We had just finished feeding several hundred very poor children, families, and elderly individuals. Now it was time to pass out gifts for each. The children all received a small gift (a doll or a car) along with a bag of mixed goodies with cookies and candies. The families and the elderly each received a food relief kit filled with staples to last them through the month. I never tire of watching the children’s faces light up when you hand them a gift. The majority of these children have never received a gift in their entire lives. So to them, its a big deal. You can imagine their excitement.
For the families and the elderly, they are equally as tickled with the fact that someone cared enough to give them a box full of food to feed their families. There are no hands extended expecting anything. They are genuinely grateful and they make sure to let us know just how much.
Priscilla and I had just finished passing out the gifts to the children. We then began distributing the food relief kits. Each family member passed through with huge smiles on their faces and over and over again we heard, “Dios le pague” (God repay you). My heart was full knowing that these simple food kits would bring just a little relief over the next few weeks. It wasn’t until one elderly lady passed through the line that made me realize just how incredibly important these food kits are and how much of an impact they really make.
The sweet elderly lady that you see pictured here made her way through the line. She’s lived a hard life. She still gets up at the break of dawn and works a hard day laboring in the mountains to tend to animals and her crops in order to survive. She is alone. There is no one to care for her. No assistance to ensure that each month she has enough food to live. No hand outs, no programs, nothing. Can you only imagine life as hard as this?
Our team member, Santiago, placed a food relief kit in her arms. The most pure, deep, genuine smile painted her entire face. Her cheeks flushed red. Santiago reached out to touch her face and she planted her face deep within in hands. And, like a child, she bashfully grinned and rubbed her face in his palm. It was the most precious moment. I couldn’t choke back the tears. I felt them rolling down my face as I sat there and could do nothing more than to thank God for allowing me to be a part of this incredible work. I turned my head to wipe the tears and saw that Priscilla had tears rolling down her face too. We both looked at each other and without words reaffirmed to each other only through a look the importance of this mission.
The only thing I could say was, “I hope someone was able to capture that because I never want to forget that memory and I want to share it with others.” You can imagine our excitement when we scrolled through a couple hundred photos from that day and saw that someone in deed caught the moment!
This precious woman has food for the next month that will help her live. When she returns from working hard in her crops, she won’t have to worry if there will be anything to eat. She won’t go to bed hungry. That child-like smile as she planted her face in the palm of Santiago’s hand is what I imagine Christ intended for us to feel when He said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture of how God is with His children, no matter our age?
Friends, I often say to you that this mission is so important and your giving is helping to rescue and transform lives. I feel my words are often inadequate because unless you are with us where we go and see for yourself what happens then how could you really know? My prayer is always that God will open your heart to feel everything that is behind these words and bring them to life so that you truly understand the hard core reality that is behind this mission and your giving and prayers.
The first week of January 2016 marks the opening of a new children’s home in South America. We’ve had several delays in opening the home after having to renovate the old historic home and fix plumbing and electrical issues. We’ve now passed all the inspections and have all the licenses to open the home. Before opening the doors the beds are already full. There are that many children waiting on a home. We need help funding this home. When I tell you that it will save lives, I truly mean it.
Our team is anticipating that 2016 will be a great year. We are expecting God’s blessings to pour out over this ministry. We have fought a tremendous battle in 2015 and we have by God’s incredible mercy and grace made it through. We know we will see an increase in the fruits of our labor. That also means that everyone that has supported and funded this mission will see an incredible harvest as well. I’m standing on God’s promises on that one – He has assured me that those blessings are coming for you as well! Believe Him! We are quickly approaching the end of 2015. Please, dig deep in your heart and ask God what you can do for this ministry before the end of the 2015. God knows what we need and He sees your needs as well. I promise you, His word is true and never returns void. When you give to help orphans, widows, the poor and needy, and children living in despair, it touches the heart of God and He responds favorably. We don’t do what we do just to obtain God’s blessings, but they are the result of doing good for His children. It’s an investment with limitless returns! Just like this precious old woman, He will meet your needs. He loves you with an incredible, endless love like a Father to His child.
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To receive a 2015 tax deduction, all donations must be received by December 31, 2015.
THANK YOU! We pray for you and trust that 2016 will be a blessed year for you and your family! Thank you for standing with us and for being such a tremendous blessing to so many lives.