Fundaniños

In 1991, Manolo and Vilma Bendfeldt began working with street children on a voluntary basis. They gathered a group of ladies to help with this work. They first worked with juvenile delinquents in the jail system. While working with these delinquent minors, Vilma dreamed of a place where the children could be happy. She imagined the children laughing, playing, and having fun. One day as Vilma was speaking to the children she became very excited as she told them that Jesus cared about them and could change their lives. One child told her, “This is very nice what you say and what you do, but when I leave here I don’t have a family to go to. I don’t know how to read or write, and I come from a minor’s jail. Will you give me a job?” Vilma had to admit to herself that the children were trapped in a system where they did not have any opportunities. Because of a change in the government, the Bendfeldts were not able to continue their work with the children in jail, as their purpose was to take them the message of hope in Jesus Christ. They dropped all the plans and dreams they had for the children until three sermons at church caused them to “wake up”. One message was called “Atrevete a sonar” (Dare to dream). The second was “Tomenos la vision” (Take the vision). And the third was “Desempolvemos nuestros suenos” (Dust off our dreams). The pastor shook his Bible, which was full of dust, and continued shaking until all of the dust was out. After hearing these messages, Vilma sent a letter to the group of volunteers saying, “Let’s take back our vision and let’s dream. The group had a meeting and began planning a small home for a few children. Little by little God began growing the project. In 1993, the Fundaninos orphanage was opened. The Lord has given a promise to the children: “Because said the Lord, I have plans for you, plans of good and not evil to give you a future and hope.” Fundaninos is a place of future and hope.

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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans in their distress.

– James 1:27