2013 Newsletters

June 2013 - Summer Fun and Needs List


Along with the summertime heat and the children's break from school comes some special needs for our home for children.  This time of year brings its unique challenges to us and I am sure it does to you also.  We always seem to have a slump in donations this time of year and our expenses unfortunately go up.  We do not receive any government help with our electric bill, and while we try to be frugal, our bill approaches $1500 every month.  By faith we have asked our Mexican child welfare agency to 6 to 10 more children which means that our other costs will also increase.  Please pray about our needs during the summer. We know that God is in control and we are in His hands. Blessings to you all...Gary.


We are putting the word out that we are in need of a good economical car for basic transportation needs here at Sonshine Hacienda. So, if you are buying a new car and trading in your old car, please consider donating it to Sonshine Hacienda. Your tax deduction might amount to more than you could gain from a trade in.  We have to drive to Mexicali at least once a week for Psychologist/Psychiatrist appointment for 4 of our children. This is a 250 mile round trip & right now we are using our personal pick up which is not very economical.  We would love to have a reliable compact car that could hold 5 people, that our Administrator Diana, Karen or a Dorm Mom could use to make these trips.  Alvaro is an excellent mechanic and could take care of any needed repairs.  Please pray for this need & ask your friends if they might know of someone that might help with this need. 





June 21st was graduation day for the 6th graders at our local elementary school. Even though we did not have anyone graduating this year, we were excited about attending the graduation for a many reasons. Alexa, one of our 5th graders had been asked to give the "Farewell" address to the graduates of Las Minitas Primary School. Alexa worked very hard on her speech, and it was flawless in its delivery! It was a shock to me that she remained so calm when it came time to give her speech...she had been a nervous wreck on the way to the school. Way to go Alexa!!
We were also all looking forward to being present to see Perla (Third Grade) and Alondra (First Grade) receive their certificates of achievement for being the most outstanding student for their grade level. We were all so proud of what these two sisters have accomplished. In 2012, Perla also received this same recognition upon completing the second grade. It is so wonderful to see the spirit of humbleness that they have in spite of this achievement. God has blessed them and us!


What a fun, fantastic day we had!! All the kids were outfitted in new "floaties" to keep their heads above water and the older kids were given "noodles" to float on....not to mention that there was one adult per child to make sure that everyone was safe and secure...did I mention how much fun we had?? After playing in the pool, we then had dinner. Papa Rafael, our cook, prepared BBQ hotdogs and all the other good things to go with them. Then we walked down to the beach, a three minute walk from our friends home, and the kids played until dusk. It was so beautiful at the beach at that time of the day. We want to offer a big THANK YOU to John & Jean Breslin, our hosts for the day. What a wonderful gift to give to our children. The wonderful thing is that they have offered to have us back. We will definitely do this again. Thank you John and Jean!!



We were so blessed this past month to have three summer volunteers come to spend a month at Sonshine Hacienda. At the end of May, Rayne Knapp came to renew her friendship with the children at Sonshine. She and her parents, Ron and Rebecca have been great friends of the kids since we first opened our doors one year ago. The children love her....as do we! What really surprised me about Rayne was that she found her "forte" was doing laundry and helping our cook (Papa Rafael) in the kitchen. Why was I shocked? Well, That is not what you expect from a 15 year old. Way to go Rayne!! We will see you again soon!

At the beginning of June,we also had the pleasure of getting to know two new friends from Christian Family Fellowship in Santa Rosa, California.  Danielle Cowles and Ruth Ann Gomes came to us with huge enthusiasm & ready to get to work!! They were really wonderful with the children and were wonderful support to the Dorm Mom's. No job I asked them to do seemed to be too hard or uncomfortable (like washing sheets everyday to eliminate a head lice outbreak). Come back soon you two!



Sometimes there are parts of our work here at Sonshine Hacienda that can only be described as mixed blessings. I guess that applies to what we feel when we have to say good-bye to children that we have had with us for many months. That happened just a few weeks ago. Jorge, Jose, Marta and Maria came to us with many problems. The worst issue was with Jorge. He had a very serious Kidney condition. That eventually led to him being hospitalized for over a month. Thanks to the Lord, he recovered well and returned to us. We watched the children heal from anger issues and health issues. We also were blessed to see Jose, 10 years old, accept the Lord as his Savior and Pastor Gary baptised him this spring. But while the children were healing, their mother was also working hard to overcome her addiction problem and DIF (our Child Services Dept.) and the Judge that placed the children here decided that the Mom was ready to take responsibility of her children once again. Diana and I were together the day that the mother came to pick up her children. It was so wonderful to see the joy on the faces of the four children as they walked to the front gate holding on to the hand of their mother. After we hugged them good-bye and shut the gate, Diana and I hugged each other and then hand in hand, we walked back to where the other children were waiting for us. We look at one another and said, "We did a good job". Now we leave them in God's hands.


Ruth Ann and Danielle loved to have fun with the kids... and they brought a few things with them to make sure that they had the supplies necessary for the"fun times". Above is a picture of one of their crazyWATER BALLOON FIGHTS. Of course the kids loved it. It was so much fun that the staff got involved and were targeting each other. We were all soaked by the end of the water fight. The funny thing about the water fight is that Ruth Ann and Danielle discovered that it took a couple of hours to fill the balloons and just 20 minutes to bust them. So as the summer is now in full swing, we are trying to find activities to keep the kids busy. We are still going out every Saturday and doing our garbage clean up. The kids love it!!  We are also playing in the sprinklers, playing with play dough, legos, checkers, doing Bible memory verses and watching movies. OH YES...Monday thru Friday we do Summer School here at Sonshine. Mama Diana is teaching Spanish(reading & comprehension) and Math. I am teaching English. Papa Alvaro is teaching Discipleship to the older children. Pray that the children who are behind in school will begin to catch up on their skills. 


P.O. BOX 9011
PMB 41
CALEXICO, CA  92232-9011