May 2021: God’s Provision
Our beloved ANA, who headed up the official certification of Rancho Del Rey, retired to spend more time with her children and grandchildren. She is already missed.
When Ana came to us in 2013 as Rancho Del Rey’s first social worker, a mom could drop off her son with a bag of clothes and leave him with the promise that she’d return within a week with a birth certificate, a vaccination record, and school grades. Eight years later, required procedures are more complicated. Yet, despite the burden of paperwork, we see better results.
In 2014, under Ana’s expert guidance, Rancho Del Rey received our first state certification, required for the legal operation of a children’s home. While this “opened doors,” it also required meeting increasingly complicated and often-changing compliance standards. Every two years Ana faced significant additional work to obtain recertification. She also filed weekly and monthly reports, visited families and evaluated potential new boys and their families. Ana continued to be our official “face” with the government until last week. Her retirement leaves big, big shoes to fill.
Then the Lord gave us AMPARO. An experienced social worker, she checks all the boxes–faith, recommendations, warm personality, and a team-player approach.
Amparo says her new position, with flexible hours and home office days, is great for her–professionally and as a wife and mother. One of her goals is to help develop Rancho Del Rey’s ministry to entire families. Her name in Spanish means “refuge,” “protection,” “help,” or “hiding place.” We pray that she will facilitate refuge and protection for many children and their loved ones.
She’s already visited families and interviewed candidates for next year. We can see that her eleven years of employment with child protection services have prepared her for the challenges associated with this particular calling.
In March, Rancho Del Rey received an unexpected blessing.
Rancho Del Rey welcomed ELIAS AND MARITZA. They initially came to us to provide relief to our hardworking (and very tired) house parents so that each couple could take a brief vacation since we were still under COVID-19 safety measures. (The boys have been on campus since October 2nd without a family visit.) Elias and Maritza asked only for room and board as recompense.
Elias has a seminary degree in music ministry, loves sports, welding, and has worked for the state education system developing music therapy concept classes. He’s already off to a quick start giving piano, guitar, and handbell ensemble lessons. Elias also enjoys having fun with the boys. Maritza is a native English speaker and a certified teacher who loves learning herself (currently enrolled in a Masters of Neuroscience program). As an extra pair of hands, they supervise the boys at different times six days a week to allow house parents to rest, have family time, and prepare for the academic week.
Elias and Maritza have two children, Adrian (12), and Zoe (14). The transition for their children in the middle of the school year has not been easy, but they are respectful and are doing their best to adapt to life among the big RDR family.
What the future looks like nobody but the Lord knows. It may be that Elias and Maritza will be the couple we’ve looked for to open a fourth house. Or it may be that we need them to take responsibility for the home education needs of the boys going forward. We are grateful for their humility, their willingness to relocate from southern Mexico with their children with only a couple of week’s notice, and their desire to do whatever is asked of them.
Please pray for these new RDR staff members, as together we explore their future with Rancho Del Rey.
We thank the entire Rancho Del Rey team for their flexibility and love for the boys in every change and challenge. We thank you for giving them the opportunity to serve.
“My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.”
We thank you and praise the Lord for ending the fiscal year 2020-2021 (April 30) in the black.
Going forward, we look forward to God’s provision for the step of faith Elias and Maritza took to join the Rancho Del Rey staff. Although they indicated they would accept any amount offered, Rancho Del Rey is committed to paying fair salaries, social security, and health insurance for all staff. If you would like to help RDR offer them a contract for next year, please click below.