December 2020

I hope that all of you had a pleasant Thanksgiving with family and friends.
The last six weeks at Talita Cumi have been some of the hardest that we’ve experienced since I started volunteering at the home two and a half years ago. In the space of six weeks, we received five new children, all of whom were transferred from another children’s home that the state shut down due to widespread abuse. The prior home provided no structure or discipline for the children, meaning that we inherited children who are behind in their studies and chafe at carrying out basic responsibilities and respecting authority. Three of the new children ran away, but thank God we found them within 24 hours. Please pray for these little ones (aged 9-11) who are struggling to adapt to our home and are acting out. Our mission remains the same: to love and protect them and teach them about Jesus Christ. It’s a tough road right now, but we trust in God’s mercy and providence: “but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).

Carmelo (left) and Efren (middle) ran away from the home together.

Another tough moment was the premature departure of two children due to grave misconduct. While I am in agreement with their removal, it did not make saying goodbye easy. Although they have been removed from our influence and safe keeping, I am comforted by the fact that despite all trials and tribulations in life, Jesus never abandons those entrusted to his care: “I shall lose none of those He has given me” (John 6:39).

Matías (left) was removed from the home. I hope to visit him in his new children’s home during Christmas time.

Despite the great challenges faced at the home, I’ve seen great strides in educational capacities and spiritual growth in the children. A number of them express a greater desire to know and pursue a relationship with the Lord. One young boy recently told me that he’s concerned for his family members because they don’t know Jesus and are not ready for the second coming. With respect to their education, many of the children are participating in special workshops and online courses related to photography, graphic design, computer skills, and English, while two of the older children are participating in internships outside of the home.

A few children were treated to ice cream for their educational achievements this year.

One particularly special moment was having the older boys over to my home to talk about sexual purity. This was the first of additional monthly chats that we’ll have as part of the mentorship program. In the future I’d like to touch on other topics like biblical manhood, personal identity in Christ, and the fruit of the Spirit.

A chat about sexual purity with the older boys.

In regard to my work at El Alfarero, next January I will be teaching English as part of the missionary school that we are launching. Enrollment is open to Bolivian missionaries, ministry leaders in Santa Cruz, and anyone else beyond our borders who desires to be sent out as a missionary. It’s exciting to see how Bolivia once was a receiving nation and is now transitioning to a sending one. It’s a joy to participate in that transformational process.

The team that will be leading and teaching at the missionary school.

Please pray for wisdom and clear direction as we launch this new missionary program. Thank you and grace be with you.

2 thoughts on “December 2020

  1. Derek,
    Those are some amazing blessings you’ve been a part. We continue to pray for the children, teachers, & staff. And, especially you. It’s a wonderful opportunity for you to serve in this area.
    We hope you have a terrific Christmas & may Our Abba Father continue to bless you as you serve Him. Uncle David & Aunt Carol


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