Recently parents attended special classes while their children were in school and then, after school, families joined together to play games and enjoy a huge pot luck lunch on campus. It was a successful event with a large turnout where everyone had many laughs and delicious food. A celebration for Colegio Santa Marta!
We are governed, evaluated, inspected and tested by the social service branch of the Mexican government called DIF. Mexican laws are constantly changing and these changes have their affect on orphanages. Because of a 2009 Hermosillo day care fire that took 49 kids’ lives and 100 other injured, the Mexican government has developed strict criteria for social service institutions such as Santa Marta, a home for children. There were many hoops to jump through: smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, evacuation routes marked, gas lines with shut off valves exposed, special training in rescue and search teams, first aid, etc. These are all good and necessary, but was time consuming and costly. After almost two years of gathering all the paperwork and diplomas we have succeeded in officially receiving our License to Operate. Victor and Rod were our representatives for this joyous occasion and we accepted our License with enthusiasm. Victor has been with us for 27 years now and we felt he would best represent who we are and why this ministry exists. If you ask Victor about the trip he will let you know that he had the best carne asada tacos that day! That memory was even better than shaking the governor’s wife’s hand!
Our 2017-18 school year has started! We began with a one day “retreat” with Bill & Kaye Lawrence dedicating the year to the Lord and encouraging our teachers to seek Him throughout. We also put smiles on the faces of many of our lower income children when they received backpacks that were donated from North Coast Church of Vista, CA. The video expresses it well. Pray for our teachers and students that they will not only learn about the common subject areas, but that they will also learn about the love of Christ. Thank you, Rod & Tina
The “South Albany Crew” held up throughout their longer than usual week (they added on one whole day!) They were able to get the wide gymnasium entranceway sidewalk poured before the graduation. The demo team took down the old laundry room, the Tali team poured a floor for the treatment plant and of course a water line was busted! Our line buster made it up though and fixed up all of Monica’s girls bikes. That was awesome! Thank you and we will see you all soon!
We had over 500 people inside with room for more as we celebrated the graduating classes of kinder, sixth grade and ninth grade. Thanks to Jero, Martin and our first groups of the summer, they were able to pour sidewalks, entry ways and clean up! What a huge task, but what an awesome graduation we had! Thank you everyone who had a hand in the work and a part in financing this building. This is the first of many events in our gymnasium.
WestGate Church from San Jose and Covenant Presbyterian Church from Pennsylvania joined together to serve at the ranch. They installed 10 windows and finished the siding on the front side of the gymnasium. Of course drywall work and concrete work too.
Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church of Sacramento had a great week with our children. They put on a carnival for our students and a dinner in the park area with the ranch kids. They moved us along with the gym siding, painted the new bathrooms and of course gymnasium sidewalks!
We are reaping in the blessings of the rain last year. We haven’t seen this in many years and it’s a beautiful sight driving into the ranch and seeing the grain stalks moving with the wind. We are busy cutting, baling and stacking hay right now. The teenagers do not like the hard work, but our barn is finally filling up with oat and barley hay!