November 2017 Newsletter
Sorry it has been so long since we have added any new updates to the website. We are working to catch up. It’s not that there is so little happening, it is that there are so many day-to-day responsibilities and challenges that it is hard to stay caught up. We came back to Sunrise at the end of October after being in the U.S. for about 3 months. Details of our time in the U.S. are below. It was great getting to see and meet many of you from “The Village” while we were in Arkansas! Thank you for your hospitality!
You are so grateful to each of you who support Sunrise! You are a blessing to us, to the children, and your generosity honors God.
“I thank my God every time I remember you.”
Our Trip to the U.S.
In mid-July we went to the U.S. to eat some Mexican food and to take a couple of long, hot showers. Of course that was not really the reason, but both were great none-the-less. We actually went to the States for a number of reasons. First we went to work on establishing our own nonprofit corporation for Sunrise. In addition, we spoke in churches to raise prayer and financial support. We also had the joy of visiting with many former families from the Refuge churches we pastored in Italy, and of course were blessed to see our families.
“Sunrise Children’s Home and Outreach Ministries” is now an official nonprofit organization. We have completed all steps right up to applying with the IRS to become an official 501©3 approved ministry. This was necessary because Kay Oursler, the founder of Sunrise, is retiring. She has had the finances for Sunrise handled by her church in Arkansas. The church is ready to release the responsibility for Sunrise’s finances because it has become quite an administrative load. Once approved by the IRS, then Sunrise will become its own entity and our administrative office will be in Florida. Rich’s sister, Jackie Schneider, will be running the office.
During our three months in the States we drove about 10,000 miles. In addition to visiting churches and friends, we also got to spend time with our families. We spent time in Texas with Ashleigh, our oldest daughter, her husband, Jason, our grandson, Amos, and we got to meet our new granddaughter, Miriam Hope, who was born June 1st. Then we had the special treat to be with Rhonda’s mother for her 79th birthday. Towards the end of our time in the States, Rich’s sister, Jackie and her husband John, hosted a family reunion that we were able to be part of. What a joy these events were!
Kabatis (Cabinets) Completed
We have completed building cabinets in Sunrise’s final four dormitory rooms. This is a first step in preparing to “have” more children. Thank you all for your generous donations that made this step possible.
One of our primary focuses since returning from the States has been finding new staff. Two of our staff members that we had trained and invested ourselves into left while we were away in America. One left to go back to school and the other left to start her own business. Also, a third staff member, Mekio, our maintenance man, will be moving to part time in January. We understand that his is how it is here, but that does not make it easy.
Leida Comes on as Permanent Staff at Sunrise
In the months to come we will be hiring new staff. This month we brought Leida Mgeni on as permanent staff. Many of you know of Leida as she has been a part of the Sunrise family for about 5+ years. Your donations have enabled Sunrise Children’s home to sponsor Leida so she could attend a private secondary school and also Clinical Officer School. Leida has now returned to Sunrise to use her skills as a member of the staff. What a blessing she is!
Priska Goes To Inuka Rehabilitation Center
We have exciting news!! This month we took Priska to a rehabilitation center called Inuka, which is staffed and operated by volunteers from Italy. We enjoyed speaking to and interacting with the Italians. Most of them are from areas close to where we lived in Italy.
Priska is our oldest girl. She is 17 years old, but we are not sure when her birthday is because no one in her family knows. We use the date she came to Sunrise as her birthday. Priska has a condition called hemiplegia. It appears that she either had a stroke or head injury as a preschooler. As a result, her right hand, arm, foot, and leg are limited in function. In addition, she has some cognitive disability as well. When the event that led to her disabilities occurred (before she came to be part of our Sunrise family), nothing was done for her. Her parents are both deceased and none of her extended family have any information about her that can assist us. Up to this point in her 17 years, no one has taken her to be evaluated until now.
The doctor and therapist were very kind to Priska during the evaluation. Once completed they told us that they think that they can help her. After the evaluation we set up dates for Priska to go back with a “chaperone” to begin therapy. Leida, our new staff member, went with Priska. To our joy they had an opening for Priska for the next Sunday. She was there for 5 days.
All went well with the therapy and the Inuka staff made recommendations to us for Priska’s future. They also trained Leida how to do all exercises with Priska to continue her therapy. Priska has responded well to the therapy, and she has a skip in her step that she did not have before. We can tell that the attention has made her feel loved and valued. Having Leida here to help with this is such a great blessing!
Please pray for Priska, and for the Lord to guide us with her future. We KNOW that God has a plan for her and that He brought us here to ensure that she is loved, valued, and helped with her future. We are looking into some type of technical training or an appropriate occupation to help her become self-sufficient.