The last news that you received from us regarding the status of receiving children at Sonshine Hacienda was that DIF officials had met with us and had given us a list of changes that needed to be made to both our facility and our staff in order to satisfy their licensing requirements. You might ask if we were disappointed, frustrated, and angry? Yes, the entire staff did move through those emotions, BUT the good news is that we moved through those feelings and we have now arrived in a place where we are ready to take on the tasks that have been given to us. We are renewed and refreshed through our faith in our precious Lord and Savior. Nothing is too big for our God!! He can move any mountain put before us. How high do you want that wall?? It can’t be too high for God!!
We have an action plan in place and have already completed a large majority of the tasks that were presented to us. So we continue on - determined to finish the course and have children running in our courtyard as soon as God is ready!! We will give you an update in a couple of weeks on our action plan, on “the wall” project and a few other announcements that we pray will bless all of us.
I love the old Afro-American spiritual, “I Shall Not Be Moved”. I have taken some liberties with this song and changed the “I” to “we”, and just listed the first sentence in each verse. We will not be moved from our purpose, our commitment:
“like the tree planted by the water, we shall not be moved.”
“When my burden’s heavy, we shall not be moved”
“Don’t let the world deceive you, we shall not be moved.”
“Come on and join the army, we shall not be moved.”
December 2nd, 2011 was an evening that all of us at Sonshine Hacienda will remember for many years to come. To me, it was like how Cinderella must have felt going to the beautiful ball. It was truly a night when our beloved Sonshine Hacienda got all “dressed up” in her finery and was able to show off how she had become this beautiful sanctuary! She was a wash of dazzling brilliant blue and silver, with twinkle lights aglow and beautiful tables decorated for the 200 dear friends that came to officially celebrate the opening of Sonshine Hacienda, a refuge for the children in San Felipe.
The evening was filled with a variety of different activities, prior to being seated for dinner. As guests arrived for the evening, they were invited to participate in regularly scheduled tours of Sonshine Hacienda, or they could visit the Silent Auction room where they could place their bids on over forty items donated by local businesses, artists, restaurants and private individuals in the San Felipe area. We also invited our guests to visit the “Giving Tree”, a Christmas tree decorated with decorations that were actually suggested items that people could commit to buy from our inventory list of needed items for Sonshine.
We had a delicious Italian dinner prepared by Rebecca Mann. Thank you so much to Rebecca for all her dedicated work and long hours. Thank you also to her right-hand man, husband Jim for helping her out!! We are also so thankful for the delicious cake that was made by our favorite “Cake Lady” in San Felipe, Gloria Mater. You out did yourself once again. All of these services were donated out of love to Sonshine Hacienda!!
I must say that one of the highlights of the evening was when my date for the evening (the guy I have been hanging around with for 45 years next month) became the Auctioneer for our live auction for the evening. All I can say is that if he hadn’t become a Preacher, I think he could have made a living selling other peoples “stuff”!! We had a lot of fun, laughed a lot and made a lot of money for Sonshine Hacienda. In total we cleared $6,000. Praise the Lord!! A big thanks to Paul and Donna Korneliussen for the beautiful powerpoint pictorial history of Sonshine Hacienda that closed our evening together…you made me cry tears of joy!!
I cannot close without thanking Paul & Donna Korneliussen, our Administrators and Erin Howard, our Sonshine Missionary and Alvaro & Diana Sandez, our Caretakers, for their countless hours that they spent planning and working diligently to make this celebration the wonderful night that it turned out to be.
We want to thank all of you who so faithfully support Sonshine Hacienda. Thank you for coming to our celebration and helping us “show off” our beautiful sanctuary in the desert!! The Lord is using each of you to obtain His purpose….to have this refuge for children open and operating soon. We claim that victory in His name.