Phone: (786) 845-9985

2014 – December


Gold, Incense, and Myrrh

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11, NIV)

Christmas is nearly here! For many, the smells and sounds of Christmas bring back a treasury of warm memories. It is meant to be a wondrous and festive holiday filled with joy and gratitude, worship and celebration, family, giving, and memory making. And aren’t children often the best at expressing delight at Christmas? Hopefully you have the blessedness of such memories from Christmases gone by, and perhaps the chance to relive the wonder through the sparkling eyes of children around you now–wide-eyed with anticipation.Ebert(9 años)Gustavo (7 años)

In contemplating the verse above from Matthew, I love to imagine the simplicity, holiness, and awe of that inaugural moment when the first gifts were given to Jesus, in honor of His coming. Imagine the scene. Does the verse describe an elaborate setting? Hardly! In fact, it was probably quite a plain one, I suspect. It just says that “they came to the house, they saw the child with his mother, and the bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts…” No fanfare. No press release. It might not have even been detected by anyone besides the worshipers, Mary, and God. But it says that they worshiped. And they gave. GOD Himself received their worship and their gifts, but to the natural eye it might have appeared that it was just a poor child on the receiving end.  Oh, but what these men had eyes to see! To them it had been granted to recognize God, no matter how inglorious He had clothed Himself to the human eye.

I (Tony) just returned from Peru, and it was a very successful trip. When I arrived, the gate was closed. I stood knocking at it for a short while but must not have been heard, for it did not open until a vehicle approached, and the gate had to be opened so that they could leave. It was the new directors. Delighted to see me, they explained that they were on their way to the market in order to purchase minimal food items to make a soup. There was not even enough food in the pantry at that time to provide for the upcoming lunch hour, and they were hoping that a small soup would last several days, until more money could be provided. I joined them in the car, and purchased an entire month’s worth of food to cover three meals per day, plus the “extra’s” that we like to lavish on the children (cake, lollipops, soda). The directors were very appreciative and stated that we are the ones helping them survive. One of them said, “Tony, I tell you, if you do not come each month, we do not have enough to feed our children…and they would NEVER get the extra goodies if you did not buy them for us.” It was touching to see the children’s faces light up when they were called to the table for lunch that day, complete with dessert! Thank you for making this possible for them.

Yasid (11 años) During this trip I could see that the directors are following my advice for how to run the orphanage. I was able to again sit with them to provide further advice and encouragement. I am grateful for the way that God has orchestrated all of this.

ALEXANDER ( 9 AÑOS)As December races forward and we prepare (as the Body of Christ) to celebrate the coming of Emmanuel, God still offers us the opportunity to present Him with our worship and our gifts, in honor of His coming. I mention this because now that Christmas is fast approaching, the children in Peru, like every child, wait for a gift. We are very grateful for what our supporters give on a regular basis. Through your giving we are able to supply the monthly expenses for their survival. However, what comes in monthly barely covers necessities (food and utilities, and clothing/shoes whenever possible). It does not cover unexpected needs when they arise, and it does not cover Christmas gifts. We need your help to buy presents so that these children can each enjoy one gift…and be encouraged by the love that God has for them. We have the same chance those first wise men had: to give our treasures to what the world sees as “just a poor child”…and to recognize that it is truly God who stands before us. Did not our Lord Jesus say, “…Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me”? (Mtt. 25:40)

May the Lord Jesus Himself fill your hearts with awe and wonder at His grace and appearing in your lives. May you experience joy and be led in worship of the King during this special season.



Grace and peace,

Tony and Rosa Rivera

Home 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.