Jim and Kate met in 2008, brought together by their desire for long-term missions working with children from backgrounds of poverty or abuse. They married in 2011 and began waiting for God to reveal a missions calling. In 2012, Jim and Kate felt it was time to begin pursuing opportunities, so they began exploring Christian orphanage websites. Soon, they discovered Casa Aleluya and several other options, and chose to visit Casa because of an openness to American workers.
In the summer of 2012 they visited Casa, and by the end of their second week felt this would be their place to serve. After meeting with Mike and Dottie about options, a few days of prayer and discussion led to an application to become dorm parents in the Buen Pastor house. They returned to the U.S. and began the Casa Aleluya missionary application process.
Upon being accepted, Jim and Kate immediately began raising support. By the time 2013 rolled around they decided to step out in faith and move to Casa Aleluya, although their support goals were not yet met. So plane tickets were bought, good—byes were said, and Jim and Kate began their 5-year commitment in February of 2013.
In the early days, life at Buen Pastor was a little rocky, mostly due to language and cultural barriers, but over time, relationships were built. After a year and a half, Jim and Kate moved to another dorm and found life a little easier due to growing language skills and excellent help in the dorm. Relationships were built more quickly, and Kate soon added work in the school to her duties and Jim helped drive children to court and medical appointments.
After another year and a half in the Esperanza dorm, Jim began building a discipleship program and they soon moved out of the dorm and into a campus apartment to focus more time on Kate’s duties at the school and Jim’s development of the new discipleship program. Five years came and went, and Jim and Kate felt they were to continue serving the kids at Casa Aleluya, so with the blessing of their U.S. church, decided to continue the journey.
In 2018, Jim was asked to teach a Bible course in the Casa school for the 7-12 graders. Within 3 months, the 5th and 6th graders were added, and Jim is now in his 3rd year of teaching in the school and leading 4 discipleship groups (2 boys and 2 girls) each week in the evenings.
Kate worked in the Special Needs classroom at the Casa Aleluya school until 2018. In need of a little break from teaching, she took on the role of organizing and supervising the school supply area with a primary goal of reducing waste. Much progress has been made in the first year, thanks to Kate’s leadership and the help of an intern and visiting teams. This year, Kate envisions streamlining the operation even more, and helping encourage better stewardship of supplies and materials throughout the school.
In February of 2020, Jim and Kate celebrate 7 years at Casa Aleluya and hope to continue serving for many years to come.