Gator Carter and his wife Deanna are an American couple who were living out their lives peacefully in San Antonio, Texas when God placed a large mission on their hearts.
Almost 30 years ago, they went on a short mission trip to Mexico that changed their lives forever.
Now owning and operating an orphanage in the small border town of Reynosa, Mexico, Gator and Deanna have radically changed the lives of around 70 children who otherwise would have lived without a home, parents, or unconditional love.
Read the full story to see how the orphanage began, and how they are impacting the town of Reynosa.
Upon visiting a small Mexican town on a mission trip in 1989, Gator and Deanna realized what a large need there was for the love of Jesus to transform the towns and cities of Mexico.
In addition to basic necessities needing to be met, the people of Mexico, especially the children, were in need of the overwhelming love of Christ.
Gator and Deanna began to awaken to the stirring of God’s heart towards his children in Reynosa, and not long after, they became confident in their calling to open a children’s home of their own.
Gator and Deanna did not have the experience, finances, nor knowledge to make this vision a reality, so they simply began to pray.
Waiting for clear direction, they began researching and asking the practical questions of how to open an orphanage in Mexico.
After some time, a large donation was given to Gator and Deanna anonymously. God had directly provided the means to make their mission a reality!
This money provided the Carter’s the means to purchase a building for their future children’s home, as well as to begin gathering the materials, paperwork, and all other components needed to start the home.
After finding the perfect location and purchasing the home, there were many structural, foundational, and cosmetic problems that would need to be dealt with before the orphanage could open.
Gator put the needs of the “new” home simply in an interview: “It needed a lot of work.”
Three weeks into beginning the construction on the building in preparation of its opening, the Carter’s were overwhelmed with the amount of work that needed to be done.
They did not have any people to ask for funding, so they simply started to write down all that was needed to be purchased and completed.
That same week, a missionary team from America was coming to assist in the massive undertaking of prepping the home for the children that would soon fill its halls.
When the mission group arrived at the site of the future home, along with them came one man, unknown to the Carters or the mission team.
He went straight up to Gator and asked him simply, “What do you need?” After some discussion, Gator eventually showed him the list of items that they needed for the building.
The man took the list and said that he would return the next day.
Upon awaking in the morning, Gator found the man outside with a truck full of all the supplies and materials that had been on the list. The mysterious man had bought everything that they needed.
God continued to provide for the Carters, in all different areas- physically with mission teams, financially with blessings, and emotionally with support from many different places, enabling them to bring their vision to life.
In 2000, the Carters had officially opened the orphanage. They chose the name Big Heart to symbolize the love that the Father has for his children, but one could also look upon the hearts of Gator and Deanna and see the orphanage’s name personified.
For the past 20 years, Big Heart Orphanage has been serving and loving on children in one of the poorest parts of Mexico.
Gator and his wife made the choice to run the orphanage not focusing simply on the number of children housed, but instead on the quality of care they could give to each child.
This quality leaves all who visit impressed with what God’s best can really be for his children, and inspires them to love their communities in a similar way.
Since 2000, over 70 children’s lives have been impacted through the provision of quality education, nutritious meals, love, a nurturing family environment, and most importantly, the opportunity to know Christ.
Gator and Deanna focus on giving every child the tools and skills necessary to achieve their full potential, as well as the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior.
You can visit their page to learn more, and if you feel led, donate to support their ministry and the children in the Big Heart home: https://www.bigheartorphanage.org/