Coral Backpack

By: Maddie Hayes

Maddie is a Kennesaw State University student and a Saving Susan Ministry Intern  for the Summer 2018. Here, she describes one of the many experiences at House of Hope Zacapa in Guatemala that impacted her life.

I had the privilege of traveling to House of Hope Zacapa in Guatemala this past April with Saving Susan Ministry and NorthStar Church. It was definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had and I believe God showed me many things that will impact me throughout the rest of my life. Meeting and bonding with the children of House of Hope Zacapa was eye opening and heart-warming. Learning about the culture and experiencing it first hand was a huge bonus for me as well. After four days of spending time with the children, we gave each of them a personalized bag filled with little toys, trinkets, and clothes. Each bag was specifically made for each individual child; they were filled to the brim with each child’s favorite color, superhero, activity, or toy. We handed out the bags accordingly, and watched the kids open their gifts. They were all excitedly running around showing the mission team all their new belongings. The kids were ecstatic about receiving sparkly pencils, toy cars, basketballs, and new outfits. It truly warmed my heart to see them so genuinely filled with joy.

When we arrived, we were informed that House of Hope Zacapa had taken in a few new children right before we got to Guatemala. Because of this, Saving Susan Ministry was scrambling to put together a few bags filled with gifts for the new arrivals. The new children received more simple bags and gifts due to the mission team being unaware of their arrival. One of the new children, Abby, received a bright coral backpack filled with a few pencils, small trinkets, and other small gifts; it was a more modest bag compared to some of the other bags the other children received. To our surprise, Abby burst into tears. The mission team was in shock and we were all upset because we assumed that we did not provide enough for her based on her response. We thought she felt neglected, forgotten, and pushed aside; when honestly, we just weren’t aware of her coming to The House of Hope Zacapa until it was too late. One of our team members went over to this sobbing, curled up girl in the corner and asked her why she was crying. She proceeded to tell us she had never been given anything before. From anyone. She was overwhelmed with a few colored pencils and a few small gifts. We realized that her tears were not tears of sadness, rather tears of overwhelming joy! This is the type of gratefulness I loved to witness first-hand while at House of Hope Zacapa.

Seeing this situation unfold really put things into perspective for me. I should be filled with this overwhelming gratitude every day. I should be thanking God every day for waking me up and providing for me. Abby has no idea how much of an impact she had on me that day. Who knew that a bright coral backpack filled with a few sparkly pencils could have such an impact on so many lives.

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
— 1 Chronicles 29:13

Telling of the Wonderful Things

We proclaim how great you are and tell of the wonderful things you have done. Psalm 75:1

We have much to praise God about and much to be thankful. (1 Chronicles 16:34)
Saving Susan Ministry exists because God gave our Founder, Jay a plan through heartbreak
after meeting Vichika, aka Susan. He has given us the opportunity to serve these children who
have no hope of adoption or a “normal” family as we know.
There is one constant we have seen the Lord do and believe it is because of our need to be in
prayer from our desire to seek HIS guidance continually. God, our Father is constant (Hebrews
13:8) in blessing this ministry with more than we can ask or imagine. He often answers our
prayers in ways that are bigger than we vision and through most surprising methods.
The year of 2017 brought CHALLENGES we did not desire-however HE is faithful; new ministry
PARTNERS -we are grateful; RESOURCES we did not expect-we are delighted and most of all
new PARENT PARTNERS-stepping into the lives of these children God has called us to care
We share our “Year in Review” from a place of humility and it may sound cliche but all the
Praise and Glory goes to God our Father. We continue to pray He finds us humble and willing
to follow where He leads. (Ruth 1:16b)
So we invite you to take a break a few minutes, learn what the Lord has done in 2017 and pray
for us in 2018!

2017 Year in Review

Saving Susan Parent Partners
● 26 children in the Parent Partner Program since ministry inception
● 6 new children connected with Parent Partners this year
● 3 Families requested application and in process at year end

Saving Susan Next Steps
● 2 students in Medical School
● 1 student attended Highlands Bible College in Phnom Penh
● 1 student attending university to become a teacher
● 1 student completed Liberty University Onlin English class
● 1 student enrolled in the course and 1 pending
All students are still supported by their Parent Partners!

Saving Susan Gives
● 8 bags of sports equipment were donated for baseball and lacrosse teams
● Shipping container of baseball equipment from our community supporting FCA Initiative
● Funds and personal letters were delivered for Christmas Parties for 3 orphanages
● 30 Passenger Bus Fundraiser Complete!
● 3 music academies were established and funding for music teachers raised
○ Donated nearly 100 music instruments
● 45 new pairs of shoes for two orphanage
● 5 donated laptops for the kids

Saving Susan Goes
● 1 Mission Trip to Cambodia this year
● 30 people served 7 ministries in two cities for 9 days
● The team gifted every ministry with a unique and specific gifts
○ Held our second annual baseball tournament in country
○ Served at a dump site and widows island
○ Held 2 medical missions
○ 3 VBS days for over 100 kids
○ Sports clinic

Saving Susan Together
This year we partnered with these organizations to accomplish big things TOGETHER
● Fellowship of Christian Athletes
● Sanctuary Church
● NorthStar Church
● 1 Source Intl and YPCK
● Numerous Individual & Corporate Sponsors

12 Monthly Prayer Meetings
Seeking our Father is our most valuable work

70 Children

were blessed with music, school supplies, sports equipment,
technology, shoes and love

26 Children

grew deeper in relationship WEEKLY with THEIR FAMILIES. Someone told
them who they were in their heavenly Father's eyes and what Christ did for
THEM regularly. They worked through discipline issues and learned about
grace and forgiveness. They celebrated successes in sports and in school
and were encouraged through disappointment.

Will you join us today to continue this great immeasurably more?
Now to HIM who is able to do MMEASURABLY MOR than all
we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

EPH 3:20

Education in Ministry at Saving Susan

   Education is one of the most important programs to help us achieve our Mission to “Connect orphans in third world countries with loving Christian families through relational support to reverse the effects of orphan abandonment”. We have focused our education efforts in Music education and English & Secondary education.

Music Academy:

    We have established 3 music academies and provided nearly 100 instruments to our orphanages in Cambodia and Guatemala. Through the generous support of our donors, Saving Susan Ministry hires local people to come in and teach our children instrument and voice lessons. During our trip to Cambodia, this summer our team was delighted to see the children put on a “Saving Susan’s Got Talent” show to share all they had learned. Music is a way of worshipping and an amazing way that our children can express themselves, build self-confidence and serve our Lord through music.

“Come, let us sing for the Lord”  Psalms 95:1a

English & Secondary Education:

English education is another important part of our ministry. We have an amazing partnership with Liberty University. Through a unique pilot program with Saving Susan Ministry, they are helping us assess every sponsored child and potentially take English classes through their online program. Equipping these children with the ability to read, write and speak fluent English greatly increases their potential of getting a good quality job that will help break the cycle of poverty for them and their families.

Please prayerfully consider how you might partner with us in 2018 to further these or other Saving Susan Ministry Program.

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Instagram!

Check out our website!

2018 Saving Susan Ministry Mission Trips

   We are so excited about our 2018 Mission trips and want to invite you to share in the excitement with us.

    We are starting our travels in Cambodia as our co-founders Jay and Tracy Arntzen travel with SERV International, to explore how we might collaborate to better serve with our ministry partners there. SERV International is a nonprofit based out of Canton, GA, that focuses on “giving people the opportunity to see and experience life in a whole new way” through 4 essentials of Food, Water, Shelter, and Life. This will be an opportunity for SSM and SERV to broaden our connections and relationships in Cambodia to the benefit of the children and our ministry partners there.

    We are also very excited about Spring Break this year! Who wants to spend it with us serving in Guatemala? We are headed to House of Hope Zacapa the first week in April. This is an amazing opportunity to meet our children and help with our growing Music Academy!

    June will also be an important month for us as our co-founders are headed to Africa where they will be visiting House of Hope Kenya with our SERV International friends. This will be a “Discovery Trip” to determine if this might be the place God is calling us to expand our ministry impact. Please be in prayer for us as we seek direction.

    Finally, we conclude our trips by taking another team to Cambodia. Last year we had thirty people say yes to the Call and serve with us in Cambodia. The trip was nothing short of amazing. This year’s trip is planned for early August and will be full of service opportunities, building relationships with the kids and our ministry partners and attending the graduation ceremony at Bileg Solid Rock Academy.

    We are so excited about our trips this year.   We know we will forge new relationships as God leads us and also continue to grow those we have already established. We would love for you to be in prayer about joining us in April or August.  For more information, check out our website at or send us a message on Facebook.

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Instagram!

Check out our website!

Thankful this Thanksgiving!

Being the thankful time of year I ask myself, what am I thankful for in my everyday?  The answer is simple; my worth is secure in Christ and the consistent faithfulness of God in my life.

Saving Susan Ministry is approaching the 3-year mark and we have much to reflect upon, much to be thankful for. We are thankful for children's' lives being changed, awareness to the plight of orphans, reversing abandonment, global friendships, ministry partners, mission team members, the messy of ministry in the 3rd world, donors, parent partners and our own hearts changed.   

Hopefully, we reflect Jesus Christ a bit more than 3 years ago.

The ONE thing that stands out most of what I am most thankful for in this ministry is very clear…. “ANSWERED PRAYERS!” 

Over the last 3 years, the best work we have done is our prayer work. We have attempted to pray about everything and have experienced God’s guidance and glory beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. (Eph. 3:20) I am thankful for the faithful prayer warriors and how often we have the opportunity to see God answer our prayers, often very different from what we envisioned.

Thank you for your support and we ask when saying your prayers you remember to lift the children and families of Saving Susan Ministry up to the Lord God Almighty. 

"Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need"

                                                                                 -E.M. Bounds

“Oh Lord let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants” Nehemiah 1:11


                                                                                                Tracy Arntzen, Co-Founder

November 2017 Prayer Focus

Saving Susan Ministry Prayer Focus for November

Ps. 5:12 For you, O Lord will bless the righteous with favor. You will surround him as with a shield.


Next Steps 3 kids in college 2 in medical school, thankful for funding; strength in their new environment; Meeting with Liberty University


Prov. 3:5-6 Don’t put your confidence in your own understanding.  Submit everything to Him and He will direct your paths


Parent Partners; funding for programs; new partner relationships; open doors


Ps. 31:3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

Reveal and Strengthen our Focus-

one child one step

Ps. 115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory. Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth


Gods Glory-

show us Your hand in a mighty way as You have been faithful to this work and to the world 

A Word From the Director

Greetings in the name of Christ!
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now”.

Does that greeting sound familiar? It a sentiment that the Apostle Paul included at the beginning of many letters he wrote to the early churches. While sometimes hard to understand Paul, this greeting is easily understood and aptly describes my heart for those who are a part of Saving Susan Ministry.

I am privileged to have joined the Saving Susan Ministry team as Executive Director in May after retiring from a 19-year career in Sales and Marketing with Coca-Cola.  As I pondered retirement, I was praying for God to open a door for me to continue to live a “life of significance” after running the race of my secular career. I have been friends with our Saving Susan Founders, Jay and Tracy for 6 years. When they approached me about joining them in their ministry, my heart literally jumped in my chest at the answer to my prayer. Since that time, much has transpired in my first 100 days.

I have gotten better acquainted with the SSM team (Jay, Tracy, Sarah, Dawn) and now feel more like family than a work group. I have been blessed to be a part of our monthly prayer meetings led by Cathy Russo, one of the strongest prayer warriors I have ever met. I have met with Parent Partners, Financial Donors, Board Members and Key Ministry Partners
and understand the important role that each plays to make our ministry effective. But the most impactful experience in my first 100 days was joining the SSM team in partnership with Sanctuary church on an 8-day Mission Trip to Cambodia visiting our 2 Partner Orphanages and seeing in person the positive impact of Saving Susan Ministry and Parent Partners on these children. The children that have Godly and loving Parent Partner families are truly blessed and you can see the
difference on their faces and in their educational, social and spiritual growth.

On a very personal level, what the trip did for me was to move the knowledge of Saving Susan Ministry I had in my “brain” to a very deep heartfelt and spiritual understanding. Being there in person and seeing the vision that Jay and Tracy cast come to life in the eyes and hearts of the kids and orphanage leadership cannot be expressed in words. I relate it to the difference in seeing the Grand Canyon in a postcard vs being physically there and overwhelmed by its beauty as you
watch the sun rise and paint colors you have never seen before on the canyon walls.

So, let me close by explaining why Paul’s greeting aptly describes my heart for each of you. None of what we do is possible without your support. Because of your prayers, financial support and being an ambassador of our ministry with others, we currently have 24 children connected with Parent Partner families. But there is much to be done as we still have 34 waiting on a family to answer the call. So, I thank you for your support of the ministry and ask you to consider
what might be a next step in faith for you to help expand our vision of Connecting Children in need with loving and Godly Parent Partners.

Thank you for your support of our ministry and I can’t wait to report on what has been accomplished over the next 100 days!


Steve Malandro
Executive Director
Saving Susan Ministry

Sunday Family Lunch

Sunday October 1st Saving Susan Ministry hosted their first Parent Partner Appreciation event.  It was an incredibly sweet and intimate time with Parent Partners, Board Members, and supporters.  The goal was to invite a few members from various circles of the SSM community to start to deepen the bonds between all of us.  We know that growing in relationship here will help build better support for our family around the world.

The organizers didn't have much planned outside of a luncheon with good food, great company, and a small recap of where SSM was at and hoping to go in the near future.  What we actually got was a cozy Sunday lunch with people sharing sweet stories about their connections to SSM. 

Personally, as I looked around the table I saw people who may not normally interact with one another sharing laughs and stories about their kids, their in country experiences, or sharing something personal to them that the other may not have experienced.  It felt just like a typical family Sunday lunch. 

And that is what Saving Susan is all about.  In an effort to reverse the effects of orphan abandonment we are building families.  Yes our small family units with one family and one child, but also the strong relationships we work to build with the orphanages and directors, and the community we are working to encourage here as we work through the highs and lows that come with Parent Partnering these sweet orphans.


We are looking forward to more events like this one every few months.  We love the people we do ministry with and enjoy making time to celebrate all you do.





October 2017 Prayer Focus


Psalm 68: 4-6

Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him. A Father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows is God in Him holy habitation. GOD MAKES A HOME FOR THE LONELY; HE LEADS OUT THE PRISONERS INTO PROSPERITY, only the rebellious dwell in parched land. 

Jer. 33:2-3

Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU, AND I WILL TELL YOU GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS, WHICH YOU DO NOT KNOW.

John: 14:26-27

But the Helper, the Holy spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world fives do I give to you, do not let your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful.

With these scriptures in mind please pray for:

The SSM Community- Praise for PP Appreciation luncheon; guidance for continued growth in this area of community connection – Ambassador Program – Mom Joy recovering from surgery

Wisdom – Ministry direction-orphans to place next- leadership team and board involvement

New Parent Partners- Applications in process- how to reach new families to PP

Children: Those studying and preparing for college entrance exams, children of Haley’s House, that God will fill their hearts.

Cambodia Reflections

By: Caleb Turner

My whole life, I have wanted to go on a mission trip, so naturally, I assumed that it would never happen. I was wrong, and it turned out that God had a plan for me to go to Cambodia in July of 2017. This trip taught me so much about love and trusting my heavenly father, and I can honestly say it was the most fulfilling week of my life.

What is your favorite memory?

Since I have been home, I have been asked multiple times the question, “What is your favorite memory?”. This however, is an incredibly difficult question to answer, due to the fact that that this entire journey was one big, beautiful moment in my life. Nevertheless, my obvious conclusion to this question is, people. These beautiful Cambodian people had so much less than I do, yet they beamed with the Joy of the Lord. The orphans showed me real love that did not discriminate, and did not care about who I had been in the past. Their hearts burned for Jesus, and they didn’t care who heard them singing His praise. I will never forget these awesome children of God.

What was the hardest part?

On a different note, I remember hearing various concerns or worries, but for me I could not find a single fault in this trip. Every second in Cambodia seemed as if I was living in heaven without worry, anger, fear, or anything else that normally plagues my life. It may sound cliche, sappy, or whatever, but the truth is that the only difficult part of this experience was leaving. From the moment I awoke on our final day overseas a sadness took hold of me. I knew that later on I would be saying goodbye to the people and place I had come to love. Many tears were shed, and it took me over a week to feel somewhat content with my life in Georgia. Fortunately, I had an amazing team of God loving people that became my family, and they encouraged me and motivated me to stay in touch with themselves, and our friends in Cambodia.

What’s next for you with Cambodia?

This desire to maintain contact with friends led me to create a Facebook in order to communicate with them. Not only that, but I have prayed daily since our return, for all the people I came to know. I pray that God will encourage, bless, and protect these beloved Christ followers in Cambodia. Yet, this is not the only request I have made to my King. Every week, I implore Him to allow me to revisit my family across the globe, and I know He hears me. Only time will tell if God has planned another life-changing adventure for me, in Cambodia.