My son told me recently, “God is in the business of taking bad decisions and using them for good.” How true that is! We all remember the story of Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son. His jealous brothers almost killed him, but ended up selling him into slavery. Joseph went through many years of hardship, but he stayed true to God and God’s principles. He refused to allow himself to become like so many in the world. He maintained principles of righteousness. He continued to pray to God and he was incredibly patient, even as he spent years in jail, wrongfully accused of adultery. He continued to develop his talents, and he was obviously an amazing administrator. Along the way, he listened to God, and God told him things and showed him things that caused others to recognize that he was gifted. Many years later, when there was famine in the land, and people were literally starving to death, he had been forewarned by God, and was placed in a position in which he could direct the storage of food for the kingdom of Egypt. Because he was placed in this powerful position, he was able to save many people, as the stored food was used to feed a n
Then, along came his brothers from their home country (Israel), looking for food. In an amazing encounter, when they discover that he is their brother, and of course think like most people would, that their brother will now seek revenge and harm or even kill them, Joseph responds,
Gen 50:19-22 "Don't be afraid. Do I act for God? 20 Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now — life for many people. 21 Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I'll take care of you and your children." He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart. 22 Joseph continued to live in Egypt with his father's family. Joseph lived 110 years.
So often, people do bad things that can affect many. We have been considering how those bad things have affected our girls at Casa. The normal result of being cast off, rejected, hurt, being taught an immoral lifestyle is for a person to become angry, resentful, sorrowful, bitter. Their life can be destroyed by the pain. These “natural” results are what we are trying to combat in our girls.
Our answer is always found in the Lord. I am constantly reminded that He loves us and these girls more than any human.
Jer 31:3-6 I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. 4 I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. 5 Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.6 There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, 'Come, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.
Here we see God’s restoration love at work, drawing people to Himself so that He can heal them, provide for them, build them up into people who can make a difference in our world.
There is something we can all learn from this: God’s help, His solution, His love, His power, are greater than every injustice and evil that can seek to harm. What we need, and what our girls at Casa need, is to:
Heb 10:22-24 Draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us all remember, that despite the injustices and evil the world can throw our way, there is a God who is there to show us a path through that will result in blessings for ourselves and others. We simply need to be patient and continue to trust that He will show us how to bring good out of the bad. Remember Joseph. Please keep our girls in prayer.
Alas de Amor has just about completed another school year in Palomas. We handed out certificates of successful completion of the program to our students. We gave special recognition to the students who were exceptional scholastically. We were pleased that quite a few students did very well! School is officially out the first week of July and will start again in August. Not much of a break for these kids. Your support has helped encourage students to run the race and stay in school! Each month we are encouraged by the participation of the kids and their parents. We are making a difference in Palomas! Thanks to those of you who sponsored a child we are finishing the year with 114 children plus 6 college students. We will start the new year with 103 students and 8 college students.
Those of you who sponsored a child last year should have received a letter in the mail with a new picture of your child. We are always sad to report that some students choose not to continue in the program. Some drop out of school so they can work to help support families, some move away and others just decide they don’t want the commitment to excellence that our program requires. We hope that those sponsors who are affected by this will choose to sponsor another child. We have 24 new students who are anxious to join the program.
Sponsorship amounts remain the same for the coming year. $250 elementary (1-6), $350 Secondary (7-9), and $450 High School (10-12).
We are excited that more of our kids are choosing college as an option and that the parents are seeing the importance of this step in their children’s life. College in Mexico costs around $1000 a year. US community college is $2,000.00 a semester. Two of our girls from Casa are in El Paso going to school. All in all, our college students need $10,000 this coming school year to pay their school expenses. If you would like to sponsor a college student in part or full, we can work out a payment plan. We feel that this is an exciting and very important step in helping these kids to succeed in their community and in life, and to be able to give back to others. Any monthly amount you wish to give will help the whole group. Designate on the form at the bottom of the page that it is for College and we will use it accordingly.
We look forward to partnering with everyone for the new school year and pray the Lord will continue to bless and use the program to change lives in Palomas. Thank you for your faithfulness in the past, and for your future involvement. Together, we can make a real difference in a poverty-stricken town, where up until now, kids have been stuck with very little promise of a good future!