Phone: (786) 845-9985

November 2016

20+Years and Still Willing

It is November of 2016. This time 20 years ago, Rosa and I were embarking on this journey of rescuing orphans. We had been clearing the Venezuelan land for two years and were dreaming of children one day playing on its soil. Did we have the money we needed to raise up an orphanage? No, not even close. Did we have sufficient educational background and skill to qualify us for the job? Not at all! What did we have? We didn’t really have anything in the way of earthly resources. It was tough, and it was oftentimes discouraging. But what we did have was a willingness to obey God. We did have an eagerness to give of ourselves in every way we could think of in order to get the work going and to reach those children we knew were waiting…those beautiful faces whose memory had been beckoning to us ever since our first visit to the streets of Venezuela. It wasn’t the time for asking whether or not we were qualified. It wasn’t the time for letting our finances govern our determination. The children we had seen—pregnant with hunger, desperate, forsaken—couldn’t wait for us to be better prepared; they just needed us to be willing. That is all God needed from us, too: willingness. God took our eagerness and added to it HIS provision and His grace. We worked with whatever we had, and eventually what we had was multiplied. God brought others alongside to join the work, some of you being among those initial supporters. Many have joined with us down through the 20 years of this ministry, whether for a season or for “the long haul”. One thing is certain: each and every one of you, no matter what role you have played or the measure of your contribution, share in the reward. We all have differing gifts and callings. Regarding missions, some of us go and some of us stay, but all receive the same reward. We want to thank you for doing your part to keep this ministry going for all of these years. We are still helping children, and you are still making it possible.

One of the boys your giving is impacting is 9-year-old Axel Lopez. For Axel, being able to live in the orphanage means freedom from family violence, which has characterized his past. It means he has positive, male role models around him exhibiting the love of Jesus instead of the dysfunction he experienced with his alcoholic and drug-addicted father. It means he has more to look forward to than playing in the street. Your giving provides him an education. It provides him with nutritional food—something his mother worked hard collecting bus fares from morning till late at night in order to provide, but with great struggle. Your giving also provides food for Axel’s mother who is under close supervision for her health and suffers from acute anemia. She is improving, thanks to the nutrition the orphanage supplies her with regularly.

Your faithful support is changing life for Axel. He was considered an “at risk” minor and is still battling the psychological effects of his past. But now he has great hope and a great future. He is a cheerful and lively boy who is playful, curious, and generous. We are very grateful for the opportunity to give Axel the help that he needs. We hope that your heart rejoices as much as ours does at the fruit of your giving. Your reward is great in heaven.

As long as you remain willing, God will use your gifts—small or big—when given out of love. As I close this newsletter, I do so with the words given to us in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12: “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (NASB)

In Christ,

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.