June 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

When we were young and we'd get all fixed up for a special occasion, my Dad used to say, "Wow! You sure do clean up nice!" I knew what he meant and it always made me smile. We had been transformed and I guess we were looking pretty good! Isn't that what the Lord does? He transforms us on the inside, and the outside starts looking pretty good too. In fact, when God enters our lives, we are changed so much that people could never imagine the struggles and challenges we have faced. But we all have a story to tell.

Every child that has ever come into our home has a story. Some stories will never be shared, but when we can share, we might just bring hope to someone who is struggling too.

This month we are celebrating the birth of our oldest son Nelson! He is kind and caring and has just about the biggest heart that I know. He goes out of his way to help and serve others. Nelson has quite a story and he wanted to share it with all of you.

Nelson came to us when he was eight years old; mad at the world, and with good reason. He came to our home straight from the hospital after someone that he thought he could trust had hit him angrily over the head with heavy boards. Needless to say, Nelson was all stitched up and bruised, so when he arrived at our house, he really wasn't too sure if we could be trusted either. After all, the people he had cared about the most had let him down. Each week, his biological mother came to visit our home, we could see all he wanted was to protect her and be with her. His big brown eyes looked up to her with so much love and compassion. When his dad would come to visit he clung to him, just wanting his love and approval. His dad made many promises that he just couldn't keep, and again Nelson was disappointed and let down by the ones he loved.

They say when you are a foster parent you are left to pick up the pieces of the mistakes of others. Well, sometimes all that stored up anger and hurt might just come at you! I remember once, Nelson threw up his hands and made an angry fist at me when I asked him to clean up his room. My husband told him that although he had seen men hitting women before, there would be none of that in our house! Nelson melted into tears. His heart was hurting. How could it not? He had been through so much.

If you met Nelson today, you would never know all he has faced, the ups and downs. You would see his big smile and funny, silly jokes, which bring so much joy. It truly comes from his heart.

Nelson turned 28 this May. He has his own home and is very successful in his job. And we are thrilled that he recently was able to buy his own car. He has worked hard and we are proud of him. But the thing that amazes me the most is his heart. He has so much compassion and love for the broken-hearted. Maybe that is because he himself was broken and struggled.

Nelson would give you the shirt off his back if you asked. He loves children, and after church on Sundays you will find a long line of children chasing him and playing! But more than anything Nelson could do, I am grateful for what he has become. It wasn't easy and it wasn't our doing, because there were so many times we didn't know what to do. Our help comes from the Lord and it is Him and only Him that fixes us up. So I have to say Nelson, just like his Grandpa said to me, "You sure do clean up nice!" And God isn't finished yet!

It is so good to remember that everyone struggles, everyone has a story. No one is perfect. No family is perfect. We can encourage and love people when we share our lives and brokenness with others.

God is working in each of our children's lives. Only God can heal past hurts. They are just too much for us to handle. We have learned through the years that it is only by His love and grace that lives can be transformed and changed. So many of you have stood with us for so many years and without your love and faithfulness we would not be able to continue. It has meant so much to us, and although many of you have never met Nelson, his life has been changed forever by your love and support.

"Our troubles have always brought us blessing and they always will. They are the black chariots of bright grace. Our God may drench us with grief, but He will not drown us with wrath. He will refresh us with mercy!" - Charles Spurgeon

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia