Friday, February 28, 2014

Our Precious "Son", Manuel

It is funny how God prepares us for things or opens our hearts to new things in very strategic ways!  God's ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, and for this I am so grateful!  When we were in process of adopting here in Costa Rica, we got pregnant with Micah and we put our file on hold.  Now, Micah is 2 1/2 years old and we have "adopted" a young 17 year old boy, Manuel.  Not to expose too many details, Manuel has been sent to the streets of San Jose and Jaco since the age of 7 with his siblings to sell ballpoint pens to earn money for his father.  His father is a drunk, does not work, and sends the kids and Manuel's Mom to work daily.  There were years when Manuel was not allowed to go to school because he was to work instead.  He has been beaten severely all of his life by his father, in and out of orphanages, and over 2 months ago, he and his 18 year old sister decided to leave home and come to Jaco.  A local lady, who works with us in INVU, met them in the park one night as Manuel was, again, selling ballpoint pens for food.  She took him and his sister in and they have lived with her for 2 months.  We immediately got them involved in church and youth group as well as made sure they had clothes and the basic necessities.  Our friend had to move back to San Jose suddenly a few weeks ago and Manuel showed up at our gate begging us to take him in.  He said, "Can I please sleep at your house?  I will do anything...I will work for you or clean for you, anything, I just want to live with you."  Of course, if broke our hearts and we began to pray.  We told him he could "stay" on the couch for a while, as if he is visiting us, and we will pray about what the Lord would have us do.  He has been with us for 2 weeks and he is such a joy!!!  When he arrived here, he basically sat in the corner and did not talk or move unless spoken to or told to do so.  He was like a scared little puppy.  In this short amount of time, he is laughing and talking (still not a lot) and beginning to open up to us about his past.  He is the sweetest, most tender boy you will ever meet!  He is constantly wanting to help wash dishes or do anything he can to help.  The boys love him and he and Micah have quickly become best friends!  He is really intelligent and we enrolled him in school a week ago.  He has never talked and smiled so much than when we walked out of the school office with his registration papers.  He loves to study!  He invited Jesus into his heart and is really excited about that as well.  We are discipling him through a New Life in Christ book and he loves it!  He is also very good with his hands and wants to be an electrician.  We have found a part time job for him working with a jewelry maker as he loves to create and work hard.  All in all, he is a true blessing to our home.  We sat down with our boys and had a family meeting to see what they thought about letting Manuel live with us for a while.  Jacob said, "Well of course he can stay here.  We love him and he needs a home."  And Thomas said, "Who do you need to talk to to see if we can keep him?  We want to keep him."  We will see what God does in the future, but for now, we have a new son/brother and we love him so much!

Monday, February 10, 2014

First Day of School

The boys begin their first full day of school today!  My how time flies....Thomas is in 3rd Grade and Jacob is in 1st Grade.  Seems like just yesterday they were 3 yrs old and 18 months old and we had just arrived to Costa Rica.  Now, 5 years later, the years continue to fly by!!!  We love our boys!!!