We were interviewed by Mission News Network this past week. Here is the link to the podcast and the online article.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
We are continuing to work toward opening our street kids educational ministry. Billy had a great day Tuesday, meeting with different people in several areas outside of town. He finally landed in the town of Isco... a tiny town in the shadow of the Huaytapallana glacier range. After visiting with the mayor and the officials in the municipal building, he was introduced to the director of the food program in the area (think WIC and food stamps, but in Peru). The director was very excited about the possibilities and is helping us with many things, including getting firm numbers for us on the amount it will cost to reintegrate the street children into the school system, how many children are not in school in the area, and helping to find us a donated space-building to use to start the center. We meet with them again tomorrow (Friday).
Please pray for this endeavor. This is Billy´s passion!!! He aches for these children every day. Approximately 20-25% of the child population in Peru cannot afford to attend school. Instead, they are on the streets, or working in the fields with their parents. Their parents would like for them to be in school, but just can´t afford it. When they get into school, they need LOTS of support and reinforcement because they are very far behind academically... but most of their parents are illiterate and cannot help them with school work. So we will be working with them in several ways:
- financial support through sponsorships from USA supporters - supporters who will commit to paying the school tuition and the cost of school supplies for the school year.
- academic support through the tutoring center - Peruvian teachers/tutors (and us) will meet with the kids every day at the tutoring center to help with homework, study, reinforce academic concepts, and fill in the academic gaps.
- ministry to the children as well as to their families in the form of sharing the gospel, bible study opportunities, discipleship opportunities, oral bible storytelling, etc.
We hope to open the tutoring center sometime this summer. Please pray for the planning process, the sponsorship process, and our ability to find the children and the families that truly want an education. Pray for Peruvian teachers/tutors to sign on to help support the kids.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Celebrate with us!!! We just returned from Opening Day of our new Kid's Club at the orphanage! This day has been a couple of months in the planning... when we took a team of college kids from the Wesley Foundation to visit the local orphanage, we were asked if there was any way we could help teach the kids more about the Bible and Christ. That was back in March. In talking about the possibility of a Kid's Club at the orphanage, we had some young ladies jump on the opportunity to work with the kids and lead this ministry -- Hallelujah!!! This is exactly what we want - Peruvians leading ministries to their own people. We are here to support and encourage and help, but it is so much better when local people take responsibility and ownership for their brothers and sisters in Christ!
So, after receiving an anonymous donation to cover the sound equipment and puppets and game items, we were ready to start. This morning at 10:00, we officially opened Kid's Club in La Aldea Rosario, Huancayo, Peru!!! WOO HOO!!! With 6 Peruvian young ladies in the lead, and two gringo missionaries in the wings, we taught several Christian songs with dance steps and hand movements, prayed with the kids, played several games, taught a bible story about the love of Christ and how is death was meant to save us all.
It was fun. It was CHALLENGING - first time, need to establish rules and procedures, tough kids, etc. Please pray for the kids... they are well fed and clean and sheltered, but that is about it. There are too many kids and not enough staff. Many of the kids were found on the streets and have spent a lifetime of fighting and scratching to survive... this carries over into the orphanage and there is lots of fighting and yelling to get what they want, or were removed from extremely abusive situations. It is going to be a long process of loving on them and trying to teach them to love each other and to talk through their problems - not fight. They need a lot of love and patience. Also, please pray for their little hearts and how they see the world... it is not part of Peruvian culture to adopt children. Once they are in the orphanage, they are there to stay forever, until they "age out" and are put back out on the street at 16 years old. It's a rough life with little perceived hope. Pray for our ability to shine the light of Christ into their lives and sow seeds of His hope.