And we hope that the only playing going on will be summer fun at The House of Dreams. Our director, Marisol Soliz, is in the United States for a few weeks with her husband Marco. This is first time he is visiting the States. I know they are going to have a wonderful time! But I also know that they will be greatly missed here in Bolivia.
I am so proud of Marisol. She is a wonderful director who puts the Dreamers first in all that she does at The House of Dreams. She is able to see new and better ways of doing things and is able to motivate and train the caregivers to implement those changes.
Marisol was born in Ecuador to an Ecuadorian mother and a father from the U.S. She lived her first few years of life there before they moved to the States. She spent the rest of her growing up years all through university in the U.S. She is truly bi-lingual. She applied her Masters in Education to teaching for a few years before she felt the call to be a missionary. Through the connection of our home church in Missouri she decided to come to Bolivia to learn how to be a missionary. Her involvement with Christ Nation Ministries has been vital. What started as a one year commitment turned into a lifestyle. She is married to a godly Bolivian man, now. Her mother retired to Bolivia from the States and owns a house where she and Marisol’s brother live. Seeing Marisol and her family so integrated into the Bolivian way of life encourages me and fills my heart. I am excited to see God’s will infold in all they are doing.
We are so grateful that she has decided to serve in the capacity of director. I know that God is working through her for the good of the children. Join me today in saying a prayer of blessing over the lives of Marisol and Marco. Thanks!
I imagine that when a child looks up at an adult it is like what an adult feels like to look up at a building towering above. When I crane my neck up to the stacks of floors I have to guess what’s on the top. I wonder if children guess what’s on top of us adults when they look up at us. Probably why kids loved to be picked up; they want to see what’s on top.
Downtown stands a building with the word AMOR in block letters on the first floor. Amor means love. I want to be like that love tower to the Dreamers. That when they look at me the first thing they see is love. That even if I seem big, mysterious, and altogether a sight to behold that they would still reach their arms up to me.
Some of the Dreamers at the House of Dreams came to us already a bit grown. I often tell people they have seen too much, heard too much, and felt too much in their little lives. I only hope that we can surround them with towers of love. Then, when the day comes that they are grown up, they can be towers of love in the lives of others.
Join us in supporting the Dreamers. Pray for their hearts. Pray for their minds. Pray for those of us who care for them to be towers of love. Thank you.
Have you ever asked God to answer your prayers? A prayer made by Solomon, King David’s son, is recorded in the book of 1st Kings chapter 8. Part of this prayer reads:
“…that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place.”
Solomon asks God to open His eyes towards the place from which he prayed. This morning I awoke with an urgency to ask for prayer. The final quarter of the year is quickly approaching. Might I invite you to join us in prayers for the House of Dreams and the people who care for the Dreamers?
Here is a bullet list of points to help you know what we are asking God for.
- The health and well being of all the caregivers and the kids at the House of Dreams
- Grades for the final trimester of classes, school ends in November
- Travel of the missionaries and their families, safety and provision
- Financial provision for the 13th month salaries for the staff and other bonuses
- Direction from the Lord for the new Sucre orphanage
If you would like to you may share these points with prayer groups or other people who love to pray. You can even print this out and put it in a place to help you remember to pray. Thank you for helping us in this vital task of prayer.
The Bolivian school system runs on a morning / afternoon schedule for students of all ages. Some kids go in the mornings, some in the afternoons. Gabriel attends a school to help him learn at his pace and overcome some of the challenges his brain presents him with. He goes in the afternoons.
Last Wednesday morning I arrived a bit early to see Alicia’s parents before they all went to the courthouse for the adoption. So Alicia, Gabriel, and I got to hang out a bit. I pulled out my camera so we could “play” together. Alicia had no problem hamming it up; but Gabriel shies away from lenses.
I knew this about him. So, after Alicia had her fun and got busy with something else, I had an idea. I asked Gabriel if he wanted to take some pictures. His face lit up.
He wanted to take pictures of his dinosaurs. He lined them up in just the right position. He took care to compose the shots in the viewfinder screen before he clicked. As he photographed his toys we chatted.
He told me he wanted to see real dinosaurs. I told him about the dinosaur display in Sucre where the scale sculptures are taller than houses. We talked about vacations and travel. He gave me his signature bashful smile when he talked about the people he cares about. I had such a nice time with him.
As you look through the images captured by this nine-year-old boy please pray for him. He can be adopted. His papers have been ready for years. He was assigned by the government to a family, yet because of the undiagnosable issues with his learning they said no. He would flourish under the care and attention a proper mama and papa. Pray that God’s will would be done for Gabriel. Thank you.
(click any picture to enlarge it and scroll through)
From time to time, I have general conversations with the kids, asking them how they are behaving, how are they doing in school, etc. Most of the time they tell me what they think I want to hear, of course.
Recently while having a conversation with Yamil, I flashed back to how he was about a year or so ago. He was very quiet, timid at times, and generally kept to himself (around adults at least).
I then looked at how he is today and was amazed at the changes. He is quite talkative and outgoing, not to mention the major growth spurt he just went through. He is becoming his own person. It’s great to be able to notice the positive development of our Dreamers.
Please pray for Yamil, as well as the rest of our Dreamers as they continue to grow and develop.
A lovely Sunday afternoon at the park with the Dreamers…
Estefani and Jhoselyn playing 'futbol'
... that's soccer for the North Americans and football for most of the rest of the English speaking world
Tia Erika in a game of 'futbol' with the boys
Alicia on the swing
So thirsty after a romp in the park!
¡Agua, por favor! Water, please!
If you don’t mind, here are some prayer points:
- A group of 30 pastors will be meeting this week in Cochabamba to decide how they would like to become involved in helping the House of Dreams. Pray they decide to help big and follow through.
- Alicia’s waiting on her parents to come and finalize the adoption. Pray this happens sooner rather than later.
- Two of our boys are waiting on their families to regain guardianship. Please pray that this happens quickly. We are waiting on paperwork.
- Please pray that those who have made financial and donation commitments follow through.
- That the kids who are available for adoption are placed in godly, loving homes in a timely fashion.
Thanks so much!
February 2011: Three Turn Three – A plea for prayer for the adoptions of our youngest children in the House of Dreams.
November 2011: Our Three Year Old Kids – An update of the adoption process. Bridgit was adopted! Vladi was assigned… and then not. Alicia’s case was freed from a mountain of paperwork and she was assigned to a family. (The green words)
January 2012: Today. Updates in fuchsia.
1) …ready to go at any time and are just waiting for assignment to a family. Vladimir got assigned and then due to some complications the parents from overseas decided to back out. Currently a member of our church, who volunteers at the House of Dreams, is attempting to adopt him. Please pray that she is successful. So, the big news here is that the international adoption is back on. The parents were able to get some things resolved in order to not have to redo the whole process, rather to continue on with the adoption from the place things left off last year. They are just waiting for the green light from the courts to come get their son any day now!
2) For Alicia we are facing issues of paperwork. We are submitting (for the third time) paperwork and forms that were “lost” by social services or the courts. Without going into too much drama suffice it to say that this round of papers need to stay found so that this little Dreamer can be found by a family. I am happy to say that Alicia’s paperwork went through and she has been assigned to a family from another country who could receive word to come get their child any day. We would love for you to rejoice with us on the progress made with her case and pray that the adoption happens soon without complications. To give you a time frame this could happen anytime between this week and months from now. We would prefer sooner than later. Good news here is that things are still moving forward. There have been no problems and Alicia’s parents are also just waiting for the permission to come get their girl.
3) …My hope is that this year all three of them are adopted. Would you join me in praying for them? Let’s keep praying that Vladi’s and Alicia’s adoptions go through soon. It was mid February of 2011 when I asked you all to pray that these three get adopted within the year. With the glimmer of hope of this actually might become a reality I ask you to not give up praying with us that in these next few weeks some beautiful families are united. Thank you for being a part of these dreams-coming-true stories.
You can print this out and peg it somewhere as a reminder to pray if you like. Thanks so much!
Almost a year ago, Juan Daniel arrived at the House of Dreams. Understandably terrified, he barely said a word for weeks. He played alone and mostly stayed in his room. At times, at bedtime he would cry for an hour or so. Needless to say, it was a pretty tough transition for this little guy.
As the staff at the HOD patiently waited, he slowly became acclimated. After a couple of weeks he began participating in small conversations. A little later, he would flash a smile here and there.
Juan Daniel going to bed with a smile on his face.
Today, Juan Daniel can be seen playing with the other Dreamers, and laughing and joking with the HOD staff. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to help Juan Daniel have a better life and to be able to put a smile on his face. It has been amazing to see this transformation take place, he has truly come a long way.
Please pray for a smooth transition for Juan Daniel as he starts kindergarten this year.
When ideal no longer exists for a child what alternative shall we pursue? Ideally no child should have to suffer the wrongs that bring them to the House of Dreams. Yet they do. So then what do we do?
Do I pray the children get adopted…
…when I know full well that not all of them will be?
Do I pray the children return to their biological families…
… when I know that a fully healthy situation in some of these bloodlines is a few more generations away in the best of circumstances?
Do I pray the hearts of the children would be filled with the love of the Father God so that all the scars don’t hurt so bad…
… when I know that the damage runs so very deep that it might take a lifetime of love to fill up what is missing?
Sometimes I don’t know where to begin when I pray. Picturing the face of one of our Dreamers I can imagine them as a happy and healthy adult. I really can, for each of them. It’s just the backgrounds that blur fuzzy in uncertainty. Probably because the background is still being painted.
Ideal trades places with redemption. The dark, shadowy smudges marring the canvas of their short lives stand stark against the spaces yet to be filled. Redemption looks at those night shades and begins to paint a scenery with blues, crimsons, greens, and bright as lightening yellows. Smudges worked into the beauty of the finished piece of art by the hand of the Master Painter fills the soul of my prayers. A request for patience, trust, and love in the meticulous process follows.
"just another unfinished landscape painting" by sam sidders
“God, take the marred lives of these Dreamers and make a marvelous masterpiece, please.”
When I look into their eyes I wonder what they have seen. Things too horrifying, too sad, and too extreme for their young age. Exposed to sights no child deserves to absorb.
I would like to ask you to pray for one of the girls in our home. I do think her heart and soul are weighed down with the short life she has lived. Too many troubles inherited are hard to shake.
Please pray we have the wisdom and provision to care for this young one. Please pray she is freed from the torment. Please pray she can overcome ancient patterns of destruction and pain. Please pray for this young girl.