Archive for the ‘US’ Category

A Reason to Hurry, by Tallie Betscher, Back2Back US Staff

July 13, 2012

I got a phone call from a woman last week that caught my attention.  She had recently come home from spending a week in Monterrey with Back2Back and was interested in sponsoring one of the children she had connected with.  Nothing too unusual about that.  (If you met these kids, you’d probably call me too).  What made the phone call unusual was that she wanted to come into the office to drop off her donation right away.  Usually people will wait for me to mail them a Welcome Packet and send their first donation back through the mail.  This woman couldn’t wait that long.

That afternoon she came in with gift wrapped presents and a check book.  She apologized for keeping me waiting (as if I should have expected her to come straight after we hung up the phone).  As I sat down with her and started getting her all set up for sponsorship, she began to tell me her story.  Her and her husband served with us in Monterrey because her son, who worked at a church, invited them.  They had attended the church off and on, but the gospel was never real to them.  While working with Back2Back in Monterrey, they met a teenage girl who had been abandoned by her family, yet put her faith in a God who loved her enough to send His son to die for her.  That kind of faith, in spite of circumstances, opened her eyes to the reality of Jesus as Savior.  Her and her husband came home and were baptized the following Sunday.  She had written this orphan girl a letter, telling her the impact her faith had on her and her husband’s life.  She couldn’t wait to get it to our office and begin sponsoring her.  I was just blessed enough to be the one to pass that letter along.

One of my favorite things about God is how His plans are so much better than ours.  This woman thought she was doing God a favor and going on a trip to Monterrey to change the life of an orphan.  God smiled at her good intention, and decided to do her one better.  He sent the orphan to her to change her life.

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Orphan Care Summit this May in Southern California

April 10, 2012

Interested in learning more about orphan care?

The Christian Alliance for Orphans’ annual Summit has become a national hub for Christians committed to adoption, foster care and global orphan initiatives rooted in the local church.

May 3-4, 2012 ♦ Saddleback Church ♦ Southern California

JOIN organization leaders, grassroots advocates, pastors, and ministry entrepreneurs sharing your passion.

ENCOUNTER the gathering hub of orphan ministry partnership, networking and inspiration for service.

BUILD knowledge, resources and practical skills via more than 75 workshops & unforgettable speakers and music, including Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Steven Curtis Chapman and Crawford Loritts.

Register here.

Orphan Care Summit

February 17, 2012

The Christian Alliance for Orphans’ annual Summit has become the national hub for what Christianity Today recently called, “the burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.” Summit VIII on May 3-4, 2012 at Saddleback Church in Southern California is expected to draw 1,800 to 2,000 pastors, grassroots advocates, organizational and church ministry leaders. Alongside more than seventy workshops, the unforgettable plenary sessions will include Francis Chan, Rick and Kay Warren, Crawford Lorritts, Dennis Rainey, Steven Curtis Chapman, and other global leaders. Summit inspires, equips and connects for adoption, foster care and global orphan ministry.

Register here and join Back2Back staff at this important event.

Merry Christmas from Back2Back Ministries!

December 24, 2011

Ephesians 4:4-7 says, “We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future.” This Christmas season, we are grateful for you and your commitment to joining us in providing care for today and hope for tomorrow to orphans around the world. We rejoice that we serve a God who is in passionate pursuit of the orphan child. As you gather with family and friends to celebrate, thank you for continuing to remember the orphans we serve. On behalf of all of us at Back2Back, thank you for being a part of the Back2Back family and for serving alongside us!

 

Back2Back Ministries Accredited by National Financial Accountability Organization

November 7, 2011

MASON, OH  – The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) announced today the accreditation of Back2Back Ministries of Mason, OH.

ECFA accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fundraising.

Back2Back Ministries joins a growing number of Christ-centered churches and ministries across America, supported by over 35 million donors that have earned the right to display the ECFA seal.  When an organization is accredited by ECFA, it demonstrates its willingness to follow the model of biblical accountability.

“We are pleased to include in our membership a ministry committed to being a voice for orphans and poverty stricken people,” said Dan Busby, president of ECFA.

Founded in 1996, Back2Back Ministries (www.back2backministries.org) exists to love and care for orphans and impoverished children by focusing on the whole child in meeting their physical, spiritual, educational, social and emotional needs that they may overcome their life circumstances and break free from the cycle of generational poverty, so each one experiences restoration to a life of purpose, becoming fulfilled, mature Christian adults.

To learn more about Back2Back Ministries and their stewardship opportunities, visit ServantMatch®, ECFA’s program that matches God’s servants with the stewardship options of ECFA members based on ministry sectors and categories.  It is ECFA’s newest online feature that allows you to quickly and easily find giving opportunities.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA Standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance.  For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ECFA.org or call 1-800-323-9473.

Introducing Back2Back’s 2011-2012 Theme

May 31, 2011

This year, Back2Back is exploring the idea that God is the true Source of Living Water. We’re asking ourselves and our visiting short-term groups, “What source do we tap into when we have come to the end of ourselves?”  Join us as we discover what it means to draw from Living Water in our own lives and offer it those around us in our communities. Take a peek at our new Bible Study here.

Partner with us through Prayer

May 13, 2011

Children at El Limon Children's Home spend time in prayer

We invite you to partner with us by joining us in prayer for our ministry.  Find a list of current prayer needs by ministry location below.

CANCUN, MEXICO

-God’s grace and great things to happen here for our first summer of ministry ever!

-For revival in the city of Cancun.

-For changed hearts in us, in those we serve, and in those who come alongside us over the next few months.

-For continued guidance as we move into some partnerships with local pastors in their areas of outreach.

-For God’s provision for the right volunteers, the right staff, the right facilities, and the financial resources to make it all happen!

 MONTERREY, MEXICO

-Pray for God’s continued protection and provision for Back2Back staff and ministry sites as we draw on His wisdom, continuing to exercise safety precautions that reflect the conditions around us. Pray for God’s wisdom to fill government leaders in Mexico who are working to end drug trafficking and further improve the safety of its guests and citizenry.

-Pray for God to meet the groups that are coming this summer in every aspect of their trip, from fund raising to their time in Monterrey. Pray for every moment to be fruitful in their lives and in the lives of those they will serve.

-Pray for all the focus areas of our ministry, specifically as we work for the development of each child holistically and for our local partnerships that are key in what we do.

-Pray for the staff in Monterrey. Pray for the families moving back to the States, and for the staff that will be reporting soon.

– Pray for all the house parents in the Hope Education Program to have wisdom and new ways to connect with their teens in order to lead them to freedom in Christ.

 HYDERABAD, INDIA

-For more staff in India!

– We are currently in the process of enrolling many of the children we serve in private schools. Pray that they will be granted admission.  Please also pray that we can provide tuition fees, text books, and uniforms and find tutors to help them particularly with their English skills.

-Pray for the directors of the childrens’ homes.

 JOS, NIGERIA

– Pray for the children attending our English Program. They are one parent orphans living in a rural village. Pray they would improve their grammar skills and be ready for learning how to read this summer.

-Pray as we build infrastructure and relationships inside the community center with the youth. We currently have one male Bible study and we are starting a female one this summer. Pray a female leader in the community would be raised up to lead the other women.

-Pray the Lord would provide more staff to join our team! We have big vision and need the manpower to sustain it!

Orphan Care Summit

April 14, 2011

Interested in learning more about orphan care?

The Christian Alliance for Orphans’ annual Summit has become a national hub for Christians committed to adoption, foster care and global orphan initiatives rooted in the local church.

May 12-13, 2011 ♦ Southeast Christian Church ♦ Louisville, KY

JOIN organization leaders, grassroots advocates, pastors, and ministry entrepreneurs sharing your passion.

ENCOUNTER the gathering hub of orphan ministry partnership, networking and inspiration for service.

BUILD knowledge, resources and practical skills via more than 75 workshops & unforgettable speakers and music.

Register here.

 

Shaken to the Core, by James Bush, Mexico Mission Trip Participant

April 1, 2011

My recent trip to Monterrey, Mexico has messed with me in the deepest way possible.

Majestic.  Beautiful.  Powerful. I was overwhelmed.  It was Sunday morning at Casa Hogar Douglas, an orphanage, in Monterrey. The aforementioned orphanage would have appeared empty to the passerby if it weren’t for the noise coming from a little building atop the hill there. Inside that building, sixty-eight orphans together with fifty other adults were worshipping God in multiple languages. I was holding a little baby girl. She was an orphan. What broke my heart about that moment was that she was so into worship. Here was a child rejected by her parents worshipping God with all of her might. I knew in that moment that I have often taken God for granted. This little child was demonstrating what it means to really worship the living, active and loving God.

There came a point in the service where we were singing “How Great is Our God” in both Spanish and English and it struck me. God is sovereign over all things. It gave me chills to consider how the God of the universe who spoke and there was…that same God also knows the hairs on every orphan’s head as well as mine. Tears formed in my eyes as I considered the day when I would stand next to those orphans around the throne of God, on the sea of glass and worship with all creatures on, under and above the earth in one loud voice proclaiming, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and honor and glory and praise forever and ever!!!”

This trip to Mexico has shaken my faith to the foundation in the best way possible. May I always approach God with the same passion, love and fervency as those orphans.

 

 

 

 

Partner with us through Prayer

March 23, 2011

Children at El Limon Children's Home in Mexico spend time in prayer

We invite you to partner with us by joining us in prayer for our ministry.  Find a list of current prayer needs by country below.

India:

– Pray for the Lord to bring us more Godly staff to serve in India.

– Pray for the continued growth and development of the ministry in India

Monterrey:

– Pray for the Lord’s wisdom and guidance as we seek to grow, develop, and go deeper in the ministry in Monterrey.

-Pray for the new students who are being considered for the Hope Education program in the fall.

Cancun:

-For wisdom as we continue building relationships with local children’s homes/ministry partners.

– For God’s continued leading as we desire to zero in on a specific area of outreach.

Nigeria:

– Pray for the village we work with as we seek to use community development as the avenue of reaching the orphan child.

– Pray for the education/tutoring center that was opened in January. Currently ten students are coming to class four days a week to learn the basics of English. The hope is that this will enable them to do better in their English speaking school.

– Pray for more staff to join our ministry here.

US:

-Pray for our US staff as they provide support to the various missions bases and raise awareness and funds for the ministry.

 

Year End Donation

December 23, 2010

Thank you for your continued partnership with us in providing “care for today and hope for tomorrow” to orphans around the world. We truly appreciate your love and support. If you would like to make a year end donation by December 31, 2010, here are 3 ways for you to give…

1. MAIL

Please make checks payable to Back2Back Ministries and mail to (postmarked by 12/31/2010):

P.O. Box 70
Mason, OH 45040

2. ONLINE

Donate online at www.back2back.org.

3. PHONE

For stock transfers or credit card donations, call Karen at the U.S. office at 513-754-0300 ext. 3.

Give a Life-Changing Gift to an Orphan in Need

November 29, 2010

This Christmas, give a life-changing gift to an orphan in need.  Choose from dozens of items in our gift catalog to help the children that Back2Back serves in Mexico, Nigeria and India!  Your gift will make a lasting impact in the life of a child this Christmas.  This is a great way for individuals, families and churches to celebrate the true spirit of the Christmas season!

If you did not receive our Christmas gift catalog, please contact us at 513-754-0300 and we will be happy to send one to you.


Thankfulness, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

November 23, 2010

I remember as a child sitting around the Thanksgiving table with my family and all of us taking a turn to say what we were thankful for. The common things mentioned were family, friends, warm house, clothes, and it never failed that someone was thankful for turkey! We always mentioned the things that we had and gave thanks for those things. In my mind I would compare myself with someone who didn’t have the possessions or positions I did, and sincerely thank God that He had chosen to give those things to me.

After working closely with the people in the Rio, an impoverished community that Back2Back serves, my thoughts on giving thanks have changed a bit. It is easy to look at poverty and feel sympathy, pity, and guilt about what we have and what they don’t.  However, have we ever thought that poverty could be a thing to give thanks for in and of itself?

Poverty is defined as “the state of one with insufficient resources” (Merriam-Webster). It is the knowledge that you can’t take care of yourself and your family on your own. With poverty come dependence and humility and the deep realization that you need help, that you can’t satisfy your own needs. Many times we look on poverty through our self-sufficient lenses and are disgusted by it. However isn’t humility and dependence on God to satisfy our needs exactly what our Father in Heaven desires of us?

Often, when we have all the material possessions we need the thing we lack is dependence on God. We are able in many ways to provide for our own needs. We don’t really need Him. When we have too much we are tempted to disown the Lord, forget about Him and say “Who is the Lord?” (Proverbs 30:9).

In Matthew 5,  Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ‘Blessed’ is a word that means so much more than happiness. It means a spiritual joy and well-being.  Oh how much eternal joy a person has whose spirit is dependent on God and humbled before Him!

Recently, I was talking to a Mexican friend who experienced a severe time of financial need before coming to serve with Back2Back. His told me stories of walking four miles to get to school because he couldn’t pay for a bus ticket and about how he and his sisters would go to bed early at night because it helped them forget about the pain in their gnawing stomachs.

“That time was hard,” he said, “But I wouldn’t trade what I learned for anything. During those years I saw the Lord’s provision for me in ways I never could have dreamed.”

He then went on to tell story after story of the miraculous ways his Father in heaven provided him with food, clothing, school supplies, etc. Stories of people calling and inviting him and his sisters to eat the day they ran out of food, others dropping by with bags of groceries right when they weren’t sure what they would have for dinner, stories of finding the materials he needed for school laying on the side of the road. As a result of his poverty, the man’s faith in God is unlike any I have seen.

The Kingdom of God is about the least being the greatest, the last being first, and the weak being strong so that ultimately the Lord is glorified. We can praise God for weakness, humility, and poverty when it causes us to be dependent on Him and when it builds in us a testimony of His faithfulness.

Are there ways in which you can thank God for poverty this Thanksgiving?

Thank you!

November 12, 2010

Thanks to all of you who joined us last night for Back2Back’s fall banquet! Over 650 friends of the ministry attended the event, sharing with us in a celebration of God’s relentless pursuit of the heart of the orphan child. Thank you for coming alongside us as we provide “care for today, hope for tomorrow” to orphans around the world. We are truly grateful for your ongoing support.

To those of you who were unable to attend, learn more about Back2Back’s orphan care efforts, by watching our new video, which premiered at last night’s event.

NASCAR Driver, Carl Edwards, and Copart Team Up to Auction Edwards’ Harley Davidson Motorcycle and Race Memorabilia to Benefit Back2Back Ministries’ Orphan Care Program

October 25, 2010

Carl Edwards with his XR1200TM Harley Davidson Sportster, which he is auctioning online to benefit Back2Back.

Copart, Inc., a leading online vehicle auction company, today announced it is teaming up with Roush Fenway Racing driver, Carl Edwards, for a promotion and online auction of his personal memorabilia.  Carl Edwards intends to donate all proceeds from the auction to benefit Back2Back Ministries’ orphan care program in Monterrey, Mexico. Back2Back Ministries is a non-profit organization that provides for orphans and impoverished families around the world with locations in Monterrey and Cancun, Mexico, Jos, Nigeria and Hyderabad, India.

“This partnership is an exciting way for Copart to support Back2Back,” said Todd Guckenberger, Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries.  “While they promote their auction via their social networking program, they are raising enormous amounts of visibility for our organization and helping to meet the practical needs of the orphaned children we serve.”

“We are incredibly proud to be the connecting piece of the puzzle in this campaign to support Back2Back Ministries,” said Copart CEO Jay Adair. “The opportunity to serve as the vehicle between Carl Edwards and Back2Back in raising money for this charity is tremendous and demonstrates a core value that we at Copart stand for.”

Both Copart and Back2Back Ministries will use social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogging and other viral marketing tactics to help drive people to the charity auction and sweepstakes, where they can become Copart.com members for free.  Once a member, fans will be able to bid on items that include Edwards’ used fire suit, autographed pit crew uniform, a hood off the No. 60 Copart Ford that Edwards raced in Nashville this season, and a Harley Davidson that Edwards won at the Nationwide Road America race in June.

“Sitting at the drivers meeting in Road America, they showed all of the drivers this really cool looking motorcycle that the winner of the race would win,” said Carl Edwards.  “I knew that if I won the race, that motorcycle would be mine. So, I was talking to a friend of mine, Lonnie Clouse who serves orphans through Back2Back Ministries, about selling the bike if I won and giving the proceeds to his orphanage. After we talked about, I was thinking about how I was going to sell this motorcycle. Luckily, I have the perfect sponsor to sell a vehicle online and raise money. This is a perfect case of everything falling into place and I’m really proud of working with Copart in order to make this happen.”

The live online auction will occur on November 15, 2010 at Copart.com, but fans can start placing their maximum bids today. Bid at copart.com or by visiting the sweepstakes section of Copart’s Facebook fan page.

You are Invited to Back2Back Ministries’ Fall Fundraising Dinner

October 20, 2010

Cincinnati Friends: Back2Back Ministries’ Fall Fundraising Dinner is on Thursday, November 11th at 6pm in West Chester, Ohio at the Savannah House. Join us as we explore the various Back2Back ministry sites and hear how Back2Back is providing care to orphans around the globe. $75/per person. To RSVP or for more information, contact Diane Siemer at dsiemer@back2backministries.org

Join us at Back2Back’s Fall Fundraising Dinner

October 6, 2010

Cincinnati Friends: Back2Back Ministries’ Fall Fundraising Dinner is on Thursday, November 11th at 6pm in West Chester, Ohio at the Savannah House. Join us as we explore the various Back2Back ministry sites and hear how Back2Back is providing care to orphans around the globe. $75/per person. To RSVP or for more information, contact Diane Siemer at dsiemer@back2backministries.org


Join us for a Zumbathon!

August 16, 2010

Cincinnati Friends:  Join us on Sunday, August 22nd at 3pm for a Zumbathon fundraiser at the Nisbet Park (amphitheater) by the Loveland bike trail. Bring your friends and family to this fun Latin-inspired workout, led by certified Zumba instructor, Jenna Schroeder.  Special guest speaker, Beth Guckenberger, will share a few thoughts on orphan care.  $10 suggested donation (children can attend for free).

You are invited . . .

July 22, 2010

Back2Back Ministries Hurricane Alex Prayer Service

WHEN: Thursday, July 22nd – 7:00 – 8:30

WHERE: Vineyard Community Church Chapel

11340 Century Circle East
Cincinnati, OH 45246-3316

As you may know, Monterrey, Mexico was hit hard by 40 inches of rain as a result of Hurricane Alex two weeks ago.  The Back2Back Mexico campus sustained fairly significant damage.  The Rio communities (squatters villages) where Back2Back serves also suffered greatly.  Flooding from this storm has presented significant challenges in the communities and children’s homes where we serve.

We want to invite those in Greater Cincinnati to gather in support of Back2Back.  The evening will consist of:

– a time of praise and worship

– some pictures and information on the impact of the storm on Back2Back

– a time of prayer for the overall ministry of Back2Back and for some very specific prayer requests directly from the staff in Monterrey

– a video update and (and internet access in Monterrey permitting)  a Live Video Skype call directly with Back2Back Mexico staff

Lemonade and Bracelets: Help for Hurricane Alex Relief

July 19, 2010

Abby, and her best friend, Annika love making friendship bracelets.  Yesterday, they decided to use their hobby to help a greater cause.  They hosted a bracelet and lemonade stand in front of their neighborhood pool to benefit Back2Back hurricane relief efforts in Monterrey, Mexico.  Excited about the opportunity to help victims of Hurricane Alex, Abby’s younger sisters, Grace & Rachel, jumped in, helping at the lemonade stand, and even buying some bracelets for themselves.  Later, Grace, Rachel, and Abby’s brother, Luke, also donated money they had already set-aside to tithe.  In the end, Abby & Annika also contributed their babysitting money, bringing the total amount raised to $100!

Back2Back thanks all those, like Abby and Annika, who give of their time and resources to enable us to continue to provide “care for today and hope for tomorrow” to orphans in need around the world!

Top Left (clockwise): Abby, Luke, Annika, Grace, and Rachel

Perspective from a Back2Back US Intern, by Carolyn Gagliardi, US Summer Intern

June 10, 2010

Working on a project in the Back2Back office

We went around my classroom at Taylor University saying where our internships were for the summer.  Many of my business management classmates were working for major corporations and were getting paid big money for their summer internships. I am not saying that I am some kind of martyr for interning for a non-profit organization this summer. I feel very blessed and grateful that I have this opportunity and that I can fulfill my internship requirement for a company that has a great purpose, seeing as the idea of wearing black pants every day for the rest of my life scares me.

As my classmates and I were sharing, I was thinking of my internship and how I had no idea what this summer would hold.  I had interned in Mexico for Back2Back two summers ago and found a lot of agreement between my spirit and the organization. I think Back2Back’s heart for the orphan is lined up with God’s heart and I wanted to be part of that again.

Me, during my Back2Back summer internship in Mexico several years ago

So my first week in the office was filled with surprises on really how much goes into the organization.  The office is busy five days a week with everything from marketing Back2Back to planning the details of each trip down to each and every persons form and flight.  There are eight people here in the Cincinnati office, who work diligently to make the organization run successfully. In talking to each person I found that they have a deep understanding of what the effects of their work do long term for the kingdom.  What an incredible knowledge to have that understanding in your work.

I will be the first to say that God can be glorified in anything we do, for He is sovereign.  So it is true that God can use us to impact His kingdom through any job.  As I have been working the past week here at Back2Back I have found that some work is hard to do. The interns that serve onsite in Mexico, Nigeria, and India are unpaid.  Two years ago when I did this it was no problem.  I didn’t think twice about this concept and served joyfully. Here at the office I have found it harder to have the same perspective as a “missionary” in an office.  I think this struggle shows the way I limit God and put my works on a totem pole of most effective to least effective.  I think if we really understood God, how in our weakness he is strong and how he delights in showing us mercy (Micah 7:18), this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.  So why would I change my attitude for being unpaid working in the office as opposed to physically with the orphans?  Even saying that I feel so embarrassed and selfish, but this honest concept is one I think we need to mull over.

In Genesis 2, Adam works in the garden and God created Him to work diligently and joyfully.  I know that I was created to work, but I admit that even though I am passionate about serving the orphan child, I still find that I can be motivated by money. In Romans, it talks about working as though we are working for the Lord.  I have a feeling that if God was my supervisor, I wouldn’t be complaining about wages.  Instead, I would be glad to work and I would do my very best.  This internship has caused me to wonder if I would you work if I was not getting paid.  Is money my motivation for doing a job?  I understand that in order to live I will have to work to eat, pay bills, enjoy life, and survive.  It’s true that God can use money to bless me in immeasurable ways, and it is not bad to make money, but I pray that I will do my job well out of a desire for excellence, seeking to honor God, not necessarily just because of a paycheck.

Cinco de Mayo Open House

May 13, 2010

Thanks to all those who came out to our Cinco de Mayo Hope Program Open House last week! The students and staff from the Hope Program enjoyed getting a chance to meet with you! Here are a few pictures from the evening.

Flying Pig Race Fundraiser Update

May 10, 2010

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Flying Pig races in Cincinnati this past weekend! We appreciate all who ran and everyone who cheered, even in the rain! Many runners raised money for Back2Back through generous donations from sponsors. Four Back2Back Mexico staff members and one of our Hope Program students completed the full marathon. Other staff and friends of the ministry completed the half-marathon and/or team relay. Check out the upcoming Back2Back Fall magazine for more details about the event. We will be having a Back2Back Flying Pig team for the race next year as well!

Beth Guckenberger, Abby Carlin and Chelsie Puterbaugh completed the Flying Pig relay

Matt Cooper, Back2Back Mexico staff, completed the full marathon

Mauricio, Matt Cooper, Antonio, Jonathan, Kurt Kersey & Tim Couch

Hope Program Cooking Show, by Chelsie Puterbaugh, Back2Back US Staff

May 5, 2010

Tuesday night, Back2Back hosted a Cinco de Mayo fundraiser at the Party Source in Newport, KY.  Two students from the Back2Back Hope Program* (more info on the program below), Sebastian and Oscar, gave a great cooking demonstration and food tasting for thirty-two guests!  All proceeds from the cooking show will go toward academic scholarships for Back2Back Hope Program students.

During the cooking event, Oscar and Sebastian shared stories about their lives, told the crowd about their favorite food, their most enjoyable cooking style, and how they knew they wanted to become “great chefs”.  They also answered cooking questions and shared culinary insights with the audience, such as how to properly peel a tomato (by shocking it with ice water), blanch a pepper, and how to extract flavor from rice.

Sebastian prepares Tamal Azteca, a Mexican lasagna, while Beth Guckenberger interprets

Sebastian adds the finishing touches to the Tamal Azteca dish

Oscar prepared Caldo Tlalpeno and Arroz a la Mexicana, two Mexican dishes

This event, for me, was about so much more than enjoying delicious food prepared by Sebastian and Oscar.  I was able to look beyond their amazing cooking skills and see God fulfilling His promises – to give them a hope, a future and so much more!  Their life-long dreams are becoming realities all thanks to the Hope Education Program.  The dreams and passions they thought were so distant and unattainable are now a present reality and joy in their lives.

Mauricio, Oscar, Matt and Sebastian (left to right). Mauricio and Matt are two Back2Back staff members, who, along with their families, act as house parents for Hope Program teens, like Sebastian and Oscar

*Through the Hope Education Program, we offer students from Mexican children’s homes a way to continue their education when free public school ends at ninth grade. The students stay on the Back2Back campus in homes with staff families, experiencing a healthy family life, perhaps for the very first time. Students are mentored, provided with an education, and encouraged to pursue their dreams so that they can become self-sustaining individuals who give back to their community. Only 4% of Mexicans complete college; those who do will become the leaders of tomorrow, forever shaping the direction of their country.

Back2Back Flying Pig Team Dinner

April 19, 2010

Attention all Back2Back Flying Pig Team Runners and Fans: We will be having a team dinner this Thursday night at Skyline Chili in Landen, Ohio from 5-7 p.m. Come and enjoy fellowship and food and receive more race day information! Hope to see you there!

You are Invited to the Back2Back Hope Program Open House in Cincinnati

April 12, 2010

Cincinnati Cinco de Mayo Cooking Show with Celebrity Chef and Hope Program Students!

March 31, 2010

Spaces are limited and reserved on a first come basis!

Help Back2Back Fundraise by Running in the Flying Pig Race!, by Kate David

March 13, 2010

Just a reminder that the Cincinnati Flying Pig Race is 49 days away! We are so excited to have a Back2Back team this year and have Hope Program students and      Back2Back Mexico staff running the race with us. Remember, the relay teams, 10k  and 5k on May 1st count as part of the race as well.  So, come walk, run or cheer on the team! Make sure to check out the B2B flying pig website for more details about how to get involved and/or sponsor a runner : adoptapig@me.com. (Thanks to Kurt Kersey for creating the site!) Hope to see everyone on May 1st and 2nd!!

Join the Back2Back Flying Pig Marathon Team or Sponsor a Runner!

February 26, 2010

The Flying Pig Marathon is a city-wide race held annually in Cincinnati, Ohio.  This year, the race is scheduled for May 2, 2010 at 6:30 a.m. and this year, for the first time ever, Back2Back Ministries is organizing a team of runners to raise funds for the needs in our three ministry sites by asking people to sponsor, or “adopt” a runner!  To date, the team consists of Todd & Beth Guckenberger, Matt & Julie Cooper, Tim Couch, Kurt Kersey, and Antonio Garcia Espinosa.  Click here to find out how to join the team and become a Back2Back Pig!  Not a runner?  Sign-up to sponsor a runner here.

Update on the Jepsons, by Beth Guckenberger, B2B Staff

February 19, 2010

Todd and I had the privilege of spending this last weekend in San Francisco, as guests of former Back2Back executive director, Dain Jepson, and his wife Terry.  The Jepsons are serving on the church staff of Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, California and we were able to spend time with them in fellowship and ministry. I offered a class to the staff wives, we hosted a meeting for those interested in traveling to Monterrey this summer, and then I spoke at three church services on Sunday.

Janet Miclean, Peninsula Covenant Church Pastor to Student and Families, introduces Beth before she speaks to the congregation

Speaking at the Jepson's new church, Peninsula Covenant Church

It was sweet in many ways, for Todd and I to recognize that Dain and Terry have moved “home”, they are close to family and in the same area they met and married twenty-five years ago.

We continue to miss them at Back2Back, but see many opportunities in the future for our ministry lives to intertwine.

Join Back2Back at the annual Summit of the Orphan

February 15, 2010

Join Back2Back Ministries at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Eden Prarie, Minnesota April 29-30, 2010. The Summit is fast approaching! Like no other event nationwide, Summit has become the gathering point and training hub for Christians committed to adoption, foster care and global orphans.

Something for Everyone…Whether a newcomer to church orphan ministry or a veteran, Summit VI will help build vision, resources and practical know-how for effective ministries: Headline plenary speakers including John Piper, Tom Davis, Al Mohler, and other national leaders, as well as compelling voices from the global church. Music and personal sharing from Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, and special performances by Peder Eide and the Desparation Band.

– More than 50 workshops delivering nuts-and-bolts for adoption, foster care and global orphan programs – designed for both laymen and leadership.

– Orphan care resources for church ministries, as well as personal orphan care and adoption journeys.

– 5 Hague-credit breakout sessions.

– Networking with respected adoption, global orphan and foster care organizations

REGISTER NOW!

For more information, visit Christian Alliance for Orphans, Summit VI

For questions please email info@christianalliancefororphans.org

We need your help sharing this opportunity with your church community and others that share a calling to care for orphans.

HERE ARE 5 WAYS YOU CAN SHARE SUMMIT VI:

1. Put up this free poster in your church or ministry

2. Write a blog post or article for your church (or personal) website

3. Offer this bulletin insert to your church leadership

4. Share this email with a friend from another church

5. Personally invite 3 people to join you at Summit

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Bringing Light to the Issue of Orphan Care, by Beth Guckenberger, Back2Back Staff

February 10, 2010

Todd and I just returned from the K-LOVE radio station’s annual Friends and Family Cruise on Premier Christian Cruises.  We were invited again this year to talk about orphan care on the cruise and join Family Christian Stores’ non-profit organization, the James Fund.  It was an amazing couple of days, as we heard fantastic Christian bands (David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, etc…), held seminars for the guests on orphan care and adoption, and raised thousands of dollars for one of our children’s homes, El Retiro Juvenil.   We met hundreds of people who have a heart for orphans and who are inviting them into their families and traveling to serve them in a way that evidences God’s pursuit of these children.

Like networking goes, we are hoping one door opens another and all the reasons why we were there last week we won’t totally see for some time.  We sure invited a lot of people to come visit one of our ministry sites.  We sent home papers explaining to all 2,600 passengers how they could continue to be involved financially with our ministry.   We fellowshipped with our partners in the James Fund in such a way that work didn’t seem so much like work at the end of the day…  isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?  Colossians 1:10 says “As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work.”  Join us in praying for the seeds we planted…

Steve Biondo, President of the James Fund, and I sharing about orphan care at a seminar

Northwestern Mutual Kelley Financial Group Wins National Community Impact Award for Service with Back2Back

January 26, 2010

Cincinnati’s Kelley Financial Group, a network office of Northwestern Mutual, is the recipient of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation 2010 Community Impact Award for their ongoing support of Back2Back Ministries (B2B).  Northwestern’s employees and clients have funded and built a teen home on our campus for the Hope Education Program students.  The $50,000 award was given to Back2Back to use toward scholarships and educational expenses of the Back2Back Hope Program students.  Thank you to Northwestern Mutual for your continued commitment to joining with Back2Back Ministries by providing “care for today and hope for tomorrow” to children in need.

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Back2Back Ministries!

November 25, 2009

As Thanksgiving approaches, we cannot help but celebrate the many ways in which God has been faithful and blessed Back2Back Ministries. We would like to take this opportunity to share just a few highlights from 2009 for which we’re thankful!

In Mexico: As a result of the Back2Back Hope Education Program, six children who we met when the ministry first began have now graduated from college, forever breaking the cycle of generational poverty in their families.

Junior, one of the six Back2Back Hope Program students who graduated from college this year (pictured with B2B Directors, Todd & Beth Guckenberger)

In Nigeria: We have expanded our full-time staff to include John and Corrie Guckenberger and Will and Theresa Reed. Through the generous land donation of Self-Sustaining Enterprises, we are beginning to develop a permanent Back2Back campus with staff and group housing. We are also launching the Hope Education Program in Nigeria and building an education center on this land, allowing us to provide more opportunities to the children that we serve.

Will & Theresa Reed will soon be joining the Back2Back Nigeria team

John & Corrie Guckenberger joined the Back2Back Nigeria staff this year

In India: We have begun a partnership with EJH Children’s Home, as the directors of this home share Back2Back’s vision to show love and provide care to children in need.  This particular home cares for children with disabilities, a ministry that is desperately needed in India, a country where those that have a handicap are marginalized by society.

A few of the children from EJH

In the U.S. Office: We have increased our staff in the US, allowing us to expand and improve our communications and have a greater impact in meeting the need of orphans. We also have begun a child sponsorship program, the Back2Back Shelter Program, which enables us to better meet the physical, spiritual and educational needs of the children we serve.

Beatriz

Beatriz, the first child to receive a sponsor through our new child sponsorship program

We truly cannot praise God enough for the ways in which He has blessed and provided for our ministry this year. These successes would not be possible without your commitment to partner with us. As we look toward the future, we are excited about how God is working through Back2Back Ministries.  Please know that you are a part of our Back2Back family and we truly appreciate your love and support of the orphan child.

Please keep the children we serve in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

Back2Back Christmas Gift Catalog: Give a Gift to a Child in Need

November 18, 2009

Celebrate the true spirit of Christmas by giving a life-changing gift to an orphan in need.  Choose from dozens of items in our gift catalog to help the children that Back2Back serves in Mexico, Nigeria and India!  Your gift will make a listing impact in the life of a child this Christmas!

View the gift catalog online and choose an item by clicking here.

Making an Impact from Indiana, by Claire Rogers, Back2Back US Staff

November 16, 2009

Last year, Steve Harney, president of Quality Printing of Anderson, Indiana joined us at our Mexico campus for a mission trip.   Serving with us at the children’s homes sparked a passion in him that ultimately led him to seek to find a way to use his resources to support the ministry.   Shortly after, he partnered with Back2Back by offering us high-quality printing at a significant discount, only charging for materials.  This partnership has been a tremendous blessing to our ministry, allowing us to expand communications, such as our magazine and our Christmas gift catalog.

A few days ago, we (Beth & Todd Guckenberger, Kristine Hall, Brian Bertke and I) had the opportunity to have lunch with Steve Harney and his staff.  Beforehand, we were given a tour of the facilities, catching a glimpse of our Fall 2009 magazine during the printing process.  If you’re on our mailing list, you can expect to receive it later this month.

Thanks to Steve Harney, Kay Cox and Beth Champ of Quality Printing for your support of the ministry!

Back2Back magazine pages ready to be bound

Back2Back magazine pages ready to be bound

During the printing process of Back2Back's Fall Magazine

During the printing process of Back2Back's magazine

Some of the US Staff at Quality Printing (L to R: Claire Rogers, Brian Bertke, Steve Harney, Kristine Hall, Todd Guckenberger)

Some US Staff visiting Quality Printing (L to R: Claire Rogers, Brian Bertke, Steve Harney, Kristine Hall, Todd Guckenberger)

Back2Back Christmas Cards

November 12, 2009

Lift Them Up Cards, by Back2Back Ministries, is pleased to offer Christmas cards that reflect God’s message of hope for orphans and His promise to hear their cry and lift them up from their distress. Proceeds from the purchase of this card will help Back2Back Ministries as they provide care for today and hope for tomorrow to orphans in need.

B2B Christmas Card

Three Ways to Place an Order
1. To pay by credit card call 513.754.0300 Monday through Thursday between 9am and 4 pm EST

2. Or, mail a check noting the desired number of sets in the memo line to: Christmas Cards, Back2Back Ministries, P.O. Box 70, Mason, OH 45040. Please add $4.95 shipping for one set or $10.35 shipping for 2-13 sets to your donation. Unless otherwise specified, cards will be shipped to the address listed on your check.

3. If you prefer, you can avoid shipping charges by picking up your cards from our office during regular business hours, at 8118 Corporate Way, Suite 201, Mason, OH, 45040. We recommend calling ahead (513.754.0300) to ensure someone will be available to assist you.

Back2Back Breakfast

November 3, 2009

Last week, Back2Back hosted a breakfast in Mason, Ohio.  The purpose of this particular event was to expose new people to the ministry by providing an opportunity to learn how Back2Back is meeting the orphan care need in Mexico, Nigeria and India.

Thank you to all those who attended or partnered with us to make this event a success.  We’re grateful for our supporters who weren’t there, as well as those who were able to partner with us by hosting tables.  For more information about being involved or attending our banquet next year, please contact us at 513-754-0300.

Annual Strategic Planning Retreat, by Claire Rogers, Back2Back US Staff

October 19, 2009

Recently, the US and Mexico staff gathered at our Mexico campus in Monterrey for our annual strategic planning retreat.  During the daytime sessions, we brainstormed how we might continue to grow and improve as an organization, while staying true to our mission to provide “care for today, hope for tomorrow” to orphans.  We also visited all our ministry sites, both children’s homes and communities such as the Rios and Cadereyta, and participated in team-building activities.

One evening, we attended a chapel service at one of the children’s homes we partner with, Casa Hogar Douglas.  Some of the girls from the children’s home performed a dance to “Lord I Lift Your Name on High.”  It was captured using the video feature on a camera that someone had on hand.  Check it out, along with some photos from the week, below.

Briefing before team building activities

Briefing before team building activities

Team building activity

Team building activity

The staff split into small groups for a series of team-building activities

The staff split into small groups for a series of team-building activities

Brian Bertke at Rio I

Brian Bertke at Rio I

Kristine Hall before a church service at Rio III

Kristine Hall with children from Rio III

Shooting video at Imperio de Amor

Shooting video at Imperio de Amor

A few staff members during a dinner out at El Pollo Loco

A few staff members during a dinner out at El Pollo Loco

Chris Ramos, spending time with the children at Del Norte Children's Home

Chris Ramos, spending time with the children at Del Norte Children's Home

Shooting video footage of Angel, one of our ministry partners at Cadereyta

Shooting video footage of Angel, one of our ministry partners at Cadereyta

A few members of the US staff at Cadereyta, one of the local communities where Back2Back serves

A few members of the US staff at Cadereyta, one of the communities that Back2Back serves

Cathy Huffer, Back2Back Mexico staff, with Meme, a local ministry partner

Cathy Huffer, Back2Back Mexico staff, with Meme, a local ministry partner

Back2Back US Staff

A few Back2Back staff members before heading back to Cincinnati

Christmas Cards from Back2Back are now available! All proceeds to benefit the children we serve!

September 28, 2009

Lift Them Up Cards, by Back2Back Ministries, is pleased to offer Christmas cards that reflect God’s message of hope for orphans and His promise to hear their cry and lift them up from their distress. Proceeds from the purchase of this card will help Back2Back Ministries as they provide care for today and hope for tomorrow to orphans in need.

B2B Christmas Cards

Three Ways to Place an Order
1. To pay by credit card call 513.754.0300 Monday through Thursday between 9am and 4 pm EST

2. Or, mail a check noting the desired number of sets in the memo line to: Christmas Cards, Back2Back Ministries, P.O. Box 70, Mason, OH 45040. Please add $4.95 shipping for one set or $10.35 shipping for 2-13 sets to your donation. Unless otherwise specified, cards will be shipped to the address listed on your check.

3. If you prefer, you can avoid shipping charges by picking up your cards from our office during regular business hours, at 8118 Corporate Way, Suite 201, Mason, OH, 45040. We recommend calling ahead (513.754.0300) to ensure someone will be available to assist you.