The last few weeks in Mexico City have, believe it or not, been pretty cold! Some days have been down to 3 - 7 degrees celsius - so we have all been wrapping up a bit - even in the house, as of course there isn't central heating or anything like that here. But we have been thanking God for the ability to wrap up warm and sleep in a warm bed at night as of course the young people we work with don't have that luxury.
Please pray especially for those that have babies and young children on the streets. One of these girls is Samantha. Her baby is only around 10 months old and Samantha is currently still taking drugs on the streets and sleeping there. She is separated from the father Alejandro, who is actually living off the streets at the moment. The baby is called 'Jemima Esperanza'. Esperanza means hope in Spanish, and although her life seems pretty hopeless at the moment, we know that God gives hope and life and purpose where before there wasn't any. Please pray for this little family.
Please continue to pray for the young street mums and dads that come along to the parenting course each Wednesday morning in the drop in centre. I (Helen) and a friend Katherine lead the sessions, and each week God has been speaking to us about what He really wants us to share with them. Often the themes are to do with their identity and the importance of forgiveness. These themes may not seem to be ones you might normally find in a parenting course, but we have discovered more and more how they are so so applicable. For until we all really know that our importance, acceptance and security do not come from anything that the world believes or says about us (which in their case is usually negative and derogatory), but comes from what God believes and says about us, then we cannot bring children up to look to God for their real identity either, instead they will believe and live the labels they are given.
Also we have noticed that most (if not all) have so much anger and hatred in their hearts because of what they have suffered. This of course affects how they in turn relate to their children, when and if they see them. So although forgiveness is a huge area and it can take months or years to really learn what it means to forgive from the heart, God has been speaking in to these young people's lives in an incredible way and enabling them to forgive those that have caused huge hurts in their lives.
It has been amazing how open the young people have been in the sessions, and how much God is speaking to them about his love for them as a Father. We have also started giving them Bible verses to colour in whilst we are speaking to them, and we have seen how therapeutic it has been for them - they have been able to relax and concentrate a lot better, and have discovered their creative side again.
God has also been speaking to Eli and Samuel (see previous blogs) a lot lately about forgiveness. We can hardly begin to imagine how hard it is for them both to forgive the man that caused so much pain and suffering in their lives. The man who raped Eli and became Samuel's 'father', but who was also Eli's step-dad and her sister's father, and her sister's children's 'father' as well. This man abused all three sisters, and both of Eli's sisters became pregnant by him at the age of 14.
Steve has been discipling Samuel each week, and I have begun to disciple Eli as well. Samuel doesn't know the circumstances in which Eli became pregnant, but without Eli's consent was told recently who his 'father' is by a member of the family. Somehow the 'father' then managed to make contact with Samuel and started promising things to Samuel. A week ago Samuel arranged to meet his 'father' (with Eli waiting a little way away) as Samuel wanted to see if he would fulfil some of the promises he had made. Of course he didn't. So Samuel came away from the meeting with even more hatred and anger than he had before, and this fuelled Eli's hatred of him as well.
So this week has been very difficult for them both and they have struggled to cope with their feelings. Despite all this, God has begun a work of healing in their hearts, and we ask for your prayers for this, and that God would help us to support them through this process.