Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guatemala Team - Bringing Hope Through $50 Beds

This November our Guatemala team will be building and delivering beds to four needy families in the remote hills outside of San Lucas.   These families live in a very impoverished community where most children do not attend school, men work in the fields and families have limited medical care.  We truly feel honored to bring the hope of Jesus to these families through the gift of a bed.  Yesterday I received the story of one family that is currently preparing for a bed...

"Maria" (not her real name) is just 18 years old.  Last year she and her husband had their first baby.  Sadly, the baby died at just 5 days old (after inhaling meconium during delivery).  Maria is pregnant again but her husband is physically abusive. She recently moved back home with her mother and sleeps on the floor with her four siblings.  I can't imagine being pregnant, heart broken from the loss of a child, physical abuse and sleeping on the dirt floor night after night.

While some of our team members build the beds, other team members will provide lice treatments for children in the community.  The bed project is organized through the "Hands of Hope" medical clinic, which provides desperately needed medical care to their remote community.  In order to qualify for the bed program, families participate in a community service project through the local church (in partnership with Hands of Hope).

Maria and her family have already been notified that they have been chosen to receive a bed and they are thrilled.  These beds are often the first piece of furniture that a family has ever owned.  Families use them as tables and desks and often sleep on the beds together (4 or 5 family members!).  We are so humbled to be able to provide this desperately needed gift for Maria and her family.

Our last two "bed delivery" teams @ Hands of Hope
(see blog archives from our October, 2010 and November, 2011 trips)

The beds only cost $50 to build and deliver.  If you would like to pay for one of the beds, please email me at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

School Supplies Needed for Guatemala

The children in Guatemala are getting ready to end their current school year and the new school session will begin in January, 2014.  School supplies are often too costly for families, so children are often unable to attend school.  Our team is excited to be able to bring school supplies as gifts this year.  We are looking for the following items:

Pens or pencils
Staples/staples/staple removers
Rulers (with metric measurements)

We are requesting that the backpacks be "neutral" (no Disney characters or themes).  Please let us know if you'd like to help to supply a needy child with a backpack!  Contact Jenni Ramsey at

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stuffed Animals Drive Featured in Local Paper

Last month The OC Register (Orange County, CA) featured a story on Jordan and Aidan Ramsey's stuffed animals drive for El Salvador.  The article contains a few minor errors.  Neither of the boys traveled to El Salvador this summer and Aidan took the Silly Bandz that were collected to El Salvador in 2011.  Jordan served in El Salvador in 2010 and 2012.

Tustin students collect stuffed animals for donation
08/21/2013 12:28 PM

Two years ago, two brothers attending Arroyo Elementary led a project to collect multi-colored rubber bracelets from their classmates to donate to orphanages in El Salvador.
This time, Jordan and Aidan Ramsey have collected more than 1,000 stuffed animals from their classmates, their church and other sources.
"It was fun," said Aidan, 10, of the effort to collect the stuffed animals. "A little complicated, but we still got it."
They left for El Salvador on July 20 as a part of a team of 19; the toys are being distributed among kids in hospitals and orphanages there over the course of a week.
"They don't need stuff to be happy, but they're glad that they do," said Jordan, 11, who will be entering sixth grade.
The boys' mother, Jenni Ramsey is the aid and outreach director for the nonprofit group All Blessings International through Kentucky Adoption Services. She coordinated the trip in conjunction with Ripple Kids, a program implemented at Arroyo that recognizes community services efforts of kids. Volunteers have traveled to Guatemala, El Salvador and Haiti to help locals.
"The orphans in El Salvador don't have stuffed animals or toys," Jordan said. "They barely have anything."
He and Aidan spent a week in El Salvador in 2011 after collecting 4,000 Silly Bandz, which are silicone rubber bands molded into various shapes and typically worn by kids as bracelets.
"They really enjoyed them, they played with them all day," Jordan said.
Their mom began volunteering in El Salvador in 2009.
"I'm excited," Jenni said. "I feel like I'm blessed to love what I do."
It costs about $2,100 for each person on the team to make the trip. The team is comprised of mostly high school and college students affiliated with the Village Church of Irvine. Jenni leads 10 to 12 training sessions to help team members better acclimate to the culture. The group will stay in a nearby housing complex generally designated for people coming on goodwill trips.
"They're going to be pretty happy that the Americans care for them," Aidan said.
Contact the writer:, 714-796-7963, @luke_harold
To view the article online, go to

Friday, September 13, 2013

2014 El Salvador trip dates confirmed!!!

Mark your calendars! Our next El Salvador team will be serving with SUS HIJOS from July 5-12, 2014.  Applications will be accepted in early 2014.

Introducing the 2013 Guatemala Team!

It's official!  We have 15 team members (8 kids and 7 adults) and our flights are booked to serve in Guatemala from November 23-20, 2013!  Meet the team:

CA team members:

Jenni Ramsey (team leader) - 3rd trip to Guatemala
Aidan Ramsey (age 10) - 1st trip to Guatemala
Marlene Eckert - 2nd trip to Guatemala
Roberta Keenan - 5th trip to Guatemala
Stephen Keenan (age 18) - 1st trip to Guatemala

TN team members:

Amy May (adopted in Guatemala w/ABI) - 3rd trip to Guatemala
Jackson May (age 16) - 2nd trip to Guatemala
Conner May (age 12) - 2nd trip to Guatemala
Nicole Spining - 1st trip to Guatemala
Brendan Spining (age 12) - 1st trip to Guatemala

NE team members:

Danilo Bolanos (born in El Salvador ) - 1st trip to Guatemala
MaKenna Bolanos (age 13) - 1st trip to Guatemala

VA team members:

Lori West (adopted in Guatemala w/ABI) - 4th trip to Guatemala
Ryan West (age 16) - 1st trip to Guatemala
Wendy West (age 9) - adopted in Guatemala at age 3, 1st time returning since adoption

As you can see, we have an incredible team!  We are so excited to serve alongside long term missionaries, Art and Lisa Camarena, and will be visiting families, delivering supplies, doing construction projects and participating in their weekly Bible study ministry.  We will also build and deliver beds an in impoverished community.

This ministry room @ Art & Lisa' home 
will receive a much needed paint job from our team!

Art and Lisa have become like family 
to many of the Guatemalans they serve...

The cost to build and deliver beds is $50/bed.  We will be delivering four beds to four deserving families (who currently sleep on the floor).  If you would like to contribute towards specific costs (beds, food/supplies for families, paint/construction needs, school supplies, etc.) or support our general trip costs, please send a tax-deductible check to All Blessings Intl, 13111 Hewes Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705.

Our team is collecting school supplies and we are in need of backpacks, pens, pencils, erasers, glue and small supplies.  No paper please.  The children in Guatemala start school in January and school supplies  are very costly.  Thank you for your support!