April is here and with it, some very exciting news . . . Josh and I are expecting a baby in October! We are completely ecstatic and have been chomping at the bit to share the news. I am doing well and very happy to be finishing up the first trimester. We ask for your prayers for us and our new addition and we will definitely keep you up to date on all the baby news!
We also just completed the Vacation Bible School that we have been planning for the past few months. We worked with the local Missionary Alliance Church in Milagro and they were incredible. The church sent a team of about 14 people each day, mostly teenagers, who led the VBS and it was so encouraging to see the Lord working through them. They loved working with the kids and the kids loved learning about God.
As I have mentioned before, the hospital is located in a neighborhood called Las Piñas, which is extremely poor. Most families in the neighborhood live in houses made of sugarcane and reeds. The kids of the area are on their own a lot of the time and playing outside in filthy conditions and so we were really excited about bringing them to the auditorium of the hospital and sharing God's love with them and giving them some attention for a couple of hours each day.
Thursday and Friday of the week before the VBS we publicized that we were hosting it and handed out fliers, and we got a great response from the parents we talked to. Monday rolled around however, and when the team arrived to teach at 2pm, there were no kids! I was extremely nervous and felt horrible about not being prepared, but the team from the church and some hospital employees happily went out into Las Piñas and rounded up the kids. By 2:45, there were 60 kids in the auditorium and we had 50 to 60 kids come each day after that.
The team prayed with the kids and led them in songs and stories about missionaries and then split them into groups by their age and told the story of Moses. By the last day, the kids knew 5 or 6 new songs, could retell the story of Moses and were asking when the next VBS was going to be! I pray that we were able to plant a seed in their hearts and that God would grow that seed with his love as they grow up.
We have spoken with the leader of the VBS team and she is interested in setting up an after-school program once a week here at the hospital to keep up with the kids and continue their Christian education. We told her we would be thrilled to work with them on that, so we will see what the Lord has in store!
Here are some pictures from the VBS:
The kids waiting to go in on the last day
A group of girls ready to learn about the Lord
The opening session
Kids learning to pray
One of the songs they learned. The lyrics mean: "Do you know who Jesus is? He is my Savior. He never leaves me, he loves me, yes, he always helps me, he listens to me. Even if I have problems, I can trust in him. It is marvelous to know that he is my faithful friend."
One of the small group sessions
Some of the VBS teachers
We hope everyone is enjoying some spring-time weather and we thank you, as always, for your prayers and support.
Love and God bless,
Stephanie and Josh