staff here, I am not rich, I am only a steward of what God has provided through His people. I am just a steward. Thank you for being Jesus’ answer to little ones who were poor, distressed and battered by the storms of life. Thank you for helping be shade for the children.

On a needs note, when we had our 22 beds built, they included 22 mattresses. The mattresses are really nothing more than wads of rags covered in colorful cloth. They weren’t much when we got them and now they are less. Over time they have become pretty lumpy and raunchy. They need to be replaced . We want to replace them with foam mats. The mats we need are $30 a piece. That is not a big deal until you multiply times 22. If you would like to send an extra gift to “Bed the Kids” or know someone who would like to help it would really be appreciated.

Thank you from all of our hearts. Thank you for all you have done.

Trying to be a “Shade for the Children,”
Shane

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OTE: Since Shane posted this prayer letter on Facebook earlier today, friends reposted his message and shared the need for mattresses. In a span of only a few hours, God’s people stepped up to meet the need! All 22 mattresses were “sponsored”!

Just try and tell us that social media isn’t effective! Thanks to Jodi Brager and Andy Charles for stepping up to spread the word, and for all of the donors who committed to make a difference today!

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Together for Adoption 2012!

One of the big things Nancy and I have been looking forward to since we began Just 1 Ministries has been the upcoming Together for Adoption conference. We were VERY excited to find out more about this year’s schedule, and even more pleased to know that we’ve got a chance to attend for free!

Yes, that’s right… the good folks at Together for Adoption are holding a contest.

The basics? Contestants put together a video commercial explaining why they’d like to attend this year. The commercial is uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube, and voting commences. Most votes wins, obviously.

The exciting news? If we win one of the top three spots, we may have a chance to have a booth to share about our ministry! This is a national conference that annually attracts over 1,000 people, so it’s a big deal for us! So many opportunities there to learn about orphan care and adoption, so we can do things even better here at Just 1. Perhaps equally important is the opportunity to network and get to know other like-minded Christians involved in orphan care.

We fully expect to be refreshed after our time.

So… what we need from you is simple: help us get there! We don’t want your money… just your time in voting. Take a look at our video below, then jump on over to the contest page, and vote for “The Stickleys (Just 1 Ministries)”.

Your help is VERY much appreciated!

God bless!

(Again, the link is: http://www.togetherforadoption.org/?page_id=13873! Don’t forget to vote!)

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Dear Sponsored Child…

Obviously, we’re quite excited about our sponsorship program here at Just 1 Ministries. Connecting people here in the United States that want to love, help provide for, and get to know the orphans in our sponsorship program is a huge blessing!

That said, there are many aspects of this ministry, and quite a bit of work goes into making it all happen. We’re using our God-given talents, sure, but as you surely know from experience, some tasks are just hard work. Some of the things we do to make this ministry happen stretch us from our comfort zone. And some, like our child correspondence program… they bring us joy that’s hard to put into words.

We get VERY excited when we visit the post office and open our mailbox. It’s great to find sponsorship checks waiting there… after all, sponsorship donations enable orphans to have their needs met. But we do a little happy dance when we see envelopes labeled “Child Correspondence”!

Yes, that’s right. Picture me (or Nancy) dancing.

Scary.

Now picture something far more beautiful… your sponsored child receiving a letter, maybe for the first time ever. Picture Papa Shane reading it to them. Imagine their eyes lighting up as your written words come to life in their native tongue.

That’s a part of this ministry that really gets us excited!

Why?

Because through this, our sponsors connect with the orphans in our partner orphanages.

Lives are touched. Hearts heal. Love grows.

Quite simply, God works.

It’s beautiful.

If you haven’t done so yet, please write to your sponsored child! You can touch their heart, and help play a part in changing their life.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a child, there are many left that need your help!

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Casa de Mi Padre on Television!

Last Sunday, we were thrilled to see familiar faces in the lead story on our local television station, KQ2.

You guessed it… Shane Sanderson and the kids from Casa de Mi Padre!

As most of you reading this will know, we partner with Shane and his ministry, Child Rescue, helping him by running the child sponsorship program for the orphanage.

Be sure to check it out when you get a chance! Sarah Hatten (from KQ2) did an EXCELLENT job putting this together, and sharing Shane’s story with our region! Big thanks also go out to Darcy Moon, who shared her experiences in working with Shane, Casa de Mi Padre, and in ministering in Santa Cruz del Quiche, Guatemala.

It’s a GREAT story, entitled, “St. Joseph Man on a Misison to Make a Home for Orphans”. Don’t miss it!

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When God’s People Move…

Last Sunday, we were blessed to have an opportunity to visit an area church with Shane Sanderson, founder of Child Rescue, to share about Casa de Mi Padre and his ministry to orphans in Guatemala. I’d never had a chance to visit FBC Gower before, but I must say that our first trip there was memorable!

It was great to see our friends Kyle and Chelsie Kormeier, who, along with the FBC Gower Youth Group, are our first child sponsors. It was a blessing to see how the church embraced our children and made them feel welcome. It was a joy to worship with this body of believers. And yes… it was awesome to be able to hear Shane tell his story once again (I assure you, it NEVER gets old!). His slideshow? Well, it brings tears every time. Powerful stuff.

But the real treat? That came AFTER the service… we got to witness God’s people step up and make a difference! As the service ended, Nancy and I rushed back to our sponsorship table, and we were quickly overwhelmed.

So many people in the church were excited to learn more about how they could make a difference in the lives of the orphans! It was a whirlwind of activity.

I was torn in multiple directions trying to share about our sponsorship program (a good thing!).

A wave of people took prayer cards and bookmarks with information about the kids.

Many people signed up to receive Shane’s prayer letter, and our e-mail updates.

And most amazing of all… people committed to sponsor ten more children!

When God’s people move…

Well, words can’t adequately describe it. But it’s a BEAUTIFUL thing!

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Alejandro: Why We Have Come

From time to time, we like to share a glimpse of life at Casa de Mi Padre, where Shane Sanderson is working diligently to minister to orphans in Guatemala. Shane shared the following with us just this week, and we wanted to post it here so that you can know just what goes on there. Hopefully, knowing these children more will move you to become involved in their lives and their care!

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Today was a tough day for Alejandro. He’s only four and he has already lost all. He has been with us for a week. We were told he would only be here for a short time. We were told his mother and father are not together, but each want him.

Today we had a audience with the children’s judge here in the city. We found out the mother is a prostitute. She presented DNA evidence demonstrating that the man who thought he was the father is not. It was also revealed that he and the mother were totally unfit parents. We learned the aunt of Alejandro’s mother was “renting” the boy to the man who thought he was the father. Once the man heard the evidence he was not the father, he no longer wanted Alejandro.

At the end of the hearing the Judge stripped the mother of all parental rights due to neglect and abuse. He judge placed Alejandro in the care and protection of Casa de Mi Padre. The judge used the Spanish word “siempre”… “always”.

Tonight Alejandro began to have trouble breathing. Just last week Pastor David arranged a meeting with an American doctor who lives here in Santa Cruz. We met and I told him I had recently started an orphanage and we were caring for twenty children. I said we really needed a medical connection. He was delighted to help and said all his services were absolutely free and he said we are on call for you anytime. Tonight we needed him… we called and he came to the house within the hour.

Alejandro’s heart was racing and he had a high temperate, and the doctor suggested we take him to the hospital. After the examination, they concluded that Alejandro had a serious throat infection.

They put an IV in him and gave him three breathing treatments. Alejandro did not like the breathing machine… he cried and fought, and I held his hands as he struggled and wailed. The whole time he looked me in the eyes.

He looked so sad. He kept looking around the room hoping to find someone who would help him.

As I looked into his anguished eyes I thought of all the little boy had lost this day. His mother. The man who he thought was his father.

At the close of this day he had lost all and was now in the hospital struggling to breath and in a panic.

As I looked into his eyes these words echoed in my mind: “He is all alone.”

This is the reason we have come. So little guys and girls who have lost all and are alone will not be.

Pray for Alejandro. He will be in the hospital for three days recovering.

Pray also for the other orphans we care for. Like Alejandro, each of them have many hurts and pains from their life experiences.

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Help Fund the King Family’s Adoption!

As you probably already know, Nancy and I want to use this site and this ministry however we possibly can to help make a difference in others lives, especially as relating to adoption and orphan care. You’ve seen that we’re making strides to give you opportunities to connect with us toward that end… child sponsorship for Casa de Mi Padre is a huge need, and connecting with people we have highlighted that minister to spiritual orphans is another.

Today, though, we want to point you away from our ministry and towards the life of another couple that you can help.

Josh and Jacki King are a couple in the Dallas / Forth Worth area seeking to adopt a child from the Congo. They’re faithfully serving Jesus there, where Josh is the lead pastor at Sachse’s First Baptist Church and Jacki is a stay-at-home mom. They’ve been working to raise funds to help with their adoption, and there are several ways you can help.

First off, they’ve created some AWESOME merchandise. We LOVE the graphic and shirts they’ve created! (In fact, odds are you’ll spot us wearing one at some point in time.) Powerful message, and a GREAT design! Any profit they’re able to make from these sales helps to fund their adoption. Act quick… they’re getting ready to place another order soon.

They’ve also been approved for a $2,000 matching grant through Lifesong for Orphans. Every dollar you send to help with their adoption through February 20th will be matched!

Lastly… prayer. The road to adoption is long and hard. There is significant cost in adopting, and inherent stress in wondering where these funds will come from. Political unrest in the nation where they’re adopting creates worry. The difficulties of international travel can seem daunting. Concerns about how their child is doing constantly loom. Prayer makes a difference, and we know you can help with this.

Check out their site to learn more about their story. Jacki has shared some powerful stories about their journey there, and you’ll be touched by reading what she’s had to say.

Would you prayerfully consider how you can help impact their lives?

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