We cannot count all the conversations that build relationships, speaking opportunities that inform, and hugs that let children know their great value, but below is a snapshot of where we’ve been and where we’re going…
January 7 – While Jesse Rivers is studying Spanish by reading a dictionary on a plane, the Holy Spirit calls out the word “Abogar,” which means, “to advocate for, to plead on behalf of, to intercede for.” The Holy Spirit draws Jesse’s attention to it, and he was certain that God has something supernaturally planned in connection with the word “Abogar”.
- February 19 – Jesse receives a vision and calling from God to begin an advocacy nonprofit organization, specifically named Abogar International Ministries. God made it clear the organization should advocate for and work on behalf of children of Latin America who are orphaned, abandoned, abused, homeless, and/or living in the street.
- March 1 – Abogar officially begins. Jesse sets about doing research, networking, and connecting with people and places to be able to carry out the ministry and mission that he sensed God calling Abogar to be about. (Abogar’s official birthdate)
- March – The Board of Directors is established with 3 members.
- April – Vision trip to Guatemala. Guatemala is determined to be the first country for Abogar’s work.
- June – Vision trip to Ecuador. It is determined that Abogar would not begin work there at this time.
- November 5th – Articles of Incorporation are legally approved by government. (Abogar’s legal birthdate)
- May – The first Xposure Xperience takes place with two team members, introducing the members to the plight of vulnerable children in Latin American and the heart and work of Abogar. Those two members later join as members of Abogar’s Board of Directors.
- October – The second Xposure Xperience takes place, seeing 20+ children come to know Jesus Christ as Savior for the first time and 40+ others recognizing and placing Jesus Christ as Lord.
- October – Partnerships are formalized with Paradise Bound Ministries and InnerCHANGE Xela.
- July – After a long paperwork and review process, Abogar is approved by the United States IRS as an official 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit organization, retroactive to the date of March 1st, 2012, the official birthdate of Abogar International Ministries.
- November – During time dedicated to networking and mutual edification with partner Paradise Bound Ministries, God uses Abogar’s value of home-model housing for children to inspire Paradise Bound to change the name and model for their work from Open Doors Orphanage to Open Doors Children’s Home.
- December – Abogar hosts its first major giving initiative and raises $1,000 in 15 days to provide the children of God Bless The Children Home with a great Christmas meal and some gifts. The funds also help pay required bonuses for all the workers in the home.
- March 17th – Jesse relocates to Guatemala City to improve in Spanish, to learn the laws of Guatemala concerning child care, family intervention, and child protection. He also begins working to establish Abogar Guatemala.
- July 25th – First annual Abogar 1:27 Run (5K fundraising event) in Pennsylvania.
- August – Abogar partners with Casa Bernabe by sending Jesse as a professor of English for three months, teaching 135 students from the children’s home.
- December – Abogar blesses 15 children at the Special Kids school, a part of La Puerta Guatemala Missions, with a full year of 2016 school tuition through Abogar’s Educational Assistance Program.
- January – Abogar partners with Casa de Libertad by having Jesse step into a position to help serve as a volunteer youth leader (in a leadership team) with the youth group, where 90+ percent of the youth come from a children’s home.
- January – A second staff member, an executive assistant, joins Abogar, providing evidence of the organization’s expanding work and commitments, needing administrative support.
- February – April – Abogar adds a few new members to the Board of Directors.
- May – The Xposure Xperience team members partner with Paradise Bound Ministries to build 5 homes in a village, run a medical clinic, help host a Jesus Film presentation, and see 60+ people give their hearts and lives to Jesus.
- July 30th – Second Annual Abogar 1:27 Run in Pennsylvania.
- September 19th – Abogar adds its first international board member, a representative from Guatemala.
- November 16th – Abogar adds a new executive assistant to the team.
- December 10th – Abogar helps in a Christmas Blessing to children in an orphanage in Mexico – 8 children accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
- December 18th – Abogar Guatemala hosts its first Christmas Blessing, in partnership with Paradise Bound Ministries, to the village of San Ramon, with donations provided by Guatemalans! 26 children accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord!
- March 1st – HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY (officially), Abogar!!
- July 29th – Third Annual Abogar 1:27 Run
- November 5th – HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY (legally), Abogar!!
July 28th – Fourth Annual Abogar 1:27 Run