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Autumn 2014

Articles in this issue:
Our Vision: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Longtime Partner Helps Bring Technological Improvement (guest article)
A Big “Thank You” To All Our Volunteer Teams
Incredible Opportunities This Christmas

Our Vision: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Jess with kids in Nica

A commitment to the education of the heart, interwoven with my dedication for working with youth who have experienced trauma, has shaped my life. For 9 years I have worked with underserved students in K-12, and then at Colorado State University. My passion to work internationally unfolded after a mission trip to Nicaragua as a volunteer with Arms of Love in 2008. It was supposed to be a 1-time service adventure. Now 5½ years, 15 trips to Nicaragua, and a huge career shift later…it is safe to say that a 1-week trip was just the beginning of God’s plans.

I am humbled and overjoyed to have joined the Arms of Love team! God has blessed me with the opportunity to utilize my M.S. in Social Work, B.S. in Human Development & Family Studies, past work and volunteer experiences, and my love for the children and staff of Arms of Love in my new role as the Director of Partnerships and Programs.

The mission of Arms of Love is to give abandoned and abused children a home, a family, and a future so they will become the leaders of tomorrow in their communities. The stories of our children vary from begging on the streets to being orphaned by car accidents, and the majority surviving physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. But beyond their heartbreaking pasts are stories of resiliency, and the promise of God’s hope for a future where the cycle of poverty and abuse will be shattered.

One of the essential investments for our children is their education. This investment recognizes the importance of a holistic approach to their learning by addressing their multi-dimensional trauma, breaking the progression of poverty, and educating both the mind and heart. Unlike traditional foster care models, Arms of Love’s goal is to inspire our children to discover their passions, and provides support to attend college or trade school. This holistic model transforms the lives of our children and is a long-term solution to poverty in their communities. This is our hope and vision…educating and loving one child at a time.

Jess Burge, Director of Partnerships and Programs

Longtime Partner Helps Bring Technological Improvement (guest article)

New Computer Lab in Nica

We recently enhanced the home at Arms of Love with a new computer lab! The lab is located inside “Casa Grande” in a safe and secure room equipped with seven brand-new computers. In addition to the new lab and the new computers, we’re also supporting the home with a new computer teacher, Alvaro. Computer classes are held weekly and the children are placed in the classes according to their skill level. It’s been exciting to hear that the children love each opportunity they have to spend time in the lab and explore the world through this new equipment.

Part of ORPHANetwork’s mission is to create new opportunities for life for each child that we serve. At our partner homes like Arms of Love, we have set seven target goals for the children to work towards throughout their residency at the home. We believe that equipping children to reach these target goals will create new opportunities for life and break the generational cycles of poverty that have ravaged many of the children’s families.

One of these “targets” is that each child, as appropriate for their learning ability, will be computer literate. We believe that when it’s time for children to transition into new seasons of life they should be equipped with skills that will help prepare them for college and to find a good job. This new computer lab provides the children with the opportunity to learn, grow, and excel in their computer skills and rise even closer to their God-given potential!

Katie Beasley, Guest Contributor from ORPHANetwork

Arms of Love is grateful for our partnership with ORPHANetwork. Strategic partnerships like this one allows us to maximize our impact and best serve our children.

A Big “Thank You” To All Our Volunteer Teams

Volunteer team in the Philippines

It’s amazing to see each team step into their unique assignment, all advancing our hope and mission to empower a new generation with education, mentoring and discipleship. Thank you for your partnership…and for believing in the vision and the children of Arms of Love! Nicaragua Summer Volunteer Teams:

• Canyon View Vineyard Church in partnership with Isiah 61 Ministries (i61), CO • Christian Layman Church, CA • Church by the Glades in partnership with Cross International, FL • Colorado State University – Puksta Scholars, CO • Eagle Brook in partnership with ORPHANetwork, MN • Nicaragua Dental Mission, WA • Red Tree Community Church (2 teams), MO • Vineyard Christian Fellowship of the Peninsula, CA • Vineyard Church of the Rockies, CO

Summer Team Highlights:

• Leadership Retreat for our older youth • Needs assessments for our Community Care Program • Painting and rebuilding of our sports court • Local community outreach • Celebrations for International Day of the Children • Serving our Community Care Program • Critical dental care for our residential children, community children, and staff • Building and repairs of homes for Community Care Program families • Supplemental education and extracurricular activities • Gorgeous murals painted throughout the Arms of Love property • Field trips based on mentoring, education, and fun • Training and continuing education for our staff • Discipleship, teaching, and VBS activities of residential and community kids • Professional photography projects • Property enhancements including new appliances and fixtures • Cultural activities and education • Numerous painting and refurbishing projects • Abundant service, supplies, and blessings!

And guess what?! We can host teams in The Philippines too! The Kolbo & Frank Team was incredibly generous and an amazing blessing to our Filipino family!

Incredible Opportunities This Christmas

Our adorable Maria Fernanda

Tired of giving the same old Christmas gifts? How about giving your loved ones a gift that truly matters!

You can give alternative Christmas gifts this season that will bless the lives of our children and communities through the new funds listed below, including hunger, education, and mental health initiatives. More Info

•Critical Needs Funds: the Hunger-No-More Fund (community kids receive nutritious meals, hygiene classes, & tutoring), the Mind Matters Fund (dedicated funds for critical mental health services), and the Emergency Response Fund (dedicated funds for crisis and disaster relief)

•Celebration Funds: the Holly Jolly Christmas Fund (dedicated funds for Christmas celebrations), the Cultural & Life Skills Fund (celebrations, workshops, & educational field trips), and The Brady Bunch Family Grant (dedicated funds for special family occasions)

•Education Funds: the Back-To-School Fund (backpack, school supplies, & uniforms), and the Higher Education Opportunity Fund (college tuition, books, & living costs)

Learn more about the new Arms of Love alternative Christmas Gift Funds

Christmas Gift Tag For Donations

You can even give your loved ones special gift tags! For printable tags click here:

Arms of Love Gift Tags

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