Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ariel Found ... Ariel Found

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Answered prayer brings such joy and tonight I want to share with you the answers to the prayers of two of our little girls, Leslie (12, top) and Susana (7, bottom).

They were kneeling beside the bed and their eyes were squinted in deep concentration as they prayed. For about a month each night they had been praying a similar prayer: “Please Jesus, save and protect my brother Ariel who lives on the streets.” Both girls started life with an absentee father and a mother trapped in prostitution. As Providence would have it, both girls ended up in the Jericho Family. And last but not least, both had a brother named Ariel lost in all the ways one can be lost. As I heard them pray, I never imagined how seriously God was taking in their heartfelt prayers.

Last Saturday Elvia and Candy (a Jericho teacher) and Candy’s husband went to visit the neighborhood where we have been reaching out for the past several months. As Candy and her husband sang and shared with the women and children, Elvia became aware of a young boy (9 yrs) who had a high fever and was obviously very dehydrated. She said a quick prayer and scooped him up ignoring the visible head lice and pants covered in dirt and feces and transported him in the busito to the local teaching hospital. She knew that he was Leslie’s younger brother Ariel, because he had come to Jericho before to visit Leslie. Two days, two long nights, and many bags of IV fluid later, he was finally diagnosed as having encephalitis. God had used Elvia’s compassion and quick action to save his life.

Elvia stayed with him (Marlyn helped too) and while they were with him in the emergency room, another boy named Ariel (14 yrs) was admitted due to wounds from a drug related fight. Marlyn was the first to notice the resemblance to Susana and her brother Juan Carlos, though it wasn’t easy since he had been stabbed in the side and had sustained blows to the head that grotesquely deformed both sides of his face. Miraculously he had no broken bones and the stab wound had not touched any vital organs. Elvia related that his appearance was repulsive and while she wanted to ignore him, the Holy Spirit began to speak to her of how much He loved this lost child. She began to feel God’s divine love for him and went to speak to him of Christ’s love. As she spoke tenderly to him, he began to sob and asked Jesus to forgive him. The Holy Spirit had totally prepared his heart and he willingly asked Jesus to come into his life. Elvia discovered that his parents had “given” him to his uncle and aunt when he was quite small and so he didn’t really know his siblings. But he knew their names ... Susana, Juan Carlos, and Miguelito and that they were a part of something called Jericho Ministries. You could have knocked Elvia and Marlyn over with a feather when he shared that bit of information! What were the odds of the brothers Ariel arriving at the same hospital at the same time, both in such tremendous need? We all knew that the only explanation was God’s answer to the prayers of two little girls who at a young age are learning to believe God for the impossible. Thank you, dear Father God, for Your salvation and protection.

Susana’s brother was released from the hospital and before he left he expressed what seemed to be a sincere desire to leave the streets to go back to live with his Aunt and Uncle. Please pray for him. Leslie’s brother (above) is still in the hospital receiving treatment for his encephalitis and JM staff members are taking turns staying with him. We are praying now about his mother’s request for us to have him live at the Villa.

Again I want to thank you for praying for me during this time of waiting upon the Lord for full restoration. I had blood drawn early this morning to check the liver enzymes so I will write soon to let you know those results. I can’t sleep much at night so often I try to work when everyone else is fast asleep. We are seeing God move in a major way out at the Villa, so I’ll share that report in the next blog along with the lab results.

With love and thanksgiving for each of your lives,

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