A very special family reunion…

By Kathryn Winn, Alexia Salazar and Patty Ramirez.

(Alexia)

Claudia and her brother hanging out! / ¡Claudia y su hermano pasándola bien!

One of the advantages of my work here at La Casa is that it allows me to be connected with everything that is going on with the children, their families, the staff, etc. Therefore God allows me to have a different perspective on things and realize what is really important. Last week I had the opportunity to witness a special family reunion at La Casa. Kathy and Patty coordinated part of the reunion and when it was over we shared our opinion of what we just saw.  Of course, each of us had a different perspective, however the same event caused the same big impact on us.

(Kathryn)

Unfortunately, death has been a common topic in La Casa lately.  Over the past year, four different family members of our kids have passed away. This past Monday morning, fulfilling the desire of the Hernandez siblings to spend meaningful time with their family after the death of their brother and sister who lived out of La Casa, I was reminded of the importance of working with the biological

Francisco reading his Bible to his family / Francisco leyendo su Biblia a su familia.

families.  I sat in awe as I watched Francisco and Karla open their Bibles to preach to their mom, grandmother, aunt and cousin, telling them that God’s purpose is always greater than the pain.  By the end of their testimonies, all of them had received Christ as their personal Savior.   God has chosen the kids at La Casa to be His light and truth to their families and break curses that have been plaguing them for generations.

“They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.” Jeremiah 31:12

(Alexia)

The girls dancing a special song that day / Las niñas bailando una canción especial ese día.

This group of siblings was so eager to see their family members that they planned a whole program for the reunion. They shared breakfast, prepared special performances and the most important for them: they shared the Gospel with their family. Karla and Frank had a special time to do this. When I listened to them God reminded me of Acts 4, when Peter and John addressed the Sanhedrin and stand for what they believe. “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus”(Acts 4:13-14). I heard them repeat Bible verses by heart, speak from the heart and share strong statements like: “The problems we face have the purpose to draw us closer to him…”, “We always have to trust the Lord, it is only Him who puts forgiveness and peace in our hearts…”, or “We focus on the problem instead of focusing in who He is in us…”. Those statements got me reflecting a lot! I was amazed to see how much confort the Word of God really does in our children and how His healing is real.

The whole family listened carefully to Karla while she shared her heart with them / Toda la familia escuchó con atención mientras Karla les hablaba de su corazón.

I was amazed to witness the transforming power of God and how fluent He made these children because of the purity and sincerity of their hearts. I was definitely shocked to realize once again that the restoration we long for in our kids and their families would not be possible if we didn’t teach them that God is the ultimate “restoration-maker” and this way, they can willingly chose to surrender their lives to Him. The certainty in the words of these children when sharing with their family about their experience with God was a reminder of how real He is and how much He longs for healing in their hearts, give them the opportunity of restoring their lives and provide hope for their future.

(Patty)

As a counselor I have been working really close with this group of siblings since august of last year, we meet every Tuesday, and lately I have been very burden by the

A special family picture / Una foto familiar especial.

brokenness and hurts I see in their family. I have also sensed that spiritual bondages need to be broken. During the family reunion I was able to feel thankful and inspired by them, I was reminded that even when I don’t see it on every session God is working, God is healing! I thought of all the many rough moments we have been through with these children… and then to see them preaching to their family about what God has done in them…. was priceless! This reunion probably meant as much for them as it did to me. I know what God can do and I feel privileged to be able to witness front row His work on family restoration!

**************************

Una reunión familiar muy especial…

Por Kathryn Winn, Alexia de Salazar y Patty Ramirez

(Alexia)

Say cheese! / ¡Sonrían!

Una de las ventajas de mi trabajo es que me permite estar conectada con todo lo que sucede con los niños, sus familias, el personal, etc. por lo que contínuamente Dios me deja tener una perspectiva diferente de las cosas y así realizar lo que es verdaderamente importante. La semana pasada tuve la oportunidad de presenciar una reunión familiar especial en La Casa. Kathy y Patty coordinaron parte de la reunión y al finalizar compartimos nuestra opinión de lo que acabábamos de ver. Cada una tuvo una perspectiva diferente, pero igualmente impactante.

(Kathy)

Desafortunadamente, la muerte ha sido un tema común en La Casa últimamente.  En el último año, cuatro miembros de las familias de nuestros chicos han fallecido. El lunes pasado, cumpliendo con el deseo de los hermanos Hernández de pasar tiempo de calidad con su familia trás la muerte de su hermano y hermana, reconocí nuevamente la importancia del trabajo con las familias biológicas.  Me quedé

"We focus on the problem instead of focusing on who He (God) is in us...", says Karla to her family / "Nos enfocamos en el problema, en lugar de en quién es El en nosotros...", dice Karla.

asombrada, viendo a Francisco y a Karla abrir sus Biblias para predicar a su madre, abuela, tía y primo, diciéndoles que el propósito de Dios es siempre más grande que el dolor.  Al final de los testimonios, todos habían recibido a Cristo como su Salvador personal.  Dios ha escogido a los chicos en La Casa para ser Su luz y verdad en sus familias y romper las maldiciones que les han afectado por generaciones.

“Vendrán a su tierra y entonarán canciones de alegría en las alturas de Jerusalén.  Estarán radiantes debido a los buenos regalos del SEñOR: abundancia de grano, vino nuevo y aceite de olive, y los rebaños y las manadas saludables.  Su vida será como un jardín bien regado y desaparecerán todas sus tristezas.” Jeremias 31:12

(Alexia)

Este grupo de hermanos estaba tan deseoso de ver a sus familiares que planearon todo un programa ellos mismos. Compartieron un desayuno, prepararon algunas danzas y lo más importante para ellos: compartir el evangelio con su familia. Karla y Frank tuvieron un tiempo para esto. Al escucharlos Dios me recordó Hechos 4, cuando Pedro y Juan hablan frente al Concilio y defienden su fe. “Los gobernantes, al ver la osadía con que hablaban Pedro y Juan, y al darse cuenta de que eran gente sin estudios ni preparación, quedaron asombrados y reconocieron que habían

Elba and her grandmother / Elba y su abuelita.

 

estado con Jesús”(Hechos 4:13-14). Escucharlos decir versículos y versículos de la Biblia de memoria, hablar con tanta convicción y  declaraciones como: “Los problemas que tenemos son con un propósito, para acercanos a Él…”, “Debemos confiar en Dios siempre, solo Él pone perdón y paz en el corazón…”, o “Nos enfocamos en el problema, en vez de enfocarnos en quién es Cristo en nosotros…” me dejaron reflexionando. Me asombró ver  cómo la Palabra de Dios conforta los corazones de nuestros niños y cómo Su sanidad es real. Me asombró ser testigo del poder transformador de Dios y la fluidez de palabra que Él da a aquellos de corazón sencillo. Definitivamente, lo que más me impactó fue realizar una vez más que la restauración que anhelamos en las vidas de los niños y sus familias no sería posible si no les enseñáramos que Dios es el restaurador por excelencia y así ellos, por decisión propia, rindieran sus vidas a Él. La certeza en las palabras de estos chicos al compartir de su experiencia con Dios con sus familiares fue un recordatorio de que El es real y anhela sanar los corazones de nuestros niños, brindarles una oportunidad para restaurar sus vidas y darles esperanza de un futuro mejor.

(Patty)

Como consejera he estado trabajando muy de cerca con este grupo de hermanos desde Agosto del año pasado, nos reunimos cada martes, y últimamente he estado muy cargada por todo el daño y las heridas que veo en su familia. También he

A proud grandmother poses for a picture / Una orgullosa abuela posa para una foto.

percibido que muchas cadenas espirituales deben de ser destruidas. Durante la reunión familiar tuve la oportunidad de sentirme inspirada por ellos, pude darme cuenta que aunque yo no lo vea en mis sesiones con ellos, Dios si está trabajando!, Dios les está sanando! Pensé en todos los momentos difíciles que hemos pasado con estos niños… y luego verlos predicándole a su familia sobre lo que Dios ha hecho en sus vidas no tiene precio! Esta reunión familiar probablemente significo tanto para ellos como para mí. Se lo que Dios puede hacer y me siento privilegiada de poder ver en primera fila Su trabajo al restaurar familias!

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4 thoughts on “A very special family reunion…

  1. My heart is blessed by this wonderful story. Seeds were planted, those seeds were watered over many years, those seeds sprouted and took root, and now those seeds are producing fruit…wow. My heart is so blessed by this story but more importantly, by these children! Thank you staff for being there so you could share this story with us. God bless each of you! Hernandez family, I love you and I am so very proud of each of you for wanting to share God’s love with your family and being sure they heard the gospel.

  2. Kathryn! I just saw your link to this blog on fb and it is so wonderful to read about your ministry. How wonderful. I’m sure you and your teammates are such a blessing and encouragement to these children and families. Praising God for what you are doing! Thanks for sharing! I will check this blog often!

  3. Hey Kathryn, What a blessing to read this. In a word that is so void of knowledge of the Hope of Christ; this is hugely refreshing. I am excited to see what further opportunities God will open up to Karla and Francisco. I pray for you and the kids down there when I remember, God Bless, Scott

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