It all started in late 2006 in a little village in Guatemala. As we began prayer walking through this poor village with mud and stick huts, block homes and what looked like little hope for some people. I noticed we had picked up a few followers. Two cute little girls with beaming smiles and bare feet were following us around their village and stopping with us as we prayed for folks. One thing that struck me was how well they were walking on the rough and rocky paths with nothing on their little feet. As they walked, now in front of us, I snapped a few photos of their feet.
As we continued to visit and pray for folks I noticed the one little girl really light up when I interacted with her. So before we left her village I snapped another photo of her, gave her a hug and we were on our way somewhere else. After returning back home I was going through my photos, and the one of this little girl and her rough scarred feet just jumped off my computer screen and into my heart. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said put shoes on her feet and other children like her. Thus began our Christmas Shoes for Guatemala Project.
Over the years we have kept in touch with her and have visited just about each time we were in Guatemala. We have sponsored her ourselves and have made sure her care packages were extra special. During the last 2 years we have been putting her through school and taking care of her medical needs. She had been living with her Grandmother and other relatives in squalor. Her mother had her at an early age and did not appear to be in her life. And there was no father in her life at all.
Recently we were made aware that she had some medical needs that were not being met by her family. Upon further investigation we also found out that funds we were sending for her education were being used by her family and not benefiting her. In addition there were other alarming factors that prompted us to pray and seek the Lord for guidance and protection in her life.
What happened next just blew us away. Both my wife and I felt the Lord telling us we needed to do something to help her. We decided to see about being a host family for her and sponsoring her education here in the United States. First we needed to see if her birth mother was willing to allow us to be her Guardian Parents and do this. The answer came back, yes. We were excited, apprehensive, joyous, are we crazy, can we afford this? All these thoughts and emotions came over us. After all, we already have raised our 5 children and have 3 grandsons. Although our nest is not empty (nor probably ever will be) we had our freedom and could go and come as we pleased. Because of the Lord’s blessing upon our business, we have traveled more in the last 2 years than we have our entire marriage.
Lord you want us to do what??? Actually, that thought never entered either of our minds. We already surrendered our lives to full time service, and the children of Guatemala is our mission field. Whatever it takes was our answer. Now, some of our friends may have thought we were crazy. But we knew if it was HIS will, HE would open the doors. Every door God opened wide! We planned on staying in Guatemala a month to complete all her paperwork. In less than 10 days we had all the documents we needed and a Student Visa good for 5 years! God is so good.
We never could have imagined that this precious little girl, who’s photo has hung in our home for years, and is on our donation drop box, and who God has used to put countless pairs of shoes on little feet in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, is now living in our home! God works in mysterious ways. NEVER, put God in a box. Allow His Spirit to speak to you and then take action. Don’t sit on the side lines. Some people may think we are crazy, that’s OK, we call it Crazy Love!!
By the way, if you haven’t noticed the photos, that is Rossina on the front of our box and now standing in front. How cool is that!