Equipping The Saints
“Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them, for such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
It’s about God’s children … La Gran Familia is an orphanage ministering to abandoned and impoverished children who have been living in the hills and on the streets of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, located southwest of Chihuahua City. These children lived in desperate and deplorable conditions. Many had been “thrown away” … most had no hope. Now they are healthy, thriving children who have a lovely home and a family who loves and supports one another. It was started in 1998 and operated by Fr. Greg David-Spinks, until his untimely death on October 7, 2001.
Fr. Greg’s legacy of faith and love is carried on by Goretty Lerma, assistant to Fr. Greg from the beginning of his ministry. Upon his death, she became the director of La Gran Familia and was for many years the primary caretaker of the children. She also served on the vestry and was instrumental in the development of the church at Cristo Rey. She shared Fr. Greg’s vision for the abandoned children from the beginning and endured much persecution because of her involvement with the Anglican Church.
She has served as head of a primary school special education program that helped handicapped children who had Down’s Syndrome, were developmentally delayed, or had drug or alcohol related problems. Because of her God given talents, Goretty has been able to determine each child’s strengths and gifts and find ways to build on them so that each resident of LGF can become a productive citizen of their community
The women of the Diocese of Ft. Worth was very responsive to these children’s needs. Through the grace of God, they raised $36,000 for the purchase and build out of a home for the boys in May of 2001. This home housed 20 boys. Soon after, the girls moved into a home just 3 empty lots over from the boys house. This home housed 9 girls.
Over the years, the 3 lots in between the houses have been purchased. More recently a beautiful building was finished in August of 2014. The building has space for 20 more children, a library, a computer room, a game room, office space, and an apartment for a dorm mom and dad. Needless to say, additional staff has been added!
The Holy Spirit is always present there. Please pray for Goretty Lerma and her staff. God has sent each one of them there to do his work. Of course, pray for the children that they may grow in their faith to love and serve the Lord.
Luis is an 8 year old boy who has a big smile and loves just being a kid. He came to Cuauhtémoc with his father who is a migrant laborer in the apple orchards. However, his father suffers from severe alcoholism and was unable to hold a job. The two were sleeping in an abandoned warehouse with no doors or windows during the harsh winter and eating out of garbage cans. One day a lady stumbled upon the father beating Luis during an alcoholic rage. She called LGF to see if they could help. When he arrived he was very dirty and hadn't bathed in weeks. He was dressed in clothes that didn't fit and wore shoes 3 sizes too big. When he was offered the opportunity to live at LGF, Luis smiled and said yes as tears streamed down his face. At LGF he has three warm meals a day, a bed to sleep in, clothes that fit, and the opportunity to attend school. Most importantly he has a safe place to be a kid and grow in a loving environment.
Jorge Antonio (Toño) is a 4 year old boy who loves to be silly and gives big hugs freely. His mother is a very young lady that works as a house cleaner and was abandoned by the father when Toño was a infant. When she went to work she would leave Toño with her parents, but they are both alcoholics and would often leave Toño alone. This young mom was in search of a better opportunity for her son and came to LGF for help. Today Toño is adjusting well to living in a large family. He began kindergarten. His mom comes to visit weekly and she can be at peace knowing he is cared for while she works.
Thank you to all our donors who make it possible to provide this life changing opportunity to the most vulnerable. Your continuous prayers and financial donations are what allow us to continue this great work.
Please pray for Toño and Luis as they continue to adjust to life at LGF.
Bishop Jack L. Iker
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
World Mission Committee
Diocese of Fort Worth