29 March 2013

New Address

We have a new address  for  Allow The Children.  I guess this is not a huge step in the  eternal scheme of things, but our little ministry is growing and multiplying. We need to separate our ministry mail and personal mail.   Please make a note of it.

20 March 2013

A place for Worship in a Guatemala Village

  The   Senior class of  Timberlake   Christian   Schools,  4th  year in a row,  traveled  to  Guatemala under   Allow  The  Children. The main project of the trip was to build a worship “shelter”  for a village where there were no believers  just a short time  ago.  A  Guatemalan  evangelist is working there   and a few people had come to the Lord.    After a baby  became  very ill and was taken to the mission compound for treatment, more people came.   None of the small homes seemed adequate as a place to meet,  so the people gathered under a tree.  Our project completed a gathering place with  walls about half high,  concrete floor and tin roof. It is not a full building, but  a  LOT of ground  preparation,  moving cinder blocks and mixing concrete went into  it.  On the last  day,  we gathered there for a worship service and dedication and it is  ready to be used for their  regular worship time.   Please  see the photo  taken at the dedication.  At this point, our plan for the summer teams is to  continue to build up the walls and hope to finish a building that can be enclosed to keep chairs,  etc  inside.  In addition to that, we  served  a hot meal in  3 different villages,  distributed clothing and shoes,  painted  buildings  for the orphanage,  preached in 2 church  services,  music and testimonies in the church services,  teaching   Sunday   School  for the children,  brought our 30  Chiquimula  children into  the compound to spend  vouchers  with their sponsorship money to get things they needed.   I think  the  Timberlake  Christian  School  senior class got a great experience with missions and ministry (1)   among the poor and needy,  (2) in a different country and language group, (3)  with  village and orphanage children  (4)  building that will last and serve for worship .  I am looking forward to doing this again with  2 more groups this summer and a similar ministry in  Nicaragua with still another   group.

Slum Ministry, inner city of Nepal

The slum is  a study in contrasts. There are long term families who have collected enough scrap  metal and wood to make themselves a relatively sturdy dwelling, some that can even be closed and locked. A more common situation  are those who have made a frame of bamboo and cover it with literally anything--pieces of cloth, newspaper,  plastic tarp ( to be envied)  or plastic bags torn open and taped together   which is  better than nothing.   The  family pictured above had nothing. It was February of  2013. The temperature dropped to bitter  cold at night and it poured rain  on the night of this photo.  They were "camped out" on  garbage strewn  bank with the filthy river on one side and the slum dwellings just  a few steps away on the opposite side.  The mother was trying to wash clothes,  though it seems that  they could not have been more dirty than the water she was using.  The man paced about  the family's few possessions.  They may have lost their home  in  a flood, which is common in Nepal.  Or they may have come into the capital  city to find work, which is also  a common story. I stood and  watched them for a while with the evangelist we support standing beside me. They are not part of our church ministry in the slum and none of our believers there know them-- yet.  But  I am grateful that the  little church is just  a short  walk down the river.  It is thriving in this unlikely environment, almost filled to capacity at each week day worship.  So much so that the children are taken out for a separate program.  I do not know how this family came to be homeless,  but they came to a place where the Lord  Jesus Christ is known and shared.  They will have a chance to come to know Him. They  will be offered some physical  help first, just as the Lord often did in  His ministry-- perhaps for the children. Then they will hear  words to meet their spiritual needs. As you  read this, please  pray for them.

Trisuli Ministry in the mountains of Nepal

This photo is the ground where the Trisuli church, Nepal, used to be. This is a very needy and remote area where we have 30 children in sponsorship. We hold pastor training here 2X a year and annual medical clinics. The church has had a huge crack in the side since the earthquake a few years ago and in fear, the people have taken the whole building down and plan to do all of the labor themselves to rebuild. We will make a project of helping with funds for the materials. We are praying that this very important center of worship for this area will soon be back under roof and in use
While in Trisuli, we received a 14 year old girl for Maranatha Home, older than we usually accept for new children. Her father died a few months ago, devastating the family. They lost their home and now with no income, depend on the church for a little daily food. Two younger siblings were taken in by others. The mother, with no other job skills, will become a live in house servant, working all day, 7 days a week for little more than food. This girl was in great  danger of the very same situation. Girls as young as  eight are taken in  as house workes, often due to circumstances very similar to this.  As a house  worker at least  she has shelter and food-- but it is often not the same food as  what the family eats.   There will be no more school and  very little chance that  life will ever be any better. But-- this girl  is coming to  Maranatha. She is only one among thousands.  But the Lord has drawn  her to our ministry and  we  are excited to see what  he will do with her life.    She needs a sponsor who will pray for her faithfully,  especially in this transition period when she is leaving her mother and her home in the mountains.