Founder of Global Orphan Care Ministry Shares Her Inspiration

Back2Back Ministries is an international Christian non-profit organization dedicated to being a voice for orphans Back2Back Ministries Source: Gospel Herald

Beth Guckenberger described the incident that encouraged her to start Back2Back Ministries as heartbreaking, life-changing, and transformational.

During a mission trip with her husband to Monterrey, Mexico, she noticed toddlers storing food underneath their mattresses in anticipation of the missionaries departure there being a return to food insecurity.

Beth remarked, “I started to notice that the preschoolers kept coming up to get more and more hamburgers before disappearing. I was curious, so I followed them.

“These children,” she continued, “were lifting up their mattresses and hiding the burgers underneath them for another day. I called my husband over, and that was a defining moment for both of us.”

Unable to unsee what she had witnessed, in 1997, Beth and her husband took a one-year leave of absence from their jobs and moved from their native Ohio to Mexico to start an orphanage.

Today, Back2Back Ministries is an international orphan care ministry that serves impoverished, abandoned, and orphaned children in Mexico, Nigeria, India, and Haiti.

The Guckenberger’s favorite Bible verse is Zechariah 4:10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”

Back2Back seeks to provide holistic care meeting each child’s spiritual, physical, educational, emotional and social needs.  They hope to break cycles of generational poverty and offer hope and positive alternatives to a life on the streets for orphans and abandoned children.

By partnering with both governments and NGOs in each of the countries where Back2Back serves, over 450 children are sponsored and the organization helps facilitate over 2,500 mission trips annually.

Guckenberger described training as a key component to helping her navigate the contours of working with youth from diverse backgrounds. She stated, “Training is key,” she said. “When you’re working with a child from a hard place, often, they’ve experienced sexual, emotional, and physical trauma, so it can stunt their emotional age. So, you might be looking at an eight-year-old who acts more like a four-year-old. You have to adjust your expectations.”

Deeply impacted by her work, the Guckenbergers have been directly involved in raising a combined biological, foster and adopted 10 children.

“Blending our children has given us an opportunity for story,” Beth said. “There’s nothing more rewarding that I’ve done, and I wouldn’t change any of my stories — even the ones that have had challenging seasons because I’ve realized it’s God growing me.”To learn more about Back2Back Ministries, visit https://back2back.org.

Source: Gospel Herald