Phone: (786) 845-9985

2012 – November

How Your Giving is Saving Lives

The Santa Maria Children’s Home is literally being sustained month to month by your giving.  It is hard to verbalize just how critical your financial support has been to them, but perhaps in this newsletter we can convey just a few of the ways that your offerings have literally spared lives that were hanging in the balance, and preserved lives that would otherwise have been given over to malnutrition and starvation.

He was very ill.  Anemia and a bleeding ulcer had taken a toll on his body and crippled his ability to continue on with the work.  We received the phone call upon our return to the States last month.  The Santa Maria Children’s Home director had worsened and was being hospitalized for testing and treatment.  They did not have the means to pay for medical treatment, but thanks be to God, through your giving we were granted the privilege of covering all of his medical expenses.  What a blessing to be instrumental in this man’s wellbeing; he has dedicated his life to caring for these orphans for over 50 years.

Do you remember the little boy, William, of whom we wrote about in a previous newsletter, which had been bitten on his tongue by a spider?  His allergic reaction to the bite produced such swelling in his throat that his breathing became increasingly difficult.  Concerned for his life, the doctors resolved to cut his throat and insert a tube to facilitate his breathing, which saved him from dying.   Being that the orphanage had no means to cover such treatment, we were granted the privilege of sending the needed $1,000.00 to preserve this little boy’s life.  He was in the ICU for a week and a half, and in the hospital a total of two weeks.  We are very happy to report that William is now back in the orphanage.  He is doing well and is quite grateful that his life was spared.  He gives thanks for the love and care that he received because of your faithful support.

We knew upon traveling to Peru last week that things were tight at the orphanage.  They had already explained to us that food was low and they were in great need of our help just to keep the ministry running.  Understanding this, we went straight to the store once we landed in Peru in order to purchase food in bulk to take to the orphanage, as is our monthly custom.  This time, however, when we opened the pantry to stock it with the food we had just purchased, our mouths dropped open.  The shelves were almost completely bare; they hardly had food to feed the children at all.  We then discovered that even two of the animals had already died from starvation.  Thankfully, though, your giving enabled us to fill the pantry shelves with rice, beans, oil, sugar, oatmeal, eggs, pasta, butter, chocolate, chicken, and more.  They were very grateful.  Thank you because you made it possible.  We also celebrated one of the children’s birthdays by getting cake, drinks, and chips.  All children like these things.  We were even able to give a birthday present to the child.

Your giving also covered their utilities for another month.  It literally keeps them up and running as a ministry!  Thank you.  Finally, your giving has made a critical difference for Jose Luis.  He is nine years old and has been in the orphanage for three years already.  His father verbally and physically abused his illiterate mother, until he left her and the children for another woman.  He left them without a thing.  Jose Luis’ mother takes her little baby with her to work, so that she can earn enough money to eat, but she sought help from Santa Maria’s for Jose Luis and his other sibling.  She has no home and lives in a little room she rents in very poor conditions.  Jose Luis has problems speaking, articulating, comprehending, and behaving appropriately.  But he is safe in the orphanage and has great hope for his future now.

We will return to the orphanage on November 8th and we are going to celebrate with the children and provide them with a very large dinner.  They do not eat beef because of the cost, but during our trip we are going to prepare a special meal for them of grilled steak, potato salad, corn on the cob, cake, ice cream, and drinks.  It takes a LOT to feed all of these children, but we are tremendously grateful to do it!  Your giving makes it possible.  It truly reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, where He tells us that He was hungry and we gave Him something to eat.  This November 8, we are going to give JESUS a feast!  Thank you for continuing to partner with us financially to see their needs met each month.

Santa Maria Children’s Home is rescuing children and we are able to help them…thanks to you!  May the Lord continue to direct your heart into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.


With grateful hearts,

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.