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3 entries from August 2012

Marriage Preparation

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Last month (16th July) we wrote about Sofia and her two kids, who came along to a Holiday Club we were running at the drop-in centre. We also shared about of her desire to get married to her partner, Joe, also an ex-street kid. They are pictured here with their adopted Mum and Dad who have taken them into their home to care for them and to show them Christ's love. This couple and their family have shown amazing scarfice by opening up their hearts and their home to have this small family live with them as it has not always been easy.

Sofia and her partner Joe (not their real names) have asked us to help them prepare for the marriage commitment that they want to make in September. We have had two sessions with them so far, we have explored the definition of marriage, what the Bible teaches about marriage, and why they themselves want to get married. Please pray for them in the coming weeks as we look at subjects such as conflict and communication. 

They both admit they are carrying a lot of baggage and have anger management issues - unsurprisingly considering the lifestyle and backgrounds they both have. This sometimes means they react disproportionately to certain things and this isn't uncommon in street children. We know that God can and is bringing healing to those areas and that things won't change overnight, but for the time being we are seeking to give them the skills they need to start their marriage off on a good footing.

We shared with them how one of the readings we had at our wedding was the parable of the builders. One who built his house on sand, the other on the rock. Sofia and Joe are determined to build their marriage and relationship on the foundation of Christ and are really passionate to hear what the Bible has to say. Pray that their hunger and thirst to learn will neither be satisfied nor quenched.


Struggle for survival after life on the streets

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Today we met up with Eli and her two children, Samuel and Naphtali, and spent some time catching up with how the family are doing. Some of you may remember Eli from previous newsletters and blogs. Helen has known her since 2001 when she had recently come off the street and was living with Fidel and another Christian lady for a while. She had spent most of her life in either street-kid's homes or on the street, having run away from an abusive mother. Since then however, she has found some reconciliation with her mum, and now lives fairly close to her, although the relationship has had a lot of ups and downs. 

She has had a fairly rough time of it since leaving the streets as well, and as a consequence of being raped got pregnant with her first child, and then got in to an unhealthy relationship and got pregnant again with her second child. She is now trying to work and support both children on her own, but we were really pleased to see how well she is coping - she really has learnt a lot of resilience. The two kids have been on summer holidays so she hasn't been able to work very much recently, but both kids are going to boarding school from next week so that she can work a bit more to be able to support them. She'll see them at week-ends only, so she's quite anxious about how the youngest who's only 2 years old will cope. 

The child who we are all most worried about at the moment however is her nephew Noé, who is about 13 now. He was abandoned when he was 7 or 8 years old by Eli's sister for a few months and left in the house to look after his younger brother - just 3 or 4 years old. Fortunately the neighbours discovered them and took them food each day, but it wasn't until Eli turned up at the house that they had anyone to really look after them. Eli then took care of them (with the help of her mum) until one day the father of the youngest came back for him leaving Noé still with no sign of his mum. He is now at a boarding school, and he is getting both help for health issues (he was neglected and malnourished as a child) as well as psychological issues - which have surfaced a lot recently. Eli says he is now becoming unmanageable both at school and at home, which is no surprise considering what he has been through. We are seriously worried he could well end up on the streets. Please pray with us that he gets the help and support he needs from the doctors and psychologists, and pray for Eli and the rest of the family as they struggle to make ends meet. 


'Business on the beach'

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Well I think you'll agree Nisha and Anya are very cute and are really enjoying their ice lollies but we have a different subject matter this week......

Thank you for all those that were praying for the meetings I had last week with our field director, David. And to those of you who joined Helen’s sympathetic tones about me doing ‘business on the beach’ I have to admit there was one occasion where we had a meal on the beach overlooking the Pacific, but I hasten to add that the majority of the time was spent retreating to the comfort of an air conditioned house to escape the debilitating heat and humidity outside, and doing a lot of deep talking!

 It was really reassuring to us that as we met there was a oneness and unity in our thinking, in fact David suggested something Helen and I had talked about but hadn’t included on our agenda, so we felt very encouraged. 

So in terms of our roles here, Helen will continue to spend the majority of her time involved with Nisha and Anya. As always kids open doors to friendships, and already, their frequent trips to the park and Nisha’s cycling expeditions around our street has provided some opportunities to converse with the neighbours. In fact one neighbour, a lawyer, has already expressed interest and support for what we are doing at MEFI. The rest of Helen’s time will be spent relaying prayer needs, providing pastoral care to the team and giving discipleship to young street mums.

I will begin this term by focusing on our long term financial strategy. Right now MEFI has about enough money to see us through until about next May. Unfortunately, we have had to freeze taking on more staff until we have more security - we trust God to provide and are looking to many different sources for support, including working more in North America, including Mexico. 

I will also create a structure in which we can begin to recruit volunteers, we need to have good training programmes in place, forms to bring trustworthy folk in, and of course a city wide tour of churches to begin to promote the ministry.

I am also excited to be involved in something I love best, the local church. We have been asked to serve in a fairly new church, to support the leadership team there, and I will also attempt to get involved in our house church network with a special interest in coming alongside our seminary students and providing them with opportunities for ministry, and to help them grow in their skills.

There is a host of other exciting sub-projects we are looking forward to being involved in at some point, but ultimately we know that God is already at work here and touching lives that are hurting and hungry for His love. We just want to join Him in that work.