I know some of you may have read this in our prayer letter or on Sam's blog, but I wanted to share it here also. I have not included any pictures here, because we try to walk a fine line between sharing and not exploiting as this is actually a very delicate situation.
In late January, we received a knock at the gate by a lady asking for money to take her “laboring” daughter to the hospital. It is not our practice to give money, so Carie being a midwife volunteered to go with the lady to check on her “laboring” daughter, Lupita. To no surprise, Lupita was not in labor and was only in her 7th month. However, that knock on our gate has changed our life, added to our ministry, and has re-taught us a scriptural truth, “Pure religion and undefiled.”
Since that knock, Carie and I have made many visits to that family and the mother has since abandoned the family, once again, and has been on another drunken hiatus for more than two months. They are unsure when or if she will return. What does that mean? Lupita (18) has been left to care for her newborn and her 1 year old, 4 year old, 6 year old, 9 year old, and 13 year old siblings, as well as her grandparents, grandfather (92) and grandmother (80). Though the grandparents try to help, their age limits them greatly.
We are always mindful and careful to not establish a dependency on us or American dollars, but we have been heartbroken for this family, their lost-ness, and the affliction they are going through. We were at a loss, for what we should do, so we prayed. So one night on visitation I took one of the couples of the church to visit the “Luz” family, as we left they too were heartbroken. They have since motivated the church to gather food dispenses and gathered for a work day to clean and repair the small home of Lupita, which included the burning of old mattresses and purchasing of new ones. Many brought clothes and sheets, clean supplies, etc.
The CHURCH has felt the call to reach out, the CHURCH has been praying and working with this family, and GOD has received ALL glory and honor for what has been happening. However, they are still lost.
Please be in prayer for this family as we continue to minister to them. Carie has been providing post partum Carie to Lupita and the baby. The kids go with us every Sunday to church, and I plan to start “listening” to the bible with the family by use of a “Proclaimer” one or two afternoons per week since the grandparents cannot read. Somehow I have earned the respected name of “Don” Samuel, please pray for me as I continue to share the gospel and the love of Christ with this family. Please pray for their salvation.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:26-27