Welton Newsletter #9

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This is our 9th Newsletter

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  • Called to Honduras:the Welton Family

    Journal

    Journal Entry #9 Whats in a Name?

    Our Ne w Family Group

  • Dear Family and Friends, May 10, 2013There have been a lot of exciting changes going on in the last 9 months at Rancho Ebenezer. Many

    of you have seen the WGO newsletters explaining some of the changes, and wed like to elaborate on

    important details from our perspective.

    Changing the Name In order to rescue as many children as we possibly can, we have been transitioning from a family-style orphanage to a mixed-style orphanage. Under this new model, our

    position has changed from House Parents who do in-home foster care, to Mentor Parents who will

    not live in the home with the ministry kids, but rather work daily with them alongside Counselors

    who live in the houses with the kids. There are many reasons for these changes, and we feel they will

    significantly benefit both the ministry kids as well as the missionary families.

    Under the new model, the children will be divided into Family Groups, with each family group having

    a house of girls and a house of boys. An advantage of this new plan is that

    siblings will now be able to live in the same family group with each other.

    Each family group will have 3 Counselors working in the homes. Their role

    is to teach the children basic living skills such as household chores, as

    well as personal hygiene, like brushing their teeth, bathing, and potty

    training. The instruction provided by the Counselors will be essential in

    preparing the children for independent living in the future.

    In addition to the Counselors, each Family Group will be assigned to a

    Mentor Parent couple. The Mentor Parents are responsible for

    therapeutic mentoring both individually and in small groups,

    helping the kids with school-related activities and homework, and

    managing discipline issues beyond what can be handled in the home

    by the Counselors. Until WGO can fully staff the Mentor Parent

    positions here at the ranch, our family has been temporarily

    assigned to two separate Family Groups. It has been quite an

    interesting transition, as we have moved from 3 ministry children

    to 10, including 6 boys and 4 girls! We now have some older children,

    which has been challenging at times but also very rewarding. The

    children we have been working with since the transition in October

    are Angelica (16), Enmanuel (11), Jafeth (10), Jennifer (10), Kati (9),

    Cristian (9), Darwin (7), Eunice (6), Olman (4) and Angel (3). During our mentor times with them, we try to

    do activities to help them work through issues they have. For example, with the older children (10

    and up), we try to do games that improve their math skills, as well as games where they must trust

    each other and be trustworthy, which are two of their significant issues. Likewise, with the younger

    children, we do activities that help them improve their ability to work together and follow directions.

    We also meet individually with the kids as often as possible to help them with specific struggles. One

    of our boys has an extremely difficult time dealing with emotion. He will

    bottle it inside and never show that he is upset until it overwhelms him

    and then he has an entire week of extremely bad behavior. We are working

    to help him find healthy ways to express his feelings. This new model

    allows us to address emotional and developmental issues with the children

    in a more focused and intentional way.

    Benefits of the New Model There are many goals for this new model. One of these goals is to have siblings spending more time together.

    In the previous model, the siblings would be on the ranch but they really

    wouldnt do family things together. In the new model, siblings will be in the

    same family group for the entire time they are on the ranch, even if the Mentor

    Parents or Counselors change over time. They will have at least two set times

    Jennifer, Angelica, Enmanuel &

    Jafeth

    House of the Rock

    House of the Rock &House of Aaron (Combined Family Group)

    Counselor & Angelica helping w/Spanish Homework

    Game night with the whole group

  • each week to do family activities together with the entire family group. They

    are also able to eat all of their meals together.

    Another reason for the change in models is to create greater stability on

    the Ranch. In the past, when there was a staff change (e.g., a missionary

    couple returned to the States), the childs whole world changed. They would

    be in a new house, with new siblings, new house parents, new ways of cleaning,

    new foods, new discipline styles, and the list goes on and on. That kind of change would be difficult for

    just about anyone. Under the new plan, we will be able to maintain a much higher level of consistency

    even when the inevitable staff changes occur.

    The new model will also allow for greater longevity for the missionary staff. We have found that

    working in a foreign country with multiple foster children who have significant backgrounds of abuse

    and neglect is difficult, high-stress work. Many families who come with good intentions soon find the

    experience to be more than they can handle long-term. In fact, in the past 14 years, there has been

    only one North American family able to stay on-site longer than 4 years. The design of the new model

    helps to balance the workload of the missionaries and will hopefully make it possible for more families

    to be willing to come and to remain in the field longer.

    In addition to bringing greater stability, the new model helps us to use resources more efficiently.

    Because we are a charitable organization running solely on donations, we always strive to make our

    money stretch. In the past, each family would buy their own groceries, and WGO would reimburse us for

    the ministry childrens food. As part of the current changes, the ranch opened a cafeteria to provide

    centralized dining for the mission kids and their Counselors. The cafeteria not only allows siblings

    to eat together, but also provides a more consistent diet for all the children and saves money by

    allowing the ranch to purchase food in bulk. These savings will be used to bring more kids to the

    ranch. With the housing we currently have available, we are hoping to have 80 kids

    here in the next few years. This definitely isnt an overnight process, but we

    want to reach as many abandoned children as we possibly can.

    Finally, the new model also gives missionary families (like ours) a lot more

    autonomy. In coming to the ranch, one of our desires was to continue to provide

    nurturing, godly parenting to Jesse and Alex alongside our role as parents to

    the ministry kids. This was extremely difficult under the old model, where we

    were only getting 4 days off per month. Under the new model, missionary

    families will have more time off (2 days per week) and have their own

    houses. These changes provide more time and flexibility to Mentor

    Parents, giving them the rest and the strength needed to serve well in

    the unique challenges they experience on the ranch.

    We are optimistic that the changes that have been made will help to

    further the work that God is doing here. Please join us in continuing to

    pray Gods promise for all the children at Rancho Ebenezer:

    ...that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. Philippians 2:15-16

    Blessings in Christ, The Welton Family Group

    Jim with Jesse

    Jim and Cristian at

    the Festival

    Festival of Talents, Olman with his class

    Silliness with Jennifer, Ang

    el and Wendy...

    ...Say Cheese!

  • For more info:WWW.WGOREACH.ORG

    or email us at:Jim.Welton@wgomission.org

    Wendy.Welton@wgomission.org

    Health pray that we can get Wend

    ys allergy

    issues under control.

    Vehicle our car in the States, wh

    ich we kept to use

    while in Phoenix on furlough, has

    died. Please pray

    that we can find another car.

    Staff pray that God would quickly

    meet our need for

    Counselors and Mentor Parents at t

    he ranch. We are still

    looking for one more set of Mentor P

    arents in addition to the

    two families who are now fundrais

    ing. Please pray that

    they will find sponsors quickly. W

    e also need additional

    office staff and Social Workers a

    s more children are

    brought into the program. If you

    would like information

    about any of these positions, pleas

    e contact Pete Raineri

    at this e-mail: hr@wgomission.or

    g.

    You can be sure that God will tak

    e care of everything

    you need, his generosity exceeding

    even yours in the glory

    that pours from Jesus. Philippia

    ns 4:19 (NLT)

    Prayer Requests:

    Angel, Jafeth & D

    arwin

    ...opening Christma

    s gifts.

    The Mule, dressed as a warm weather reindeer

    Water Fun Day

    Kati s birt