Bigger and Brighter, by Faith
Reflections behind, and a look ahead at 2019
Staying warm? I hope so… we sure had a cold snap last week! Jason and I have been feeling very blessed to be together here in Puebla state since the first of the year.
Here’s some news to warm your heart…
Remember Fernanda, the 12-year-old you helped me rescue from exploitation and child sex trafficking about 3 years ago? Well, the pedophile who repeatedly violated her—and rented her to other men—finally had his day in court (thankfully he’s been behind bars since July 2016, but wasn’t sentenced until now).
“Guilty!” was the verdict, to our immense relief (I was asked to testify in court again…yes, kind of like a scene from Law and Order). The perpetrator will serve the rest of his days behind bars.
You might think I was smiling and cheering for our victory—but no, it actually felt sad. The man was obviously broken, weak, humbled, underweight, and half deaf…prison has been rough on him. Do I want justice? Of course, always. But my heart breaks still. Why do humans sometimes choose the worst paths? I shared my feelings with our attorney. “No, do not look at him,” she pounced, “Look at Fernanda. Remember what he did to her over and over…. He knew what he was doing.” Her strong words snapped me back to reality.
When the two-day trial ended, the judge came to me in his robe—against court rules—to personally thank me. For my crucial testimony, yes, but also to tell me how impressed he was with all the rescues we have done, and the prosecution and justice we help bring to reality. He also thanked me for how WE even raise the rescued children to adulthood and never stop loving and mentoring them as adults. (That “we” is a crucial pronoun—YOU have made these rescues and restorations possible, and without you none of these children would have been saved!)
Fernanda is now safe at a state home in the capital but I hope to soon bring her home with us for good. We also hope to ensure the correct measures are being taken to rescue Ines—again (you may recall the awful news last year about how the court took her from our custody and placed her with an aunt and uncle, who then allowed her to go back to being daily sex trafficked by her grandmother). Please keep these girls in your prayers!
In other exciting news…
This past month we were very blessed to give two full bags of groceries and a nice thick new blanket to 40 very impoverished widows and unwed mothers throughout our church missions! Their smiles and grateful hugs were warm and true. Thank you so very much for helping us care for so many!
Big news—we returned to Village 1! Yes! The Children’s Home is once again located on our original piece of land in La Gallera. Thanks to you, we were able to terrace and repair the once-landslide-prone hill the past 2 years, making it safe for the children. We feel the wisest thing to do now is begin building the new dorms rather than continue spending what little we have on rent at the previous location. We’ve been busy building and making other repairs and improvements the past few months with the generous donations some of you have made, and we’ll be keeping you posted as we go.
God inserts a new chapter in the middle of our book…
Jason and I will be taking a 1-year sabbatical—our first-ever real break from the field in our 26 years of ministry together. We will continue to stay in touch with our wonderful staff and national missionaries here in Mexico—and especially our Village children (technology is so very helpful!). But we will focus on each other, our marriage, our health, and live near our precious biological children, Jasmine, Sed, and his wife Liz.
We have the utmost confidence in the disciples we’ve raised up in Mexico these many years. They will continue the work. The drug and alcohol rehabs will continue to take in men and youth and help free them from their addictions.The churches will meet weekly and, in Jesus name, expand and grow stronger. Our Village children will continue to grow, mature, stay protected, and receive their educations. This year we have 11 graduates—3 from college!
Again, Jason and I truly love you and thank you for expanding God’s kingdom with us here in the mountains of South-Central Mexico. And thank you, in advance, for standing with us as we take this necessary time of refreshing, preparing for a bigger and brighter future for us all!
PRAYER REQUESTS AND MORE PHOTOS…
Please pray for…
- Safety and protection over each child
- Fernanda to return to us
- Ines to be rescued again from her grandmother’s abuse
- Wisdom and unity for our staff
- Drug Rehab patients
- Souls, healing and deliverance for the house churches in all 4 states
- Finances for cement dorms for our children