The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
Have you ever been in a place that is pitch dark where you can't even see your hand an inch from your face? Maybe when all the power has gone out of your place, or when you went camping and there was no moon to light up the night sky. It can be paralyzing right? Because you just don't know where to make the next move, and so maybe you just stay put for a while, and wait for daylight.
The month of December was like that for me. I was paralyzed from grief of losing 2 friends within a week of each other. Both wives, moms, occupational therapists, and friends. Both under the age of 40. In that same week, I heard of other friends back home who are fighting their own battles with cancer and other illnesses. To top it off, there were a few fires here in Peru where some people lost their lives and hundreds, their homes. It was just all TOO MUCH. Have you ever felt that way? I just couldn't wrap my mind around all the sadness that had just occurred to many people that I love. My thoughts seemed to keep going back to the questions: "Why God?" and "What is the point of all this"? (this meaning life). I told myself all the cliche things that people say when someone is hurting, but I just didn't believe it. I was stuck. No matter how much I willed myself to move forward, to try and bounce back, I was stuck in darkness.
After about 2 weeks like this, God gave me a little light in the form of a sweet and beautiful baby boy. He was abandoned by his mom at birth and came to live at the orphanage I serve at when he was just 2 weeks old. Now many might think it is sad that his mom left him, and it is....but for some reason, his life woke me up and brought in the light I needed.
1. Plants that are dead and have been for over 2 months now.
2. Plants that I THOUGHT were dead, but were coming back to life after I re-potted them, gave them plant food and water.
3. Plants that were thriving.
So, this is what God told me in these plants....He told me to focus on the plants in number 2. The ones that needed new soil or water. He told me to not focus on death. That He has that covered, but instead to focus on how to help give "nutrients" to the plants and people who need it. The ones who are hungry for a different life. So, that sweet little baby gave me first speck of light to break out of the darkness.
More light....We continue to receive new kids into the Sunday school program for kids with special needs. This past weekend was a FULL day camp away from church and parents. 4 kids with special needs will get to attend because they have a volunteer paired with them and the parents can rest in the fact that they will be cared for.
More light...The kids at Padre Martinhos Orphanage are excited for summer and what that means..We are planning our 3rd annual pool day and this year ALL the kids get to go since it will be on a Saturday and we plan to do it at the orphanage that the church owns and runs since they have an amazing pool! We are all excited about this day! Please pray that this goes smoothly, right now there is major flooding in the surrounding area and there are many landslides that have affected travel. That might also affect our trip to the pool. Please also pray for those who are homeless due to the flooding. It is definitely a trying time in Peru for many.
1. The baby at the orphanage-his health
2. Calev (medical equipment-he needs a ventilator to go home, his health and provision for his family)
3. More volunteers for Sunday serving in the Area of kids with special needs and more families to come and feel they have a place.
4. More kids to come to receive therapy at the community center.
5. For all the families experiencing their own darkness whether it is flooding, health issues, death of a loved one, that they will experience the light of Jesus amidst the dark times.