I first met them when they had moved into the original Shepherd’s Gate home at 1639 Portola Avenue in Livermore. That was the home that Alice Ann Cantelow bought to establish the shelter for women and their children almost 30 years ago. She was a retired East Bay Regional Parks ranger who was living in a bungalow in Kilkare Woods in Sunol—(my wife, Betty Gail, was a member of her prayer group).
As Shepherd’s Gate grew over the years and Carla and Steve McRee moved into the leadership role after Alice Ann retired, the shelter moved across the street to its current location at 1660 Portola (I will not dive into that story, but it is available on the website: www.shepherdsgate.org).
The Frinks bought that big home from Shepherd’s Gate and their friends at East Bay Fellowship in Danville renovated it completely so it could accommodate the foster children they had been caring for at their Livermore home. Rory, an executive at Safeway’s headquarters in Pleasanton, eventually retired to both he and Pam could spend full-time with their children.
Over the years on Portola, they were led to found a church, which they did as The Rock in Livermore. They were affiliated with the Foursquare demonization.
Attending the annual denominational meeting, they were led to consider foreign mission and decided God was calling them to Rwanda—the site of the horrific tribal massacres that no governments intervened to halt. The powerful non-profit, International Justice Mission headed by Gary Haugen, grew out of Haugen’s personal experience as a United States representative after the fact. I will skip the political comment and save it until after Holy Week.
The Frinks have finished a year in Rwanda and were invited to check out a full-service (maybe holistic is a better term) home for orphans in Uganda. The founders are more than 70 years old and looking for successors as are their board. Based in Bend, Oregon (one of my favorite places on this earth), the Frinks went there on their furlough and have been called to lead the orphanage going forward.
It’s an expansion of Pam’s calling—caring for orphans. It is also remarkable at how well they have been equipped for this new chapter in Africa. I have had the delight to seeing this happen a few times and praise God during this Holy Week that He is still in charge.
Path Ministries operates the facility, which is home to more 220 children. It was founded during the terror that the Lord’s Resistance Army poured upon the country—kidnapping children to turn them into soldiers.
The facility is modeled after a village so children live eight to a hut with widowed women as their mother. There are full educational facilities on site as well as a medical clinic that opened last year.
For more on the ministry, please see: www.pathministries.net. For video updates on the Frinks, please see: Web Link or Web Link