I told you last month that the Miriam Home has seen an increase on decrease, a record high on short cakes — a whole lot of little residents. The trend has not abated! At the end of May our littlest girl arrived just five days after she was born!!! I would love to tell you her name, but she didn’t come with one. Her mother, a girl in her early twenties, had already given birth to and given away three children. When she arrived at the hospital to give birth to this child the first thing she told the doctors was she wasn’t going to keep the baby so she didn’t need to see it, she didn’t even want to know if it was a boy or a girl. She just wanted to be free of it and have surgery to not become pregnant again.
The children in the Miriam Home named this precious little girl Maria Vitoria. Looking at her lovely face I can only think that some day her mother is going to come to her senses and realize what she has thrown away—my heart breaks for this lost young woman and I pray that He will reach her heart before it is too late! But I rejoice in this little life we have the honor of loving!
A little older is Natally (she will be two in October). At this young age it is already her second visit to the Miriam Home – she was also here when she was just a few months old. She came to us because of her mother’s alcoholism, but her mom wanted her little girl back and went through a year long recuperation program, and after a month in the recuperation house Natally joined her mother! Everything went very well while they were in the house, but it was just weeks after returning home and being on her own that Natally’s mom went back to old habits. I would never say that Natally’s mom doesn’t love her; it is just that she loves something more.
Our most recent new comers are also old friends. It is so sad to see the same faces over and over again. I’m sure you can imagine that for us it is a disappointment to see children on this tragic Merry-go-Round, but it is much more disappointing for the children. They go home to promises from mom and dad that everything will change, but so often the promise is empty. That is certainly the case for Natalia and her little brothers. Natalia is 10 years old, her brothers are Mateus (7), Eduardo (3) and Willian (2). They were here the end of 2013, when Willian was very little, and it appears that the only thing that has changed is the size of the children. The parents stopped drinking long enough for the judge to let them go home, but not much longer. Natalia and Mateus both failed the school year because they missed so many classes. Natalia couldn’t go to school most days because if she did no one would be home with the two youngest. Here, in the Miriam Home we see how accustomed she is to being “mom”, the first days she gave her brothers their baths before the house mom realized they were up from their naps! That is a lovely, helpful attitude, but it shouldn’t be the automatic obligation.
You see the rocky ground our little ones have been planted in – all of these children have joined us because of their parents addictions to drugs or alcohol. Please pray for our short cakes! And please pray that their parents would find true freedom in Christ Jesus!
June began with a great blessing – the presence of Journey Missions Team!!! Arriving in Campo Mourao (after doing a great job of ministering blessing in Curitiba!) on June 7th, they are staying until the 11th and during these few days they are dong everything from painting and yard work to small child wrangling and praying God’s anointing over the lives of children and staff alike.
This particular Journey team is a little different in that it is made up of, well, everyone! There are singles, couples, a family, kiddos young enough to fix my Google Chrome when I get stuck, and team members old enough to remember Keith Green! This eclectic team brings energy, patience, stamina, wisdom, joy, balance and we are so blessed to have them with us
We want to thank Jon Nelson for bringing this amazing group of people to Brazil, and we want to thank Zion Free in Tioga, ND for sharing Todd and Angie, with Garsee and Luke; Parker, Naomi, Sarah, Kelsey, Matthew and Julia with us! Thank you to Living Faith in Boyerton, PA for sharing Steve and Karen with us. We have seen so much of your hearts shining in the ambassadors you sent!
Another precious part of the Journey Missions Team are the two Short Term Assistants who arrived as part of the team and are staying on with us until August. Jessica Smith (who was here last year with the FLY team) is from Singsaas Free in Hendricks, MN and Sierra Wenning is from Prince of Peace in Beulah, ND. We are so excited to get to work side by side with these lovely young ladies!
Jessica is preparing for her last year at AFLBS and Sierra just graduated from High School and is preparing for university. What an amazing choice these girls have made to lay down their self interests (not mention the all too short mid-western summer!) to come and share God’s love with the children and build up the national staff.
Both the Journey team and our two STA’s are responsible for seeds planted today that will bear amazing fruit tomorrow!
To receive monthly newsletters and prayer requests:
AFLC World Missions Attn: Jonni Sliver, 3110 Medicine Lake Blvd, Plymouth, Mn, 55441
Address in Brazil: Jonni Lynn Sliver, CP 641, Campo Mourao, PR Brazil 87300-970
To make a financial contribution:
Make checks payable to AFLC World Missions and enclose a note that it is for the support of Jonni Sliver; send to the above address. Or give on line at https://www.aflcworldmissions.org/about-us/contributing/online-giving/