We continue to keep moving forward in God’s calling for us in Santa Marta. Now that we have become an official foundation, we are taking the steps to expand, look for volunteers, and receive donations. We had begun the process to start a baseball program with the Barrio 17 kids with Little Leagues of Colombia, but we recently found out that we can’t use the field close-by that we had planned to use. We are praying that God changes the minds of those in-charge and moves the other events out. We are also in the process of submitting letters to local businesses to request donations for snacks, sporting equipment, clothing, shoes, etc. We are also contacting several churches and organizations in Bogotá and possibly other cities to see if they would support our foundation as a missions opportunity.
God has blessed the ministry with awesome volunteers to come alongside us in the work. There are now six of us involved on a regular basis. We were recently able to bless the volunteers with a gift to show our apreciation, and we also made staff “Enciende El Fuego” shirts. Each Saturday we are teaching the kids a different story from the Old Testament after starting with Adam and Eve, and we will go through the New Testament after. The growth process seems slow now, but we know God is doing way more than we can see or understand. In the culture here, the parents are hardly involved with their kids, and sadly we don’t know very many of the kids’ parents. We are praying for wisdom for how to reach the families of Barrio 17 as well.
God continues to bless our work in the schools. We have enjoyed a mini vacation as the schools have off for Holy Week (from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday). Maria has been stretched and blessed in her teaching English at El Shadai. She has been blessed to be able to teach the kids English and also greatly improve her English at the same time. She only plans to work there through June for the first semester. Jonathan has been blessed in his work in the schools as well. He has been able to build relationships with many kids in Barrio 17 through his work in the public school. He has been able to share a biblical verse/principle with the kids before each PE class and show much-needed love and light to them.
Two weeks ago, the 5th and 6th graders at Jireh evangelized in the neighborhood during religion class, and many persons were blessed by them. It has been really cool seeing their growth and boldness from last year. Outside of school, we were blessed with the opportunity to do a kids’ event in a neighborhood where a church friend has a kids’ ministry. We did games with them and also talked about the importance of guarding their heart and loving God. We’ve also been able to share the gospel message a few times during this Holy Week. We are blessed to have the opportunity to go on a two-day trip to La Guajira (the desert region of Colombia) and visit where the desert meets the ocean.
Growing in the Lord
We are excited for all God has done, is doing, and will continue to do. We are challenged to continually see people and situations from God’s perspective and focus on accumulating heavenly treasures here in Santa Marta. Maria is learning to be more dynamic in her teaching and to see her students as God sees them. Jonathan is learning how to declare/pray prophetically and is asking for more of God and His presence, power, and gifts. He is challenged not to feel guilty to ask for “too much” from God, but rather to boldly ask God in faith.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
María and Jonathan