The group from SOCC is now here. It has been a full week already...and today is only Wednesday?
A part of the group is doing week long training for women about counseling, with the hope that out of this a volunteer center for counseling would sprout.
Part of the group is optometry related, two students, and one doctor who came in 2003 and wanted to come back during these dates that coincide with the group. Monday and Tuesday we did the eye brigades of the week. The first being a normal day in a rural village, the second with that component seeing almost 100 adults, but also seeing around 130 children through a Compassion center at the very Church we were visiting. As usual when God is at work, there were life changing moments during that brigade (the 89 year old who after her first eye exam eyes wide open could see with her new glasses, the woman who had not been able to read, especially her Bible, for 15 years, the little girl pictured here that received glasses to protect her functioning eye, and more) but what really mattered was how the brigade was done...in His name, with the ultimate goal of sharing Christ's love with them, that they might know how it was they came to see.
In addition...some major news is the plans that God is growing for the village of Cantaranas, which is a town about 1/2 hour from San Juancito, where one of the Churches we are in the process of helping administer is located. Since before Jonatan returned from studying with Puente ministries at their institute in Costa Rica, we have been considering how we can use his talents not only in eventually replacing Celio as pastor there, but also in starting a new work. Cantaranas is an area much larger than San Juancito, one we have considered for some time, and now seems the right time. Jonatan will be working with Celio until the Church building in San Juancito is completed, and then will take over the work with Celio leaving, hopefully opening another clothing store with the goal of starting another Church in another area. We are hoping and praying this will all take flight in light of also opening a clothing store in Cantaranas to provide Jonatan the money he will need personally, as well as some for the Church physical needs (chairs, tarps for meeting area outside, etc.) The picture above reflects the house they will rent to use as the store, with the trees providing a space behind the house for Church meetings. We ask for your prayers that Jonatan would be strengthened in this new work, that the building in San Juancito would be completed soon, and that the clothing ministry would be strengthened to be able to continue to provide for these new works.