Roger & Isha Hulford – Founders Operation Restoration
Operation Restoration was founded in 1991 by Roger Hulford, a former police officer from England, and his wife Isha, when they felt God’s call to work among street children in Latin America. Starting with a street outreach team of less than 5 people, today there are 22 full time staff working with over 500 children each year in Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas.
Throughout the 30 years that we’ve worked in this community, we’ve experimented with different strategies – bringing teams of volunteers from the US and the UK, hosting yearlong internships, forging relationships with other local ministries – all of these approaches were great for our wonderful volunteers, yet it became increasingly apparent that in fact, it’s not the best way to work with children who have experienced extreme trauma and rejection.
Over the past ten years, Operation Restoration has transformed into a locally-led, 100% Bolivian ministry. There is virtually no turnover in personnel, so the team can create lasting relationships with the street children. They know us, they trust us – they look for us when we’re out, they bring us to friends that they’re worried about – and they know we’re always there for them.
Roger and Isha continue to oversee the ministry, dividing their time between the UK and the United States – raising awareness and resources – and Bolivia, working with the many volunteers who continue to come each year to add resources and complete special projects.
Santa Cruz is the fastest-growing city in South America, and life in general is improving for much of the local population. Yet the grueling, unrelenting poverty that still plagues the less fortunate leads to a life of daily misery and trauma for the thousands of children living on the streets here.
Until global poverty is eradicated, there will always be street children. And while there are street children here in Santa Cruz, Operation Restoration will be here.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’
We believe in salvation, but also in restoration – children born into poverty and violence deserve to have life to the full. Every child is loved by God, and therefore we aim to love them as God loves us.
Our mission is restoration. We bring hope and healing to each child so that they may discover their talents and gifts, as well as their dreams – as they come to believe that God is who He says He is, and they are valued, just as they are.
We come from many denominations, and we bring a holistic view of healing – mind, body and spirit. We partner with each child, no matter how long it takes, as they emerge from a life of misery and crushed self-esteem to a life without limits, realizing their potential and purpose as a child of God.
‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?’