Church of God World Missions has never been slack concerning providing for the orphans. Some of its earliest endeavors were establishing orphanages and feeding programs for the abandoned.
Some years ago, Tony Lane, Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, made a trip to Poza Rica, Vera Cruz, Mexico, and discovered a situation that left its imprint on his heart. From that time since, Tony has put concerted effort into helping assist the endeavor.
Poza Rica became a city of the oil industry. Men left their families behind to work. Prostitution became prominent and left many unwanted children on the streets. They became survivors and sought shelter wherever they could find it, lived by begging and stealing, and slept wherever they could find a place. Paint thinner and cheap drugs became a way of escape from their despair.
Many children found land beneath a bridge for a temporary home. Pastor Elias and Teresa Herrera saw the great need, and took clothing and food to them, some as young as two years old. One 12-year-old girl had given birth to a baby and was raising the baby under the bridge.
The Herreras opened their home and the church parsonage to give the children a place to live. Difficult to house children in such small quarters, they persevered; children were house for the first six years in two Sunday school classrooms.
But, God had a plan! With the assistance of many donors and the oversight of the project by Tony Lane, land and property were purchased and a building was built with a kitchen, dining hall, and 12 bedrooms, along with a separate bathhouse. Later a new house for the director and his family was built, complete with electricity and a paved concrete road. Since then, a three-story dormitory for girls, and a two-story multi-purpose building provided emphasis on education. A prayer tower has been added, and apartments for orphanage leadership. Expansion has continued to include a ministry program for pastors and leaders, and a multi-purpose auditorium is being finished.
The ministry began as a mission of faith. The Herreras during those first years stretched their pastor’s salary to meet the basic needs of the children. Their ministry grew to minister to various poor communities around Poza Rica, and a new church was established in a mountain community of indigenous people.
All this happened because a couple responded to the call of God to love the orphans. Sponsors are still needed for the children, as well as the orphanage workers.
Ambassador to Casa Hogar, Tony Lane, says: “I have grown in my faith by seeing firsthand faith in action. The Herreras are true spiritual heroes of the faith!”