Greetings! At the beginning of 2014 we want to thank you for your involvement in the Esperanza Foster Home project in Paraguay – and of course wishing you every blessing for the year ahead.

The beginning of 2013 was difficult for the Esperanza Project as Juana, the main foster mum, had decided to move on and it was no easy task finding her replacement. However, with a strong recommendation from one of the

Anglican school mums, Inocencia was taken on in the middle of the year. She has had a number of helpers as, with the economy picking up and there being more job opportunities than there used to be, and working with young children being seen as a low status sort of job, filling posts with suitable staff is not easy. Prayers for this would be much appreciated.

There has recently been a change of government in Paraguay with a different political party in power. This meant that many of the key contacts in the State Adoption Centre were replaced and Esperanza needed to sign a new agreement with them. This was achieved in June after much frustration, and 2 year old twin girls, F and F, arrived soon afterwards. They were very serious initially but are now much more happy and confident. We are awaiting news of a hearing with their birth mother which will dictate whether they can return to her care or may be adopted.

In October, 4 year old M arrived with severely delayed development and malnutrition. Through the contacts of one of the Esperanza leadership team, free medical insurance for all the Esperanza children has been offered and this was a real blessing for M who saw a top neurologist. He was amazed at the difference in M after just a month in the Esperanza home. Initially he was not making eye contact, responding to his name or able to say any words. But with loving care and stimulation he is now a different child, laughing and enjoying physical contact. Those who saw the change in him described it as miraculous and his case epitomises what the Esperanza project is all about. M’s paperwork has now come through and he has gone to live with future adoptive parents, a nurse and a teacher/youth worker who would seem pretty ideal! Meanwhile, the ladies have just welcomed 2 new siblings of 3 and 1 into the home.

We are delighted that Esperanza is still able to help Paraguayan children in this way. A recent article in the press stated that there are currently 1600 children known to be in institutions awaiting judicial decisions about their future. Social Services are convinced that a family fostering model is by far the best option for these children but there are very few families or homes like Esperanza where they can place them.

So THANK YOU for all the support you have given. If you would like to make a further donation to Esperanza, or set up or change a standing order, then please do contact us as this is easily done through our friends in SAMS UK and Ireland.

Murray and Penny Metcalfe