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March 2016

2 entries from April 2016

'Dear God....'

I have now said farewell to my little group of young people who were attending the parenting course at the drop-in centre. I am so thankful for all that God is doing in the lives of those who attended and who will continue to attend. More than anything else, the young people began to see God as their true Father and began to have a different image of a 'father' to what they had before. They began to see themselves through different eyes - through God's eyes, and not through the eyes of those who have, and still do judge them. They began to understand what God's grace means, that they could be forgiven and receive his gift of a 'Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.' (in the words of 'the Jesus Storybook Bible'). 

I am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to touch these young people's lives, and to have my life touched by them too. I am also so thankful for Katherine who has led the group with me and who has been an amazing support and encouragement. I have now handed over the group to her and Carmen to continue to be God's instruments to bring words of life and hope to the young people that attend. Please pray for them. 

A couple of weeks ago I asked the young people to write God an honest letter to tell him how they were feeling at that moment. Several of them wrote letters, but I thought I would include a few so that you can pray for what they are going through, but also to be encouraged at how they are seeking God in their situations. (I haven't included names to protect their privacy):

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For God, our Father, 

Hi God, I hope that with this letter I can ask you to help me control my anger, my sadness, my loneliness, and help my family and my sister, my father, even though I don't have them now, you know where they are, I know that you can see them and that you can help them to keep going. But I ask you for the family that I am making (he and his partner were expecting a baby together, but unfortunately they have now split up) and pray that you give me strength to keep going. But you know that the person that I wanted to be and that I wanted to become, is not what I am now, but you know that I never went backwards, only tried to go forwards. I give you thanks that you have given me the opportunity to make a family, I pray that you won't leave me and that I can keep going forwards. 

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For: My Father Jesus Christ, 

My dear Father, I recognise that I have behaved badly and that I have sinned. You know everything, you know what has happened, what life I have led, I feel really bad, and I honestly don't know how to cope with my feelings and I ask you that you give me a blessing so that I can be a different person in this life. Please help me as well with the partner that I have now and with the child that is on the way. I know that I have behaved badly and I don't treat her nicely, but I know that you will guide me. 

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Lord, before anything else I come before you with a the motive to thank you for the opportunities that day after day you give me. I want to offer you my heart - that you would heal it, so that I can please you. And I ask you that you would really be my light and my path. Please help me not to continue in my sin and to live in wisdom in order to give my daughter a good example.  

 

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Thank you God for those that have taught us your word. Thank you God that my family is now united, thank you for my life, thank you for rescuing me from the drugs, thank you because I know that you are going to change Blanca (his partner) - change her mind and heart. 

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These young people still have a lot to learn! But they have also come so far! The beautiful thing is that they are so hungry to know God and come to Him in all their 'rawness' and brokenness and are so thankful to God for all that He gives to them (even if in the world's eyes it seems like they have nothing). Please continue to pray for Katherine, Carmen and the group. 

We also had a special little farewell party with everyone at the drop-in centre last week. We will tell you more about that next time! 


Family outing with a difference

Between now and the 31st May (when we are leaving Mexico to return to the the UK) we are focussing on what we need to do here to finish well. One of the things that Nisha and Anya said they would like to do before we leave was to visit the streets with us to see where the street people actually live. We too felt this was a really important experience for the girls to have in order to understand a bit more about why Steve and I felt called by God to come to Mexico in the first place and why MEFI came in to existence. We felt God would use this experience to open their eyes to how other children/young people live and give them a greater passion to pray for them and to share with others about the work MEFI does here. 

So we arranged to go to visit one of the groups during the Easter holidays. We gave the girls an orientation session, which included praying on the 'armour of God',  and then we set out with Alex and Paty to visit the group at Indios Verdes (which was actually one of the very first groups I visited with Fidel way back in 1998! In fact some of the 'kids' I met then were sadly still there, and although they were really excited to see me, Steve and the kids, it broke my heart to see them in the same place, only now older, more rugged and looking tired and worn out from the life they have lived. One of the boys whom I knew from 18 years ago was Marcos. He was only about 10 years old then, and he lived on the street with his brother Oscar. His eyes revealed the deep sadness that he still carries in his heart after his brother was killed on the streets about 3 years ago. 

However, it did encourage me that some of the guys have now broken free of the drugs, and most of them were working - washing windscreens at the traffic lights. God also enabled us to see José Luis again with his two adopted kids Samantha and Adan. We had met up with Jose Luis and his partner Sandra each week to do some marriage preparation with them. Sandra had two children from another partner, and had lived on the streets most of her life. In fact I met her with her baby Samantha on the streets. José Luis had also spent most of his life on the streets, but Sandra and he had a very strong relationship and he had taken on Sandra's two kids as his own. Although they were both living off the streets, and were both drug free, whilst we were doing marriage preparation with them, José Luis still struggled with breaking free from the life and the group that he had become part of on the streets. They got married in 2013, and have been living in various places, but have recently separated because of the ongoing problems they were having. Thankfully they are still in contact, and the kids still see José Luis. We were able to talk with him and pray with him before we left, but the whole family would really appreciate your prayers. 

It was also very strange to see one of the guys I knew - Antonio - who was around 12 years old when I first met him, now with a wife and three kids of similar age to our 3 kids. Only their lifestyle and situation is a completely different story. Nisha and Anya chatted quite a bit to those kids, and it made a huge impact on them. We were so proud of their attitude towards all the street people we met, despite how dirty many of them were and how bad they smelled, they shook hands with them all and served them food and drinks and gave out little party bags they had prepared plus the blankets that they had received at their birthday party which they had requested instead of presents. It gave them great joy to see the huge smiles on the faces of the guys as they gave them out. 

Nisha wrote in her journal afterwards: 

"On Tuesday 29th April we went to see the children on the streets. I helped by giving out the food and the spoons. I felt sorry that they didn't have many toys. I pray that good will happen and that You will be near to them and when we go to England that You will give them a home. God also made me think of the bit in the Bible that talks about not worrying. It says that God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, and says "are you not much more valuable than they are?" (Matthew 6:26). I think God wants to say this to the street children."

Please pray with Nisha that God would speak this truth in to the lives of the young people on the streets - that they would trust in God and would know just how valuable they really are. 

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Antonio with his three boys 

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Praying with the group. 

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Nisha giving one of the blankets she received for her birthday

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Anya serving one of the lads a plate of food 

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Giving out the party bags containing some fruit and sweets. 

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With Marcos (Oscar's brother) 

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With José Luis and his adopted daughter Samantha.