“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. ”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Dear friends, after our emergency letter in August that we posted on this page, where we outlined our activities, progress, and new opportunities that others would call difficulties; we now write to fill you in on where we are now.
Reviewing a bit what we’ve gone through these last couple of months, we can mention the first graduation ceremony of the youth in level 3, the two musical festivals to raise funds, the workshops we’ve given about missions, the abrupt cut of 60% of our budget which has put our programs at risk and has cut the number of Peruvian staff from 7 to 3, the denial of our license from the municipality, and the loss of our administrative team due to layoffs and resignations, among other things.
It has been a difficult experience for all of us to hear that all of a sudden our major source of funding was lost. We never expected to discuss the possibility of closing our programs and not being with the youth, although as a community we have already taken the first steps toward becoming self-sustaining (having two musical festivals for fundraising and collecting food to provide the youth). Even so, we weren’t ready to sustain more than half our budget; we could only cover 10% at best. We didn’t have to wait long to get more bad news. We had to lose four national staff members, although we faced the uncertainty of who would stay and who would go, and then the sadness of saying goodbye. With fewer staff, those who remained had triple the work but we continued forward in faith. We are creating a new structure in this critical moment in the community. With the first national director in the history of Palabra Hecha Hombre, we believe that we are moving forward victoriously. Despite the layoffs of several staff, they continue supporting us as much as possible.
Some of our youth have given us words of encouragement; we know this is fruit of the work of God in their lives.
During September, we listened to God’s voice as we spent the month reflecting and searching for God as our source of direction and answers. God spoke to us through Joshua 3, when God’s people cross the river Jordan. They take a new path in faith and submission to God, recognizing God’s leadership. Our community was challenged to reflect on this passage, following a series of spiritual exercises with time for prayer and individual bible study. The staff, volunteers, and members of the board all participated. It has been two weeks and a half since we faced these changes, and each of us are facing them in different ways, but with God’s provision, we still have some of the funds we raised in the last musical festival which we are using for breakfasts and lunches for the youth in our street outreach. We are having our first planning meetings to discuss fundraising for our third musical festival and our campaign to collect items for our Christmas baskets that we give to the families of the children in our tutoring program.
We have challenges ahead that we will face with faith and in love in the ministry to which we were called, that of reaching out to vulnerable youth and children of the city. Challenges like empowering and encouraging local church leaders to respond in obedience to God by reaching out to the poor. Challenges to encourage the church and society to economically and prayerfully sustain ministries like ours. Challenges of Peruvians taking the reins in the community. Challenges to expand our field according to what we believe God is showing us.
As a community we are being challenged to greater creativity with fewer resources, to thank God more for each day, to stay unified, and to rest in the power and guidance of God. God is raising up several of our volunteers and board members to assume greater roles of service in the community.
We must be honest and recognize that we are still sad, but full of expectations and the desire to give the best of ourselves.
Secure, online donations can be made at: http://www.wordmadeflesh.org/support/give/*
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