Recently, while working through a delightful devotional on the women of Genesis, the study’s focus was on Isaac and Rebekah’s courtship and marriage. In Genesis 24, Eliezer (Abraham’s servant) begged brother Laban and Bethuel (her father) to let him go away to his master because God had prospered his journey. They in turn, asked Rebekah what she thought and she answered, “I will go.” So they blessed her and sent her on her way. This story is a portrait of Jesus and His bride, the church. At the end of the devotional there was a wedding vow written out. The directions asked you to write your name in the space and repeat the vows as if you were saying them to Christ:
Will you ___, take Jesus to be your God-given husband in this covenant of marriage? Will you love Him? Will you honor Him? And forsaking all others live only unto Him for all of eternity?
After attending Stephen, Jr. & Kendra’s wedding last month, these words really hit home. They speak of covenant, love, honor, and faithfulness. Take a minute and ponder whether or not you are fulfilling your promise to the Lord. If not, renew your vows to Him and choose to live “head over heals” in love with the lover of your soul!
In our last newsletter, we shared about Brayner, a 1 year old we received back in November. His mother is serving a 5 year 4 month prison sentence and is seeking visitation with the toddler. Fortunately, PANI told her that they would not be able to grant those visits. However, his mother has offered a family resource (his grandmother) as a possible option to take custody of the boy. The judge ordered that a psychologist and social worker in the court system do an evaluation on this person. We heard that she was interviewed and is now awaiting a visit from the social worker in order to complete her home study. After talking to the case worker in PANI, she says that the grandmother does not have the resources to care for the baby adequately. Plus, she is the guardian to 2 of Brayner’s older brothers. Pray that God would intervene so that his case can be resolved soon.
Another important prayer request is for siblings Stuard and Josua. These brothers have been declared abandoned by the government, however; their mother has appealed the decision and the case has gone to a higher court. We are waiting to see if the 3 judges that review the case will uphold the ruling of the lower court. If so, the boys file will go directly to adoptions and they will await new parents. Please pray that God’s will be done!
We continue working diligently with Guadalupe, a 6 year old we received last August. We had mentioned before her sketchy background where physical aggression was a “normal” part of her life. This little girl has been the most difficult case we have ever received in all of our history! She came in biting, hitting, kicking, and scratching everyone from kids to adults. She was thrown out of the daycare and not allowed to return without an assistant. Thankfully, Angie Crawford, one of our long term missionaries, stepped up to the plate. She committed to assist Guadalupe until the end of the year. During this time, we saw vast improvement in her behavior. In December, we sought out the help of an occupational therapist and a behavioral therapist. She goes to therapy once a week for two hours. In February, Lupe started first grade and it has been a disaster! Our house parents began receiving notes from the teacher about her conduct in class. Guadalupe had regressed and began hitting her classmates and the teacher. She even had an episode where she turned over the desks in the classroom! Inevitably, the school would call our house parents and they would have to pick her up an hour or so after school started. We finally called a meeting with the Director of the school, her teacher, and our local PANI office. We needed some kind of intervention on her behalf. The school didn’t want her anymore and she has a right to get an education. We had a dilemma on our hands. What to do? We decided to get some medical exams administered at the children’s hospital to determine whether or not she has some kind of condition that we were unaware of. The exams are still in progress. Her school file was sent to the Ministry of Education and she has been approved to be evaluated for a special education school in Cartago. The evaluation will be done over 4 sessions. We pray that the Lord will open the doors for Lupe to get a quality education and hopefully be integrated into a “normal” school next year. Guadalupe has been a challenge for us, but we have learned so much from her. The Lord is teaching us to love unconditionally, serve wholeheartedly, and give passionately even when we are stretched beyond our limit or comfort zone.
On April 1, 2004 (April Fool’s Day), we opened the doors to the homes. We didn’t fully realize what we were getting into. During the past 12 years, we have rescued and served 91 children, who would have otherwise been institutionalized in public homes or ended up God only knows where. Charles Stanley once said: “The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.” We encourage you to continue praying for the children. We do not think that it is by chance that they end up here. We believe that God has brought each one to our doorstep and that He is their Father, protector, and provider. Thanks to all of you who support this ministry through your love, prayers, and gifts. You are helping make a difference in each little life!