Phone: (786) 845-9985

2013 – June

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA13-year-old Marcos did not grow up with a father to provide for him, guide him, give him love, and teach him how to become a man.  Because of this lack of supervision and guidance, there were times when Marcos “disappeared” into the streets for days.  Of course, school was never a consideration…not when mere survival is at the forefront of your daily thoughts.  All this, along with the relentless struggle for enough daily food to give to her son, caused Marcos’ mother overwhelming concern.  How was she ever going to give him a good chance at life when all of her hours were spent working to earn what was still never enough to even provide food for him? She needed help.  Marcos needed a chance!  She had to know that her son would be ok, and would live a better life than the one that now seemed to have them both trapped in an unending cycle of poverty, lack, and danger.

Santa Maria Children’s Home was the chance young Marcos needed, and thankfully they were able to receive him when his mother brought him to the orphanage for help.   His life has now changed.  He is in school, he receives three meals a day, he receives instruction in the Word of God, and he finally has a bright hope for the future.  His mother could not give him that.

Jesus said something very interesting one day concerning this very thing.  He said, “…Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50).   Though it pained Marcos’ mother to part with her son, and though it is difficult for Marcos to be away from his natural mother, God has provided for Marcos a very special family…a family from God.  This family is made up of all of those who do the will of Marcos’ Father in heaven; it is the staff and directors of the orphanage, it is Rosa and myself, it is you!  Marcos is receiving the Father’s love and the tender comfort and nurturing associated with mothers, all because he is in a place that those doing the Father’s will have provided.  It is run on the finances that you send, because you, too, are doing the Father’s will.  It is as we do the Father’s will that God can truly allow our lives to be vessels of His love.

I saw firsthand this month just how important it is to these children when we are vessels of His love.  Because Rosa was scheduled to preach at one of our son’s churches during the same time as the Peru trip, she was unable to accompany me this month.  Thankfully, while she was bringing the Word of God in the States, I was able to bring the Word of God to those in Peru at the orphanage, and to do all of our usual activities—fill up the pantry, pay the bills for the orphanage, provide a special meal during my time there, teach the children from God’s Word.  But what amazed me was how from the moment the children saw me they began asking for Rosa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA They missed her terribly, and I realized then just how much God is using Rosa as a vessel of His love…in the form of a mother’s love, which they all desperately crave to receive.  They have father figures in the orphanage, and that is vital, but Rosa brings to the home the presence of a mom…and oh, how they love to receive that kind of tenderness from her!  You see, most of these children have been brought to the home because their mothers couldn’t give them what they needed to survive, though they were trying.  Without husbands, and in dreadful conditions, these mothers sacrificed their desires, and in pain they made decisions for the wellbeing of their children, which meant leaving them in the Santa Maria’s Children’s Home.

God has raised up for these children a much broader family—His family—who work together to provide for them all that they need.  Thank you for doing the will of God.  You, through your giving and prayer, are making it possible for Rosa and I to visit them, to provide for their needs, and to extend the love of God.

In closing, I want to remind you that when your giving enables us to go abroad, it counts as if YOU went.  The Bible says that we both receive the same reward.  When you pray, too, it IS partnership in this ministry and your reward is great!  Our human attempts to articulate heavenly values will always fall miserably short; there is no description comparable to the riches of what He has in store for those who did His will while on earth.  Keep sowing, keep praying, and keep using whatever gifts with which the Lord has graced you.  It matters.

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.