Monday, November 24, 2008

Learning In the Villa

It was a wonderful blessing to be able to visit the States once again. It was great to see a lot of you and hear the plans for your return to Nicaragua. Thank you for the support you have provided the last year and a half. It is such a comfort to know the family you left behind prays for you every day.
I returned to Nicaragua with the news that my co-worker’s father passed away suddenly while attending a function in Villa Esperanza. Most of her family and many of her friends were in attendance. Please keep her and her family in your prayers, especially her mother.

We are also in the time of final exams for the school year for the girls living in Villa Esperanza. Mornings are filled with chores and studying. Many are learning to read for the first time with the help of local tutoring. School will finish Friday November 25th and resume again in February 2009. On the schedule for the girls are days filled with native dance classes, tutoring, jewelry and greeting card making, cooking classes and the excitement or teams coming in December and January. All this mixed in with visits with their families. Our December teams will help provide a Christmas celebration for the girls and their families, with gifts for them and their siblings. What fun it will be to see all the kids together with their families on such a special day.

This past week we had a foster care specialist, Denise Gibson, return to visit and asses the Villa and it operation. She was very impressed by the programs in place and to see the girls flourishing in their new environment. She had visited this last February to teach a seminar on foster care. What a blessing to have her back!!!! To have her eyes see the things that we don’t. She was able to talk to the girls’ one on one and really listen to how the girls are adjusting and what their goals are for the future. We were also blessed to have a meeting with the parents of the girls and ask what changes they see in their daughters and to encourage them to tell their daughters they are proud of them. The parents are very grateful to have their girls living in the Villa and seemed to be interested in changing their lives as well. They wanted to know what they can do differently as parents!!!! I was moved by this revelation in them. They were asking for parenting classes!!! This has been one of the goals we have been praying about. And they are asking!! God is Good! I am happy to report Denise sees the girls as adjusting in a very healthy way. We are all hoping to see her return soon.

I have joined a new Bible study with a group of North American women. Most of who are missionaries. Although we are going to break for the holidays, I am happy to meet and fellowship with new friends. Salsa dance classes have filled my Wednesday evenings for the last two weeks as well. I am behind 3 classes, but have picked it up quite quickly (or so they are telling me)!
I am going to miss being home for the holidays, but am looking forward to spending it with friends and my girls at the Villa!!
· Gloria and her family feel the comfort of the Lord during this very difficult time.
· Girls and missing their families during vacation and the parents understanding and open minds.
· Economic and political issues both in Nicaragua and the US.
· Praise God that Denise was able to come and connect with the girls form the Villa. Pray for her return and blessings upon her family.
· For my family and me as this will be the first time I will be away for the Holidays.
Dios les Bendiga!!!