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3 entries from July 2012

Holiday Bible Club

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The last 5 days have been energetic, fun, fast-paced, exhausting and exciting all at the same time! We had between 25 and 30 kids coming to the Holiday Bible Club each day and we are certain God was speaking to the kids and parents during that time. The kids were both those of street mums that we know already (i.e. Sofia's kids whom we mentioned last week), as well as kids from the local community which consists of a lot of broken families or parents with drink or drug problems.

On Sunday we had the final day of the club to which the parents were invited. Lots of them came and a lot of them made decisions to invite Christ in to their lives at the end of the morning. The kids performed the songs they had learnt during the week and their was a drama that some of the youth had put together. The youth were mainly the street boys who had volunteered to help out during the week - we'll call them Mick, Ed and Andy - and they all did a great job helping to register the kids when they arrived, helping in the kitchen, and helping with one of the workshops that were running during the week. They all seemed to be really motivated and allowing them to take on responsibilities really  enhanced  their self esteem and increased the trust between us. 

Please continue to pray for Sofia and her kids - Sara and Andres, they have had a few ups and downs this week, but they have agreed to do a marriage preparation course with Steve and I starting in a couple of weeks time. Please also pray for Jenni - the daughter of a lady who was coming along to the drop-in centre regularly when we were here the last time. She had a baby around the same time that Anya was born, but sadly the baby was killed by a door falling on her a few months after she was born. Jenni is about 5 years old, she has a younger brother as well. She came just one day to the club, but I hope she felt God's love for her during that short time. 

Please pray for the MEFI team as they are all really tired after the week, but won't be able to take a break til next week-end as the drop-in centre is open all this week. We hope they'll be able to take a holiday soon. 

Oh, and Steve did survive the week you'll be pleased to know, and the girls did too!! They all enjoyed having a bit of Daddy/daughter time, but Steve's now escaping to the coast for a few days to recover (actually for meetings with our field director who is based there for  health reasons). So he'll be doing business on the beach!


Restoring their childhood

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This is a picture of Sofia's children - Sara and Andres - taken last year when they were still on the streets (names have been changed for their protection). These children lived on the streets with their mum and we knew Sofia before the kids were even born on our visits over the years. Sofia was raped and abused as a child (by members of the family) and was abandoned in an orphanage by her mother when she was 2 years old. She eventually ran away to the streets when she was only 6 years old and quickly got sucked in to prostitution and drugs. She has suffered all sorts of things since being on the streets and has sought after someone who really loves her, only to be rejected and beaten at the hands of many 'lovers'. She finally found the true love she was looking for in Jesus, and although she was very resistant and skeptical at the start, she now shares her story with other street children as she is convinced that Jesus has the power to change their lives as he has changed her own. 

She has met a guy who treats her with love and respect and has 'adopted' her 2 children as his own. He too lived on the streets, however, they have now left the streets, and they are planning to get married in September! Sofia is attending a church where a lady is giving her discipleship and she turned up at the drop in centre last week to tell us the exciting news. Please pray for her and her two children as they take this massive step. 

Next week we are putting on a holiday Bible club in the drop in centre for ages 4 to 12 and Sofia and her kids will be coming.

It is mainly for the children of street parents, but for some of the children from the neighbourhood as well. It will be from Wednesday to Sunday and I (Helen) will be giving the teaching to the younger kids, so Steve will be on duty with Nisha and Anya.  We would appreciate your prayers, both for the club, for the small team and for ourselves (pray that Steve survives the week!) We are excited that one of the street boys that has been attending the drop in centre (M - 16 yrs old) has committed to help out with one of the workshops, so pray for him too. 

We'll let you know next week how it all goes!


A country of contrast

 

Poverty

Having been back in Mexico almost a month now we are falling in love with the place all over again, but also remembering some of those things that make us wish we were back in the UK. 

Mexico truly is an amazing place, some of the beaches and mountains are unbeatable for their natural beauty. The people are warm and friendly, and with the second biggest economy in Latin America you might wonder why we are here.

In a BBC article which spoke of Mexico in light of the Presidential elections today I read:

"Mexico has achieved macroeconomic stability but has not redressed social inequality among its population.

All the presidential candidates have pledged to reduced poverty, which edged up from 44.5% to 46.2% between 2008 and 2010, according to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy."

There are three big issues the presidential candidates have been talking about: Corruption, which is sadly rife up and down the social structure, poverty, and the war on drugs. 

The war on drugs was brought a bit closer to home last week when I went to pick someone up from the airport, and I found out that on the same spot where I stood less than 24 hours before there had been a gun battle between Federal Police confronting corrupt police. 3 Police officers died in the shooting which took place in this very busy public place.

We realised that whilst we live in a beautiful country with so many wonderful things going for it, people live here with the reality that each day is a gift and each time they get in the car, bus, metro, or walk down the street they may well be putting their lives at risk. 

A street boy -'L.A' - who we are currently working with and who recently accepted Christ as his saviour is at this moment battling with cancer, tuberculosis and possibly AIDS. The sad thing is that apart from going in to hospital for chemotherapy every couple weeks, he is struggling to survive on the streets the rest of the time, helped and cared for by his street friends.  Alex and Paty - workers in the drop-in centre - have been trying to locate his family who live in a town about 3 hours south west of Mexico City. They have looked at other options i.e.  government homes, but there aren't any available, and other places are costly. They don't have hospices like we do in the UK. L.A  asked us to pray that God would give him another chance, but we also know he may receive the ultimate healing to go and be with God in heaven. We pray that above all else he will know God's love, care and provision and that God would give him back his dignity. 

I read this quote recently "The opposite of poverty is not wealth...the opposite of poverty is justice" -  Bryan Stevenson. We are here to see that justice prevails, not to judge the wealthy or give false hope to the poor, but to share a hope that reaches far beyond the injustice in society. As it says in Revelation 21:3-4  "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’