I am sure that most of you have heard by now that Villa Esperanza,"Village of Hope", has added eight more beautiful girls to their family this past October. We were so happy to be able to welcome these girls with open arms. The house was ready with new beds, clean bathrooms and plenty of food to eat! We have a new house mother named Evelyn and she was prepared to welcome the new girls by covering the herself and the house in prayer. She was able to meet the new girls before they moved in as Gloria was in the final selection process. And I know many of you would like to now how the girls are selected as there are so many that are in need.
Gloria, director of Villa Esperanza, was the one to search out and ask for advice from a couple of ministies we work with inside La Chureca. She worked very closely with the principal and teachers of Colegio Cristiano La Esperanza that is located inside the community of La Chureca. With a few girls she already had in mind and armed with a list from the teachers at the school, Gloria walked around and visited various families and began the interview process. Due to heavy rains, she was not able to visit as many families as fast as she would have liked, but in God's time she managed to visit them all and so began the selection process. Which, of course, was a very challenging process. How do you choose only eight girls when you have a list of 15? And the more you learn about these girls stories the more you realize there are 100 more that need to move out of the dump too. During this process, as we all covered it with heavy prayer, Gloria would share that the Lord was leading her to the right girls for our new home. He would clearly shut doors where it was needed and open others to the girls He had in mind. Thank you Gloria for being connected to our Lord and letting Him guide you every step of the way.
We work directly in agreement with the girls families, so it was important to interview them and find out why they think their daughter should live and be a part of Villa Esperanza. Many of our girls have suffered abuse of all forms and many of their parents are desperate for their girls to have a better life. Many of the girls are at the tender age where older "men" begin to hunt and prey on these girls. Literally sending communication to them enticing them to come away with them, but without knowing they would live a life of abuse and most likely pregnancy would be in their near furture. After the "man" is done with her, the girl is returned back to her original home, now with another mouth to feed and no education or means to support their new child. So continues the cycle and you can see the crisis that has been going for generations in this community. The parents of our new girls (and many other families in the dump), realize this and yearn for a better life for their daughters. I am often struck by the ability of these parents to sacrifice and let go of their children. Can you imagine giving up your daughter to live elsewhere? To not see or talk to her everyday? Pray for these families that have submitted to what the Lord would have for their daughters. Pray Jesus would fill the emptiness and lonliness as only He is able and Worthy to do so!
The girls have been living in Villa Esperanza for about 3 weeks now and are doing very well. We have been able to spend some special times with them and are learning more about their personalities everyday. They have much to learn. Seeing the new girls helps me realize just how much our original 16 have grown and changed into amazing young women! I am excited to see the changes and watch the growth of the new 8! Watching their skin and hair change and become more healthy, watching the opportunity for their education to advance and most of all I am super excited to see these girls come to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The One that will heal their hearts and the deep wounds they have had to live with for so long! Please pray for these girls daily that they would come to know Him and the Love He has for them. They are truly precious gems! If one girl stands out to you please pray for her daily!
And now to introduce our eight new treasures!!!
Gissel (pronounced jee-sell)
Crisbel, sister of Maria de Jesus who lives in Mama Alba's house
Diana (pronounced dee-ana)
Geysel (pronounced Hazel)
Guissel (pronounced jee-sell)
Kenia (pronounced kenya)
Maria del Carmen
I am growing to love these girls more and more everyday! They are a little rough around the edges, but that is what is going to make their transformations so special! And they have learned so muach already in the last few weeks. Here are some more pics of their first days at Villa Esperanza.
Fun at youth group
Next up: Life in the Villa with 8 new girls. (how are we all adjusting...)
Thank you all for you prayers and support! We could not do this if it wasn't for your faithful support of Forward Edge and Villa Esperanza!