Phone: (786) 845-9985

2012 – October


In My Father’s House

Have you ever paused all activity and forced your thoughts to settle upon this single meditation: “What would it be like to have no place to call home?”  What would it really be like if you had no home…anywhere, not even a relative or friend’s home from which to receive a familiar welcome?  No place to rest, no place to retreat, no place…at all. Think about it for a couple of moments.

 Now imagine being a single parent of multiple children, with no home!  Elmer’s dad had no home for his children; just an extremely impoverished “makeshift” that belonged to his employer, but little Elmer and his siblings probably thought of it as home…that is, until his dad was assaulted and received a bullet to his head.  After that, even the minimum supply they had known diminished, and along with it, the hope of survival.  The oldest sister, realizing the desperation of their situation, sought help for the youngest of her siblings, so that they might be taken care of, have an opportunity to go to school, and grow up with the experience of having a place to call home.  For young Elmer, “home” became the Santa Maria Children’s Home.

He first entered Santa Maria unable to read or write, and unwilling to study or do his homework.  An aggressive young boy, it took Elmer a while to adapt to his new life and to be willing to receive instruction from his tutor.  But he now demonstrates more love than aggression, exhibits a desire for learning, and enjoys playing soccer with the other children.

This might seem like just another story…much like others you have read or heard about.  After all, stuff like that happens to children all over the world, all the time.  But to Elmer, it isn’t just another story; it is HIS story.  It didn’t just happen to other children; it happened to HIM.  And to him, a home like Santa Maria Children’s Home means hope, life, healing, and opportunity.  It means someone cares.  It means God cares!

In my Father’s house are many rooms…I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am you might be with Me also.  Familiar words from Jesus, they bring comfort to us and express the infinite desire that our God has for His own…that HE has taken time to prepare a place for us for all of eternity, close to Him.  The Father’s house!  What an amazing, inviting, warm, and confidence-building promise for Jesus to tell us.  If Jesus understood that it was important for us to know we have a home and a Father who is providing for us that home, do you think that He wants these children to feel that same assurance even in this life?  I believe so.

In Peru, the orphanage is in need of new homes for the children, being that the current houses are not only old, but ill-constructed.  It is Rosa’s and my desire to fund the building of new houses for the Santa Maria Children’s Home.  We will again travel to Peru October 4, during which time we will fill up their pantry, supply for whatever immediate needs we can, and teach the children the Word of God, as always.  We are asking, though, that during this month you take the time to contemplate before the Lord whether or not He would enable you to be a part of building these new homes.  We need your help.  We need your prayers. We need your coordination of fundraisers, of Sunday school classrooms and mission’s organizations in your church adopting the project to help move it financially forward.  Would you ask the Lord what you could do?

We love you and deeply appreciate your commitment to the children and to our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is our prayer always that the Lord will bless you and assure you of your eternal reward, far beyond our inadequate ability to articulate the value of your giving.  Someday, it will all be clear. We will know fully, even as we are fully known.  And in that place—in our Father’s house—may there be many more children celebrating than there would have been had you not chosen to be involved.


With sincere gratitude for you,

Tony and Rosa Rivera

Homes 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.