Here at Ancla we seem to go through seasons. I am not referring to seasons as in weather but I am referring to times of peace and times of struggle. Any missionary and any Christian organization will relate to this feeling.
Over the past months I have certainly felt that our Ministry would come under attack. I am not sure if you relate with me but the reason I have felt this way is because things were going to smooth for too long. We have enjoyed our work, our staff and our children. In 2018 we had to say good bye to some very special children that have lived with us for a very long time. This is always difficult for us as staff to go through and we certainly feel that our enemy uses these times of struggle to deflate and defeat us. We cannot allow that to happen!
Recently I participated in a video series that dug into Psalm 23. Many of you will know the chapter that I am referring too. So often this chapter is used and referenced during difficult times, during times of mourning, during times of struggle. Often when I feel that I am going through a struggle Psalm 23 comes to mind but to be honest I usually try to shut it out. Somehow I interpret it as some sort of morbid, dark, lonely and simply put sad chapter. In my mind Psalms 23 means death, it just has (or should I say had) that dark empty feeling about it. "The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want." Are you tracking with me? It just has a thing about it but the cool thing, if I look at it a little differently, this scripture was not intended to be depressing, this scripture is intended to be full of hope and full of promises.
Have you ever proclaimed "The Lord is my Shepard!" Have you ever proclaimed that with authority? For me, simply proclaiming "The Lord is my Shepard" totally transforms the scriptures. Speaking with declaration that the Lord is my Shepard has given me confidence and it has allowed to to rest in the promises of the following verses.
Verse 2, "He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters." I have found that in recent years I have struggled to rest. My mind can't seem to stop. Many nights I wake up and cannot fall asleep, and other nights I sleep through the night but wake up tired. I go to bed tired and wake up tired. This verse gives me a sense of deep rest. It describes a course of rest that is complete! It is a rest that is longed for. What a promise that The Lord gives us, complete rest.
With the right care and up-bringing children can become positive and productive members of our society. So often I see that people underestimate a child’s potential. Children are the future of our communities and of our country. If we invest in them wisely, we are investing in our world. Family is crucial in raising a child. Children are designed to have nurturing parents that love them and prepare them for adulthood. Without this, too often children fall by the wayside and are forgotten. Our desire at Ministerios Ancla de Amor is to offer each child that arrives here a loving home in a family setting. This is what identifies us! We are a children's home. We provide loving parents and a loving and nurturing environment. We know we cannot replace their biological families. Our desire is to fill that spot during the time they are with us, and hopefully bring some healing to them at the same time.
In our field, we receive children that have endured every abuse imaginable. Children arrive here from extremely bad situations. Most often, children have been abused physically and sexually. Often they have been abandoned by their parents, and in rare occasions, we also receive children that are actually orphans. Children arrive with broken bones, bite marks, scars and burns. Every child that we receive has one thing in common, each arrives at Ancla from a very dysfunctional home. They arrive wounded, physically, emotionally and sometimes mentally. It is our job at Ancla de Amor to restore them to the way God meant them to be. We do that with the help from God. God teaches us that love can conquer all. We believe that! Every child was intended to have a loving family, a loving Mother and Father. Children do not belong in a casa hogar! For this reason, we do everything in our ability to offer them a family that loves them. Additionally, we offer programs that help them move on from their past and into their future. Although our children come from a difficult past, we teach them that their past is not their identity! We teach them that they are a child of God, created in Gods image, and created for a purpose. Each child is special in their own designed way.
As a result of their past, children arrive at our home believing they are worthless. They believe that their own parents did not love them; therefore, they are not lovable. In order to accomplish our desire to see children succeed the first thing we have to do is break this belief. We convince the children that they are great and that they are created for a purpose. This takes a long time! In addition, we teach them that they can achieve their dreams if they are willing to set their minds to it, and accomplish great things! They can change their trajectory through hard work and commitment. For this reason, we have turned to sports, specifically swimming as a way to teach children they can achieve dreams if they so desire.
We recognize that ANCLA DE AMOR children come to the swimming experience with the challenges that come from neglect and abuse. They benefit greatly from water therapy and swimming: They feel safe in this context. Couples, one-on-one of adults and children, help increase their confidence, teach them the basics, and let them have fun and use their imagination in the water game.
The water itself is therapeutic. It has its own magical power (buoyancy, sensation, restorative moisture, cool to cold) especially in the desert. Children learn good limits, in the water and out of the pool. They learn to take care of themselves and each other. They learn to listen. They have responsibilities. Learning to swim, improves coordination, balance and awareness of your own space.
They learn empowerment: They take swimming as a survival technique. They learn the benefits of practice, diligence, and more practice. They learn to succeed in one or more techniques. This year, university students at the Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo and their coach, Crucita Robles, have teamed up with ANCLA's eight senior swimmers, training them and pushing them toward new levels of confidence and a more sophisticated level of skill. ANCLA children also see these college students using their SWIM to help them get ahead in college.
As the director of Ministerios Ancla de Amor I cannot be more proud of our children for the hard work, commitment and dedication they have displayed in achieving their goals at the swim competitions. I have witnessed children from the street, preparing to compete, standing on the STARTING BLOCK! This truly warms my heart to see them succeed in this way. For me it is not just about swimming. It is about finding creative ways to help them overcome their past and find healing! I have watched our children gain confidence and by investing in them I have seen them excel and grown into amazing people. They know they are no longer victims of their past and they are taking responsibility for their future. Most importantly, they know they are not forgotten. They are loved by many! It is an honour for me and my team to invest our lives in these children knowing that they will become vital members of our society and country.
Brian Peter Krahn Hiebert
Director of Ministerios Ancla de Amor A.C.
Lord, I dedicate all your Children to you. I do not know their names or who they are,
nevertheless, let your kingdom come in all it's glory.