His Eye is on the Sparrow

John, Cris and Family-Jonni Silver Web readyBy Jonni Sliver

I come from a long line of worriers. That isn`t one of the qualities I am most proud of, but I see it popping up now and then (with more “now” than I care for.  Those of you not genetically inclined to fretting are probably already saying to yourselves “what’s the point of worrying?” You are right of course, and we know it, with 90% of our brains, it is the 10% that trips us up. Praise the Lord, He loves his daughters, even when we fret, and His has lovely, precious means to remind us that we really don’t need to fret at all. Cris is a good example.

Cris has been living in a house on the Miriam Home/Bible school campus for six months now. She is a precious young mom, born in the Philippines, married to a mighty North Dakotan, John, who happens to be an engineer working on international oil rigs. Through his job he got to know the AFLC churches in Brazil, and he decided to bring Cris (7 months pregnant when they arrived) and their two year old daughter to get to know this lovely country. The only problem was that John is six weeks on the ship and six weeks off. He was here just a short time before he left for his on ship time, because he wanted to come back in time for the birth of his daughter. Cris is a pretty brave young lady, being in a new country, with a language she was just starting to learn and a very active little girl. She fit in wonderfully to our family, and her little Leota won everyone’s hearts.

During the six months John had to do two shifts on the ship, but they were planned so he would be back to take his little family home. The timing was important because not only did Cris and Leota’s visas run out the beginning of June, but Cris had to be back in the U.S. by June 6th or she would lose her green card.  But plans don’t always work the way we want them to. Problems came up on the ship and John’s return kept getting postponed. By the middle of last week it was clear that John wouldn’t be here to accompany Cris and the girls home, but Cris is spunky and wasn’t intimidate.

Then Tuesday came – just two days before Cris and the kiddos were to take off, I received a call from Pr. Silvio, on vacation in the north of Brazil. He remembered that Cris would need authorization to travel outside of Brazil without John. This document required a notarized statement from John, hard to get in the middle of the ocean, and would normally take at least a week to be approved. But, since Cris is living on the campus of the Miriam Home our administrator, Surai, was able to ask for the help of the juvenile court judge. Based on his respect for Surai, and the fact that Cris had copies of every birth certificate back to her great grandma, the document was ready by today, Thursday morning. Four hours later she was in the van, on the way to the airport, with everything she needed in her carry-on bag.

His eye is on the sparrow, on Cris and on me. Why worry?   

Thank You from Jonni

Precious Ladies of the WMF, and Amery Family,

You both worked so hard to get us a dryer, I just have to show you a picture of it in action! It may not look so impressive in the picture but it dries 15 kilos of clothes at a time and that is WONDERFUL when it has been raining for two days! Bless you and thank you for your loving generous hearts!!!!

Jonni

 

Drier at Miriam Home web ready

Dreams

By Jonni Sliver

Rafael, Natally, Samara and Ana PaulaRight now the Miriam Children’s Home is sort of living up to its old image – we’ve got babies! Within the last two weeks of 2013 we received four little ones 6 months old and younger!

Samara arrived at 6 weeks of age, together with Bruna, her 15 year old mother. It is heart breaking to say that Samara’s case is the least difficult –  Bruna and Samara came to us because Bruna lived with her mother who was not only sick but contagious and it wasn’t safe for a tiny baby to be in the house with her. As soon as the grandma is well again Bruna and Samara will leave.

Natally (8 weeks old) came to us because her mother has severe mental illness and is a risk to her baby. Natally’s grandma was taking care of her, but social services were informed that the grandma was offering the baby to anyone who would take her, to be free from the responsibility.

Ana Paula (10 weeks old) was found in a crack house when the police raided it. Her teen-age parents were beating each other and the baby arrived here covered in their blood.

Rafael is a whole six months old. He was born with a problem with his intestine JONNI  - Rafael - dez. '13but his mother couldn’t bother to take care of him. The precious little guy was supposed to be taken to the clinic to have an enema every other day but when he came to us he hadn’t had one in ten days. His little tummy was rigid and he couldn’t eat. Rafael spent Christmas Eve with me and Sueli in the emergency room.

One of my favorite passages is in Psalm 139, where God reminds us of how very well He knows us. Verse 16 says that God began writing out His dreams for us before we were born. I look at these four incredible little people, and I am so excited for the dreams God has for them. I know He did not dream for them to be abandoned or neglected, but He did dream safe arms to receive them! He has allowed for us to hold them for Him, to bless them in His name!

And He dreams for these babies’ parents too – for teen-age moms, and for young people too lost in drugs to think of protecting their baby. He dreams of healing bodies and minds and setting prisoners of sin free.

I praise the Lord for the opportunity to be part of God’s plans for these young lives and I am so grateful that you are taking your part too! Bless you for your prayers!

All I Want for Christmas

 By Jonni Sliver

Almost exactly 1 year ago a precious little girl came in to our lives. Emily was two years old, a simply adorable little lady who was terrified of everyone and everything. For days the only time she wasn’t crying was when she was sleeping. Bit by bit we won her over. First it was Odette and Neyde, who spent the most time with her, feeding her, bathing her, comforting her wounded heart. Next came two other house moms, and before long all of the Miriam Home family entered her list of people she trusted.

It was pure joy to see Emily grow. We discovered that she is a very bright little girl, with a wonderful sense of humor and an enormous heart. During this last year we saw God restoring Emily’s ability to trust and causing her confidence to grow.

About a month ago I began to hear “the” question being asked of the children in the Miriam Home –“what do you want for Christmas?” It is the same question asked all over the world, and I am guessing most of the answers are pretty similar – a toy, a game, jeans, tennis, music or even (can you imagine) books. But some of the answers are different.  When one of our staff asked Emily what she wanted for Christmas she said “ a mommy and daddy and home of my own”.  She had just turned 3 years old and I thought that was a pretty deep thought for such a little girl! Even though we have known that Emily would eventually go up for adoption, she wasn’t available for adoption yet, and we didn’t know when she would be.

Just two weeks later the judge advised us that he had put Emily on the list available to families waiting for children. A week later we were told that a couple was coming to visit the Miriam Home, to get to know Emily. During the visit they didn’t tell the children why they were there, they just visited with all of the little ones. They came back a few days later, for another visit. This time they asked Emily if she would like to visit them over the week-end. Emily said yes! This precious little lady, who just a year earlier was terrified of everyone, went with this couple for a week-end all by herself!

Emily returned Monday morning telling us she had a wonderful time with her mommy and daddy. She was happy to be back with the people she loves in the Miriam Home but she reminded us daily that this week-end she would be going to her mommy and daddy’s house, and she did. She will be staying for a month with this lovely couple, and the judge will then officially ask if they want to adopt her. The couple has waited five years to adopt. They are in their early 30’s, love the Lord and want a child to complete their family.

Seeing God’s faithfulness in restoring this sweet little girl and answering her prayers may be the best gift I have received all year!