Once You’ve Met Her, You’ll Never Forget Her

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The following is written by Emily, who was interning with the EFCCM in Bolivia. She was serving at the Talita Cumi orphanage.

“God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27

As my time here in Bolivia comes to a close and as I think about all the different things that I have seen and learned during these four months, this verse seems to sum up so much of it well. I find myself realizing more and more that God’s primary purpose for sending me to Santa Cruz was not for me to teach these people profound things or for me, myself, to impact their lives in any special way – in fact, it’s turned out to be quite the opposite. And what better a person could God have chosen to confound and teach me than that whom the world considers to be the very weakest?

Fany has done just that.

This special girl has challenged me, surprised me, made me laugh until I cried, and made an impact on my life that I never expected. Between trying to get free of her death grip hugs (watch out, or she’ll get you too!), searching the house for one or both of her missing shoes that fell off along her journey, finding her fast asleep on the toilet, or simply sitting and talking with her (which usually consists of me just listening, because she’s not always the easiest person to understand), she has added much joy and excitement to my experience here.

I’ve enjoyed working with her so much that I’ve even changed my direction and I’ve decided to study disabilities studies this coming September in university. Who would’ve thought that this 26 year-old, wheelchair-bound girl would have impacted my life in such a way! I thank God for Fany’s life and I am so thankful that He has brought her onto my path.

Maybe the Lord will bring me back to Santa Cruz someday, but until then, I wish all the interns and everyone else who walks through these doors after me a wonderful, blessed, and life-changing experience. May you see Jesus in the form of these 30 smiling, running, caring kids… and may they impact you to such an extent that you can’t help but be transformed from the inside out. Have fun!

With love,


Internships with the EFCCM

Would you like an intern experience like Emily has described? One that will expose you to some real needs in the world, and which will give you a way to meet some? One which will open your eyes and your heart? One that will change your life?

Get in touch with Lisa (lisab@efccm.ca) — she’ll lead you through the steps to get you there.

Specifically, Talita Cumi is looking for people who are engaged in what’s happening in and through the orphanage, and who can keep supporters up to speed on their Facebook page, through letters and other correspondence. If you can speak Spanish, you can be involved right away in a much deeper level with the kids. And if you don’t know Spanish yet, you will certainly learn some while you’re there!

December and January are the months that Talita Cumi feels the greatest need for volunteers.

Simple? No.

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It should have been simple. Standard procedure for visa renewal is for missionaries to leave their host country for a prescribed amount of time, and then re-enter. Curtis’ plan was to get a new visa on his next trip out of country, and for the time being return to Ukraine to get a new passport in Kiev. It didn’t go quite that smoothly for Curtis.

Curtis serves with the EFCCM in Ukraine, working primarily with orphanages. He shows God’s love to children that have been neglected by their families, and who in many cases feel like outcasts. He serves with his brother’s family, Adam and Luba. Together they have been instrumental in not only ministering to the children in Ukraine, but also in helping them connect them with North American families in several adoptions. But good work doesn’t hold too much sway with rules about visas and paperwork.

He’d made the plan to visit friends in Moldova for the 2 days that the turnaround was expected to take. But his Ukrainian visa had already run out when he was leaving, and his passport was to expire in three months, making the idea of getting a new visa right away impractical. Processing a new passport is a relatively simple matter if a country has a Canadian embassy. Moldova doesn’t. The closest next choice was Romania, but Curtis had no contacts there. Instead, he chose to go to Germany where a missionary family offered to take him in while the paperwork was processed — a minimum of three weeks, he was told.

Long story short, his passport application was processed in one week(!), and he received the religious visa that he’d applied for from Ukraine which should mean that this little adventure shouldn’t need to be repeated. Instead of the 2-day plan, Curtis was out of Ukraine almost an entire month! He is just as grateful to be reunited with the orphans in Krivoy Rog as they are to have him back. Curtis has a fresh awareness of how God can even work through convoluted human process to show us his sovereignty.

By the way, this is the condensed version — if you want to read the whole thing as it happened (including pictures!), and keep up with his more recent posts, check out Curtis’ blog.

Another Introduction

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Wally and Esther have spent the last couple of days finishing up their orientation with the Home Office staff. They have been independent missionaries in Nicaragua for the last 1.5yrs, and will be returning in July under the banner of the EFCCM. Their primary ministry is with an orphanage. It’s become apparent that I should define that term, and why it’s becoming increasingly important to the EFCCM.

In Western countries, an orphanage is usually thought of as a temporary solution until foster care or adoption becomes available to children. In most other countries, that isn’t so. There are few people that can ably adopt children. Typically, they have been abandoned because families don’t have the ability to provide for them. Or they are at risk of abuse. Or they have been orphaned by war, famine or disease.

Children in such desperate situations have few options and little hope of a better life. Through an orphanage we can provide safety, nutrition and hygiene. But we can offer so much more. When we can intervene at a young age, we can change negative trends and thought patterns. We can offer hope. And we can introduce children to their Creator. That’s the path which offers the most improvement and healing.

The EFCCM is committing to orphanages in Bolivia and Nicaragua, and at least one of our EFCC churches is supporting orphanages in Ukraine too. God certainly has a heart for children, and we at the EFCCM do too.