A Whole New Ball Game
I have mentioned over the last couple months that the Miriam Home has been sort of quiet. Several children who had been with us for a very long time had finally rejoined their families or gained whole new families. The children that remained were (in the majority) precious little girls.
Things change in the blink of an eye! To being with, our largest contingent in the Miriam Home, five girls from a near by town, left us in August. Caroline, Paola, Isabel, Sayhuri and Maria Angela went to live with their father, and we are thrilled. Just doors away, his brother and sister-in-law live, as well as his mother, and all three are committed to helping with the girls. They are an evangelical family, and everything we know about them encourages us that the seeds planted here will be nurtured!
The house was VERY quiet – for a week. Jean (11 years old) arrived two weeks ago. The girls club was officially disbanded, because we now had not only baby Derik, but a second young man. He came to us because of situational problems in his home (no abuse or neglect) and he settled in very quickly to the Miriam Home. There are several different things that help him feel at home – one is the cows that we are fattening up in a corner of our campus. Jean was raised on a small farm before his family moved to Campo Mourão, and he loves to do anything that relates to rural life. He is now responsible for making sure the cows have clean water and to report any problems he sees in the grazing area or with the fence – and every morning by 7:00 he has checked on his cows. He loves it because he feels like he has a purpose!
Just a few days later Raisa (12) and Yasmin (9) came to us from a near by city, where they were living with their aunt, but their mom (a drug addict) was constantly causing problems for the girls and the family of their aunt. The girls are with us until social services can come to an agreement with the mom, so the girls can return home. They are sweet girls, and they quickly made friends here in the house and in their new school, but you see a high level of anxiety in both of them. We are hoping they will soon find God’s healing peace.
Last week were days of adventure! They began with the arrival of Geovana (12) and her brother Kevin (9), followed by Daniel (12) later in the day. The three children came from two different families, but are here for the same reason; their moms use drugs and under the influence become very violent. That being true, it is surprising how open all three of these children are. It is early days yet, but so far none of these precious kiddos have shown the lack of respect for authority that we so often see in this situation. One concern we have is that Geovana has already formed fast friendships with the older teens in the house, especially Marianna. We can see the friendship as being good for Marianna, but we aren’t as sure regarding her influence on Geovana.
A second concert is that Daniel is right at the limit of the age we are able to receive boys. It is a real blessing that we have the Bible School students here, as big brothers to our older boys. Please pray for wisdom for us and protection for the children!
And a Few More…
Just two days after Geovana, Kevin and Daniel arrived, the last of our current set of siblings appeared at our door. Aline (11) and Alisson (5). This dynamic duo are not new to the Miriam Home – they were here the end of last year, and returned to their parents who made heart felt promises to change their ways and care for their children. The promises may have been heart felt, but their resolve lasted just weeks.
We have been working with Aline and Alisson’s family, together with the children’s school and social service, since the children returned home in January of this year. Our goal was to help the family become stronger, and the parents to take seriously their commitments, but as time passed instead of growing, they became more and more irresponsible. Our help, instead of being the intended helping hand, became an excuse to avoid work and return to old addictions – after all, the Miriam Home will help with food, social services with clothes, etc.
Many times, when kiddos return to the Miriam Home, they come with big smiles, like they are coming to visit a favorite aunt. It was sad to see Aline and Alisson arrive, because Aline didn’t look scared or happy, she looked defeated. While her little brother was back with friends and ready to play in the park and fill his tummy (they arrived just before lunch and the aroma was wonderful), she just saw an old story being replayed. Please pray for Aline, that she would let Jesus bring healing and hope to her heart, and that she would find the One Promise Maker who never breaks His word!
Just For Fun
Derik isn’t new to the house, he has been with us since the end of March, but he has survived the feminine take-over of the Miriam Home (more than a month when he was the only boy in the house!), and is the Miriam Home Prince. Beyond that, with his chubby cheeks, doesn’t he look like he could be my grandbaby?
Thank you for praying!!!
I have asked you over the last several months, to pray for the financial situation here in the Miriam Home. You may remember that the funds we use to pay the house moms is supposed to come from our municipal government. We had local elections last year, and that often causes a delay in resources being passed on – a month or two. Well, as of the first week of August we were informed that the Miriam Home had been approved to receive funding, and this week the first month’s salaries entered the bank.
Thank you for your prayers!!! It is truly only by God’s grace that the Miriam Home was able to pay the wonderful ladies who are real, if temporary, moms to our kiddos.
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 online at http://www.aflcworldmissions.org/about-us/contributing/online-giving/