By Todd Guckenberger, Back2Back Executive Director
If you read no farther than this first paragraph, know these two things. First, ministry to vulnerable and orphaned children and their families is really hard, but we are not going anywhere. Second, it takes a tremendous amount of resources to provide holistic care and every little bit counts. Thank you for sharing your time, financial gifts or prayer. We are grateful for how God has used individuals, like you, to serve the orphan in 2014. Sincerely, thank you for partnering with us.
This year, I was influenced by a book called The Choice. The key takeaway? Understand what God has called you and your ministry to do, and then do it, obediently trusting God to provide. The co-authors share “Ten Marks of a Christ-Centered Ministry:
- Submission to the Father
- Filled, led empowered by the Holy Spirit
- Prayerful strategic planning
- Raising Kingdom resources
- Ministry accountability
- Transparent financial administration
- Serving people humbly
- Doing everything with love
- Mobilizing spiritually gifted people
- Radical Christian generosity
I am grateful for how God has led Back2Back since it’s inception. While many lessons were learned the hard way (and are still being learned!), over the years, I have been encouraged by how God has convicted Back2Back to continue ministry in this way. At year-end in each of the sites, the staff share the “Top 20” blessings of that year. Here are a few highlights:
- National reform to the Mexican law legalizing foster care, through which Back2Back is partnering with Mexican churches to foster children in Christ-centered families.
- Increased depth in the Hope Program through the further development of professional staff (social workers and psychologists), and equipping of the house parents in working with teens from difficult backgrounds.
- Continued understanding and availability from mission teams to work alongside Back2Back toward deeper holistic impact.
- God’s continued provision for the Community Center of Tres Reyes.
- The momentum and implementation of programming in Tres Reyes. God is already using the program to reach vulnerable children.
- The restoration of two sisters with their nuclear family through Back2Back’s development of the Children and Families in Transition Program.
- Growth of the staff team.
- The start of the Mazatlan Hope Program. In 2015, six girls and a new house parent family will move into the first Hope Home.
- 70% of the children served are sponsored through the Back2Back Child Sponsorship Program.
- Completion of individual educational assessments for each child Back2Back serves in Mazatlan, allowing Back2Back to intentionally and individually meet academic needs.
- Official launch of Back2Back Haiti with Brent and Anna Fudge reporting.
- God’s provision of the necessary “start-up” resources such as vehicles, trailer, tools, generator, and a great guest house for the mission teams.
- The Back2Back partnership with Harvest Care Children’s Home and sponsorship blessings that have followed.
- Nearly 100% sponsorship
- God’s provision of the donated land and the funding to develop the Back2Back Hope Campus
- Receiving into Back2Back India’s care, 10 children we were forced to say goodbye to 7 months earlier.
- New staff joining and more to report in 2015.
- A partnership with a local academy where 55 children from Back2Back programs have been enrolled to allow a significant increase in educational success.
- Training direct caregivers in “trauma competent caregiver” best practices.
- Provision of two vehicles allowing children to be transported to and from school.
- God’s grace in engaging with 40 churches, 750+ middle and high school students.
- The annual One21 Retreat with hundreds of teens in Monterrey, Mexico.
- God’s continued impact through Back2Back’s Child Sponsorship Program.
- 2000 + mission trip guests who served internationally in 2014.
- The blessing of having the Monterrey Hope students join the Night of Hope Banquet.
- Eye-witnessing the daily blessings of provision.
From our family to yours, we thank you again for all the ways you share with us in these blessings. Continue to challenge us to dig deeper and pray for us when there is opposition. We are a team and are grateful for your role in providing orphan care around the world!
Todd Guckenberger serves as the Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries. He is passionate about providing deep holistic care to orphaned children around the world.