Christmas at Siempre.
Merry Christmas from the children of Siempre Para Los Ninos. May God richly bless you and all those you love in the year to come.
Christmas is off to the a great start for all of the children. Parties have been happening all week and presents have been coming in! Each child even received a new bike for Christmas! How amazing? over 30 bikes! We want to thank everyone who has made this Christmas special, and for the continued support of Siempre.
Christmas for how many?
Siempre’s kids are looking forward to an incredible first Christmas in the safety, warmth, love, security, Joy and Promise of Siempre Para Los Ninos, from Beginnings@Siempre for babies, to the Main House, over to RileyHouse@Siempre for teens.
We’ve learned that we can’t save every child – but we can make a HUGE difference in the lives of these children – some who know or remember no other family then the one they’re building at Siempre.
We want to make sure that each child has the opportunity to live out a great life with big dreams. No child deserves to be cast aside and forgotten… especially at Christmas.
We’re growing rapidly. Our director called about 4 more children abandoned into our arms just last week. We need you, your prayers, your work groups, your loving support and financial commitment all year long. At Christmas – Siempre’s kids need to know that someone remembers. My prayer is that when you go shopping that someone might be you.
Plan now to share part of the miracle.
Wednesday’s at Siempre (with videos!)
Wandering into the courtyard at Siempre Para Los Ninos on a Wednesday afternoon just overflows into the rest of the week. Going to post a few videos and photos – not perfect – just want to share the Joie de vivre – the joy of living – that’s growing at Siempre.
God is too good!
The kids at Siempre sang for us as well!
We staid long enough this Wednesday that we even were able to enjoy dinner with the children.
You are invited to join us on Wednesday’s!
New Shoes for all the Kids!
All of the kids had the chance to go to the Nike Store and get new shoes! Try to remember that great feel of new “back to school” shoes. Special thanks to the family and friends of Riley Gortsema for putting new shoes on each of the children. Imagine if you could rescue and change the life of a child for good, forever and all it took was love and money. You can. It’s happening this morning at Siempre Para Los Ninos and without the loving support of people just like you, it would end. Pastor Ken’s at Siempre this morning. I’m heading down mid-day. So incredibly excited about Wednesday’s again. Share the adventure. Plenty of room in the truck. You’re needed, now, more than ever.
You’re Invited to donate and join those with a heart to rescue children.
New Children at Siempre
5 boys. These 5 boys. Just dropped at Siempre’s doorstep now –
Sunday afternoon, September 21 – by a mother running from an abusive household – hoping to save them. What they’re wearing is what they came with. Mom signed them over to Siempre – por vida – for life. 15 more children coming in the days ahead.
We need you now, more than ever. Call, message, email…
You’re Invited to change a life. These 5 lives.
With 15 additional children coming to Siempre by Wednesday, our directors have put together a very practical list of sizes that we need. Many have asked about donating used clothing – I try to get it across when I can – but the Mexican Government prefers we bring new with the receipts still on them – it’s how they figure the import tax.
We also need hair brushes and hair ties, lotion, and conditioner, We would also need to work on uniforms for school 14 out of the 16 will need uniforms which include a jumper, blouse, white sox, sweater, black shoes and p.e. Outfit for girls and pants, polo, p.e. Outfit black shoes for boys.”
I’m driving down Wednesday to meet all the new kids and will take what I have by then – I can take other donations later. If you’d like to make a one time gift or become a monthly supporter – you can do that by paypal- all gifts are tax deductible. Checks can be mailed to:
Siempre Para Los Ninos.
5623 Arlington Ave
Riverside, CA 92504
Thanks so much,
A Letter from Eric Denton
Thank You So Very Much,
You’re receiving this letter because at some point you’ve financially supported the work of Siempre Para Los Niños. Children have found safety, food, received an education, experienced family life and have been protected from the dangers waiting on kids abandoned into poverty in Tijuana. They’ve lived in The Promise of Siempre. May God richly bless you and yours for giving to lift up those who are all too often left out.
The Great News is that Siempre Para Los Niños is ready to receive children once again. Praise God! New directors are in place. Work groups have been serving diligently almost every week to get the household in order. Simple things – like beds – that we’d come to take for granted, are now ready for children. God is too good!
The past year has been one of heartbreak. Some is chronicled at Siempre’s Facebook page and at www.siemprekids.org. Leadership and visiting volunteers that had been loved and trusted to join us in the work of Siempre broke away – taking staff, children and property. They wanted everything. Their motivation is impossible to understand. We can only assume that those involved saw Siempre as easy pickings and laid the groundwork to take what they could. None had purchased property, built the buildings or continued the work as they came and went as they pleased. It’s an impossible way to raise children. None of them came to speak to us honestly. Not one. Details were difficult to secure in the beginning. A Biblical Truth came to the front immediately after the children were moved: “Behind every betrayal is always 30 pieces of silver.” In the aftermath of their actions every donation, check and deposit across the past three years has been scrutinized. It quickly became obvious that problems were deeper and had gone on longer than the actions of a few people moving in one week.
A decision loomed over us: do we surrender everything to take legal action, in Mexico and the U.S., or do we move forward. A number of you stepped up offering to pay for legal expenses – thanks so much. After seeking wise counsel, including some of you, moving forward seemed the only thing we should do. A pastor who’s loved Siempre from the beginning said: “Let’s start rebuilding – one room at a time.” Rebuilding – not looking back but moving forward with anticipation – one room at a time, has become our driving purpose these past three months. God has blessed the decision to not look back.
Thanks so much to those of you who’ve made a special gift during this challenging time in the household. Appliances and so many other “big ticket” items needed immediate replacement. Kitchen utensils, pots and pans, flatware, everything one needs to run a household of 50 people is gone. We’re replacing it, one room at a time. Cloth diapers, hundreds of them, tables and chairs for the dining hall, waiting to be replaced along with the computers and every bed in RileyHouse@Siempre – built to shelter abandoned teens – gone. So I’m also writing to invite you back to the promise and vision of Siempre and let you know that we need your financial support, now, more than ever.
In the first week the children were taken, one of Siempre’s kids who had nowhere else to go, messaged me to say: “I’m sorry Pastor Eric. Thanks so much for everything.” Sitting alone, looking at my phone, couldn’t help but weep. We miss and keep each child in our prayers and forever in our hearts. They’re part of the first generation of Siempre and they’re always welcome home. Silently I responded: “Gracias a Dios” Thanks be to God. And let them know they would always be remembered.
Thousands more children are waiting across Tijuana. The crisis at the border that’s occupying the news each night as tens of thousands of children try to cross into the United States leaves out the stories of the many, many more who never make it to the border. Children vulnerable to the sex trade, human trafficking and too often left to wander the streets of Tijuana begging for anything within miles of San Diego. We have 21 open beds, 2 cribs and 4 day beds ready to shelter them. With your help we can fill Beginnings@Siempre with cribs and cast off babies again. Your gift can fill RileyHouse@Siempre with beds for teens – waiting for rescue. Your gift can complete the immediate task at Siempre, insuring that the 2nd generation of Siempre’s kids continue to receive the promise of hope, love, security and a future that Siempre offers.
You’re Invited to share in this great work. God’s hit the BIG reset button for us and we’re returning to our original mission of rescuing children that need us most. Our new directors are fluent in English and Spanish and ready to work with you. Pastor Aldo continues to lead the church at Siempre and oversee the work in love. Missionaries move in to the mission’s house at the end of August and are incredibly excited. If you feel called to the mission field we have 4 open rooms – they’re small – but ready for workers to live and work with abandoned children. God’s doing a great thing at Siempre and we’re looking forward. I hope you’ll choose to share in this great work as we enter our second decade of service together. Wow! Through it all – I can’t wait!
Eric M. Denton, pastor
founding church of Siempre
I realize this may seem like information overload. Please don’t hesitate to call me with your questions and concerns. Remember to “like” us on Facebook & check out our new webpage www.siemprekids.org
New Kids Coming to Siempre
This is How It Starts…
New children are coming to Siempre – again
Abandoned kids with heart breaking stories – need a place to stay. We’ve been asked to open our arms again. We’re ready.
January of 2005 we were able to take up to 16 kids. Today – we have beds for perhaps a dozen. Girls rooms are lovingly ready. Boys rooms still need work and beds. Beginnings has just two cribs and no diapers. RileyHouse is empty of beds. But we can take at least 12 kids and until we have beds in every room again, we’ll fill the beds we have. The 2nd Generation of Siempre’s Kids are wandering in… the same way the boys in the picture did back in 2005. Please pray that our staff is ready as they open their arms in love and healing.
PreSchool begins at LifeHouse@Siempre this Monday morning. Too many parents are forced to choose between work or caring for their children. Without work the family goes hungry. Our new directors – fluent in both English and Spanish and trained in preschool – have children enrolled and volunteers from the community to be trained in childcare. LifeHouse is extending Hope and Life to families who might otherwise be crushed by the burden of poverty. We want to help children stay in their home with their family whenever possible.
We’re Looking Forward. God has given us an opportunity to return to our original vision of being a home that rescues children who have no home. We’re ready to start updating you on what’s happening and invite you to share in the restoration of this great work we’ve had the opportunity to share.
5 New Children – they’re coming this week – pray that we can love them into lives of hope, security and possibility. It may seem like a small start but it’s a start and to each of these 5 new kids it’s the promise of a hope and a future. We’ll need your prayers, visits and financial support to break the cult of poverty that’s putting kids at risk. We already know how to do this – together, we can. You’re Invited! God is too good. I am so excited!
Rebuilding – One Room at a Time
We were at Siempre on Wednesday. Pastor Aldo’s doing an outstanding job of meeting with people, preparing for Palm Sunday and along with Miguel, Siempre’s longtime caretaker, keeping watch over the property.
Ready for Children – almost
We now know that Siempre’s kids were moved by our former directors and are living in a house with them. Pastor Aldo knows where the house is – a blessing – as another grandmother of two of Siempre’s kids who were moved was by on Wednesday. She spent an hour being comforted by Barbara Zepeda, long time good friend and supporter of Siempre Para Los Ninos, and was assured that as far as we know the kids are doing well. She’s been promised to be told the exact location of the home in the next week so she can visit. She asked repeatedly if the children could return to Siempre. It’s a question we continue to hear. All the children are welcome home. They were never asked to leave.
We’re rebuilding Siempre One Room at a Time. We’ve not asked for money to help us through this challenging transition – even still – nearly $5,000- in special gifts came in for that purpose in just the last few days. Thanks so much. Humbling: so great a trust after such horrible actions on the part of the few, regardless their intentions.
I’ve had the opportunity to speak with the Pastor of Pacific Coast Church in San Clemente, Mark Ambrose, and he’s assured me that though some members of the church might have taken part in this – it was without his support. He’s also sent an email to their church breaking down the situation from their perspective and asked for a neutral position during this time of challenges. We promised to stay in touch.
Sean Lambert, President and CEO of YWAM – San Diego/Baja and I have spent a good deal of time on the phone this week. He was very apologetic for even the appearance of YWAM support of moving the children and has gone out of his way with a follow up call to let us know that they only want to help the children and that their heart remains with whatever they can do to get Siempre Para Los Ninos up and running again. He’s offered their full assistance, of which I’m very thankful, and promised to stay in touch and insured us that nothing like this should have happened and would never happen again.
The work of Siempre Para Los Ninos outgrew the sole support of her founding church – Central Community – years ago, for which we are thankful. That being said, we consider the vision and her mission to rescue children in the greatest need and to help restore families whenever possible a sacred trust that we will continue to uphold.
We want everyone- from whatever background -who has a heart to rescue children to continue to know that they’re invited. It’s why we built SamaritanHouse@Siempre – a place where you can come and stay, work, and share the joy of Siempre Para Los Ninos. Even today, Saturday, April 12, two groups, from two different churches are working on the rebuilding and restoration – preparing us to take in children as soon as possible. Some of the oldest bunk beds and mattresses were left and we’re doing our best to clean things up, paint and make ready to do what we do at Siempre – what some were so eager to take, without considering the cost – to rescue children. Sadly, there’s little shortage of children in desperate need in and around Tijuana. We’re ready for a resurrection!
A new website is in the process of being built – think you can begin to check it out now at www.siemprekids.org – it’s just a framework of what’s to come. Part of it will include a calendar for you to schedule your own work trip to Siempre. So many individuals, families, groups, businesses and churches from across the nation have built this great work into their lives and we want you to know that now, and always: You’re Invited!
I can’t speak to the motivation of those who participated in any part of this act against our work. Just as I’ve received many, many of your kind words of support – a couple of people who took part have contacted me. They’re people I’ve known. Some who entered Mexico for the first time in our car as we graciously invited them to the work. It stinks. A couple have said they did it because they loved our former directors and couldn’t stand to see them leave. One said it was to keep the “family” together. It comes off with a cult like sense of awe. Our directors are employees. Employees often consider leaving. Aracelis wrote on facebook yesterday that they’ve been thinking of going to Chiapas for over 6 months. Wish someone would’ve told us. She writes that friends in America helped them stay with the children.
Almost every child that left had a family contact – our goal would have been to restore children who are not true orphans to biological family. It’s one reason we built LifeHouse@Siempre. Our former directors are NOT their mom and dad. Every abandoned child knows that the people who watch them are just that – people who watch them: with employees, security cameras, etc
Kids, abandoned to our care, become attached. That’s a good thing when it’s done in love and service. But the best loving hope helps return every child to a family healed or helps the others find forever families. A wonderful byproduct of this heartbreak is that Siempre’s lawyer has agreed to step up and help any family – in the U.S. or Mexico – find their way to successful adoption. Pray this can become a reality – sooner, rather than later.
One person involved in this continues to tell me how taking all that was donated to Siempre Para Los Ninos is perfectly legal in Mexico. I find myself thinking of how we’ll do almost anything to justify our actions. Because something was legal – if it was – by no means makes it moral, ethical or up to that simple standard Jesus taught: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Perhaps this hit me hardest while walking through the dining hall and kitchen at Siempre: the great majority of food, containers, two refrigerators, two freezers, all the tables and chairs – gone. I asked pastor Aldo, what they did with them – they don’t have that much room. He said they were taken and put in storage. Not because the kids needed beds to sleep on but storage. Who does that?
On the bright side – one of the pastors leading a group to Siempre today called to say what a fantastic time they had, they’re one hundred percent on board and bringing another church down tomorrow on Palm Sunday. Laguna Niguel Presbyterian spent the morning cleaning, arranging and building a crib. John sent some pictures from the day. That’s Heather Lee, John and Randy Free in the photo on the top of the page. It’ll take a while – but with your help kids, rescued, will fill Siempre with joy and hope again.
Pray for the church at Siempre, for Pastor Aldo and his family, Miguel, for all our support churches and individuals who’ve given so generously. Hearts are being torn asunder. People who’ve loved and given years building, generous financial support and amazing prayer support find themselves loving a child that’s been taken from their home, their colonia and we have no idea what they’ve been told. Pray for Siempre’s kids. They’re always welcome home. Pray for the rebuilding of Siempre Para Los Ninos. It’s happening. Our son John, who led a group this morning, emailed me the pictures in this update. The only thing missing is children we’re not ready yet but so very much closer.
Check Out Our New Website
Talking with a friend this morning I said: “Such a drag that this is all happening right at Easter.” She replied with a smile: “What a fantastic time for a resurrection!” Amen and amen! If you’d like to join the ongoing resurrection of Siempre Para Los Ninos – let me know – plus, we’re going this Memorial Day Weekend – We’ll be building- not sure what – but count on it. Pastor Ken will put us where we’re needed most. You’re Invited! You’re needed – now, more than ever.
Eric M. Denton, pastor