The Beginning of Miracles
It started with a desire to give their lives to caring for children who are hurting, and a faith that God would provide all they needed. Rev. James and Vera Dingman (Uncle Jim and Aunt Vera) had spent their lives serving those forgotten by society: the sick, the poorest of the poor, migrant families and those in prison. They were grandparents with no income, 11 years of mortgage payments, no electricity and a well with a broken pump.
For 17 years, Uncle Jim and Aunt Vera prayed for a place where they could care for homeless children. Then the answer to their prayers came in 1953, when they sold their home, and with the help of the Mesa Optimist Club, made a down-payment on 125 acres of Arizona desert with a few run-down buildings.
“That day we both felt that we should never solicit money, a board or a brick, and that no child would ever be turned away for financial reasons. God impressed upon us very strongly that this was His work. We were to take care of the children, and He would take care of the finances,” Aunt Vera wrote.
So in 1954, Uncle Jim and Aunt Vera opened Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, which became the beginning of the Miracle
in the Desert.
Even today children are not turned away for financial reasons. Sunshine Acres does not receive government support for the children and though we are donor funded, we do no fundraising/solicitation for ourselves. Many friends, businesses, churches and volunteers contribute and host fundraising events on behalf of the home – proof that God is still working miracles in the desert.