My heart is full. Just seeing these pictures, I can't help but smile and give thanks to the Lord.
I can't begin to tell you what a blessing it was go give out the Christmas Boxes this year.
We didn't receive as many boxes this year as we have in previous years as due to our travels there was not as much time to organize everything. But the PERFECT amount arrived.
We received about 100+ boxes. As we thought and prayed over who to give the boxes to, the Lord laid certain children on our heart. We wanted to give a box to each of the children from the families in our church. We wanted to give a box to each of the children on our bus routes. We wanted to take boxes to the children out in the village of Jesus Maria where Daniel preaches. And more than anything, I told Daniel that I wanted to take boxes to the "grandmother's" house.
About 2 years ago, Daniel's brother Samuel was here working with us. He started a bus route where he would bring 20-30 children into church each week. One day, as he was out inviting children to church, he came upon a house with many children. He went to invite them to church and the grandmother came out angry and yelling at him. Samuel didn't speak much Spanish, but he understood that the grandma did not want the children going to church.
He later brought my husband to talk with that family. She yelled at my husband also in Spanish and her native dialect.
Last year, I took over that bus route. I pick up a little girl right in front of "the grandmother's" house. The grandmother wouldn't look at me or she'd scowl. She wouldn't wave. The lady who's daughter does come into church with me told me to not even try to talk to that family.
Every week, I drive by her house. There are children everywhere in that home. They are filthy. Ragged clothes. No shoes. Literally sitting in the mud with trash all around. And they are so precious. My heart goes out to them. I would love to bring them home, bathe them, dress them, comb their hair, love them, play with them, and tell them how much Jesus loves them. But as I saw them week after week, there was nothing I could do.
I began to pray. The Lord put it on my heart to make a big batch of homemade cinnamon rolls to bring to them before we left on furlough. They accepted them and thanked me. And the grandma began to wave when I waved to her. The other day, when I drove by, she saw me and waved before I even had a chance to wave to her.
She is on my heart and I continue to pray.
Last week, we delivered Christmas boxes to every one of those children. The first picture of that sweet boy up above is one of them. They let us come onto their property and we spent about 10 minutes with them. The children were so happy. I held the youngest of them. A 4 month old baby girl. She had a bad cough.
I told them that other Christians wanted to do something special for the children of our town for Christmas and sent the boxes to us to give to them.
The mom of 5 of the children told me,
"Please tell the people who sent these gifts thank you very much for remembering us."
And I thank you sooooo very much, too.
After we handed out the last of the boxes, it dawned on me that this year, ever box was given to a child with whom we are currently working. A child that comes to church with their parents or on our bus. A child that either I or my husband or one of the other men/ladies from our church visit each week. We are in their homes. We sit at their tables or in their yards. We tell them over and over again about the Savior Who gave Himself for them and loves them so very much.
I know there are a lot of pictures. But if you have the time, look at these children. Pray for them. Thank you for making their Christmas so very special in the name of Jesus.