"To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure."
This past Wednesday, I posted a request for prayer on Facebook, and the response was incredible. I am beyond grateful for the prayers that went up for us around the world. At the time of the request, I was unable to be specific as to the circumstances and all that was going on with our work in Costa Rica. I can now tell everyone the story of this past week and our desperate need for prayer then and now.
On the day of my prayer request post, a little boy from the community in which we have our "Children at Risk" program was raped. Two days later, he died. This little boy was only six years old. On top of fighting some intense spirituals battles, daily obstacles, and this tragic loss, our hearts were broken. By Saturday evening, I couldn't even think anymore. My heart ached so bad at the loss of his little life. The community of Tres Rios was rocked by this horrible event.
Deep down, I knew then, even as I know now, that God can use this whole sad situation for good. We sat down with some of the girls in the community to talk about their grief and fear. The community is saddened but also inspired to take action against injustice in their country. The wonderful pastors we work with in Tres Rios, Jose and Flor Huertas, approached us about doing a safety fair in the community this week to raise awareness. Pastor Jose said, "Anna, we have to sound the alarm and speak up for the children in this nation." My heart fully agrees with this statement!
This two-day event (Safety Fair) will be a small fair full of games, prizes, crafts, face painting, and, of course, a teaching on safety. Please pray for this community and its leaders and well as for their pastors.
We have a small window of time to plan and prepare for this event that will take place on Thursday, August 11th, and Friday, August 12. Fortunately, two amazing women from Kingsway Community Church in California have come just in time to help us with this big task. To have them here in such a tough time is a huge blessing. We were weary, emotional, and resourceless. These lovely women of God showed up with hugs, prayers, and five suitcases of supplies! After we unpacked the suitcases, I cried at God's faithfulness. He always knows just what we need, when that need arrives!
We are still short on finances and supplies, as we were not anticipating the Safety Fair this week. Please pray for the provision of resources and for our team as we prepare for this event. Our heart is to draw as many children from the community to the Safety Fair in order to prevent more tragedies of this nature. "Children at Risk" programs such as ours and Pastor Jose's are such a vital part of combating sexual exploitation!
Thank you again to all of you who have prayed for us this week. We are encouraged by the family of God.
Here are some photos of the community of Tres Rios, people with whom we've been working for the past four years: