Katherine is a great friend of ours who we have known for several years now. She and her family are originally from Venezuela, she has two sons, but she separated from her husband shortly after the birth of her second son. It has been amazing to see how much she has grown in her walk with God since the time we met her. When we met her she had become very detached from church and from God, but it was obvious that God was prompting her to seek Him again and through various 'God-incidences' she started going regularly to church again, asked to join the Bible study group we have in our home, asked that I meet up to do some discipleship with her, made a decision to get baptised, has now started her own small group in her hair salon where she works, and she's preparing to go on a mission trip to the UK in the summer! It is so exciting to see God at work in her life!
Of course, the enemy has not been happy about all this, and she has experienced many spiritual attacks and discouragements throughout the last few years. One of the most difficult and painful has been with her older son Kevin. He is now 19, and since leaving school has lived a fairly reckless, carefree life, mixing with friends who were a bad influence on him, and without going in to too much detail, started dabbling in petty crime which could have easily landed him in jail. Despite all this he has had an encounter with God and had made a commitment at one point, and we believe that deep down he still really wants to follow God's path for his life.
Katherine has prayed constantly for him, and has given him opportunity after opportunity to change and start respecting the boundaries that she had tried to establish in his life. However, Kevin continued to overstep the boundaries and the pain and conflict that this was causing for the rest of the family (Katherine's parents also live with them, as well as Katherine's 13 year old son Vincent), meant that she had to impose some consequences, and so she told Kevin he had to move out and go and live with his father (an alcoholic) in the south of Mexico - near Cancun.
At present Kevin has no work, and no money, and neither does his father - who also lives a very unpredictable life. His father has never been a good influence for Kevin, and in fact is probably one of the root causes for the low self-esteem and insecurity that Kevin feels. But Katherine felt that she didn't have a choice and this may be the only way that Kevin will get a 'wake-up' call. He could well end up on the streets, taking drugs, get arrested, the list goes on, but Katherine and we are trusting and praying that God will bring good out of all this and will transform the situation. And ultimately we pray that Kevin, just like the prodigal son in the parable will 'come to his senses' and be brought to his knees to reach out to his Father in heaven again and recognise who he is and who he could be in Christ.
Please pray for him, and for Katherine and Vincent and Katherine's parents as they are all going through a tremendous amount of pain and anguish right now. (Kevin is at the forefront of the photo, Vincent and Katherine behind).