Monday, April 22, 2013

Go, tell it on the mountain!


Last August as I was preparing to leave House II where I had been living with the kids at Casa de Amor, they started to ask when I would be back. I didn't have an answer for them, mostly because I had no idea if I even would be back. Even after I got home, I missed the kids, but didn't know that I would ever return. Then in December, I was singing in church one Sunday, and we began to sing “Go Tell it on the Mountain”. About halfway through the song I felt like the lyrics became a command, “Go, tell it on the mountain.” I opened my eyes, as if I that would make the command clearer, and sure enough the background of the screen was a picture of a statue of Jesus, similar to the Cristo de la Concordia statue in Cochabamba. At that point, I knew God was leading, but it took me awhile to agree.
On Christmas night I was lying in bed thinking about God’s command to go tell it on the mountain, and realized that I was wrestling with the idea of going to back to Bolivia because I was afraid. I was afraid because I partially knew what to expect. I knew what that the trip was long, and the layover in La Paz is cold. Then once I get there I can be lonely, the kids don’t always listen, and I feel like I’m not making a difference sometimes. But here is what else I know. It’s beautiful. The days are warm, and the kids make me laugh so hard. The tias are so helpful, and appreciative, and I get to laugh and drink tea and eat popcorn with them at night. We can talk about a lot of things, and I get to speak in Spanish. I love getting to sing to the kids, and put them to bed. I love kissing them goodnight, and folding their clothes during the afternoon. I love hanging their clothes on the lines, especially when it is sunny, and I love the feeling of knowing who everything belongs to. I love pushing the kids in the swing and pretending to fly, and I love putting on concerts in the yard with whatever material we find. I love hearing of the kids faith in Jesus, and seeing them worship Him with everything that they are. I love getting to spend time with them one on one, and curling up with them on the couch at the end of the day to watch a pirated movie that will probably skip. I even kind of love helping kids change out of pants when they’ve had an accident. I love helping cook, and learning new things, even when it involves sardines. I love putting mayonnaise on everything the kids eat, and politely refusing. I love hearing the kids pray, and the fact that they trust God to provide for them.  I love washing the dishes, knowing that in four hours there will be more, and the whole process will start over again. I could keep going for so long, about all of the moments when I felt like I could spend the rest of my life in that spot. Walking around Cochabamba and Quillacollo with a Bolivian baby on my hip were some of the most peaceful moments of my life.
So as much as the plane ride, the loneliness, my ability, or my own motivations scare me, God is faithful to remind me that He is bigger than all of those things, and it is in my weakness that His strength is made perfect. That as much as I value my comfort, He values the hearts and the lives of His children. I have found Jesus to be big enough to provide for the needs of these kids, and that means that He is also big enough to meet my needs, and ease my fears. And He uses His children to provide for each other, just as you all have done for me. May He receive all of the glory!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Preparations!!!


Preparations….43 Days Left!!

God has been so faithful to provide in every way!

My core (small group) sponsors a little boy at Casa de Amor, and wanted to do something special for him. Something special for him turned into something special for all of the older kids, and we ended up with a Tie-Dye party! The girls donated time, T-shirts, tie-dye supplies, and creativity, and we ended up with a beautiful stack of T-shirts for the kids. Each shirt was prayed over, and will be worn shortly by kids who are very loved- by people they don’t even know.


My family also has donated their spare change, which ended up being quite a bit! It was not, however, meant to be carried in a shoe box.
In two weeks, we will have a Bolivian Taco night to raise funds as well. There are unfortunately no such thing as Bolivian Tacos, but I pray that God will use this night to show his love for all of His children, here in Denton, and in Cochabamba as well. Please pray with me in this! I am so thankful to be surrounded by friends and family that not only love me, but love Jesus, and His children. Thank you all for your obedience, encouragement, and support!
If you would like to support  Casa de Amor  or come to Bolivian Taco Night on April 19th, you can visit their website at www.casadeamor.org , like them on Facebook  at https://www.facebook.com/casadeamorbolivia?fref=ts, or email me at danyellegraves@my.unt.edu