Few people in life follow their dreams. Most give these up as a fantasy when we hear negativity or realize that they are impractical.
Not so for Ted and Anita De Tello of Pawnee Rock.
Coming to central Kansas from Hawaii after a stop in Arizona, the couple has purchased the emptied Pawnee Rock public school, and are rebuilding the school into a home for widows, special needs children and orphans.
"The Lord put on my heart to come to middle America," said Ted. The couple had been in Hawaii, beginning in 1998. Both Ted and Anita became discouraged with the social conditions in that state, and after Ted had surgery in Arizona, the couple began their journey by purchasing a motor home.
They both grew up in Pueblo, Colo. Thinking they would return to Colorado, they searched and searched for an emptied school to purchase. That didn’t work out, so they widened their quest.
"We were looking for ‘"Little House on the Prairie,’" said Ted. "We’d never been to Kansas before."
They looked at other schools, but everything fell into place for the purchase of the Pawnee Rock school.
"We saw this school and knew it was the place," said Ted.
After two years, the couple is making their dream come true. The school is paid for and reconstruction and remodeling is well on its way toward completion. Materials and labor have been supplied by Christians in the area.
"Our ministry is very basic," said Ted. "Our mission is to adopt as many children as possible."
The couple adopted two children already and have applied to adopt more in Kansas. They have also made application for nonprofit status.
They are petitioning to be a drop-off for babies. They want to do what they can to make a change, going back to the time where people took care of people.
"The widows living here will be in service," said Anita. "We’ll all be a part of one big family."
"We’re not a crisis center or a nursing facility," said Ted. "Widows can come on their own accord or leave on their own accord."
Ted has a vision for full use of the facility. On the 20 acres, the plan is to add a meditation garden and a prayer walk. They have plans for farm animals, and to make full use of the school, including the gymnasium and theatre.
Central Kansas is now home for the couple.
"We’ve made this our home," said Ted. "We’ve entered into kinship with fellow believers. It was the right decision for us."