FEBRUARY UPDATE 2023
This new year has brought about many mixed emotions from every end of the spectrum, but seems to be shaping up to be what I am referring to as a transition year (which basically means I have no idea what to expect). We will be sending out an official update on El Nido next month, but wanted to get ahead of the curve and let you know about some other things going on in our lives as well as share some prayer requests. So, here we go…
This year, thanks to a $5000 Rotary district grant from Yarmouth, Maine, we were able to purchase some basic medical equipment and hire a Doctor in order to help the young mother’s have easier access to medical check ups. This was a huge blessing as we were wondering how we were going to grow. We still have a long way to go and need to get creative on how to raise the money to pay off the loan from the building purchase as well as to fully fund the program, but it is exciting to look back and see how far we have come thanks to God’s faithfulness and all of your support. Above is a picture of the 30 new girls that have started the program this year, and you will be hearing more about them and the program soon…I promise.
Our small church plant has been growing and we are loving it. I am currently taking online courses and two other people in the congregation have expressed interest in taking on pastoral responsibilities for a possible new plant, so they are beginning to study as well. It has been refreshing to not feel any stress on Sundays about what I have to do…or get done, but that I can just enjoy serving, hanging out with our community, dreaming and planning about how we can help our neighbours and city better. As we get to know our church better, we also have learned about some deep pain and struggles people are going through.
Please pray that we would have the wisdom to care for and guide these people, but also the sensitivity of the Spirit to know when professional care is needed for them as well.
Thanks to God and the generosity of one family, we were able to get away at the beginning of January for some much needed rest. It was definitely needed and we are so grateful.
Oliver is growing so fast and his joy and energy are quite contagious, which is also helpful when we have to navigate some complicated issues. My parents are visiting right now, which is always great, but this time has been very different as my Dad arrived with severe neck pain, which we at first thought might be a sinus infection, but then came to realize (after antibiotics, painkillers and an MRI) that it was likely due to a shoulder injury that happened in Bogota as he was running through the airport. He is currently in physical therapy, but it is frustrating for him as it is a very slow recovery process. As hard as it is to see him suffer and not being able to even eat his favourite Colombian foods: We are glad that we can be here for him and help him get the help he needs. I could probably go on writing, but I will leave you with one last thought that has been going through my head these last couple of days: Is my life coherent with what I proclaim to believe? Just because we live far away and serve others doesn’t mean that I am never selfish, forget how to love properly, or am without my struggles. Thankfully, Jesus loves me just the same and it is this love, which propels me in my moments of despair, to reclaim the hope we have in him and learn again how to love God, how to love myself and how I was made and finally, but not last, how to truly love others unconditionally. May we all learn how to take care of ourselves better, to love and listen to one another (without just waiting to give our opinion or advice), and, in doing so, may you grow closer to the one who gave us life.
Thanks so much for your continued love for our family. We truly love each and every one of you. We are never too busy to chat (we just need to set up time).
Jacob, Leidy & Oliver
*Yasmin: She is 37 weeks pregnant. She has anemia and is underweight. Please pray that this does not generate any complications at the time of delivery and postpartum and that both her and her baby are well.
* Kelly: She is hospitalized for a urinary infection. Pray for her recovery.
* Carlo: She has had a risky pregnancy due to a previous placental abruption. She has an ultrasound this week and we are hoping it is gone.
*Tatiana: She graduated from the program 2 years ago and has been working hard to provide a life for her daughter. Her partner has always been on and off, but recently he cheated on her and then decided to put the house that they had purchased together in his mother’s name, so she would have no claim to it. Please pray for justice as now she and her daughter are without a home and have had to move back in with her mom.
*For grace and love to be felt by these young mothers. May God help them to remain in the project, to feel part of this family, to grow and to be a consolidated group
*For creativity and ideas for our small team to be able to carry out the talks and for the fundraising activities that are required.
*For my Dad, that he would recover soon and be able to fully enjoy his time here.
*For us as a family in general. Energy, Creativity, Time…etc.