“We needed this place”

Karla and Laura reminiscing about their time at El Sauzal

Two years that changed their lives

During the 50th anniversary celebration, we met up with some orphanage alumni. They were a cheerful, talkative group, reminiscing, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. Let me introduce you to two of them, inspiring sisters Karla and Laura. Karla and Laura lived in our home from 1997 to 1999 with their four younger brothers. Their mother voluntarily brought the six children to the orphanage while she raised money to buy some land. The sisters describe their brothers as “being raised in this place.”

“We learned so much,” said Karla. “We felt so safe in this place. We needed that time in this place. Many people prayed for us. For my brothers. We [came to] know God in this place.”

Karla shared a story of a time she was sick, with heart arrhythmias. She shared how Papa Ramon would take all the children to the Nequa church he pastored every Sunday. One of the church’s sisters prayed for her, and her arrhythmias went away. It was a memorable moment for Karla, seeing God at work.

When the family of six left the orphanage, Laura wrote a heartfelt note to Josue. She was twelve years old when she wrote, “Josue, I do not want to leave because I came to know God here. I do not want to go out into the world but a part of me say yes because I want to tell my family and share with them about Jesus and that they would accept Him as their Savior. I do not want to leave the roadway to God nor do I want to return to the world’s way. Please pray for us, I will be praying for you.”

This summer, Laura shared, “When we left, I was crying. No, I didn’t want to go.”

Today Karla is a social worker at a local Ensenada school. As a social worker, Karla sees the orphanage as a place where children learn to be sensitive and empathetic toward others. Laura is a director of a large Christian nonprofit south of Ensenada that helps indigenous migrant workers. “It’s part of what we learned from the orphanage,” Laura said. Laura talked about raising her two children to serve the Lord. They work with her at her ministry. “They are pequeño misionarios [little missionaries],” she said, smiling.