By Beth Guckenberger
You are our witnesses! We want to testify to how God is moving on behalf of the Mexican orphan. We believe that God has heard the Church crying out to him and his response has been thunderous. He is mobilizing His body and it’s been remarkable to watch. Here is the timeline of events…
May 2012 After the Back2Back staff attended that year’s Summit of the Orphan in the US, a seed was planted that we should hold a Spanish version of the Summit of the Orphan in Mexico with the express purpose of inspiring and mobilizing the local church to engage in this movement.
Fall 2012 The Mexican government visited our Monterrey, Mexico campus to discuss the successes associated with Back2Back’s Hope Education Program. They expressed a willingness to hear what ideas we had regarding serving the orphan child. We planted a seed in their minds about a faith-based foster care program, where the local church would identify families who could house orphans in their homes, not being incentivized with money, but by a calling.
Winter 2013 We sent staff to train with Costa Rican based Casa Viva, a ministry dedicated to finding faith-based foster families for orphans. Back2Back staff learned their best practices and then brought their staff to Mexico to look at procedures and practices within the Mexican cultural context. Weekly meetings began with the government to explore foster care as a viable option.
Late Winter/Early Spring 2013 The planning continued for the Cumbre, the Summit of the Orphan in Monterrey, Mexico, with staff reaching out to local pastors and community leaders. We were hoping for 250 participants.
March 2013 The legislative body in Nuevo Leon reworks the law to permit for sanctioned foster families to exist, as this had not been a legal option before. The word ‘acogimiento’, or “foster care,” becomes part of the vernacular.
April 2013 400+ people gather for the Cumbre, the Summit of the Orphan event in Monterrey, Mexico. It was remarkable to watch the national attention that followed. Speakers traveled from multiple countries to inspire the Mexican church to engage in the life of an orphan.
May 2013 Follow-up training began with those who indicated an interest in learning more about how to have hands on involvement in Monterrey orphanages. Many people have committed to entering into a mentoring relationship with an orphan locally. These small groups will meet several times a month and work through a curriculum provided for us by David C Cook.
Even more have joined in education efforts to tutor children in foreign language, computer skills, math and reading, and help with ongoing academic challenges.
Summer 2013 More than a dozen couples complete a joint training, hosted by Back2Back and authorized by the government, equipping them to be the country’s first foster families. Other Mexican states around the republic begin to reach out and ask about how they can initiate foster care in their states.
August 2013 The first certificates of completion are handed by Todd and the governor’s wife to the families who have completed the foster care training.
Fall 2013 Volunteers continue to be trained in tutoring, mentoring, and discipleship by our staff. More families are curious about how to serve as foster care parents. More churches engaging as momentum builds. The first foster family is placed with a foster child.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
Beth Guckenberger is the mother of a bunch of biological, a bunch of adopted and a slew of foster children. She and her husband, Todd, direct Back2Back Ministries. Beth is the author of several books on the journey of their life abroad.