Dear friends of
Horses for Orphans
2014 was a beautiful and eventful year, filled with many happy moments with our Brazilian kids and our awesome God. Our new Horses for Orphans project near Anapolis in Brazil is well on the way now. We spent the year fixing and restoring the new farm and inviting the children and youth from our first Horses for Orphans project (which ended when Betel children’s home closed) to spend the weekends with us to play, laugh and enjoy being away from the packed cities. We had great teams from many nations join us to love on the kids and help build everything from wardrobes and trashcans to fences and a 40 by 60 meter wooden post and rail arena.
Regynaldo, our oldest Brazilian son, oversees the project during the months that we are not here. He is continuing to grow in his English skills and his ability to take responsibility.
In January we plowed up two of the larger fields and planted grass for the horses.
Beginning of March, we rescued a street dog. We named her Chili and even though she liked us, she was shy, afraid of noise and of being touched, a bit growly and unable to connect to us. No matter what we tried to feed her, the only thing she wanted to eat was trash. The younger boys loved on her a lot and prayed for her every night. The transformation was amazing. All fear, aggression and disconnecting left. Chili turned into a cute, loving and fun family dog, that adores to play and snuggle.
Mid March, our Brazilian friend Wagner, whom we knew from Betel, joined us permanently to help us on the farm. Wagner has an amazing servants heart, he is super hardworking and has great knowledge about trees and plants. He loves to worship Jesus and where ever you are on our farm or even down the road a bit, you can hear Wagner sing or whistle. And there is no need for a microphone.
Our biggest highlight of the year was to have Douglas, one of our Brazilian sons, come to live with us permanently. His parents died when he was 1 year old. He is 15 years old now and has lived in an institution for most of his life. In January 2014 he had to return to his grandma, even though she was sick. Five weeks later we found him and the grandma asked us, if we would take him and care for him. Of course we said yes and brought him home. He settled in very quickly and loves to live on the farm. He attends a school in a nearby village and is surprising his teachers with his newly found motivation for learning. Douglas is extremely energetic, funny, helpful and very talented with horses. A few weeks after his arrival, he started to ask us for a horse. We told him that we were not ready yet. He thought about it for a little while, then he said: “Mom and dad, pray with me for a horse. We are running the Horses for Orphans project here, so how can we do this without horses? We must have a horse to help the orphans and street children. This is what we do here, so lets pray and ask God for a horse.” It is wonderful to see how Douglas wants to reach out to others and how he sees himself fully part of our family. Every night we prayed together, and in July Douglas received his miracle. A dentist from Brasilia, whom we did not know at the time, but has now become a very good friend, heard through another one of our sons, that we need horses. Looking at our website, the photos of the boys touched the man's heart. This is what he wanted his horse to do. “Helping to put a smile on a child’s face.” He called us to say that he would like to give us one of his horses. Immediately we began to work on an old, broken down semi-barn and turned it into a very nice, large covered stable. We went to see the horse named Categoric and a week later, the beautiful chestnut thoroughbred arrived on our farm.
We held an open day and invited people to a presentation about our project and meet us. Our neighbors came, as well as people from Brasilia and Anapolis. Our boys helped with parking, serving and showing the guest around the farm. They explained to them what we are currently doing and what our future plans are. Many more people arrived than we expected, but we had a lot of cake and cheese bread to fill all the appetites.
The miracles continued and three more people offered to donate horses to our project.
During the winter (summer in the northern hemisphere) we had the opportunity to meet with the mayor and some members of the social department of the city of Anapolis. They were all very excited about the plans we have to help orphans and at risk to be street children. Their only concern was that we are not big enough to handle the amount of children they want to send to us.
We also finalized the paperwork for our non-profit organisation in Brazil. It is called "Associação Cavalos para Órfãos - Brasil". If you are Brazilian and would like to support our project, you can go to: www.cavalosparaorfaos.com
, if you are from anywhere else, go to: www.horsesfororphans.com
This months we finished planting new grass on any remaining fields to get ready for up to 8 new horses arriving in January 2015!
We are taking 4 teams with us from January until March and are hoping to restore the third house for more accommodation as well as build stables and a tack room. Our plan is to train the horses and start reaching out to the local orphanages around us.
As this year draws to an end, we would like to remind you of the tremendous favor the Lord our God has placed upon us. His incomprehensible love and passion for us is overwhelming. He loves us more than we can imagine. He is always faithful and eagerly desires for us to experience His greatness. The new nature He places inside of us when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, causes us to become born again. Through this we become the children of God and have the very nature of Jesus. This compels us to live a life that is fully sold out to Him. Praying in the spirit builds us up in our faith and increases our capacity to receive the revelations that God wants to give us. What Jesus spoke in the wilderness: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from God.” is an incredible statement. Living by every word that comes from God becomes reality, when we believe that it is God’s word that has the power to change circumstances in our lives, not what we think or what the world says.
Now the time has come when we celebrate “God with us”, the birth of Jesus and we want to say to you: “May you experience the presence of the Holy Spirit to a greater degree than you ever have before."
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and the best New Year you ever had,
Richard & Ingela and the Horses for Orphans team