Phone: (786) 845-9985

May 2016

Are They Priceless?


Doesn’t everything have a cost? When you really think about it, it is true, right? There is a price tag on everything in life, from goods advertised in stores all across this land to relationships we “invest in” with our time and resources. No matter what the commodity, it costs somebody, somewhere, something to pass it along. Yet, we use the word all of the time: PRICELESS. “That look on her face was priceless!” we say. Or, “It was a truly priceless moment,” we exclaim to describe a most memorable occasion. I understand the implication; we really mean that no value exists high enough to compare with the worth of said subject. But if we look into Scripture, and ponder the way God articulates value, we actually find quite opposite language. God communicates worth by the amount of price willing to be paid. Look at 2 Samuel 24:24. King David refused to offer to God a sacrifice that cost him nothing. A “priceless” sacrifice was not worthy of being offered. Or consider 1 Corinthians 6:20 where God declares that we were bought at a price. It cost Jesus everything to demonstrate our value in His eyes. In Scripture, whether it was a widow offering to God “all she had to live on”—only a mite in this case—or a woman breaking open an alabaster jar and pouring out her life’s savings to anoint Jesus, God consistently calls our attention to the connection between our love and our “price-filled” sacrifice. junio 005
Do you want to measure your love for God or for another person? Then measure your willingness to pay a price for that relationship or individual. At what cost TO YOU does someone else’s well being matter?
This month, I write to tell you about Pool, an 11-year-old boy from a very dysfunctional situation who entered the orphanage back in February of this year. His (single) mother was raising Pool and had an alcoholic boyfriend who beat both her and her children. To break away from the horrors going on at home, Pool daily escaped to the streets and frequented the Internet café, which he often paid for with money he had stolen from his neighbors (an obvious source of contention within the community from which he was stealing). In an effort to correct Pool’s behavior and prevent his late nights out in the streets, Pool’s mother confronted him about his behavior, but he reacted to her in violence. As a very poor response to her circumstances, Pool’s mother turned harder to alcohol, which made the situation all the worse for Pool and his siblings. Finally, she came to the orphanage seeking help for a son she could no longer control.
When Pool entered the home, he cried for several days (missing his mother) and was frequently ill, which prompted an immediate medical examination to assess his health. We are grateful that, aside from being underweight and in need of proper nutrition to strengthen his body, Pool suffers from no diseases or illnesses. He has adapted to the home over the last several weeks, is calmer, and is attending school now. He no longer shows signs of wanting to run away, and he is very happy that his mother comes to visit him each Sunday, bringing him fruits that he enjoys.

That Pool had an orphanage he could enter and be welcomed into is a blessing beyond verbalization. But it is certainly not “priceless.” On the contrary, it takes thousands of dollars each month to provide that opportunity to Pool and to each other child that the orphanage supports. There is a price to the food that fills their stomachs, the electricity that makes the home run, the blankets that keep them warm, the clothes that cover their bodies, the shoes that protect their feet, the books that help them learn…and too many other necessities for me to continue listing. It is anything but priceless! Some of you reading this newsletter have faithfully given to this ministry for weeks, months, and years. You know who you are, and our gratitude to you for your participation with us in this work is far deeper than this newsletter could ever hope to express. You have sustained this ministry through your giving and prayers. You are the reason Pool’s mother could be told that a place existed that might help her son. And you are the reason that he is being restored to hope, joy, and safety. With tremendous admiration and humble gratitude, we say thank you for your faithfulness. We deeply appreciate and love you.
As you are reading this newsletter, we are in Peru, along with a faithful supporter of this ministry for many, many years: Mary Jean Powers, who is visiting the orphanage and blessing the children with her presence. We anticipate that our time together at the home will be fruitful for the staff and children.
In closing, we ask that you pray this month for a few specific things. Pray for Pool, and for the rest of the children who are each on a journey of healing and receiving the love of God. Pray for the staff and for those who impart into the lives of these children. And we ask that you pray for yourself. Ask the Lord what He would have you to do with this ministry. Would He have you to help share the vision with others, so that more people might get involved? Would He have you to give a specific amount this month (or regularly) that is different than you have previously given? Would He have you to consider more thoroughly the great need that this orphanage has and an effective way for you to help minimize that need? We ask you for this prayer focus because giving has declined and we are struggling each month to reach the minimums needed to provide for basics like food and electricity. The children need shoes. There are other needs constantly on the rise when you care for the amount of children that this orphanage does and still keep your doors open to whomever the Lord brings next. Please help us help the children. In every sense of the word, they are not priceless, and the eternal declaration you make when you send money to help them agrees with the value that God placed on them by sacrificing His Only Son on their behalf. They were bought at a price.

Grace and peace,
Tony and Rosa Rivera
Home of Refuge International, Inc.


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.