Meet Our Founders, The Vaughns
FHC’s Co-Founder, Clark Vaughn (April 3, 1946-March 11, 2012)
In 1990, when my family and I moved to Ecuador, we envisioned For His Children as a small ministry providing 5-star care to needy children in a clean, bright and loving environment. And that’s what we did for some years, caring for children in our own home, with a couple of tias, waiting in line to use the washing machine, sharing the kitchen’s one refrigerator, being “chauffeur” for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and lots of other errands.
Clark and I really multi-tasked in those days; in addition to raising our own family, we were guiding and supervising a growing staff, overseeing the children’s medical care, diet, therapy, schooling, interacting with the welfare department, police department, courts, hospitals and the public, overseeing the children’s legal paperwork, writing the FHC newsletters…(We tried hard to personally write each donor to thank them for their support, but I can clearly remember one afternoon while the babies napped, when I took a note pad and pen and went and sat in the sun on the postage stamp-sized front lawn at one of the homes that FHC rented in north Quito back in the early ‘90’s. I wrote one thank-you note to a donor, looked at the dozens and dozens more on the list, and knew right then that this task would have to be delegated, too, as much as we would have liked to continue doing it ourselves.)
Clark was often the plumber, electrician and handyman, bookkeeper, fundraiser and tour guide in those early days, and I was psychologist, social worker, secretary, therapist and director, all swirling, whirling around in the two imperfect people we were… and are.
I don’t do much of any of those tasks anymore. I am a much nicer and cheerful person. I am more calm, patient, loving and even-tempered. I am hopefully wiser. I don’t know that I ever really mastered the art of any of those responsibilities anyway, but it has sure given me a great appreciation for the staff we have at FHC today. They are trained, experienced, educated – they know how to manage the many areas involved in running a children’s ministry – and they do it with much more patience! I echo my husband’s sentiments about our on-the-ground staff in Quito and Latacunga. I stand in amazement as they do so much more, so much better, and do it more creatively and effectively than he and I ever did. We used to think that FHC would never be able to function without Clark and me. Those days are long gone!
So now I am again charting “new territory” – I am no longer a Co-Director, I am THE Director, since July 1, 2011, as Clark has retired because of health reasons. I now work primarily at a desk, in front of a computer and telephone, dividing my time between Ecuador and the U.S. I work on the never-ending task of fundraising and marketing (and I’m no more skilled and prepared to do these jobs than I was at founding and directing a children’s home!) and I try to discern my way and God’s will in the obscure areas of organizational and board development. Oh, and I try to maintain the proper perspective, with lots of patience and I am a broken record before God, every day, “Give me wisdom… give me wisdom… please give me more wisdom!”
I’m working diligently to get up to speed in areas that I’ve taken over from my husband, areas that he always managed and mastered. Of course Clark is here to help me whenever I need to understand or make a decision about some issue he knows like the back of his hand, and I’m so grateful for his support.
As my job continues to evolve, it shows me in deeper and broader ways all that has lovingly gone into the making of For His Children, all that has been “laid on the altar,” so to speak, by so many people. I marvel at how this ministry has grown and changed to be who and what it is today. And I marvel at the signs of change – for the better – that are on the horizon.
The greatest encouragement to FHC has been our supporters, friends, donors, volunteers, team members and family. They continue to give life’s most precious commodities – time, love and caring. Thank you deeply from my hearts. We couldn’t have done it without you!