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!
2019 couldn't have started off any better! The children and tutors have returned from break, the school year has started, and La Aljaba is as busy as ever. We are incredibly happy to have the children back from their time off. We have missed their smiling faces and laughter. We have missed seeing them play futbol and have missed the creaking of the tramploline as they bounce and we have missed theirs joyful screams as they try to swing as high as they can. Not seeing them everyday is not fun. When we don't see the children everyday, we don't always have the necessary insight to how we can help them and their families. Since they are back, safe and sound, we are now all all caught up with our children and are ready to take on another year with them. We are extremely thankful, and consider ourselves blessed to continue fulfilling God's purpose with the children of Leticia.
We have had some changes this year to the La Aljaba staff. Our favorite office administrator, Sandra, has moved to Bogota to continue her education. She will be deeply missed but we pray that she is successful in her studies. Please keep her in your prayers as she makes this big transition. With Sandra's departure, we have moved Jessica, one of our tutors, to Sandra's role in the office. Jessica is going to be awesome in this new role. Also, a familiar face has rejoined La Aljaba, Ysolina. We are excited to have her back as our Group 3 tutor. Please join us in welcoming her back to where she belongs. :) We also brought back another familiar face, Manuel! Manuel worked for La Aljaba a few years ago before he left to be a professor at a local college. We are excited to have them both back with us. We know that they will only bring great things for our children. All of our other staff have returned and we are so thankful for their dedication and love for our children. It is such a blessing to have a team of individuals dedicated to teaching and showing Biblical truths to our children, each and everyday.
When our children return for the school year, we jump right in and are ready to get into the swing of things. We first introduce them to the staff. This is very important, especially when we have some new faces. We want our children comfortable with who they will be spending a majority of their time. We then go over La Aljaba rules, expectations and instructions for their time spent at La Aljaba. Our children are very well-behaved but we still needs those rules! :) The children then get reacquainted with their friends and share stories of what happened while on break. We then break them up into their groups and they began their normal daily routines of Biblical teaching, study time, play and sometimes, the much needed, rest time.
Every year, La Aljaba provides school kit supplies to each child which in an aid to their educational process. We pass this out on their first day. These kits are vital to their success at school. In many if not all cases, our children's families can't supply the necessary school supplies. We couldn't provide these kits to the children without your unwavering support for our home. We thank you very much!
We love you all so very much! We thank you for your prayers and your on-going support. We are truly blessed by your love.
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 by a collection of individuals aimed at sharing the love of Jesus and caring for the needs of the children of La Aljaba.