Sorry for the delay in blogs. Life can be a little more hectic with a newborn! Things are going well at the home. The teachers have been on strike for a couple of weeks now and so our children are enjoying their time out of school. I have found teacher strikes to be a fairly common occurrence in Paraguay. Winter vacation is approaching as well (two weeks in mid-July), so our kids are going to have quite a long time without classes.
We are so excited to announce that House 2 has now opened and we have five children already working on their paperwork to enter the home. They should be arriving any day. We are accepting 8 new children, bringing the total of children in the home to 30. Come back soon to look for updates on the new children!
In May, we celebrated three birthdays. Amado turned 11. Amado is in the fifth grade and is a very good student. He lives in House 3 and is an only child. He is particularly talented with languages and is one of the best English students. He recently made a decision to accept the Lord as his Savior and we are so proud of the young man he is becoming. Miguel turned 14. Miguel has a rare disease, leishmaniasis, and spent several weeks in the hospital earlier this year. He is recovering very well, and has a new confidence and energy that he never had before. Miguel has trouble with reading, but we know that as his self-confidence grows, he will only improve in his studies. Miguel is a great helper for Milciades, our maintenance worker, and loves the time he spends working in maintenance/construction projects. Miguel is in House 3 and is in the sixth grade. He is the home's eldest boy. He has two older siblings that are not in the home. Alejandra turned 9. She is in the first grade and was in House 1, but will be moving to House 2 today with her two sisters. She is a beautiful girl that loves princess toys and jewelry. Because of her severe past abuse, she can be violent with her little sister and she has many moments of emotional outbursts, but we are praying that she will be completely healed of her past emotional scars so that she can grow into a successful young woman.
Amado, Miguel, and Alejandra in their new birthday clothes.
In June, Matias and Thalia celebrated their birthdays. Matias turned 8 and is in the first grade and lives in House 3. He is very smart and active, and only a little mischievous! He is also an only child, although he grew up as the neighbor of some of the other children also in House 3. His behavior over the past several months has changed drastically for the better. We are so happy to see how content Matias is and how he is growing in so many ways. Thalia turned 12. She is in House 1 and is the aunt of four other girls in the home. She is in the second grade since she had never entered school before coming to our home and loves music more than anything. She is great at memorizing the tunes of songs, and loves to sing in English, which often doesn't sound anything like English, but the other kids don't know it isn't correct. She is a joy to be around.
I would also like to say "thank you" to Heather Lutz who lived with us for six months while she taught the children in the home and the school English. She did an amazing job. The children are speaking more English than ever and will certainly miss their new tia (aunt), Heather. As her parting gift for the kids, she presented each of them with their very own Paraguay soccer jersey. I can not tell you how many times each of the children had begged me for a jersey. If you follow sports news at all, you know that Paraguay is one of the final 8 teams in the World Cup, a level the Paraguayan team has never reached before. The country is nearly in pandemonium with joy over their team's victories. The kids are thrilled to be able to wear their country's jersey during the games. Thank you, Heather, for everything. We love you and miss you already!
Heather with the kids in their Paraguay jerseys.