Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas in Villa Esperanza

Newtown Church &Villa girls singing Silent Night

We all were very blessed to have a special team from New York visit us for this Christmas season. Because of this team, the girls living in Villa Esperanza have had many “firsts” this season. First Christmas lights decorating their houses (we surprised them, you should have heard them scream), first Christmas tree, and first trip to the circus. All in one week!!! The team provided us the opportunity to have a Christmas gathering for all the girls and their families from La Chureca (the garbage dump). There were food baskets given out to the parents, presents for all the brothers and sisters, and gifts for our Villa staff as well. We also enjoyed a program of the New York team and the girls living at the Villa singing ‘Silent Night’ together in English and Spanish, and the little ones dressed up in angel costumes singing and dancing. The blessing of the evening was to see all the families gathered together, enjoying a meal, music, and prayer, truly expressing what the meaning of Christmas really is, Christ coming to earth to make us new. Our little angels
Parents from La Chureca

A few days before our Christmas party, I was honored to have a little surprise party thrown for me in the Villa. I was welcomed by all the girls singing Happy Birthday while holding a huge chocolate cake! The singing was followed by gathering in a circle, praying and having the girls bless me with a foot washing. I cried, of course. To see Gloria and Wilbert lead these girls in the ways of Christ, and to see the girls happily follow is just amazing. You can see the Lord’s work right in front of your eyes.
Birthday foot washing

This wonderful event was then followed by me getting the chicken pox the next day. Apparently you can get them twice….I sit here writing this letter struggling not to scratch. If you are wondering how I got them, about 6 girls at the Villa have been passing ‘varicela’ (Spanish for chicken pox) around for about a month. It was just a matter of time I suppose.
The week before Christmas will be busy with shopping, wrapping and organizing gifts to give to around 300 children and adults from other ministries Forward Edge International works with. What a joy it is to see the happy faces of the kids and the grateful faces of the adults. A special night out with the girls and house mothers is also planned. This will be a chance for them to wear new party dresses a generous couple from Portland offered to buy them while visiting us in Managua.
Thank you all for your prayers and support over the last year. Especially to my family, their words of encouragement and comfort keep me going through good and bad. I miss you more than you know. I love you.
Merry Christmas to all!!!!