Love Without Borders: Local woman logs miles to help children in need

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Sara Danville's weekdays are full of paperwork. 

Her weekends are a different story. 

Nearly every weekend Danville travels more than 250 miles to Tijuana, Mexico. 

"I'm hooked.  I love these kids and I can't stay away," Sara Danville said. 

Armed with food, clothes and God Danville loves and supports nearly 50 children at  Casa Hogar Sonrisa de Angeles. 

Translated in English, Angels Smile Children's Home. 

"I just want to change lives," Danville said. 

Her Lutheran faith and God called her to the children's orphanage exactly one year ago. 

"Love has no borders and if you open up your heart to God and let him guide you where he wants you, then help wherever he wants you.  No matter if it's in a foreign country, if it's with children," Danville said. 

Madre Liliana Camacho runs the orphanage on faith. 

"My job and mission is to make them smile," Madre Liliana Camacho said. 

Smiles that otherwise might not be.

"Some of these kids have had some rough lives and have had some difficulties," Danville said. 

The children have been abandoned by their families, some of them physically and sexually abused. 

Their lives without the orphanage would be grim.

"I want to make a difference in the lives of these children.  I want to teach them values.  I want to teach them to stay out of prison so they don't end up in places with people I see on a daily basis," Danville said. 

The orphanage doesn't receive any funding or help from Mexico 

The cupboards are often bare. 

The children have one set of clothes each and many wear soccer cleats as shoes. 

Hot water is a luxury.

And their main mode of transportation is a nearly 20-year-old eight passenger van which typically transports 20 children or more at a time and that's if it starts. 

"I want to be a steady presence in their lives.  They know that they can count on me for whatever it is they need, whether it's to kiss a boo boo or go buy them milk or anything greater or smaller," Danville said. 

Madre Lili calls Danville an angel. 

"Before she goes home she always takes me to buy milk, eggs and everything that missing," Madre Lili said. 

Danville said it is Madre Lili and the children who are the angels. 

"Look what god did with Saul when he turned him into Paul.  You never know if the next Saul who is going to be Paul is in Casa Hogar so you can never give up on them," Danville said. 

Danville said she is just a vessel, committed to teaching the children how to live for the Lord. 

"I've never seen an American woman that is that splendid.  If one day God calls for me I know that the kids won't be alone," Madre Lili said. 

Providing love, faith, structure and other daily necessities to the children Danville has essentially become a parent. 

A unique twist for a woman who said she never wanted kids.

"It's true.  I've never felt love like this.  Some people say oh it's so great and you're so selfless.  I say i'm not selfless.  I get more love out of these children than I've ever had in my entire life," Danville said. 

Danville said it shows Gods plans for her are bigger and greater than she could have ever known.

"Follow your heart and let go.  Let it lead you to help wherever he wants you to help," Danville said. 

His work and her work are not done. 

"As long as God wants me here.  If I'm 70 and can still make it, then I'm going to be 70 and still make it," Danville said. 

Madre Lili is coming to Bakersfield Sunday May 21.  

She will give a sermon at the church Danville attends. 

That services is 9:30 Sunday morning at the Redeemer Luthran Church on Bell Terrace. 

Those interested in attending or donating to Casa Hogar should email Danville at



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