Daniel and Heidi are the founders and directors of Open Arms Childcare Ministries. They have two beautiful daughters, Samaria and Selah.
They met when Heidi came to the orphanage in Mexico where Daniel grew up on a missions trip in 2003. After he turned 18, Daniel stayed at the orphanage and worked in construction; soon after, Heidi came and served there for about two years. They were married in August of 2005. As they worked together at the orphanage, they knew God would one day use them to start another ministry.
In 2005, they began Open Arms. They know that they have been called to help keep families together and prevent childhood abandonment. Their hearts’ desire is to show Christ’s love to these needy children and families in Meixco, and help each family fight to keep their family together.
Because Daniel grew up in an orphanage, beginning at the age of 7, he has struggled with feeling abandoned and unloved. Instead of holding onto his bitterness and hurt, he decided to try to make a difference and fight to keep families together. Through Open Arms, Daniel and Heidi help keep children off the streets and out of orphanages. In Mexico, 8-10 children growing up on an orphanage have a living parent. These children could be in a daycare, if there were more available. They also care for kids who would otherwise wander the streets, or are locked in their homes while their parents are at work. They provide a no-cost childcare service to the most vulnerable children in the communities they serve.
They truly live by faith each day, and they have experienced God’s enduring mercy and faithfulness. They were married in 2005, and begin right away working on this dream in La Mision (about 1 hour south of San Diego). When they started working on the construction of their facility, they had one dollar to their name. Less than one year later, they were able to open the daycare to the children of the community. Currently, at the La Mision campus they care for 75 children and have helped numerous families stay together. They also support the junior high, high school, and college age children who have graduated out of the daycare program with their educational expenses (education is not free in Mexico).
Since Heidi and Daniel began their work in La Mision, Open Arms has only continued to grow. In addition to running the daycare, they hold a monthly class to teach important life skills to the many mothers of the daycare children. They started a teen center called High Voltage, through which hundreds of teens have given their life to the Lord. Anywhere from 80 to 150 teens attend High Voltage every Friday night. They have opened a dental and medical clinic that serves members of the community as well as daycare families.
In 2013 they felt God put on their heart to open their arms to more children and they began their second campus in Camalu, (4 hours south of San Diego.) This campus opened in 2016 and cares for 90 children, and truly are some of the most needy children in Baja. Open Arms church was also planted in Camalu in 2016, where they are the lead Pastors.
Their heart is to plant this child-care model all over Baja and Mexico.
Open Arms has truly become a center for the entire community, showing the love of Christ to hundreds of people as they meet various needs through the many facets of their ministry. They live by the motto, Faith makes miracles, and they know that God is still in the business of performing miracles today!