Heather’s recent correspondence reflects a lot of changes in Tarija, especially with the Candelero Kids. She is excited to see the positive changes in some of the children and youth that are joining them. Particularly, Heather shares the following about Jesus (pronounced HEY-zoos), who is living at the house in San Blas, and who is responding to the love being shown him: “He’s a great kid with a renewed hunger to learn.”
Jose is another boy who also moved into the house in San Blas on April 19, and began school soon after. He is 9 and struggles with his school-work, and with fighting with his school-mates, but despite the setbacks and the acting out, she sees potential in him to grow and develop.
The Candelero Kids house was dedicated on May 2nd, and Steve (Area Director for Latin America) and his wife Myra were on hand to celebrate with them. That was a real highlight. But there are growing concerns too.
Some of the “regular” kids haven’t come to the Candelero Kids Support Centre for a few weeks. We pray for protection for Eyber, Mirco, Esteban and Paola as there are many bad influences around them. We found out a few weeks ago that Rodolfo, another kid who used to come, is now in jail because of drug-related problems.
You don’t have to listen to Heather for too long before you become aware of both her big heart, and the litany of problems she and her ministry partners are up against. The kids have very few positive role models in their lives, and as a result have little capacity to trust even themselves let alone anyone else. Despite their youth, many of them are in adult-sized trouble with the law, and with substance abuse. And yet, they are image-bearers of God who need compassion, teaching and stability. And we pray that with wisdom, patience and the constant flow love from Heather and the other staff at Candelero Kids, their young lives would be transformed.
In related news, we’re excited to announce that, having just graduated language school, Helen is on her way to Tarija to join Merle, Rachel and Heather. We know that God is going to use her energy and passion to bless the EFCCM’s ministries in Tarija!