Friday, March 26, 2010

Victor's award for God's glory!

Victor received an award this Sat. March 20, for the best athlete in men's gymnastics for 2009.

As Victor sat and listened to the numerous politicians give their speeches before the awards were given, he motioned to his father and asked:
Daddy, what are they saying? I can't understand anything!
(It appears politicians the world over have something in common!)
Thirty minutes later, Victor again motioned his father: Dad, they are only giving out awards to the people up on the stage, what about us athletes?
Finally, his patience was rewarded!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Eight-hour Workshop on Purpose-driven recreation given by CCI AL/Honduras

I reduced 8 hours into an 8 min. video, with pictures and video clips highlighting our time together with 44 participants from 5 different ministries. They in turn minister to over 500 children and young people, so the multiplying effect is great!
Eight hours of experiential education is visible in this video clip as first they experience recreation like many have never done before.

  • We played cooperative games.
  • We didn't penalize anyone.
  • We didn't eliminate anyone, everyone played.
  • We didn't offer prizes or trophies, just the pleasure and joy of laughter.

We are thankful to the Sunday School class of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh for giving us a donation that enabled us to offer this training and equip them with volumes from our Games Encyclopedia.

We are thankful to AFE School for letting us use their facilities and for the folks at CCI AL/Honduras for providing the trainers!

(double click on the video to see it directly in

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mariangel.....a girl that was saved for a special purpose

What a tragedy!

How sad!

How outrageous!

How evil!


All of this has been said and even more since we heard of the murder of a single mother (Mirna Garcia) and the failed murder attempt on her only daughter Mariangel (she is in Valerie's grade). Mariangel did however suffer 5 bullet wounds! This just happened on Tuesday, March 2nd. The doctors who performed the surgery on Mariangel all say she is a living miracle. The wounds caused by the bullets should have taken her life. But they did not. God preserved her life for a purpose.

Every Thursday morning, several mothers from Academia Los Pinares (the school my children attend) get together to study the Bible. This year our focus has been to help our kids to build a Christian world view. Two days after this incident us moms gathered, together along with our children, to discuss God’s perspective on this incident. (Our children did not attend school that day since school was cancelled due to numerous cases of H1N1 influenza.) Since Valerie is Mariangel’s classmate, so she and her mother have been to our house on several occasions.

With this group of mothers and our children we studied the life of Joseph. All the kids volunteered different pieces of information about Joseph’s life until they put together the whole story. We remembered the details of the sufferings that Joseph had to endure. Then, we read about the perspective he had about his own life and suffering in Genesis 45:5-8 "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”

Then we compared the life of their classmate, Mariangel, with Josepth’s life and these are the conclusions that children arrived at:

  • She is suffering but God can take something wrong and make it good.
  • God is in control.
  • God saved her for a reason.
  • God has a purpose we can not understand at the moment.
  • Mariangel has to trust that God has a special plan for her life.

Valerie gave us the idea of everybody writing a letter to Mariangel to encourage her with this new perspective and with Scripture. When the timing is right, we will deliver the letters to her and read them together.

We left the gathering with another perspective on life. This life on earth makes more sense when we see in light of all eternity.

As mothers, we left determined to be change agents in all the ensuing conversations we have on this topic. Obviously every family at the school is appalled by the news. There is a bank account open so Mariangel receives aid with her hospital bills (see information below of how you could also contribute) and many mothers are doing shifts at the hospital to keep company to this little girl, but throughout any conversation, more than fixating on the gory details or speculations, we want to comment on God’s perspective and keep praying for Mariangel.

I invite you to be a partner in prayer for this girl:

Psalm 27:10 "Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.”

Let us pray that God will be Father and Mother to Mariangel and He makes her feel His presence in a supernatural manner.

Psalm 9:9-10 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

We pray for the preservation of her life against the evil ones. May she live free of anguish and anxiety and may she trust the Lord.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

We pray God leads relatives and close friends to make wise decisions for Mariangel’s future.

And eventually…

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

We pray that Mariangel will be filled with hope, joy and peace in spite of these circumstances.

PS: Tonight, God led me to the hospital to have the privilege to be at her side, first to ask about her relationship with Jesus, to give her the pressed flowers Valerie made for her, and then to review the details of a Bible class I had given to Valerie's second grade class on heaven. This served as preparation for when, together with her doctor, the hospital's psychologist, aunt and cousins, we gave her the news that her mother indeed was alive and well, but at Jesus' side in heaven. Please continue to pray for her as she deals with the shock of her mother's departure and the unsettling reality of having to move in with her aunt (who fortunately is a believer in Christ) when she gets out of the hospital.

*Basically all her hospital bills are being paid for by donations from families from the school. If God leads you to collaborate financially you may make a donation to Latin America Mission in my name, Lisa Anderson-Umana, work funds-Mariangel.