June was a wonderful month with several important events! We love you God for everything you have done for us.
THE ANCLA FOUNDATION, which is an organziation who has been supporting us for sometime with construction of building have helped us again. This time through their Entropika program, they donated a water purification system. Now we have clean drinking water and the local Coca Cola factory that donated the purified water and will now perform the periodic laboratory tests. Thanks to the Ancla Foundation, the Entropika program and Coca Cola.
CROSSROADS CHURCH from North Carolina visited us with a team led by Dr. Steve O'Brien. It was wonderful to receive the love of the brothers who made the children their traditional Vacation Bible School full of creativity and fun. They also collaborated with some work in our facilities. The medical and therapeutic team did health check-ups to our children and also with some children of the community. We give thanks to God for them, for their love and dedication, and for showing the love of Jesus at all times.
ANNUAL 2018 CAMP was held on the island of Ronda on the Amazon River. 55 people with the leadership of Joy Ellcessor and Jeff Brown of Harborside Church, from Florida. 16 people who were in charge of the entire program, ministry and teaching on "Who are we in Christ?” Many of the teenagers from this group shared wonderful biblical teachings, each with a reflection from their testimonies of Christian life that touched our hearts, worship, service, ministry, advice and ended with the Lord's Supper. Thank you brothers; our gratitude is immense and we are waiting for you next year. Our teenagers were challenged to follow the footsteps of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
ROBIN PAIMA, our young guy, who by the grace of God is studying in Memphis under the tutoring of Wayne Sneed and his family, is on vacation and is updating his documents, and is obtaining a driver's license because he turned 18 years old. He was one of the translators in the Camp and also helps children with homework. We thank God for him and we hope that his life will honor and glorify the Heavenly Father.
We hoped you have enjoyed all this news. We love you all and thank you so much for all of your support. Please keep us in your prayers and we continue forward in the next few months. We continue to receive a smaller amount of support each month compared to what we need to meet our budget but God continues to meet our needs. Praise God!
Lucy's update - May
I have many things to share with you, first of all something personal. I went to Dallas, Fort Worth, to attend the CAFO SUMMIT, please see this in the web, it was time for many Christian ONGs working with orphans or children in need to be together and receive different teachings. It was a time to refresh many concepts and also needs in the development of my role as Director of the ministry to the children. When finished the event, I received the privilege to attend the retreat prepared for Orphanos. It was a time to rest but also to exercise the discipline of hearing God’s voice instead of asking Him all the time, great to share with our brothers and sisters working under the partnership of Orphanos Foundation, learning all the time too. Then I went with my friends of Spark, they have been also working and giving love to many in the Amazon and since our starting our supporters through Open Doors Church, the Brewer Pastors and friends. I have the opportunity to go and pray for a Godly sister’s little boy staying in the hospital since he was born 3 months before completed 9 months and now I knew he went home with his lovely parents. Praise God with all my heart to the ones who gave me the support with finances, covering my needs, home to stay and honoring me in many ways, I just want to say “thanks to all of them” and my deep gratitude to the Heavenly Father for their lives.
Ancla Foundation from Sweden wanted to install in our facilities a big filter for potable water so that we will have good water all the time. It is compound of a similar tower and 2 big tanks joined to our current water system. What a useful donation, I am grateful for their generosity.
UWC Colombia (please see the web). By their invitation we submitted 5 of our oldest children to a selection with hundreds of teen’s students in Colombia, to a Camp close to Bogota. Carlos Manuyama and Katherine Andoque were accepted and got scholarships to go. We covered only one ticket. We are very happy for these good students, we will be very well represented in that event and will have experiences and learnings. We are the only participant from the Amazonas.
The children are receiving musical instruction in La Aljaba. The instructors are preparing them for a tour we will do to all the Christian Churches in Leticia and Tabatinga, this is a project suggested by the President of our Council to introduce the ministry to Christian community.
We celebrated “15 year’s Birthday” to Emma Cruz. It was the occasion to share and congratulate her with her family, friends of the school, some teens of La Aljaba and the staff and also came the pastor of Foursquare church here in Leticia where the mother is attending. Good time for Emma, she has been with us since she was 5 years old, we are happy to celebrate and pray for her.
We did with our staff the training to handle emergencies and first aids. We now are granted and certified. We made simulation of evacuation with the children and staff.
I highly appreciate your love and support, may God bless you all.
Please keep us in your prayers to the Father:
We have not completed our monthly budget. The income resource is not enough to cover our expenses. I trust He will provide through new supporters who love the children and the work we are doing. His bless to those who are committed with our ministry to children in need.
What a busy year we've already had in 2018. The kids have been in school for two months and received their first school break, which they really enjoyed. We have 20 new children in the program this year, bringing our total to 75 for 2018. We also have several new staff members. It has been an adjustment but we are all getting along nicely and have settled into a new routine.
We have been incredibly blessed this school year to have already been visited by two missions teams.
The first missions team came from the high school group at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. We have never seen so many teens on fire for the Lord and so quick and willing to share the gospel. Bellevue has definitely equipped them for obeying God’s call to ‘go and make disciples’. What an encouragement to see our next generation winning souls for Jesus. They were led by a godly young man that pushed the teens all week to step out of their comfort zone and it definitely paid off. This group brought almost 20 children to the Lord at La Aljaba and through a teen conference, they hosted at a local church. This group touched the lives of our children at La Aljaba, especially our new children, and we are forever grateful! Aside from being soul winners, the Bellevue teens ran a VBS with our children and were able to help with some much-needed painting.
Our second group came to us from Canada. They were a smaller group of six, but WOW what servant’s hearts they had!! They came ready to work and even after working all day in the heat, didn’t hesitate to spend a lot of time with our children. Our Canada team helped fix our sidewalks at La Aljaba, so we can get from one building to the next without “drowning” in muddy waters during the rainy season. They also completed the painting in the newly constructed bathrooms located in the new building. They also held a VBS with our children, took them out for pizza and spent a day at a local water park. On top of blessing our home and children, they took the entire staff down the river for the day, including Lucy! What a nice break this was for the staff to relax and enjoy some time away from their daily work at La Aljaba.
This year, we welcomed to our staff a young lady who grew up in La Aljaba, spent the last two years in Memphis, TN, attending the local university learning English. Many of you know her and love her dearly. When Kimberly returned to Leticia at the end of 2017 it was a natural fit to bring her back as a staff member as she continues her studies in Leticia. She has been a huge help to Lucy and also has been a great asset to the English speaking missions teams that visit! We are very grateful for her heart and love for La Aljaba.
In March we had to say goodbye to our 6-month intern from Canada, through Camino Global. Darian has such a loving heart and gave up her life in Canada to live in Leticia investing in the children of La Aljaba. We are so grateful for the impact she’s made on the children emotionally and spiritually. We were so sad to see her go, but we are trusting she will make her way back very soon.
We want to take time and write how grateful we are for Orphanos, our mission partner, who not only manages all our finances but has been such a blessing and support to our ministry. They go above and beyond what is required to ensure we are supported. Thank you, Wayne and the Orphanos staff for all you do!
Starting in May we will have a mission team visit us almost every week until August. In some ways, this interrupts our weekly routine at La Aljaba but it is so important to have a plethora of godly men and women invest in our kids. What an impact you all will make spiritually in the lives of our children! Thank you for everything you do for us and for your commitment to what God is doing in Leticia.
These our prayer needs at La Aljaba, we ask you to join us in prayer over these things! God tells us in Mark 11:24 “Therefore * I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you”
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and catch up on our lives here at La Aljaba. We ask that you continue to share our blog and social media posts to raise awareness of God’s work in Leticia. Social media sharing is one of the biggest ways we raise awareness and get new donors for La Aljaba. Thank you for your continued faithful prayers and support. We love you all!
2017 has flown by and La Aljaba is coming to the end of their year. The children are finishing up one more week of school and the staff is working hard at getting our years “work” submitted to the government. Our Christmas party is planned for December 11 and then the external children will only attend La Aljaba for one more week. The externals will then remain with their families for the break until the new school year resumes in February. La Aljaba will be much quieter for the holidays with approximately 15 children onsite, but we will still have a lot of work to do!
Every December we take time to go through all the applications of all the children applying to participate in our program for the upcoming year. This is not an easy process because we would love to approve everyone who applies but we have to decide which children “need” La Aljaba the most. We can only take in a maximum of 90 children each year due to the number of staff we employ and because of our yearly budget limitations. Along with the application screening process, we need to make sure that our facilities measure up to all the updated business codes for the new year. In addition to our yearly compliance guidelines with the Colombian government, we will be legally required to update our security protocols, change all of the children’s mattresses and add hypoallergenic covers. We will also have to make changes to our accountant and financial auditor processes. Many items need completion and the to-do list changes every year. La Aljaba is a ministry, but to the Colombian government we are classified as a business and these are the standards we are held to. The government has also changed the law about requiring permits to hire anyone outside of La Aljaba to fix or build anything on the property. So I am sure you can understand the way this may affect our future construction projects. Although many of these government mandates can be a financial burden on our ministry they are keeping our home safe and healthy. We trust their knowledge of what is best for the home and our children and we trust that God will provide the funds each year to complete the tasks that the government asks of us.
We are very proud of the children and how well they have done in their studies this year. Many of the children are even at the top of their class. Three of the children have done so well they were given scholarships to attend a school to learn English. This can be a great benefit for the future of those three children and we hope that more will be selected for this program in the future. The children have also participated in many extracurricular activities such as swimming, BATUTA (music school), soccer, and art. Our children are so talented are we are grateful for the activities they are involved in and how they help occupy their time. La Aljaba is a ministry that helps to nourish underprivileged children both spiritually and physically, and filling their time with education and extracurricular activities is one way of keeping them off the streets and giving them something to be passionate about.
This year we also held 6 different sessions of training for the parents. We think it is very important to develop a relationship with the parents of our children and help educate or train them in areas that will help them become better parents. We think this is beneficial for the relationship between the parents and their children but this is also beneficial in showing the parents we support them. We know that being a parent is a difficult job and can sometimes be lonely. When you add extreme poverty and lack of support/education to the equation the outcome can be devastating. We want to give our parents a support system here at La Aljaba. We want to help them learn more about supporting their children in their education, protecting them from the dangers of Leticia. Most importantly we want to show/ teach them about the love of God so they can instill that in their children.
We received 8 missions teams this year and have also received many other visitors throughout 2017. This kept us busy but is always such a blessing to us and our children. We are so grateful for our visitors, many of them returning visitors, and we pray they feel led to return in 2018. The donations and projects that these teams do for us are such a blessing, but the even bigger blessing is seeing our visitors show our children the love of Jesus. Many of our children have a distorted view of what a relationship is, and these teams always set such a godly example of what love and friendship are about. Thank you for that and thank you for loving and giving to God’s work in the jungle.
We also received a special visitor here at La Aljaba from Ottawa, Canada. Darian Allard is interning with us for 6 months through, Camino Global, an organization aimed at making disciples among Spanish-speakers globally. Darian is helping out our team of tutors with all of the children and is specifically helping teach our younger children English. After her time ends in Leticia she plans to continue her education, possibly come back to La Aljaba and would love to eventually work full-time in missions. Darian is such a blessing to us and we are so grateful for her servant’s heart and the joy that she brings to our children.
We have worked hard keeping you updated this year and we pray the updates continue (pending good jungle wifi) at the start of La Aljaba’s new year in February. We thank you so much for all of your support and prayers and we know that you are a huge part of keeping our doors open! We thank God for the privilege of working for Him in the jungle and allowing us all to be a part of His amazing ministry. We hope you all have a very blessed Christmas and New Year and we look forward to our next post in a few months!
Here are a few things to be praying about over the holidays:
-pray for the children over break; that God will keep them safe and healthy and that they will remember to keep Him first in their lives
-pray for the process of approving the 90 children for the upcoming year
-pray for the spiritual warfare we are battling here at La Aljaba; that we keep God first and do not allow Satan to have a stronghold over any of us
-pray for our staff, that they remember to be a godly example to our children and that they are amazing role models that our children can imitate
-pray for all the needed legal changes to remain compliant at La Aljaba and that we can physically and financially complete everything before the New Year
-pray for our financial support that we will be able to increase the number of our monthly sponsors to meet our new and increased budget for this upcoming year
-praise God for all the support and prayers this year. They have helped the ministry of La Aljaba remain open!
Youtube: La Aljaba Children's Home
This blog is written by a collection of individuals aimed at sharing the love of Jesus and caring for the needs of the children of La Aljaba.