Our Family

The Conner Family


And now for more news…



Well, it’s been quite a while since we last sent out an email update, so we’re going to try to update you all as to what we’ve been up to (besdies adoption stuff!).   We want to thank you all too for the many notes of encouragement and the many prayers that you have offered on our behalf.  We have really felt God’s blessing us through you all. We love you!



We said goodbye to one of our students, Mayra, who went to live in another children’s home north of here where her younger sister is living.  Mayra wanted to go so that she could be with her sister, and while we understood her desire, we miss having her here.  Please pray that God would protect her and keep her close to Him.


Instead of having our traditional Award’s Ceremony for this trimester, we decided to do something a little different.  We had each group of kids come over seperately to have a “Cowboy” dinner with us in our home and we passed out thier report cards then.   They dressed up really fancy and got to wear fun cowboy hats that friends from Kansas donated.  It was a fun and different way to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments from this past trimester. 

Here’s a picture of the 8th grade girls all dressed up for the Awards Dinner:



We had the Olympic games here in Mexico with our students.  Joel worked hard to train the kids in PE to run the mile, 60 meter race, 400 meter relay, shot-put, discus, long-jump, etc.  and split the kids up into two teams, “Mexico vs. Greece” (in honor of the first olympics).  It was a fun, exhausting morning, and a great experience for our students.  And we are proud to say that “Mexico” won the Oympic Games this year!!!



These two small towns are about and hour and a half drive away, and we love going to visit there since Techobampo is Mario and Laura’s hometown.  We visit with their elderly father there, and a wonderful Christian neighbor lady, Martina,  who’s son is the stand-in pastor for the church there.  We also enjoy going to Esperanza where only about a dozen elderly folks live, very far from a city where there are stores, doctors, etc.  They are poor, but live in such a beautiful and peaceful place.  We got to accompany friends from South Carolina there as they passed out food donations to the elderly.  It was a great testimony since no “outsiders” ever go there or help them, especially in the name of Christ.  Last time we went, an elderly gentleman who professes faith in Christ asked us to get him a Bible.  We are so blessed to be able to do that for him.

Here’s a picture of Laura with Martina in Techobampo.  Martina has her hand on Laura’s head, symbolizing how she had prayed often for Laura’s well-being after her mother passed away about 5 years ago:



Mario turned 14 on March 16th, and had a fun sleepover with the boys who live on the ranch here. He requested his favorite meal for dinner: beans and tortillas.   He and Laura are both loving getting to live together and spend a lot of time playing together.  They are both very good at chess, and can easily beat Steph.  It’s been a blessing to have Laura here and we are so thankful for that answer to prayer.  Elijah is almost walking on his own, and has started saying “Mama and Papa”.  His feet are doing well, getting straighter little by little. The doctor seems to think they’ll be just fine in time. 



You might remember Elijah’s 3 year old birth cousin, Hugo, who has crossed eyes.  Steph was finally able to get a date for eye surgery for him: May 6th.  Please keep this in your prayers since his grandmother is terrified of the word “surgery” and we are afraid she might convince Hugo’s mom to refuse the surgery.  The doctor told us that Hugo would be legally blind in at least one eye by the time he was 8 or 9 years old if we didn’t operate. 

Here’s a picture of Grandma Flora with baby Nachito and little Hugo:



We praise the Lord that Trini’s adoption was finished last week, and she will soon get to go live in the states with her family.  We’re also a little jealous, since we wish we were done too!  We are so thankful for God providing such a wonderful family for Trini.  What an incredible, life-long gift from her Heavenly Father.



We are thrilled that Steph’s mom, sister and little brother will be coming to visit us in just a couple of weeks.  Aunt Emilie and Uncle Daniel are excited to meet Elijah for the first time, and Steph’s mom will get to meet Laura for the first time.   We are all  very excited.  We are also planning a school trip to “France” when Steph’s family is here.  Our students are working hard preparing their  “passports” and studying about France.  More on this in the next update….



Well, we’ve saved the best for last….We went to see the judge today to try to convince him to go through with the adoption and to accept the legal document we had made explaining the name confusion of Elijah’s grandmother and aunt.  We had everything we wanted to tell him all planned out and rehearsed.  On the way to the courthouse we were talking and we discovered that on Sunday, both of us had felt God speaking to us telling us that we shouldn’t pray so much for the adoption to be done quickly, but rather to pray that God’s purpose in letting the adoption drag on would be accomplished, with us being willing participants.  We both realized that our prayers needed to “shift” to realize that God was doing something through this that is more important than our desire to be able to go visit our families with Elijah.   When we arrived at the courthouse, we prayed and went in, ready to plead our case, but with thankful hearts knowing that God was in charge of whatever the judge decided and we could trust that His plan was more important, more eternal, more divine than anything we could ever want.  “Not my will, but Yours be done…”   We sat down with the judge and asked him what other document he wanted us to get, and he told us, “Nothing else.  Just get me a certified copy of this document (that we already gave him, so it should be easy to do, Lord willing!) and bring the grandma and aunt tomorrow to give their permission for the adoption. Then I’ll finish the case. ”   We sat there dumbfounded, staring at him with our mouths hanging open.  He had to repeat himself a few times before we totally believed him.   So FINALLY, we are arriving to the end of the adoption.  THANKYOU  all so much for your prayers. Please keep praying for us!  We have learned so many lessons through this all, and have drawn closer to the Lord.  We are thankful for the work He’s done in us through it all. But we are also VERY thankful to be almost done! 


We love you all very much and pray that you will be blessed by God.

love, Joel, Stephanie, Mario, Laura and Elijah



1. Please pray for Hugo’s eye surgery coming up May 6th.

2.  Pray for traveling mercies for Steph’s family, and for a blessed time while they’re here.

3. Praise God for Trini’s completed adoption, and pray for her  immigration paperwork to go well and quickly.

4 Pray for all the kids here to develop a real and intimate relationship with the Lord, and to be fully healed of past hurt and abuse.

5. Praise God for the judge’s willingness to finish Elijah’s adoption case!  Please pray with us that we can go visit our families this summer, if the Lord wills it!

6. Pray for our family to glorify God.  Pray for us to be good parents!   And pray for Mario and Laura to seek the Lord on thier own, and for us to live in a way that makes them want to seek God. 

7. Pray for Elijah’s birth family to come to know the Saviour (they also asked for a Bible, although only the 13 year old cousin can read.   She said she would read it aloud to the rest of them). 

8.  Pray for Mario and Laura’s dad, Francisco, to come to know Jesus.

9. Pray for Mayra, and all the other kids we know who’ve left the ranch: Zuleth, Rosi, Mache, Patty, Sofia, Maya, Jovanna, Eliot, Adrian.  Pray for their saftey and spiritual well-being. Pray that God would shelter and provide for them, and that they would not forget Him.


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