Jesus loves the little children…
Teaching school for 33 years really helped prepare me for the mission field…in more ways than I knew. Meet Oliver who is 5 years old, very demanding, badly behaved, and NEVER stops talking, even during the Bible story. Last year during VBS, he stole my heart! Why is it that I’m drawn to the ones that misbehave? Because they need love.
This year, on the second day of VBS, Oliver’s mom, Diana, walked over to get him. Since we weren’t finished yet, I invited her over to the adult group that Phil was teaching, and gave her a Bible open to the verses he was teaching. During Phil’s lesson, Diana told him that she had been worshiping death, santa muerte, a pagan religion here in Mexico, and wondered if God could forgive her for that. (Though she didn’t indicate she was ready to stop…) He explained some in the little time left, and asked her to come back the next days to learn more about Jesus and His forgiveness. On the last day, Diana stood up to declare that she was ready to give her life to Jesus Christ! I am praying that Christ will work greatly in her life, and Oliver’s.
Ah, Yasir! What a story! Last year, Yasir would walk over to our Bible study and sneak around the corner and just stand there. No smile. No eye contact. He wouldn’t join us for singing, games, or anything, and eventually would leave. So, I started walking over to the corner each time he came and giving him some candy. He would take it and leave. I figured he was mentally handicapped. Other kids said he didn’t go to school, and couldn’t read.
As the last year has gone by, Yasir began to stay for the Bible lesson and singing, but wouldn’t participate. And more recently, he’s been watching for our truck to come through on Fridays, and he comes over early while we’re setting up. Phil has been spending time with him, and letting him help set up. He even rode in the truck with us when we strapped a speaker to the top of our truck and rode through the community playing loud Christian music to let everyone know it was time for Bible study. At VBS last week, I gave him a Bible, and he was so proud of it! Oh, and he’s talking to us now! All these kids want is love, and praise God, we get the privilege of showing them the love of Jesus.
Sweet Evelin! She has grown so much in the last year. She’s 7 years old, very smart, and loves to read the Bible. Her mom received Christ as her Savior at one of the evangelistic events that we had at the ranch last year. It’s rare to meet the dads here, because they’re usually far away working. I pray that she understands the vast love that the Father has for her, and that one day soon, when she fully understands sin and salvation, she will give her life to Jesus.
There is no true evangelical church near La Polvora. No one to teach the children, the youth, the adults, and the elderly. That’s why Simón asked us to begin coming there weekly to teach the Bible to his community. He’s a new Christian, but Phil has trained him to lead the Bible study when we can’t be there. Our goal is to make disciples, who in turn make more disciples…to start little groups throughout that very lost community. God is working!
Meet Alexander, he’s 10 years old. His job in the family is to wake up very early in the morning and take the goats over the mountain to graze. School is next in his day. He usually stops by to see us or stay for the Bible lesson if he’s not working with the goats after school. Alexander is a joker! He loves to hear me speak in English…and usually laughs! What an opportunity we have to share Christ and God’s ways with Alexander before he reaches the age of hanging out with some older boys who are up to no good.
Camila is going through a lot for a child of 7 years. Her dad has severe diabetes and has been in the hospital in the city for weeks now. The doctors had to amputate his leg. Camila’s mom is there with him, so Camila and her brother are staying with relatives. She misses her parents so much. But she still smiles and loves to learn about Jesus! Camila’s brother, Giovani, was recently caught stealing in the community…common for teen boys there. Jesus is their answer…Lord please enter their hearts!
There are so many more…I love them all!
None of our work with these children would be possible without Amanda Gonzalez. I’m not fluent enough in Spanish yet to teach the Bible, but I’m working on it! Amanda loves teaching children about Jesus, and is very good at it! She lives an hour south of us, and rides the bus to our area, then we pick her up at the bus stop, and she rides another hour and a half with us to the ranch…every Friday. What a blessing she is, a single mom, struggles to make ends meet, but never misses a Friday to share Jesus with these kids!
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…
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