The Adjei Bimonthly(ish)
Well a lot has happened since our last newsletter. We have recovered our car that was stolen back in July, El Alfarero, our new girls home is now finally open, and I have just got back from a really great trip to Mexico, so we have a lots to thank God for.
At the beginning of this year we hadn’t yet started buying a property for a girls’ home and we didn’t know who would be able to live in the home and run it. So it’s been amazing to see how God has provided so much money, through your generosity, to be able to buy the land and build on it all within a year. Also we’ve seen how Sharon has been moved to take on the running of the home and how God has provided us with Jimena to work alongside her.
Jimena (23) is a really lovely girl who has very quickly built up good relationships with the girls and shown herself to be an enthusiastic and responsible worker (even turning up early for some appointments.... unheard of in Bolivia!!). We are very grateful to have her working with us and look forward to seeing how God will use her to bring about change in the street girls lives.
Jimena is a volunteer, as are all YWAM workers, and so has no fixed income. However, as her church is quite small and like most Bolivian churches short of money, they are unlikely to be able to offer her much in the way of support. Please pray for her as she takes this step of faith and if you would like to support her in any way do get in touch with us. Thanks.
The idea is that during the day the girls will take part in the running of the home - cooking, cleaning and working on the land etc. They will have a daily devotional time with worship, prayer and a simple bible teaching and will be working through a Christian 12 step rehabilitation programme called “Overcomers”. They will also learn taught various different skills like sewing and crochet.
However, one of the most important parts of their education concerns how to look after their children. Having grown up on the streets they often have little idea of what their babies need or how to treat them.
On the 2nd of December Gladys (18) became the first girl to go into the new home, together with her daughter Jasmin and on the 7th of December we had the official opening with about 100 invited guests from YWAM, local churches, other homes and neighbours of the property.
|Then on the 9th of December 2 other girls went into the home, both mothers. Valeria (17) and her daughter Rosa (11 months), and Jessica (15) and her son Carlos Daniel (3 months). We’re sorry to say that all 3 girls have already left the home again after tempers flared over Jessica’s treatment of her son Carlos Daniel. It’s difficult to understand why they would choose to go back to the streets with their children, but in the workings of their minds that is an easier option than confronting their own shortcomings and those of others. |
V aleria & Rosa, Gladys and Jessica
J essica at work in the garden
Please pray for Jessica in particular who struggles with her temper and lack of patience for 3 month old Carlos Daniel and can be violent towards him. Pray that God will protect each of the girls and their children back on the streets and that they change their minds and go back to El Alfarero.
Some good news is that we now have almost enough money to finish the 2nd phase of the building - the staff block - and so the work has now been started. This second building will include staff bedrooms/ bathrooms, an office, a storeroom, kitchen/ dining room and visitors bathroom.
I have just arrived back from Mexico where I went to a conference of the
Mexico New Frontiers International (NFI) churches. As you may know NFI and perhaps especially a couple of the Mexican churches have been instrumental in encouraging us with the church plant here in Santa Cruz. The idea is not to start a ´street kids church´ but to build a church where there are no barriers to the acceptance of street kids as part of the church family and to their fulfilling their calling within the church. I met some great people in Mexico and have really been refreshed and encouraged by being there.
Looking back over the last year it hasn't been a very easy start for the church. Of the people who have been involved in either the Sunday meetings or the Thursday cell we have already had 3 funerals (2 babies, one
teenager), 3 cases of HIV/Aids (one included in the funerals), at least 2
cases of women being beaten by their partners and this in a group where we don't tend to get more than 6-8 people in a meeting at once!
In Santa Cruz we continue to meet on Sundays and Thursdays and we are
probably going to start a separate meeting at the girls home, to avoid brining the girls back into town to the area where they lived on the streets. Please pray for wisdom and an experience of God presence when we meet together.
As I said at the beginning we now have our car back! A few weeks ago I received a phone call from the police in Sucre (15 hours drive away) saying we have your car, when can you come and get it? So off I went with a mechanic
friend and together, after a couple of breakdowns, we managed to bring the car back, safe and if not sound, then at least fairly mobile. Unfortunately the car had suffered a fair amount of damage from being driven 8,000 miles in about 6 weeks on unsurfaced roads, but we are very grateful to have it back!!
Sarah's parents, Dick & Betty came to visit us over the last couple of weeks so we all took the opportunity to get ourselves sun burnt at one of the cities new water parks and also to take a couple of days holiday in the foothills of the Andes. We also had a visit from a social worker for the 1st of our 6-monthly reports on Gaby’s adoption and since they haven't come to take her away I assume we're doing ok so far! Actually, Jasmine and Gaby both continue to delight us and we savour and enjoy each new achievement in their development. They make us feel very blessed (except at 5am when God uses them to hone certain of the finer aspects of our character!).
The year ahead
In 2004 we are hoping to be back in the UK for 3 months, probably from mid-June onwards. In that time we are hoping to be able to meet up with as many of you as possible so that we can share about what we’re up to with you in person. So if you’d like to try to arrange a visit, either us to you, or you to us, then please let us know.
All that remains now is to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a great New Year. Thanks again for your support and care for us.
With our love,
David, Sarah, Jasmine & Gaby