Cancun Christian Fellowship Testimonies

It all started when four couples decided that we would like to visit an orphanage and bless them with a few things while we were on vacation in Cancun December 2010. In looking for God's leading we searched the internet and found Christian Church in Cancun, and soon found the Cancun Christian Fellowship and contacted Tom and Cherilyn Martin from the church. After communicating our intent, Cherilyn graciously gave us the names of their 14 children, their sizes and their ages at the Casa Hogar. We split the names between us four couples and went about the business of buying something special to bless "our" children. We all attended the Cancun Christian Fellowship on Sunday morning and were all deeply impacted by the mission, vision of the church. It was a lovely time of fellowship with other Christians and we were made to feel very loved and welcome. At the end of the service we discussed arrangements to join Pastor Tom on Wednesday to visit the orphanage to deliver our gifts, and we all eagerly looked forward to this visit. Pastor Tom explained how the children came to be there, and that they may be cautious around us as we are strangers in their home. We prayed for sensitivity and hearts of understanding before we went, wanting to go and just show God's love to all the residents.

The following are individual comments given by the couples that took part in the service and orphanage visit.

We were so thankful to be given the opportunity to be invited into the home of all the children, Esther and her husband. The dedication of them towards the children was amazing! How I would love to hear the story of what led them to "run" the orphanage.

Even though there was an obvious language barrier between us and the children, James and I were reminded once again that love and smiles and laughter are universal languages. We had an awesome time playing on the yard with some of the kids - they are raising some real sports stars there!

It was wonderful to be able to bring some things to the orphanage for the children. Doing that and seeing the smiles from the children makes it so clear that showing love and kindness to others is what this life is all about. We were so blessed to be able to be a part of loving these children.

We could see and feel the love the children had towards Esther, her husband and Maria :). There was happiness and laughter and hugs freely given.

It's also inspiring to hear and see how dedicated Cherilyn, Tom and the Cancun Christian Fellowship volunteers are to the Casa Hogar para Ninos Esperanza. Talk about a church following the very heart of Jesus! I could go on... :) It was the best part of our vacation!

We were so blessed that we could be a part of the Blessing for these Children. We so believe they are doing a great work there. We so felt that the children were happy and well taken care of. It just blessed my heart to see them and that they were out of danger and in a safe place. It brought tears to my eyes when we left there the last time. My heart was overjoyed to know that they received hugs and love and a safe place to stay. Esther and Pastor Mancilla are a gift from God to those children. Blessings on them.

Ah, what to say about our time at the orphanage. It was certainly one of the best highlights of our trip and will continue to affect me for a long time, especially the hugs I received from our little girl, Zury! I'll never forget how she took off my glasses so she could press in closer to my face. It was sad to see how little they have but inspiring to see how happy they are in spite of that fact; I was really challenged in my own life by the kids and the joy I saw. And speaking of inspiring, Esther and her husband are spiritual giants in my eyes! So committed and dedicated and we could see that they really care, taking the time to listen to each of the children when they came with a question or just something to say. We were impressed by how quickly some of the children warmed up to us; some wanted to just be near us and others took us by the hand to go outside and play ball. Zury took me to her room and we just sat on the floor together, but I felt honored that she allowed me into her personal space. It was beautiful to see their eyes light up when we came back the second time with the outside toys for them. They seemed to really remember that we were friends and loved and cared for them.

I know that's just "the tip of the iceberg" when describing our experience there but I think those were the highlights.

When we returned to the orphanage again on Saturday, my heart just melted when a little fellow came running up into my arms with the biggest smile on his face, and we were greeted as friends by Pastor Mancilla, Esther and many others.

Such experiences are remembered and felt right to the core of the soul. Casa Hogar truly is a House of Hope and Faith and Pastor Asencio and Esther Mancilla are literally the extended hands of Jesus in serving these beautiful children. We will continue to pray for them, for health and strength as they continue on in this mission. A soul stirring experience indeed, all of us took something back home after the visit...

As we left the orphanage, a few of us had smiles on our faces while a few of us had shed a silent tear, and our entire group walked away with something much more valuable which will indeed stay with us forever. Little did we know, that a small experience would leave such a huge impact on each one of us, as individuals, as human beings, and we, were the ones who received the blessings.

May God continue to Bless each of you as you carry on this important work. We would all be pleased to receive your newsletters and updates on what is happening at Casa Hogar para Ninos Esperanza.

Abe and Gloria Derksen
James and Tammy Derksen
John and Shannon Derksen
Neil and Doreen Dreidger

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