I don’t usually associate spring time with “back to school” time, but that’s what it’s been for our Monterrey staff! We realized a need to be more educated on the psychological and emotional issues that the orphan child faces and had a desire to be more equipped to do something about it. So this spring we went back to school. We kicked this off with a PhD student from Ohio who came to our campus and gave a four-day seminar on issues like domestic violence and the poverty cycle. After that, we launched an eight-week Friday morning training series. We are going through the material that I used to teach to therapeutic or specialized foster parents in the States, and talking about how to implement what we’re learning into our life and ministry here.
One of my favorite sessions to teach is the one on attachment issues. We talked about how children who are abused, neglected or abandoned don’t develop trust and attachment with their caregivers, and how this leads to many problems later in life. I was sitting down with one of our Hope Program house parents when she mentioned some issues with one of the boys in her house. We were able to determine that he was struggling with attachment issues, and she now had a variety of ways to approach the situation. She felt empowered and excited to really help her teenager instead of discouraged or overwhelmed. It’s exciting to see how this information is changing the way that many of us do ministry here, and we’re only a few weeks in!