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Ten Reasons To Rejoice

Way Places 371 – June-July 2020


For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. . . a time to mourn and a time to dance . . . a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. (Eccles. 3:1,4-5)

 Yes, we are undergoing a season in which we are learning more to expect the unexpected. We normally go through our daily, monthly, and annual routines thinking that tomorrow and next year will be similar. But what a blessing to be forced to trust in that which is sure! The promises of the LORD never fail. HE never changes. In this graduation season we present to you these Ten Reasons to Rejoice:

Alejandro, Arturo, Axel, Axelito, Brian, Cristian, Emmanuel, Fernando, and Jonathan Azael, Fernando and Rafael.

Please join us in celebrating these achievements as the Lord continues to work out His purpose in these young lives. We want to blush with gratitude and beam with pride for their growth and accomplishments. These boys call Rancho Del Rey home because of extreme poverty, abuse, loss of parents and/or abandonment.  In this unusual school-year end, we postponed our annual extraordinary graduation ceremony until we can all be together again.

We share with you today two poignant Father’s Day messages sent to us from our graduates.

Alejandro, Axel and Emmanuel were once know as our “little boys”; now they are high school graduates. Emmanuel is headed for military school, Alejandro to university to study engineering, and Axel to chef school. In the not-too-distant past, graduation from secondary (junior high school) was a big deal for children here.

Emmanuel sent this message: “I want to tell all the Rancho dads to enjoy your day, I congratulate each of you:

Tony: for teaching me to use the lawn mower

Epy: for each counsel and teaching that I am now putting into practice

Danny: for teaching me to trust people and what a family really is

Javy: for helping me through all the crushes I had on girls

Oscar: for teaching me to fish and loving me like his own son

Alex: for all the chats we had that cheered us up

Mike: for teaching me robotics, how to create video games, how to work hard when I never wanted to before

Lastly, Brother Hank (Danny’s dad and cofounder of Rancho Del Rey): for being my grandfather and for being able to call him Father, too; for teaching me how to manage problems with family and others in only the 5 minutes he gave me to use the phone, to not throw rocks at my Rancho brothers, and that we always need to smile even when the moment seemed to be the worst in the world.

I give thanks to God for the lives of all my Rancho dads. I love them with all my heart and we’ll see you all soon, my DADS!

Rafael, Alexis and Cristian graduated from primary school (6th grade), and will begin the new school year in the Casa Conquistadores, the junior high house. These three are some of the brave ones who have remained on campus despite months of not seeing moms or grandmothers.

All four secondary school (junior high) graduates graduated with excellent grade point averages.  All have been invited and plan to enter the Back2Back residential Hope Program for high school. Oh how we will miss them.

Brian                      98 average, placed 2nd in his group

Fernando               96.7 average, tied for 3rd

Arturo                    96.7 average, tied for 3rd

(Jonathan) Azael    87 average

Arturo sent this message: I want to thank you today for making a place for me to grow, to make mistakes, to learn and acquire the values that define my life. I don’t get tired of telling you how grateful I am for the life that Rancho Del Rey has given me. Thank you for your unconditional tender affection, goodness, understanding and time;  for each counsel, for all your help, and for your comforting hugs, for all the life-giving words, and for all you have done for me. I send these words with all of my love and gratitude. God put  the best dads in my life.  Happy Father’s Day.

(Arturo finished the last 3 months of secondary school at home, with the encouragement of his mom and the help of Javy and Jenny via messages and phone calls.)

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