Sunday, December 27, 2009

Taking Christmas to the Streets


Dear Beloved Family and Friends,
From all of us at JERICHO MINISTRIES
Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
With so much gratitude, Betsy


We decided to take Christmas to the streets this year…table, chairs, tablecloths, candles, carefully wrapped presents, a centerpiece, the traditional leg of pork dinner and a specialty dessert the Hondurans call torrejas.... it’s kind of a rich French toasty type thing. We brought the works! Hae Young, Blanca, and I were super excited with this plan to share Christmas dinner with our friends on the streets. The only problem: there was not a soul in sight as we parked the van near the curb. So we decided to wait a couple of minutes to see if anyone would show up.


I had gotten it in my head to share a tradition with them that I had grown up with. During Advent, my parents would have us sit around the dinner table on Sunday eve and we would have our own little family service. They would assign a task to each of us depending upon our age. One of us would read the appointed scripture, another would lead a carol while yet another would carefully light the number of candles indicated by the number of Sundays that had gone by in December. Then Daddy would read the explanation of the scriptures while we listened with rapt attention. I loved it! I thought perhaps the women and men on the streets whom we have grown to love would love it too. And so that’s why we found ourselves on that cold winter eve waiting on the streets for someone to show up for our Christmas fiesta.


Nelson and Lorena came first. Nelson, in his tiny miniskirt, helped us unload the long table and the chairs and then the others came too, seemingly out of nowhere. We easily set the table and to my surprise, they quickly settled down and the same Spirit that led those devotions I participated in as a child showed up to lead this celebration. Tita seemed excited to be assigned the part of the devotional reader. Miriam squirmed with joy when assigned the part of the scripture reader. As she smiled the light gleamed off of her golden front tooth. The most excited was Lorena. She was to light the white candle of the Advent wreath which is called the Christ candle. It represents Him and His coming into the world. She asked me several times if I was sure about choosing her for such a thing before she finally settled happily into her role. Jessica, my friend from the very first night of visiting the streets, would light the other candles and Marvin would blow them out at the appointed time. Everything was ready.


It was one of those moments when you lose track of time. You get lost in the moment and in the glory of it all. Jesus coming to earth, God made man, the Divine crashing into the ordinary not just once, but over and over in moments like these to let us know that He is Real and that He loves us. He spoke to us through the scriptures and then again as we broke Christmas bread together. We spoke of His return and Jessica in particular wanted to know about the signs of His coming again. They lingered at the table. There wasn’t the normal scuffling about to get quickly back to work or the frantic jerking of their eyes back and forth to check out which client was driving by. No tonight they were there.... all there, drinking in His Presence and Love by candlelight.


Just before we blew out the candles Jessica whispered to me that this year, maybe just maybe, she would come to Jericho, that she would leave this life of degradation behind. Just maybe.


On the way home we were overwhelmed with feelings of joy and love. They didn’t accept Christ or make any commitment to give up their wicked ways, but they were touched by Him. My mind was abuzz as I puzzled over why we love them so…..these women and men who only seconds before we arrive are obviously involved in actions too despicable to even mention. And seconds after we leave they are back at it again. The only way I can explain it is God. Isn’t that how God is? He loves us even when we are stuck in the miry clay, trying desperately in our own strength to become unstuck, insisting on our own way. And He loves us even when we show no signs of leaving our wicked ways. He simply loves us. He woos us by shedding His light into our darkness.... by showing us how desperately we need Him. And then He waits for us to choose His way so that we can leave our ways behind.

Pray for Jessica, that truly she will leave her ways behind and that she will choose the Light of Life, the Giver of eternal life.

I pray that your Christmas is full of His Light igniting your life for His glory!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sowers of Love and So Much Work to Be Done

October 28, 2009 Some of you might know that we have a tithing relationship with another ministry here in town called Sembradores de Amor (Sowers of Love). Pastor Francis and his wife Marilyn started this church in a poor barrio by reaching out to gang members. They truly live up to their name. The love from above that they sow into the hearts of their leaders and church members has really caused a love revolution in their neighborhood. From the beginning of their ministry, there was one gang that totally persecuted them day and night. The leader of this gang, Marcos, threatened to kill Pastor Francis on several different occasions and the gang members harassed church members on a regular basis. But Pastor Francis told Marcos what Pastor David Wilkerson said to Nicky Cruz when Nicky was still a hate-filled gang member in New York City. “If you kill me and cut me up in a million tiny pieces, every piece will still cry out that God loves you.” Pastor Francis called this past month to ask us to join him in prayer and fasting for this gang leader as many of his gang members were coming to Christ. He also asked me to research ministries to homosexuals because the wild part about this gang is that they not only are known for drugs and violence, but for homosexuality. By God’s grace, Marcos accepted Christ last week in a health clinic due to a scare from AIDS. He tested negative and was filled with gratitude and decided to pray with the man who was evangelizing at the clinic. Meanwhile, back at the church, his ex-gang members had been praying fervently for his conversion. There was much rejoicing over this lost sheep at Sembradores de Amor and at Jericho. Pastor Francis invited me to the deliverance for Marcos which was an amazing privilege. This is what transpired.

Pastor Francis and about 100 of his leaders gathered in a circle at their church. We were instructed to pray so people began praying out loud all at the same time. Some were walking about and shouting loudly, others were kneeling and entreating God in hushed tones. The Spirit was definitely leading. I looked up from the floor where my head had been plastered as if nailed tightly for the last 15 minutes and noticed that Marcos was now among us. There was no mistaking him. I gazed over to where he was sitting praying quietly and I could not take my eyes off of him. It was probably too long, socially speaking, but I could not drink in enough of this whole picture. It was mind boggling. His facial features were strong and masculine and he was dressed in a T-shirt and new jeans. Etched into his features were years of participation in evil, both criminal and occultist in nature. I could understand why he would cause fear. But at the same time there was this effeminate thing going on with him which totally seemed to collide with the drug lord exterior. His locks were curly and pulled back in a huge pony tail that reached half-way down his back and his nails were nicely manicured. Gold dripped off his arms and chest. Then Pastor Francis had us all sit down and explained that we were a here to pray for Marcos and in the most loving way he invited Marcos to share the actions of his life that he was now willing to repent of. Marcos was given a microphone and without any visible shyness he began to matter-of-factly recount in a very feminine voice the things for which he was now very sorry. He mentioned the occult practices and the murders and the lost boys he commandeered to do his evil deeds. He talked about the homosexual practices that he had been involved in since he was 11 years old. He often spoke through tears saying, this is the thing I am most sorry for.

After the public confession, everyone gathered around him to pray for his deliverance. It was beautiful to watch as the body of Christ took turns anointing him and praying for his freedom. My face had been stuck to the floor earlier because I was a bit fearful about what might transpire in this meeting and I wanted to make sure God knew I was serious about needing His help. But there was nothing fearful about the deliverance. He fell down several times under the power of the Spirit and willingly renounced his participation in all things evil. The pastors and leaders took authority over the darkness and once again it was clear that the Holy Spirit was leading. Perfect love casts out all fear.


Marcos’ face was full of peace and joy as church members took turns hugging him and giving him words of encouragement. I was not about to miss out on hugging this new brother in Christ whom I knew God would use in a major way. His conversion was really bad news for the kingdom of darkness. Pastor Francis said he had presided over 6000 gang members.


November 15, 2009 Two weeks later Pastor Francis asked me to preach at several of his services and to bring the Jericho worship band. Marcos arrived sporting shorter hair and his car was overflowing with a crew of ex-gang members. He remembered us and seemed pleased to share about how he was now using his resources and leadership for the Kingdom of God. The last service was like nothing I have ever attended in my life. It was just the messiest thing. I looked out at the congregation and a sea of young faces stared back at me, some so hardened by life that it was a little scary. I knew I was looking into the faces of ex- and not so ex-drug addicts, rapists, assassins….. You name it; they were there, exactly where they needed to be. Every nook and cranny of that church was filled with a young person hungry for God. What touched me most was watching Pastor Francis. He was fearless as he called an entire gang to come forth for prayer. He lovingly took a young drunk under his arm. He led that service with power that came from above. I remembered thinking to myself ... ”Now this is church”! We all agreed that night coming home together in the busito that we wanted to be like Pastor Francis.


So I’ve been thinking and praying a lot these days about Sembradores de Amor and their new disciples. The ministry is messy and demanding and there are slip ups on the horizon for sure as these new disciples grow and mature. But it is oh so worth it ... these new disciples will make a huge impact on the Kingdom of God. Love compelled these believers to reach out to these gang members who threatened their very lives and faith has helped them believe that these conversions are true and will bring forth much fruit.
December 7, 2009 You can imagine the sadness we all felt this morning when Pastor Francis called to tell us that Marcos was assassinated last night as he was leaving the church. He had just walked out of the worship service and his last words to Pastor Francis were, “There’s so much work to be done.” Several minutes later he was lying dead in the middle of the street in a pool of blood. It has been said that it was done by a rival gang, by hooded men in expensive cars. I don’t know. But I do know where Marcos is. I know that by God’s grace he is rejoicing in heaven. His conversion was true and perhaps in his short lived life in Christ he produced more fruit than some who live a lifetime without truly sharing what Christ has done for them. Please join us in praying for Sowers of Love Church, that they will be strengthened all the more by what has happened. Please pray that Marcos’ life and testimony will bear even more fruit. There is so much work to be done!


In His forever love,
Betsy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dia del Niño

Dear Praying Friends,


I was hoping to do a quick update through pictures about the goings on this past month (actually Sept). I don’t think it’s going to happen. At least not the quick part. In the photo at left is Emma Isabella. She is growing like a weed and she continues to challenge all of us on many levels. Last month in the middle of all the curfews, I decided to try and potty train her. Don’t ask me why. Sometimes I have these thoughts that adding more stress to the existing high level of stress will somehow cancel out the initial stress. I don’t know if you follow me on that one. Some of you might. I bought a book called Potty Training in Less Than a Day while I was in the States last summer. During the weekend of the longest curfew, Isabella and I were holed up in my bedroom for four hours with all the suggested materials so that she could have her intensive training. I had baby wet-its-pants, tons of water, treats galore, and a plastic potty that converts into a step for washing hands. First the baby doll I bought (that was supposed to be the example) dripped water continuously since it didn’t come with a plug or anything. The variety of dolls that are available in Honduras that go pee-pee is pretty limited. Say, like one. I tried everything, even duck tape to no avail. So that was our first disaster. Then Isa would go a tiny bit in the potty only to have a huge accident in her training pants several minutes later. According to the book I had to have Isa wash out her training pants so that she could understand that there were consequences to her accidents. However she loved washing out her wet pants because she absolutely loves playing in the water. So that was disaster number two. I think you get the picture. Needless to say, Isa was not potty trained in less than a day. After four hours the floor was covered with water, tissues, cookie wrappers, and my exhausted frame. Isabella was still alert and raring to go! I felt like a terrible Mom since the book stated that hardly any children failed to launch in that amount of time with this method! I thought about throwing in the towel (training pants) and giving up but we have persisted and she is now going much more in the potty than anywhere else. I was reflecting on this the other day and realized that I don’t mind her messes so much because I love her so. “Love covers a multitude of sins” has taken on a whole new meaning for me!


September is a big celebration month in Honduras and one of the most celebrated days is Dia del Niño (Children’s Day). Gisela and Norma, two of our Jericho House staff members, presented a drama on the streets in an area of the city where many prostitutes live. We have been trying to reach out to the women and their children, many of whom are already involved in illicit activities. So this day we celebrated the children with a drama and games and prayer.


In the photo below, Marlyn is leading the games and I am discovering he prayer needs of a group of young boys. Several of them had tears in their eyes when they talked about what was going on in their homes. So much need for Jesus and His healing touch.











This young girl in the middle of the photo is a friend of Leslie’s. Leslie, you may remember, came to be a part of our Jericho family when her mother brought her to a medical brigade almost two years ago. Leslie was 11 yrs old and already involved in activities too yucky to mention here. So she has been praying for her friend Keiberly who lives the same kind of lifestyle that caused Leslie to look for help. If you take a minute to look at her gaze, you can tell she has seen way too much for her young years. We have joined Leslie in praying for Keiberly and ask you to do the same. We know God will show us how and when to move.


We are so thankful for God’s continued provision. It always touches me deeply at how perfectly God provides for us. We found ourselves scraping the bottom of the barrel so we prayed once again for provision and God touched different people who had no notion of our situation. The Honduran Rotary Club sent us tons of powdered milk, a staff member’s husband provided eggs for the Villa, and a church member had an unexpectedly large corn crop which she donated to us. Pictured here are some of our young people preparing the corn for grinding. In the corn grinding picture, Maria Fernanda is second from the right. Her mother (Norma) works at Jericho. Last week she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Mafa (as we affectionately call her) has responded to this surprise illness with grace and faith. She told her mother not to worry because God is going to use this for His glory. We are already seeing how this situation is bringing her family members and classmates closer to Jesus. And for this we rejoice! Please pray for Mafa and her family.


I wanted to ask you especially to pray for a retreat we are having this weekend out at the Villa for young people who are at high risk for entering prostitution. The conference is on sexual purity and we are sensing that the Lord wants to heal and deliver many. It’s called “I vote for purity”. Elections are next week and we wanted to take advantage of all the emphasis on that event to promote this event! Speaking of the elections, we are so thankful for the way God has answered prayer regarding the political situation. Things are much calmer and people are sensing that clean elections are definitely the way out of this difficult political situation. We are thankful that the US finally decided to back the elections and for the way that the truth of the situation has come to light.


There is more but I will close for now. Thank you so much for praying for us and for being used as a channel of blessing to all of us at Jericho. We truly could not do this ministry without you!
For the least of these,


Betsy and the Jericho crew

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Healing Story on the Streets

Dear Praying Friends,

There is something I wanted to share with you but I totally forgot. It happened one night in August and it was mostly like other nights we’ve spent on the streets. Mostly, but not quite.


The team that came from the States had prayed hard before coming due to the political unrest that has plagued us since the latter part of June. The travel advisories stated that one should not venture to Honduras unless it was totally unavoidable. Ron Pagel (far left in the photo-JM’s US board president) was the leader of the team, and he knows Who he has to consult for travel advice. He told me that God woke him up one night and said, “I am inviting your team to join Me in My work in Honduras.” So they came at His bidding. There were nine of them on the team and all but the two youngest decided to go with us that night. I had not been back to the streets since the beginning of my healing adventure partly because of the new focus God had put on our hearts (reach the next generation) and partly out of the need to recuperate. But right before this team came, the Lord spoke to my heart and said none too gently, “Get back out there!” And so we went.

We met Saira, our administrator, at a hotel close to where the women gather on the streets. We found an empty table close to the hotel’s outdoor pool and in that dimly lit area we spent some time in praise and prayer before setting out to meet our friends on the streets. Our tentative plan was for one of the team members to share their testimony and then we would pray for the women and men.

From a distance I could see that there were several people soliciting on the corner where we usually share and pray with the sex workers when they aren’t looking for clients. As we drew closer to the area, I noticed Tita coming towards me. She embraced me like a child who has just found her long lost mother. Tears streamed down her highly made up face. Tita, whose real name is Carolina, and I have known each other for almost all the years that we have been visiting the streets. She lost two of her daughters in a tragic drowning accident some time ago and Hae Young and I went to support her at the memorial service. That night she gave her life to Christ and vowed to follow him but decided against entering our program. She said she could do it on her own. The lure of the streets was too strong and she was unable to keep that vow. There was another time when she was arrested for robbing one of her clients and she called us to come to the jail to pray with her. Miraculously the charges were dropped against her right after we prayed. She made a commitment to follow Jesus that day too, but just like before, she was unable to keep the commitment. Sometimes when we’d visit her, she would be flying high as a kite and the words coming out of her mouth were acerbic and cutting. Other nights, she would quote scripture and tell us how her Christian husband had left her penniless which drove her away from the church and onto the streets. But this reaction was new. I had never seen her so tender and caring. When she released me from her arms, tears still flowing, she began to speak excitedly to the others, “Look, Betsy was almost dead and now she is totally healed.” The healing miracle seemed to touch her deeply and she wanted to make sure the others understood what God had done. Her excitement made me want to twirl around like one of those plastic ballerinas gracing the top of a music box to show off God’s handiwork. But I refrained. It hadn’t even occurred to me beforehand that I needed to share this healing story on the streets but now it made perfect sense. As I shared, other friends of ours joined the spontaneous celebration and responded in like manner……tears and embraces mixed with joy.

The Holy Spirit was definitely touching this little band. After one of the team members (Jon-front and center in the photo) shared his testimony, the Lord nudged me to ask Ron to pray over each person in the gathering. Jesus had already put this on his heart and so he was ready to be God’s channel of encouragement to these thirsty hearts. Carolina went first and once again tears flowed as God spoke into her heart. Her man was standing beside her drinking everything in. He is a taxi driver and the street gossip is that together they rob her clients. The Holy Spirit led us to pray for him and to offer him the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. It was such a Holy Moment. The Presence of God surrounded us and we were all lost in this Holy Embrace. Carolina’s husband nodded to indicate that he wanted to give control of his life to Jesus. After we prayed, he told us how earlier in the day he had mentioned to Carolina that he wanted to start attending church. Is that God or what?

We came away from the streets that night, awed and humbled. What a privilege to participate in the stretching forth of God’s hand to those who are blind and lost. Thank you for praying for us. You, too, are a part of His outstretched arms as you pray for the lost, lonely seduced ones of the streets.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Best Gifts



Dear Beloved Friends and Family,


Thank you all so much for your Birthday wishes and cards! I wanted to tell you how we celebrated because it was such an answer to your prayers!


God spoke to me all day long! We had a wonderful devotional led by one of our teachers, Gisela, and she spoke on John 8:32: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” We have been focusing on the Word this week since Sunday was the day of the Bible in Honduras. Gisela talked about how only the Word of God can free us completely. I knew God was speaking to me about my need to replace some wrong thought patterns in my life with the Truth of the Word. I pray to walk in God’s truth and freedom this year so that my weaknesses will not hinder the growth of the ministry.



In the morning, e-mails started to trickle in wishing me a HBD and then the trickle became a rush…..I thought to myself, “This is very unusual and very lovely. I wonder if somebody gave everyone a heads up about my Birthday.” Sure enough one of the e-mails that came had the note from Chris attached. God totally blessed me through you all!


God chose the Birthday theme……..without knowing ahead of time, everyone gave me presents that had to do with eating healthfully! I have been reading Dr. Colbert’s book entitled Toxic Relief. Perhaps I’ve been talking up his suggestions for healthier eating more than I thought! Fruits, exercise weights, a water bottle, nuts and granola … these filled my spot at the table! The icing on the cake was when they blindfolded me and brought out a piñata in the shape of a carrot and, instead of being full of candy, it was filled with a spiky red fruit called lichas. We laughed and laughed as the adults took turns smacking the heck out of that carrot! Confetti and fruit were flung all over the place! The hilarity that began with the piñata only increased when we started playing games and acting like a bunch of wild children. It was so freeing! Suddenly I realized…….with all the stress of the political crisis, we just needed to laugh! God knew that. His gives the best gifts! I pray to be more humble and childlike in the coming year.

And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-4)

Pastor Evert then came and shared from the scriptures. He chose Psalm 39:4-6 and Psalm 73:24-26


“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; Let me know how fragile is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.”


“Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”


It seemed strange to me at first that Pastor Evert would choose these verses referring to the fleetingness of life, but as he expounded on the scriptures, it made perfect sense. He spoke about how we all had come to know how fragile life can be during this past year and a half, and that God had taught me through the failing of my flesh, that He is the strength of my heart, my portion, and my hope. When everything else is stripped away, the truth comes forth. Nothing else can satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. Truly His Presence is the best gift.


I pray to desire nothing but Him in the days ahead. Thank you, dearest friends, for praying for us, and for upholding us, during this time of national insecurity. I continue to be thankful for the security we have in Jesus. He never fails. Ever.



With love,
Betsy








“No one can be uncheered
  by a balloon.”
                      -A.A. Milne

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Gospel is Revolutionary


Sept. 8 2009-

I have written this blog in my head several times but the creation of the Jericho calendar has taken precedence to anything written. I just finished the calendar so here we go…..blog time! Hurray! I’ll start by sharing what has pushed us most to pray in the last days……namely the political situation. Both sides are hanging tough and there are protests almost every day by one of the political groups. I belong first and foremost to the Jesus group but one cannot help but take sides at some point. And that I have. I am thankful for the de facto government. Despite all kinds of disciplinary action on the part of the US and other countries, they are standing up for what they believe is right and best for democracy to survive in Honduras. And they have done it in a very wise and nonviolent way. They have counted the cost and decided to stand firm. “The little country that could” is what I saw on a poster held up by a supporter of the present government on one of their peace marches. I like that. Mel’s supporters (Mel is the ex-President who tried to extend his presidential stay), on the other hand have been violent and difficult, to say the least. This past week his supporters marched in front of Jericho House. Several of the leaders wore masks and defaced the walls of all the buildings they passed. It was a very tense couple of minutes as they passed by. I prayed that they wouldn’t spray our building or at least that they wouldn’t paint anything vulgar. I prayed for protection of our children. When we went out to check after the march had passed, this is what we found:

The Gospel is Revolutionary!

I had to laugh. At least they wrote something that is absolutely true! The Gospel does turn everything upside down….but perhaps not in the way they were thinking! One thing I love about the Gospel is that it is life changing and revolutionary, from the inside out! If God really gets a hold of us, our thinking is turned upside down and instead of living for ourselves, we seek the lost and the hurting, the poor and the destitute, the marginalized and the needy whether spiritually or physically or both.

That’s what Honduras needs…..the true Gospel of Jesus Christ who calls us to become less so that He can become more. I am asking Him, these days, to make me less, to help me to decrease so that He might increase. I need to be downwardly mobile….desperate for God and aware of my need for Him at every moment of the day.

After the march passed, we prayed for protection for the ministry and actually went outside and anointed the building with oil. The next morning one of our staff members arrived early only to find the black metal door to the ministry wide open. When she and her son went inside the building, they found that nothing had been disturbed. This is truly a miracle in our neighborhood. I knew God was trying to emphasize that He really is listening to our prayers. Honestly, when we were praying over the building, I kind of felt like we were just going through the motions. But God was totally paying attention. If you have moments like that where you think your prayers are just kind of “prayer-babble”, I want to encourage you. God is listening.

Sept. 22 afternoon-
Before we lose electricity, I thought I better get this to you. Since I wrote the above, Mel has returned to Tegucigalpa and has been given asylum in the Brazilian embassy. He continues to paint untrue pictures to the rest of the world about what truly is going on here. It is saddens me. We are not in any danger, per se, but life as we know it has been interrupted and it’s unclear how long the curfew will last. As a result of Mel’s return, we are under a 24 hour curfew and once again praying for God to show up in a Big way. We are so thankful that there really has been very little bloodshed considering all that is going on. Pray that this will be a time for us to be a witness to the stability and joy that knowing God brings in the midst of circumstances that seem out of control.


Under His Wings,
Betsy


Monday, July 27, 2009

I am missing you all tonight ...

Dear beautiful family in the North,

I am missing you all tonight. It is hard to explain but I feel it deeply. It’s not that I am unhappy to be back home. I was so ready to come home to my family in Honduras and to join them in the spiritual battle during this time of political unrest. It was time to get back into daily routines. But I miss you all. You treated my children as if they were your own, you loved us up and spoiled us and were used by God to lavish us with blessing after blessing. We cherished our time with each of you and have memories of beautiful long summer days that will be with us long into the cold nights of the rainy season. Some days the distance between us seems greater than others … like tonight.

We arrived safe and sound and the political situation, while unresolved, has not caused us any real difficulties other than living with uncertainty. It’s hard not to interpret everything as being related to the unrest. For example, this past Saturday we lost electricity at noon and heard planes overhead that sounded like fighter jets so we hunkered down and stayed inside and spent the day cleaning the house. The ex-president had been making noises about returning so we assumed that was the reason for the lack of power. Finally late in the evening, Marlyn and I ventured out to the grocery since the fridge was empty and the kids had eaten as many peanut butter sandwiches as they could stand. On our way back from the grocery we encountered the reason for our electricity problem. A truck accident had somehow snagged all the power lines to our neighborhood!

It is not easy, this standing alone business. No one likes to be the odd man out but that seems to be our position in the world right now. It has been very disappointing to receive condemnation rather than support from other nations. Honduras is being pressured to allow the ex-president back into the country which could spell disaster on many levels. We are praying that the interim president will stand firm until elections in November so that the country can truly continue to be a democracy. We are also praying that the truth about Zelaya’s (the ex-pres) plans for himself and Honduras will come out into the light. He makes much noise about how he is a defender of the poor. It’s not really so much about the poor as it is about power…..doing anything to stay in power long after you are supposed to (think dictator). Pray with us.

Speaking of dictators, Isabella has kind of taken on that role in our household! I am so happy to report that Isabella remembered that I am her Mama. The mother/daughter bond that occurred before our journey North was thick enough to endure the 5 weeks we were away. Isa made the transition from Elvia’s household back into ours without any major glitches. I am amazed at how much she has changed in just 5 weeks. Not only does she not fit into her size 18 month clothes, but she is definitely wanting to do as much on her own as possible. She says, “Yo, Mama, Yo” while taking the spoon out of my hand to let me know she wants to feed herself. And she loves to sit in her high chair and direct the rest of us……kind of barking out semi-coherent orders to anyone within shouting distance. She makes me laugh often and much and I am so thankful for this little jewel. It was so good to be reunited with Helen, too. She turned 10 while we were gone and she is happy that we are all back under one roof.

The pictures below are from our trip. In the car we would take turns talking about the ways God blessed us and how He made Himself real to us. There were far too many ways to account for them all here but hopefully the pictures will give you a glimpse of His goodness and mercy to us. I was so thankful to be able to share the healing adventure with all of you and to thank you for your prayers, especially during that time. We serve an awesome God, there is not doubt about that!



I love you all so much and…
….am missing you tonight.

         Betsy and the traveling buddies
      (Marlyn, Noe, Juanca, and Susana)


Friday, May 15, 2009

Jericho House of Jewels

Dear Beloved Praying Friends,

So sorry to barrage you with Betsy blogs….there is just so much to share and so I thought I would send several blogs rather than hit you with one very long blog! This month, oddly enough in the midst of several difficulties, God gave us a vision for a new outreach of Jericho Ministries.

JERICHO HOUSE OF JEWELS

Nancy called and asked if she could meet with us. You might remember Nancy. She was the first woman to come to Christ in our ministry and she and her children have grown up at Jericho. Unfortunately Nancy has made some very poor decisions lately and it has affected her relationship with her oldest daughter Julissa (Julie) who is almost 12 years old. Nancy came to ask if we would consider taking Julissa into our fold. We have been praying for Julissa for quite some time now, and we sensed this was a direct answer to prayer. The problem was figuring out which part of the fold to put her in. This past year four members of our staff took in 10 children whose Moms are involved in prostitution so that was not an option. As we prayed and brainstormed, we remembered an idea that the Lord had put on our hearts several years ago. Photo: Julissa

We had pondered the idea of having a home here in the city for teenage girls who are at high risk for entering prostitution but who have not actually been on the streets. Julissa fits this description to a tee and there are many more like her. This would be another prevention wing of the ministry. We have asked two of our single Jericho Staff members to consider being the “house Moms” for these young girls and they seem very excited about it. We have a house picked out right across the street from my house. The girls would be at Jericho House during the day for their schooling and then return to the House of Jewels in the evening. We could reach out to 8 to 10 girls at a time in this home. Would you join us in praying for the purchase of this home? We already have two pledges of 1K each and our goal is to offer 100K for the home. The location is perfect, it is just the right size, and it is very safe.

TESTIMONY
These past few weeks the Lord has opened many doors to share the healing miracle that God performed in my life because of the body of Christ crying out to Him. After sharing in a remote village in the mountains of Honduras, the Lord allowed me to share with Seoul Baptist Church (SBC) in Houston. Photo: SBC church members.

Hae Young and I spent one week enjoying the lavish hospitality of these beautiful believers who prayed faithfully for us when I was going through the valley of the shadow of death. Because I visited them both before and after I was in New York City, they witnessed firsthand the immense changes that had occurred because of God’s healing power.

SBC is a church made up of cell groups (“mokjang” in Korean) and each cell group supports a missionary. They have around 170 cell groups and support that same number of missionaries. Photo: mokjang worship

One of these cell groups had adopted Hae Young and while I was in NYC, another group decided to adopt me as their missionary even though they were not sure it would be for very long! Many of the Mokjang members invited us to their homes, showered us with gifts and delicious food, and allowed us to pray for them. It was truly a wild and wonderful week! Back in Honduras a group of women called, “Mujeres de Victoria” (Women of Victory which is kind of the female counterpart to the men’s group called The Full Gospel Business Men’s International Fellowship) contacted me and asked me to speak at several of their chapters and at their television program. Each time I get up to speak, I beg God to give me the anointed words to explain what He did so that others will be encouraged to believe in His awesome power.

There is more but I will save it for the next blog! I am looking forward to seeing many of you when we journey to the Midwest this summer. I wish we could travel to visit all of you this trip but since flights are more reasonable I am praying about visiting again before the year is out to share with those of you who do not live in the middle of the country.

Always with love in Him,
Betsy

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Journey


Dear Beautiful Family and Friends,

Our itinerary for our journey so far is as follows:
June 9-12     Pewaukee, WI (Vicky and Dale Schaechterle)
June 12-14   DePauw University, Greencastle, IN
June 16-22   London, Ontario CANADA (Bob and Ann Dekraker)
June 22-23   Pittsburgh, PA (Fred and Fran Fetterolf)
June 24        Lancaster, OH (Ivan and Jesse Smith)
June 25        Grafton, WI (Marty Hake)
June 26-30  Appleton, WI (Ron and Beth Pagel; Marie and Roger Lackore)
J. 30-July 9  Grafton, WI (Marty Hake)
July 9-12     Chicago area (Gail Mellish, Claudia Nalven)
July 13-15   Indianapolis, IN (Betty Root)
July 15-16   Chicago area

Attached are photos of the crew who will be traveling this summer and several photos of our newest addition, Emma Isabella. I couldn’t resist showing you the cute photos of this precious child. She is a wild one, for sure, but little by little she is adjusting to life with our family. I often forget her past of living on the streets with her Mom until she does something like she did last night, which jolts me back to reality. While she was eating a drumstick, I turned my head away for one second and when I looked back, she had eaten the top part off which included part of the bone! All of our eyebrows rose up at that one! Fortunately she was ok. I think she has definitely done that before!

If you are interested in having us come to share about the ministry and God’s healing miracle, please contact me. The children are preparing some special things to share with you and they are very excited about doing all the gringo things that their Mama has told them about. I learned a great lesson the first time I brought Mari and Noe to the States. I had taken them to Six Flags etc etc and when I asked Noe what his favorite thing about the States was, he calmly replied, “I loved putting the coins in the vending machines and having a coke come flying out at the rest stops!” We will get to do that a lot since we will be doing all the traveling by car.

There are many new things brewing in the ministry. Please pray especially hard for us as we discern God’s voice in this time of expansion!

Warmly and with much love in Christ,
Betsy

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Resurrection Day 2009


Dear Family and Friends,

This comes full of belated wishes for a blessed Easter. I pray you sensed the wonder of being close to the Almighty God who made heaven and earth and left the comforts of the heavenly realm to become one of us and to die in our place. Truly, that is the biggest miracle and so worth celebrating. Our Holy Week was full of celebrations…..Easter egg hunts at the Villa, Susana’s birthday, special services, baking with the children, playing in the pool….but there is one event that stands out, and that’s the one I want to share with you.

Saira, our administrator, hails from a small village called Manzaragua. It’s a tiny pueblo way up in the mountains halfway between Tegucigalpa and the Villa. During my illness, the members of Saira’s church prayed and fasted for my healing. One of the women who prayed fervently had several visions, which confirmed that I would be healed, and Saira faithfully shared them with me by phone while I was in New York City. It blessed me tremendously to know that people I didn’t even know were standing in the gap for me, praying for complete healing. Therefore, it only made sense that we should go and share the story of how God had miraculously healed me with this faithful group of believers. We agreed that 2pm Good Friday we would all meet at their church.

We were halfway up the dusty mountain road with a van filled with “now-not-smelling-so-nice children” when it occurred to me that maybe this idea of taking all 18 children plus 5 adults in one busito to “help” tell the story was perhaps not one of my best ideas. Not easily accused of being time or space savvy, once again my enthusiasm got the better of me. By God’s grace, we arrived unharmed, just in time to sit down to a wonderful chicken soup lunch that Saira’s family had prepared for us with funds from the church. They did not seem overwhelmed by our numbers or odors! They just welcomed us with open arms and lots of yummy food. The whitewashed walls of their home and the wood burning stove made of clay only added to the warmth of this loving family.

At the agreed upon time, we arrived at the church. I was shocked to find the church packed with over two hundred people seated and waiting. Others were still arriving and trying to find some standing room in the back. Even some of the local dogs had arrived for the event! Electricity had come to the village several years ago so they were ready for the PowerPoint presentation and had dutifully blocked the windows with plywood to better view the photos of the gringa who had been miraculously healed. Only then did it occur to me that in the JM entourage there was not one single person who knew how to work the multimedia projector that we had borrowed from my home church. So there I was, standing up in front with what felt like hundreds of pairs of eyes clapped upon me as I tried miserably to punch the right buttons to get the projector to work with the computer. The paper fans were moving more and more furiously now as it became obvious that the breezes from the windows had been blocked off for nothing. Suddenly it occurred to me that if this group of believers had had the faith to believe that God could heal me, surely they could believe for a techno miracle. So I turned off the machines and greeted the congregation as humbly as possible and asked them to pray with me for the projector to work. As we finished praying I turned the computer and projector back on and the pictures were now up on the wall! Praise God who is sovereign over all!

The sharing went well, by God’s grace, and many came forward for prayer, asking Jesus to increase their faith and heal their bodies. I could not hold back the tears when I was finally introduced to the woman whom God used to increase my faith through the visions God had given her. She was obviously of little worldly wealth but oh so rich in the things of God. Tears were streaming down both of our faces as we embraced to thank God for His amazing work. The sun was beginning to fade and we knew we needed to get back down the mountain before dark but there was one more visit to be made.

A family member of Saira’s had been having epileptic fits for days which seemed like months to the family. She was only 9 years old and the doctors could not find a medical reason for the seizures. We prayed for her in the service and then spent time with her parents in their home. It became clear that just as God had used my illness for good, He was doing the same thing with this sweet family. The desperation of not being able to control their daughter’s health caused them to seek Jesus as never before. He was bringing not only physical healing, but relational and spiritual healing as well. After praying for these dear souls, there was just enough sunlight to get everyone back down the dirt road and onto the paved road to the Villa. The children’s spontaneous praising filled the vehicle as we wove down the mountainous curves and we were overwhelmed by joy. Suddenly the idea of bringing all the children to Manzaragua didn’t seem half-baked after all. Celebrating God with the beautiful family of believers in that far away village had blessed each one of us beyond measure.


Please keep us all in your prayers as we keep you in ours!

Because He Arose,
Betsy

P.S. another blog will follow shortly with our traveling schedule for the US trip in June/July


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mama Mia


“Mama, I think you could really be a good mom to her!” That is what came out of my seven year old Susana’s mouth last week when I brought home an 18-month-old child whose aunt had dropped her off at Jericho. The aunt explained that the child’s mother was trapped in drugs and prostitution and that she had been dragging this little pumpkin around with her on the streets. Her birth had never been registered. It only took one look at this little beauty for me to fall in love with her and Susana’s declaration quickly became my prayer. “Oh Lord, if it’s Your will, please let me be a really good mom to this little angel.” Every member of our patched-together family (I think of us as a “divinely-inspired” quilt) was in total agreement that this little one needed to be a part of us. Even Juan Carlos, who at 13 years of age is extremely unemotional about these things, could not keep from trying to hold her and bounce her around on his knees. It was unanimous. And I sensed God’s peace. So at an age when most women are becoming empty nesters, I am learning to be Mom to a very needy toddler! Noe and I found two names online that when put together mean “God’s whole promise”. We christened her Emma Isabella. We were all so enthralled with her that we did not notice the tiny head lice traveling through her cropped locks or the aggressive hitting that are obvious after-effects of living on the streets. However, it doesn’t matter…..we all share the belief that Emma Isabella has a wonderful future in God and we are excited to be a part of it!


It is hard to believe that last year at this time, unbeknownst to all of us, there was a terrible disease lurking beneath the surface, just waiting to rear its ugly death-threatening head. Praise God that His healing hand struck down that disease! I cannot thank Him enough for letting me live. Like Isabella, I have some after-effects but they are lessoning as the days go by. My hair eventually fell out at different stages leaving me with a very interesting “do.” Those of you who remember Phyllis Diller will get the picture. The only thing I can use to keep it from sticking straight up is a thing we call a “do-rag.” I am wearing it in the picture with Isabella. Jesus knew that Helen, Isabella, and many more were waiting in the wings. Many of you wrote and said that God had much more for me to do here on earth. And so it is.

Which brings me to Ruth. Last week a couple who work with a ministry called “The Micah Project” (they minister to street boys) called to let us know that they had met a fifteen year old who was a candidate for our ministry. We interviewed Ruth and had the sweetest time watching her become reconciled with The Holy One of Israel. She had known Him as a child and had wandered far from Him due to abuse and subsequent poor choices. This week Dwight is busily getting the women’s apartments ready so that we can better accommodate our rapidly growing Jericho family. Please pray for Ruth as she prepares to enter the ministry and as we prepare to receive her.

And the other news I have is that we are coming north this summer for 5 weeks! I had been praying about traveling with the kids to share the details of how God answered all of our prayers for healing. I also was wondering if God wanted me to go to my 30th University reunion in June. I had saved a little towards the trip but last week someone came to my office with a need, that was greater than the travel, and so I gave away most of what I had saved. The very next day I got an e-mail from a sorority sister saying that she and some of the other sisters had pooled some money together to buy me a ticket to fly to our reunion at DePauw. I was amazed! What they raised is about what I gave away! I love the way God works, don’t you?

Keep praying…there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t need your prayers!

In His forever love,
Betsy

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day in the Life

Dear Beloved Friends and Family,

Many of you have asked me at different times what a day typical day looks like for us. Therefore, I wrote this in February, having picked a random day.


2:00am Awoke and sensed a need to pray but instead of actually getting up, I scrunch up into a kneeling-under-the-covers position because it is cold. This is never a good idea because I end up sleeping in this very uncomfortable position instead of praying as I had planned.

5:15am Awoke again with a very stiff neck from the above. This time I get up, go downstairs, and praise and pray without falling asleep, thanks be to God. The reading for the day is John 17…. Jesus’ prayer for his disciples to be one as He and the Father are One.

6:30am The children are all scurrying around the house getting themselves ready for school. I am continually amazed by how independent they are. This works well since I am not exactly a morning Mom. I get a cup of coffee and make sure I hug each one of their necks.

7:30am Elvia and I head out to the Villa where she will supervise our local schoolteacher who now has 10 children in four different grades under her care. I am going to lead the staff in a Bible study and see what needs they might have.

8:40am Traffic is thick so it’s taken twice as long to get to the agricultural school where I buy flowers and shrubs for our first “informed” attempt at landscaping. Dorothy Washington, her daughter Addie, and her sister-in-law Christine (a landscape architect) were all here last week to help us learn about decorating with plants. I have just enough knowledge now to be dangerous. I’m thinking it would be good to invite Ely and some of the children in on this since I am perhaps a bit too far on the wild side when it comes to plants. My idea of a healing garden is a jungle…..I love the idea of things growing up walls and hanging overhead. I’m not sure that the majority of those living in the Villa share my ideas in this area!

10:00am On the way up to the Villa, we somehow miss getting onto the cement tracks at a very important juncture in the road, and the truck becomes stuck in two very deep ruts. We try to rock it out. No dice.

10:15am We walk the rest of the way up to the Villa which I am happy to do since I love hiking, even if it involves managing packages and odd items needed at the Villa. Elvia is not so keen on this outdoor experience but she doesn’t complain since she was the one to get the truck stuck.

10:30am The children are all in school so we miss the wonderful way that they all come running out to hug our necks, waists, or legs….depending on how tall they are! Ely and Hae Young are happy to see us even though they don’t come running. Photo at top: being greeted by the children at Jericho Villa.

11:00am Hae and I share coffee and she fills me in on the newest child’s adaptation. Her name is Jasmine and she was motherless due to a tragic suicide. I am not unacquainted with that pain and make a mental note to try to spend some time with her. I am thankful that she is no longer without a mother here at the Villa. Photo: Jamine (left) and Susana on family visiting day.

1:00pm Lunch is served. Its meatball soup made with boiled green bananas and corn flour. Never had this before but it’s delicious and even better with Kim Chee that Hae Young brings to the table.

2:00pm We gather for the staff Bible study. The study is called “Experiencing God” and I have taught this many times. I love this course because the Holy Spirit speaks to me afresh each time I teach it. I am excited to see what God will speak to us as we study His Word together. There are six of us: Ely and Dwight, Rosa, Patty, Hae Young, and me. We talk a bit about the importance of being united in Him.

3:30pm Dwight wants to meet to go over some of the plans for making the Villa self-sustaining. We need to focus on getting the apartments ready for more children. We are growing rapidly…..every week it seems that God sends us a child who is in great need of a loving family. We are trusting that God will provide what we need as we step out in faith to minister to these wounded children.

4:00pm The office calls to tell me that a woman from the streets wants us to take her 18-month-old daughter. The staff have quickly fallen in love with this little girl who has already spent half her life on the streets with her mentally unstable Mom.

5:00pm We are back on the road to Tegucigalpa. This time I drive to give Elvia a rest. During the healing adventure (which we call “the situation”), I couldn’t drive so everyone else drove me around like a princess. Princess days are over which we are ALL happy about!

6:30pm Helen and Susana come running to hug me as I walk in the door. I love these two little girls…they are two peas in a pod. It seems like we have known Helen her whole life and yet she has only been with us for a little over a month. Funny how God knits our hearts together so fast.

7:30pm Marlyn goes to the supermarket with Helen and Susana in tow. I am thinking to myself that I just might possibly have a few moments alone, since the boys are at Elvia’s house. A moment alone is a rarity for me. I am imagining making something yummy (think chocolate) when the doorbell rings. A neighbor needs a listening ear. The chocolaty something is forgotten.Photo: Susana, Isabella, and Helen (right).

8:50pm We all help put things away that the girls have brought home from the supermarket. Helen turns to me in the midst of it all and says, “Thank you, Mom, for letting me help.” I cannot even imagine what Helen has been through to make her so thankful for being a part of what so many of us take for granted. Thank You, Jesus, for bringing Helen to us. Thank You for showing us how an attitude of gratitude warms Your heart.

9:10pm Susana and I read from the wonderful Children’s Bible called The Jesus Storybook Bible published by Zonderkids that she just loves. My dear friend Helen Davis gave it to me when I was in the middle of “the situation” and it blessed me so. Now it is blessing my children.

9:30pm Juan Carlos says, “Mom, can you help me with my homework?” I say, “Sure, honey, what subject is it?” “Math,” he says. Panic strikes my heart. Juanca does not seek my help often so I really want to be able to help him and Math hasn’t been my strong subject since I had a Math teacher in 10th grade who I rubbed the wrong way. It’s only 7th grade Math but I start to pray fervently and silently, “Oh God, let it be something I remember and can explain to this sweet child of mine.” God answers that prayer. It all comes back quickly and I let out a sigh of relief. Photo: Noe (left back) and Juanca (far right) with their buddies at Jericho

10:00pm The little ones are in bed but Juan Carlos, Marlyn and I find Noe writing something on Facebook. We discover that he is writing someone we all know so we decide to help him wish Laura Tyler a Happy Birthday. Noe is good-natured about his Facebook time suddenly becoming a family event and we all end up laughing together.

10:30pm I am in bed but unable to sleep. I get up to write this hoping that it might be of interest to those of you who so faithfully pray for us, that it might encourage you to keep us in prayer. As I think over the events of the day, I continue to be so filled with gratitude not only for the gift of being alive but also for the privilege of being in this place at this time for His glory.

Isabella, 18months

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bringing Helen Home

I guess you could call me a seasoned missionary which is why what happened on Wednesday of this week took me totally by surprise. I have seen many, many children who are living lives that are beyond my imagination and I don’t mean in a good sense. After awhile you become less affected by the horrors which is not exactly a good thing … it’s just the way one survives. Elvia peeked around the door and said I would not believe what had just happened. I could tell she was emotional about something and I thought perhaps she had just smashed up one of our vehicles. I was not even close. She told me that while she was at INHFA (a governmental holding tank for abused and abandoned children) getting some paperwork for a couple of our children, one of the placement officers asked her if we had room for a 10 year old child named Helen. Her mother had addiction problems including prostitution and Helen had been in INHFA for almost a year, waiting to be placed in a center. When Elvia asked why they hadn’t placed her, the officer said there was no room in any of the orphanages. No room in the inn, so to speak. Elvia asked the placement officer if she could bring Helen to my office so that I could meet her. It only took one look at Helen for the tears to start flowing down my cheeks. I can’t really explain it fully ... it was like two strong emotions came colliding together in my heart and then came rushing through my tear ducts. The first was an overwhelming sadness. Whatever had happened to Helen in her days at INHFA must have caused her much pain. Her face was covered in it. The other emotion was pure joy that God had sent Helen to us. I hugged Helen in my weepy state and she also began to cry. It was a reunion of sorts. A mother who has never actually given physical birth to anyone welcoming home a lost child whose mother abandoned her emotionally and physically a long, long ago. We are all so thrilled to welcome Helen into our home and into our hearts and into Jesus, the One who gives her a future and a hope that does not disappoint.

Friday also brought more unexpected blessings. Our dear missionary friend Evelyn Klinger had stored her possessions out at the Villa while she was on furlough and due to some unexpected changes in her life, she needed to come back and deal with those stored goods. While she was with us, she told us of two little boys she had met through another missionary friend who were practically living on the streets. “Could we take them in at the Villa?” she asked. Frankly there is no way that I can tell you that these two little boys fit into our main mission statement … to reach out to prostitutes and their children. Their Mom was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty and their Dad was a deceased gang member. Their grandmother was their only caretaker and she was barely able to do that. They were begging on the streets and (we would learn later) doing many other things too heartbreaking to speak of to earn money for their daily bread. Daniel was 8 and his brother Noe was 7. Perhaps they didn’t fit into our main mission but it certainly seemed that they fit into God’s main mission of rescuing the lost and brokenhearted. We agreed to a meeting with the boys and their grandmamma so that we could pray about how to help. The whole meeting challenged our Jericho House staff. The boys were like wild little monkeys, running to and fro, stuffing anything they could get their hands on into their dirty pants pockets. They were small and smelly and reckless and so in need of love. The grandmother agreed that she could not control them and that they spent most of their days on the streets but she did not want to give them up. I discovered why pretty quickly. Noe kept asking me for money and food. It occurred to me that she needed the money they brought in daily. So we prayed like this: “Lord, if you want us to have Daniel and Noe, please change the grandmother’s heart and open the doors at the court so that we can get custody.” God totally moved. On Friday morning the grandmother brought both boys to us and gave her permission for us to raise them. Elvia took them all to the court to get legal custody. The judge initially told her it would take some time since they wanted to do a home study to see if everyone was telling the truth. It was lunchtime and both boys exhibited the same behavior in the court setting as they had at Jericho and when one of them started to try and climb up one of the windows, the judge said in desperation, “Ok, just take them!” So, we did!

That afternoon found us on our way to the Villa in the van with Helen, Daniel and Noe. Elvia sat in the back to try and keep the boys calm. I’ll never forget seeing Noe melt into complete peace as Elvia cradled him in her arms and sang a song over him. I could just make out his little hand gently holding onto the clip in her hair as I caught a glimpse of them in the rear view mirror. At the Villa, Ely and Dwight were the epitome of the word welcome. They embraced all three children and led them to the dining area where a special tort awaited them. It had been prepared by Ely and our Jericho children. Each child took turns sharing words of welcome and shared their testimonies about how God had touched them. One little one shared how he had been locked in a room by his mother. He remembered exactly what his grandmother had brought him to eat when she opened the door two days later. He completed the story by sharing how he now slept with Jesus and was no longer afraid. Ely and Dwight spent the weekend praying for deliverance for these three new family members. God used Ely to help them divulge the many atrocities that had been committed against them so that healing could begin. We thank God for the way He is using Ely and Dwight to deliver these treasures of God and to help them grow into strong citizens of the Kingdom. It is truly a work of the Holy Spirit.

And there is more but I think that’s enough for now. I can barely keep up with all that God is speaking and teaching me right now. It’s like trying to catch all the seeds from a dried dandelion after someone blows it into the wind. Please do keep Helen (now part of the JM family in my household) and Noe and Daniel (part of the JM family at the Villa) in your prayers.

I love each of you!                                         Helen and Susannah new best friends
Betsy