Ever Changing, Ever the Same
As you are cooling down, we are heating up! Part of that is because we are entering summer, but mostly because the Miriam Home is hopping! We have 20 beautiful children in the Home. Most you have met, some will be introduced, and all are precious in the sight of the Father!
The very end of September Daiane (13 years old) arrived. She came to us, we were told, because of violent conflicts in her home. Daiane didn’t show a lot of traits we have come to expect from violent homes – she was neither so meek as to try and become invisible (“if they don’t notice you, they might not hit you”), nor was she aggressive, showing that she knew how to defend herself. She was confidant, helpful and loved playing with the younger kiddos in the house. We learned that the conflicts in the home were mostly between Daiane’s mother and her boyfriend, but when things would heat up, Daiane would step in to defend her mother and that is how she came to us. Within days the mother had sent her boyfriend packing and everything was in place for Daiane to go home in just a few days, but her mother had other ideas. About 10 days ago she went to Daiane’s school, took her by the arm and said, “you have a home, you have a mother, you are coming home!” and escorted her daughter out of the school. Social services paid her a visit, explained that her actions were not acceptable, but since the situation was going to be resolved in just days, they didn’t bring Daiane back to us. The very next day Ana Flavia (14) arrived!
Ana is a lovely young lady who urgently needs your prayers! She is here because of conflicts with her mother (not a new story). Some of the conflicts have to do with Ana going to church, which her mother did not want. Other conflicts are because Ana began dating a girl. Her mother isn’t opposed on moral grounds (she has twice lived with women before moving in with her current boyfriend), but because she doesn’t accept any powerful influence in her daughter’s life other than herself.
Ana is a confused young lady. She believes in God, the Word of God and wants to walk with Him. She recognizes that, in her words, “God created man and woman, not man and man.” But she wants what she wants. Several months ago (around the time she started seeing this girl) she began cutting herself. She can’t (or doesn’t want to) see the correlation, but she is open to talking and she appears to be listening! He young heart is in a tug-of-war, between the flesh and the Spirit. Please pray for God’s righteous outcome!
Another case of trading places was when the sisters Laisa and Yasmin returned to their mom one afternoon and the very next day Joao (11) and Janaina (9) arrived! They are both very bright, and very wounded. Joao tells people that he doesn’t have a home because his mom threw them away. That is true, but what and awful realization for any child to make! Janaina is a happy, affectionate little girl, but Joao carries his wounds with him and didn’t let anyone come close to him. He is slowly opening but please pray for healing in these two broken hearts and that they will find peace and joy in the love of the Father, who will never let them go!
A third arrival took place just yesterday. Aline (17 – our second girl with the same name in the house; we also have double Alissons, making life interesting!) arrived with her lovely year-old daughter, Alyce. As you can see, Aline looks young for her age and far too young to be a mother. She loves her little girl to pieces but really has not idea how to care for her. Please pray that, with everything else that Aline learns here, that she will learn how to be a good mother to Alyce.
Last month I introduced you to a lot of new kiddos and I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how some of them, having arrived with special challenges, are doing.
Fabiana, one of our teens who has been here before, is coming along really well. She has been building good relationships with the other older girls in the house and she s visibly more relaxed and joyful. She has never been difficult, but the first time she was here she was very withdrawn – not in a peaceful way, but in a self-protective way. It is encouraging to see the change!
Another exciting change is in Iuri, our 8 year-old who arrived full of pent-up energy and anger. During the first couple of weeks it was almost like a game of “Where’s Waldo?” – Iuri would run off, into the cornfield in front of the Miriam Home. But as time went by and Iuri decided that we were trustworthy he settle down. We have learned that Iuri is patient with the younger children, quietly helpful to the house moms, a hard worker in school (the teachers have commented twice on how much easier it is to deal with Iuri since he came to the Miriam Home). His older brother, Iago, needs a lot of prayer. He not only hasn’t calmed down since he arrived, his teachers say that he has become even more disruptive in class and aggressive on the playground.
We also have good news on the baby front! Derik, our little guy who arrived just weeks after his birth, has been authorized for adoption and he already has a family that will soon be taking him home. This wonderful little guy needs a mom and dad of his own and though we will miss him greatly, we are soooo happy.
Jumping for Joy
The 11th of October is a major Brazilian holiday, Children’s Day. And it is a big deal! You might think that it would be pretty sad to be a kid in a shelter on Children’s Day – that is what a lot of Campo Mourão thought too! In reality, for just one week we may have the most pampered children in Brazil! We had one school, two churches and a big business bring treats and small presents to the children and Subway closed their doors so the children could have the place to themselves for lunch one day! But the really big surprise was on the actual day, when one family made it their project to make our children smile.
Thursday afternoon they came and set up – table of goodies (so many that the children were still snacking on them over the weekend!), a trampoline and TWO bouncy slides, combined for an amazing afternoon of laughter and memories! The kiddos were literally jumping for joy from 1:00 in the afternoon until 7 at night, and they haven’t stopped talking about it yet!