Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Application Week!

 This week is application week here at the Lighthouse Community Center.  Kids (from 6 to 16 years of age) are coming daily to get an application form to apply to participate in the various groups that we run here at the Lighthouse. 
The children must fill out an application form, get their parent's signature, turn the form back into us and then in the beginning of February we will post a list of the groups and the children who "got in" this year.

Many boys from the community come to apply to be a part of our soccer groups. The boys here LOVE soccer!   Also, many of the kids want to know if they will be able to swim while they are here at the Lighthouse.  Each group will have a time to either learn how to swim and/or develop their swimming skills.
Some boys were even waiting outside the gates for the doors to open just to turn in their forms.
Applications, applications, applications...
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The REASON we are HERE
This is one of the main reasons the Lighthouse Community Center exists here in the Cafezal slum.  We are here to bring the transforming love of Jesus Christ to the many people living in the slum who are in need of a Savior, who are in need of HOPE, and who are in need of God's LOVE. 
We are here for the kids... Just take a look at these beautiful children who are excited about applying here at the Lighthouse.  They want SO badly to be participating in the groups.  Once I even had a girl tell me it was her dream to be in a group at the Lighthouse.
 As the children participate here at the Lighthouse we are constantly sharing about Christ . We use our programs, sports, games, and various activities to teach biblical principles and we simply share our lives with the community. All the while, we are also sharing that God is a real and loving Father who desires to have relationship with His children.  God has a future for the people who live in this slum.  He believes in them.  He says that they are a people of great worth and the Lighthouse team is here to proclaim the Lord's great love for the slum. We want to teach these children the ways of the Lord so that they will grow up to follow Jesus and choose a path of LIFE instead of a path of death...

What is hard for me...
Honestly, the hardest part of this time of year for me is seeing all the children who want to participate in the programs here, knowing that we have space only for a select number of children. This is due to a limited number of staff workers.  Basically, the more workers we have who want to work with children, the more groups we can have, therefore more children can be participating. How I wish that ALL the children in the slum could participate daily at the Lighthouse Community Center. 

So many children apply with high hopes that they will get into a group, and many are disappointed when there is no room for them or no group available for their age.  Unfortunately at the moment it seems we have less groups than we used to have.

In February we will post which children were accepted into the groups. When the children find out if they "got in" or not, it always is a sad time.  I feel so bad for those who want so desperately to be participating at the Lighthouse but simply can not...  Many of these children will instead pass their time at home watching TV, playing in the streets, or getting involved in things that they should not be involved in.

On a happy note...
Sophia has enjoyed working with Daddy while he has been receiving the application forms.  She is quite the growing and happy little girl... She brings much joy to our lives and loves interacting with other children.  The kids were enjoying talking and playing with Sophia as they turned in their application forms.

PRAYER
Please pray for us as we will soon be planning the exact children's groups that we will offer.  Pray for the children and youth who will be entering the groups- that they would encounter God and learn here with us.  Please pray for the group leaders who will be planning activities and choosing children to be in their groups.  We all need God's wisdom and sensitivity to what HE would have us to do as we are planning for the 2011 work year... 

Also, please pray for the children who do not get into the groups here at the Lighthouse.  Pray for their hearts, their safety, and that they will also encounter the LOVE of God. Thank you for your prayers!

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