Welcome to Casa Para Niños Aleluya – Guatemala
Casa Para Niños Aleluya was started in 1989 by Mike and Dottie Clark with the sole purpose of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to the suffering children of Guatemala. Our children’s home is located in Guatemala and cares for and raises around 400 orphaned, abused, and mistreated children. Through the housing, feeding, and education of the children, we are able teach them about the unconditional love that many of them did not receive from their home.
It is our belief that these children will become the future leaders of Guatemala and will make significant improvements to the country by applying the Christian principles they are learning at our home.
We invite you to read, learn, and get involved in what the Lord is doing through this ministry.Read Mike’s Blog
Beginnings and Tragedy
Mike was born into a Roman Catholic family in Central Louisiana while Dottie was the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister in Southern Arkansas. Both were born in 1943. They met at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1962 and married in 1963. Upon graduation Mike took a job teaching special education in Bakersfield, California. Their first child, Michelle, was born with many birth defects and died eleven months later. Being isolated from their family during the death of their child, they moved back to Louisiana where he studied for his Master’s in Special Education.
Studying at NSU and working at the State Institution for the Mentally Retarded, Mike and Dottie had another child also born with birth defects. Misty lived eight years and was the reason that Mike and Dottie’s marriage stayed together. Having many, many marital problems, neither Mike nor Dottie was willing to give up Misty. A third child was born and died within hours of birth from the same birth defect that took Michelle’s life and would eventually take Misty’s.
Offered a teaching position to the University of Florida, Mike and Dottie moved there to study for an PHD in Special Education. Here began the relationship with God that would bring them to Guatemala years later. The first of six adopted children was received that year. God would bless over the next decade with five more children. As in the case of Job, the Lord gave to Mike and Dottie double what the Devil had stolen. Time would eventually take them through Louisiana again where for eleven years they pastored Alleluia Acres Fellowship in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Build your House on the Rock, a daily radio broadcast, has been on the air for over 20 years now.
The Beginning of the Call
As a man who never had compassion even while pastoring, Mike went to Guatemala on a one week mission trip to get a fellow minister to quit bothering him. This minister had been asking Mike to go to Africa for years which was expensive and time consuming. So when the inexpensive short trip came up, Mike thought it would be a good way to get the minister to quit asking. While in Guatemala, Mike went walking each morning at 4:30 a.m. and everywhere he went, he saw children in need.
Back at the hotel while in the shower, Mike’s heart broke and he began to weep. Returning to Louisiana, Dottie asked him how his trip was and again, he began to cry. Although Mike had buried three children, his father and his brother, Dottie had never seen him shed a tear. She knew something both strange and wonderful had happened. “When are we moving to Guatemala?” she asked. Four months later with five children in the back of a pick-up truck, $2,000 to their name and unable to speak Spanish, they moved to Guatemala.
God has done more here than just this ministry. He has allowed us to build over fifty churches, pastors’ homes and Sunday school buildings – far beyond anything that we could ever pray for.
Our Mission Statement
Casa Para Niños Aleluya is a Christ-centered ministry that includes both a physical home and spiritual covering for abandoned, orphaned, and abused children in Guatemala. The ministry involves care giving to children by providing food, clothing, shelter, education, and spiritual discipleship.
Our Vision Statement
The primary vision for Casa Aleluya is to impart Christ’s perfect love to broken innocence and create an equipped follower of Jesus who is transformed into a powerful witness of God’s grace and mercy to the world.
From the beginning with very little property and only a handful of buildings, God has blessed our home beyond our dreams. CPNA has grown to 15 acres, with housing for over 400 children plus staff, an elementary school, junior high, vocational school, health clinic, computer lab, multipurpose facility, and library.
Valuing education as the key to giving back to the community, God has blessed us with a beautiful school for kindergarten through 12th grade. We offer our children some of the best elementary school education in Guatemala by running our own school using time tested principles.
Considered the best housing in Guatemala, our dormitories have been skillfully constructed by work teams and sponsors like you.
Our campus has grown from a couple of small houses with only a few children to two adjoining properties with eleven dormitories, with the capacity for over 400 children.
We have been blessed not only with donated materials but thousands of volunteers, resulting in several large dormitories that house the majority of our children. The house parents oversee all the things a parent usually does – multiplied many times over.
Imagine homework time, tracking down a missing shoe, laundry, bath time and making sure the lights are out on time. Each dorm is designed to provide a ‘home’ for the children, complete with living area for television, Nintendo, Barbies or homework.
What does it take to feed around 400 children and staff 3 meals a day, 365 days a year? Well, it takes some coordination, one big kitchen and a dedicated cooking staff.
Staffed with three full-time kitchen personnel and help from the older kids, our industrial size kitchen feeds all children breakfast at the same time, while lunch and dinner are broken up into phases.
The kindergarten and the middle and high school children eat lunch together. Then the elementary school children eat. For dinner, all the kindergarten and elementary school children eat together, followed by the middle and high school children.
Whether romping on the playground, arts and crafts, a game of soccer, or just hanging out, you can always find a way to have fun here. Whether it’s an intense game of soccer or making string designs with your hands, it’s easy to have fun at Casa Para Niños Aleluya.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Casa
1. What makes CPNA stand out among other childcare organizations?
We have a tremendous cross section of denominational support but the most compelling endorsement has come from the Guatemalan government itself. Both the court system and current administration have pleaded with us to care for at least 2000 Guatemalan children in need.
2. How did CPNA begin, and what is its current status?
Founded by the vision of Mike and Dottie Clark, Casa Para Niños is one of the largest children’s homes in Guatemala and by far, one of the most successful. With help from other ministries and people like you, we are continually growing and able to serve more people in the name of Jesus.
3. Is CPNA affiliated with one particular church or denomination?
No, it is affiliated with many different Christian churches and denominations.
4. How is CPNA financially supported?
We are completely supported by volunteer offerings from churches and individuals around the world. The Guatemalan government does not provide any assistance.
5. Are the children available for adoption?
No, we want to keep the children in Guatemala. It is our belief that these children will become the future leaders of Guatemala and will make significant improvements to the country by applying the Christian principles they are learning at our home.
6. How do the children get placed at CPNA ?
Children are placed here for multiple reasons. The courts assign children to our home if they determine their home is not safe, if they have been abused, if they can’t locate their parents, or if the parents are unable to feed and house them. Sometimes parents request that their children live at the home until their personal financial situation improves and they are able to provide for them again.