Some want to be the hands of Jesus, some His feet. Us? We want to be His heart.
We are the Sanchez Family: Salazar, Heather, and our three beautiful daughters, Milagros, Talai and Hadassah. We passionately love people and the Lord and have a driving desire to go wherever and do whatever He calls us to, to share His love along the way and to enjoy the adventure.
Although we had a knowledge of Christ and even dabbled in Christianity prior, both of us made a firm commitment to pursue Jesus at all costs just short of two years into our marriage following a nasty pending divorce that nearly tore our young family apart. Between the two of us we have pasts highlighted with alcohol and drug abuse, violence, promiscuity, depression and more. God’s grace in forgiving and freeing us and miraculously saving and healing our marriage was truly radical. His love is extravagant. Our highest goal is that our love for and pursuit of Jesus would reflect His love for us, which is reckless.
Q. What do we do?
Ten years ago the Lord gave us a vision to have a restorative home for exploited and traumatized youth. Since that day we have been preparing to make that dream a reality. We’ve learned much from work with churches, nonprofit ministries and government. We attended the University of the Nations’ “School of Rescue and Restoration” and have been certified in counseling. Now we embark to Uganda, Africa, a country where the extreme exploitation of children has profoundly impacted an entire nation for decades. Our hope, goal and prayer is to reach highly traumatized children and offer them a chance to: know a loving God; be restored; receive a quality education; and obtain necessary resources to not only have a future and a hope, but also to become leaders and world changers. We believe that the world is changed one Jesus-filled beating heart at a time.
Q. Why focus on traumatized children?
The sad fact is that many youth who have escaped or been rescued from situations of human trafficking and/or extreme exploitation wind up in underfunded orphanages, refugee camps or destitute on the street. They are often estranged from family, uneducated, without trade skills and kicked out of homes and schools for being too “troubled”. Without intervention, many of these kids will die or return to the lifestyle they have escaped.
Human trafficking is the #1 fastest growing global enterprise and expected to outgrow the global drug trade within the decade, which would make it the largest illegal trade in the world. Children are being subjected to this horror at startlingly increasing rates. Experts claim that we now have more slaves than any other period in the history of the world.
However, youth who have suffered such unspeakable suffering and injustice and then been restored by Christ often turn out to be compassionate and courageous. With nothing left to loose they are unafraid to take the freedom and love of Jesus wherever their Lord asks them to.
Many people don’t believe that severely traumatized children are worth the investment. They see these kids as being too risky to put time, money and energy into. But these children, perhaps more than most, just need love, and no one is beyond the love of Christ. There is a suffering and imprisoned “invisible” generation out there that we are at risk of losing forever. How many teachers, preachers, prophets, presidents, evangelists, missionaries and more are perishing while Christians too absorbed in the comfort of their own lives turn a blind eye? Only the power of Jesus can effectively combat this dark injustice, and His mandate is the same it has always been: GO.
David Livingstone was a Christian missionary to Africa in the mid nineteenth century and is known for blazing a trail into the African interior where no missionaries had been successfully able to reach prior, not even fellow African missionaries. He is also known for his work with the abolition movement calling for a worldwide crusade to defeat the slave trade. It profoundly upset him that slave traders were reaching parts of Africa that Christians would not go to. He once said, “I shall open up a path into the interior or perish. May He (God) bless and make us blessings even unto death… Shame upon us missionaries if we are to be outdone by slave traders!” We believe his words are just as prevalent today as they have ever been.
Thank you for reading about us and showing an interest in what we do. Please prayerfully consider getting involved. You can inquire about doing so and/or join our prayer team by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or through our “Contact Us” page. You can also sign up to receive updates and newsletters in the same fashion. May God bless you and empower you to share the Good News of Jesus Christ which impacts generations and changes our world heart by heart.