Tauren Wells wrote a song that is a popular Christian hit–some of the verses state:
You're God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
All of life is filled with high points and low points, “hills and valleys.” We know that there are many reasons we go through hills and valleys in our lives, but let’s face it, going through the valleys is HARD! And it seems that very every mountain top experience we have, when we look out and appreciate the beauty and wonder of God’s Creation, and the blessings that have come into our lives, we know that we will not always feel this way. There may be sickness, hurt, death, destruction, right around the next corner.
How often have we asked God, “Why? Why God, do I have to go through this?” Sometimes we may know the answer, but sometimes we may not. Either way, it is painful. And if you happen to be a young orphan in Mexico, you have already been in a monumental valley. What we have discovered over the 19 years of this ministry is that youngsters can get pretty messed up from all the storms, all the tragedies that have hit them. They come to us wounded and bruised, and lacking understanding of why they have to deal with all of this pain that they did not create, but yet they have become the victim.
Because of this, we have decided that we need to have regular counseling available for all of our girls at Casa. This is expensive, and honestly we don’t know how we are going to pay for it, but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith because you know that Jesus would want you to do what you can to restore life for these girls. Please pray for Gabriela, our Christian Counselor from Juarez, who is now working with the girls. Please pray that the girls will have breakthroughs in their lives that will help them to become better equipped to deal with the shipwrecks that have occurred in their lives. If you would like to help with this ministry, it is costing us 3,300 pesos twice per month, or $365 USD per month.
There is so much we feel we must do to prepare these girls to have a “normal” life. They have never really experienced living in a “normal” family. They have no idea how to relate to parents, they have no idea how to become good parents, they have no idea of the reality of taking responsibility for their lives, as the state has simply stepped in and provided for their physical needs, but done little to nothing to help them develop into well-balance human beings when they grow up. They know little about family love.
So, we are trying to educate not only our girls, but all of the high school kids in our Alas program, about what life is going to be like, how to make a plan for their future, how to realize a plan for their future, and how the choices they make now will prepare them for that future, whether for good or for bad. In short, we are trying to earn their love and trust enough that they will learn from us as they would learn from good parents–life lessons that will allow them to have many mountain top experiences, many times of joy in their lives, rather than spending most of their lives in the valleys of hardship and sorrow.
Prov 1:8-9 Listen, my child, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
Prov 13:1 Intelligent children listen to their parents ; foolish children do their own thing.
The most important thing we can learn and keep in mind is that Jesus came to this world because of love. He came to teach us true love. He came to show us that no matter what bad things have happened or will happen in our lives, we can overcome t h e m t h r o u g h displaying His love in the face of the valleys.
1 John 5 : 4 - 5 everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Here are some of the Valleys we are going through:
Ana’s new kidney has quit working. She is in the hospital, and she needs a miracle to get it working again!
Gracie has a badly sprained/broken foot, and is unable to get around!
Betty has been trying to establish important rules for Casa, and taking a lot of abuse from the girls as a result.
One of our girls is in the “Open School” which is something like home-schooling with tests and grades monitored by the State, and we have had great difficulty getting her effectively in the program–at this point she is about 1 ½ years behind in school. We need the barriers to fall!
Here are some of the mountain tops we are on:
The girls are showing a positive change in attitude and in school work.
The program with the kids and their parents in Alas is going great!
Our girls in the college English program are moving right along!
We have 3 new girls in Casa to train up!
Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward with our girls in Casa and the kids in the Alas program. There is so much to do to train them up, to encourage them, to help them! But our faith is strong!
Christmas will be here before we know it! Pat will be getting a hold of you and your church in the next few weeks to help sponsor Christmas for the children of Palomas. This is such an important event for many of these kids, who wouldn’t receive anything for Christmas but for your gifts!
Jim and Pat