June 2021: I Wish Tomorrow Were Friday

“ I wish tomorrow were Friday,” said Derik on Wednesday.

“Why?” I asked. His answer surprised me.

Derik said, “Because Friday is our first whole ensemble rehearsal!

Now it’s Friday. Four guitars, a piano, a marimba and a ukulele are rehearsing for our year-end chapel service/celebration. Derik started learning guitar a year ago with new staff member, Pastor Victor.

When Derik’s mom, Imelda, brought him to Rancho Del Rey in 2019, at 12 years old he seemed too adult-like, almost too polite, anxious to impress and good at saying what he thought we wanted to hear.

He came from a troubled, chaotic family. He had bounced back and forth between his divorced parents, who used their children as pawns against each other. His job was to keep the peace. Neither Derik’s father nor his mother had the resources, skills, or emotional stability to give Derik a secure home.

But through the ministry made possible by our faithful friends, Derik and Imelda are being transformed by hope.

Now 14 years old, Derik thoroughly enjoys life at RDR—healthy food, friends, schooling, family life. He is learning to have fun, to allow his rough edges to show, to share his heart, and to know God. He heartily participates in all campus activities—working out and playing soccer, playing guitar and hide and seek, and beating friends at chess. He has bonded with his Rancho family—especially with house parents Javy and Jenny, and our newest couple, Elias and Maritza. He feels safe, valued and loved. Derik is blossoming!

Derik’s mother, Imelda, is doing much better, as well. In the fall of 2020, on a visit to deliver emergency supplies and economic assistance, we encountered a deeply depressed, battered and unhealthy mom. Imelda’s bare three-room house had neither a kitchen nor a flushing toilet. It was no wonder that she couldn’t provide a stable home for her children. Imelda couldn’t take care of herself.

In January 2021, Rancho Del Rey facilitated Imelda’s acceptance and rehabilitation at Rescue House. We provided food, counseling and financial assistance during Imelda’s two-month stay. She became the leader of the women, directing prayer times and schedules. She taught the women to make and sell tortillas and gorditas. Imelda thrived in the loving community, where she was safe, valued and had her basic needs met.

When she returned home, with the help of Rancho Del Rey’s ongoing Family Development program and her thrifty ingenuity, Imelda herself constructed a little kitchen, connected the plumbing in the bathroom, and started a small business in her home to try to support herself and her children. She has become a giver and an encourager, too. Although every day is a struggle to make ends meet, today Imelda is healthier and stronger, and she understands her life has a divine purpose.

Two weeks ago, Derik’s mom was the first parent to visit after a long COVID separation.

The change in Imelda is obvious to us, yet Derik is still guarded. Summer break is coming up when the boys go home to family for five weeks. Derik is anxious about spending that time with his mom. Sadly, bad memories still overwhelm good ones. He wishes he could stay on campus with house parents instead.

Healing takes time. Restoration takes time. Trust takes time. While God continues His good work, we will come alongside Derik and his mom—supporting, encouraging, and praying for their healing together. We pray that some day he will long to go home to mom, just like he longed for Friday to come.

How can you help?

  1. PRAY. This year has been stressful, expensive and exhausting for us all, with added year-round care-taking needs (especially “learning at home”), maintaining COVID-19 protocols, and dire family loss and needs. Pray that the staff can rest, all the while fighting overwhelming concern for the boys at home.
  2. GIVE. Please consider a gift towards our extra high summer expenses.
  • emergency family aid to assist our boys and their families, who live day by day “on the edge”
  • annual vehicle insurance and upkeepurgent campus repair—rewiring the original hacienda-home, now almost 100 years old with fraying wires that are posing a fire hazard
  • moving a large butane gas tank further away from potential source of accidental ignition

Projected August expenses:$96,000
Projected income (recurring):$55,000
Projected additional need:$41,000

Any size donation will help–pennies add up to dollars and dollars to the thousands we need!

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