The Adjei Bimonthly(ish)
I’m just having a bit of a shock as I realise how soon it is until Christmas and we’ve made no plans or preparations. That is apart from having Gaby and her son Naty come to stay- but that was planned over a year ago! Talking of Gaby we are very pleased to tell you that she has recently finished her high school education and we have just been to her graduation last weekend. It was such a special time and well worth taking the long trip to Cochabamba for. She has really done so well in the last few years with her education, going to night school to make up for all the education she missed during her childhood and in her years on the streets. Now to complete the curriculum for the final 2 years of schooling (but condensed into one year of night school) whilst working and looking after Naty, is really a great achievement. Please pray for her as she decides what the next step is for her. She is considering applying for the Discipleship Training School (DTS) that YWAM runs here in Santa Cruz, but is still unsure of whether now is the right time.
David wrote in the last newsletter about the boy’s home that we opened earlier this year. It is still running well, now with 13 boys. We have seen a truly amazing amount of money come in recently for the building work there and the kitchen/dining room/office has shot up out of the ground (with the help of some builders) and hopefully will be finished before Christmas. This will enable them to receive another 11 boys.
We continue to see Ruth and Corina regularly (the mother and daughter with HIV). Jasmine and Corina are still great friends. They came to stay with us for a week back in October and even in just those few days Ruth put on 2 kg! Once she got back to the clinic the HIV treatment that they had been giving her ran out and she has been putting on weight ever since. The treatment had been making her very sick, but now she’s a different person!
As far as planning for the girls home goes, we have still not found anyone to live in with the girls. We feel a bit disappointed about this as we were hoping to have found a couple by now so that we could give them some training and experience with the street girls before opening early in the new year. So we’re beginning to get a little bit confused now. However the needs are as great as ever for the girls and their babies. Below is a story which highlights the kind of experience that these girls are regularly faced with.
Last Thursday David went out in the morning to look for a lad who had said he wanted to go to a rehab centre. He went to look at the stadium where a lot of the kids spend the night. While he was there 3 or 4 motorbikes with 2 police on each of them rode up across the grass and started chasing the kids on their bikes pulling out whips and lashing them. It was as though it were a sport for them. There were only older girls and children there - none of the older lads. David asked one of the police to stop hitting one of the girls who is very ill with TB, but the policeman turned and punched him in the face and started whipping him. A couple of the others started pushing him around. David asked for one of the policeman’s names as he wanted to report him (police carry no I.D.) but he wouldn’t say. But as David had said he was going to report them they accused him of being there to sell glue to the kids, then they left.
We have started taking steps towards gathering a few people together to form 2 cell groups. The first cell group is with the extended family of an ex-street girl called Liliana. David and Sharon have been going fortnightly to the home of her uncle, where the rest of the family also gather and have a time of worship and teaching.
We have decided to hold the other cell in Casa Alfa. This evening we had our first meeting, which 4 young people who we work with decided to come to. One couple who came are Jean Paul and Erica. They are both about 17 years old and stay in a night shelter. Erica started coming to our Tuesday project in Casa Alfa in September when we arrived back from England. At that point she was 4 months pregnant. A few weeks after coming to the project she started doing a bible study course. In the first booklet there is a questionnaire that asks if you are a Christian and if so when did you make that decision. She replied that it was “when Jesus touched my heart”. This had been 2 weeks before in the project when there had been a question and answer time and something had become more clear to her. Jean Paul had also made a commitment a few years ago whilst in a rehab home, but had left there and gone back to the streets 2 years ago. So the couple started going to a church in town.
Two weeks ago we had a call to say that their baby had been born. However he was 2 months early and only lived for 9 hours. Jean Paul didn’t have an identity card and the guards at the hospital wouldn't let him back in to tell Erica that their baby had died, despite the fact that he also was so upset. David went with the nurse from our team to tell her and when she heard she just fainted. They had been waiting with such excitement for the baby and could not believe he had gone. We went to the funeral with them the next day. They are struggling to accept what has happened, however through this hard time they have shown themselves to be very different from other “street couples” and are very loving towards each other. Please pray for them that they will let God take them through this difficult time and guide them in their decisions about the future.
Please also pray that these cell meetings will really take off and grow.
This part is always the easiest to write. I guess I’m more clued up on what is going on under my own roof and its always a pleasure to write about Jasmine! She is picking up quite a few more Spanish words now. Sometimes I don’t realise she knows a word until I hear her shouting it to another child. The favourite at the moment is “no quiero” which means “I don’t want to” or “I don’t want it”. So this is it, she’s really in the “terrible twos” now, getting quite good at saying “no” to most suggestions we make, it seems. She’s still very lovely and brings a lot of joy to a lot of people. Her favourite activity at the moment is mopping the floor and as she’s the only one of us that does it with any regularity we will not be discouraging this hobby! She absolutely loves the company of other children and is going to have a lovely Christmas with Naty here.
All that remains is to say HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all of you and thank you for another year supporting us in so many ways. Many times recently we have been reminded of how so many people really care about us and the young people we know on the streets or in the process of leaving and choosing a new life.
With our love,
Sarah, David and Jasmine xxxx