Love is in the Air
God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing. Ps. 68:6
Since we are fast approaching Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about the heart. Most of us, reading this letter, are firmly convinced that we are loved. Our families, imperfect though they are, find ways to express their affection every day. So, a lovely bouquet, a favorite perfume or dinner in a fancy restaurant are fun reminders of a truth already known. But when those nearest to us don’t know how to express their love, or when the hurt and despair in our family leaves no room for love, a Hallmark moment just isn’t enough! What a blessing that we have a Father who truly understands our hearts, sees our deepest needs and has a plan for each one of us, to be built up in His love.
Vitor is a great example. You have been following his adventures over the last year. Ten years old, smart as a whip and two years behind in school, because he simply didn’t go to school if he didn’t feel like it (and 9 year olds seldom feel like it!). Since he came to the Miriam Home Vitor went to school every day; sadly we often got calls telling us that somewhere in the middle of the second class Vitor decided that school was boring and he had jumped the fence. We would find him in the park near the school, or just sitting in front of the school, waiting for us to pick him up. Whatever came in to his mind to do, he did – that is what he had learned from his father and how he lived with us.
The end of last year Vitor entered the adopting list. Because of his age, and his challenging behavior we were concerned that it might take a long time for him to leave that list, but the very first week of January a couple called us, wanting to meet Vitor. Rita and Amarildo are from a city three hours away (a blessing, as Vitor’s father alternates between acceptance and fury, depending on the state of his sobriety), and had been trying to have children for years. Now, as they prepare to adopt, they didn’t want a child, they want their child; the one God had prepared for them. They spent a week-end here, getting to know Vitor. The next week-end they invited him to visit their home. The next Monday, when Vitor returned to Campo Mourão, they entered into contact with the courts asking for Vitor to stay with them during the weeks that it takes for the adoption to be processed, so that he could start the school year with them.
Vitor joined them in time to celebrate his 10th birthday with his new family. We have received phone calls and messages from both Rita and Vitor, telling us about their adventures. There have been challenges and there have been victories. What an amazing blessing to see this family formed by God’s hand!
We have other children in similar situations, and Vitor’s blessing is an encouragement for some and confusing for others. Cristiano is 11 years old, and is thrilled! He has been with us almost as long as Vitor and just recently learned that a family has come to meet him. He looks at Vitor and is dreaming that it is now his turn to find a family.
Izabeli is six years old and is having a harder time right now. We have received several new children and attention has to be shared. This week she came to me, quite peeved, hands on her hips, demanding to know why we didn’t let people come to see her. It is hard for most of us to wait for a prize that is coming, but we don’t know when. How much more for a little girl, that just wants a family of her own.
Thank you for praying for all of our kiddos, and especially for those waiting and waiting to learn what it is to go “home”.
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD! Ps. 113:9
More To Love
I mentioned last month that the Miriam Home was pretty quiet at the end of last year. It only took a couple of weeks for the gang to grow. Let me introduce to you the newer members of the Miriam Home.
Joyce is our only resident teen at the moment. She is 14 years old, with all of the roller coaster emotions that accompany that age! She is also a sweet and affectionate girl, who has great dreams for her future. It is likely that she will be going to live with her grandmother, but she says she is glad that she had the chance to come to the Miriam Home, because she had never been to Sunday school before.
Maria Eduarda (5), Wictor (4) and Eloa (1) are an adorable set of siblings. We don’t know exactly what their situation was before they joined use, but they arrived afraid of everyone. They didn’t cry for their mom or ask for their dad, but it took two full weeks before any of them would talk, play with the other children, accept a hug. Even the baby seemed afraid every time someone new came in the room. It is a true blessing from God that children seem to heal quickly, and once the children started to open up, the walls came down and these little sweeties are right at home. That is a very good thing, because they may be with us for a good while; their story seems very complicated.
We have had four more children who came and went quickly, but I would love to have you pray for! Marianna is a more complicated situation. She is only 13 years old, and came to us from a children’s shelter in a neighboring state. She had been living with her grandmother and had continuously run away from home. While with us she seemed to have quiet manic behavior. She stayed tucked away in her room, under a quilt (not unusual in July, but during our summer heat wave…), or in front of the t.v., again wrapped in a blanket, with a baseball cap pulled down over her face. Marianna was brought back to Campo Mourão specifically to be reunited with her mother, which happened. Please pray for both mother and daughter, because we have had a lot of previous contact with the mom, she is well known to be involved in a lot of the street problems we have in Campo Mourão.
Special Prayer Need
Normally at the end of each year a contract is signed by the municipal government, for the next year, committing to providing the salaries for most of the Miriam Home house moms. Last year we had local elections, a new mayor entered. They discovered big financial holes in the municipal fund, and put off renewing any contracts. As of now, no contract has been signed, and it appears that no funds will be passed on until the beginning of May at the earliest. Please pray for wisdom for the Miriam Home directory, the mayor’s office and for God to provide for the salaries through our local government.