Over 40 years ago, Together began its mission in Latin America, a region made up of beautiful and diverse geography, people, and cultures that existed in the midst of high unemployment; escalating drug trafficking, organized crime, and terrorism; and violent conflicts between governments and revolutionaries. The status of their poor changed to very poor, their family units were disrupted on a large scale, and many children were abandoned or became runaways.  Together responded by providing opportunities for children and their families, and has established an inspiring legacy in the process.

Together Began

Together began when one family said yes to heaven’s idea of helping a child who was without a home. In 1974, after Dr. Arthur VanVranken heard about the thousands of abandoned children living on the streets in Colombia, S. A., he responded with a visit that led to he and his family adopting Nancy. read more

1974

1976

Together was founded by Dr. Arthur VanVranken, Peggy VanVranken and Rev. and Mrs. Carl Perry.

Together, (formerly under the names of South American Missionary Evangelism, S.A.M.E., Covenant Children, and Empower the Poor), was founded in 1976 by Dr. Arthur VanVranken, Peggy VanVranken and Rev. and Mrs. Carl Perry. They brought forth the vision for Together by setting it into action through their response to children without a home.

Together opened FUPENC

Through our relationship with Ricardo Agudelo and his wife, Together opened Fundacion Para El Servicio Cristiano El Nino En Colombia (FUPENC) its first orphanage for nearly 50 children as well as a farm for teenage boys.

Together assisted in the adoptions of 19 children

Within the first year, Together assisted in the adoptions of 19 children, which inspired many other perspective parents to adopt children from FUPENC.

Adoption is a beautiful opportunity to build families

Ben Sandstrom, was adopted from Colombia in 1977. Ben writes, “Family is very important to me.  My wife and I have a great family with a son and twins, a boy and a girl.  They are my world!  At times I struggle not knowing my biological parents, but my wife has supported me regarding my adoption and I have the best adoptive parents.  Most of all, I realize that it was God’s hands that made this all possible.  I am thankful!”

1977

1981

Together became an adoption agency

Due to our belief that families are paramount to the success of children, Together (under the name Covenant Children, Inc.) expanded its Adoption Program in 1981 by becoming an adoption agency.

Adoption from Colombia, Brazil, Cost Rica, and Guatemala

Relationships quickly advanced in Latin America opening the door to additional opportunities to adopt children from Colombia, Brazil, Cost Rica, and Guatemala through public child welfare agencies, such as Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF), Fundacao Estadual Bem Menor (FEBEM), and private agencies, such as CRAN, or Los Pisingos.  Within ten years, nearly four hundred children were adopted.

Sponsorship Program for families who were struggling to survive

After coming home with their adopted child(ren), parents would often ask, “How can we help strengthen families in the country from where we adopted our child(ren)?”  In 1981, Carl and Melba Perry’s relationship with Lindsay and Denise Christie resulted in the idea of a Sponsorship Program for families who were struggling to survive in extremely depressed areas in Bogota, Colombia.  This program provided these families with monthly food parcels that included basic staples such as rice and beans as well as gifts for their children at Christmas.

Medical Assistance Program

In 1982, Together expanded its scope of care by coordinating with Brazil’s Social Services (FEBEM), a Medical Assistance Program for children in Brazilian orphanages who required specialized medical attention.

1982

Together’s social gatherings

At Together social gatherings we developed relationships and celebrated God’s idea of family.

1990

Establish schools for children living in poor neighborhoods

In 1990, Lindsay Christie and his daughter Missy Acosta expanded the Sponsorship Program by establishing schools so that children in the poorest barrios in Colombia could receive an education from kindergarten through high school.

Colombian Orphanage

In 1994, Together assisted Jorge and Grace (the daughter of Lindsay and Denise Christie) Avendano in the opening of another orphanage for children in Colombia, who were destitute.

1994

1995

Colombian preschool through high school

In 1995, along with with Jorge and Grace Avendano, Together opened a preschool.  Today, this school has grown into a self-supporting bilingual school for children needing a private education from kindergarten through high school (Colombia’s public education can often be insufficient).

Together is all about relationships.

Based on the work of the founders Arthur VanVranken, and Peggy VanVranken, Carl and Melba Perry, and Lindsey and Denise Christie and their daughters, Together has built a fabulous legacy. We honor and thank our founders for their part in bringing happiness to many families.

TODAY