The Family Christian Residence for Abandoned Children, opened in April, 2010, was a long time in development. The residence complex, consisting of two duplexes (four houses in total) and a multi-purpose building, is built on the Chile Mission’s property located in the middle of urban La Cisterna, a southern part of Santiago. Most, if not all of the children come to live here from large children’s homes, after being abandoned or taken away from their families. Almost all of the children have suffered abuse and neglect in one or several ways, and some come from violent environments.
Our focus and work are with abandoned, legally-adoptable children in order to have the opportunity to help find them a new family of their own and in the meantime show and teach them “family”, as they live in our homes with Christian Chilean house parents. Goals and objectives in this work include getting the children to obey and respect authority and to receive and give love, teach them Christian values through Jesus, and instill in them self-worth. It’s a process that requires teamwork and single-mindedness on the part of all staff. Each of the four houses has four second-floor bedrooms, designed to receive up to six children (two per bedroom) and leave one bedroom for the house parents. There is also a multi-purpose building on the property. Here are some photos of the residence property from the street and from inside the property.
At present there are no children living in the Residence houses. 2014 through 2016 were years of re-forming and re-shaping the ministry, as well as addressing interior and exterior maintenance needs. During this time a directing board was formed and a new legal foundation established, as well as needed remodeling and maintenance being completed on the property. The kitchens and main bathrooms in each of the four houses have been remodeled, houses have been re-painted where needed, and furniture has been reupholstered and otherwise repaired.
Now, in 2017, a new Christian director of this work with children has been appointed, opening the way in mid 2017 to begin receiving young children (between four and six years of age) into the first residence house to have a better opportunity of finding families to adopt them–a main goal. The re-opening of the Children’s Residence is a TOP priority of the mission team and of the Residence’s Board. Thank you, Lord!
1. Our work with children will now take place under the direction of a corporation/foundation, La Fundación “El MINISTERIO DE LA FAMILIA CRISTIANA” (THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY MINISTRY). Its board consists of four or more members, including Jack and Janine. The foundation’s organizing statutes were officially approved by the government in September, 2015. A significant benefit of being a legally-recognized Foundation in Chile will be its ability to seek financial support within the country from a variety of sources, both private and public. Thank you, Lord!! It will be important for in-country support to replace support received from the U.S. via the Swansons.
2. The Residence will go forward with a Chilean director. Janine has served in this position since the Residence’s inception in early 2010. The change will help us in our dealings with government agencies and will also free Janine up to help seek good adoption options of children under our care to Chilean families and to families in other countries, hopefully including the United States (currently not eligible for adoptions of Chilean children). The above search and work will also be that of the Residence’s director.
3. The foundation’s board will also establish and be responsible for all Residence policies and for all Residence staff. The board has already approved our first set of house parents: Ross Parry and wife Raquel. Ross (from Australia) has helped us in various ways these last couple years. In October, 2015, he married Raquel (from Argentina). They presently live on our ministry property. She has good experience and training in working with children and just as importantly has a heart and burden for them. We are blessed to have Ross and Raquel with us.
Still needed are a one set of house parents, and a second non-paid person or couple who will be able to relieve the house mother on days off and in certain other situations. This second non-paid staff person will live in one of the houses cost free.
The nine children pictured below lived in our residence houses through October 2013. Alberto, pictured with his brother Juan, lived in his Residence house for three years. God worked tremendous, good changes in Alberto’s life during that time. At present, all of these children live in other children’s homes or elsewhere in the Santiago area.
From left to right:
–Juan and his older half-brother, Alberto. Alberto arrived in November 2010 and Juan, from a different location in May 2011. –Carla arrived in December 2010. –Jorshua and sister Nallely arrived in December 2010. –Cony and sister Javiera arrived in March 2012. –Karla and Juliana arrived together in December 2012.