"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
Four years ago I led a small team of women to Guatemala the week after Christmas. Our goal was to love on our friends and encourage them. We had no idea that God was up to something much bigger. Delmi introduced us to a family of 6 kids who had recently moved to the community and were attending the church. I could tell that she was drawn to these kids and I'll never forget the day we visited them. While on the roof of their home I said to Keila,
"Wow! This view is amazing. Do you guys come up here to play?"
She replied, "We don't get much time to play."
I learned that their mom, Claudia worked a lot and the older kids took turns taking care of the younger ones. Before we left that day we prayed with them and took this picture.
A few days later their mom, Claudia came to church for the first time. I remember thinking that there was something special about this family. And I thought,
This is what Caroline's Promise is about - helping families like Claudia's.
At Delmi's urging I quickly found sponsors for Carlos & Keila to be able to attend Casita Adonai the following month. The next time I visited I saw them - faces beaming, and I thought,
This is what Caroline's Promise is about - providing a Christian education in a safe, loving, environment where kids learn that Jesus loves them.
As time passed Claudia took our Threads of Promise sewing class and began volunteering at the school. Each time I returned to Guatemala I saw her growing closer to Jesus. I have a vivid memory of her on the back pew of the church, hands raised straight to the sky, worshiping Him. She was always quick to help at the church and began going with them to the community of Gerona where she would dance with the kids and help in any way she could. Her transformation was beautiful. And I thought,
This is what Caroline's Promise is all about - equipping the church to speak truth to mamas like Claudia who need to know that they are loved by God and others.
The kids changed too. I'm not sure I've ever been to the church and not seen them there. The older boys got involved in the youth ministry and the younger kids learned about Jesus at the school and church and all of them began serving. Life has not been easy for them on any level. The older boys work a lot to help support the family and yet they still attend school and minister on their days off. Claudia struggles to provide for all of them and has had physical problems and yet, she gives so much of herself. The church encourages them and has discipled them and I often think,
This is what Caroline's Promise is all about - equipping the church to lead people
to Jesus and disciple them.
On Christmas Day I opened facebook and saw the most beautiful thing. Max, the oldest had posted pictures of their day. This family and some other friends from the church traveled to the community of Gerona and took food and gifts to a family there that attends our Sunday afternoon church services. More than food and gifts, they took themselves. They were present, encouraging this family and giving them Jesus.
And I immediately thought,
This is what Caroline's Promise is all about - partnering with the local church in Guatemala - sharing Jesus so that they can then go and share Him with others.
The ministry came full circle in just four years. Jesus certainly did exceedingly abundantly more than I asked or thought. I will be looking at families differently in 2016. I hope that I can live, expecting exceedingly abundantly more than my little mind can imagine.
Thank you for supporting the ministry of Caroline's Promise!
Your prayers and your gifts of time and money make a difference. They matter. For families like Claudia's and for all the families that the ministry of Caroline's Promise will touch.
If you would like to partner with us to help more families in 2016 please consider giving to one of the following projects.
Business Training for women: $5000 still needed. Give here
Construction of the third floor of the School: $65,000 needed
Give here - write school construction in comment box
Child Sponsorship: $35 per month. Give here
May God bless you and your family in amazing ways in 2016!