LAKE STEVENS — The family achieved their American dream. Now, they’re leaving it behind to care for the needy.
Jonathan and Vanessa Capone grew up in Snohomish. The high school sweethearts married and had four kids.
Jonathan Capone, 34, worked his way up to an upper-management position with HB Jaeger in Snohomish. His first job out of high school was with the distribution company.
Outside of work, he and Vanessa, 32, volunteer as pastors.
They worked diligently and bought their perfect house in Lake Stevens. It overlooks Everett and the water.
However, things changed when they began traveling the world helping those less fortunate than themselves.
They visited Cambodia and Moldova. They also went to towns in Montana and rural Washington, lending their hands on service projects.
Jonathan Capone jokes that they caught the “mission bug.”
Five of their trips were spent in the Philippines. They helped out at an orphanage for Filipino children who had been left to care for themselves.
Those few weeks left an impression, including on the Capone family children. They were adamant about making their stay in Luzon more permanent.
Jonathan Capone enlisted the family to be Assemblies of God missionaries. That means, for the next three years, they will make their home on the Bataan Peninsula.
Their job would be to run the King’s Garden Children’s Home, an orphanage in central Luzon.
Lois Prater, also from Lake Stevens, originally opened the orphanage.
At the age of 76, Prater sold all of her possessions and uprooted to the Philippines.
She had dreamed of being a missionary since she was a young girl.
Prater raised money herself to build the home, and ran it until she was 89.
Many of the kids staying in the orphanage need some sort of protection, Jonathan Capone said.
He spent much of his time with an 11-year-old girl during his last mission trip.
At the time, she had been testifying against her father in court. He was accused of child abuse. The mother had become scared, and ran away. The girl’s father let it be known he was looking for her.
The Capones are working to finish building a concrete wall around King’s Garden. That way, people can’t wander on to the property.
“Through the time we spent with her, she saw she had a safe place,” Jonathan Capone said.
The adjustment to living in King’s Garden is not always speedy.
Some kids would sneak out of their beds after everyone fell asleep and creep down to the kitchen. They would stash away food under their bed.
Regular meals weren’t guaranteed for many before they came to the home.
“Every time we go on these trips, we see these big needs and we come back to our lifestyle and we couldn’t really stay here,” Jonathan Capone said. “We left our hearts (in the Philippines).”
The Capones have rented their home in Lake Stevens and sold most of their possessions in preparation for their journey in the spring.
In the meantime, they have moved into a cabin on Lake Roesiger.
The trip required a $30,000 budget, in addition to a $9,000 monthly budget.
These funds have been set aside for projects at King’s Garden, such as raising livestock and building tilapia farms.
Jonathan Capone also hopes to recruit additional missionaries, counselors and child psychologists.
The four Capone kids will enroll in an international school in Luzon. Outside of classes, they look forward to hanging out at King’s Garden and making friends with the kids.
Family isn’t exclusive to the one they were born into, Jonathan Capone said.
“We may not be a typical family at King’s Garden,” he said, “but we are a family.”
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Capones’ trip, call (425) 330-5560 or email email@example.com.