Niños con Valor E-Newsletter - August 2009
Greetings from Cochabamba!
I'm not really into following trends, and I'm not much into Christian fads. So coming from that perspective, I was a bit reluctant to bring up this verse because it had its time of being overused, almost like an incantation to bring success. However, in thinking about where we are as a foundation, and where we are wanting to be in the near future, this prayer found in the midst of a long list of the descendents of Judah serves to inspire and encourage:
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4:10
We are asking you to join with us in prayer as we move toward having our territory expanded. We at Niños con Valor are quickly outgrowing our current properties and feel like it's time for us to be moving on to our own land where we'll be able to have a comprehensive outreach to the most needy children here in Cochabamba. Just like Jabez, we strive to be considered honorable in all that we do as we serve our children here, and in turn, we pray that we would be blessed and find favor with God.
We are excited about the prospect of expanding our physical territory so that we might expand the ways we are be able to reach out to more children who are currently not able to receive the care that they so desperately need and deserve.
Peace and Love,
We had some surprising news this month at Corazón del Pastor after Paty came back from an eye doctor exam. The previous morning tia Noelia had noticed a cloudy spot appearing on Paty's right eye. After extensive examination, the report came back that Paty had lost vision in that eye and that she would require glasses for the other. We, nor the doctor, are sure how this happened. The doctor said it is likely due to an infection acquired at a very young age that was left untreated, or that it could be something genetic that was never detected until now. It could certainly help explain some of her struggles in school, if she can't read what's written on the board, or see her books well. She seems to be handling the news well, and it certainly hasn't dampened her spunky personality.
Please be praying for her, and for us as we seek answers and help in her situation. From what we've been told, she shouldn't lose any more vision in her functioning eye, but please pray for protection of the sight she does have. And though the doctor said there is little we could have done had we noticed the deterioration earlier, this is a wake up call for all of us and we are setting up eye appointments for all of our girls ASAP.
Paty is currently in need of sponsors, if you'd like to sponsor her, or one of the many other girls living at Corazón del Pastor, please visit our Sponsorship page or contact us directly.
PATY PHOTO GALLERY
More photos of all the girls at Corazón del Pastor can be found here.
Left - Paty working on a project with our last team.
Right - Paty participating in a bubble blowing contest.
Left - Paty and Tyson chatting while out in the campo with a team.
Right - Paty with one of our recent team members, Janice.
*All names have been changed to protect the children's privacy.
We begin with a welcome to our newest, and tiniest member of NCV, Mateo. He arrived last week at 47 days old. He was born prematurely at 30 weeks so has spent the past month and a half gaining weight and getting strong enough to come and live with us. Our doctor, Dr. Gordon, took a look at him when he first arrived and felt like he was developing properly, and that he looked good. Of course we'll be on the lookout for possible complications that can come with a preemie, but he's truly been a "gift of God" as his name means.
Mateo now weighs in at just over 4 pounds, and has a good appetite, for such a young one. We are hoping to get his schedule changed around a bit so that he's sleeping longer in the night and shorter intervals during the day, we know the tias will be really happy about that. We've been blessed with some loaner clothes from Jennifer over at Casa de Amor, but if any of you might have preemie clothes that you'd like to gift us, please contact us and we'll make sure they make it down here.
In cooperation with a large baby orphanage here, we have agreed to take in some of their more difficult cases, where they are unable to provide the level of care that these children need. Be on the lookout on our blog for news about when these children arrive at Pedacito de Cielo.
Our 15 month old, Lucas, has finally become mobile! Our full-time volunteer, Kim Leardi, writes, "When he came to us at 8 months old he had the development of a 4 month old. Here we are about 6 months later and he can sit up, turn over, and 'army' crawl by pulling with one forearm and pushing off with one foot. And boy does he ever get around! The staff, volunteers and I have all been working with him daily to try to get his muscles developed to where they should be. It is so good to see that all our efforts have been worthwhile. He has also graduated to stealing toys away from other kids and trying to sneak out the playroom door if it happens to be left open for even a moment. Next milestone: walking and talking!"
Guillermo is now out of the hospital... again. He finished the last of his in-hospital antibiotics and got the clearing to come home on Wednesday. He'll be on a course of other antibiotics for another 4-6 months to ensure that the infection is completely gone. Guillermo will be in isolation at the home for at least a couple more weeks to make sure that he's strong and free from possible infection. Although he still can't interact with his housemates, he's very glad to be able to crawl and cruise around instead of being stuck in a crib all day. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!
PDC PHOTO GALLERY
More photos of Pedacito de Ceilo can be found here.
Left - Paola with Nolka, the BAGO representative who is holding little Mateo. We're grateful for their donation of some newborn formula that arrived before we even knew we were going to need it!
Right - Mateo next to Lily (almost 6mo.) to give some perspective on how small he is.
Left - Mateo up close and personal during a rare moment of being fully awake.
Right - Lucas finally up on all fours and smiling!
Left - Guillermo all smiles and looking awfully grown-up.
Right - Guillermo with one of the best pediatric cardiologists in Bolivia, Dr. Echazú.
*All names have been changed to protect the children's privacy.
Some major changes are taking place in Street Light, as the volunteer that has coordinated the project is stepping into a different role, and we are looking to hire two half-time Bolivian staff to take the project to the next level. To do this, we need your support! If you would like to be a part of our most difficult outreach, and enable us to continue to bring the light of hope into some of the darkest corners of Cochabamba, please visit our give now page and make a donation. Everything in, we need just under $700 a month - so please dig deep.
We are heading out to the campo in the next couple of weeks to do some follow up visits with three of the families we have connected with through visiting teams. We will be bringing our solar ovens, mattresses, and will be setting up medical appointments with Dr. Gordon. So hopefully next month we will have some great pics and hopeful stories to share with you.
*All names have been changed to protect the families' privacy.
This month we welcomed two new volunteers to Niños con Valor, Rachel Kelley and Amber Raya.
Rachel is a sophomore at Stanford University and comes to NCV through our partnership with the Maryknoll language institute's volunteer program. Over six weeks, she'll be here studying Spanish intensively while working with us, primarily at PDC. She comes to Bolivia with an intense interest in learning about another culture while she explores what it means for her to serve in the most effective way possible. With her interests in medicine and global health issues, and helping underserved communities, she felt that working with the children at Pedacito de Cielo would be a good match for her time here. We agree that it is a good match, and we appreciate her energy, patience and dedication with which she takes care of our PDC kids.
Amber Raya comes to us from California and has been studying Spanish at the Maryknoll Language Institute the past 5 weeks. Next week, she will start living in our volunteer room at Corazón del Pastor and volunteering full-time with the kids at Pedacito de Cielo. Amber has loved kids as long as she can remember, and is very enthusiastic to begin volunteering and excited to get to know the children of Niños con Valor. Her servant heart is one of the biggest assests she brings to Bolivia, and we are grateful for the investment she is making in our youngest ones. Amber will be with us until January, which means she will be here for our Christmas celebrations and provide a much needed helping hand!
Left - Rachel Kelley
Right - Amber Raya
If you would be interested in volunteering with us in any capacity, please write Carolina at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can be part of the Niños con Valor family.
The very last sentence of the verse containing Jabez' prayer says that God granted his request. We don't get to learn later on how God brought about an expansion of Jabez' territory, kept him from harm and gave him an end to his pain, but we do know that God did answer this prayer in the affirmative. While God can bring about the answer to our prayers in supernatural ways, he often times uses the natural to accomplish his purposes, using people here on Earth who have been blessed, to then in turn bless others who are in need.
We are indeed praying to see an increase in our territory so we can continue to respond effectively to the increasing need for care of orphaned, abandoned, abused and sick children. Yet, we still need to make sure that our current financial needs are being met too. To all of our faithful supporters, we thank you immensely as we could not provide the service and care we do without you. For those of you who aren't giving yet, please consider starting to give now. Whatever amount you can give goes to providing a child with a future filled with love, care, healing, education, and possibilities.
With much gratefulness,
All the staff, volunteers, and children at Niños con Valor
Previous NCV newsletters can be found online at http://www.ninosconvalor.org/updates.html