Tío Pablo y Tía Ani
4Apr/181

Profiles of the Young Ladies in House 4

Posted by Paul Barmaksezian on April 4, 2018

I have been thinking lately that, although many of you know the work we do and some of the stories of our girls, not everyone is really familiar with everything that goes on at Villa Esperanza (the Village of Hope) and may not know each of our current girls and where they are in life.  So I figure it might be a good idea, every once in a while, to highlight a particular house, just for you all to get an idea of who the girls are and how you might be able to pray for them.  And what better place to start than in House 4, our "semi-transition" home for girls who are close to graduating from our program.  Each of these girls has a pretty-well-defined life plan (vocational plan, if you prefer), and is following through on that plan.  Some are in higher formal education (which, by the way, is just amazing given where their context!), and others are pursuing great careers in a particular vocation or trade (hey, we need more folks in vocational training here, I love seeing our girls in these schools).

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1Apr/180

Residency Fun v2018

Posted by Paul Barmaksezian on April 1, 2018

Believe me, if you're sick of hearing about this topic, I'm waaaay more sick of dealing with it :-).  It's coming up on that time of year again, where I need to start preparing for the fun of our family's residency renewal.  Our IDs expire on Aug 3, and yeah, unlike other missionaries, we have to prepare early as we need all our ministry's documentation in order before we can submit things.  And guess what?  This year, our ministry's docs are not close to being done yet ... a new wrinkle in the fun.

OK, let's try something new and use bullet points (maybe it'll help me be less wordy).  All joking aside, we do ask for your prayers on this; we're a bit confused on how this is going to work out this year.  It'll be our first time in this kind of a mess (last year's mess, also interesting, has caused this year's mess to be more confusing).  Here, I'll explain:

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29Mar/180

Another Quick Solo by Michelle

Posted by Paul Barmaksezian on March 29, 2018

Here is another short solo by Michelle at NCA's 2018 primary school play.  She's playing the Good Samaritan ... I'm skipping to where she starts singing, but the whole skit is pretty good.  Enjoy.

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22Mar/180

Christians and Emotional Stress

Posted by Paul Barmaksezian on March 22, 2018

Thought I'd just share a solid Q&A with John Piper.  It's an issue we seem to face a lot working with these young women, understanding their context and the heavy challenges they face.  Here is the link, it's a good read:

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/do-christians-carry-more-emotional-stress-than-non-christians

 

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19Jan/180

Impact Report: The Briones Church

Posted by Paul Barmaksezian on January 19, 2018

I get excited about good, healthy charity.  Not the toxic handouts that I've seen (and myself been guilty of) over the years.  One of the healthiest programs I've been blessed to be a part of is the 58:7 Ministries loan program.  I just love it.  Such a simple concept that we take for granted in the US - the availability of low-or-no-interest loans.  I can tell you, as the guy living here with the recipients of these loans, they make a huge impact on families and, in this case, on a whole church community.

I have a lot to say about this church, and much more to say about the family who runs it.  We love the Briones family, and love seeing all of them so actively involved in their church.  We also love the whole church body.  I don't usually get to see a community come together like this to build (rebuild, really) their worship center (as humble as it may be) and reach out to their neighborhood.

Providing a loan to them was something special.  As you'll see in the following slideshow, while we may have provided the capital to get them the land, the church family took ownership of the building project; they raised funds through multiple events (selling food, handmade clothing, and putting on events for a small fee) and volunteered much of their off-hours time for labor.  Several of them, in fact, went and made deals with their employers to donate materials and professional services.

This, my friends, is healthy charity in my view.  Through all of your support to our loan program (and to us personally), we gave a body of Believers the opportunity to do something that will impact their community for Christ.  And they took on the challenge.  It was impressive to see, and it's not over yet.  There much more to be built.  And all that while, I'm encouraging them to go outside the walls and reach those around them; so many desperately need Jesus.

Here is their slideshow video showing the progress of the build out.  Apologies up front, I didn't know the first several minutes would be of me trying to preach to them in Spanish :).  Skip around, it's a long video, but enjoy watching how this local church has built themselves up to - God willing - impact many.

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