Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Praying for Casa de Amor!

I have posted several times on here about one of my favorite organizations, Casa de Amor. CDA is a children's home in Cochabamba, Bolivia, run by my friend Jennifer T. (Even though I haven't been able to do much, I like to say that I have been able to work with CDA a little--even from the US. :) So far, the Lord hasn't actually sent me to Bolivia. But I'm always open to that opportunity!!) Tomorrow Casa de Amor will be having a day of prayer and fasting. I wish I would have had time to put this up earlier so some of y'all could have known about it, but I thought it better late than never. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail Jennifer sent out detailing some of their prayer needs:

  • The continual paperwork crisis in government offices (child welfare, Child Defense, and the court) including lost papers and files; delays of months or even years to process basic components of a child’s file; dire lack of coordination between government offices and even from one desk to another; ridiculous mistreatment of all who they serve; constant change out of employees; new employees who often have very little experience with the work we do, the laws, child development, what challenges our children or staff face…..and I could go on and on!
    We pray for efficiency, honest hard work, and a true love of children for all working in the government offices!
  • Cochabamba desperately needs a new judge! To properly handle the case load for minors, three judges would be ideal. Since last year, we have limped along with just ONE seriously overworked judge but she resigned last week. It is complicated, but because of Bolivia’s new constitution and many changes at every level of government it’s not clear when a new judge might be elected.
    Pray for the proper judge(s) to step up to the challenge and handle all the child cases ASAP.
  • Casa de Amor’s Foster Family program has been in the paperwork stage since March 2009, but the challenges listed above couple with poor understanding and acceptance of the benefits of foster families (versus institutions) has made it a long uphill journey. Of course without a judge, it might prove impossible to transfer children into foster families.
    Pray for the speedy passage of our pioneer foster family program and the successful recruitment of several Christian foster families.
  • Currently six children from Casa de Amor II are in the process of returning to either their mother or father. We are very happy for them and pray that the family members will not grow weary during the long process of regaining custody.
    We pray that the entire process would go smoothly, that the families would be able to sustain themselves economically, that God would heal the hurts caused by years of neglect, abandonment, and other injustices. Also pray for the emotional stability of the children being “left behind”. And of course, for a JUDGE to be able to process the appeals!
  • If you pray for just one thing, pray that EACH CHILD WOULD HAVE A LOVING FAMILY!
As a side note, if anyone is interested in sponsoring a child, the wonderful workers at Casa de Amor have developed their own child sponsorship program! I currently privileged enough to sponsor a beautiful little boy named Gabriel. (Some of you may remember when his twin sister suddenly passed away earlier this year.) If you want more information on how to sponser a child or support CDA in other ways please visit their website.

Gabriel celebrating his first birthday last month

Another opportunity is for families/couples to serve long term by opening a children’s home for a small group of children--kind of a smaller scale of the larger homes. (The Alseth family currently runs a home like this, Casa de Amor III.) Jennifer also needs a long-term administrative assistant. So if you think the Lord may be calling you in either of those areas, please pray about these opportunities!!

A beautiful picture of all 42 children currently being cared for by
Casa de Amor (taken just a few days ago)
P.S. Jennifer, I hope you don't mind that I stole your pictures. They were so pretty I couldn't help it. ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Living out Faith

If I had to choose one woman in Scripture I would want to be like, I really am not sure who I would choose. There are so many amazing women in the Bible! But at the very top of my list of heroines is the faithful woman in 2 Kings 4:8-37.

In verses 8-17, we see her servant heart, hospitality, love for God's people--all throughout this passage we see her as a very humble woman of God. We are told that she is wealthy, yet she doesn't appear to ever take advantage of the blessings that God has given her. She didn't glory in her wealth but rather used it in the Lord's service. In fact, in reading this I am challenged by the extent of her hospitality. She regularly fed Elisha every time he passed through, and then even suggested to her husband that they build an extra room onto their own house for Elisha! One thing that really jumps out at me about this passage is that this woman wasn't waiting for her husband to tell her how to minster to others. While she was completely submissive to his authority, consulting him on everything, she was actively seeking out her own opportunities to minister to others. She wasn't just sitting at home waiting for her husband to suggest something. Instead she initiated opportunities; in doing that she even encouraged her husband to minister to others. The Lord blesses her for this, giving her what she had longed for--a son of her own.

Verses 18-37, however, really prove what an amazing woman of God she truly was. What incredible faith she had! The son that she had longed for for so many years dies with almost no warning. I can't even imagine the despair she must have felt. What anguish she must have been in that morning, only being able to hold her son as he died! Yet then she lays her son down and goes to find Elisha, hiding it from her husband! She simply tells him, "All is well." I believe this was not a lie. It really was well with her. She trusted in the Lord completely. Again, when she meets Elisha's servant, she tells him, "All is well." Only when she reaches Elisha does she show her complete brokenness, falling at his feet in agony. "She is in bitter distress," Elisha tells his servant. Then follows her to her home and the Lord allows him to raise the boy from the dead.

Psalm 50:14 says, "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” If you read that entire passage, you will see that what the Lord is saying here is that there is no true offering we can give Him. He owns all anyway! So what is the offering He most desires? That of trusting Him for every trouble, every trial. Trusting that He will bring us through and deliver us is the greatest offering we can give to our Lord. The Psalm ends with verse 23: "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!"