Dear friends of
Horses for Orphans
We are in the middle of the raining season, most days we get 6 hours per day and 4-5 per night of shattering loud, thundering rain. When we, Ingela and Richard, returned from Canada mid-January, we found our three horses in very bad shape, suffering from eating too much Brachiaria (a grass native to Africa which is fine for cows but horrible for horses) which caused a liver fungus and which in turn caused photo sensitivity. The horses had horrible sores on their legs, faces and scabs over most of their bodies and it caused their hair to fall out. They were super thin and the open sores on their legs and backs caused inflammation, pain and swelling in their legs, fever and patches of hair-less skin… awful. The two adult boys we had left in charge for the 6 weeks when we were gone did fairly well, but didn’t recognize that the horses had finished eating the good grass (Massai) in the field where they were grazing, and were down to only Brachiaria. However, the boys, horses and dog survived.
Our vehicle didn’t. The truck we use daily to get supplies, groceries, pick up boys from the bus station and Valdemir from another town on weekends, is completely broken. We had put some money into it to fix the body (the boys had driven it recklessly and caused some dings) so we could potentially sell it and get something that wouldn’t break down so much (if has already cost R1,000s to fix mechanically) and now, it’s pooched. One of the boys caring for the farm drove it in spite of strict instructions not to, because it leaks oil so bad, so he just put some oil in, drove it around until it went dry, and now engine is dead.
So we can’t drive anywhere and have to get friends from town to drive 20 minutes out to the farm to pick us up, drive us back into town for supplies, or internet or anything and then return us to the farm. Good thing we have only a small team at the moment!
Oh but that’s not the only car that got destroyed. A friend of ours had loaned the oldest boy a car over Christmas so he could get supplies in the last month. He had an accident, crashing into someone’s gate and it crushed the radiator and some other stuff, causing about R$2,500 in damage. We still don’t know what happened, the oldest, most responsible boy seems to have an unlikely story, saying the clutch got stuck and he rammed into a gate.
Challenges in parenting the boys continue! It’s tough to tell what what is true and not true. How can one boy crash two cars in only four weeks? It’s not easy parenting kids who have been brought up with very fluid ideas of right and wrong, and for whom lying (even the good boys!) is a very normal survival skill. However, we love giving our little lives for Jesus and sit with the poor. It is our passion to show them the Father's heart and help them develop life skills that propel them into a glorious future.
And challenges with the boys is just one side of the coin. The real issues are all internal. Learning to trust Jesus with everything, in everything and through everything. In our current situation, we haven't found a base leader yet to take over from us from April to June, when we are not here, this means approaching our Father like a little child and putting our hope in Him alone. Not easy to do, because we have real boys and real horses here on the farm, but nevertheless. Our journey deeper into God is about getting to know His heart for us more and more, so we can also pour it out to the ones around us.
If you are interested in the opportunity to serve on the Horses for Orphans base in Brazil or you know someone who might, please forward them the information in the right hand column.
Thank you very much for continuing to pray, give, encourage and help, may Jesus be with you in return.
Much, much love,
Ingela & Richard
Children from a local orphanage learning horsemanship
Children enjoying the chickens
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If you would like to support the Horses for Orphans projects:
You can purchase the H-Factor Horse Handling Book and/or the H-Factor Concepts 1 DVD. The proceeds support the Horses for Orphans projects.
To purchase go to:
You can purchase a rope halter for your horse made by the boys who live at Betel children's home. The proceeds go to the boys for their future as well as to the Horses for Orphans projects.