Peru (MNN) – When Kids Alive International first journeyed to Lima, Peru in 1998, all that existed was one children’s home that served both orphans and children placed there because of extreme poverty.
A lot has changed in the past 18 years. Now three children’s homes and two care centers provide support to around 500 children and their families. There’s a school too. For Mike Fietje of Kids Alive, the changes have strengthened the community and its families.
“We’ve changed the ministries so that extreme poverty children are cared for by our care center model, and orphans – abandoned, abused kids – in our children’s homes.”
The ministry continues to flourish, and Mike believes the reason is the commitment Kids Alive has made to let nationals take the lead in ministry. Because they are from Peru, the ministry leaders understand the cultural nuances and the challenges of the poor. “Missionaries that come down are really a support to them and just really in a sense facilitating ministry,” he adds.
The greatest need at present for Kids Alive’s work in Peru is people. “One of our biggest concerns right now is for good Godly house parents that love the Lord and love kids – nationals who would do that.”
Those house parents help children who have been rescued from abuse and neglect to understand how much God loves them. But it can be difficult for children who have been abused – especially by fathers – to understand that love.
Mike says the focus is on building trust. “I think that’s one of the hardest things for them, is to truly believe that God loves them unconditionally, and separate their father’s love from the love of the Father.”
That trust is built through consistent care, even after the child has grown and graduated from school. Help is provided for vocational school or Bible school, including partial scholarships and housing.
Mike says it’s their prayer that the children being served now by Kids Alive will one day become the leaders who serve.
As Kids Alive celebrates their 100th year of serving children around the world, Mike asks for prayer – not only for house parents but for the communities and the children.
Additionally, sponsorships are available for the children being served by the ministry.