Dear Friends of Bacilio and Gerardo,
We could never thank you enough for the way you have so generously contributed to help the Guatemalan families of the 2 who drowned at Moonlight Beach at the end of May.
We just wanted to give you an update in the ways that we have used your donations so far to help and support the families.
Your donations are all tax deductible and have gone to a nonprofit called Build a Miracle run by Chris and Julianne North that builds homes for families in Mexico.
The first thing Build a Miracle did was to pay $4,000 to ship Gerardo's body home to his mother in Guatemala.
As far as Bacilio's body, the Guatemalan community here collected the funds to send him home, which worked out well because that will allow us to do more to help the families in the year ahead.
August 1, we sent our first wire transfer to the families and we will continue to send them money at the first of every month for the next 12 months.
$500 a month will be sent between the 2 families for the next year for a total of $6000 dollars
$350 a month to Bacilio's wife and 5 children and
$150 a month to Gerardo's mother (who is a widow) and little brother.
With the remaining funds (about $8,500) we would like to do 2 things - first, help fix up Gerardo's mother's home. We are talking to people in the community to figure out the best way to do that.
We are also thinking about ways that we could possibly help the 2 families set up some sort of business that would help support them in the years ahead.
We will continue to update you over the next year to let you know other ways we are able to help.
Thank you for making such a lasting impact in the lives of these families - both in the financial way you are supporting them and the way you have helped them to know God's love through your love of them. They are thankful for your prayers and thankful that they are no longer invisible.
Below is a translated letter from the families and a letter we wrote to them explaining how we wanted to help.
Chris and Julianne North
Here is an update on what is going on with the families of Gerardo and Bacilio. Below is a letter sent to the families and their response back:
TRANSLATED LETTER FROM THEM:
Dear Mr Chris and SFCHS Students
Dear brothers in Christ, America's and Candelaria's friends send you warm greetings.
By means of this letter we want to sincerely thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the good desire and charisma with which you are taking on the task of helping us in our moment of need.
We thank merciful God who has put it on your hearts to support our family. God in his infinite grace will know how to repay in your lives, this gesture of obedience and love for those around you.
We await in hope of a visit some of you can make to Soloma, we already offer you a warm welcome in the name of our God almighty. As such we also ask that God multiply the blessings for you and your families.
You are in our prayers,
America and Candelaria and families
TRANSLATED EMAIL WE SENT TO THEM:
To Candelaria, América y their children:
For us it is a blessing to be useful and help you during trying times.
Students from SFCHS worked hard on their campaign to raise these funds and they hope to be able to help support Bacilio's and Gerardo's families each month for a good amount of time. Our goal is to provide part of the family's monthly expenses that are no longer covered with the loss of a great man, Bacilio, and to make it possible that all of the children from both families continue in school. Depending on how everything goes, and what ideas are thought up, we have also discussed using some of the funds that have been raised, to help start a small business, a trade or some other economic activity or opportunity that can provide income for the families in the long term...we can discuss this over time.
Some of us here might even like to visit Soloma during the coming year.
We ask please, that each family write a thank you letter that we can translate and give to the contributors who have supported this campaign. They would also like to know what your long term plans and dreams are, what you are thinking of doing long term (although we understand that you are in a period of mourning and it will take time to begin to think of such matters). Additionally, we would like to receive each month, a list of how the funds were utilized.
We finally have a bank that is able to manage the fund transfers so we will make a transfer next week.
Chris on behalf of the SFCHS students and families and all those who supported the effort to help out.
It's been a while since we have updated - Chris and Julianne were on vacation. We are back in contact with the families and have gone through their finances. We will be providing $350/month to Bacilio's wife and daughters and $150/month to Gerardo's mom and brother. This will start up immediately as the bank information is available and the international transfers are able to take place. Chris also received all the girls grades from this past year and they are all doing well in school, and we want to keep them there!
We are still working on the idea of helping them set up some type of business and potentially doing a Mission Trip down there next year to check in on them and see how we can help out first hand.
We are so blessed to have had so much outreach for these families, thank you to all who have contributed and kept the families in your prayers.
We will keep you posted as more happens throughout the month of August.
Blessings to each of you.
BACILIO'S VELORIO AND MASS WILL BE AT ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST CHURCH, 1001 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024, TOMORROW FRIDAY FROM 6PM-11PM.
THE FORMAL SERVICE/MASS WILL BE AT 9PM.
I am sad to report that Bacilio was taken off life support last night and passed away shortly after. This was a hard decision for the family, but it was determined there was no hope for a recovery for him. We will continue meeting with the family and ensure that the funds raised are used wisely to help both families of this tragic accident. Gerardo's body was sent back to his mother in Guatemala on Thursday (paid for by your donations). We welcome all feedback and ideas. Blessings to everyone for their support in this endeavor. We will keep you posted with regular updates.
Just a quick update on what is happening with all the funds you have helped us to generate. Today we will be paying for Gerardo's body to be transported back to Guatemala. In addition, there are some funeral expenses that need to be taken care of.
We are investigating ways to help set up some type of business for Bacilio's family so that they can be self-sustaining. We encourage your ideas in this space. In addition, we are looking into funding education to ensure the kids stay in school and have a better life.
Thank you again for everyone's kind words, prayers and ideas on how to help. God bless you all!
We just got news on the Mass for Gerardo:
GERARDO'S VELORIO AND MASS WILL BE AT ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST CHURCH, 1001 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024, TOMORROW WEDNESDAY FROM 6PM-11PM.
THE FORMAL SERVICE/MASS WILL BE AT 9PM.
I wanted to give an update on Bacilio/Visilio. As of last night, he was still on life support with no change in his status. Keep praying for him and his family. We continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support for them.
Thank you to everyone for donating so generously. We are thankful that we will be able to provide some comfort to these families and take off some of the stress. You all have beautiful hearts. God Bless You.
Wow, we are so humbled and blessed with the outpouring of support for these families. Truly God is at work here! Thank you to all who have donated so far, it is extremely moving and the families are so appreciative. The attached photos are from the hospital last night where our kids got to meet and be thanked personally by the family and friends of Gerardo and Visilio and our planning meeting prior to the hospital visit.
At the hospital with family and friends
Strategizing last night on fundraising
Julianne North and her helpers!
As many of you know a group of Santa Fe Christian freshmen students were involved in rescuing two people from the ocean at Moonlight Beach on Thursday, May 29. The two people rescued were sent to the hospital and were in critical condition and on life support.
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The victims were unidentified for 3 days before any family members were found. Fortunately, on Sunday, a couple of us were able to visit them at the hospital as well as over 20 of their friends and family members and get to know them. We found out that it was an uncle (Vasilio) and his nephew (Gerardo) in the ocean that day.
When we were there, the 2 victims were still on life support and did not have any brain activity.
We took the family members back to the beach and explained that the 2 of them must have been caught in a riptide and how difficult it would be for people who didn't know how to swim. We told them about the Santa Fe Christian students finding them and helping to bring them to the shore.
We also told them about how over 100 students from Santa Fe Christian School stood next to them on the beach as they were receiving CPR and prayed for them and their families.
Unfortunately, Gerardo (the 17 year old boy) passed away on Monday morning, four days after he was found in the ocean.
Vasilio and Gerardo both come from an extremely poor area of Guatemala where there is not even a sewer system set up in their community so they all have outhouses for bathrooms.
Vasilio, wife and five kids live in Guatemala, but he moved to The United States 20 years ago to find work to help better support his family. He would try to send them $300 - $400 a month so that they could buy food and pay for electricity, clothes, etc. Vasilio continues to be on life support with no brain activity, so the family has no one to support them.
The young boy, Gerardo, just came to the U.S. three days before he went to Moonlight Beach in order to go to high school here. His family was just hoping for him to have better opportunities than he ever would have had at home. His mom lives in a one room shack with a dirt floor in Guatemala. She has a hole in the ground for a toilet.
She is a widow with a 7 year old son at home and earns $5 a day cleaning clothes or any other type of work she can get.
We're not sure why God had us there at that moment - maybe it was to find the 2 of them because otherwise their families would never have known what happened to them - they would have just been missing.
Maybe another reason we were there was because now that we know their story, we can help them.
We really want to do something to help out this incredible family. They’re are so sweet and grateful and could use our help in many ways. That's why we have set up this Gofundme account.
If anyone wants to help out, here's what we would like to do for the family:
1. Raise $5,000 to send Gerardo's body back to his mother in Guatemala. She could not fly here to be with him in his final days, because she did not have the money or papers to come.
2. Raise $5,000 to fix Gerardo's mother and 7 year old brother's home with a concrete floor, bedroom and kitchen. We will see if we can have someone build a septic tank so that they can have a flush toilet and shower.
3. Raise $350 a month for a year to support Vasilio''s wife and 5 children - total of $4200 for a year of food and other expenses for the family
4. Raise $150 a month for a year to support Gerardo's mother who now earns $5 a day - total of $1800 to support her and her 7 year old for a year
One of the greatest gifts for these families is that in this tragic time, they will feel the love of Christ from their brothers and sisters here, who don't even know them, yet are willing to help them.
If you would like, you can write what you want the money you donate to go towards.
Thank you for being Christ's hands for these two families who have suffered so much not only this week, but for much of their lives.
Here are some thoughts from the Santa Fe Students who were involved in the rescue:
Kerryanne: It has been a blessing to meet the family and get to know such incredible people. I can't even imagine what they are going through right now, I was overcome with sadness at the hospital and I don't even know them. I want to do whatever we can to help them.
Katie: It was such a sureal experience but I know that God put us all there for a reason. At least we were able to give them a fighting chance to live. Even though we had no clue who the person was, we still did everything in our power to help save them, unsure of a good outcome.
Jack: I hope that the family stays strong through Christ during this time in their lives. I am praying for them during this surreal experience.
Kyle: I can't imaginge what the families are dealing with, and I hope the will be able to find peace through Christ. Im glad we were able to impact their lives by giving them a chance.
Joey: I really can't fully understand what has happened and I can't imagine what Bascilio and Gerado's families are going through and my sincerest condolences go to them
Baylee- I'm just glad that there was no one else harmed, God put us there for a reason and im greatful we could represent him in the best way possible. I hope we can continue to help them by raising money for there families.
Sami: It is comforting to know that God put us all there for a reason, though we may not know the reasons now. I pray that the families find comfort in this sad situation and that we are able to raise money to support them.
Maddie: It was such a life changing experience but I'm happy that God placed me and my friends on the beach at that time. I was so happy to help and give them a fighting chance to live.
Julia: It was a blessing to have such a great group of people there to help. God put this group of people there for a reason knowing they would step up and do their best to save these peoples lives. Now it is our job to help these families as much as possible.
Clay: What happened that day was a life changing experience that I will never forget. I continue to pray for the families of the vicitms, I cant imagine what they are going through right now. I know that God does everything for a reason and i am sure that this situation is no exception. The families are in our hearts and minds.
Your donations are tax deductible and 100% of the funds donated will go to the victim's families. No donation is too small! God bless!