MARIA TERESA… Some of you already know via Facebook that God has brought Maria Teresa back into our lives and to the Casa. So many of you joined us in praying fervently for this gal as she was unexpectedly removed from our care last December by her father. This was very difficult for a number of reasons. Her parents are very unstable and are at times more drunk than they are sober. What we thought was going to be a one week trip to visit her sick mother, turned into eight months of unanswered questions and phone calls. For those eight months, despite multiple attempts to make sure she was healthy and safe, we were unable to contact any family.
However, nothing is to great NOR impossible for our Great God, who answered our prayers two weeks ago on a Sunday morning. My phone rang and an excited little girl on the end of the line said, “soy Maria Teresa” (I am Maria Teresa). I honestly had no idea who it was at first and it took me a few seconds to put things together. How did she have my phone number? Why after eight months was she all of a sudden calling? She went on to ask me when I was coming to pick her up so she could come back and live with us.
I was overwhelmed with joy and tears as we planned the details to get her. The following Sunday, we made the two hour trek out to La Junta, where she was, and met with both her mom and dad. All the questions that I had wanted answered quickly faded away as I saw the beautiful smile and joy in Teresa’s face. A moment I will forever treasure.
GOLF TOURNAMENT… Jackie, Ayantu, and I had a wonderful time in Seattle this past July, spending a few weeks hanging out with family and friends, relaxing, and participating in our annual Golf Invitational. People came from all over Washington to play golf, help serve, and help raise funds for the orphanage. We had a great turnout and raised $5000. Thank you so much to everyone who played, served, donated, supported, etc. I am GREATLY looking forward to the invitational next year as it will mark our 10th anniversary for the golf tournament. We hope that many more of you will be able to make it out. Save the date: Saturday, July 28th, 2018!
Back-To-School Drive… All 17 of our children have successfully been enrolled in school and are already off to a good start in their studies. We now have children in four different schools: two in the kinder, seven in elementary, six in jr. high, and two in high school. Both the children and staff were very anxious for school to start and to get back into the routine of things.
It certainly takes a lot of work and money to do all the school supply shopping, purchase uniforms, pay school fees, etc. for 18 children. Some of these things we are still purchasing and working on. This year we are doing a first ever Back-to-School Drive. We initially were hoping to raise $2500 to cover the costs. We have been blessed beyond that, as we have already received over $3000 in donations. Now we are able to purchase the 2nd wave of items that will be needed in the coming months, as well as items for our new computer lab/resource room for the children. We will be collecting funds until the end of this month. If you are interested in donating specifically to this drive over the remaining week, please let me know or check out our website www.thehouseofblessing.org for more details.
Julie Ruse… The flier that you are seeing for our back to school drive was done by none other than our friend Julie Ruse. Julie has just finished her three month internship down here and now feels like the Lord is calling her to stay an additional nine months. We are VERY excited for this as Julie’s primary focus will be on assisting me in the office with administrative tasks, graphics, design, etc., as well as helping me oversee our sponsorship, missions, and internship programs.
Prayer Requests… Lots of exciting things taking place right now, as well as, lots of things we need prayer for. Please join us in praying specifically for the following things…
- The children as they adjust to the new school year. Pray that they would develop good study habits early and have an eagerness to continue to learn.
- We have a number of children who are very far behind in their academics. Pray that they might be able to get caught up and not get frustrated because they are behind other children.
- We will be receiving 2-3 new children over the next week. One young boy this very weekend. Please pray that their adjustment goes well and that the other children here at the orphanage would be loving and accepting of their new family members.
- I was suppose to fly out to Florida next Wednesday to teach and share at a church there. However, because of the hurricane, that trip is postponed. We have a lot of friends out there and a great supporting church. Please pray for them all, as well as all of Florida, as they prepare for what might come via hurricane Irma.
- Instead of Florida, I will be flying to Washington on Thursday to teach at two churches and to be at the Northwest Pastors Conference. I love the conference because the orphanage is able to have a booth there and it’s a great way to meet new people and share about the ministry. I will also be teaching at Calvary North Thurston on September 17th and Calvary Whidbey Island on the 24th. Your prayers for my travels and time of sharing will be greatly appreciated.