Love & Hope Children’s Home is about a month into the 2015 school year. So far, so good! We asked the kids what some of their goals were for this year. Some of their goals are pretty lofty, others are very original. We wanted to share a few of them with you:


Jefferson: “I want to learn to draw more and be more responsible with my homework.”

Irene: “I want to earn first place in my class.”


Linda: “I want to earn second place in my class, study more for tests and present projects better.”

Eliseo: “I want to learn more English and learn how to draw because I can only draw some things.”

Vanessa: “I want to pass 5th grade, earn an award in my class, get good grades and only receive big 10’s on my tests. I don’t want to get so nervous when doing a presentation.”


Jeremiah: “I want to achieve 10’s on my tests.”

Michell: “I want to improve my presentations and earn an award in my class.”

Aly: “I want to get a 10 in math.”


Jacobo: “I want to pass 7th grade with good grades and return to my old school.”

Moises: “I want to get “10’s” on all of my tests.”

Love & Hope Children’s Home does its best to provide our kids with a top-notch education. This not only has to do with their schools, but also the support we offer them at home. Our children attend five different schools based on their individual learning needs, environment, class size, teaching style, and the like. At home, we have a structured homework hour and many of the children also receive additional tutoring.


We are so proud of our children for striving to achieve and set goals. They are off to a great start this year: we have recognized some incredible motivation in them! Please join us in praying for the Love & Hope kids this year and consider supporting our Education Fund by clicking here.

Photo credit: Jacobo (he did a great job!)

Farewell, Mandy!

Every morning, for the last two-and-a-half years, we at Love & Hope Children’s Home knew exactly when Mandy entered the house. She offered a hearty greeting to everyone – sometimes in English, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in Spanglish – and it was usually accompanied by several little voices vying for her attention, “Mandy! Mandy! Can we play a game? Can I go grocery shopping with you? I need help with my computer homework! Can you make me a costume for dress-up day at school?”


Mandy was Love & Hope’s jack of all trades. She was the administrative assistant to Yanira (our administrator) and the first point of contact for visitors, donors and people who were interested in our ministry. She made sure that every birthday, holiday and outing was special. She kept our storage rooms and kitchen organized and well-stocked. Mandy worked with our teams from start to finish, a process that took months to organize. On top of this, she took the time to know each one of the Love & Hope kids, spend time with them, support them, love them.


In December we said goodbye to Mandy, as she moved back to the states. Love & Hope already misses her. She made sure that many, many things at Love & Hope ran smoothly, that every person felt special, that every visitor had a great experience. Mandy explains below the impact that Love & Hope Children’s Home had on her life:

“One of the hardest things I had to do was leave El Salvador. Since my first visit 6 years ago, I never imagined that it is where I would be spending the last few years. Before I went, people would ask me, “Are you prepared to go there?” I always was. I never had a hard time adjusting and life became normal very quickly. However, no one prepared me for was the day I would have to say goodbye: goodbye to the kids that I have loved and invested my life and time in for the last few years, kids that have played such an important part in my life, kids that I didn’t know how to say goodbye to. I know life brings different things and God has seasons and times for everything. As much as I knew it was time to move back, it is always hard to say goodbye.

“I hope and pray that my time there has impacted the kids in ways that they will remember and hold on to all their lives. My hope is that in the last few years I made a difference in El Salvador. El Salvador has taught me so much; it definitely changed my life. It made me stronger, more fearless, more loving, and forced me to step out of my comfort zone. It gave me a new view of life, of people and of the world. Before I decided to ever go to El Salvador, I met many people who said, ‘I wish I would have done this or that with my life.’ After hearing that statement many times, I knew that I never wanted to say it. I always wanted to go to a children’s home but was afraid to just let go of everything and do it. I am so glad I let go of that fear, trusted God and did it. It was amazing to see how God truly provides for you when you are where he wants you to be. I now can say I did what God wanted for me during that time of my life and I will never have to regret not doing it or wish that I had done it. Now I am excited to see what God has next. I know that Love & Hope will always be a part of me. Even though I can’t be there physically to watch all the kids grow up, I am excited to see where their lives will go and I will always continue to support and love them no matter where I am in the world.”

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We are so grateful that even from a distance Mandy continues to be involved in communications and organizing teams and volunteers. Mandy, we love and miss you! Thank you for giving your all to this ministry, even from far away. The house is a little quieter without you here, and we don’t like it. Come visit soon and make some noise with us!



In January, Love & Hope hosted two different teams of women, and we had a great time getting to know everyone who came!



The first team, composed of Kathy, Mary, Christie, Kayleigh, Lauren, Kirstyn, Sarah, and Mattie, focused on helping Love & Hope get ready for school. We’ve talked about this before: in El Salvador, every book and notebook must all be wrapped in plastic or contact paper. Sometimes, they even have to be color-coded! It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to wrap all of the books. Since each child has at least 20 items to be covered, we easily have over 400 books and notebooks to wrap each January! We’re always extremely happy to get help with this enormous project, and the women’s team delivered!

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The team helped the kids create great Easter cards to send out to their sponsors. If you’re a sponsor, be looking for that handmade card in the mail this spring! Additionally, we enjoyed a game-night where we played Bible Pictionary (very, very intensely!) and a new game for us called Left-Right-Center. The winner won a giant container of chocolate kisses!

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Our first group also took everyone on a trip to an indigo farm called San Juan Buena Vista. It is a wonderful, cultural, Salvadoran experience. Indigo was once one of El Salvador’s biggest exports until advances in chemistry allowed indigo to be synthesized in the late 1800’s. The people at San Juan Buena Vista are trying to re-claim that part of El Salvador’s heritage, growing and selling indigo again. The farm gives group tours and invites visitors to make an indigo tie-dyed shirt, which our kids now proudly wear.

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Our second team, composed of Kathy, Rachel, Hannah, Suzanne, Tiffany, and Anita started their week at a local public hospital, San Rafael. They painted in the psychiatric ward and also provided funds for the construction of a new consultation room. A few days later, the team returned to San Rafael to have a party with some of the patients there and dedicate the new space. Love & Hope is excited to have made this connection with the local hospital and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future.


The team also treated us to a day at the beach. We arrived a bit late due to a large traffic jam in the city, but once we got there it was a blast and the kids played until the sun went down.

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Finally, our second team closed the week with another game night. We did relay races and created crazy balloon sculptures. We are very competitive here at Love & Hope; everyone loves to win. This makes any organized games we play very fun and very loud!

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Both of our teams also visited a local community where we hosted “back to school” parties for the children who live there. The kids loved it and had a great time making bracelets, decorating folders and pencils, playing games, and just goofing around with a bunch of gringas.

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Thank you to both teams of women for serving with us in El Salvador. We loved having you, and we hope you’ll come visit us again soon.