Today is Mothers’ Day in Peru. It is also 11 years since our ‘first Mothers’Day’ and the start of our work….Our thoughts today are with the women in prison for whom this day can be a painful reminder that they are not with their families. Others who have been released will be with their loved ones, and we give thanks to God for every face we can picture. Behind each one is a story, a story we have been privileged to hear and each story has broken our hearts. We were delighted to receive the GiftAid for the year just in time to be able to send Miriam a little extra this month, so our ladies will get a few treats. In these little ways we seek to show them that they are not forgotten and we know how much they appreciate these little gestures. We are grateful for all those who stand with us to make this happen. We are very much looking forward to Miriam’s visit in a few months, hopefully! Watch this space and we will let you know dates as soon as possible! In the meantime, if you know of anyone/any group that would like to hear our story, please do get in touch! For now, please join me in praying for our girls on this Mothers’ Day.
We were pleased to be able to share about the work of HSF in Leeds on the 26th October, at a friend’s church. We took the whole service and were able to talk about the work we do, the situation in Peru and encourage people to “remember those in chains” as God’s Word exhorts us to. The service was followed by a Peruvian meal – we have recently discovered a company that imports Peruvian ingredients, so we were able to prepare “Papa a la Huancaina” (a potato dish) and we served a Peruvian pudding and drinks. We also sold some of the crafts our ladies in prison make and spoke to many individuals. It was great to be able to do this, especially in a new area, and hope we will be able to repeat the experience in other places. If you know a church that would be interested, please do let us know!
Today my thoughts are with the women in Santa Monica prison. I am thinking of our girls who are not with their families today, while other people are able to celebrate Mother’s Day. I think of one lady, whose son has always blamed her for being away from him as he has grown up and wants nothing to do with her now…..I think of another lady with 5 children who were in the care of her husband and sister, though sadly now they have got together and the children are being raised by them…..I think of yet another lady who wanted to get married and have a family, yet being taken meant those dreams were destroyed….And the one who has told her Mum not to come and visit her anymore because the journey is long and costly and she is elderly now…..There are so many stories I could tell….The pain of a mother, or a woman who would have loved to have been one….That is understood across cultures…
Well the Lake family have returned from a great two week stay in Lima! It was great to have our two families together for the first time ever and we shared many happy moments together, making memories which will for ever stay with us. A really wonderful present for our tenth anniversary of HSF! We took part in Happy Hearts Club, visited some of our ladies, visited both prisons and discussed lots of different issues relating to the work we do and feel we made huge steps forward. Of course there remain many things that need developing further, but on the whole we felt it was a very worthwhile trip. We hope to share our experiences with many of you over the coming months, if we have not already spoken to you. If you are a Facebook user, please like our page for mini-updates and don’t forget to check this blog too to keep informed of what is happening both here and in Peru. Many thanks to you all!
I realise that nothing has appeared on the blog for a while – this is because I have put lots on the Facebook page, so apologies…that is not to say there hasn’t been anything to report. Our best news so far in 2014 is that one of our ladies was released a couple of weeks ago – we were able to pay for the legal papers and she is now enjoying freedom after a few years, having been eventually declared innocent. The Ark is not needed on this occasion, as she has family in Lima, but it is there ready for the next person who needs it! In the meantime it will be our home for a couple of weeks as we head off to Peru next month! We are so excited at this amazing opportunity – for the first time ever our two families will be together and this is something we are particularly excited about! Really looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people, introducing my family to this amazing place and generally rejoicing at all that God has done over the years to this point. It is coming up to HSF’s 10th anniversary – and what a decade it has been! More on that on the next post perhaps….
Today is a very busy day for Miriam. She will be organising the Christmas party in Santa Monica prison with our ladies, then she will also put on a Christmas celebration in the minimum security prison, which she visits from time to time. Following that busy time and a lot of rushing around, will she put her feet up? Oh no! Today is also a very special day because Juanita has her graduation! She has managed to complete her university studies despite all the odds being stacked against her over the years. We are very proud of her and wish her all the best for her future! The ceremony is this evening and we look forward to seeing the photos! Tomorrow won’t be very relaxing either, as Miriam is still planning a few Christmas treats with individuals we support and on Saturday there will be the Happy Hearts Children’s Club Christmas party. Please remember all these events in your prayers and thank you for your support over another year. Without the generous support of people in this country, some of these treats would not be possible. We are grateful to you all. FELIZ NAVIDAD….
Tonight was a huge success – who would have thought that swapping clothes in a café on the North Norfolk Coast would generate so much money for the work in Peru!? I have come away with £235. A huge thanks to those who organised it and those who supported the event. This money will help provide the replacement vehicle that is very much needed in Peru. We are a step closer after tonight….
It is always exciting to get cheques in the post for the work of Hope and Song to Freedom! Today I received one from the lovely people in Hingham – the parish church chose us as their charity to support for three months over the summer. Many thanks to them for thinking of us and for their generosity.
If you live in the Norwich area, why not come along to Norwich Central Baptist Church on Friday 4th October at 7.30? There is a United Thanksgiving Service organised by Celebrate Norwich and Norfolk and we will be amongst those exhibiting their stands. It will be an opportunity for more people to hear about the work in Peru and we are hoping for some good conversations! It would be great to see many of you there!
We are looking forward to sharing about the work of HSF at Hingham’s Harvest Festival this morning. We are always grateful for opportunities to speak at local churches. Miriam and Dinger were able to share with a few people there when they were here in November. This morning more people will be able to hear about the work in Peru.