Phone: (786) 845-9985

2013 – April

Pressing on Towards the Goal

Juan de Dios had a rough beginning in life.  While yet in his mother’s womb, Juan’s parents tried to sell him to a family living abroad.  This, however, never materialized as they had hoped, and so Juan was born to parents that neither cared for him nor wanted any responsibility for him.  His eleven years of living have been very nomadic, being transferred from house to house until finally coming to settle in the house of a kind-hearted woman—“The Protector” as she came to be called—who desired his well-being but simply did not have the financial means to take care of him.  In an effort to keep Juan from being taken from her by the government, this woman sought help from the Santa Maria Children’s Home, where Juan has been residing for a period of time.  She remains Juan’s legal guardian, and he dearly loves her, but were it not for the ministry of the orphanage, this young boy’s future would not be as hope-filled as it is today.  What a blessing to know he is in a home that offers him the Word of God, the chance for education and health, and an opportunity to experience JESUS!  Where would Juan be if there had not been any children’s home to which this woman could turn?  What if people like you had never given to support this ministry, and the orphanage had been forced to shut down when its utilities could not be paid?  Remember, God brought us to Santa Maria’s at a critical hour in their history—an hour when they literally could not afford to keep the home running without our help.  We are humbly mindful of the kindness of God in supplying their needs through people like YOU.  Because of your participation, there is a place for Juan to reside and find hope.  He is in 4th grade and we are very grateful that he is doing well at Santa Maria’s.

Stories like Juan’s encourage our hearts to keep going.  Even when obstacles rise up in our way and circumstances seem to discourage us, we know that in all of it Jesus is with us.  The trials are merely opportunities to gain CHRIST, to know Him more fully as we walk through this life’s seasons.  The Apostle Paul said it this way in Philippians 3:7-9:7“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ  9and be found in Him…” Paul further went on to explain that he continually presses on in order to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of him.

As I close the newsletter this month, I exhort you with the same exhortation I have received from the Lord’s words.  Do not give up…not in your faith, not in your life, and not in that which God has spoken to your heart.  God is able to do that which He has promised.  God has His affectionate eyes upon you.  Keep pressing on to know Him more fully.  Every circumstance, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is a vehicle to escort you into the knowledge of God…because God is with you and invites you to fellowship with Him.  Like Juan de Dios in our story today, you may be feeling the instability of changing circumstances.  You may be discouraged.  The Lord provided hope for Juan, and He has hope for you, too.  Keep pressing on.


With deep appreciation,

Tony and Rosa Rivera

Homes of Refuge International






Tony and Rosa are very faithful, reliable, honest people.  They are the hardest workers we have ever seen; their leadership qualities have encouraged many people to help others.  Whatever Tony and Rosa decide to do, they do with excellence and perseverance. They are great people and we are privileged to know them.

Ed and Mona Shirley
Mountain High Christian Center
Conifer, Co.