I thought, well, maybe that was just for this tree....because it was so big, that it needed these supports to hold up its branches. But I found the same supports on the smaller trees around the property. All different sizes, with different amounts of fruit being produced, but ALL with the supports. This is what God told me in this moment. He reminded me that those supports are the support of other people. My team. My community. The people who I get to do life with both personally and in ministry. He reminded me that the best way to grow more fruit is to have the support of others to help me get there so that more people can be impacted. The tall branch, while it did bear fruit, was so far out of reach, that no one really will get to enjoy it because it will be bruised and inedible once it falls to the ground. I think before this day, I was trying to be the tall branch, doing everything on my own as much as I could, bearing a little fruit, but it wasn't very accessible...But in this moment, when I saw that all the trees, no matter what size, had the supports, it was clear to me what God was telling me. He told me to lean on the support of others. They will help you bear more fruit......
*One couple said the thing they were most amazed at was the fact that staff members including the KIDS ministry pastor took her day to spend it with them. That a church would care so much about them.
*One couple invited another family to church on Sunday who also has a child with special needs because there now is a place for them.
*2 more families came up to the children's church sign in table on Sunday asking about the program after seeing the pictures posted on Facebook earlier that day.
*One family told us that they had stopped coming to church about 2 years ago because their child was having too much trouble in the regular kids Sunday school program. Her husband returned about a year ago alone and found out that we had just started this area in the KIDS ministry and began bringing his son to church again. The mom then after some time ALSO came back to the church because she could rest in the fact that her child was cared for.
*One parent who did not yet attend any church came into the retreat feeling sad and hopeless about her son. But when she left, she felt loved, in community and said she will begin attending CDV THIS Sunday!!!!
*Less than 24 hours after the event, the parents started a group chat to encourage one another and be each other's support.
These stories are just a few....a beginning of what I can see down the road with our team and the church. I am in awe of how God worked all this out. From something that started out as a dream, to having closed doors along the way that made it seem it would not happen any time soon, to this....
I know that you all have many good causes to support, and so I thank you for those who have chosen to support me in prayer and financially for what I get to do here to bring hope and the light of Jesus Christ to these families here in Peru. YOU too are part of my support system. Without you, I would not be able to be here doing what God has blessed me to do. So thank you so very much. Blessings to all of you!!!