¡Feliz Adviento!

Love & Hope Children’s Home is getting ready for Christmas! Our new friend from Germany, Meike, is sharing one of her advent traditions with the kids every evening before dinner. Meike started by making an advent wreath that holds 24 candles. She also put together 24 little gift boxes that hang in the dining room, each one full of mini-surprises.



Before beginning the advent wreath tradition with the Love & Hope kids, Meike told them the story of its origins in Germany. Pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern founded an orphanage in Hamburg in 1833. He came up with this advent practice in 1838 to help teach the 120 children he cared for about Christmas and the coming of Jesus. As a candle is lit every day in December, it is meant to remind us that Christ is the “light of the world.”

Every day before dinner, Meike selects one child to open a numbered gift box. The kids are always excited to know whose turn it will be.


Inside each box is a candle, a Bible passage and a treat. Whoever opens the box is responsible for reading the Bible passage to the group. Then the candle is added to the advent wreath and the wreath is lit.


Before eating, the Love & Hope kids always sing together, and Meike has been teaching them a new song about Advent, which she translated from German. The words are taken from Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice!”

Anunciamos el Adviento
Mira la primera candela!
Anunciamos un tiempo santo,
Preparense para el Señor!
¡Ya alégrense, alégrense!
Jesús está cerca.
We announce to you the lovely Advent,
See the first candle is lit!
We announce to you a holy time,
Get the way ready for the Lord.
Rejoice Christianity, rejoice very much,
The Lord is already near!
Many of the kids have already asked if they will get to open the 24th box on Christmas Eve! Either way, Meike’s advent wreath has been a great exercise in preparing for the coming of our Savior. We are grateful to Meike for sharing this Christmas tradition with us!

To read more about Johann Hinrich Wichern, click here.

2014 Education Fundraiser

At Love & Hope Children’s Home, education is one of our top priorities. We believe it’s one of the most valuable assets we can give our children, and something that can truly make the difference between a life of sustenance and a life of success. El Salvador is a county that spends only 3% of its GDP on education. This makes private school the only viable option for a safe, quality education. Here at Love & Hope we’re preparing to send 22 eager young minds back to school in 2014, and we need your help to do it!


Our Education Fund allows us to pair each child with a school that best meets their needs –challenging them while also providing an atmosphere of success. For some, this means studying at a school with a rigorous English program. For others, this means small class sizes and specially trained teachers. It also means transportation to and from class everyday, books, uniforms, tutoring, and school supplies. A gift to our Education Fund helps make learning possible at Love & Hope.

We’ve setup a special site where you can donate to our Education Fund in the name of specific child, or make a general donation. Choose a child you sponsor, or a child that shares a common interest or age with one of your own children. Your contribution will help us reach our goal of fully funding education for our children in 2014. Supporting a child’s education is a direct and immediate way to make a lasting impact on their life, the life of their family, and the country of El Salvador.

Please visit our 2014 Education Fund and give today.

Let us not develop an education that creates in the mind of the student a hope of becoming rich and having the power to dominate. That does not correspond to the time we live in.

Let us form in the heart of the child and the young person the lofty ideal of loving, of preparing oneself to serve and to give oneself to others.

The church must propose an education that makes people agents of their own development, protagonists of history, not a passive, compliant mass, but human beings able to display their intelligence, their creativity, their desire for the common service of the nation.

-Monseñor Oscar Romero


Feliz Quince, Kevin!

Love & Hope Children’s Home was recently blessed to celebrate the 15th birthday of our oldest boy, Kevin. While having a big quinceañera, or 15th birthday party, is more common tradition for young women, we decided to recognize Kevin’s coming-of-age with a small, but special, celebration at home.
Veronica, our cook, prepared a special chicken dinner. Mandy made the cake and the tias decorated the kitchen and patio with streamers, lights and close to 100 balloons.
Several special guests arrived for the celebration, including Kevin’s old tutor, Kathya, and our friend Delena. Love & Hope’s social worker and psychologist, Gloria and Jessica, also came with their husbands. The Love & Hope kids wore their best dress for the occasion.
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After dinner, it was time for presents. One of Kevin’s presents was a special book compiled by the kids. Every person in the house wrote a note or drew a picture, and all of the cards were put into the book. Kevin took a good amount of time to look it over and read the cards, with the other kids leaning closely over his shoulder. Later, we enjoyed a slide show. The slide show included early photos of Kevin that got everyone giggling.
It is hard to express in words the amazing personality that Kevin possesses. He is kind and loving and pure of heart. Kevin radiates joy and patience, rarely saying no to the little Love & Hope boys that flock to him to play. Kevin is not a very talkative young man, but that is okay, because what he lacks in words he makes up for in laughing. He is all smiles, all the time. Kevin is affectionate with and obedient to the adults at Love & Hope Children’s Home. His lean (and ever lengthening) frame is strong and athletic, perfect for dominating us all in soccer. Kevin works hard in school and does it without complaining, working well individually and accepting help when needed. Kevin is one-in-a-million; he really is.
Kevin currently lives with his brother, but comes to visit Love & Hope from time to time. The rest of the kids mob him with warm (though boisterous) greetings when he walks through our door for the weekend. We miss having Kevin around, but we were so thankful to be able to spend this significant birthday with him. Feliz Quince, Kevin!