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….
I have been reminded how much we take good health for granted in this country. When things go wrong, we go to the GP or the chemist without too much thought, but in Peru life is not that easy! Miriam has been suffering from migraines for over a week and is not able to carry out basic tasks at present. Her sister is suffering from anaemia which is also interfering in her day-to-day life. Please remember these ladies in your prayers. Over the years HSF has sent financial gifts towards medical costs when possible. Thanks to our supporters we hope we will always be able to do so. I hope to report back with encouraging news soon! In the meantime, as always, they are grateful to have friends who care for them, though far away…..
One of our ladies (who was released a few years ago) suffered a haemorrhage at the week-end and needs an operation urgently. She was very distressed on Sunday and Miriam spent time with her. She has been told she needs an operation – she has had to have others in the past, and as always, there is a cost involved. We would be grateful for your prayers for this dear lady: for peace, for wisdom and for provision….as usual, it is good to know there are people far away thinking of her!
Miriam has been very unwell this week and unable to carry out normal HSF activities. She has undergone tests but we are still not entirely sure what the problem is. We would be grateful if you could pray for a speedy recovery and for the family to know God’s peace and provision at this time (being ill always costs in Peru!). We can all take our health for granted and when we get setbacks it is frustrating and unpleasant. We all hope this affliction passes soon.
It is Mother’s Day in Peru today. Miriam and the ladies in Santa Monica enjoyed a special time of celebration on Wednesday. We were able to provide some towels and toiletries as gifts and these were greatly appreciated. It was also an opportunity to give nappies to the mums who need them for their little ones. This time of year is always special to us, as it is HSF’s birthday too. We are looking forward to the big one next year – 10 years! Please think of ways we can mark this occasion, as we would like to do something special. Keep praying for our ladies in prison, after all, Mother’s Day is a bittersweet time, as many of them don’t see their children. Separation is painful….
One year ago today, two special young ladies made their way to Peru to do some work for Hope and Song to Freedom. Little did they know how much their trip would achieve! Isabelle and Sarah have become a special part of our HSF story and as we look back over the past year, we are so grateful and thank God for their willingness to serve the people in Peru, their enthusiasm to report on everything back at home and their friendship which spans two continents. Because of what God has done through them, we now have further contacts in Norwich, Bristol and North Wales! Who else will be part of our story as we continue along this journey we wonder?
This is the title of a new book, written by our friend Julio in Peru. It is available on Kindle, hot off the press, having been translated into English. If you want to find out more about the history of Peru in its darkest times, why not download this book? I have read the original Spanish manuscript and it is really interesting. I would be interested to hear from you once you have read it! And don’t forget, it is available from Amazon, which you can get at via easyfundraising and help us raise some money for HSF at the same time! Happy reading!