All in the Family
Last month I introduced you to a bunch of new kiddos in the Miriam Home. Since then only one has left and several more have joined our ranks!
The one person who left was Jean, and we are content. He was here because of conflicts that need to be dealt with in the home and not out of it. The first week he returned home he appeared at Sunday School with a big smile on his face and took his place in the pew!
As I introduce the new children, let’s start off slowly, one at a time. Fabiana (14 years old) returned to the Miriam Home two weeks ago. She was here earlier in the year, but after a short time ran away. She is a sweet girl, well behaved and very quiet – too quiet, really. She doesn’t talk about any fears, frustrations or struggles, so we were completely surprised when one day she didn’t come home from school! We pray that we will be able to reach her heart this time and share true hope with her.
It was only last week that Vitoria entered the house. She is seven years old and a princess. She come to us because of some conflicts in her home, and we think the problems will be fairly quickly resolved, but in the meantime she feels loved and protected here, and is doing well.
Today we have 18 children in the house, including five set of siblings (I think that is a record for us!). Last month you met Aline and Allison; Raisa and Yasmin; and Geovana and Kelvin. During these weeks they have found their place in our home and have formed fast friendships!
The trend toward family was continued when we received Alisson (5, which also happens to be the age of the other Allison), Reinaldo (4) and Maria Clara (1 and a bit). These precious little ones score double points in the All in the Family Game, because they are the youngest siblings of Mariana, who has been with us for six months now (and has shown a lot of growth over the last two months!). These three children show signs of severe neglect (both ins very low weight, poor development and great timidity in the first two weeks) but they are sweet children, and now that they know us, are loving and joyful.
One specific prayer request is for Reinaldo, who has great difficulty speaking (the only two words he uses on a regular basis is “agua” – water and “tia” – aunty). He is a bright little boy, appears to have no hearing problems, asks for what he wants and responds to every question, but never verbally. We are working with a phonologist, but wonder if the problem is more emotional than physical. When the kids arrived we found out that they normally only had beans and rice to eat and many times that was once a day. It might be that they were punished if they asked for anything other than water. Please pray for God’s healing in these little hearts and minds!
The last set of brothers to arrive came just last week. Iago (10) and Iuri (8) are our biggest concern right now. The boys were living with their mother and grandmother, and as is sadly common in the families we work with, it was mostly grandma that cared for them, because their mother is involved with prostitution, and never home. What is NOT common, was that grandma had her own means of supporting the family. The local drug traffickers realized that the police don’t spend as much time considering grandmas taking care of the little ones when looking for drugs. So grandma held the stock and distributed it to the sellers. Both Iago and Iuri have not only delivered crack to drug dealers but have used it themselves.
Iuri is small for his age and trusts no one. He is almost always angry. The primary reason the boys came to us was because doctors at the local emergency room were shocked and suspicious of serious wounds Iuri had received, supposedly from riding his bike. It is easy to see that he has massive scars both in and outside.
Iago is big for his age, normally has a smile on his face and is always angry. His apparent good humor passes in the blink of an eye and the hurt below shows through.
The boys have very different personalities and have learned to deal with their reality in different ways, but both are extremely wounded and need healing that only the Father can provide. Please pray that the time the boys spend with us (we think it will be a good long stay), will be life changing. Pray for discernment, wisdom, and patience for all of us working with the boys. Pray that the boys would discover how loved they are, not only by us, but most importantly, by their Heavenly Father.
On the Road Again !!!
Most of the time I share about the Miriam Home, but the other side of our ministry is SETELL, the Brazilian AFLBS. It is a small but wonderful Bible School and Seminary and it is my joy to be involved, teaching on missions and being grandma to the students.
I have a prayer request for you, regarding SETELL. Our students regularly go out on the week-end to minister in other Free Lutheran Churches, and share their testimonies how Bible School has impacted their lives. The trips are anywhere from and hour to 9 hour drives, traveling in a Volkswagen Kombi (economical, hard working and no frills). Unfortunately the van we have today is well past it’s expiration date. It has broken down several times her in Campo Mourão, and once on a road trip to Foz do Iguaçu, 5 hours away. Recently Karly (yes, I name vehicles) has been in the shop every month and the cost of repairs and the insecurity we feel in sending staff and students on the road means it is time for a change.
We are looking to trade the van for a newer model. Please pray for the process: finding the right van for the right price, for God’s provision for cost above the trade-in value, and for protection in the gap between the now and when we can make the trade.
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/contribuing/online-giving/