Friday, July 28, 2017

An Unexpected Blessing

As Roberto and I were making out plans to move to Honduras and teach together, something unexpected happened. I got pregnant. Kids were certainly in the plan for our marriage, just not quite yet. Even so, we're both incredibly excited about being parents.

However, being due in January and knowing that the salary provided by the school is minimal led us to make the decision to stay in Nicaragua and build up our family. Roberto is still working for a call center as he waits for his degree to arrive so he can start looking for teaching positions, and I'm doing freelance writing again.

We've been living with his family, who have been more than generous in so many ways. One such way is that they gave us part of their small property so we could build our own home. I got to make the design which was a TON of fun, and phase one is nearing completion! We had enough money saved for the first floor, and are now working on how to pay for the second floor.

There have been a lot of adjustments for both of us, and this transition has been hard, but once the struggles are over, it's going to be worth it. For me, it's been hard learning how to be a wife, especially as I was struggling with morning sickness for a couple months which left me feeling helpless and incapable of doing anything. For Roberto, he's been juggling more responsibilities than ever: working two jobs, overseeing the construction on the house, and taking care of everything around the house.

As I enter into my second trimester and as the construction draws near to an end, things are getting better. I can finally eat without throwing up and can walk around without feeling like I'm going to faint. Roberto has a new schedule which leaves him less time for running construction errands, but more time to relax in the evenings.

My initial goal with this blog was to share my experiences as a missionary, and that goal has now only slightly changed. Although I had a hard time adjusting to the idea of not being a missionary anymore, I now realize that the call on my life has not changed, and that I have been given the greatest mission yet: motherhood.

Now as my child grows within me, I prepare for the arrival with the understanding that being a parent is an enormous responsibility and honor. It is I who will teach my child to put the Lord first in all things. It is I who will teach them how to act in a way that is honoring to God. It is I who will teach them how to love and how to treat others with respect.

Of course I recognize that this responsibility does not fall completely on me and I am blessed with a husband who will be my partner in this, but if I allow myself to get complacent and expect Roberto to pick up the slack, I have failed as a wife and as a mother. God has entrusted this little one to me, and with His help, I will persevere.

Please be praying:
- For the continued health of myself and my baby.
- For our marriage, that our struggles would continue to bring us closer to God and to each other rather than tearing us apart.
- For our finances as we work to finish building our home and provide for our baby. Specifically that Roberto is able to find a good-paying job in his field and that I am able to find good-paying steady writing work.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Coming Full Circle

Here's the super short version of this update if you don't want to read the rest: Roberto and I will be working at an elementary school starting in August, the one I worked at before.

Here's the longer version:

I got an answer back from the Ranch, and it was one I had sort of seen coming but didn't want to admit: I would not be welcomed back to the Ranch. Even though I had felt like things had been moving to that end, it was still a painful shock to me that I'm still recovering from. So then I had to ask the question that I always hate answering: What now?

So as Roberto and I talked about our options and our future plans, he suggested we go and work for the school where I had been before the Ranch. I had been missing teaching, the kids, and the friends I had made there, so I readily agreed to contact them and find out if we could do that. After what seemed like a long wait (but was really just over a week), they said yes!

There are still a LOT of details to figure out, but I'm getting more and more excited every day about returning to San Pedro Sula to teach with my husband by my side. Although I previously faced a lot of emotional problems while being there, a lot of that came from isolation, which won't be a problem with Roberto. I'll not only be able to be working and living with my soul mate, but we'll also be able to more easily go places together that I wasn't able to do safely while living alone.

Please be praying for us as we make this transition!

We currently have 2 weeks to find a place in San Pedro Sula to store my things and a way to transport them (it's about 8 hours from Ojojona to San Pedro Sula), and I also have to renew my Honduran residency in San Pedro Sula. And, I have to do it on my own because Roberto has to stay here to finish up his university classes and to work.

It's also going to be a big adjustment when we do move in August because we'll be even more on our own which means I'll have all the possibilities of running a home in addition to working. And he'll be adjusting to a slightly different culture and ALL new people in his life.

One more thing!

We want to be able to do ministry in San Pedro Sula, but aren't sure if we'll have the financial freedom to do so. Our first step will be buying a car, which we're both working hard for right now. Once we get to San Pedro Sula and get a vehicle, we can start exploring our options and see where God leads us. I have a few ideas, but nothing definite yet.

If you would like to continue supporting Roberto and I in our missionary work, then you may do so by sending money to my personal PayPal or a check to my dad with my name on the memo line. For info on giving by check, please email me.

Friday, April 7, 2017

March 2016 Update - When “When” Becomes “If”

It’s hard when you’re making all of your plans because you’re sure of what’s going to happen. You’re able to turn to your husband and say “when we get to the Ranch, we’re going to…” and “when we’re raising support to go to the Ranch, we’ll need to…” But when all of that changes and everything is up in the air, it’s hard. It becomes “if we go to the Ranch, then we can…” and “if we don’t go to the Ranch, then I guess we’ll have to…”

At the beginning of March, there were two groups that came to serve at the Ranch back to back. I had originally agreed to return to during that time to help with the groups, but then something happened… Olivia, the kitten I’ve been raising since she was just 10 days old and needed to be dropper-fed with goat’s milk every 3-4 hours, wasn’t able to walk or even stand.

Long story short, she had a calcium deficiency that had led to weakness in her bones and so she started limping badly on one back leg after I tossed her from the bed (she was out of control biting, and that was far from the first or last time she’s been tossed from a bed), but then did something to her other back leg and couldn’t stand at all.

This happened 2 days before I was supposed to leave to help with the teams, and right after I had packed all my things in preparation to leave. Because I knew I wasn’t necessarily NEEDed at the Ranch like I was to take care of my cat who now needed to be propped up to even use the bathroom (which nobody here could easily do since they’re used to big dogs, not delicate kittens), I asked to be released from my verbal agreement to go.

That led to a lot of frustration on both sides. They at the Ranch felt like I was once again breaking my agreement with them, and I felt like they weren’t being very fair when I was just as frustrated about not being able to come, but wasn’t willing to risk Olivia’s life to do something that I knew could happen without me. After several more conversations, everything has been left up in the air.

Roberto and I both know that we want to go to the Ranch to serve. But, we don’t know if we will be allowed to serve there and if we are, when we would be able to go. It may be this summer or it may not be until fall. If it happens at all.

It’s in God’s hands now, and He knows what’s best for us.

So now we’re just waiting, which is really hard for me. I like to be able to be planning for the future, so not knowing what the future holds makes that impossible. If we are going to the Ranch, then I want to be planning Bible studies and start connecting with people and churches to visit during our furlough. But if we’re not, then I want to be planning for living here in Nicaragua, and possibly going with one of the other ministry ideas that’s been forming in my head.

Please be praying for us during this difficult time! Pray that God opens the doors for us to go to the Ranch if that truly is His will for us, or that He will make it abundantly clear if we’re not meant to go there. And if He does have other plans for us, pray that He opens new doors to let us pursue other ministry opportunities.

To my supporters: Your support is SO appreciated, and I want to assure you that I’m not using any of it while living here in Nicaragua. Roberto and I are currently supporting ourselves from what he’s earning and are waiting for God’s direction before using any ministry funds. I will keep you updated on finances as we learn more about what God has for us in the future!

P.S. Olivia is now back to her normal crazy self!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Meet the World's Cutest Brother-In-Law! - February 2017 Ministry Update

As I prepared to leave the Ranch for a time to be with my husband in Nicaragua, I knew that I couldn't leave without letting the kids who come to Bible study ride Zoeva, so on our last Friday together for a little while, I groomed and saddled the little mare and got all of them on for a short pony ride. Most of them got on without hesitation although a couple took some extra motivation. But they all enjoyed it, and of course I made sure I got pictures of them.

Hold on tight, cowboy!

Ready to ride while Oscar plays soccer with the boys as they wait for their turn.

Excited to finally get to ride!

We even convinced P to ride! 


The following week, we all headed off to the Honduran Fellowship retreat, where us and a couple hundred other missionaries spent time worshipping together in English, attending workshops about a number of problems missionaries face, and eating meals together. I was able to secure housing off-site with a family so that I could bring my kitten along.

It was an AMAZING time of rest, learning, and fellowship. It was really good to be able to reconnect with friends I had met at previous events throughout the year and last year's retreat, and to make new connections. Although I was no longer able to be a part of the single missionaries event, I enjoyed sitting down with other married missionaries and hearing their stories. What an inspiration to be with couples that have been serving for over 30 years together!

Are we there yet?

Directly from there, Roberto and his dad came all the way to Tegucigalpa to pick Olivia and me up. We all had lunch together and then as the Beards went back to the Ranch, I went with my family to Nicaragua. It was a long journey made even longer by the construction that was everywhere along the two-lane highway, but we made it to the border around 10pm and then finally to the house around 2:30am.

Stretching out after a LONG day of traveling.

My mother-in-law thought she was done having kids nearly 14 years ago with the birth of her third son, but God had other plans and so while I was at the retreat I got the news that her water had broken which eventually led to a c-section because she had some heart issues during the pregnancy. Little E had some minor complications after birth so he was kept in the hospital for a few days.

I was excited to get the invitation from my father-in-law to go with them to pick him up. Of course I instantly fell in love with all 5 and a half pounds of him. He's not only super adorable, but he's also a really chill baby.

Like I said, world's cutest brother-in-law!

The young woman who's been helping out with the cooking and cleaning is on a short vacation, so I've been taking over a lot of her duties along with Roberto. I've never cooked Nicaraguan food before and never really consistently cooked for more than one or two people, so it's definitely been a learning experience, but overall it's been good, and I love being able to help out around the house.

Hanging out with E while his bathwater is readied!

And I've of course been able to spend a lot more time with my husband which has also been really good. We're still really new at marriage, so it's not all pretty, but we're both working hard to overcome our cultural differences and really communicate well with each other so we can have an amazing marriage. I can't help but to be in a constant state of awe at the amazing man that God has blessed me with.


I've also been able to get a good start on some marketing ideas M and I have for the trade school. I'm working hard to gather lists of names and contact information that we will start working our way through to hopefully get more of the trade school products out there in the world. If we can get even a few positive responses, then it will be a huge blessing to the students in the trade school.

Please be praying:
- For the staff at the Ranch as they continue doing ministry without me, that God brings in more help as needed and that they wouldn't burn out with too much work.
- For the connections I will soon be trying to make, that it would be a blessing to the trade school students.
- For the Bible study lessons that I'm planning that I would be able to reach the kids for Jesus through them.
- For unity within my new family, that I would continue to adjust to the culture and be able to help them as they need me. In particular, for my mother-in-law as she cares for a new baby while her body continues to heal.
- For our marriage that it continues to be honoring to God and that we continue to work together to make our relationship rock solid.
- For Roberto's work situation as he continues to wait to hear when he'll start at the call center where he applied a month ago, as well as that we would be able to get his visa to be able to travel together to the US this August.

Weak kid who spent the night in my room.
He's now doing great!

If you are interested in supporting us financially, you may do so online or by check.

Online: Visit and click the “Donate” button on the sidebar to give through PayPal. Make sure you include my name (or Roberto’s) and your email address so the funds can be directed to us.

By check: Make checks payable to “RO4Y” and include a note with my name (or Roberto’s) and your email address, then send the checks to: Rancho Oasis for Youth, P.O. Box 1853, Mason City, IA 50401.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Our Wedding Story and BIG Announcement - January 2017 Ministry Update

When you have less than 3 days to plan a wedding, things can get a little crazy. I arrived in Managua, Nicaragua Saturday evening and the plan was to get married that Tuesday. We needed to get legally married through a lawyer, have the marriage officially recognized by the government, make arrangements with the pastor and the church, get me a dress and him a ring, buy a bouquet, find a caterer, and rent tables and chairs for the guests. It sounds insane and impossible, but we did it. It all happened so fast that it’s all blurred together, but here’s how we did it as I remember it.

On Sunday, we went to see a friend of his dad who’s a lawyer and were able to get the legal marriage taken care of. That evening, we went out and found me a dress and did some other shopping with his mom and brother. Monday morning we went to the government office to get the paperwork and fully legalize the marriage, and that’s when things got interesting…

Roberto’s mother’s name was not written correctly on his birth certificate, which meant it didn’t match her name as we had put it on the marriage paperwork which meant we had to go back to the lawyer to get it fixed, but he was out of town all day. So, we spent the rest of the day getting everything else done while praying that we’d be able to get the legal stuff finalized first thing in the morning before our 10am wedding. We managed to find everything we needed (his ring, bouquet, caterer, tables and chairs, and a few other things we realized we needed along the way), so we were as ready as we could be before heading back to the lawyer and handing over more money to have him fix the mistake and print a new paper.

The next morning, we headed back to the government office and this time, Roberto had to go in alone while I waited outside (it was the last day they were open before Christmas, so everybody and their brother was there, so only one person per need was allowed in). After a while, he came out, and was frustrated. On the way to the car, he explained that the legal check went fine (where we had the snag with his mother’s name before), but when he went to pay, the lady there said it hadn’t been written correctly.

I read over what the lawyer had given us as Roberto explained the problem. It was supposed to say that I was a US resident but was currently residing in Nicaragua, but it didn’t… Except that it did. Right where it was supposed to say that I was living in Nicaragua, it did, with the exact wording that it was supposedly missing. I pointed it out to Roberto and he headed back inside to show that it was indeed correct.

By the time we were back in the car, it was already 10am, and the house wasn’t set up for the reception and the caterer was not there yet. Not to mention we were still in jeans…

There was a whirlwind of activity going on at the house, and soon everything was ready. We got dressed and ready for our wedding, and Roberto went for the caterer while I finished putting up decorations with the help of his little brother and his brother’s friend. Roberto went ahead of me to the church and his dad brought me there, and so it began.

I was super nervous. Not only was this a huge step in my life, but I was also doing in front of people I didn’t know and in a language I’m not 100% fluent or comfortable in. But I was also incredibly excited to be marrying the man that God had brought into my life to be my husband.

His dad walked me down the aisle and gave me away. The pastor spoke of what marriage is and means, and as he said the familiar lines about for richer and poorer and sickness and health, I thought for one glorious moment that I wasn’t going to have to repeat anything in Spanish. Having never been to a wedding in Latin America before, I had no idea how the ceremonies are, or how they differ from those in the States.

Then we brought out the rings, and did indeed have to repeat our vows to each other… Uh, oh. I was glad that Roberto was first because it gave me the chance to hear them a couple of times before it was my turn. The pastor then asked Roberto quietly “Is she going to be able to do this?” to which he confidently replied “yes” and I said “I hope so.”

And I did it… Mostly. There were a few words I had trouble with and I had to have Roberto help me out a couple of times, but I muddled through. Roberto was holding back laughter the whole time, of course, and teased me about it later, and about halfway through the pastor breathed a prayer of help for me, but I did it. And I didn’t break out in hysterical/nervous laughter or pass out from nervousness or the heat.

As we held hands and the pastor laid his hand over ours and prayed over us, I felt God moving through me and something inside me seemed to changed. I knew that it was at that moment that we were married. I’d wondered before at what point exactly does a couple become married… Was it when they said their vows, exchanged their rings, or kissed at the end? Now I know it’s when God touches you after you’ve made your promises to each other before Him.

The reception was another adventure, but I won’t go into too many details… The main thing was that we had only invited (and therefore planned on feeding) about 20 people. Although we had made that point clear to the pastor when we had agreed to invite the whole church to the wedding but not the reception, he invited everyone to the house anyway, and since it was within easy walking distance, we soon had about 25 people (fortunately a number of them were children) at the house.

We had to have the caterer divide meals to make sure the kids were fed, give up our table until the caterer was done with the dining room table before sitting down to eat, and hear about a woman complaining about how the children she brought with her (some of which weren’t even hers) didn’t get enough to eat. But, despite the minor frustrations, we enjoyed ourselves, and as soon as everything was cleaned up, we headed off to the hotel to get some rest and then to have a nice dinner together.

And now, for my BIG announcement!

Long story short: we thought we could handle a long-distance marriage, but we can’t, so I’m moving to Nicaragua for a few months. It took several days of praying and crying and thinking before we both felt like God was leading us to be together during these first few months of our marriage.

So, in mid-February, I will be going to Nicaragua for three weeks not only to spend time with my husband, but also to help my mother-in-law as she’s due to have a (surprise) baby on the 18th, and I have agreed to help her with that. The first couple of weeks of March will have me back at the Ranch to help with two teams that are coming back-to-back, and then I will be back in Nicaragua until the end of May when Roberto finishes the last credits he needs to graduate.

From there, we will both be coming back to the Ranch to serve full-time. I will return to my roll of assisting with the equine program and trade school, and he will be starting up an English program as well as helping out in other areas as needed around the Ranch. We’re both incredibly excited about all the things that God is going to be doing through us here at the Ranch.

During my time in Nicaragua, I will continue to work on ministry things by planning the girls and boys Bible studies (which will give me more time to train the horses when I return, rather than all the planning that goes into it), marketing the trade school, and a couple of other projects that you’ll find out about soon enough!

The trade school is such an important part of the ministry and helps meet a number of needs in the community, but in order for it to grow and make an even bigger impact, we need to market it more so we can make sure we’re selling everything that the students put so much work into. And, unfortunately, I don’t usually have the time to devote to getting the word out, so I’m excited that I’ll have a chance to help it grow.

A small part of the motivation behind spending time in Nicaragua is being able to save up some money for a couple of things: a visa for Roberto to travel to the United States, plane tickets for both of us as well as other traveling expenses, and Roberto’s living expenses while being at the Ranch during the summer. He will also be working hard to cover as many of these expenses as possible, but once he’s at the Ranch with me full-time, he won’t be able to find outside work.

Please be praying:
-          For the directors and Ranch staff. My absence makes things extremely difficult for them, which is a huge part of why leaving was such a hard decision. Pray that God would bring in others to help or else show them why He’s leading them into a time of slowing down in the ministry.
-          For my mother-in-law to have a safe birth for both her and the baby as she has already had a number of medical issues throughout the pregnancy.
-          For Roberto’s visa process to be quick and simple, and for the visa to be approved.
-          For our finances, that we would be able to have everything that we need to serve God as He has called us.
-          For our marriage, that God uses this time to strengthen us and help us build a strong foundation for our future.

If you are interested in supporting us financially, you may do so online or by check.

Online: Visit and click the “Donate” button on the sidebar to give through PayPal. Make sure you include my name (or Roberto’s) and your email address so the funds can be directed to us.

By check: Make checks payable to “RO4Y” and include a note with my name (or Roberto’s) and your email address, then send the checks to: Rancho Oasis for Youth, P.O. Box 1853, Mason City, IA 50401.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why I’m Here – Mini Update

After a few months of teaching the kids things about horses and how to work with a horse that’s standing still in the barn (how to groom and saddle, etc.), it was time to start getting them to interact even more with the horse, and teach them how to lead.

Some kids fell in perfect step with Zoeva.

Zoeva is easily one of the sweetest horses you’ll ever meet. She’s not fond of having her cinch tightened and she might squeal and squirm when you hurt her bad leg, but she’s an angel otherwise. One week to demonstrate what faith meant, I sat beneath her belly while she was tied and then left the rope hanging over her neck and had her follow me in circles around the riding ring, which she did despite me having never trained her to do so.

And yet, nearly all of the pre-teen girls were terrified of her and didn’t want to step up and lead her. N led the pack and led Zoeva around the round pen first, but since she knows the horse well and is fearless (in their minds), that did nothing to encourage them to do the same. I got a few of the other girls to take the pony out for a spin, but the others took more convincing.

The little girls were shy but fearless.

As a couple of them cringed away from her while declaring their fear and desire to NOT lead her, little Zoeva would turn her head toward them, ears forward, and seemed to be asking them why they were so afraid of her. I don’t know how, but every time she picked out the girl who I had asked to go next, and stared her down until she relented and grabbed the lead rope.

She wasn't a big fan of the "barrel race" I set up, but the kids got a kick out of it!

I walked with the last three, and a conversation that I had had dozens (if not hundreds) of times at the camp in Michigan came to mind, and so I began it with all of them as I leaned casually on Zoeva’s neck. I asked them what is bravery. The answer came quick: “Not being afraid.” I shook my head and told them, “Being brave means doing whatever it is you want even though you’re afraid. It’s ok to be afraid, but you can’t let that fear stop you from reaching your goals or from doing what you need to do.”

They nodded their heads in agreement, but I pray that they meant it, that they really understood the lesson, that something has sparked in them and that by overcoming their fear of leading a horse, they can become emboldened to overcome other fears they have in other areas of their life. That’s why I’m at the Ranch. For this moment, where I can use a horse to reach the heart of a child.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Merry Christmas from Nicaragua! (December 2016 Ministry Update)

This month started out with a TON of sales! We were blessed with several opportunities in Tegucigalpa (the capital city that we’re about an hour outside of) to sell the jewelry and other things made by the trade school students. Because they were specifically for Christmas, we got a group of students together to make Christmas ornaments, wreaths, and paper bead garland.

Just a few of the beautiful Christmas wreaths the students made!

One ornament in particular, which one of our youngest students and myself had been making (he was new at it and therefore slow, so I contributed a few as well) ended up being WAY more popular than we had anticipated and so we sold out before the end of the first sale at the US Embassy. Praise the Lord! It was a HUGE blessing, and then we got several orders for more, so we put the whole “Christmas team” onto making them and cranked out 31 of them in just one day!

A few of my contributions to the sales.

The following week, we had three days of sales, two for one school and one at another. Although these sales didn’t go as well as the first one, it was still a blessing for the students, and I believe we’re planning on attending at least one sale again next year!

J and I stayed in the city since the sales were in the evenings and it was too late to be driving all the way back to the Ranch. It was a nice little mini-vacation in the city. J stayed with a friend and I stayed at a retreat center for a big non-profit organization which was really nice. It was slightly outside the city and up the mountain a bit so the back porch had an AMAZING view of the city and surrounding mountains.

We had all been waiting for the arrival of “Baby Cinco,” who decided to arrive halfway through our three days of sales, so J headed back to the Ranch and I went to one by myself with the help of another missionary. As soon as I finished setting everything up, I got the text I had been waiting for: Baby Cinco had arrived safely via a water birth attended by M, J and the kids, and M’s parents. He was healthy and beautiful!

My first time meeting Baby Cinco!

The following week, we wrapped up girls and boys Bible studies for 2016 by combining the two groups and watching a Spanish version of the story of the birth of Christ, putting on a play about the birth of Christ, and then doing a Christmas craft. It was a LOT of fun and the kids had a blast!

The angels announce the good news of Jesus' birth.

The shepherds come to worship the newborn King.

J gets the magi ready to follow the star to Bethlehem.

After that, I headed to Nicaragua to spend Christmas there with Roberto, where we also GOT MARRIED!! Our original plan had been to simply do the legal wedding so we could start the visa process, but then decided to just go for it, and also put together a simple church wedding… In 2 days. It was insane and super stressful, but once it was done and we were married, we were able to just hang out and relax for the rest of the time together. (Special blog coming soon just about our wedding.)

Small and simple. <3

Christmas in Central America is different than the States. Here, they celebrate on the 24th, which they call “Noche Buena.” They eat a big meal late in the evening with their families (around 11pm), and then at midnight, everyone lights off fireworks in the streets so that it sounds like a war zone. Gifts are also often exchanged at that point. Then on the 25th, most people have the day off to just relax and spend time with family.

My husband took me to see the many nativity scenes set up along one of the main roads.

Some were quite elaborate. This one had a waterfall behind it!

New Year’s Eve is often celebrated the same way, with fireworks and a big meal late in the evening. Unfortunately for me, a meal I had enjoyed earlier in the week had come back to haunt me, so I spent most of New Year’s Eve in bed with frequent trips to the bathroom. However, by midnight I was feeling slightly better and as the clock rolled over into the new year, I was on my knees praying with my husband, undoubtedly the best way to ring in the new year, recognizing how good God is and placing the new year fully into His hands.

I am unbelievably excited about everything that this new year has in store for myself and for my husband.

Please be praying:
-          For our marriage, that we continue to put God first in everything we do and that we continue to learn how to love and support each other, and for strength as we will be living most of our first few months as a married couple separated as he completes his final semester at university in Nicaragua and I continue to work at the Ranch.
-          For the trade school as we start up with full days again and as we decide what the students will be making this year so that they can have a good income through the ministry.
-          For the girls and boys Bible studies, that the kids come with hearts softened and ears open to hear the gospel that we present to them.
-          For the horses that God has prepared for the Ranch that we don’t have yet, that God would make those connections and that we would be able to bring more horses here to keep expanding the horse part of the Ranch.
-          For finances, as Roberto plans on joining me at the Ranch as soon as he can, so we will need to raise support for the two of us.

If you are interested in supporting us financially, you may do so online or by check.

Online: Visit and click the “Donate” button on the sidebar to give through PayPal. Make sure you include my name (or Roberto’s) and your email address so the funds can be directed to us.

By check: Make checks payable to “RO4Y” and include a note with my name (or Roberto’s) and your email address, then send the checks to: Rancho Oasis for Youth, P.O. Box 1853, Mason City, IA 50401.

My Christmas gift to Roberto: a painting inspired by a dream he had and then shared with me.