Reina and Talanga are a couple that I met in September of last year. They immediately struck me as sweet people who were eager to help those around them. They were living under a bridge with Jenny, Brian, and Dulce as well as several other teens and had kind of taken on the role of parents to the whole clan. Reina often took our leftovers to cook up for whoever happened to stop by later in the night or the next day. However, they both have a strong alcohol addiction that would often lead to big fights both between themselves and with others they were living with. Talanga has several health problems related to his alcoholism and also has epilepsy.
When we first rented our building for the Breaking Chains ministry Reina and Talanga happened to live in the abandoned lot across the street and made it their job to make sure no one messed with our building. It soon became evident that with the building being rewired and with new plumbing being put in we were going to need someone to live in the building and watch over it. Talanga asked if they could be those people. I was very hesitant at first but decided to try it out while the building had little in it that could be stolen. Since moving in at the end of May Reina and Talanga have had no alcohol and have been a HUGE blessing to our ministry. I don't know what we would have done without them. They take wonderful care of our building, they minister to sick people who can't take care of themselves, they give homeless mothers a place to stay for the night (often in Reina's own room), and they are currently watching over Rosie's brothers and sisters.
When we started having church in the building I decided that after church we would have a meal that included a meat of some kind, in contrast to the rice and beans that we have during the week. We've been having church for about 7 or 8 weeks now and I cooked the first two Sundays, after that Reina asked me if she could cook. Again, I was skeptical, we don't have a stove at the building and we cook for about 60 people on Sunday. She encouraged me to let her try. Now every Saturday Reina takes the money set aside for that week's Sunday dinner and goes downtown by herself to shop. She always stays within the budget and she's cooked Sunday dinner every week over this little fire pit Darwin built for her. It is amazing to me.
Reina and Talanga are amazing to me.
God is amazing, He has provided for needs I didn't anticipate having with a wonderful couple that is seeking Him.
I love this picture!!! This is the day that we brought over the toys for the after school program room. Of course we ended up playing with the toys and convinced Reina to jump rope with us. Reina has had a rough life and is usually pretty serious but this day she was able to just let go and laugh like a little girl. It brought tears to my eyes more than once watching her giggle and laugh and take turns singing silly jump rope songs. I'm blessed with some great interns that were right there with her laughing the whole time.
Reina and Talanga recently found out that they are expecting a child. They've lost 4 babies and praying for a healthy baby this time. The fact that they are away from the alcohol and influences of the street will greatly increase those chances. They have also decided to finally get married!! They have been a committed couple for many years now and in this country most people don't actually have a marriage ceremony, they just remain faithful. But we've talked to them and we are ALL very excited about planning a wedding. I'll let you know when we set a date and you are all invited.
**I will try and keep this updated**
Talanga was admitted to the hospital on Sunday with Pneumonia, they have since done an ultrasound for possible appendicitis and last we knew last night they thought he had some kind of infection in his stomach. I don't know how you can be suspected of all three of those things with the same symptoms but right now he's in the hospital and they are still running tests. I've talked to him and he seems to be doing okay but please pray that he recovers quickly