January 2023

Happy New Year!

I’d like to thank all of you who have partnered with Ruth’s House in 2022 to help make it a thriving, Christ-centered ministry. Much has happened since the ministry officially launched in February of 2022. I’d like to share with you a few recent highlights of God’s faithfulness and mercy:

First, Raquel has been instrumental in teaching Nicol how to manage her life more responsibly and to become more independent. This process has not been without significant challenges, but Nicol is progressing in certain areas of her life.

For example, she graduated from high school, completing two years in one, and she recently took on a full time job cleaning and preparing food at a restaurant. She likes her job so far and she’s working hard at it.

Last, Regina joined Ruth’s House as another mentor and has been living with Nicol while Raquel is visiting her family in Spain for the holidays. Regina has been guiding and advising Nicol as she transitions from the life of a student to a full-time employee. She has also been establishing relationships with the older girls at Talita Cumi children’s home who will be a part of Ruth’s House in the future.

Now, I’d like to share with you, in broad strokes, the vision for Ruth’s House during the first half of 2023:

1. January: Ruth, whom I’ve introduced to you in the last couple of updates, moves into Ruth’s House and commences her studies in the medical field.

2. February: Nicol scales back to a part time job and continues her education in a field likely related to art.

3. April: Ruth’s House will move from its current two bedroom apartment to a large house in order to accommodate future participants.

4. May: Helen, who currently lives at Talita Cumi children’s home, turns 18 years old and will move into Ruth’s House.

All of these future plans are thrilling to consider, and I ask that you pray for wisdom for the board of directors, Raquel, Regina and me as only the Lord can establish our steps.

Above: at the Talita Cumi Christmas dinner, from left to right: Helen (who will join Ruth’s House in May), Nicol, Geraldine and Clara (two of the older girls at Talita Cumi who may live at Ruth’s House in the future).

Above: Regina (middle) and Nicol (in blue) hosted three of the older girls from Talita Cumi at Ruth’s House over the Christmas weekend. Helen, who will join Ruth’s House in May, is standing far left.

For a few days over Christmas I had the joy of hosting two brothers from Talita Cumi, Jhon (13 years old) and Yamil (11 years old). I spoiled them with donuts, tacos, Papa John’s pizza, and trips to the pool.

My mentorship of Juan Pablo (15 years old) in 2022 was an adventure. As some of you may recall, he was ensnared in a trafficking ring and ran away, but we were able to find him and bring him back to the home. Despite that rupture, I’ve witnessed Juan Pablo grow in his faith, his maturity, and his studies. 

At a recent event at the children’s home honoring the mentors and their mentees, I shared a few words about Juan Pablo and gave him Timothy Keller’s “The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God’s Mercy.” Jonah’s impulsivity, his complicated relationship with the Lord, and his life circumstances are in many ways similar to that of Juan Pablo. I hope to read the book along with him.

Juan Pablo completed an accounting course for adults at a nearby institute. Usually students are accompanied by their parents to receive their certificate or diploma, but since Juan Pablo didn’t have that option, he asked me to accompany him, which I was quite pleased to do.

Again, I thank all of you for supporting Ruth’s House and my work at Talita Cumi. I am indebted to all of you for your prayers, financial resources, and encouragement that make this life possible.

Grace and peace be with you,

Derek

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