The Adjei Bimonthly(ish)
This newsletter is on our computer under the filename “Oct 2004”, which is when it was started and should have been finished. However also in Oct 2004 we had our first ever flood in the house which was quite a shock and has left us without the use of a computer on and off ever since! It also messed up a few of our other things and getting out of bed in the night and stepping into water is not a nice feeling. But it was the first time that I have been thankful that Bolivian houses are not carpeted. It only took us one day to get things nearly back to normal, though the sofas took a while to dry out!
Our Sunday meetings have been going very well. Generally numbers have been up quite a bit, now we expect to see about 15 of us together most weeks. It has also been great having Larry (who is from the USA, but whose mother was Bolivian) to help lead. He is very good at both leading worship and sharing a message.
For the last couple of weeks a guy called Luis Alberto (27 years old) has been coming along. He is somebody we have known from the streets for as long as we’ve been here. For those of you who have a really good memory you may remember him from newsletters about 8 years ago. At the time we just called him Alberto and he was very ill for years with TB. To cut a long story short a few months ago God really spoke to him through a sermon he had heard on the radio. He decided that he would go into a rehab centre and change. He stayed there for a few months and now has returned home, still determined to carry on changing. Over the next few months David and Luis Alberto plan to do the Overcomers course, hopefully with a few others.
This coming Sunday we are hoping to have some more baptisms. You may remember we had our first baptism back in March for a guy called Alberto who is blind and diagnosed with HIV. He is a close relative of Liliana, an ex street girl who was actually friends with big Gaby when they were both on the streets. Both Alberto’s mother, Margarita and Liliana want to be baptised this Sunday and possibly one of his sisters, Susana. Two other possible candidates are Luis Alberto and Ramón who is another ex street kid who we have known for years and who became a Christian this year. Please pray for each of these people, especially those who have made a break with the streets, because they face real challenges with their families, with poverty and all other kinds of temptations to go back to the old familiar way of life.
The girls home is having a lot of activity with many comings and goings of girls. It is good that so many girls are getting to know the place, but we could really do with things settling down now and the home really getting established. For a while we were just back down to one girl, Heidi (who has now been with us for 7 months) but then a couple of months ago the arrivals suddenly started. Since then we have had 10 different girls come. It is frustrating that some have only stayed a few days. Many, when they have left have said they want to return - but this is not really the way we want to run the home with a lot of changes. Also once they have left and gone back to the streets, it is obviously hard to make the break again and go back to the home. Just now there are 3 girls in the home (2 others left last Friday). They are Heidi (16), Miguelina (18) who has a baby boy, José David and Maribel (17) who should be giving birth any day now.
Please pray for the home that girls will do more arriving than leaving!!! Also that those who are there just now will have the commitment to stay and that they will really change. Just this morning one of the workers there told me that Miguelina’s character has really softened over the past couple of weeks and that she is talking about getting baptized.
Jasmine has had a great time since we’ve been back. First she was a bridesmaid for a friend of ours. She loved dressing up and having her hair done and she looked really beautiful. Gaby was more than a little put out that she was not also a bridesmaid. However at one point, during the sermon when Jasmine had sat down she saw her opportunity and grabbed Jasmine’s flower basket and went and took her position behind the bride for a few minutes!!! Gaby seems to find ways of getting what she wants!
Then a month ago Jasmine was accepted into school a year early. She knew she had to do well in her “interview” and she managed to be really confident and from outside the room I could hear her chatting away to her teacher. She actually went in 3 months into the school year, but is doing a great job of catching up. I think she is the only British child in the school and the other parents love hearing her talk because of her accent! Most of the children are either Bolivian or from the USA and the school is run on the North American system. Jasmine loves her teacher, who is actually the kind of teacher anybody would want for a first experience of school. Gaby finds it hard not going to school too though and we have had many tears and tantrums at the school gate. If asked she claims that Jasmine’s teacher is her teacher too!
In Jasmine’s thanksgiving break last week we went to a cabin for a couple of nights. It was a very rustic, thatched, round house by a lake. We had a really lovely time in and around the water, going for rides on bikes and in our rubber dingy. It is the first time we have been on a “holiday” with just the 4 of us, so quite a change. Jasmine was asking who we were going with before we left, it had never occurred to her we could do something like this by ourselves! Early in the mornings we could hear a big group of monkeys playing in the trees just behind the hut, we never saw them though. It was a very quiet place, we hardly saw anybody else and only a few miles out of Santa Cruz.
We are still trying to move house. At one point we went to sign papers to take a house in “anticretico” a loan system. But it all fell through, though recently we have talked again to the owners about taking the house. The house is a little bit bigger than our house and is just a 15 min walk away from Jasmines school. It is also just a few blocks from the main YWAM training base in Bolivia. We also haven’t managed to sell our house yet, though we have gone down and down in price (anybody want to buy a 3 bedroom house for £10,000????). But we do have definite interest from one family if we agree to drop $1000 more.
Having started, then delayed this letter a couple of times I now have the opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year. We thank you once again for your faithful support in so many ways. Time and time again we are reminded of the good friends we have in different parts of the world. Those of you who trust us with your offerings and those of you who faithfully pray for us. Thank you and God bless you.
With our love,
Sarah, David, Jasmine and Gaby