Campmeeting XXIII

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Campmeeting XXIII

 

 

In just over one month from now we will open our doors and hearts to “It’s Pentecost XXIII” camp meeting (October 3-4-5 &7). For the twenty-third consecutive year we will focus on the necessity of the tangible touch of the Holy Spirit on our lives, in order to become a Last Day Harvester.

All of our ALMI international board members and missionaries will be in attendance, along with pastors, evangelists and missionaries from harvest fields around the world.  We will be challenged by the camp meeting worship and prophetic words of our ministers.

Plan now to attend! For more information visit www.alt-gcs.org or call 937-855-7334.

James A. Setser

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Guatemala- New Year & Thriving

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Guatemala- New Year & Thriving

Coming into the new year has been exciting for us! 

We held an outdoor service at one of our member's homes. We are thankful that there were new converts! After service they served  tostados and pineapple juice, and we had great fellowship. 

Our central church in Bellos Horizontes is continuing to flourish. We hold services Wednesday (women's service) through Sunday. On Thursday's, our teenagers have been holding services in youth group that are very convicting. Many have been confessing their sins openly and repenting. With the youth group growing, there was another ministry born. We now have a separate class ministering to kids under 10 years by sister Amanda. Along with the adults having prayer meeting in the main sanctuary with Brother Neil. 

We are working with the other three churches. We ask that you please remember the pastors and their members in prayer. The pastor's wives especially have fought much sickness. But we are believing for God to change the situations. 

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Train Them Up

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Train Them Up

Train them up in the way they should go… 

        … and they shall not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6


Training Up a Generation

For those who are parents, have you ever dreamed of your child’s future? Wondered, “What will they become…?” This train of thought then leading to thoughts of personal responsibility as the parent of your child, “Am I sufficiently preparing them for life?” or “Am I building good character into my child?” The reality of time continuously and steadily sweeping away reminds us of how time can sneak in and out without us ever realizing it has come and gone. 
In the House of Refuge, I have had this exact train of thought on my mind. I do not wish to become so focused on seeing the daily tasks done, that I forget to seize the moments with the children. Many times I find myself evaluating the daily agenda, seeing that we cover all the areas effectively, from bible studies to effective measures of corrective behavior, ext. My mind then thinks of little Steven, the defiant child who defies all and any form of authority, how do I effectively reach him? He never seems to want to study because he is busy looking for others things to do that he likes. Our team working with him at the House of Refuge are growing exhausted, and suggest he should go because he causes the other children to misbehave. How do I get this child ready for the school entrance exam, when he defies anything but playing baseball or some other active form of amusement? Many of his school teachers and others around him are telling him he is not behaving well and tell him all that he does wrong. Then it came to me… love him and be consistent because until he knows that you love him and that what you say you will do, then he will not respond. 
One day in particular Estiven was with all the children during Bible Study, but Estiven didn’t want to listen, he wanted to play with the tennis ball in his hand. His bouncing it around against the wall and the floor of the classroom did not encourage a learning environment. Naturally he had it taken away by the Tía Blanca (aunt in Spanish, or the caretaker of the children). This caused him to shut down and frown and walk around mad kicking doors and then telling Tía Blanca how he disliked her class and did not want to be in it. I was thinking able to get him to come into my office so that Tía Blanca could continue with her lesson, I sat him down, heard out his complaints (which consisted of his tennis ball being taken away), explained to him the time for playing with the tennis ball is later. 5 minutes of sitting in the chair alone to think about what he did was given, and then I put him to work… making a card for Tía Blanca. He designed it and thought of the kind words to put on it for her. He wanted the words in English “I love you” on the front. I told him he had to give it to Tía Blanca personally, and he said no I would, and even though his strong will is just that… strong, mine was more persistent, I gently and confidently took his hand without him having much time to think about if he wanted to or not and we walked upstairs together, showing people his card of appreciation for Tía Blanca. When we got to the door of the classroom, card in hand, he was a little backward, and he came slowly, creeping on his knees towards Tía Blanca, we both waited patiently for him to complete his mission. He eventually, even after a snail paced knee walk, gave the card to Tía Blanca explained to her what it meant in Spanish, and he sat at his desk ready to learn. 
Some of you may be bored after reading this story, and it may not be your normal exciting mission blog of 100’s of people getting baptized or miracles, but to me stories like these are miracles and they do resonate souls. Why you may ask? Because these little moments with the children, teaching them to do right and honor those in authority, will aid who they will be tomorrow. We are in a constant process of training children, and it is no job for the faint of heart. At the House of Refuge, we are training up a generation and we are certain that our present efforts in molding these children will show fruit in the ever approaching future. Children, especially, vulnerable children, like the fatherless, need ministering to. A mass murderer Hitler once said, “You give me your children, and I will change society in 10 years.” He, the devil, has had these children and their mothers long enough. We declare and believe them to be God’s future leaders and world shakers for the advancement of the Kingdom of God, so that in 10 years we will see a godly victorious society that gives all glory to God. Be a part with us through prayers and financial support in training up a generation. 

Bettina Long
House of Refuge International Director

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ALMI Alaska

What a jam-packed year this has been! We had no idea what God had in store for us this time last year. Harrison and Grant have brought so much joy to our lives since they were born in July! The Lord helped us to accomplish drilling a new well and replacing the roof on the church! We also have done more ministry and made better connections in the villages this year and are excited to see what the Lord will do in 2017!

We’ve been praying for a way to bring the congregation together outside of the church setting. We felt the Lord leading us to start “CONNECT”.  This is what we are calling our small group home meetings. We had our first meeting and had 19 in our home. We've had several meetings since then and the attendance has grown. It's a fun night of food, games, and a small devotion. The focus is simply building relationships! Relationships are key to letting people know that they are wanted, loved, and have a purpose!

In November, we were able to help several families with Thanksgiving baskets! Bro. Randy Perry from Oklahoma sent an offering to cover the expenses for this project. What a blessing it was to visit with these families and pray with them.

It was a joy to visit the nursing home and the shut ins around town during the Christmas season! We passed out small gift bags as we sang Christmas carols and encouraged those around our community with the message of our Saviour's birth.

On Christmas morning we had a candlelight communion service. There were eleven visitors in attendance. Two received Jesus that morning and we are rejoicing with them! One was a woman in her seventies who was raised Catholic. She had not been to church in many years. She testified of making a new commitment to Jesus. She didn't have a Bible, so we gave her one. Praise the Lord for what He has done!!

We are so grateful and humbled by your sacrificial giving towards the work we are doing here. We ask that you continue to hold our family up in prayer that 2017 would be our best year of ministry in Alaska! 

 

In Him, 

The Myricks

Jared, Vicki, Reagenn, Jackson, Quincee, Harrison and Grant

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Nicaragua 2016 Year-End Review

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Nicaragua 2016 Year-End Review

As the year comes to a close and I reflect back on the challenges that we met and the victories we obtained, I am grateful to the Lord for His unwavering faithfulness.  I would like to highlight some significant moments from 2016.  

Missions Vehicle

The necessity for a dependable, multi-purpose vehicle to aid in the ministry had been growing for several years.  In 2015 we began fundraising for the purpose of purchasing a used truck in optimal conditions.  My home church of Full Gospel Tabernacle held a gospel singing in the local high school gymnasium.  Many churches and individuals from across the country contributed to the cause.  We were in route to reaching our goal.  In the spring of 2016 other donations also came in, and thus we had collected the necessary funds.  After prayer and patience, the Lord opened a door and provided a most outstanding and flawless 2010 Toyota Hilux truck for the mission work.  I wish to thank all those who labored and contributed to this effort, with special thanks going to my home church and Pastors Tim and Cathy Noble.  

 

Bible School Graduates

We are happy to report two graduates from OBI Bible School in Guatemala: Alvaro Zeledon (Matagalpa) and Victorino Miranda (Leon).  Let us continue to pray for these young men as they move forward into their respective ministries.  

 

MAP

This year ALMI has reached a momentous milestone in its launching of a cutting-edge ministry training program, better known as the Missionary Apprenticeship Program (MAP).  We have undertaken the task of discipling, training and commissioning young men and women for the work of the Great Commission.  The students spent two months at Base Camp in Ohio, followed by a month of itineration and subsequently spent two months in Nicaragua.  After completing the ministerial curriculum and practicum they received their diploma in Missiological Studies.  MAP's inaugural year has been remarkably successful; each student has testified to the unforgettable, profound experiences which have immensely affected their lives, giving them their bearings for ministry.  We are delighted to present the first four pioneer MAP graduates:

 Amber Fouts, Brittany Hunt, Josh Lindsey, Shea Redmon

Amber Fouts, Brittany Hunt, Josh Lindsey, Shea Redmon

Let us continue to pray for these ministers as they endeavor to fulfill the Great Commission.  

I would sincerely like to thank you all for your prayers and support.  As we now look ahead to what 2017 holds for us, I encourage us not to be weary in well-doing.  Let us go forward, taking the Kingdom of God by force, bringing in that glorious harvest!!  I wish you all a most blessed and bountiful 2017!

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ALMI Guatemala 2016 Year End Review

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ALMI Guatemala 2016 Year End Review

The year 2016 for Abundant Life Missions Guatemala has been filled with great experiences and adventures. Along with seeing growth in many ministries we also have faced some setbacks. The Lord has used every situation to correct, strengthen, and guide the work that it may glorify Christ. Everything from baptizing new converts to cleaning up after a hurricane has proven to be a great teacher for the ministry. We rejoice in the opportunity to continue as the Lord leads.

This year we have seen tremendous growth in our central church where we pastor. We find many here that have a religious background or lifestyle but sadly do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Glory be to God to those that have come to Christ this year with true brokenness for their sins. We have seen lives delivered from drugs, alcohol and the things of this world. With each new believer, they come asking us to baptize them. We gather at the lake and they go under the water. What a joy upon their faces! 
After they are baptized, they start to take part in the services. This is a great blessing to them and us as well. We're so thankful to have more help in the church. Each week there are two or three different groups going out to visit and evangelize. Praise the Lord we now have need to purchase more chairs because of the growth and continue welcoming of visitors.

We recently held a conference at our church. We invited all of the churches of the ALT mission in addition to the churches surrounding the area. We want unity among the brethren. The theme was "How to win more souls to Christ". It was an event that lasted all day with teaching and preaching. We also had a time of food and fellowship. As a result, we were able to take our youth, for the first time to do open air preaching in the market. It was a great blessing and we expect to see even more souls as a result of those teachings!

We finished up this year rejoicing for all that God has done in us, in our church and in the mission here in Guatemala. We gathered the pastors for the annual Christmas dinner and had a time of food, fellowship and gifts. We gave thanks for all that God has done in 2016 and also made plans for 2017. We're excited to see all that God will do in this upcoming year.

Thank you for all your love and support. Please continue to pray for us as we follow His will for the work in Guatemala.

 "May the lamb that was slain receive the glory of his suffering"
       
God bless,
The Simpson family

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House of Refuge Year End Review

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House of Refuge Year End Review

We closed out the year 2016 with a grand celebration of Navidad aka Christmas! All of our 13 children ages 5-12, received gifts. A special thanks to Lola Church and students of Germantown Christian School and many others how made it possible for us to have a grand Christmas party with PRESENTS!!!  Before the day of the party, we decided to teach the children the valuable lesson of giving. Thus, the children selected baby clothes we had in storage, and they personally donated articles of clothing to underprivileged, pregnant women or mothers with infants. This was a very treasurable moment. There was one mother who had recently found out that she was going to have twins, consequently every article of clothing was received with great gratitude. Most importantly, the children were taught the importance of giving and not only receiving.

Days prior to the Christmas celebration, the children were asking about their receiving a present. Our youngest, Andres, of 5 years of age, yelled out in his small high-pitched voice, with his shepherd attire, beard included, “And my present?” You can imagine the excitement of a 5-year-old, who has been told there would be presents, and then also imagine how many times he asked us about his present, even up unto his receiving it. It was his birthday also, hence he was especially excited. The children received hygienic needs, such as toothpaste, brushes, hand towels, hair berets, and much more. Naturally, Christmas would not be Christmas without toys, there were Yoyo’s, soccer balls, Barbie dolls, and all sorts of fun and excitement that I can not recall them all! All the children were with smiles this day, as they expressed their joy, as some received Christmas presents for the first time this day. 

They had practiced a Christmas pageant, detailing the birth of Christ. We wished to teach the children that this is a time where we celebrate Christ, not only presents and giving.  Most of the boys had beards on, and this made some of them look so grown up. TIME quickly came to my mind when I saw them! How quickly it flees, and how we must work while it is day, because night is soon coming. Momentarily these children will no longer be children, and what are we doing NOW to exemplify Christ in their lives?

We, at the House of Refuge, desire to seize the time with the children in our area, whom God has entrusted us with. Time is swiftly passing, many of our children have received Christ, but it does not stop here. There are additional children in the Leon, Nicaragua, who are  waiting on YOU to sponsor them, and permit them the opportunity of a place of security, a refuge. A place where they may see Christ. 17 children are needing sponsors. Please help us seize the time, commit now in your heart to change the LIFE of a child. The time is now!

Happy New Year.

Bettina Long

ALMI International Director of the House of Refuge

León, Nicaragu 

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CALL TO PRAYER

1 Corinthians 16:9- "For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries."

1.     Immense Open Doors for Last Day Evangelism

As never before, opportunistic doors are open for evangelism.  From Alaska to Costa Rica, wherever ALMI ministers, we are finding that these troublesome times have opened the minds and hearts of the masses to our Christ.  New Testament prophecy declares that everything from natural disasters to the proliferation of iniquity will put great pressure of society.  It has never been more evident!  We MUST take advantage of this pressure and point people to the Savior.  They are ready and willing to listen, we need the manpower and finances to proclaim the Gospel…now!  Please pray for every ALMI missionary and our MAP students.  They need your intercessory prayers that they may recognize and walk through the open doors of evangelism.  I call our supporters to prayer.  Prayer opens doors previously shut, propels our missionaries into places and people groups that are ready and waiting, and powerfully anoints the messengers.  Please Pray.

 

2.     Powerful and Numerous Adversaries

Just as Paul encountered numerous adversaries, so to does every missionary working under the ALMI banner.  In the last few weeks we have encountered:

·      Strange sicknesses and infirmities

·      Attacks that have stressed our financial resources.

·      In Nicaragua, a governmental stance that is antagonistic to mission work.

·      New national rules and regulations that are very onerous for the mission.

         These and many other adversaries have been released to hinder the Last Day Harvest.    

 

             We must pray!  I call all of you to intense intercessory prayer that our mission be not

             slowed or side-tracked by these attacks.  Pray the prayer of Isaiah (Isa. 54:17) that the

             weapons aimed against us will be destroyed and rendered harmless.   PRAY!

 

 

    MISSIONARIES          MAP STUDENTS

                                          Bobby Bailey                              Amber Fout

                                          Bettina Long                              Brittany Hunt

           Jared & Vicki Myrick                        Josh Lindsey

                                    Neil & Amanda Simpson                  Shea Redmon

 

James A. Setser

ALMI International Director

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New Opportunities

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New Opportunities

The last several months have been packed full of blessings and new opportunities. 

July 26th, we welcomed our twin boys into the world. Harrison Glen and Grant Charles were born in Fairbanks. We are still in awe that God blessed us with these two little miracles. We have seen the hand of God working in their lives from the very beginning and we know He has amazing things in store for these two world changers! 

The last week in August, we welcomed Bro. and Sis. Randy Perry and a wonderful team from Oklahoma. We traveled to the villages of Northway and Tannacross. We distributed Bibles, tracts and school supplies to the native children. We were also able to make other ministry plans in these villages for the near future. Tom and Jean Teasdale are the pastors in Northway. They hosted a native dinner which included, moose, salmon and a native white fish. It was excellent! 

We also visited Tannacross and met with Pastor Keith Aschenbeck. Some of the team sung songs and ministered at the church. While they sang, a native man, Gaylon, began to sing about a wagon wheel at the top of his lungs. He was completely drunk at 11am. Pastor Keith shared with our team that just a few short weeks before, Gaylon was doing very well. He had a great job and was serving the Lord. After hearing of a tragic death of a friend in Anchorage, he has fallen back into this alcoholic lifestyle. Alcohol has such a stronghold on the people in Alaska. Please pray for Gaylon that Lord would bring deliverance, healing and peace into his life!

The team was also in Delta Junction with us for several days. The men helped build a wall to create two rooms out of a large one in the basement of the church. Now, we have a much needed nursery. The ladies helped with the twins, which was a huge blessing to Vicki. They also blessed us with five boxes of diapers! We enjoyed having them in service ministering in song and encouraging the people. 

God has been so faithful to us in our personal life and in our ministry here in Alaska. Sometimes, ministry doesn't look the way we think it should, but His ways are always higher than our ways. We are learning to completely rely on Him and He has taken care of every need, every time. We are excited to see where else this adventure takes us! Please continue to pray for Alaska and our family. 

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How Shall They Hear?

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How Shall They Hear?

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?- Romans 10:14
 

God has been moving in miraculous ways since we have returned to Guatemala. We had a baptism almost as soon as we returned. We had shared with many of you about a man named Hector. He was intoxicated and wondering down the road headed to buy more alcohol, when as though a great big hand reached out of the church and drew him inside. He sat down on the back seat, but only for a moment. Conviction was so strong, that he couldn't sit any longer and he prayed and cried at the altar. When he got up, he was a sober, changed man. He has been going strong in the Lord for around 8 months now. When we returned, he couldn't wait any longer to be baptized. We took the church members out to a nearby lake all to share the change the Lord has made in our new brother. He has continued to grow since then. He now is the main bus driver to transport the members to and from church and also loves to help in any way possible. He wants to serve the Lord by cleaning or preaching and every way in between. We are so thankful for the work that Jesus Christ has done in him!

We have had several new families added to the church in the recent months. We were blessed with some missionary friends, Jeff and Kim Oeder, who came and stayed a week with us. They purchased lots of food, toys for the kids, and most importantly Bibles! These Bibles have reached and blessed so many. One particular lady couldn't see well. She really expressed her desire to read the bible and study but because of her eyes, she was unable. We were able to bless this sister with a large printed bible. She started to cry and hug it. We were so blessed being able to see this, but we wanted to make sure she could read it. So she opened it up, but still her eyes struggled. Thankfully they had also bought reading glasses. As she put these on and tried again to read the words. She finished a text and started to hug us and thank us. Wow! What a joy to be able to put the word of God into hands that have never had the opportunity before. This sister has two of her grand daughters that she cares for and now they all gather around to hear grandma read the bible and search the scriptures for living bread.

The past few weeks we have held out door services once a week. This is a great blessing to our church to take Christ outside of our four walls and share with the community. Our people have a great burden to go door to door ministering and preaching this gospel. A candle whose light cannot be hid. There has been a wonderful response to these ministries and we have seen many new faces as a result. We are growing in numbers and in spirit! God is blessing tremendously!

We never want to fail to give thanks to all of you who stand behind us in this work with your prayers, love and support. We want to give thanks to ALMI for allowing us to work in this mission and share our heart's burden to reach the lost and dying. We try to focus everything around preaching this gospel. Often this spreads out into many different ways and ministries but it always comes back to Christ. How can they believe unless they have heard, and how can they hear unless they be sent. Thank you for sending us! Many blessings in Christ!

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THE JUGGLING OF MANY HATS

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THE JUGGLING OF MANY HATS

Since the start of the House of Refuge? I found that my position as ALMI International Mission Director of the House of Refuge included, not one hat, but many hats. Each hat comes with a new task and a completely different responsibility, which all call to be filled. With the wearing of these many hats there are many components needed. One main key component can not be forgotten and that is balance… knowing when to set down one hat down, pick up another, weighing how long to keep it on, and to then set it down to pick up another. Prioritization also has played into the juggling of the many hats. Some need to be worn RIGHT NOW! They can not be passed off or tossed to the side for another day.

In order to balance and prioritize the many hats, one needs wisdom. Wisdom as, “the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” I cry, I pray, I plead for wisdom! There are many decisions made on a daily basis. Whether it be the content of daily conversation, a sensitive child/ family case, or a workers lack of performance, I pray I may be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. Wisdom, Proverbs 4:6-7 “Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

The chauffer hat… What have some of my many hats been? One small basic one, chauffer. I am learning to drive here in Nicaragua, in manual. For those that have been to Nicaragua, or any other developing country, you are aware that there are limited traffic signs, stop lights, etc. and the drivers show it in the methodology of driving. Also, forget the GPS… unless you have a native with you from the town you’re in… finding your way does not come easily with no marked street signs. Another thing is, there are very few automatic vehicles. I did not know how to drive manual until I came here to Nicaragua, where I learned. However, driving is a must because of the amount of business we conduct in running a center with 6 employees, and the food, among the other needs of 13 children.

I recently had to make a trip to Managua, (where they drive the craziest in all of Nicaragua, since it’s the capital.) Here I had my car maintained, and as soon as I was going down the road…” BOOM.” A commercial truck, filled with commercial sized cooking tanks, hits me from the rear. One of my worst fears, had came to pass, an accident in Nicaragua. A taxi driver changed lanes very suddenly, leaving myself and the car in front of me little time to stop. Since we were coming down a slight decline of a hill, the loaded down, commercial truck had no time to stop, and I was the one who received the impact. The taxi driver and the car in front of me drove on, without recollection. However, I found that God made provision and blessings from the accident. Thankfully, the driver did not leave and run away leaving me with a damaged vehicle (which is is not rare.) One, the police officer at the scene wanted to fine me for moving from the scene, where there was on coming traffic. Later, the police officer for some reason changed his mind (nothing back sure grace and mercy of God.)

Secondly, the friend with me, during the accident, knew someone in high ranks from their church, who introduced me to the head chief of police of District 1 of Managua. I met the chief two days after the accident. The friend of the church with me told me this was like meeting Ortega the president of Nicaragua. I told the chief my story of what happened, he asked me some questions about my work I do in Nicaragua, and the matter was settled. I was found not at fault; they gave me back my license (which they had taken at the sight of the accident.) With the paper stating I was not at fault, I was able to go the the guilty party’s insurance an d they paid for all my damages. A little over a week later, I had my car back to looking brand new and better than ever. They actually fixed other little dents and scratches I had before the accident. Who but God?

The hat of advocate. This hat is more complex, but it’s end result is unmeasurable. Here I am functioning most in my calling, with which God has given me a passion. In working with highly at risk and vulnerable children, in a developing country, the hat of the advocate is a huge priority, and one I take seriously. I find myself having to work on the behalf of children and their families, working and fighting for their protection even when they don’t like it. It can be the most exhausting hat to put on… because children, being children, do not always want what is the best for them, nor their families. Recently, we have worked with the families of the children in telling them that they must take more responsibility for their children by taking them back and forth to school and from our Children’s home. Mother’s who most do not make their children priority and do not see education important.