First let me introduce you to our three new children:
Oscar and Jonathan are brothers. Oscar is 8 and Jonathan is 6. Their sister Deborah, who is 10, arrived in the home in February. Oscar and Jonathan, who had previously been living in other children's homes or with other families, were back living with their mother on the street. The representative of a feeding center where the children were eating contacted me about bringing the boys to live with Deborah. It was perfect timing with the opening of the new home, so Deborah moved out of House 3 and into the new home (House 2) so that she could be with her brothers. The boys are doing very well so far and Deborah is very happy to have her siblings with her again.
Oscar, Deborah, and Jonathan discovering the basketball!
Yesterday, Antonio arrived. He is also a relative of one of our children. His uncle, Miguel, is our oldest boy in the home. Antonio arrived and was able to take Deborah's place in House 3 to be in the same house as his uncle. Antonio is 9 and in the second grade. Miguel and Antonio are so excited to be together again. Antonio had been waiting several months for a space to open so that he could come to the home. His mother and grandmother (Miguel's mom) are both single mothers that work, mainly selling food on the streets. While at work, the boys remained at home unattended. We are so glad that Antonio is now in a safer environment and able to be with his uncle Miguel.
Antonio and his uncle, Miguel!
There are two more children scheduled for an interview and two that we are simply waiting for them to finish necessary paperwork and arrive. After they are settled in, I will post another update so you can meet them.
I would also like to share a little of my personal thoughts. There are days when I just forget what it is that we are really doing here in Paraguay. I forget exactly where these children came from, and why what we are doing is so desperately necessary. Then, there are days that remind me why God has brought Shaun and I to Paraguay.
I was talking with Nayeli last week and after looking at our dog, she told me that one time she and Junior (her brother) ate dog food. Without really thinking, I asked, "Why would you eat dog food?" She looked down at her feet and replied quietly, "because we were hungry." So many of our children come to the home from horrible circumstances, situations where they not only face hunger and abandonment, but worse, the children that came from homes where they were being daily beaten or raped.
We are so thankful that our friends Joe and Jayne Martinez came to serve in the children's home. In Joe's counselling sessions we are really finding out more and more details about the kids' pasts- situations that they were never able to share before. I trust the Lord to use us, Joe and Jayne, and the other workers in the home to teach these children to trust again and to help them heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I often do not share the details of the children's pasts because we do not in any way want to exploit these precious children that have been entrusted to us. But, we need your prayers. The issues that our children are facing- the hurt they carry with them from the past- will not disappear without miraculous changes and healing in their lives. As Christians, we know that the Lord is the only one that can truly and completely heal them. Would you pray with us that each child in our home would come to know the Lord as their Savior, that they would be completely healed of their past hurts, not only emotionally and spiritually, but also of the physical damage that was done to them, that our house parents would have a passion for their work and wisdom in dealing with the children, and that every child would grow up to be responsible, honest, successful, kind, and loving?