NEWS AND STORIES
Bringing you the stories of our incredible team of children and families, teachers,
volunteers, pastors, partners and supporters every month.
A SHOW OF STRENGTH AND SACRIFICE
Last month, Andean Aid, along with staff and teachers at our private Christian school, the Juan Christiansen Academy, were faced with a difficult decision. They were to vote on a government proposal that would allow parents to pay lower tuition fees as long as the government could take over the school.
As seen in this photo, the parents voted overwhelmingly to maintain the current tuition level so that the school can continue to operate independently, an outcome that stunned officials given these are exceedingly difficult times for Venezuelan families.
Join us in continuing to pray for these brave parents, as well as our staff and school. We await an ending to this story that only God can write.
GROWING POWER: ORGANIC CILANTRO AND WATERMELON
Farming instruction continues at Juan Christiansen School, where the soil is very rich. Students till the dirt, plant organic crops, maintain the beds, then take the bounty home to their families and communities. Another way Andean Aid is helping build the child, the church and the community!
DELIVERING BAGS OF FOOD
Ana Carrillo, who serves on the board of the Civil Association for Andean Aid, also works with the Mision Alianza Evangélica to deliver bags of food to those in need. Ana and the organization decided to allocate 60 bags of food to our Help & Hope Centers at La Palmita, Florida 2000, Villa Bahareque, and to the Juan Christiansen school.
Despite this gesture, our people didn’t know how to reach Villa del Rosario in Cúcuta where the bags of food were to be picked up. So Andean Aid provided the transportation through one of our students' parents who has a truck.
Staff from our Centers rode in the pick-up truck, and when we reached Cúcuta and crossed the bridge, we took a bus (provided by Andean Aid, too), and at last, got to the church where we would find the food.
Inside, Pastor Dagoberto prayed for us and read the Bible as he passed out the food. It is just for the present, but to eat even a bit is still a mighty blessing! Thank God for it. And thanks to Andean Aid for providing the transportation to pick up the food.
ANDEAN AID MARKS 15 YEARS OF
It seems incredible to me that this month, we celebrate 15 years of service to the child, the church and the community in Venezuela and Colombia. We began with three board members and a vague idea of what we would do to help the poor, cheered on by a network of friends and co-workers Susan and I met during our year of working in Rubio, Venezuela.
My, how we have grown. Today we operate 11 Help and Hope Centers serving over 1,000 children. We offer skills training to the community at large. Our Christian school enrolls over 200 children in grades pre-K through 8th grade. In response to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, we serve hundreds of meals to the hungry each month.
Our board is a diverse blend of nine highly capable directors. Our selection process for opening new Help and Hope Centers is based on business principles that ensure they stay open for the long term. Our network of colleagues in Venezuela has grown measurably, and we operate through a Civil Association in Venezuela and an NGO in Colombia.
The Lord has continually provided the people and the circumstances for this ministry to grow. I can't wait to see what the next 15 years bring.
FROM BULLIED TO BLESSED
You may wonder how a girl so lovely can be the victim of bullying, but it’s true. Daniela Solano, who is in 7th grade and attends our Help & Hope Center in Buenos Aires, Cucuta, participated in the spelling bee a few weeks ago, coming in 3rd place. Her outstanding finish sparked something in some of her classmates, who began bullying her at school.
It got to the point where Daniela was exhausted from the stress. She began leaving early to avoid the girls waiting to fight her in the school bathroom and taunt her with aggressive language.
“Everybody laughed at me for participating in the spelling bee; but that didn’t stop me. I did my best with the help of teachers, and I was proud of my results,” Daniela told us.
Daniela also loves to sing. When she asked her teacher Rosmary if she could perform for the other children, Rosmary was supportive and said she’d get up there and sing with Daniela, too.
After their performance, something wonderful happened. The students who were bullying Daniela had a change of heart. They even began asking her about Andean Aid, about her teacher, Rosmary, and wondered if they could study with her.
Daniela says she is confident about herself now, happy her life is an example to others.
ENMANUEL AND YULLIE CONTRERAS
Recently, Andean Aid teachers visited three children who attend our Florida 2000 Center in Rubio.Jose Enmanuel Contreras, 5, and his sister Yullie, 10, are excited because their mother is expecting a baby soon. We were joined by their grandparents and great-grandparents. It’s a kind and noble family.
Enmanuel is intelligent and loving; Yullie, likes to draw. She told us the best birthday gift she’s ever had was hearing the news that she will have a little brother or sister.We also visited Juda, whose mother died recently. Juda lives with his father, sister and grandfather. His father told us he’s been without consistent income these days, getting by on occasional help from a relative who lives out of the country.