Providing a home for today and a Hope for the Future

The backbone of a healthy, thriving community is the family. When children grow up in families that are trapped in cycles of abuse, poverty, lack of education, unemployment and illness they believe that there is no hope for them.

Hijos de Dios (Children of God) will work with children rescued from these abusive, neglectful or extreme poverty situations and provide care, love, education, medical attention, counselling and healing.

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Hijos de Dios is a foster children's home designed to support children in the process of family reunification. It is a safe place where they can recuperate and heal, while their families are given training and counseling to begin the restoration process. 

The vision is to receive up to 20 children (ages 2-7) and work hard to see them reunited and reconciled to family.

While we are constructing Hijos de Dios, we are also working in the communities of Chiquimulilla and Guazacapan, Guatemala with our SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAM (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO)

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Please believe with us as a NEW PHASE has begun.

In the peace of God,

Kerry and Matt Blacklock

 

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Hijos de Dios is a ministry of the Community Transformation Foundation.

A registered Canadian Charity since 2003. 

Charitable Registration #  891535015RR0001

  • Latest from the blog

    Hijos de Dios Blog

    Why should I help children in other countries? (Don’t we have enough children here that need our help?)

     

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    I have heard this sentiment many times and it is true there are many people that need our help in our own communities. The simple answer to this question is yes. Yes, there are hundreds of kids in our communities that need our help. We can start in our communities and make a difference. Many of us, me included, find it easier to identify a problem than become part of the solution. If we see that the problem is bigger than our capacity to fix it, we often shrink back into apathy and hopelessness. A very wise friend of mine once told me, “It all starts with loving the one in front of you.” For me that is my family, then it is my neighbours, my community and then it grows until the world is the one person in front of you.

    Although we may not change the whole world we all have the power to change a life. Focus on the people you come in contact with everyday and be a positive, loving influence in their lives. It can be as simple as a smile, or saying hello or visiting a lonely relative. Each expression of love will expand the perimeters of your heart, then your heart will no longer recognize all these man made borders. You will only see the beauty and potential in your fellow man.

    How would that feel? I believe we would see our own personal insecurities and fears diminish as we purpose to help each other. We would learn that we are all in need of something; sometimes we will be the giver and other times the receiver. Compassion is a shared experience among equals. We recognize that we are all fragile and vulnerable. It could easily be us walking in the other person’s place.

    Compassion says, “If that were me, how would I want to be treated?”

    Who holds the key to unlocking healthy communities? The government, the rich, big businesses, a healthy economy? In reality, the answer is not them, it is you and me. Don’t wait for someone else to do what you can do. Even if your first attempt is clumsy and inconsequential, pursue the goal of making the world a better place. Many people are looking for a spotlight to dispel the darkness that permeates our communities; a big answer, or solution from someone more qualified. I believe the darkness is overcome as each one ignites their own light. What if every street light went off in a community and it was very black and hard to navigate the streets. All it takes is one person to realize, hey I have a flashlight and another person would see that light and say I have one as well. This domino effect of good is what we need today. Be a light and shine so others want to join you in being a solution.

    The question should not be, “Don’t we have enough children that need our help?”, but, “Don’t we have enough people to help others.”

    Greater are the number of those who can make a difference than those who need the help. Help someone today!  

    "If you believe the purpose of life is to serve yourself, then you have no purpose.

    Go help someone today! - Paul Blart- (Mall Cop 2)

     

     

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    Our Journey Home

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    Hi my name is Zacarias and I am four years old. I live with my mom and dad in a tin shack by a very busy highway. I love to hear the transport trucks zoom by. My older brother Rolando (7 years old) and I play a game and try to guess which vehicle went by just by the sound it makes. My mom and dad are very sad because they do not have enough food to give to my older brother, sister and me. We go to the river everyday to get water to drink and try to catch fish. Sometimes my parents leave us at home as they search for work and the neighbors watch us.

     

    My older brother Rolando is different. He is bigger than me but cannot communicate and some times he gets so mad he throws things and screams. I love him but I can’t help him and this makes me feel sad. I am so hungry and weak I find it hard to walk and talk. Our sister Ana (6 years old) takes good care of us. She understands Rolando’s way of talking and she can calm him down with her caring voice.

     

    Our parents have been away a lot lately and I can’t remember when we ate last. It gets cold at night and I am scared when we are alone until very late. I try to stay awake but I cannot. I cannot even lift myself up to walk any more. I hear my parents whispering when they come in and I try to understand what they are saying. My eyes are too heavy and my stomach is so sore, I finally fall asleep.

     

    The next morning a man in a blue vest comes to our door and tells our parents that we have to go with him. They cry and tell him that he cannot take us. They say they will find work soon and everything will be okay. He says that he is here to help and we must go with him. We see the policemen as well and they take us by the hand and put us in the truck. We have heard the sound of the police truck before driving down the highway behind our home. I look back and see the tears run down my mother’s face and then we leave.

     

    We are bought to a big blue house full of loud, laughing children playing in the yard. The ladies look like the women who live near our home and they give us a hug. My body hurts to be touched but I am too weak to say so. They bring us to a quiet room away from the sound of the other children.

     

    Ana asks, “Donde estamos?” (Where are we?)

     

    The stranger explains that we are in a children’s home and that we are safe. She says we will stay here until we get better and that the Tias (aunties/caregivers) will take care of us. They give us brand new clothes after we have a much needed bath. I can’t remember the last time we bathed in the river. Then we have some food. It hurts my tummy to eat but I am too afraid to say anything. I feel to weak to talk. All I remember after this is falling asleep at the table.

     

    We wake up in a strange room. I feel happy that I am with Ana and Rolando. The noise of the children is all I hear. I just want to hear the cars zoom down the highway and the roosters crowing. I want my mom. I wish I had a voice and could tell them I want to go home.

    Zacarias, Age 4

     

    This is the story of Zacarias and his two siblings. They arrived our Children’s home in Guatemala in August. Zacarias was one of the most malnourished cases we had seen. He weighed 22 pounds at age four. He was despondent and could not walk or talk beyond a whisper. He had trouble holding up his head. His older siblings were stronger although very malnourished. Rolando was taken to the neurologist and although he was seven years old they said he had the mental age of a three years old. They immediately received all the medical and nutritional help they desperately needed. They slowly adjusted to life in a busy home and made friends with the caregivers and children. Our social worker Rosita worked tirelessly taking Rolando to his specialist appointments in the city two hours away. They got up at 3:00 am to be there for 7:00 am. Rosita completed a full family investigation within two months and found they had an uncle who worked at a military hospital in the city. If they moved in with his wife, mother and their two kids Rolando would be near to the specialist and continue to get the help he needed. These three children have been adopted by their uncle and auntie and are doing well. Zacarias gained four pounds in his three months in the Children’s home. This the desire of Hijos de Dios Children’s Home. We want to see children helped and healed and restored to their families.

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    What Makes Hijos de Dios Unique

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    Our dream is to build a children’s home that children would come to recover but not stay in permanently. After working with children in children’s homes since 2009 we have come to realize that the deep rooted dream of children is to have a family. They want to go home. Our desire is to make this dream come true.

     

    Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what it would be like to be taken away from your family and brought to live in a place you have never seen before, with people you do not know. It is a very scary process and the children feel overwhelmed, afraid, and uncertain. Even though it was in their best interest to be brought to the home the majority of children hope and pray that their family would “get better” so they can go home.

     

    Our desire is to have a small children’s home of 20 children aged 2 to 7 years old. We want to create a healing environment for them to recuperate from whatever storms they may have faced. With well trained and compassionate staff we are confident that we can nurture and help these kids recover.

     

    That is just one side of the story. The other side is the family. What led these families to lose their children? And with support can they return home? Our trained social worker will do the much needed family investigations to decipher if the biological family or extended family can be a resource for their children. The majority of children’s homes cannot do complete family investigations because they have too many children to investigate each family completely; so they rely on the court social worker’s assessment. These assessments are very general due to the shear number of children that are placed through the court system each year. This is where our unique style of children’s home bridges the gap that the government and larger children’s homes cannot. We are committed to doing an extensive investigation for every family we receive. Exhausting all avenues until we find family members who can take the children.

     

    Once we have found family members who fit the criteria for receiving the children the process of reunification begins. The parents will receive parenting classes and counselling from our psychologist and social worker. They will receive hands on tools they can use to learn how to care for and raise healthy children. We have found that families that have lost contact with their children and are not used to the day to day responsibilities have a much more difficult time assuming responsibility of their children. We believe that even the poorest families have something to give and as they use their abilities to help support their children they regain confidence and self esteem in other areas of their lives.

     

    We realize that not all children will be able to be restored to their families. This is the reason we are choosing to work with younger children that can be placed in adoptive families. Every child deserves a family and we desire to make many dreams come true.

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    We Were Like Those Who Dreamed

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    Reflections from Jeremiah 31
    I received a word from a dear friend that I am like Mary who pondered all these things in her heart. She saw with her own eyes the resurrection of her Son and also the redemption of the whole world. 
    During worship I heard the spirit say to me, "You are like Rachel weeping for her children refusing to be comforted."
    I have desired the great work of redemption for myself, my family, for peoples and nations. Yet I have been slow to receive and know the comfort of God. Often times I more easily relate to anxiety and fear than His great comfort. My God is good and His mercy endures forever.  
    As The Lord said to Rachel so He says to us, "Refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord. And they shall return from the land of the enemy." (verse 16)
    What is my work? My work is believing in the One God sent. When I stray from the path my heart becomes weak, despondent and hopeless. 
    In verse 17 of Jeremiah 31 The Lord declares, "And there is hope in your end, says the Lord, and your children will come again to your border."
    The Lord is saying to Rachel, "Don't worry. Your children will come to themselves. They will journey home and find their identity in God."
    What good news! We have watched the generations grope around in the dark, many times without a compass; searching for their purpose and identity.  The promise of God is they will come home and possess the land. The hidden power of the cross is that Jesus can make us His possession if we will yield our rights to rule ourselves and our lives. His Spirit lives in us, may He rule and reign in us and have dominion over our lives. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is in us.  Through us and in us He will raise the dead, open blind eyes, make the lame walk and open prison doors to all who are captive!
    Many of us bear the reproach of our youth. We, through fear and rebellion, would not yield to the easy and light yoke of Jesus. We tried to remove our shoulder from the burden of Christ; believing His burden would enslave us. We misunderstood that His burden was meant to empower us. 
    "You have chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock (steer) not unaccustomed to the yoke; turn me and I shall be turned, for you are the Lord my God." (verse 18)
    After we return to the Lord and repent he fashions a yoke for us to carry His Life to others. We can now receive His instructions. We can now be impregnated with His word. God is removing the shame and  reproach of our youth.
    He is saying to our hearts,"You are, you were and you will be my pleasant child." The Lord says in verse 20, "Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him,"says the Lord.   
    God is calling us back to Himself. Come to yourself! Set your gaze on Him. Return to the highway of holiness. Enjoy your pilgrimage. We must set our hearts towards God, to leap and bound like a free dancer, with our heart destined to align with His. There is a captivity. Do not be foolish.When we live our lives for ourselves we miscarry the justice of God. The Lord is our portion and He will protect us from all harm. 
    "He will satisfy the weary soul and replenish every sorrowful heart." (Verse 25)
     
    We must embrace the new covenant. It is by the mercy of God we understand. 
    "But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Every man that eats sour grapes his teeth will be set on edge. Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in that day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they break, although I was a husband unto them, says the Lord.
    This is the new covenant that God will put the law in our inward parts, and write it on our hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people. We will no longer need to teach every man and all our neighbours, "Know The Lord. For they shall all know me from the least to the greatest. Because I will forgive their sin and remember their iniquity no more." (verse 34)
    We are free from captivity because of the forgiveness of our sins.  Even if God changes our circumstances (the land of Egypt) our hearts are still strangers to his rule and reign. We believe God is like Egypt. Although He delivered them with His mighty hand they did not know His heart. We are captive in our hearts and in our thoughts. He tried to know us like a groom knows his bride. But we have not opened to our groom. Egypt lives in our hearts. We cry for deliverance from our circumstances, from our enemies. We do not realize the enemy is a heart that does not know God. We continue to place the blame on God, others and ourselves. We do not realize who we are. When we come to ourselves it is like waking up from a dream and realizing who we are and who we will be.
    We are guilty but He has redeemed us. Through repentance we will be freed from the shame and reproach of our youth. We will be clothed as a son of righteousness, a true son of God. Like the prodigal returning home we will realize we have a home and we have an identity. Serving ourselves enslaves us. Serving Him releases the captivity in our hearts and restores our identity.
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  • commented 2017-05-08 16:05:32 -0600
    hi