Mark and Kristin’s desire was to have her memorial fund help a child with medical needs. When Mark went on a missions trip to the jungle city of Pucallpa, Peru, in August 2008, he hoped to see how this fund might be a blessing. There he learned that in the two years since some Shipibo Indians had moved from the interior jungle to the Nueva Era Village several miles outside the city, five children had died. Simple medicines were lacking, and the opportunity was evident for how this fund could help. Through working with a Shipibo pastor and missionary named Samuel Ramirez, of the “Lamb of God Church” in Nueva Era, Victoria’s Little Lambs Fund was birthed. The plan was to disburse her memorial fund over several years to treat ailments such as diarrhea, fever, cough, vomiting, infections, body aches, and parasites.
On that first visit to Pucallpa, Mark met Cloe, the granddaughter of Pastor Ramirez. Amazingly, she was born the same day as Victoria! She was ill when Mark met her, and he and others were able to pray for her. Later she received help from the fund and is now a healthy girl. Cloe’s parents, Samuel and Irma Ramirez, consider Mark and Kristin to be Cloe’s godparents. Cloe also has a younger brother, Samuel.
Mark and Kristin were blessed to visit this Shipibo village in July 2010, with their three children, Caleb, Jacob, and Rachel. While visiting the Nueva Era church, many Shipibo children raised their hands indicating that they had been helped by Victoria’s Little Lambs Fund. As Mark and Kristin soaked in the scene of seeing how God has blessed so many children in this humble village and church through Victoria’s life, Mark had an overwhelming sense of God’s heart expressing, “This is My victory by My grace!”
Victoria’s Fund has expanded its reach into some remote tribal villages throughout the Amazon Jungle. Pastor Samuel Ramirez and his mission agency, MINAP, send 14 native missionaries further into the jungle to take the gospel of Jesus Christ, working with tribes that have had little or no contact with the outside world. Pastor Samuel is also connecting with other native missionaries across the entire Amazon region of South America. The native workers proclaim the gospel with help from Victoria’s Fund to demonstrate God’s love for the sick children.
In a trip to Pucallpa in the summer of 2013, the Ramirez family met with the Cotes and informed them of their plans for a new settlement of hundreds of Shipibos from the interior jungle. These Shipibos desire to move closer to the jungle city due to floods, crop damage, disease, and other dangers. They plan to build a school, church, and soccer field. They asked for the Cote’s permission to name this new village, “Victoria Gracia,” because of the influence of her story on their own. Mark and Kristin humbly accepted this offer and agreed to extend Victoria’s Fund in the new village.
Through various connections, Victoria’s Fund also provides medicines for children at Embracing Hope Ethiopia, a daycare center and school for children of single moms; Judah Quy Home for Precious Little Ones, a ministry for severely medically needy infants in Bolivia; and through a Huichol pastor, Domingo, in Mexico, who distributes medicines and shares the gospel in the remote mountain community of Guadalupe Ocotan. In addition, a scholarship from the fund makes it possible for a young Peruvian woman, Tiffany, to be trained at a Bolivian medical school to become a medical missionary to help children and others.
Victoria’s Fund is a ministry of Zion Church of Millersville. Steven Shepard, of Church Planting International, helps to coordinate the work through Samuel Ramirez in Peru and Pastor Domingo in Mexico.