Peru (MNN/KAI) — Ever have a story that just haunts you? Sometimes that motivates action.
That’s what happened to John and Janette Hocking. Kids Alive Peru says John and his daughter, Cristina, walked some land in 1997 and asked God to speak to them about a special place to start a children’s home.
Why? In the region surrounding Pucallpa, Peru, there is one government-run children’s home serving a population of more than half a million people. 90 children currently crowd into an institution designed to house no more than 80.
Overcrowded, the institution is chaotic. Many children suffer from severe mental and physical disabilities–needs that are difficult to address in that environment. The children who live there have all experienced some form of abuse, neglect, homelessness, or poverty. They are orphans, or otherwise do not have anyone currently willing to provide for their needs. Their young lives have been nightmarish.
The Hockings wanted to make a difference. In 2005, John and Janette decided to donate a piece of property that would eventually be “The Orchard” Children’s Home. It was a blank slate.
The Kids Alive team started dreaming and planning in 2008. The reality was grinding hard work, building, fundraising, and praying, but it paid off. On April 8, 2015, after 7 years of preparation, meetings with government officials, and property inspections, Kids Alive Peru finally got their license to operate. Unlike many child-sponsorship programs, they provide not just food and a loving, learning environment, but a home and an introduction to the Gospel as well.
This month, they got permission to open, and the overjoyed team dedicated the project to the Lord. In a way, the end of this building project is actually the beginning of the project of a lifetime. The walls are painted, the cupboards stocked, and the beds are made. Now they’re ready to start receiving kids! Over time, this ministry will grow to four homes for 40 sponsored children.