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Where is the Church?


March 8, 2017 there was a fire in the ‘children’s home’ in San Jose Pinula.  Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asuncion, is a government home for kids from the street, abandoned, physically, sexually abused and true orphans.  A youth prison on site houses ages 6 to 17.  The complex designed for 400-450 kids is underfunded,(can’t afford propane enough to cook beans) understaffed, (1 staff per 34-40 with an admit rate of 15+ per day) and has over 700 kids.  Vine International through El Barrio para Cristo gave medicines and wheelchairs.  Cindy and I have volunteered with Esperanza contra Esperanza and a local church in Villa Nueva to feed at this place.  I am struggling for words.  Hard to see the screen.  Too few good staff.  And GOD, where is the church?

The kids rioted on Tuesday.  Sixty went ‘over the wall’.  Several were captured and returned to this place.  The older teenage girls were locked in a room.  8:30 a.m. Wednesday the electricity went out and a fire started. The girls started screaming but were ignored, you know just another riot.  No witnesses and no video evidence.  Someone saw smoke and called the bomberos (fire fighters) who were initially refused entrance.  One needs proper authorization.  There is still much confusion, it is said some of the girls broke through the door (steel anchored in concrete).  NOW the newspapers ask questions.  Who had the key?  Was there sexual abuse or trafficking?  There is a report that 200 kids are missing over the last three years. Was the fire to remove threat of witnesses?  I am praying for a brave aggressive journalist to go after this story.  My question is, where’s the church?

Whose responsibility is this?  Let’s blame the government, the self-serving politicians and lazy bureaucrats.  Government has no heart or compassion and will always be bad at caring for people. Government has never been authorized by God to care for children from Genesis 1:1 to Maps!  So let us not blame government.  The trolls are out on Facebook.  Blame the mothers; if someone mentions adoption, I have seen the comment why should we raise someone else’s vermin.  Where are you church?  These 40 were created in the image of God!

Imagine beatings for the slightest offense, isolation.  Imagine watching families that come the weekend but yours never do.  Those very few with visitors who would bring you food – which the staff confiscates and eats in front of you.  Try this for me.  Cook beans and rice half way.  Just once and force yourself to eat it, now imagine every day.  One small piece of chicken once a week.

Church where are you?

There are cases where children are turned into the streets to steal and bring the loot of the day in exchange for a small meal and a bed.  Children know this is wrong.  When youth get treated better by the gangs than these safe houses what outcome do you expect?  We are making fodder for the gangs.  Church where are you?

I have heard of judges crying, asking Christian homes to take this child or they have to send them to this facility.  Knowing they have a problem, regulatory agencies will burden the nonprofits private homes with inspections, compliance meetings, and reams of documents to get licensed, but let these facilities have a free pass.  These agencies are scrambling to get orphanages to take more than their rated capacity to deal with over 700 kids.  Are government agents going to follow up next month and threaten my friends for being overcrowded?  Where is the church?

Forty girls are dead.  More are on ventilators and not sure they will live.  The government has declared three days of mourning and they will pay for the funerals… Three days and a few hundred quetzals… we will shake our heads and say, “we can only pray for such a tragedy.” Monday is will be work as usual… Church where are you?

Church we need to fall on our faces, declare our guilt, repent and stand up for these orphans.  Like Esau we have sold our birthright for a bowl of oatmeal.  You want to support your rich pastors and large edifices … the rails are greased and the gates of hell are wide open.  God cares nothing about our health, wealth and prosperity until such as these are cared for.   Adopt.  In Christ there is no such phrase as “this child is unadoptable.”  {UGH!}  I am living proof.  God adopted me.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  Sweet verse.  Did we do ‘pure religion’ this week church?

The church hides behind a Book we do not read.  After God gave Moses the Law God reaches back into His Code of Law and specifically says HE will deal with His Chosen on this issue.  Read Exodus 22:22-24,

“You shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.”  Read it again.  The responsibility for orphans was given to the called of God, in our era the church.  One further point this is said to MEN.

Where are the men of the church?  The sexual abuse/rape of women and children in Guatemala occurs at a horrible rate.  It is ignored.  I have read that less than 10% of child sexual molesters and rape are arrested and guilty verdicts of those are around 10%.   Can we call ourselves a “Christian nation” based on how we treat our women and children?  So men, do you think the 39 young ladies dead in that fire were afflicted?  Do you think they cried out to God?  I KNOW they SCREAMED!  But we pay taxes, we give to the church….Sounds real hollow.  That passage is not about your wallet.  It talks about physical and spiritual involvement.  To keep the orphan from affliction requires us to be a physical shield between the child and whatever is afflicting/attacking them.  Sexual abuse – Today, we remove, move and move again the child.  NO, remove the abuser.  He is the guilty one, not the child.

What to do?

There is obvious immediate need.  It is chaos right now.  Seven hundred kids are being shuffled from this facility to others.  Some will be returned to the abusive situations from which they were “rescued”.  Pray that God would heal families.  Realistically some will end up in the street again.  There are very good homes here that God uses every day and for generations.  The influx will strain budgets, materials and staff.  While money is needed, presence is most important.  Volunteer time and skills, relationship.  Shoes, cloths and food do not heal the soul or the body.  This is ultimately a spiritual battle and the very reason God’s chosen are given the care of orphans and not the government.  Get to know the leadership of the orphanage.  Watch for abuse, financial or physical.  The director owns multiple properties? Always has a new vehicle?  Be rude, ask questions.  Has the staff had a thorough criminal background check?  These homes need the presence of true Godly men, not sexual predators. It happens. So where are you, men of the church?  Are you going to stand between the orphan and that affliction? 


Church of Guatemala:  ADOPT.  I have heard there are 20 – 25,000 evangelical churches registered in Guatemala.  In the next 2 – 6 months we could decompress the overburden of orphans on the system. If there is a good family in your church with the desire to adopt but is too poor to meet the parameters this government puts in the way.  Fix their house, get the husband/father a job that fits the requirements.  That adopted child should have a church full of aunts, uncles and grandparents willing to give to the care of that family.

Get radically annoying with your political class and the regulatory agencies demanding this be cleaned up.  This will fall out of the press (already has internationally) in the next three weeks.  The politicians count on that.  Will only the families that lost children care after that?  God promises beauty from ashes, but I think He means for us to get in there and dig!  Open up international adoptions at a rate that can be done with utmost safety of the child.  Demand stiff punishment for attorneys or homes that ‘sell’ children.  Twenty thousand churches in Guatemala why is there an orphan at all?

Church in USA and Canada:  ADOPT.  International adoption in Guatemala was justly closed due to criminal activity of buying and selling babies.  NO PEOPLE OR COUNTRY should ever be a breeding ground for false orphans.  It is time however, to open international adoptions again.  Let’s get these children into true homes, with true families and out of warehouses.  There are adults in US and Canada that were adopted as infants and children in Guatemala.  Get the word to them about this tragedy and the overburden of the private and government Hogar de Ninos (Children Homes).  Join your letters with theirs to the Secretary of State.  Ask that the issue of international adoption with Guatemala be examined again in light of the recent tragedy.  In my era neatly hand written letters carried more weight than email.  That may be changing.  Use your judgement.  Email is faster and more efficient, but hand writing shows a passion for the subject.

Secretary Rex Tillerson, 2401 E. Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 Offices on the 12th and 13th Floors

And the White House.  President Donald Trump The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20500

Also send the letter to your congressman and both senators in your state.  Canada not sure your government key positions.  Perhaps Joe, Karen, Leceta can attach in a message at the end of the blog.

There are a number of missionaries and homes to send financial resources to.  I would consider due to the acute need unless you are traveling soon that you send money to homes you may know and have a relationship with.  Or consider donating to Orphan Resources International  who has an account for “Orphanage Fire” set up.

In Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 12/03/2017 09:36

    other pertinent addresses thanks to the Priddy family:
    Office of Children’s Issues Guatemala’s Adoption Authority
    U.S. Department of State National Council on Adoption (CNA)
    CA/OCS/CI Address: Avenida Reforma 6-64, Zona 9
    SA-17, 9th Floor Tel: 011-502-24151600
    Washington, DC 20522-1709 Fax: 011-502-24151601
    Tel: 1-888-407-4747 Email:
    Email: Internet:

    U.S. Embassy in Guatemala Embassy of Guatemala
    Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10 2220 R Street, N.W.
    Tel: 011-502-2326-4000 Washington, D.C. 20008
    Fax: 011-502-2326-4674 Tel: (202) 745-4952
    Email: Fax: (202) 745-1908
    Internet: Email:

    Guatemala also has consulates in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Providence and San Francisco.


  2. 13/03/2017 19:47

    I would love to help. I admit to not knowing much in the political realm and am unsure of what should be included in these types of letters. Do you have specific information or suggestions that would be helpful?


  3. 14/03/2017 05:50

    for those writing their congressmen/senators in the USA all addresses can be found at this website


  4. Lorena Lemus permalink
    28/03/2017 13:44

    My husband and I wanted to adopt, and did all the papers and interviews and everything in the CNA at Guatemala, wanted to adopt siblings, and never did it… it was too much distress, years and years… awful, they treated us as if we were criminals… just terrible!
    I don’t like CNA, they just give 30 kids in adoption per year! and here we have thousands! If we can open the space for adoptions, I’m the first one willing to adopt!
    Do you know that from the girls that were locked in that terrible night, like 9 are pregnant? who is going to take care of those babies? 14 or 15 years old mothers living in shelters?


    • 28/03/2017 13:59

      Lorena, Bless your family. If you are in the USA, try to put pressure on current administration for a positive response. Obviously final decision will have to come from Guatemala but positive pressure from the USA can only help. Getting UNICEF out of the formula will help.


      • Lorena Lemus permalink
        28/03/2017 14:02

        no, sadly we live here in Guatemala, and because of all the needs we wanted to adopt siblings, we have a son already, ours, but wanted to have more children, adopted… never made it! All the best for you and I hope maybe now is the time for all of us to do something! and stop this dementia law and have more children with real families…

        Liked by 1 person

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