New Year, New Blessings
A Happy and Blessed New Year to you all! I love this time of year because it is all about hope! Last year had it’s problems, certainly this year will too, but as we enter the new year it is wonderful to imagine the amazing ways the Father is going to show His great love and power!
As we ended the year in the Miriam Home we had several opportunities to see that loving power manifest.
An enormous blessing the end of the year came in the form of staff. I wrote you the beginning of December that we had lost our two week-end moms and desperately needed, not just two new workers, but the ladies of God’s own choosing. Well, Eva, a precious sister in Christ, who worked with us for years, has returned! She left because her family was moving out of state, but just a year later they returned to Parana, and it so happened that she was available to rejoin the family. She is joined by Sonja, a new house mom who works very well together with Eva. In just these few weeks the children have bonded with these house moms and wait for their arrival on Friday afternoon. Another blessing this year end has been the temporary return of Silvia, a psychologist who worked in the Miriam Home when I first arrived. She has moved to Italy but the end of this year had to return to Brazil to get a new visa (finally, a coworker who understands why I have to leave every so often!) and she offered her time while she is here. Silvia is amazing! She has a deep love for our children and defends their cause like a mama lion! Though she is only with us for a few months, it is easy to see that she is a gift from God!
And there were many more blessings in December! I mentioned Daiane last month, she had just arrived in the Miriam Home. Diane is 7 years old, an only child and since her mother passed away, the only person she has is her father. Though all of our children miss their families, for Daiane the separation from her father brought her to near dispair. Daiane sat in my ample lap and cried almost every day. Every night she cried herself to sleep. One of my happiest moments was just the week before Christmas, when Daiane rejoined her father!
Another home going that blessed us all was our little warrior, Rhian. This tiny little guy had gained weight, gained strength and added attitude after his hospital stay. Just three weeks ago Rhian’s grandmother was awarded custody, and our hearts rejoiced! She lives on a farm just outside of town, has already raised on grandchild and is determined to give her best to Rhian too!
One more victory was Janaina’s! This precious 15 year old has been with us since April, and in all these months has only shown a gentle spirit and a heart that is open to the Lord. The desire of her heart was granted when the judge approved for her to live her godmother and to see her mother and brothers as often as she likes.
More children came to the Miriam Home during the month of December, and gratefully many returned to their parents or joined new families. Since Christmas is a time to be with family we are happy that all but 13 children were reintegrated in their homes before Christmas, and four more, though still officially part of the Miriam Home, were able spend the holidays at home. Please pray for God’s hand of grace to be over each child and their families this year.
You just read about some of the ways God has blessed us right up to the end of 2014. Seeing His hand moving in so many ways last year creates a wonderful assurance for 2015! He has brought us thus far, what more wonders does He have prepared???
We have children with us right now that we are waiting to see what good God has planned for them. They are all in the same boat, for one reason or another – at this moment it seems that they have no place to go.
Paola is 15 years old. She lived in the Miriam Home in 2013 for more than six months, now she has been here since April. The problem is always the same – her mother and step-father are alcoholics whose drinking has put Paola at risk over and over again. Each time these promise to quit drinking, and each time they fail to keep their promise. Though Paola loves her mother she has lost all trust in her word, but she doesn’t have anyone else she can turn to. We have worked for two years now with Paola’s family and have not found a safe harbor for this wonderful young lady. She is far too young to stay in the Miriam Home until she is adult (it wounds her spirit every time she watches other children go home and is faced with the fact that she has none), she is too old for people who want to adopt. Paola needs to see the special plan the Father has for her!
Juliano is six years old, though he is very small for his age. He arrived scared of his own shadow, and, unlike most of our kiddos, never asks for his mom or dad. He doesn’t talk about home and the only thing we know about his homelife comes from his silence and his many scars. This precious little guy needs a home of his own, where he will be nutured and protected. We are excited to see how God brings a home for Juliano!
The last group of little ones needing to see God move in a special way are sisters and brother: Yasmin, Stephanie and Jan. They came to us with what looked like an easy situation – their mother had to have surgery on her leg and had no way to take care of three little children (the youngest not yet two) until after she had recovered. The children would only be with us for a few weeks. But as the weeks passed the story became clearer. We discovered that mom had a serious problem with drugs, and so did their father, who only came around when it was convienent. We also discovered that the father was very violent and had been forbidden by the courts from being with the children, but the mom let him come over when ever he wanted. The judge has decided that the children would not be safe going back to their mom, and that they should go up for adoption. The problem is, though it would be easy for each of them to be adopted on their own very few families want to adopt three children at the same time!
Praise the Lord for our God who has brought us thus far and will lead us home!
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