Posts Tagged ‘Imperio de Amor’

A Fresh Start: New Students Enter the Hope Education Program, by Kelly Velasco, Back2Back Mexico Staff

August 24, 2010

Yesterday, we welcomed ten new teens into the Hope Education Program.

Top Row (L to R): Jaime, Adan, Mario, Camilo, Jovani; Bottom Row (L to R): Yadira, Selene, Yaquelin, Shirley, Shannon

Through the Hope Education Program, we offer students from 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 (house parents), experiencing a healthy family life. Students are mentored, provided with an education, and encouraged to pursue their dreams so that they can become self-sustaining individuals.

Selene, Shirly and Shannen are the three new girls living in the Hope House, the home where my husband and I live as house parents.

(Left to right) Selene, Shirley & Shannon

They are from Villa de Juarez and Manantial de Amor. Selene is fifteen years old and the other two girls are sixteen. They started high school yesterday. They are easing into their new transition and as they say, their new life is “super chido” which means “way cool”.

The John House welcomed Jesus Mario “Chuy” from Douglas, Adan and Camilo from Imperio de Amor, and Jaime (a.k.a. “Jimmy”) from the government orphanage DIF Capullos.

Mario (Chuy)




Jovani, who is from Galeana, will be living in the Joseph House with Juan and Rosa Porta.


The boys walked into their new homes and didn’t skip a beat. They are the new kids on campus along with three other students in the Esther and Joseph Houses. Already, they are being faced with the challenge of learning how to navigate the public transportation system to and from their new schools. They are attending schools with some of Monterrey’s wealthiest families and are being challenged to compete academically and blend in socially with this new crowd. Additionally, they are learning to manage new jobs on and off campus to help pay for their transportation. As house parents, we are excited to say that the seasoned veteran students in the Hope Program have extended a warm welcome to the new kids on campus and are showing them the ropes. As house parents, we are full of anticipation, eager to see how the Lord will use us and the teens who we have already invested in to shape and mold the new students. We are hopeful that with the start of an education, the love of a family environment, and the encouragement of other believers, that these seeds have landed on fertile soil ready to grow.

His Unflagging Love, by Ally Horine, Back2Back Mexico Trip Participant from Northstar Vineyard Youth Group

June 21, 2010

Playing with a new friend

Our trip started out with the group arriving on campus to discover that Back2Back was bussing kids from the children’s home, Imperio de Amor, to their campus so that we could have a pool party and cookout with them. We were all tired from traveling, but excited to play with the children. We played with the girls then the boys got in the pool. Instantly, I bonded with a boy named Alejandro. We played and spent time together until it was time for them to leave. I was sad to see them go, but excited to know that we would be seeing them again soon.

On the last day, we took the same kids on a field trip to ride bikes. When they arrived at the park, they all chose “Americanos” to partner with for the bike-ride. Instantly, Alejandro chose me. We didn’t get the bikes until about an hour after we got to the park, so until then we played together. From running around, to throwing water on each other, we had a blast. At one point, this little trolley bus came around to give tours of the park. Alejandro saw the trolley and instantly ran ahead to catch it and grab a seat. I jogged behind him, due to the selfishness in me that would not run in the heat.

I was one of the last to get on the bus, but when I got on I looked around and spotted Alejandro with his hand on the seat next to him, saving it for me. At that moment, I knew why I was in Mexico. Not to do service projects, not to bond with my youth group, but to be a friend to Alejandro. God sent me all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio to Monterrey, Mexico just to spend time with this boy and be his friend. He loves the orphan child. His unflagging love continues to amaze me every minute I spend with Him. Experiencing and sharing His love was one of the most powerful experiences of my life.

After our bike ride, our group stopped for a photo with the kids we'd paired with. I'm the second person in from the left, posing with Alejandro.

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…

Party Fun at Imperio de Amor, by Christy Ross, Back2Back Mexico Staff

November 2, 2009

Recently, a group from Christ United Methodist Church in North Carolina served alongside us at the Monterrey children’s homes.  They were able to go to Imperio de Amor children’s home and have a birthday party celebrating the kids’ birthdays that are in July through September. The group brought money to buy tons of candy and a pinata. They also brought along festival type games to play with the kids. There was a big cake made up of cupcakes (quequitos),the group blew up balloons, and they had fun with the kids as they opened up their gifts.

One of my love languages is gifts. I love receiving gifts but I also love giving gifts. I am thankful I can be used in this way working hard to come up with great gifts that each child can enjoy. It also makes me smile thinking of the kids as they open up something that is specifically for them and that there are lots of people to get excited with them at the parties.

Thanks Christ United Methodist Church for loving on the kids and for buying them a pinata, candy, and for bringing the little skateboards for the boys!  Also I want to give a big thanks again to the second grade classes at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy for making the birthday cards, necklaces, pencil decorations, and placemats. They are all so cute and each child received one for their birthday.

Enjoy the pictures from the party!

Birthday Party Fun at IDA 1

10.29.09 - Birthday Party Fun at IDA 2

10.29.09 - Birthday Party Fun at IDA 3

10.29.09 - Birthday Party Fun at IDA 4

10.29.09 - Birthday Party Fun at IDA 5

10.29.09 - Birthday Party Fun at IDA 6

You Have Been Saved, by Shannon Kahrs, B2B Mission Trip Guest

July 23, 2009

It was the first day serving in Monterrey.  It was our second trip as a family to Back2Back Mexico, but it was our first time there since we adopted our five-year old daughter, Yanni, from China three years ago.

The entire family together at the beginning of our week in Monterrey

The entire family together at the beginning of our week in Monterrey

We worked on building projects at a children’s home. The orphanage basically consisted of three large rooms:  a kitchen/dining hall, a girls’ dorm and a boys’ dorm.   In the mid-afternoon, Yanni had to use the bathroom.  Knowing the conditions of the bathrooms, if I’m honest, my first thought was “Can’t she wait?”

I shooed away the flies and sat my daughter on the toilet. I wanted to tell her not to touch anything but I knew it was futile.  As I waited for her, I leaned against the wall praying that she would finish quickly.  My prayers weren’t answered, or so I thought.  Tired from working in the heat, I slid down the wall and slumped on the floor to wait, as she was taking a long time.  I tried to reassure Yanni that the flies wouldn’t hurt her. The other toilet was jammed and swarming with even more flies.  The sink was falling off the wall but did trickle water. There was a dirty bar of soap in the sink and not a towel in sight. From where I was sitting, I could see bunk beds and a few cribs all lined up.

As I watched Yanni’s little body on that huge toilet and the flies swirling about her, it hit me. This is where my daughter came from – we saved her from this life. No sooner had I had that thought when God whispered in my ear, “Daughter – this is what I saved YOU from.”  I spent the rest of that time saying “Gracias” over and over.  From that point on, I was no longer worried about the physical conditions just grateful.