Phone: (786) 845-9985

2011 – December

A Favorite Gift for Jesus

With Christmas just around the corner, we have come to the time of year when there is a lot of focus on gifts. And deep inside, something feels right whenever I give—whether that is a physical gift I have been blessed enough to purchase, or any heart-felt gift I can offer from my resources or talents, there is something about giving that resonates in my heart as GOOD. After all, God began the gift exchange with mankind…giving us life, all of creation in which to dwell, and His most treasured gift, of course…His very own Son. And now…the joy of reciprocating is mine. What does my grateful heart offer back to God from all that He has given to me? As I consider the children in Peru, I realize that God’s favorite gifts are opposite of what the world esteems valuable.

His name is Pool. He is 13 years old and has been at the Santa Maria Orphanage for two and a half years now. After his father’s death, his mother worked even harder to try and make ends meet. Though daily she worked long hours, the pay was insufficient to support her and her young son, and her hours away from home afforded Pool an opportunity to experience street life…with all of it’s cruelty and abuse. You see, Pool has moderate mental handicaps and difficulty speaking…coupled with his young age, his time in the streets was a recipe for pain and suffering. In desperation, Pool’s mother turned to Santa Maria Orphanage for help.

On our last trip, Tony and I witnessed how Pool’s time at the orphanage has affected him. He is very industrious and likes to work in the small farm, watering the plants and doing the heavier physical work. He behaves very well and has adapted nicely to the structure and disciplines taught to the children.

What a contrast this young man has experienced. Suffering and abuse because he was handicapped and vulnerable vs. care and validation because he is a human being created and loved by God. Pool is flourishing now, and growing in the knowledge of God. There is no better gift that could be offered to Jesus than the life of one HE values. He loves people…each and EVERY one of them.

Thank you for giving to reach ones like Pool. You might be giving money and prayer…but in reality, what you are doing is enabling you to give something far more to Jesus…individual LIVES.

During our last trip to Peru, we were able to use your financial support to again stock up the pantry with plenty of good, healthy food, dairy products, and chicken (they are still thanking us for the Direct TV and DVD’s from last month’s giving). One of the directors also came to us and said that he knew us to be people of prayer, and then asked if we would pray for the orphanage. We rejoice that God has partnered us with these Catholic brothers and the ministry they are doing in the Kingdom, and that in Jesus’ name we are working in unity to reach the children.

Friends, as I close this newsletter, I wish you a very joyous and blessed celebration of our Lord’s birth. May the reminder of God’s gift to the world fill you with continual strength, encouragement and desire to offer back to Him daily the gift of a surrendered life given over in love to all around you…it is Jesus’ favorite gift!

Grace and peace to you each,
Rosa Rivera
Homes of Refuge, International

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Tony and Rosa are very faithful, reliable, honest people.  They are the hardest workers we have ever seen; their leadership qualities have encouraged many people to help others.  Whatever Tony and Rosa decide to do, they do with excellence and perseverance. They are great people and we are privileged to know them.

Ed and Mona Shirley
Mountain High Christian Center
Conifer, Co.