In 2005, La Casa was able to purchase a 28-acre farm in Santo Tomas. The land, which we call “la finca,” is located just 10 miles outside of San Salvador and serves as our home helping to facilitate a “family” environment for the children entrusted to our care to heal and grow.
The first structure built on the land was a chapel made possible by a Samaritan’s Purse donor and serves as a place of prayer for La Casa. A bell was made and sent from Germany to be placed inside the bell tower and can be heard all across the property and community. Each week, our staff meets to worship and pray together for the ministry.
We also have a pavilion and barbecue area for activities and events with the children, their families, and visiting teams. There is also a playground area, basketball court and a soccer field that are used as recreational areas for the children.
The land has many fruit trees including oranges, lemons, coconuts, mangos, bananas and other tropical fruits. We just finished the process of replacing old coffee plants and established an area to grow cacao, from which the seeds of the fruit are used to produce chocolate. A greenhouse and vegetable garden helps to provide some of the food needed for the children at La Casa.
Currently, we are building our third home on the property. This home will provide a family environment for up to 8 additional girls while reaching out to bring restoration to their biological family. This home should open mid to late summer.
La Casa is debt free and no development takes place until funds are secured. We are delighted to live on such a beautiful piece of land with its resources. May God be given all of the glory!
Did you know that our new homes have names? We call the boy’s home Grace Home and the girl’s home Hope Home. We all know that love is what binds a home together, but as our houseparents parent children with difficult pasts, they know that it also takes a lot of grace and holding on to hope to travel the often rocky road towards healing. Grace, the lavish love and forgiveness that is offered to us on a continuous basis from our Heavenly Father, needs to be extended to those around us. It isn’t always easy to take a step back and remember that the fight isn’t against us, but with the tragic consequences of the past that tries to take away our today and our tomorrow. Often the way our children react to a situation is out of the pain of the past. Hurts can grip you and hold you captive as you react out of that deep wounding. It takes grace from everyone around to give you space to work through the emotions and baggage you carry. We want to offer that grace both to the children we serve, their families and ourselves. READ MORE
We have all endured seasons in life that are just plain hard. Seasons where our foundations are shaken or we’ve been tossed around in such a manner that every aspect of our equilibrium in life has been turned around and we don’t really know where we will land. Seasons where we don’t know if we will survive. Aren’t we thankful that those seasons do end? Maybe not in our timeframe, but they do end, and somehow what seemed to be so hard, so unbearable and so dark bring a new season of hope. Sometimes what seemed like black now outlines a beauty in our lives we never knew was there, much like an artist outlines something and it just pops. READ MORE
Therapeutic Riding in its simplest form is teaching children to ride horses. However, what many people do not know is that these riding lessons can be used to achieve other goals: educational, physical, and/or emotional. Some areas that the children at La Casa benefit from are:
A confidence boost
Learning to control such a large animal helps to feel like you can do anything you set your mind to.
Any subject can be adapted into a game on horseback, so the kids approach the material in a new way.
Horses are very loving creatures and can mirror our emotions. Through working with the horses, children can learn to control their emotions as well as learn to love and trust someone else.
Horseback riding is not far behind swimming in that it works all the major muscle groups in the body and is a great source of exercise.
Benefits for Autism
The movement of the horse provides the input and stimulation children with autism crave. By providing this input, the children can then focus enough to be able to learn other things such as numbers, colors, letters, and even how to follow directions.
Aside from teaching lessons to the children at La Casa, there are also private riding and therapy lessons. If you are interested in either of these services, contact Whitney Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are really enjoying living in family groups on our land. Living on the farm has had many blessings, and another one has been being able to pick fruit off of the trees and vegetables out of our garden area. They just taste so good! As you can imagine, food costs are a big item in our budget, so for quite some time now we have been wanting to expand our garden area and have a greenhouse to be able to grow certain vegetables in a more controlled environment. READ MORE
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)
We have been placed right in the middle of a community. We have so many neighbors. There are so many needs. So we ask ourselves, “How do we live out God’s greatest commands? How do we model and teach God’s greatest commands to the children? How do we live out our faith to our neighbors?” READ MORE