Stephen's House is the physical reality found in the heart of every believer. It exists to care for those no one wants. It exists because an awareness of the Gospel is almost invisible in the southern mountains of rural Peru. We have been working in these mountains since 2011 and have built relationships that are blossoming into great disciples of Christ. But, there is a step missing. These villages need a practical demonstration of the Good News we preach; they need to see the Gospel at work in their communities.
Once completed, Stephen's House will support and care for up to 40 children at one time. But, we know that begins with one loved child at a time! Our desire is to equip and train them to know and follow Christ with the hope that they themselves will become disciplemakers. We realize one of our roles among the villages will be to partner with local believers as they expand the Kingdom in a Gospel impoverished region.
The people of Huancavelica state are amazing! They don’t need housing, medical care, finer education tools, clothes, or food. They have a beautiful society within which they can live and function well. They don’t want or need to become more American. They need a chance to be exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They need to know the feeling of being part of a community where they are loved, chosen, known, and connected to something larger than themselves.
So, what about Stephen?
We met Stephen on one of our first trips. After spending a week just building relationships among local villages, the presence of a few Americans had become known. The people among the community were kind, inviting, and curious about what we wanted to do locally. Toward the end of the week, a grandmother approached me with eight year old Stephen at her side. She told me this story: “Stephen’s family has moved to the city to find better work. They took all the children who could help them make money. Stephen was left behind because he is too young. No one wants him. Will you take him home with you?”
Our hearts were broken for a little boy who was not wanted. Additional conversations showed us there are more children like Stephen living as "invisible orphans" throughout the villages in the mountains of Southern Peru. It was there in that spot, a dream of a home for Stephen (and children like him) was born.
To exalt Christ by caring for orphans and raising awareness on their behalf in the United States and around the world.
To encourage as many churches as possible to become involved through praying, giving, and going to experience orphan care first hand.
To educate the individual American believer on the importance of orphan care, the Biblical mandate concerning orphan care, and the multifaceted opportunities to engage in orphan care around the globe.
Our hope is for Stephen's House to be the catalyst for reaching the Huancavelica State of Peru. We have been told that Huancavelica is Peru's poorest state. The orphans there are cared for by extended family or friends, but they are not wanted. They pass from home to home, invisible to the outside world. They are clothed and fed, but they have no home to call their own.
We are working to create a place for them that will accomplish the following:
We are praying Stephen’s House will be a home for children to find a family where they belong and are wanted; a safe environment where they encounter Jesus and come to know Him personally.
Our home will be a practical, hands-on example of the Gospel we’ve been preaching there from our first visit. We are praying the home will be a place that trains pastors, equips churches with evangelism and discipleship materials, and serves as an ongoing source of encouragement for the area churches.
We see the local village as a classroom experience. Connecting with the community leaders of each village near us will open the opportunity to teach our children how to live practical, sustainable lives in their native country. We will teach agricultural techniques unique to the area so that they can prepare food in the mountainous terrain where they live. We will raise Alpaca and teach the children the process of producing items from Alpaca wool. Additionally, we plan to teach skills in mechanics, animal husbandry, sewing, cooking, and life skills.
Our desire is to introduce these children to the Lord and disciple them so they know what it means to be a Christ follower. Through daily discipleship by host parents, the children will learn practical, everyday ways you live out your faith. We hope they will leave with a faith that is their own and that they carry in to their adult life, the places they live and the futures they pursue.
This is our plan for reaching and connecting with the unreached and Gospel impoverished people of the southern mountains of Peru. We believe God gave this plan to us. We commit to remaining flexible as He leads it, expands it, and adjusts parts of it to better serve His Kingdom.
Will you join us?