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Ministerios Ancla de Amor A.C.

Train up a Child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Our Ministry is for the Kids, Gods Ministry is for all of Us

Part 1

Date: April 23, 2019

By: Brian Krahn

Greetings to you, our precious extended Family of Ancla,

It is a pleasure to write you to you today with the purpose of communicating some of the things that are happening here at Ancla. It is always amazing to me how time flies! Here we are, quickly approaching the summer. The temps are already staring to climb and we know what is coming!

This summer we look forward to connecting with many of you back in Manitoba.

March 1st marked 5 years that we have been on The Ranch! So much has happened since then! I look back and think about what was here when we arrived and I compare it to what is here today, it is nothing short of a miracle! God has been so good to us and has affirmed the need for this home over and over again. It has not always been easy, and we have faced many hurdles to get here, but at the end of the day God has always been faithful. He affirms us time and time again and has used each hurdle to intensify our relationship with Him!

Over the past five years many of you have visited Ancla! For those of you that have not been here in a while Ancla is nothing like it was 2-3 years ago. Things have evolved! Growth has forced Ancla to become a very structured organization and it has turned into a significant operation. With that, things are continually changing! All of the changes we are going through are intended to help us be the best that we can be and most importantly they are intended to give the children we serve the best opportunity at life. Our goal is pretty simple, to provide quality of life to the children that we serve! In order to do so we have to be at our best.

One of the changes that you will notice if you have not been here in awhile is our Mexican staff now outnumber the rest of us! For me this is a great accomplishment! God has blessed us with great people that are committed and Love to serve! With this, we as foreigners realize that we need to really focus on communicating only in spanish in order to accommodate our staff. Our goal for the next year is that all day to day operations and meeting will switch from English to Spanish. Pray for us that we would all grasp the language so that we can communicate well. We all understand well, but putting sentences together and communicating still remains a challenge. Thankfully all our Spanish staff have been very gracious with us.

Back to the reason that I am writing you today. As a Ministry we are dedicated to meet the physical and emotional needs of our children. Our main objective is to provide our children with quality of life. What does quality of life mean to us and how might you have an opportunity to be involved?

The answer is simple, Prayer!

In the following letters I want to talk to you about who we are and what we do. I want to explain to you the heart of Ancla and what makes it tick and I want to explain to you what is involved in providing quality life for our children. For us quality of life may look different than it does for others, especially those living up in Canada or the United States. When I am talking about quality of life I am not talking about providing our children with material things to give them joy and happiness. When I am talking about quality of life, I am talking about the simple things, things that our children up north take for granted. For us quality of life means to have a safe home to grow up in, parents that love us and don’t abuse us, an education that is deserved yet in most cases not possible to achieve, opportunities to learn, opportunities to work and opportunities to make mistakes. Quality of life mean coming to an understanding of who God created them to be and not who society says they are. We are building a Ministry that prepares children to become adults. A Ministry that teaches teens how to be responsible and make healthy decisions. We are raising up the next generation of parents and it is our prayer that they will remember what we have taught them and apply it in their lives. Our children come to us from hard places. Each of them have things in their lives that they need to work through in order to heal. They all come in broken! In guiding our children through the process of healing we have come to a very important realization! We as staff also have pain and hurts from our pasts, many of which can hinder us from providing the children with the love and care that we desire to give them. If we are not seeking healing on out hearts it can hinder us from successfully opening up the heart of our children.

In order to provide our children with the best care possible we are learning that there is a process. My goal in this series of letters to you is to share with you what we are learning as well as what are our goals. I am praying that God will give us wisdom and understanding, and I am praying that He will give me the words to say in sharing with you. God loves our Ancla children, He loves our staff and He loves you or Ancla extended family! As we serve in this Ministry together, I want to enlighten you on the work God is doing here. 

1st Step

Our staff must be Healthy and Mentally Sound

We have learned that in order to lead the children to a place of healing in their hearts we as staff also have to be healthy! This is absolutely essential and necessary in order to touch the hearts of our children. If we are not not well mentally we will not be successful in bringing healing into the hearts of our children.

As a person that has struggled over the years with anxiety and depression, this is particularly hard for me to get my head around. I have had so many question for God. Why me? Why am I here? Knowing my weaknesses, God why did you choose me? All are real questions that I have struggled with in the past. I tend to have a very low opinion of myself and my greatest fear is failure therefor being responsible for such a Ministry has been overwhelming at best.

I cannot tell you the hours of prayer that I have spent questioning God about my calling! In ten minutes I can probably come up with a full page of why I am not adequate for the job that I have and in reality it would be difficult to come up with 5 reasons why I am equipped to do it! As someone that struggles with these things it is very easy to fall into the trap that our enemy has laid. The devil knows all too well our weaknesses (especially if we voice them) and he loves to us them against us. In my life, in your life and in the lives of the children there is one very important question that we all must ask ourselves and understand in our hearts.

The question is, what is our identity and who did God create us to be?

The world, meaning people all around us are very quick to offer their opinions of who we are, and sadly we are usually more critical of each other rather than honouring. During my journey it has taken me a long time to realize that it's more important to please God rather than please man. I tend to absorb what others say and take it very personal instead of focusing on what God says. Experience has continued to teach me that what really matters is Gods heart and how He feels and not the noise all around me. I/we need to fully understand who we are in Christ and that is really what matters! In the past I only considered who I am as Brian, the normal and under-qualified Brian, the one that makes mistakes and the one that has many flaws. We as people tend to allow the lies of Satan to consume us rather than resting in the promises from God who clearly says who we are. I understood my identity in Christ yet I failed to fully grasp it therefore I came to realize that I was caring some hurts that needed to be surrendered to the Cross. These hurts effected my abilities to lead which resulted in me questioning my identity. Why? Because as Ancla has grown it has become something that is so much bigger than I anticipated and the enemy does not like it! We are in the business of transforming lives, the responsibility is huge! As children of God, we have to accept our new identity in Christ and we have to allow this truth to consume us!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

2nd Corinthians 5:17

Now, here is the thing. Let’s review part of the paragraph that I have just written questioning my calling. I have communicated to you how I felt about myself. I am sure, some of you can relate to me in this. In that paragraph I shared that I have spent hours questioning God about my calling. Is that not a sad statement? When I come to think about it, It sure is to me! Who am I to question God and His decisions? Isn’t it enough that God saw it to be fit? One would think so but our flesh is strong! In doing this I am making my life about me and not about God. Romans 12:1 says God knew me before time and that He has a plan for me, so who am I to question Him. I’ve wasted hours questioning Gods decision when I should be spending time in the Bible and learning who my true identity is! I need to meditate and focus on who God created me to be and stop focusing on the lie that Satan wants me to believe! If only I would understand my true identity undoubtably I would have the ability to walk in true confidence with The Lord. Confidence to walk in unwavering faith and sacrificial living, that is the kind of man I desire to become!

Another thing I have learned. As I mentioned I have struggled with anxiety and depression at times. What I have come to learn is that in the times that I struggle the root cause is almost always self pity! It always starts with woe me! Poor me! I am not happy! My feelings of depression always comes into play when I take the focus off of God and when I make the focus on me. Why? Because I know that I don’t have what it takes to be the man that God created me to be without the help of the Holy Spirit! In times of weakness the weight of life and the weight of Ministry is more than I can handle on my own but scripture teaches us in John 14 that God has sent us His Spirit in order to help us. God knew that I could not make it on my own. Again, truth be told, I am undeserving to be here and unqualified. I am certainly undeserving to serve at the pleasure of my great and awesome God and He certainly does not need me to do His work, but for what ever He chooses to use me. 

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever

John 14:16

I hope that you can see where I am going here. A key point in leading the children into a healing experience is for them to understand who they are and what is their true identity. Who did God almighty create them to be? Until they understand who they are through God’s eyes, and until they embrace that with their own hearts how will they ever overcome their situation? Remember all of our children come from hard places! They have been treated horribly, violated, and rejected. Our society tells that that they are nothing because they live in a children’s home. That is pretty tough to erase from their minds! The question is, how can I expect them to experience healing of the heart through Christ if I have not really experienced it myself? How can I expect them to come to a healing place in their hearts if my staff have not experienced healing themselves?

If we as staff truly desire for our children to walk freely from the hurts of their past we have to also learn how to walk freely from the hurts of our pasts. All too often we try to hide our own hurt and pain and we think that as long as I am helping someone else through their situation our hurt will eventually go away. We all choose to stay busy so that we don’t have to think about all the things from our pasts that grieve us. It is really hard to pull those dark memories out of the closet and face them. It is interesting to me that in many situations regarding missions, whether it be long or short term, the intention of the missionary is always to bless the recipient. Generally what happens is a need is exposed and a person or group feels convicted to meet that need. Did you know that in almost every case, the missionary or the person that intended to help the situation is the one that leaves the situation feeling blessed or encouraged? Ask any missionary that you know. In almost every case, we feel we received more out of the experience than the recipient did! Our work at Ancla is no different. Our intention is to lead the children into healing and help them understand how to walk in the Lord. Why? We care for their future and want the best for them. Is it not just like God to use our kids to bring healing into our hearts in the process? In Gods eyes, we are important too and He wants us to also be free from all the things that weigh us down. God wants all of us to be free of our pains, and He asks us to lay our burdens at His feet. God’s love runs deep and it is for you and for me too! Through working with the children at Ancla God is opening up our own hearts and exposing hurts that have been tucked away for many years. I can’t begin to explain how this process it deepening the relationships between all of us as staff here at Ancla. It is so exciting to think of what the future holds.

I have shared with you my personal experiences because I want you to see how my personal health effects my ability to make an impact in the lives of our children. Im writing you to share about the journey that we are on as a Ministry! This is the direction that we are going at Ancla! To be on our team is not for the faint of heart! We are in constant battle and Salvation and Victory in healing in the lives of our children is what we are fighting for! This job is for people that are willing to be vulnerable and for people that are willing to grow both of which require humility as well as perseverance! We have to extend Grace and also be able to receive Grace which is another whole conversation for another time. As God takes us as staff deeper into relationship with Him and each other, I am expecting that we are going to see even greater healing in the hearts of our children. I am anticipating miracles to take place in ways that we have never experienced.

Pray for our staff! Pray that God reveals himself and pray that all our hearts are healed and free. We are going deep! Pray for protection from our enemy and pray that we would have the ability to work through all our personal hurts and wounds. Pray for our children at Ancla and pray for the future children of Ancla. There is so many more out there that need help! Pray that God’s peace would continue to engulf this place and that His Spirit would be overwhelmingly present.

You are all a part of this Journey with us, lets go for the ride!

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

John 12:1

Stay posted. Next publication coming soon.

Clarissa's Newest Responsibilities at Ancla

From the dark Streets to the Starting Block

With the right care and up-bringing children can become positive and productive members of our society. So often I see that people underestimate a child’s potential. Children are the future of our communities and of our country. If we invest in them wisely, we are investing in our world. Family is crucial in raising a child. Children are designed to have nurturing parents that love them and prepare them for adulthood. Without this, too often children fall by the wayside and are forgotten. Our desire at Ministerios Ancla de Amor is to offer each child that arrives here a loving home in a family setting. This is what identifies us! We are a children's home. We provide loving parents and a loving and nurturing environment. We know we cannot replace their biological families. Our desire is to fill that spot during the time they are with us, and hopefully bring some healing to them at the same time.

In our field, we receive children that have endured every abuse imaginable. Children arrive here from extremely bad situations. Most often, children have been abused physically and sexually. Often they have been abandoned by their parents, and in rare occasions, we also receive children that are actually orphans. Children arrive with broken bones, bite marks, scars and burns. Every child that we receive has one thing in common, each arrives at Ancla from a very dysfunctional home. They arrive wounded, physically, emotionally and sometimes mentally. It is our job at Ancla de Amor to restore them to the way God meant them to be. We do that with the help from God. God teaches us that love can conquer all. We believe that! Every child was intended to have a loving family, a loving Mother and Father. Children do not belong in a casa hogar! For this reason, we do everything in our ability to offer them a family that loves them. Additionally, we offer programs that help them move on from their past and into their future. Although our children come from a difficult past, we teach them that their past is not their identity! We teach them that they are a child of God, created in Gods image, and created for a purpose. Each child is special in their own designed way.

As a result of their past, children arrive at our home believing they are worthless. They believe that their own parents did not love them; therefore, they are not lovable. In order to accomplish our desire to see children succeed the first thing we have to do is break this belief. We convince the children that they are great and that they are created for a purpose. This takes a long time! In addition, we teach them that they can achieve their dreams if they are willing to set their minds to it, and accomplish great things! They can change their trajectory through hard work and commitment. For this reason, we have turned to sports, specifically swimming as a way to teach children they can achieve dreams if they so desire.

We recognize that ANCLA DE AMOR children come to the swimming experience with the challenges that come from neglect and abuse. They benefit greatly from water therapy and swimming: They feel safe in this context. Couples, one-on-one of adults and children, help increase their confidence, teach them the basics, and let them have fun and use their imagination in the water game.

The water itself is therapeutic. It has its own magical power (buoyancy, sensation, restorative moisture, cool to cold) especially in the desert. Children learn good limits, in the water and out of the pool. They learn to take care of themselves and each other. They learn to listen. They have responsibilities. Learning to swim, improves coordination, balance and awareness of your own space.

They learn empowerment: They take swimming as a survival technique. They learn the benefits of practice, diligence, and more practice. They learn to succeed in one or more techniques. This year, university students at the Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo and their coach, Crucita Robles, have teamed up with ANCLA's eight senior swimmers, training them and pushing them toward new levels of confidence and a more sophisticated level of skill. ANCLA children also see these college students using their SWIM to help them get ahead in college.

As the director of Ministerios Ancla de Amor I cannot be more proud of our children for the hard work, commitment and dedication they have displayed in achieving their goals at the swim competitions. I have witnessed children from the street, preparing to compete, standing on the STARTING BLOCK! This truly warms my heart to see them succeed in this way. For me it is not just about swimming. It is about finding creative ways to help them overcome their past and find healing! I have watched our children gain confidence and by investing in them I have seen them excel and grown into amazing people. They know they are no longer victims of their past and they are taking responsibility for their future. Most importantly, they know they are not forgotten. They are loved by many! It is an honour for me and my team to invest our lives in these children knowing that they will become vital members of our society and country.

Brian Peter Krahn Hiebert

Director of Ministerios Ancla de Amor A.C.