Dear Friends and Family,
These last couple of months I have been feeling the weight of being away from family and friends. I want to ask you to please pray for us. Pray for our marriage and pray for our children.
I (Vanessa) have been struggling with depression and have felt powerless before the pain and suffering I see here. It is easier to just go into this self made cocoon and try to find refuge there than to work through issues with God. Although I know (in my head at least) that power to change and freedom and trust come only from Him and that I have no power to help anyone or even myself, I still get into little arguments with God and struggle for control.
Update on the kids: Nathaniel just left for Lexington, Kentucky where he will finish out his senior year of home schooling with his mom and will be racing bicycles before he goes to college. He has been accepted at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado (which as a great cycling team); he hopes to become a professional cyclist and a missionary specialized in sustainable agriculture. We are very proud of Nathaniel and miss him a lot. It is amazing to me how time goes by and how our little boy is now a man! He is handsome and smart and has a heart for God. We are very grateful for this. Luciana is doing great and school—she herself has grown and changed a lot. She is quite involved in school activities and seems to really enjoy it. She will be performing in a Shakespeare play in April. Lucy has been missing her best friend Sierra who recently moved back to the US. Please pray for her as she herself and not just us the adults, learns to deal with the realities of being in an ever changing community! I am proud of her for being such a faithful friend, she has been there for her friend Sierra in hard times and even after she left, Lucy has made it a priority to stay in touch, something I am not very good at myself and for which I apologize to all my dear friends! Isaiah is growing up fast, he is sweet and funny and smart too, but has been struggling in school quite a bit this year and last. Last year he had four different teachers because our school did not receive a first grade teacher. Please pray next year he will have the right teacher or just a good year school wise, even if that means we home school him. If this does have to happen please pray the Lord will help us figure out what will need to happen during that year with the transition house for girls!! One possibility would be to hire a temporary director to take my place until Isaiah can go back to school for grade 4th. This is still unknown to us, only God knows the answers but what I do know is that I love that little skinny, freckled face seven year old too much and he is a priority.
Ministry Update: Again, thank you for praying with us and being there for us. It is very rewarding and touching when we are in the US and friends thank us for our newsletter and tell us they enjoy reading it! It makes me feel important and loved! The Agua Yaku guys have had a couple of hard weeks because of the rain. But they gearing up to start drilling again and have several projects already planned. As for the "Ruth and Noemi" Transition House for Girls, we signed a new rental contract for a new apartment yesterday, thank you for your prayers on this! The new place is right next door to the Centro de Vida (crisis pregnancy center) and we will be moving in this weekend. Last week I went to interview a girl at Centro de Vida who is pregnant and needed a place to live, we had a good time talking and she seemed ready to move and understood what we were about but when the coordinator came to pick her up she had disappeared. Please pray for her and her baby. Also please pray for protection for our three girls, two of them are being harassed by the same parents that abused and abandoned them years ago. One mom has been threatening to beat one of my girls because now that she is working she is not giving her money and the other one's dad who abused her for years has been tracking her down to the point he even called my cell phone one night! Don't worry I let him have it! Please pray that these two people and their spouses will meet Jesus Christ and that they will stay away from my girls so that the girls can forgive, heal, and move on. Please pray that the girls' eyes and mine will be opened so they can see and accept truth about their own lives and about God and that soon they and I will be able to trust and live free of fear.
Tomorrow, and I am very excited about this, we will be picking up our friend Lindsay from our home church - Crossroads Christian in KY and she will be working with us until May! Please pray for her, for protection and for the Lord to show her how much He really loves her while she is here. Also at the end of this month we will be hosting a team from Crossroads and we will together serve Talita Cumi, the Transition House and a new home for babies with physical disabilities that missionary friends of ours are starting. Please remember to pray for this team too.
Thank you for being here with us through prayer and support. Thank you for allowing us to open our minds and hearts to you and for being faithful just like Christ is in our lives. We love you and would love to see you and/or hear from you.