Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Esteban's Healing

I love when God changes my mind. I used to think that I could do this Christian walk on my own, and I carried an attitude of 'I don't need anybody, God is all I need!'.  I think part of where this attitude came from was because of my lack of trust in people. But God has slowly been changing my heart and my way of thinking, because although I still think that it may be possible, I don't believe that that's how God wants us to live, doing it on our own. I've started to see more and more in the past few years how important it is to be surrounded by the Body of believers.

God's word encourages us to meet together, and pray together. "For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them" Matt 18:20.  

God wants us to worship and fellowship together, to encourage and teach one another."And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Heb 10:24,25.

 And, God wants us to help each other when in need. One of the greatest ways God works in our lives is through other people. And there is never nothing we can do to help when a brother or sister is in need; We can Always pray, in fact prayer should always be an automatic response when we see someone in need....I have seen God work many miracles through the power of prayer. But, sometimes there are situations where God calls us to do more than pray...

"Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?" (James 2:15, 16) 

We're praising God for Esteban's healing. It was through the prayers of many, lifted up to heaven, and, those who were able to do more to help, stepping out in faith and taking action, that God worked out Esteban's healing. The trip to Trujillo our small team took for the second blood donation was a success!  There was enough blood donated for Esteban to be able to have the surgery to remove the tumor. He is now cancer free and on the mend!! Thank You Lord!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Not so Happy Mothers Day

Mothers Day is one of the biggest and most celebrated holidays in Peru.  One of the first thing we learned when we moved here was that Peruvians LOVE to throw parties and celebrate. And they like to go all out, with games and dancing, presents, and of course lots of food. Well, we celebrated Feliz Dia de la Madre for close to a full week!  I felt very loved and special, but honestly I was glad when it was over.  I'm really not much of a party person... for me just knowing that I'm appreciated for all I do as a mom is enough.

dancing for the mamas :)
Generation of Leaders school program

All the Casa de Paz mamas dancing
Putting on a skit

Fun games
A traditional Spanish Ballad


The kids from our school "Generation of Leaders" came to the orphanage to put on a show for the mamas. It was a full house, everyone was dressed up, and each mom received a pretty rose pin as they came in.  The kids did an amazing job.... some sang songs, some put on little skits, and to end it off there was a hot meal for everyone.  It was a great day filled with love and laughter, but there was also another side, an unspoken sadness... The kids love and adore their Casa de Paz mamas, there's no doubt about that, but that doesn't mean they don't think about their biological mothers, especially on Mother's Day. I remember this from last year, it was the first time in my life where I actually thought about what mothers day must be like for kids with no moms, or even worse - kids with moms who abused and abandoned them. I can only begin to imagine what some of the kids at Casa de Paz must be feeling when they think of their mothers.  Hurt, betrayed, disappointment, unwanted. And at the same time they just miss their moms. This year there was one girl in particular who I noticed was extra quiet and often withdrew from the crowds during the celebrations. My heart aches for her. I want to make it all better for her, but I don't know how. So I did what I always do when I see one of the kids crying, I just held her, and spoke words of life to her. "You are loved, you are wanted, you are important, you are a child of God and He has a great purpose for your life.  

As she wept on my shoulder I thought about her story... 14 years old, oldest of 5 siblings...Their father had a job that required for him to be away from home a lot, leaving the kids in their mothers care, and that's where the problem was - they did not receive any care from their mother. I don't know all the details but I can imagine that this beautiful young girl was the one caring for her 4 younger siblings, the youngest being an 6 month old baby. Their father is now fighting to regain custody, and visits now and then, but the kids have not seen their mother since arriving at Casa de Paz almost a year ago.

I can't help but be furious every time I hear stories like this. Just a couple days after Mothers Day we had another little boy brought to us. His own mother had beaten him to the point where he had to be brought to the hospital and bandaged up. It is one thing to hear about men abusing children, but mothers?!?! When I think 'mother' I think Protect, Nurture, Teach, Love...At least that's the kind of care I remember receiving from my mom, and it's the kind of mom I try to be to my own kids.

But as much as I feel anger toward these unfit mothers, the Lord is showing me a new side of it, causing me to feel sadness, and even compassion for them as well.

Every time I cry out to God on behalf of these children, asking why God? How? I don't understand! He replies "Exactly, you don't understand. It is not your job to understand. Your job is to love. No matter what."

And I ask "Okay, well how am I supposed to love these abusive mothers?" And He replies "Pray for them.  LOVE your enemies and PRAY for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:44)

So I pray. And as I've been praying for them, I'm seeing more and more that God loves them and this was never His plan for their life, and it was never their plan for their life. There is a lot of brokenness and pain, there are demons that need to be driven out, spiritual strongholds that need to be broken.... There is a lot of healing that needs to happen. There are moms out there who don't know Jesus, some who might not ever even have heard of Him...

So I pray.

Why We're Here

It's been a while since we've gotten a new child, mostly because the judges are on strike... But another one was just rescued from a bad bad situation. This little guy from our own town, Pacasmayo,  lived with his step father and his own mother. When his step father is gone his mother beats him with a stick, and this time so bad that the police were called and the child rescued. What broke my heart the most is the smile on the little boys face, even when I asked him what happened and he explains that his mom beat him, he talked as if it was just another day. If someone deliberately hits and abuses my kids I get pretty ticked, imagine how Daddy God feels when someone beats one of his littles ones. Seeing this makes it all so fresh again why we're here. Please pray for everyone who needs a home to find us.
God bless you in Jesus name amen.