Great news, we have another 2 new kids. One was in the program last year, but her mother pulled her out for a few months because she was without work and could watch her at home. Fernanda is 4 years old now, and still a bundle of energy. The first day she came back in her pre-K uniform dress, talking about her teacher and about how big she, herself, had become. Fernanda is a talker with a 4 year old “sing songy” voice; full of personality! (an old picture of Fernanda)
Our other new little guy is Dilon. I have known Dilon, now 15 months old, since he was born. His mother, Sarah, is a teacher at the school my boyfriend, Aben, started in another poor community a year and a half ago. Check out his blog, if you are interested in seeing his ministry: http://yfcaben.blogspot.com Sarah has had thebaby at the school with her every day, teaching with him on her hip, or setting him on a piece of foam to sleep during the day. Now that Dilon is walking, its not the easiest for Sarah to teach and pay attention to him. They have to walk 2 or more miles to Casa de Luz, in the morning and the afternoon, but it is a huge blessing to her that we can watch him and provide food for him every day. Dilon is a lot different from the 15 month old girl we have, he is used to being left to play by himself (at the school they have what used to be a truck, now its just 4 wheels, that he used to play with in the corner) now he has more toys to play with and kids his own age. He is a very sweet, calm little guy. We didn’t find out until this weekend that the reason he didn’t come a few days last week is because they didn’t have any disposable diapers. After finding this out, we went to the grocery store and bought some diapers. If you would like to help contribute a couple dollars a month to help provide diapers for Dilon, please let me know. The ministry has raised funds for the other basics, but diapers are not covered, and I would not want a family to not receive a blessing because they cannot afford diapers. I plan to cover this cost for them, but let me know if it’s on your heart to help.
(Sarah and Dilon)
(trying to capture a smile)
Over the last month, we have had a few birthdays as well! On February 27, Heydi turned 3 and Javier turned 5. This week Rascel will turn 4. It’s exciting to see the kids growing up and remembering how small they were when they first came. I’m looking forward to celebrating Easter with the kids this year, with cake and different fun activities. We are going to try dying Easter eggs this year, which is kind of humorous to me, because no one knows about the Easter bunny and the stereotypical ‘American’ Easter traditions. It will also be a time to share the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection! It is amazing to see how much these kids remember from our day to dayBible stories, but theprayer is that one day this seed with change their lives for eternity!
(Heydi's clothes don't get washed often, so we let her pick the princess pajamas while we washed her clothes)
(Javier playing dress up)
(Rascel loves playing Barbies)
The other day I was reminded, again, of the importance of this ministry, all through 30 minutes of playing playdough. A team brought down some playdough for the kids and I was in the smaller room playing with the younger kids. Since we hadn’t had playdough in a few months, it was the first time for Mariana to ever see playdough. I opened the container and gave it to her and she just started playing with the container, not even trying to get the playdough out. After observing her, I watch the other kids pull out the playdough and start creating things with their imaginations. When I finally helped her pull it out, she just held the lump, not really understanding what to do with it. Finally I started pulling it apart and forming stuff and she quickly joined in. As they all played, I realized how simple, fun things can help a child’s brain and motor skills develop; and that these children will never have these in their homes. Not only do we have the ability to help them develop spiritually, we are helping them develop skills for life.
Thanks for praying for this ministry and me, it’s exciting to watch it prosper and expand to reach more and more families!