Jul 23

Feature Orphanage – Valley of the Angels

A short video clip about the Valley of the Angels orphanage in Guatemala, run by Father Michael Della Pena.

WELCOME, to the Valley of the Angels Orphanage! We are Franciscan Friars of the Order Friars Minor, Immaculate Conception Province, New York, USA. The orphanage is located in Guatemala, Central America, just outside the capital Guatemala City.

 The orphanage was a dream come true for it’s founder, Father Rocco Famiglietti. Upon his early arrival in Guatemala in the early 50′s, a seed was planted in him of wanting to help the poor, abandoned and needy children. The dream materialized in the late 80′s and today, Valley of the Angels ensures the educational, physical and spiritual needs of 200 children.

 Currently, the orphanage is run by Fr. Rocco’s successor, Fr. Michael Della Penna. In addition to carrying on the rich tradition of the Franciscan ideals and charism, he has also transformed the orphanage into a more efficient and modern operation, helping to keep alive and strengthen the “beautiful dream.”

 One of the key aspects of Fr. Michael’s vision for the orphanage is this web site. Not only is it an effort to accommodate all those who are interested in the orphanage, but also it is a way of reaching out and sharing with our benefactors, friends, all those who work here, those who have visited us and the world at large, the beautiful work God is accomplishing through all of us.

Valley Of The Angels Orphanage (Mailing Address)

Tel: Tel: 011.502.5053.3636

Address: PO Box 522505, 8305 North West 27th Street, Ste. 113, Miami, FL 33152

E-Mail: info@valleyoftheangelsorphanage.com


Jul 23

7 Reasons You Should Go on a Short-Term Mission Trip



This past week I traveled with 18 Americans to a part of rural Guatemala that I’ve visited seven times in 11 years. Our multigenerational team from Florida included a college professor, a lawyer, a salesman, a private school teacher, several teens and a 31-year-old veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Only one of our team members could speak Spanish fluently and a few had never been out of the United States before.

Lee-Grady-MissionsThe climate was hot, the food was strange and communication was a challenge. But the inconveniences didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. The people on our team dug a foundation for a church building, prayed for people at the conclusion of many services, played soccer with local youth, hugged lots of kids, performed dramas, visited local families in their homes and made lifelong friends.

Not everyone can pack up all their belongings and become career missionaries, but many of us can go on short-term mission trips. If you’ve never tried it, I encourage you to consider these benefits of taking the compassion of Jesus to another culture:

1. You will encounter God’s heart. Our God is big and He cares about the nations. He’s a global God. And His ultimate goal is to gather a family that represents “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). When you step into a foreign mission field, you will sense God’s amazing compassion for another culture and you will begin to know Him as Lord of the harvest.

2. You will expand your limited perspective. Too many of us are stuck in spiritual ruts. Even pastors can get bored with the sameness of ministry in one community. Every now and then you need to step out of your comfort zone and allow God to stretch you. Experience how other Christians worship God with fervor. Discover how they plant churches and engage in evangelism. Recognize that the way we do ministry in the United States is not necessarily the only way. And expect to learn from the people you are going to minister to.

3. You will be become more grateful. I receive an attitude adjustment every time I go to another country—especially when I am with poorer Christians. Whether I am eating papayas and frijoles in Guatemala, sleeping on an uncomfortable bed in Uganda or riding in an all-night train in India, I come back from my trips with a renewed appreciation for life’s little blessings—air conditioning, running water, nice roads and flush toilets. There’s nothing like spending time with a family of seven in a house made of mud and straw to put your puny problems in perspective.

4. You will discover your spiritual family. When you minister alongside Christians in another country, you find that the Holy Spirit bonds us together supernaturally. In the community I visited this week in eastern Guatemala, there are people who have become like family members to me because of our spiritual connection. These relationships can last a lifetime. This is the same type of bond the apostle Paul felt with the people he met in Greece, Italy and Asia Minor during his travels.

5. You will build lasting partnerships. God gives us this strong bond so we will link arms and work for a common purpose across racial and cultural lines. I encourage churches to send teams to the same place annually to foster permanent relationships and effective projects. Expect God to link your church with a community overseas. Your connection to the same people over time can lead to the planting of a church, an orphanage, a shelter for women or a school.

6. You will overcome your fears. One woman on our team this week had never prayed at a church altar for people—and she felt totally inadequate because of her limited knowledge of Spanish. But when people streamed to the front of the church she swallowed her fears and did what her flesh didn’t want to do. Instead of running like Jonah she poured her life out for the precious people we came to reach. I guarantee she will have more spiritual confidence when she gets back home. Sometimes you have to run to the front of the battle line to get new courage.

7. You will expand the kingdom of Jesus. The Great Commission was not a suggestion. Christ’s kingdom cannot be built without bold, radical obedience to Matthew 28:19: “Go therefore…” Somebody has to GO. There’s no way around it. To share the gospel with the whole world, we must be willing to pack our bags sometime and leave home.

Of course not everyone can hop on a plane and go to a foreign country for 10 days. Some people have health limitations or family pressures that make travel impractical. Don’t feel guilty if you are in that category. Instead remember that those who can’t go to the mission field physically can go through prayer or financial support. And the reward will be the same.

When David defeated the Amalekites, he gave the same reward to the warriors who stayed behind to watch the baggage as he gave to the frontline soldiers who wielded swords (see 1 Sam. 30:22-25).

So, whether you go virtually or in person, let’s recognize the priority of missions. Let’s encourage every Christian to discover their role in God’s great plan to tell everyone about Jesus and His love.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. He is the author of 10 Lies the Church Tells Women and other books.

For Original posting click here:

Jul 23

Missions in El Progresso, Jutiapa – By Russ McDowell

What do you get when you combine 150 middle schoolers from the countryside and a missionary from Virginia in the mountains of Guatemala.  Answer:  Happy kids and a Happy Missionary.  Working as an accountant can be boring, but working with a purpose for Christ can be exciting.  I, Russ McDowell, work as an accountant in Virginia to fund my trips to Jutiapa as a missionary with my church, West End Assembly of God.  Work all tax season, save the monies, then three or sometimes four times a year, I fly to Guatemala to work teaching English in the mountains and countryside of Jutiapa, specifically Canoas, El Progreso and La Vega.

Timothy Martiny and his family have worked with me for Reading Glasses Clinics too.  Purchasing in mass reading glasses, then bringing them in my suitcases for Vision Clinics.  Give eyes exams, for reading glasses, to the orphans.  Instant clearer reading!  We also take food, clothes and shoes to some regions of Guatemala, specifically, La Vina del Senor in Santa Rosa and La Laguna, Las Uvas and Animas in Jutiapa.  What fun it is to share God’s love thru practical gifts.  To pray and sing our praise to God is wonderful to these grateful people.  And I do not have to answer tax questions when I am here!

God is good!  All the time!

All the time!  God is good!

Jul 22

Buckner Awarded USAID Grant to develop programs in Guatemala that will provide permanent family solutions for orphans and vulnerable children.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) September 10, 2013

Buckner International was awarded a grant for nearly $1 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development Aug. 1 to develop programs in Guatemala that will provide permanent family solutions for orphans and vulnerable children.

Buckner International was awarded a grant for nearly $1 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development Aug. 1 to develop programs in Guatemala that will provide permanent family solutions for orphans and vulnerable children.

The grant provides funding for a Buckner-initiated project called Fostering Hope Guatemala. The two-year project’s goals include deinstitutionalizing 103 young children, creating a permanency team of experts to manage children’s cases, training and equipping the Guatemalan government to develop foster care and kinship care programs and developing a system to manage and track data on children and foster families.

buckner logo“The ideas of foster care and formal kinship care are fairly new concepts in most places in the world,” said Randy Daniels, Buckner Vice President of International Resource and Program Development. “Guatemala is no exception. The current option in Guatemala for a child is, regardless of age, to be placed in institutional care. This grant provides the financial resources to move forward with a foster care and kinship care model that is based on best practices supported by research.”

Daniels said education will be an important component of the effort. “Buckner will be hosting seminars to train the highest government officials on the issues surrounding institutionalization of children and the benefits of family-based care. Buckner will also work with the government to develop a curriculum for training social workers and other professionals involved in all aspects of child placement.”

This award supports USAID’s investments in the newly signed ACTION PLAN FOR CHILDREN in ADVERSITY, the first whole-of-government strategic guidance on international assistance for children in adversity. The Action Plan has three principal objectives:

1. Build Strong Beginnings: Increasing the percentage of children surviving and reaching full developmental potential.

2. Put Family Care First: Reducing the percentage of children living outside of family care.

3. Protect Children: Reducing the percentage of girls and boys exposed to violence and exploitation.

The Fostering Hope Guatemala award supports Objective 2, in efforts to reduce the percentage of children living outside of family care.

Buckner International is a global faith-based organization dedicated to transforming the lives of orphans, vulnerable children, families and elders in the United States and around the world. Founded in 1879 in Dallas, Texas, today Buckner serves more than half a million people in 18 countries worldwide through a variety of programs designed to protect children and build strong families.


Scott Collins
Buckner International
+1 (214) 507-5834

Jul 13

Martiny Missionaries June 2014 Update

Cooking classes have been incredibly fun this month. Sharie has amazing patience working with the students and is doing a great job teaching them. This month they learned to make Mediterranean food, Gyro burgers, ice cream desserts and many other delicious meals.

This month we also assisted a mission team of Physical Therapists from the Village Church and the Cadanino in ministering to children who are at ABI, the government center for the severely physically and neurotically disabled.

We have continued having Bible classes with the teenage girls from Fundaninos in our home. Our memory work this month has been the Sermon on the Mount, and I am proud to say that almost all of them have memorized it.

At the Precious Moments school, we were blessed to receive a visit by a team from Orphan Outreach. They played games, did activities with the students and brought a huge donation of school supplies for the students and teachers.

​Our carpentry classes have really taken off. We have spent a long time working to get to this point, and it is exciting to see it finally paying off. Over the past month, we have been working on setting up the workshop in a way that makes it easier to teach the students.

​We built some new cabinets and worktables and also started exploring how to make wooden bracelets/bangles. They have been coming out beautifully. As part of our vocational training program, the students sell the products they make and all profits either go to them or are placed in savings. Everyone who has seen the bracelets and pens have loved them and we are in the process of updating our website so we can sell online.


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