11th Hour Miracles

In February of this year, the boys at the Nehemiah home still not in regular school took their national exams. For most of them, passing this exam means they would be able to go to formal school for the first time in many years. For one boy, it would be the first time in his life.  For three months, we waited with bated breath and anticipation for the results to see which ones would be able to accelerate to formal education. We hoped that the results would be released by early May, giving us a month to fund-raise for school expenses before the start of school in June. But as the third week of May approached and the results were still not released, Chris and I, as well as our team, were all on the edge. Three weeks into May and we no longer had the time to do a fundraiser, and with each passing day our chances to get accepted into free public schools were growing slim. That would leave only private school as an option, and we didn’t have the money for that. 
With a little over a week before the start of school, we decided to clear all our schedules to spend the day fasting and praying as a team. We started at 9am, and with worship and devotion, we each shared with one another our healing stories and testimonies of His goodness. We had communion and a bowl of soup at 4pm to end the fast. But after everyone ate, spontaneously we started again with prayer and worship; there was not a dry eye in the house. We ended at 7pm, feeling refreshed, encouraged, and comforted. A few minutes after we finished, our teacher received a text message from the Department of Education that the test results arrived at the main office and we just needed to wait a little longer for them to post it online. 

Enrolling in school for the first time in years!

Finally, on May 21, we received the online results. All except one of the boy was eligible to be enrolled into formal school, and so began a rushed effort to find schools that still had openings for enrollment. To our disappointment, two of the schools were full and were no longer accepting students. The one school that was still open for students, we were hesitant about because of the potential of gang related problems with some of the boys and their history. So with prayer we decided that the option we had left was the private school nearby who were willing to extend a discount to us if more than two were enrolled there. We already had the two from last year returning, so any others would be eligible for that discount. Still to do was the shopping trips for notebooks, pencils, shoes, backpacks, and more. 

The next morning, I woke up still stressed, moody and worried about lacking the funds to enroll 8 boys into private school within a week, and before I even started my morning devotion, I opened up a message from two people who wanted to sponsor a total of 5 of our children for tuition fees! And then a few seconds later, I got another message of our small church in the US who were willing to sponsor at least 3 more! And another message about a local business woman who was interested in sponsoring lunch monies and transportation and school supplies! Within an hour, we had the full costs to enroll 7 boys to private school and 1 boy in vocational school with their lunch money all expenses provided for. I was undone! I spent the rest of that morning in tears, repenting, praising and thanking God for His promises to provide. I have so much to learn from this moment, and I hope that I will not forget God’s miracles in the 11th hour.

A Father of the Fatherless

Psalm 68:5 says “He is the Father of the fatherless.” I sat during our devotion time and pondered on the events of the past few weeks. Living as fatherless meant that you are used to picking yourself up by the boot straps. You’re used to having to figure things out on your own like where your next meal will come from, where you will live and how will you finish school. But God is teaching us in deeper ways what He means when He says, He is the Father of the fatherless. We are no longer on this journey alone and we don’t have to figure out everything all by ourselves. He is the greatest Father, the greatest comforter and the ultimate Provider. We learn a little more each day about His Fatherly heart for each one of us. 
He wanted to be baptized and finally had the opportunity during swimming day. 
On their retreat before the school year begins.
For about the last ten days we were fortunate to have visitors with us from home, and they were able to join the team for their retreat and baptism. We enjoyed a Japanese meal, the boys learned some Japanese words, they played guitar, and that thing there is a fuzzy chicken.