Hello everyone! We pray that you all had a blessed Christmas and New Years. The 2019 school year has ended at La Aljaba at the beginning of December and the children visited their families for their summer (Christmas) break. 2019 was a busy and great year: we welcomed many missions teams this year, had a sports court built for us, the water tower was improved for cleaner water, a new gate was built to better protect our property, the playground was painted and sealed, buildings repainted and much more. Most importantly our children are continuing to thrive as they learn more about Jesus. We are so excited that so many of our children came to know Jesus this year. We look forward to continuing to disciple them in 2020. We are also so proud of the work they did in school this year and we are excited to see what this next school year brings.
La Aljaba also held their annual Christmas party. We were able to bless all the children with multiple gifts, eat a large dinner and watch the children preform many songs and dances that they had learned through the local music arts school. We are always grateful to see the parents come and celebrate with their children and get to see their kids preform after all the hard work that went into the practices. The Christmas party always closes out our year in such a special way. We are able to see all what the children have accomplished and we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Though many of our children went home to spend time with their families over break we still kept our doors open for those who were unable to go to family. We even opened our doors for birthday celebrations! Sweet Zaray got to celebrate her quinceañera right before Christmas. For those who are curious what that is it is similar to how we celebrate a ‘sweet 16’ only in most Latin countries they celebrate a ‘sweet 15’ for the girls. It was such a beautiful celebration of Zaray and we are so grateful to her family, the staff and volunteers, donors and sponsors who made this whole party possible! In addition to Zaray’s party we also got to throw a surprise birthday party for our awesome house mom, Derly. What a blessing!
We entered into January fellowshipping with two of our friends from Ancla. This awesome organization built all of our buildings in our current location. They do amazing work here in the jungle region and we are so grateful for their generosity and love for us and this city.
Shortly after the first of the year we started the enrollment process for our 2020 children. We enrolled over 100 children this year, many returning and some new. We are so excited to have our classrooms full of noise and laughter! Thank you for the prayers for our team as they went through this very detailed process. There are so many children in need but we only have the space and staff for approximately 100. Thank you for praying for wisdom for us as we made those decisions.
We will continue with updates at the beginning of each month. It is our desire to communicate with you as frequently as possible. If you have any questions or would like to connect with your sponsor child please do not hesitate to reach out to us!
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. We are grateful to have made it through another year with you and we are so blessed to have you on our ministry team!
Many blessings to you all,
Mike and Julie
-registration went smoothly and all of our children have arrived
-we have over 100 children at La Aljaba this year, with a huge increase in teens which is usually the most difficult group to bring to capacity
-all of our staff members returned and we added 2 extra positions to help care for the children
-please pray that our children would come to know Jesus and that we are efficient in discipling them
-pray for Lucy as she continues to train Michael for the next 1.5 months
-please pray for Michael and the staff as they are all learning to work together
-pray for the safety and health of our children
-pray for our funding that we are working on increasing
THE CHILDREN. They have been working hard, growing in every aspect, loving and worshiping Jesus. The end of the year 2019 is approaching; their main effort is to finish the academic year well. Several children have reached the best records in the school; they have given an important positive effort and change.
We started a vegetable garden, all groups from the youngest to the oldest work and learn to plant and care, they will soon have a good harvest.
Sports Field, the construction finished and the contractor handed us the court. We are very happy. It is gorgeous and we have received good comments and congratulations. Our total gratitude to God, may He bless our brothers, the Spaugh family in North Carolina who honored God with the generosity of their heart. On November 23rd we had an opening party with the children, parents, the Local Board and the friends of La Aljaba here in Leticia who currently support in different aspects our ministry to the children in need in the Amazon region.
DIRECTORS.- We received the good news from Brother Michael Hogue, the Colombian visas were approved for the whole family, praise God! Now they must move to Leticia and begin this new stage of service to God in our ministry and we are ready to support them in the new changes. They will be arriving next week on the 27th. A new stage will start for them, for La Aljaba and for me too. From my side, the process of closing a stage that started 18 years ago has a purpose: first of all I want to be closer to my family, my daughters and grandchildren, and secondly I want to serve the Lord in another way. I am sure that God has a plan for me. I am very grateful to Him for allowing me to lead this ministry to the children from it's beginning; praise Him. Fundacion La Aljaba, is really an inspiration for many.
Blessings to all of you,
I appreciate your prayers for:
✓ The closing of the year 2019, the goals achieved and the children are happy and grateful to God for their achievements.
✓ The work team committed and encouraged for the end of the year.
✓ The Annual Meeting of the Council of Founders and Benefactors that will be held the first week of December; the presence of God in this event and His direction.
✓ The process of accommodation and adaptation of Michael & Julie with their children, may God provide adequate housing soon and let us see His hand of love in everything.
✓ The process that flows with the presence of the Holy Spirit of God and the next stage continues blessing this work for the children in need of the Amazonian region.
June, a month of challenges but God was in control and work amazingly in the hearts of our children. We had important activities and our prayers to God were for everything to go well!
Crossroads Church, our visitors from North Carolina came to give what God put in their hearts and in their lives. A team of 7 brothers with the leadership of Dr. Steve O'Brien who for 10 years have been visiting us with friends and brothers in Christ. They arrived to give joy to our children and adolescents, with the most fun VBS (Vacation Bible School). They also did, as usual, a pediatric check-up with great dedication; I appreciate Steve’s comment about the "good health of the children and the progress of the new ones. On one of the evenings the team gave a talk to the parents, each from its heart gave wise advice on how to be good parents and meet the needs of the children, then we prayed and everyone recognized the need of Jesus in their lives; it was wonderful! We also served the nearby community of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. 132 children were attended from children under one year of age, they all received antiparasities with the collaboration of the major drugstore in the region, were also delivered vitamins, medicines, dental fluoridation was done. We love to see boys, girls and parents who left very happy, thank you Jesus!
CONNECTED was the motto of our Annual Camp 2019, inspired by Luke 12:32 "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom" KJV. We had the support of the Youth Leadership of “Nueva Raza”, from the Mission Colombia Church in Bogotá, young godly people passionate about Jesus who came to serve with teachings and ministering. They all served with love. There were 4 days in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, a time of joy, of learning, of liberation, of spiritual healing. The place, the Natamu Reserve in the territory of Peru, by the Amazon River after 20 minutes of navigation we enter through a beautiful water way and spent another 15 minutes to reach the reserve. Our prayers were answered, praise the Lord, the young people were taught and ministered on topics such as Communion, Identity, Purpose, Forgiveness, Family, Holiness, Holy Spirit, My love and they also had a bonfire time with testimonies, kayaking in the beautiful river and had a game of soccer with the children of the Peruvian community, a nice experience. Four days, enough and valuable time for our teenagers. Some spoke of their lives, they drew their pain for the experiences of their childhood and the people who have hurt them, but the most important, now they know that God will always love them!
Many thanks to Brother Paul Beltrán for supporting us, to Mission Colombia Church - to the Nueva Raza team, to Pastor Julio Pacheco, to LA ALJABA Foundation team all our gratitude. God bless you!
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.