Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
It has been sometime since I sat and wrote an update on all that is happening. We have been very busy with our sponsored students. A month ago, one of the students who has had many troubles within his family came to us. He said his Mom and Dad, who had been split for a couple years, have been trying to reconcile their marriage. When they first split, they abandoned the kids and left them alone to fend for themselves. It has been a struggle for them and for us to juggle the school schedule, as well as how to feed the kids. So we went to update the home the kids are living in. We put in a new septic tank and bathroom, as well as insulation and sheetrock. Low and behold, Mom and Dad came and said they want the house back, but not the kids. So the boys are on the street and little sister has long moved on with a man 8 years her senior, to be a 16 year old Mom. So now the kids are homeless… In the meantime we we have rented a home for the boys and they are being fed by one of the local families.
We have started to build a home for displaced kids, families who lose their homes to fire or other hardships. Pastors or missionaries passing through are also welcome to use the home. We are on the homeward stretch of finishing the home. We have a young lady joining us this week from Minnesota that is required to do a community service project off campus for her senior year. She raised money from friends and family to push us over the edge to help pay for the remaining work. With the help of her and the locals, the project will be finished this week.
Next week I will travel back to the midwest to fundraise for the coming year. This past Sunday, we arranged a guest speaker to come and speak to the students. We asked them to lift us up in prayer as we seek funds for them. After the speaker shared, we asked if any of the kids would like to share a testimony of what is going on in their lives. One of the girls shared how her life has been impacted by the American missionaries that have come to love on them. She cried, I cried, there were wet eyes all over the place. Then a young man stood up and shared how his family was broken by a Mom and Dad who were addicted to drugs. They were starving as the Mom and Dad spent everything they had on getting high. They were destitute and with no hope in this life. His words, “ I hated God because he deserted us”. How could a loving God leave my sisters and I alone and hungry? “ He wanted nothing to do with God or Christianity, nothing whatsoever. And then he said the American Christians came and started to show us a love we had never, ever FELT. They loved us back into the flock. Oh my word, as I watched him clutch the Bible in his hand and tell of his great love he has for Jesus, the tears flowed from the eyes of the 40 some people in the group. He has started to attend church and said “at the last service the Pastor must have looked into my heart, as he spoke about everything I was struggling with”. Now he will learn about the work of the Holy Spirit. He said it was because of someone loving us enough to sponsor us for school that his road back to Christ began. He also encouraged the other students to get plugged into the local place of worship. Two other young ladies shared their testimony. One of the ladies could hardly finish her testimony to the end. I asked Thania if she would like to share anything with the students. After a little hesitation, she stood and explained how with the help of her sponsor, her life has made a complete turn around. She is so grateful to have met all the teams that have come. She said through the many people who have come, she wants to get to know Jesus on a personal level, like many of the people she has met. We finished by welcoming 10 new students that are seeking sponsorship into the family. And a family we have become.Thank you Jesus.
I will be in the Midwest from May 26th to June 6th fundraising. I hope to see all of you.
Curt and Kelly VanEkeren