I’m sorry it’s been so long. Life with an almost 2 yr old has proved to be more hectic than I had thought. I pray that all is well in your lives and that God is blessing this New Year with great plans and challenges. 2010 was an amazing year full of growth and a lot of challenges and I promise to update you on all of 2010 by the end of the week. Today I’m going to focus on January. I was in the states until January 9th with a couple of the Shine! kids visiting their sponsors and my own family. It was great to be home for a little while, but I am so happy to be back.
Breaking Chains Homeless Ministry
Breaking Chains is going well. Church attendance is down a little bit but seems to have stabilized quite a bit as far as who is coming. We are now encouraging them to invite friends and participate more in the service. This month Jason and Darwin are focusing the teachings on love and sharing God’s love with each other.
During February, Courtney has plans to start a children’s Bible class during our regular service. We both anticipate that this will both meet the needs of the kids we have currently and encourage new kids to join us.
We continue to feed 4 nights a week. In February we are going to change the days a little bit to accommodate the lag we’ve seen on Saturdays and another feeding center that hands out food on Tuesdays. So starting next week we will be feeding Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Please keep this change in your prayers.
Talanga has decided to take on the challenge of making and teaching others to make hammocks to sell to the groups in the summer. This is a great opportunity for him to both make some money and share his expertise with others. I’m so proud of him for taking the initiative.
Shine! is going extremely well. The kids have a major book report and presentation each quarter and this month’s homework times were mostly devoted to preparing them for that. Our four kids just got their second report cards of the year and all are doing exceptionally well, with all A’s and B’s.
Darwin and Rosie are both doing extremely well. Darwin is on break from school until mid February and is using the time to help out with the homeless ministry and work on his car (his favorite activity). I don’t know what I would do without him. Rosie continues to be a happy, healthy, mess that I love dearly. We had 4 of her brothers and sisters over to spend the night last weekend and it was really neat to see them interacting.
In mid January I was blessed with the opportunity to attend and speak at Winterfest in Arlington, Texas. It was a huge blessing to see so many teenagers eager to seek God’s will in their lives. I always appreciate an opportunity to talk about the ministry I love so much and God has opened many doors for me this year.
At the end of January, my sister and her boyfriend Mark stopped by for a few days during their vacation around Central America. It was a huge blessing to get to spend some time with my sister and show her some of the things that I do everyday.
My wonderful intern Courtney will be here at least through May and hopefully longer and Michael Lemmons, a HIM worker, is coming to stay with me in the fall, so we decided to look for a place that was a little larger to accommodate all of the people now staying in my house. We were extremely blessed to find a much larger house for not too much more rent in a really nice neighborhood just outside of town. It has its challenges, especially when it comes to storage, but we are very excited about our new home. With some help from our friends we were able to get completely moved in last week. Be watching for pictures on my blog if you’re interested.
· Continued growth of the church and the ministry at Breaking Chains
· All the expectant mothers at the homeless ministry
· Rosie’s Mom, Belkis, as she struggles to support the 5 children she has at home and do what is right for them. I can really see her making a huge effort right now and I pray that it continues.
· That the children’s Bible class will be a success and reach more souls with God’s love.
· Please pray continually that God grant me the wisdom to know when to move forward and when to wait on Him each day at the homeless ministry.
· Fundraising to purchase our building in May. We need to raise $125,000.
· Huge Praise!! We had several large donations over Christmas break that will allow me to pay the rent through May!!! Anything left over will go towards the purchase of our building.
Opportunities to Help
**Public school is getting ready to start back up, which means a big expense for a lot of very poor families. School supplies and uniforms usually cost $100-$150 per kid. This is a big expense to anyone but for most of the families we work with it is just unrealistic. Each year I try to help a few families get their kids into school and this year I’m going to focus on the families involved in our homeless ministry. We’ve had about 10 different people come this week and talk to me about funding for school. Most of them have been children but we also have a couple of adults excited about going to night school and getting their high school diplomas. Rosie’s brothers and sisters are also going to enroll in school this year for the first time. If you’re interested in sponsoring a child with an initial donation of $100 and/or a monthly donation of $20 for upkeep and more supplies, please let me know. I hope to be posting more information about specific kids on my blog within the week.
**It seems as if all of the women involved in our homeless ministry are pregnant. We are expecting 5 babies within the next couple of months and several more throughout the year. Any donations of baby items or money to purchase needed items would be greatly appreciated. Also many of our women are HIV positive and will not be able to breastfeed, if you are interested in sponsoring a mother and her child for the ongoing needs of baby formula please let me know.
**We’re still trying to raise $125,000 to purchase the homeless ministry building. Any amount towards this is a huge help.
Thank you all so much for your love and support. Your prayers keep this ministry alive. Please let me know how I can be praying for you and if you have any questions or comments about the ministry.
With Much Love,