The last month has quickly passed and we’d been quite busy. In the past month we started school, enrolled over 100 children, celebrated birthdays and women’s day. We’ve encountered multiple snakes invading our land, dealt with a popped tire on one of our vehicles, battled multiple illnesses running it’s course through all the children and staff, preformed yearly check ups. We’ve fundraised for our monthly donations and then went into countrywide lockdown because of Coronavirus.
The beginning of the school year is always more difficult than other times because we enroll many new children who are not accustomed to our routine, rules or structure; it takes a bit for everyone to settle in. This means a lot more work for our staff. Our tutors are not only caring and teaching our kids at La Aljaba but they also run to and from multiple different schools, all the time. They meet with the children’s teachers, ensuring that they are excelling, attending class, behaving, making friends, that they are healthy and much more. They’ve been seen cleaning wounds, tying shoes, teaching, spoon feeding kids, breaking up fights, running errands, decorating for birthday parties, playing games, and so much more. Their jobs are not done lightly and we are so blessed to have them!
While children have been adjusting to the routine and rules of La Aljaba we were able to celebrate all of the birthday kids from the months of January and February. All of the children came together for a time of games, music, prayer and of course gifts and cake. It’s so fun to see many of the kids experience cake for the first time! We are so grateful for all of our children and so excited we get to celebrate a year of their lives with them. I hope you enjoy the birthday video below.
We hosted our first parent meeting on the evening of our first birthday party of the year. We invited all of the parents of our children to La Aljaba and the tutors shared with them about helping their children through school. We taught about the responsibilities of the La Aljaba staff compared to the responsibilities of the parents. We also gave advice in helping their children excel. Really you could compare this meeting to new student/teacher orientation or an open house. We will have many more workshops for the parents throughout the year in hopes of being a good support system for them in raising their children.
We also completed our first of two health check-ups for the children for 2020. It is a great way to track our kids growth, monitor their health and it’s a way to administer parasite meds that everyone in Leticia needs to take every 6 months. We also take this time to teach our kids about hygiene and taking care of lice. Many people in our community are plagued with lice and with the humidity and lack of hot or clean water the lice seem to flourish. We work hard at teaching our kids how to shampoo them away, continuing the process of removing eggs and preventing them from returning. This is a very common hygiene practice in the jungle that we want to ensure all of our kids understand.
Two weeks ago we were able to celebrate International Women’s Day. The male staff at La Aljaba planned a whole ceremony for all of the women/girls. They showered them with encouraging words, gave them all their very own flower and Brazilian chocolate and prayed for them. We used it as an opportunity to show them the love of Jesus.
Lastly, what everyone is waiting to hear about, Coronavirus. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus all of our missions teams for the next few months needed to reschedule. We are all very sad they won’t be arriving but we knew that it is for the best. The week one of our teams was to arrive, Colombia closed its borders which would have trapped the team from the states here until May. Colombia has not only closed its borders but we are on complete lockdown for the next 20 days. Not only is it devastating that all the businesses and schools had to close but we even had to close La Aljaba. We are praying for the protection of all our children and the people of this city. We hope these strict precautions will prevent the spreading of the virus and allow life to go somewhat back to normal in a few weeks. We are praying for all of those impacted by the coronavirus and know how hard it must be to buckle down and wait it out. It is a strange time in our world right now but we are reminded of Psalm 23 and that God is our Shepherd and He will continue to watch over us.
All in all we’ve had a very good month, until Coronavirus that is;). Our children are learning and growing and most importantly they are hearing Gods Word! Thank you for your love for La Aljaba! Hopefully when you hear from us next month La Aljaba will be back in full working order. Below you will see our specific prayer needs and praises!
Michael and Julie
-Two snakes have been captured on the property before any children came across them.
-Our last pig was so large it filled our entire deep freezer full of meat which is a huge savings in our food expense.
-We’ve had several issues with our vehicles this last month and all have been repaired!
-Our sports court that was completed last year has been the biggest entertainment for our children. We even find our ‘cool’ teenagers out there playing games;).
-We were able to get almost all of our children into homes for this legal quarantine. We had less than 24 hours to get all the kids out of La Aljaba and everything closed down. Praise God for His help and for the amazing staff that worked together in a quick and crazy amount of time.
-Pray for the healing and stoping of the Coronavirus.
-Pray for the protection of our La aljaba children. We are unsure of their living conditions as they wait out this 20 day lock down.
-Pray for Leticia as they will greatly suffer financially without work for 20 days. We don’t know how they will provide food for themselves and their families. This can lead to a lot of thieving as a result. Pray for provisions for the people and for safety.
-Pray for our monthly support for La Aljaba, we are in GREAT need of 19 more monthly sponsors at $100 a month.
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.