In Dec. 2023, we were excited to learn our church (River of Life in Cold Spring, MN) was offering a family mission trip (12+ yrs) to help an orphanage (Ancla de Amor) in Mexico. 🇲🇽 Logan and I were interested but not sure we would be able to go, due to the short time we had to fundraise the money before leaving. Thankfully, God already had a plan! Through the generous donation of Logan’s great aunt, we were able to sign up to attend. Later, we found out our group was the first church from the United States to go to and support Ancla de Amor!

Guaymas, Mexico has some beautiful countryside and ocean but much of what we saw was covered in rundown “houses” (we’d call many of them shacks) and trash. It’s dangerous to be in many places, especially at night. Priorities of what’s important seem incomprehensible: satellite TV on shacks barely standing with no running water and beautiful exteriors with run down/falling apart interiors. Families starving and hurting but ensuring they have cell phones, TVs, Christmas trees, etc. Public schools and hospitals that are not safe to attend.

When we saw these conditions the children from the orphanage came from and heard the stories this the neglect, physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse they endured it was heartbreaking. BUT you go to the orphanage Ancla de Amor and you are greeted with happy children running around playing, going to private schools so they can get the best education while being treated as people and supported. The kids are involved in sports, learning sewing, music, English and Spanish, doing chores, helping each other and the adults out, etc. It seems impossible that these children came from such horrible conditions and backgrounds.

This private nonprofit orphanage Ancla de Amor was started by a Canadian couple, Brian and Clarissa Krahn, 10 yrs. ago. They saw the corruption, lack of support and education for the poor/addicted/mentally ill/abused. They felt the call to do something, so they started an orphanage Ancla de Amor to help the children. They believed that all children need love, as well as, a safe place to live, food, quality eduction, counseling, quality medical care, etc. They strive to treat the children, staff, volunteers, etc. like family! They honor the value God places on every person they encounter! The gratitude of this couple has carried over into the staff and children! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so appreciated while also feeling like I need to do more for them!

Logan and I cleaned, sewed, and got to play a lot with the kids . Seeing my shy, kind son grow and change makes my heart shine! He was running and playing with the children.  In kind, they were engaging him to play and just spent time with them. I also got to share part of my story growing up in poverty and abuse, and how God pulled me out of those situations. What an incredible experience for both of us and certainly not what we expected!

Logan and I were blessed to have this opportunity together and feel called to share our experience at Ancla de Amor. By the time we left, Logan said, “Mom, we’re going back again next year!” God willIng we will! It was bitter sweet to return home after such an eye opening and heartwarming experience! I truly felt like I was leaving family behind!

A few final thoughts. God has called all of us to value ourselves and each other, as children of God. We are to serve in whatever capacity we have. Even the simplest words, actions, or gift can change the life of another!

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? – Matthew 16:26 NIV

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

– Logan and Kisha Ebensperger mission trip to Guaymas/San Carlos, Sonora Mexico

We first got to know Ancla in 2021 through friends in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. We fell in love with the entire orphanage immediately, especially with all of the children. The wonderful feelings of love and spirituality we felt there were beyond description. They asked me to represent Papa Noel at Christmas time and it ended up being one of the best days of my entire life. We will always love, respect and support this “piece of heaven on earth.” May God’s greatest blessings be with you all.

-John & Chris Beesley. Provo, Utah, USA.

Ancla has been one of my favorite things about living in Mexico! While visiting Ancla I’ve seen nothing but love for these children. The kids have the perfect blend of play time and daily chores that give them a sense of fulfillment and identity. I’ve often taken friends there and on their first visit they have tears of joy as they leave, because they truly see first hand the power of love and the conviction of Ancla’s staff to give these children a better life. This is no orphanage to me, in the sense of what I think of to be an orphanage, this is a large family living in a ranch and trying to survive as best they can.

– Rich Barr, Illinois USA

Twenty years ago I started going to “Pan de Vida Orphanage” in Queretero, Mexico. This, soon turned into something which became very dear to my heart.  We also started going to “Esperanza para Ti”, (another orphanage) and we always love the children and staff there, as well as the culture. We started sponsoring children we had gotten to know so we could put a little extra into their lives. Children of Hope is a great team which lets us get up close and personal which we really love. God has allowed us the opportunity to serve and bless these people.

– Curt and Alvina Reimer, Manitoba Canada

My husband and I were invited by a friend to Ancla at the beginning of 2021.  Having adopted a three day old Mexican baby boy thirty five years ago, we were hoping we could help find homes for these special children.  After talking with Brian and Clarissa, I learned that the children were not currently allowed to be adopted.  They would remain at Ancla until they turned eighteen.   I couldn’t even imagine caring for 25 children (and the number was growing) til they reached adulthood.  But Ancla’s goal is not just to care for these children, but to make a difference for good in each of their lives.

– Dave and Sue Barlow, Utah USA