Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Join Back2Back in Serving Orphans

February 20, 2011

Learn how you can make a difference in the life of an orphan by serving alongside us at one of our many ministry sites.

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The Heart of Back2Back Ministries

February 20, 2011

Back2Back Director, Beth Guckenberger, shares about Back2Back’s mission to provide care for today and hope for tomorrow to orphans in need.

Last Day to Bid on Carl Edward’s Memorabilia to Benefit Back2Back

November 15, 2010

Today is the last day to enter the Copart.com charity auction of Nascar driver, Carl Edwards’ Harley Davidson motorcycle, firesuit, race car hood, and autographed pit crew shirt! All proceeds to benefit Back2Back Ministries! Register for FREE at copart.com to bid on Carl Edwards’ gear before it is too late!

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.

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

Wanna Play?, by Keith Ogilvie, Back2Back India Mission Trip Participant

September 23, 2010

The youth group at Braddock Street United Methodist Church (BSUMC) in Winchester, Virginia has participated in many mission trip projects over the course of the teenage years of my family’s six children. We have been to the hills of West Virginia and South Dakota and the streets of Chicago, New York and Lima, Peru. Over the years, we have helped to rebuild homes and spirits in storm damaged communities in Mississippi, North Carolina and Alabama. We have provided comfort to those whom are homeless in Washington, DC and in our own community.

God has blessed our church family with an abundance of love and resources. Our church’s leadership is equally blessed with a forward looking vision of God’s plan for mankind.

In the summer of 2010, our church’s youth and adults embarked on another mission project. Every three years, we select a foreign destination to deploy our love, talents and resources. Through our new friends at Back2Back Ministries, we chose Hyderabad, India.

We set off on our India mission trip on July 14. Four flights and thirty-six hours later, we were on the ground in Hyderabad. We were first greeted by the warm smiles of Back2Back staff asking, “Are you all from Virginia?” It was obvious that our team stood out in the busy crowd at baggage claim. But we knew that God had placed us with the correct people that would help us deliver our church’s talents and gifts.

Back2Back India is a well-run, organized, and motivated group of God’s disciples. Their goals are simple and ego-less: provide for the basic needs of the orphanages today, so that tomorrow can be better. Whether the goals are working toilets and septic system, reliable and safe drinking water, cot pads to sleep on, or a refrigerator, Back2Back and our group were able to execute with God’s grace and guidance.

However, our greatest gift (given and received) came in a simplistic use of an unthought-of talent. I would imagine that if one was to ask the children of Eternal Joy and Mercy Home, “What do you remember most about the Americans?,” the children might answer, “They played with us.”

While our team taught English and math, dug trenches, laid sewer pipes, and brought school supplies, cookware and toys, perhaps our most well-received gift was the joy of playing catch, skipping rope, painting fingernails, drawing in chalk or playing soccer and Kabaddi, an Indian game.

Only God knew from the onset of the mission, that the simple act of playing with a child would be so rewarding for everyone. Only God knew that clearing a 40’ by 40’ patch of earth on a steamy Indian summer day, and a soccer ball, would yield such great joy for sixty-four boys that same evening.

The brightness of a child’s smile is so renewing for one’s soul. The eye contact and connection made playing catch with a young child is such a blessing. The simple act of playing connects with children no matter their age, race, greed or religion.

God is great. God is amazing. God’s knows exactly what is required.

Butterfly Dining Hall, by Back2Back India Staff

September 15, 2010

In 2009, the Cincinnati Krohn Conservatory Butterfly Show featured butterflies and the culture of India.

A generous donation from the event’s gala dinner was given to Back2Back India to help build a dining hall for children at an orphanage near Hyderabad, India. For many years, the 250 children who we serve at the Mercy Hostel orphanage have eaten their simple meals of rice and dal outside in the courtyard, rain or shine.

During the summer, the temperatures can reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit; during monsoon season, the rains can be torrential for weeks. The dining hall was designed to provide a cool and dry place for the children to enjoy their meals. It will also provide a study area for the children between meals.

In July 2010, we participated in the dedication of the dining hall.

It was a joyous occasion for the children and guests. Although the facility is not completed – it still needs tables, chairs and some finishing touches – we saw the value of the project first hand.  The monsoon dropped continuous rain for two days but the children were able to take their meals inside the new dining hall building.

Thank you to the Krohn Conservatory, Back2Back and all the individuals who helped meet this important need for the children.

Thank You for Your Support!

July 15, 2010

Thank you for your support and prayers in the aftermath of Hurricane Alex.  A few thoughts from Back2Back Directors, Todd & Beth Guckenberger . . .

He Loves them More, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

January 27, 2010

This past week I had a conversation that entirely blessed me. Lalo is a pastor and the director of a children’s home we work with called Imperio de Amor (IDA). I was at IDA with a group of Americans playing with the near fifty kids who were at the home that day. In the midst of the play I got a moment to talk to Lalo and to hear some of his story. IDA got a call and is expecting to receive five more kids within the next two weeks. Already IDA has an average of eighty kids. I couldn’t even imagine the weight of responsibility Lalo must feel for these kids. I asked him how he was doing and if he ever felt the pressure or burden of caring for so many hurting children. He said that the only time it really becomes hard is when there is not enough food nor money to pay bills.  Then, he said, he feels the pressure. Lalo continued to tell me about a time he felt that pressure in the first few months that he started IDA and the amazing way the Lord came through for them. This is his story:

“Two years ago, when IDA was just a few months old, we ran into a bit of a crisis. There was one day when the money just ran out. The kids were hungry and asking me for food but there was none to give them. We had already borrowed $2000.00 pesos to pay bills and more bills were due. I was scared and not sure where the money or food was going to come from. I prayed and prayed. ‘This isn’t the character of God to abandon His children’, I thought to myself. That night I went to sleep praying and troubled. During the night I had a dream. In my dream I saw a Back2Back staff member come to the kitchen in the casa hogar (children’s home) with a carpenter. He said that the carpenter was there to fix something in the kitchen. I watched as the men went into the kitchen to work. Slowly the carpenter turned and I saw His face… it was Jesus! I woke up and went to the kitchen in the morning to see if there was food. There was none there. Just then one of the boys ran in saying “Hermano! hermano! There is a man out on the road with a truck full of bread and milk.” I went outside to find this to be true. This man had no idea we were in need of food and he was there to provide breakfast for the children. Later that day an American man came to visit the children’s home. He brought with him a gift of $700.00 dollars! Enough to pay our debts, the bills, and to buy more food! God was so faithful to provide for his children.”

I was in amazement of our wonderful Savior as I heard this story! I asked Lalo if the kids at the home knew this story. He said that they all knew it! He wants the Children to know how their Father in Heaven takes care of them on a personal level! He shares with them every time God provides.

I love that our God loves these children so much more than we ever could. He provides for them even when we can’t. Jesus is the one who is watching out for them, loving them, feeding them… thank you Jesus for your mercy! Thank you, Lord, for surrounding these kids with caretakers who love you and reflect your presence. Thank you for being our good Abba Father…

Chipping Away, by Back2Back India

December 30, 2009

Hyderabad is located in the Deccan Plateau region of India where there are ancient granite stones shaped into spectacular sometimes bizarre formations of rock, reminiscent of southwest United States like Arizona.

These are awesome and enormous rocks. Entire neighborhoods exist in these rocky areas. First the rocks must be cleared to allow construction of these homes and buildings. When out for my morning walks, I often see a group of laborers working on a job site. They chisel all the rocks by hand.

A huge sheet of granite is slowly and patiently split into smaller and smaller pieces until there is room for a foundation. Then the small square bricks of granite are used in building the walls of the home.  What a huge job for these workers and what terrible carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms they must have!

Many days, I feel like one of those workers. Back2Back is here to help provide for orphans in India. And this is an enormous task. There are over 1 billion people in India including 400 million children. India has more children than the entire US population and it is estimated that 9% of them are orphans which mean that there are about 35 million orphan children in this country. There are many ministries and organizations here trying to help these children. Some of these organizations focus on street children; some on abolishing child labor; others support education or vocational training for girls. With so many needs and so many children, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. So, we take each day and each opportunity to chip away at this gigantic challenge.

Thank you for you prayers and support of the Back2Back India program. Together we can break the hard challenges into building blocks for the future of the needy children in India.

Learning English, by Back2Back India

December 7, 2009

India has twenty-two official languages and thousands of dialects. Hindi and English are national languages. In Andra Pradesh, the state where Back2Back India operates, the most common language is Telugu. A child in India first learns their local language then studies that language plus Hindi when they get to school. By 5th grade when they start English, the children are learning three languages! Some schools called English Medium schools, teach in English from kindergarten onwards which gives the children a better exposure to this world language.

The children at Eternal Joy Home, one of the children’s homes served by Back2Back India speak Telugu. When we met them about a year ago, they knew only a few English phrases. Some of the children were given the opportunity to study at an English medium school this year. Although it has been difficult for them to jump into this new language, they are happy to be at that school. They have also received encouragement from American and British friends who came to visit, brought books and educational games and spent time interacting with the children.

Over time, we have seen an improvement in the English skills of the children. They are getting good marks (grades) at school and several received awards recently.

In this video, one of the young girls who spoke no English earlier this year, now sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

We thank God for the opportunities He provides for these children. Please pray with us for their continued studies and the hope that Back2Back India can help break the cycle of poverty through education.

Sing a New Song, by Back2Back India

November 20, 2009

Back2Back India recently sponsored a concert at one of the children’s homes. The worship band from our urban Indian church is comprised of young people of different ethnic backgrounds. They sing and dance, play drums, guitars and keyboards and the sound system is loud. This is not the typical musical performance in rural Indian villages. About 250 children served by Back2back India gathered for the concert. The songs were sung in their native language, Telugu, with the words to the songs projected on a big screen behind the band. This was a great opportunity for the children to see a modern worship band and learn new songs including some action songs.

For several weeks, the children have been talking about the concert. Madhuri, one of the children who attended the concert, is severely mentally challenged. She is living at the children’s home because her father died and her mother was unable to care for her. Maduhuri, who is now about six years old, has some behavioral issues and does not speak. However, she loves music. During a visit several weeks after the event, we asked the children about the concert. They quickly pointed out that Madhuri had learned one of the action songs. It was a joy to see her singing and dancing to the Lord!

Check out the video below of Madhuri singing the song:

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

Viva Mexico!, by Jim Betscher

September 30, 2009

September 16 is the Mexican Independence Day. The holiday is actually celebrated more on the night before than on the 16th. It reminds me of New Years Eve compared to New Years Day. The tradition here is to have a party on the night of the 15th, and at midnight the president leads the whole country in a cheer. At the end of the cheer, the president says “Viva Mexico” and everyone else joins in with “Viva!”

This year, Back2Back helped plan a party, organized by the church at Casa Hogar Douglas. The eighty kids that live at this children’s home were so proud to open their home up to the public to host this party.

The children at Douglas Children's Home helped decorate for the party

The children at Douglas Children's Home helped decorate for the party

They planned and worked to decorate and then they entertained the guests for the evening. We had about one hundred guests who helped us celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day with the children.  I am so thankful that the kids had an opportunity to enjoy this evening. This is something that they might be doing as a family if they had an opportunity to live in a home with their parents. Living in a children’s home, many times they miss out on events like this. But events like this are so important because they are part of their Mexican heritage.

The children dressed up in costumes to celebrate

The children dressed up in costumes to celebrate

The staff from Back2Back helped with booths, similar to the type that you would see at a carnival.

Back2Back staff enjoyed the celebration

Back2Back staff enjoying the celebration

We catered a delicious Mexican buffet dinner and played games with prizes. The children even performed a short program with the Mexican pledge and national anthem.

The children recited the National Anthem

The children recited the Mexican Pledge and the National Anthem

Some of the youngest kids did a traditional Mexican dance for the crowd and JJ Lail from our staff led everyone in the “grito” or “shout”.

Needless to say, they were all tired at the end of the night but they were very content too. “Viva Mexico!!!”

Rajeshekar, by Todd Guckenberger

August 14, 2009

I spent some time today talking with the Back2Back directors of our ministry in India.  I was encouraged to hear how they are making a significant impact in a small orphanage of about twenty-two children.  The orphanage can cover the cost of rent, food and the basic needs of all twenty-two orphans for a mere 400 dollars a month.  When Back2Back considers partnering with and serving at a particular orphanage, we consider several factors.  One of the criteria for partnership is that the leaders of the children’s home must deeply value the spiritual growth and development of their children and be dedicated to providing them with the best education possible, as that is their only hope of breaking free from poverty.  The directors of the orphanages must be committed to raising children who make a positive difference in the world around them. The Back2Back field director in India described how the demeanor of the children has become more joyous since he and his wife have begun to consistently serve there alongside the orphanage director to help the home provide for the basic needs of the children.

All the children there have received a full scholarship to a local top-ranking private school, allowing them to receive an excellent education.  I was especially impressed by one particular story that they shared about a boy named Rajeshekar, who was born without hands.  He is one of the top students in his class; he is extremely bright and has an unbelievable potential to succeed academically.  But at the same time I was incredibly discouraged thinking about the fact that his school years would be the best years of his life.  In India, children born into a low-class are treated as outcasts and have to fight severe discrimination their entire lives. Those born with birth defects are even more shunned by society.  His class within the caste system, along with a serious birth defect seemed to leave him doubly disadvantaged.  I immediately commented to him that these might be the best years of his life. After all, his children’s home and school were sheltering him from the harsh reality he would likely face after graduating and leaving the orphanage.  Our director agreed.  We continued talking, discussed our role in helping children like Raj overcome the enormous odds stacked against them.  We concluded that the only way of helping those who are marginalized is to continue to create relationships and partnerships in India that provide us with opportunities to walk alongside the “least of these.”

It does not matter if it is India, Mexico, Nigeria, or another part of the world.  Regardless of location, God has called us to serve widows and orphans.  To Back2Back it is a clear commandment and call in our hearts and by His grace He will continue to lead us to the marginalized.

My prayer for Rajeshekar is that we can come alongside him and empower him to pursue the dreams and goals that God has placed in His heart.  Please pray about getting involved with this children’s home, through our ministry in India.

Below is a video of Rajeshekar learning to ride a scooter with a little encouragement from the Back2Back staff member who was filming.

Vessel, by Beth Guckenberger

June 22, 2009

This week we are being visited by Calumet Christian School out of Columbus.  One of their teachers, Chris, has been coming here for a couple of years and now comes twice a year, once with his school and once with his church. They are a group of men who have decided to focus on one area of our ministry, a squatter’s village we call “Cadereyta”  They are choosing to invest deeply in the people and the mission happening there.   He showed me this video his team put together from their trip in January.

There are so many needs in the world, so many good causes, so many people who would benefit from our gifts, or our time, that some days it’s overwhelming to me to decide where and with whom I will spend my energy.  Watching this video was a good reminder for me that we aren’t responsible for taking the gospel anywhere.  God is already working, we just need to go and show up and be the vessel or extension of His already present pursuit of people.  The lives you see in the video are being impacted by a small group of men from Columbus, Ohio.  It begs me to ask the questions:  Where else can we be a reflection of God’s goodness?  And what obstacles can I remove that prevent me from leaning into an area, relationship or need God might be calling me to serve?

Rio III, by Cathy Huffer

June 15, 2009

Back2Back partners with a church in Monterrey that serves an extremely impoverished area called Rio III.  The community was built on top of an old garbage dump.   Families construct shelter by piecing together scraps and pieces of wood from the landfill.  Most families live on a few dollars a day; their sole source of income is from collecting the trash surrounding their homes and recycling it.  We work with these families, mostly single moms, because they are literally at the cusp of making the difficult decision of whether or not they will choose to place their child in one of the children’s homes.  Our goal is to help them to provide for their children’s basic needs, preventing them from reaching the point where they need to drop off their children at one of the homes.

This week a group from Back2Back Ministries visited Rio III.  We provided food and clothing for about 200 children and 100 women and allowed the woman to pick out a new outfit, thanks to a generous donation of clothing from CAbi.  Many of these women are single mothers who have multiple children and work long days.  The women who are married often have husbands that are gone all day working.  They are so focused on providing for their family that they have very little time or resources to devote to themselves.  It’s evident from the looks on the womens’ faces as they wear their new clothes that they have a renewed sense of confidence.

“Thank you CAbi for this big blessing,” one woman said smiling at the camera as she did a model-like runway turn.

Back2Back Ministries, along with the families of Monterrey, have been so blessed by this outreach.  The video below is a visual thank you from some of the recipients of CAbi’s generosity.

Church at Casa Hogar Douglas, by Mandy Lail

June 4, 2009

Recently, some Back2Back staff members organized Sunday morning church services at Casa Hogar Douglas (CHD), one of our children’s homes in the Monterrey, Mexico area.  God has blessed this new venture with an awesome worship leader; extremely talented, gifted with the children and such an obvious heart for the Lord.  The old chapel is pretty run down and through some generous supporters they have repaired the roof and modified the walls for better air flow.  It’s such a blessing to the CHD workers to have a place to worship where they feel comfortable and the kids too.

The greatest blessing for me is worshiping among the kids from CHD.  There is such power in the concert of voices, such power in the prayer and praises being offered by the B2B staff, the CHD staff, adults from the community and even the kids as well.  The Lord’s presence is obvious.  Every time I am there, each time we praise His Holy Name as we sing, I feel His pleasure so strong it feels as if we have supernaturally carried the children right to His throne room and laid them at His feet.  Now I’ve been to a lot of good churches, even worked at two great ones, but nothing has compared to worshiping among the least of these…

Thanks to Caroline Burns for capturing the service on video.  Click below to view:

Worshiping during a Sunday service at Casa Hogar Douglas

Welcome from Todd & Beth Guckenberger!

June 1, 2009

Welcome to Back2Back Ministries Official Blog!  Staff from Mexico, Nigeria, India and the home office in the US will be sharing their thoughts on life, God, faith and orphan care.  We invite you to come alongside us in our journey and share your thoughts and comments!