CINCINNATI, OH – Todd and Beth Guckenberger spent the first 15 years after their graduation from college in 1997 living in Monterrey, Mexico, hosting short-term missions teams. Their mission as Back2Back Ministries was to help provide resources for children in institutional orphanages in the Monterrey area.
Back2Back is dedicated to coming alongside orphaned children in ways that meet their spiritual, physical, educational, emotional, and social needs. The purpose of their holistic ministry is to help the children to “overcome their life circumstances and break free from the cycle of generational poverty.”
Care for Today is the part of the ministry that reaches out to children in orphanages or single-parent families living in marginalized conditions, providing for their needs in the here and now.
Hope for Tomorrow expresses the ministry’s commitment to lead the children in their care to develop a dependency on Jesus Christ that will sustain them as adults and equip them to serve others as they have been served.
Two of the most important services of Back2Back Ministries are their Trauma Competent Care and their Hope Program.
Trauma Competent Care
Back2Back realizes something that we all need to. Orphaned and underprivileged children are victims of trauma. There are not many things more traumatizing for a child than to lose one or both parents. In addition to the inherent emotional loss, children are unable to provide for themselves. They are insecure and afraid. They need the nurturing comfort and care of loving adults. They also need people who understand the effects of the trauma they have experienced.
Back2Back has partnered with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University to train hundreds of individuals as qualified trauma caregivers. Workers from more than 50 countries have participated in Back2Back’s trauma training.
The trauma care program is about ensuring a better today for orphaned children.
The Hope Program seeks to ensure a better future for those children.
Back2Back recognized many children age out of orphanage care “long before they are ready to transition to independent living.”
Teens in those cases are invited to become a part of a Christian, residential, family-style program. Through the supporting partners of the ministry, Hope Program participants are mentored, tutored, and encouraged to finish high school and college. According to the Back2Back website, the program has been a platform for launching disadvantaged young people into successful careers in law, nursing, graphic design, culinary arts, educations, architecture, and business.
Perhaps the greatest successes of this FBO’s work is measured by the many students who choose to use their experience to invest in the lives of others who are suffering similar trauma. Many who were formerly in dire need decide to become the mentors of the next generation, offering them care for today and hope for tomorrow.
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Sources: Back2Back Ministries, Official Website