La Aljaba has ended the 2018 year feeling very blessed! When we moved on to the new property a couple of years ago it was hard to know what to expect. The neighborhood where we live is still being developed, and with that comes positives and negatives but overall it has far exceeded our expectations. Construction has been slow, which is common in Leticia, but we have amazing classrooms, office space, living quarters and an awesome playground. We are starting to see the fruits of our labor and we are so excited to see what God has in store for 2019, not only for the continued construction of La Aljaba, but for the work that God is doing in the ministry.
This year has been busy just like all the others😊. Time seems to fly by. When you think of how life has flown by in raising your own children, if you're in that stage of life, then multiply that several times until you get to 80 children and that's our life here. The days here are long, but the years are short! Continue reading to hear more about our year and what the plans are for the future.
This year our staff was able to receive multiple pieces of training to equip them for the work here at La Aljaba. They received training in CPR and First Aid, drug and alcohol prevention, and prevention of sexual abuse. We also received an intern, Darian, this year from Canada for 6 months. This was a huge help to our staff and children, especially the children in group one. Darian was very hard working and kind, but most importantly she loves Jesus. She was such a positive influence in the lives of our children.
La Aljaba also received 6 different missions’ teams this year. Mission teams are such a huge part of our ministry. These amazing teams not only come and help run summer camps and VBS, build and fix things, or run medical exams on our children, they most importantly share the love of Jesus with them. We had many children come to know Jesus through these teams and many children rededicated their relationship with Jesus. We are so grateful for the time and finances that Bellevue Baptist Church, Spark Worldwide, Harborside Christian Church, Bethel Church, and Crossroads Church invested in our ministry this year. Thank you!
We would also like to thank Ancla Foundation for their continued support for the children of Leticia. They have not only continued to bless us with our buildings but this year even gave us computers for the children and a new water filtration system that will help keep our children healthier. Also, a huge thanks to Spark Worldwide for blessing one of our children’s family with running water and electricity for their home. Their living situation was very difficult before you arrived!
La Aljaba was happy to serve almost 80 children this year. This means we were investing in the lives of approximately 50 families. We continue to pray that God will use us as a light to lead these families to Jesus and break the cycle of spiritual strongholds that have held these families down for generations. Our goal at La Aljaba is not only to share Jesus with the impoverished children of Leticia but to help disciple them so they can go out and make a difference in the lives of their families. We want to raise up a new and godly generation that can break the cycle of generational sin.
We ended our year at La Aljaba with our big Christmas party. A huge shout out to all our child sponsors and donors that made this Christmas party possible! Because of your kind generosity, we were able to bring gifts from the states, for every child! The majority of our children do not receive gifts at home, so this is a time to fill up a big bag of gifts for all of our kids. Although we do not just focus on giving gifts, which is very fun to do, we also want to focus on the real reason for Christmas. We want to teach our children that we give to them as a symbol of God’s precious gift to us, sending his son Jesus to redeem us.
La Aljaba is now closed for the school break. Our children will start school in February, so this is a time to rest, to enjoy some time off and also prepare for the coming year. Every year La Aljaba is required to keep our building up to code with the Leticia business requirements. This seems to change every year so we are always tasked with many projects at La Aljaba over the break to ensure that we are abiding by all those regulations. We will also begin reenrollment towards the end of January. Families come and apply and we begin the process of screening the “neediest” families first and then add more children on from there. This is a very difficult and tedious process. We would love to accept every child, but we just do not have the funds to hire more staff to do this. Maybe one day God will grow us in that aspect, but for now, we will continue to pray that God sends us what we can handle and that we keep Him at the heart of this ministry.
Our upcoming year will once again include many missions’ teams; they are such an important part of La Aljaba. We are also planning on more construction which will hopefully complete the kids' soccer/basketball court and maybe even our compound fence. We have plans for expansion in the future, but we are content with what God has given us. While many of the routines of La Aljaba will stay the same, this year we are also planning on hiring a social worker. This is a great way to bridge the relationship between La Aljaba, child and family. We want to invest in the spiritual well-being our children, but this also includes investing in the family, so a social worker will be a big blessing to improve this aspect of the ministry.
We pray that you all had a great Christmas and we are wishing you a Happy New Year! We praise God that you have honored us with your love, generosity, and prayers! Thank you to all our donors, child sponsors, missions teams, ministries, staff and board who have all been a HUGE part of what God is doing at La Aljaba! Many blessings to you all!
This blog is written to share the love of Jesus and how He uses us to care for the needs of the children of La Aljaba.