Monday, March 07, 2011

My Cup Overflows

Osman "Talanga" Martinez is one of my favorite people.  I believe 100% that there was no chance involved in being in each others lives.  We needed and continue to need each other.  Talanga needed someone to see past his past and show him God's love in spite of his sins and I needed someone who understands those we minister to on their level and is able to care for and protect both them and us.  
God is faithful and answers prayers.
Talanga has been struggling for a while with God's will for his life and whether he was ready to completely turn himself over to God.

Yesterday he made that decision and we had the privilege and honor of being a part of his baptism

Darwin did a wonderful job of being the "baptizer" and despite nerves did a wonderful job

Tears roll down my cheeks every time I see this picture.  
God truly fills me to overflowing.  

On Friday Talanga said "Ma, I think I'm ready, I want God to take my hand and walk with me and show me the way"
Oh Talanga, I pray that you realize that that is God's complete will for you, that you hunger for his lead and that you willingly follow him.

Not the best picture technically but that smile says more than can be put into words
I love him so.  I pray that God will lead him and make His presence known and felt every moment of every day.  It's going to be a long road but Talanga is so willing to follow His lead.

Belpre Group 1

We have been blessed this week with having one of Called and Compelled's (David and Jenn's) teams here working with our ministry.  Yesterday I did a fairly poor job documenting them hard at work but I greatly appreciate what they are doing.   
Dayana "swimming" in the fountain we cleaned out and filled with water

All of the kids LOVED their "swimming pool"

Dayana enjoying dinner after church

Jenn looking over all of their hard work

They planted flowers all around the building

It looks so nice.  They did a great job picking out a selection then protecting them with mulch.  Talanga is really excited about taking care of the plants.

Surveying their handywork

All of the flower beds down below.  
They are also working on the lighting upstairs and putting in a sink in the kitchen.  I'm going to do my best to get some better pictures of them and their work before the week is out. 

Fun Visitors

This past week we were blessed to have two young guys from Pepperdine share their spring break with us.  They quickly became part of the family and we were all sad to see them go yesterday.  
They brought along a carseat for Rosie, chocolates for all of us, and lots of newborn diapers and wipes for our ministry.  
While they were here they helped out with our day-to-day stuff, visited the dump, worked on the wiring at the building, cleaned out our bodega, built us a shelf and built me a dinner table!  It was a busy week.
Rosie and Brendan 
He was a great babysitter :) and a lot of fun to be around.
Oh Simon! I feel like he's my little brother.  
Such a mess but an absolute joy to spend time with.  
This is he and Rosie's "construction attire"
Rosie really misses both the boys and keeps asking for them.
My new table!!!
 I was very impressed with their work, now we just need to build some benches :)

Another Great Night at the Homeless Ministry

Friday night was another great night.  I love how are friendships continue to grow and how I see God honoring our attempts to faithfully serve him.
Jessica brought her two girls to meet us.  This is baby Ashley and Naeli.  They are both very sweet, happy, healthy girls.  Jessica rents a room and does her best to keep her sweet girls safe despite the lifestyle she is living and the dangers she faces each night.
Ashley is a few months older than Rosie and they became fast friends.
A bunch of the kids piling in for a picture

My little security guard
I told 5 year old Jonathan I would pay him 1 L (a nickle) if he would watch my backpack and tell Reyna if anyone tried to touch it while I ran to get something in the next room.  He was SOO proud.  He sat down in his chair and kept an eye on my bag all night.  And when I gave him his lempira you would have thought I'd given him $100.  He is such a precious kid.  I love being able to find ways to help these kids succeed in the little things so that they learn they can succeed in the big things.  
Reyna proudly showing off the shirt Heather gave her.
Jorge and I.   He's finally healed up from a bad fight he was in that left him with a broken arm and several broken ribs.
Rosie's best friend Leticia stopped by for just a minute or two and she was SOO excited to see her.
I LOVE their sweet bellies almost touching as they share about their days.  They are both so precious and a joy to be around.
When is that baby coming out?!?

In the Dark

Wednesday night was a little bit out of the ordinary.  I had 2 week long interns, a couple of guys visiting from Indiana, 4 VCOM students, and David's crew of 4 show up to help hand out food and when we got there the entire city block had a power outage.  So we went down to the corner of the street where there was still a street lamp and set up shop.  It was a fun change of venue for the night but we didn't stick around too long.  That many people in the dark made a me a little nervous.  For the most part I trust the people we work with but I firmly believe that most of us would (and do) do things in the dark that we wouldn't do in the light of day.  So in the name of prudence we hugged some necks, handed out some food, took some pictures, and took off :). 
Nanci hanging out with the boys and Tarea
Marlon and Jose enjoying some rice and beans

Everyone kind of congregated down the street a little bit.

Arol sharing his dinner with Rosie.  This was precious and I just didn't get a great picture of it.

Josue and David are fast friends

Courtney loving on one of our sweet ladies.  She's trying hard to leave her alcoholism behind and I'm amazed at how sweet and lucid she is becoming each time we see her.