During our 12 Days of Features, we want to bring people's stories to life, to show how one trip has impacted them. Some people go, are radically changed, and continue to change the lives of those around them…These are their stories.
GO. BE. CRAZY. LOVE.
In order to understand our story, you’ll need to have to an element of crazy to you. But since you’re reading this, I’ll bet you’ve gone on a Visiting Orphan trip or two, possibly you have an adopted child yourself (or wish you had one), and you’ve been championing orphan care in the circles of your life. We’re pretty sure that makes you crazy, because orphan care is a messy thing. Orphans aren’t usually pretty, little, well-behaved children. They are dirty, sometimes sick, sometimes abused, have lice, have scars, and a myriad of other hurts and problems. But nevertheless, they are treasures.
My husband and I got married 5 years ago, and have two biological kids. We are as different as we can be. Oswaldo is a born and bred Latin soul. I’m a Dutch white girl raised deep in the Bible belt of the heartland. We have lived between the US and Ecuador. We have worked in the Ecuadorian government, an insurance company, a customer care company, and publishing companies. Our resumes certainly wouldn’t lead you to believe that we should become missionaries.
We started working as VO in-country representatives in June of 2009, and have been part of the VO’s Ecuadorian program ever since. When we first started planning the ground details of the trips for VO, we were living and working in the US. We had lived in Ecuador for three years prior, but were back in the US taking care of my mother who has end-stage cancer. After a year and a half of traveling back and forth with the teams and going in and out of the orphanages, we realized that there was only so much we could do in three or four weeks a year with the teams. The orphans needed an advocate; someone who was going to be around regularly to bring supplies, pastoral care, and to speak up on their behalf to the Ecuadorian government when they were not being cared for decently.
When we recognized the need, we also knew if we didn’t fill the role, no one would. David Platt, author of Radical, said “Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.”
Once we knew how deep the needs ran, everything changed. We couldn’t walk away. So, we returned to Ecuador for six months and around the end of the fifth, we decided that moving back to Ecuador permanently was what God was asking us to do. We also felt that we being asked by the Lord to start a new orphanage for the kids of an institution that we (with the VO teams) had being supporting and that was being closed by the Ecuadorian authorities because of a wide range of reasons including finance problems and abuse (physical and sexual).
The enormous problem that we faced was that starting an orphanage as a couple was almost impossible, due to current governmental restrictions. So, we started talking to Inca Link, a Christian non-profit already working with orphans and at-risk children in Ecuador. As crazy as it sounds, we were moved by the Holy Spirit to become missionaries with Inca Link to start an orphanage. In a matter of two weeks, we were packing our bags to return to the US to start raising support for three months and afterwards moved back to Ecuador to start this journey.
As we had only three months to raise support for our family, we came back not being fully supported which means that we are living by faith waiting every month for a new donors that allow us to continue the work that God has called us to do with the treasured children of Ecuador.
We are six months into our project and about to sign an agreement that will allow us to open the doors of the orphanage named Tesoros, which means treasures.
GO. BE. LOVE----to us, our involvement with the Visiting Orphans teams have paved the way for us to be a part of the legacy of love and treasuring that our FATHER GOD is passing down to his orphaned children in Ecuador. HE is FAITHFUL to put the lonely in families. WE are HONORED to take part in His crazy plan. He has turned our lives upside down and inside out and rewired our hearts to be crazy, passionately, in-love with the orphaned children in our country. We are here to pour out our lives for them, just as Christ has poured out his life for us.
Please pray for our ministry, our family and our financial support. You can write to us at email@example.com.
If you are interested in following our story, you can read our blog http://crazyloveecuador.blogspot.com.
Financial support can be sent through Visiting Orphans or Inca Link International at www.incalink.org/donate.
Designate your donation to “Pineiros Ministry.”