A local Seminole teen and Junior at Indian Rocks Christian School is trying to make a difference in the lives of orphans in Guatemala. Her name is Emily Speicher. She is working hard to raise money to help build a house for 15 orphans in Guatemala. Just recently Speicher turned 17 and posted on her Facebook page that all she wanted from her friends and family was for them to donate to her project Casa Santiago.
Speicher fell in love with the kids in Guatemala in the summer of 2008 when she visited an orphanage there called Casa Angelina. Speicher was on a mission trip with the ministry team out of Colorado called What Matters Ministries and Missions. In June of 2012, she went back to Guatemala and actually stayed in one of the homes with 15 little girls. Speicher says “She felt her calling at that time that she needed to help build another home for the children.” This home would be called Casa Santiago coming from the verse James 1:27 (Santiago 1:27 in Spanish) It says religion that God sees as faultless and pure is to take care of the orphaned and widowed, and to keep oneself from being conformed to the world. Casa Santiago would be a house at the Casa Angelina orphanage.
Speicher has gone to visit the orphans three times already. Most recently on her spring break this year. She will leave again in June and stay for a little over a month. Speicher says, “I can’t do it alone and need others to help make this happen.” She has a website called Casa Santiago donated to raising funds for this new home, which would give 15 more orphans a home. So far she has about $1,000 but needs to raise $78,000.
The Casa Angelina orphanage in Guatemala was founded by Ivan and Kimberly Tait form Colorado Springs, Colorado. They run a ministry in Colorado called What Matters Ministries and Missions with the mission of rescuing the widowed and orphaned and feeding the poor. Casa Angelina is about 40 miles outside of Guatemala City on the mountainside. Speicher says the orphanage is a very loving environment. “There are two house parents to each house and a maximum of 15 children in each house. It’s like a big family,” added Speicher.
At the orphanage they have a school building, feeding center, soccer field, medical clinic, basketball court, playground and several homes, but they still need more homes built.
For more information or to donate to Casa Santiago click here.