Family is what we do at Buckner. We are all about building families, strengthening families, and celebrating families. Family is where we come from and represents who we are. David, the King of Israel, once wrote (Psalm 68:6): “God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing, but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” The basic truth is clear that those without a family are lonely. They are by themselves in the world. I cannot imagine a life without a family. The family is God’s design for where we belong, become, and blossom.
We work with vulnerable children, orphans, families, and seniors to move them toward healthy, Christ-centered family environments. We focus on Child-Permanency and Family Preservation to serve children and families in difficult circumstances.
Child Permanency we use foster care, foster group care, and adoption (birth-mom, Foster to Adopt, Texas Waiting, intercountry, and National Domestic). We believe the best place for a child to thrive is in a healthy family. While we support orphanages with humanitarian aid we have learned that orphanages are not the best place for children. In fact, most orphanages tend to be understaffed and under-resourced. Children do not develop appropriate social skills and children birth through five do not develop properly. They tend to lose an IQ point for every three months they are in an institution.
In Family Preservation we work through Family Hope Centers and Family Pathways programs. Family Hope Centers work with struggling families to help them solve problems that keep them from remaining strong. Family Pathways programs help moms who are suffering economically or from domestic violence to heal, prepare for the future, and get back on their feet.
So let me tell you about my family, or should I say families? As I think of family I think of my family of origin, my Baptist family, my Buckner family, and my Kingdom family (Not all in this blog but in blogs to follow).
My family of origin is found in several family trees connected to my parents, Gloria Garcia Reyes and Agustin Reyes; The Garcia-Guerrero-Villanueva-Stevenson family and the Reyes-Rodriguez family. One of my hobbies is to study and learn about my family trees. I found a few surprises along the way. My maternal grandfather was Carlos Lucas Garcia and his father’s name was Alexander Oglvie Stevenson from Scotland (and later Durango, Mexico) and his mother’s name was Inocencia Concepcion Garcia. My maternal grandmother was Jovita Guerrero Villanueva Garcia. I still remember the home-made empandas she used to make for us around the holidays. My maternal grandparents had 12 children who each had 3 to 5 children.
On my father’s side, the tree involves the Reyes and Rodriguez family. My paternal grandfather, Jose Maria Reyes, was born in Asherton, Texas in 1898. My paternal grandmother, Francisca Rodriguez Reyes was the first person to hear the gospel in our family tree. She said “yes” the hope in Christ. Since that day, our family has never been the same. The good news of salvation and life transformation came through Grandma Francisca. Her parents, Anastacio Rodriguez and Francisca Llucvana were born in Texas in the mid 1800’s. My paternal grandparents had 9 children who each had 3 to 7 children.
I will stop here but I could now add how our family has grown through marriage to include the Alvarado-Olivares family; the Lozano family; and the Suiter family; and their families.
Researching my family trees revealed that our families trace back to Mexico, Spain, Scotland, Italy, & Greece. As you would expect, I have lots and lots of cousins. I am learning where I came from but I have always known the family God chose for me. Imagine a life without a family? Loneliness is not what God intended. This is a major reason why there is a Buckner International.