These past 2 months have been filled with a lot of learning, a lot of joy, a lot of trusting, a lot of figuring out how to juggle work and home life, A LOT of NEW stuff. We have now had our sweet boy Kaleb with us 2.5 months! Parenting a toddler has its challenging times, especially one who is just now realizing he has an opinion and knows how to express it. But most of all, we are delighted to be parents to this sweet little boy for the time we have. Thank you all for your continued prayers for our time together as a family, and that God continue to care for Kaleb and direct our steps as parents for him.
While our main focus these 2 months has been on Kaleb adjusting to life with us, our areas of service continue. As mentioned in the last post, Clever and I have been put in charge fully of all training aspects related to the Free Wheelchair Mission wheelchair program. We are responsible for 4-day certification trainings, 1-day workshops, and auditing our partners in other parts of Peru. We just finished our 2nd trainig for this year! (see pictures above) This is a very exciting time for us as a church to begin to network with other churches in Peru to teach them how to connect and serve their own community. We will do this by using the wheelchairs as one tool to reach out to the community. Please will you pray for us as we begin this new venture? It will require a lot of travel on Clever and I as the church expands the program.
On top of the training program responsibilities, Clever is also helping to organize the distributions when mission teams come to visit. In the summer months, we generally have 1-2 mission teams come weekly from various US based churches who come down to serve and wheelchair distributions is normally always something they like to help with.
I currently see 4 kids for therapy weekly, since March of this year, with plans to grow as my schedule allows. 2/4 have autism, 1 with developmental delay and 1 with Down Syndrome. 1 of 4 attend Camino de Vida. Our hope and prayer is that while improving on the developmental milestones of each of these children, these families can find they have a place to belong in CDV. The beauty of CDV is that we can invite them to church AND there is a place for their children to belong thanks to the special needs area in the KIDS ministry! Please be praying that these families accept the invitation to attend one of our 6 campuses so they can attend the service while their children are cared for. We also ask for prayers as we begin to plant seeds for the retreat we will have in November. Please let them be open to this retreat and that all can find childcare for their kids so they can attend.
Every Sunday, I attend one of the campuses that CDV has in different parts of Lima. My job is to help support the volunteers that are serving every Sunday with the kids with special needs. This past week I was in our La Victoria campus. We have 3-4 kids with special needs each Sunday there between 2 services and only 2 volunteers. Please can you pray for more volunteers with a heart to serve these kids and their families? These families do depend on these volunteers so much that if one is not there, it may mean that they don’t come back. This past week, one of our key volunteers could not make it due to work. When a mom brought her son to church and saw that this volunteer was not there, they left without attending. It broke my heart to hear this from the leader. Please be praying for more volunteers so this doesn’t happen again. My dream is to have so many volunteers that we can grow the program.
One of the teams at another campus has begun to modify the class lesson so that their kids with special needs can understand the lesson in a more simple way. It is something that I have a desire to do for all the campuses using the same curriculum. Please pray for a team of people who an help with this. Program planning is not a strength of mine and so I need a team of people who can help me with this part. I LOVE to see our kids learn new things about the bible in a way that matches their needs. !!!
Some of you may remember that all last year, I was doing therapy with a sweet little girl named Cielo who has autism. I started to see her in January, 1 time per week for therapy. For the first 3 months all she did was scream in our sessions. Up to that point that is how she learned to get what she wanted. She did have words, but it was work to use them and screaming was more effective. She screamed so much that she could not attend the special needs Sunday school program because it was disruptive to others. Her mom had to find times to attend church without Cielo which often was a challenge if no one was able to care for her during church hours. After about 3 months of continuous modeling of expecting words for requests of toys, she finally got it. Her mom began to do the same at home. Her mom enrolled her in other therapies and Cielo exploded in her language and development skills. We ended our therapy just before Thanksgiving because I was headed to the states with Clever. We kept in contact with her mom over the time we were away and she shared the continued growth in Cielo! This past week, I got to see the beautiful results of a mom who has been relentless in the growth of her daughter and her own personal spiritual growth. Now, her mom it serving as a volunteer in the special needs area at church so that her daughter can attend the Sunday school class and learn all about our Jesus. As I write this, I am crying tears of joy to see how God has transformed this mother and daughter before my very eyes and I am so very thankful to have been a little part of their story of transformation. Will you please join me in prayer to continue to pray for Cielo and her mom? For continued growth in all areas of their life, for provision, and for strength for the mom to continue to move forward.
The 3rd picture below is of a teenager named Sergio. He used to be part of our KIDS HD program on sundays but last year he aged out and now attends the regular service with his brother. About a month ago he decided to be baptized!!! It was a sweet moment to be able to be there and see him make this public declaration!!!
As you know, Clever and I are full time missionaries. We do not receive income from any other source other than the generosity of others who believe in what we are doing. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for letting us be your hands and feet to the people we are in contact with each week. Your support helps us to help others know that they are not forgotten and that Jesus sees each one of them and knows them personally. Just like Kaleb did for that man, we get to do each day as we interact with people with special needs and their families. Thank you.