October 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Our littlest foster child celebrated his first birthday in August. We can't believe how much he has grown! You see, he came to us so very tiny, weighing just a little over four pounds. He was so small that the first few times we gave him a bath, I was scared to death, holding his tiny little fragile body with such care. Because he had such a rough time while he was in his mother's tummy, we had to give him lots of extra care, and with so many brothers and sisters here, he has never lacked for love and attention.

As he got older, I noticed he wasn't interested in learning to crawl. There were things that were taking him a little bit longer to do than most babies. A lady that was doing therapy with him told me, "He may have to struggle to learn to crawl but that is going to make him strong." I thought to myself, isn't that the way life is? The times I have learned the most have been in the struggle! The hard times in life stretch us and make us grow!

Recently, I heard a pastor ask the question, "What if your struggle is a signal that God is up to something in your life?" I believe many times what we think is the devil might just be God allowing us to struggle, so that we can grow and be ready for what He has next! And you know what? There will always be struggles because He is preparing us for more in life. We shouldn't ever get too comfortable; if we are too comfortable we can't grow!

These last few months have not been easy here in Costa Rica for our ministry. In fact, they have been a bit of a struggle. It is during these times that my husband, Enrique, says, "We need to ask the Lord what He is saying to us." We may think God should change the situation but He may want to change us.

This week we have been studying Psalm 139:23-24 with all the kids: "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." One of the things I love about Enrique is that when a problem comes, and they do, he always asks, "What is God trying to say to ME?" It is so much easier to just look at the problem and what is going on around you, but what about what is going on inside of you?

In the Psalm, David says, "Search ME. Know MY heart. Lead ME." There were plenty of bad things happening around David. There are people that David could have blamed, but instead he says, "Search ME and see if there is anything wrong in ME." Wow!

There are many things my adopted and foster children cannot change. They can't change their biological family and make them love them or care for them and they can't change their past, but they can change who they are and who they will become, and stop generations of abuse and neglect. That is what happens with Jesus! He truly changes hearts, and because our hearts are changed, we become like Him! There are things in my circumstances I will never be able to change on my own, but God can, and if He does, that's wonderful. But if He doesn't, it is probably because He wanted to change me!

Please be in prayer for three children that we care for that are in much need of help. They do not live in our home yet, but we have walked with them since they were babies. Many situations have come up over the last few months and we need wisdom going forward. We do not have all the resources right now to cover all their needs. These are young children and they need so much love and support. Eventually, they will probably come and live in our home. Also, there is a lady in our community that is very dear to us. She has many medical needs and has not been in good health. Please pray for wisdom and the financial resources going forward. Every one of these precious people are very important to us!

Please also continue to lift up our little Dylan. He has biological family interested in raising him and his four-year-old brother. Pray for these two brothers! Dylan's brother was finally able to meet little Dylan this last week. It was such a sweet meeting! He said, "Brother, do you want to play with me? Brother, do you want to be my friend?" I have to say it was hard to hold back the tears seeing them together. Dylan's brother remembers watching his mother's tummy grow and then never getting the chance to see him. I know God has a purpose and plan in it all! It breaks our hearts to think little Dylan may go, but we know God is in control. We have to trust in Him through it all. There will be things we will never know on this earth, but we will see clearly when we get to Heaven.

These next few weeks, we will have many visits and meetings with the "new" family. Please pray for us and my sweet children, as well as Enrique's mother and sister who have helped so much in caring for Dylan. We are all beginning to prepare our hearts for Dylan's leaving.

Thank you so very much for standing with us, for praying with us, and for your friendship! In these difficult times, it means even more to know you are there and it encourages our hearts to continue on with what the Lord has next. He is preparing us for more! I've heard it said, "When I feel stretched it is a set up for strength!"

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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September 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Children learn by example; they are looking at everything you do! Once you become a parent, everything changes, especially when you realize you have all these little eyes looking at you, watching you, and copying you! And we have a house full! Wow, what a responsibility! It can be a scary thing, but having children certainly does push you to be a better person and think twice about what you do and say. I read that mentoring means, "You teach what you know but you reproduce who you are."

Today in some places, it isn't so popular to have "mentors" or pastors, but we have tried to encourage our older children to find people, not just us, who can speak into their lives. After all, we learn different things from different people. (I certainly don't know it all!) We need spiritual fathers and mothers. They can help form us into what God wants us to be and challenge us to be better. The Bible says, "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed." We succeed in life because many people played a role in getting us to where we need to be. The importance of respecting and listening to elders - something that, sadly, seems to have been lost these days - must be taught to children.

A while back, we had a very dear, older couple come and visit in our home...Leon and Mable Godwin. While we ate lunch, Mr. Godwin shared with the children about the importance of marrying the right person. He shared he and Mable's "love story", how God brought them together, and the importance of waiting. We all got a little teary-eyed at his story, but it really touched our hearts that he took the time to pour into our children's lives. The children have never forgotten the wisdom he shared. He and Mable made quite an impact on the children! They are true examples and have been married over 60 years. How important it is for children to be around good godly marriages.

We are so excited to announce the engagement of our older daughter Daniela to a wonderful young man that we truly love like our own, Jonathan Murillo. It has been a true joy to walk with them through the dating process, a little scary for us at first, but it has been so wonderful to see all the Lord is doing in each one and how he brought them together. Jonathan has a heart to serve and work with children. He just fits in perfectly with our family! Our little ones get so happy when he is going to come over, almost as happy as Daniela! He is working with the youth in our church and in the community, and has walked closely with Enrique. We encouraged Jonathan and Dani to look for mentors while dating. They have been close to Roldan and Grettel, a wonderful couple in our church. They have met with them each week and been part of their home group. Roldan and Grettel have walked closely with us and have been such an encouragement to our family!

It is so important having people pouring into our lives and our children's lives, giving guidance leading the way. Proverbs 27:9 says, "The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense." God doesn't want us to walk alone.

As you can imagine, it has been a busy time here. Enrique and Luis and a couple of our boys have been planting over 400 lettuce heads and working hard on our organic garden. We will be selling to different business and helping the people in our community. It has been a lot of work but we are excited to see our garden grow. The children our learning so much and it is a great therapy to be outside together.

Our sweet little Dylan had his first birthday! We still don't know how much longer he can stay in our home, but he sure has stolen our hearts. We know God has him and is in control of his precious life. Please be in prayer for him.

These last few months have not been easy. One of our older boys has had a thyroid problem and has had anxiety and depression as a result. He has been back home for support and encouragement. We have seen a great improvement, but please pray for him and wisdom for us as we walk with him. He cannot work and study right now but working in the garden and being around others has helped him tremendously. We have had many tests run; doctor bills and blood work have been expensive. So we would greatly appreciate your prayers.

Our daughter is doing better after her surgery and is healing up nicely. We have seen improvements, but we still need for her ears to open up. This is a great frustration to her and all of us. We want so much for her to feel better. Please be in prayer for her also. We are trusting the Lord with it all.

During this time we have also dealt with many mechanical problems on our cars. It has made things hard getting around but we hope soon to have them fixed and working. Sometimes, it can seem like everything hits you at once and in those times, more than ever, you need friends holding you up and encouraging you along the way. We appreciate so much the support and love you all have been to us! As I have said before, we could not do this alone and your love and friendship means the world to us!

Please continue to remember us in your prayers and in your giving this September. Each day is a step of faith for all of us - here in Costa Rica, and wherever you are also. We love you and are praying for you.

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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August 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23). This is one of my favorite Bible passages! I have such good memories singing this song in church when I was little. I can still hear my Dad singing in harmony with John Duke, a very dear friend of ours and pastor in the church.

Romans 3:3-4 says, "What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? No! Shall faithlessness in man cancel out faithfulness in God? No!" I thank God that He is always faithful in spite of us, our mistakes, our doubts, our fears, no matter what. He doesn't change; being faithful is the very nature of God. It is who He is! And thank goodness God's faithfulness doesn't depend on me!

Recently, I was looking at old pictures and it made me remember the faithfulness of God. I was seeing my older children when they were little and thinking of how much they have had to overcome. Enrique says, "You can't live in the past, but you sure better not forget it either." The past reminds us of the faithfulness of God! It can be easy to forget what all God has done and what He has brought us through, but remembering gives us hope and faith for the trials of today.

Our son Abraham, who is now twenty, came to live with us when he was just two years old; and a few months later, Alex, joined our growing family. They were inseparable! They got into more mischief than you can imagine and sometimes they almost drove us crazy! They are true opposites, but together they made a great team. We quickly fell in love with these two rascals!

But I will never forget the day the social worker came and took Alex and his sister out of our home to go and live in an orphanage. Abraham chased the car all the way down the driveway, tears streaming down his face. He couldn't understand why they had taken his new brother away. Who could understand? Foster care can be so complicated. Our hearts were broken. But little did we know, God had a plan, a purpose! And through all the ups and downs, God kept us together!

Five years ago, Alex joined our family again; our boy came home! And these two were together again! This year, Alex gave his heart to the Lord. God changed his heart completely! We are very excited about what the Lord is doing in Alex and Abraham.

Abraham has a home group on Fridays for young people in our community. It is growing and young lives are changing! Abraham just finished school and is working hard. Alex has taken over all the landscaping on our big farm. It is quite a big job and it looks wonderful! He is learning about growing plants and vegetables and has taken a real interest in paying attention to details. We are very proud of his work. He is studying at night school and working hard to finish soon.

So when we look at God's faithfulness in our lives and our children's lives, this gives us hope for our little ones that are coming up! It isn't easy; there will always be trials in life. But Psalm 119:90 says, "Your faithfulness endures to all generations." He remains faithful! And what He starts, He will finish!

We want to thank you all for your prayers and support for our daughter Mabel. She had surgery a few weeks ago and is recovering nicely. We are praying the surgery will eventually help to open her ears back up. The doctor says it will take some time and we will have to wait and see, so we would ask for your continued prayers for her. She may need another surgery in the future, but we are trusting in the Lord and praying for wisdom going ahead.

Our son Eduardo has also had some health issues and we have had many tests run on him. He may be dealing with an over-active thyroid, but we are waiting for further test results. We would ask you to keep him in your prayers also. We have several kids that need braces and one having his wisdom teeth out, so this will be an extra expense for us coming up.

Our sweet little boy will turn one year this month! It is hard to believe he has been with us almost a whole year! He is growing and he can't wait to walk on his own. He was just a little over four pounds when we got him and, wow, if you could see him now! He's a strong, perfect little boy! We all love him and know God has his life in His hands! We appreciate your prayers for him and what the future holds.

This year has not been easy, but one thing I have learned is that even in the middle of our troubles, God is at work. He is changing lives and He will be faithful to see us through! It is in the hard times that our faith is tested and we can even doubt the faithfulness of God. We may wonder, where is He? What is He doing? But over and over again, we have discovered that He is always working all things together for our good and for His glory.

We sure do appreciate all your love and support! We could not care for these children and reach out to the people in our community without you. Please consider a special financial gift this month to support the children and the work of the ministry. You are in our hearts and daily prayers. Thank you!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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July 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

A few nights ago, I went to tuck Madi, our nine-year-old, into bed, and I noticed that sitting on her headboard was a small white board with the words carefully written, "God will always be at your side." Right next to what she had written, she had drawn two cute stick figures (one with curly short hair and one with long hair) standing right next to each other; above their heads she wrote, "God" and "Me". I couldn't help but comment on the sweet picture and I said "How beautiful! I love this!" She sat up in bed and very seriously said. "Mommy, I wrote it to remind me that God is always with me. So now, if I wake up in the night and get scared, I can look up and then I will remember God is right by my side and I won't be scared anymore!"

Isn't it a wonderful thing to remember that God is right beside us? Even when we feel alone and afraid, He is right there! The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, "Perfect love casts out fear." I believe when we are in hard situations or even panicking, God shows up and surrounds us with His love! And if we listen closely, He is telling us everything is going to be alright.

Recently, we flew out of Atlanta on our way back to Costa Rica in some very bad storms. I am not a big fan of flying on a sunny day, but looking out and seeing all the dark clouds from a nearby tropical storm had me feeling pretty uneasy. So I sent my Dad a message telling him we were getting ready to take off and I was feeling very nervous. Even though he was in meetings, I got a message from him right away telling me that he loved me and everything would be alright. Those words meant so much to me! But you know why? Because they came from him! Nothing compares to a father's love! And I hung on to those words during our flight, which turned out to be pretty nice, even though we had storms all around us. Dad was waiting for my message when our plane touched down late that night. He said he was so glad we had made it back and was praying during our flight.

I have thought about this the last few days. I am so grateful for an earthly father's great love and no matter where I am, I can still call him and he is always there for me. But imagine how much our Heavenly Father loves us even more, and He is right there with us through the storms! Just hearing His voice makes everything alright and calms our fears. My Dad has said. "God is not simply a father; He is The Father." I am blessed to have had a wonderful earthly father that loves me. So many children do not have good earthly fathers, but when they meet The Father, everything changes; they experience His love! It is wonderful that we can rest in Him and He is there, even when we forget. As our Madi says, "You can just look up and remember, God will always be at your side!"

We would like to ask for your continued prayers for our daughter Mabel. A few weeks ago, we saw a new ear, eyes and throat doctor, who came to us highly recommended. As many of you know, Mabel, has been in bad pain for almost two years now. Her ears plugged up and never opened. It is a terrible thing to see your child in pain, and we would give anything to take her place. But through it all, God has helped us, and even though there have been tears and many nights of no sleep, we have felt God’s presence every step of the way.

After running several tests on Mabel, the doctor is sure that she needs surgery. She has a deviated septum and it is getting worse. The doctor needs to go in and correct that and other issues he discovered after looking at her scans. We are grateful that finally someone wants to take action, and he feels hopeful that he can help her and improve her life greatly. The surgery will cost between $6,000 - $7,000. We are hoping insurance will cover some of the costs, but we will have to pay much of it out of pocket. We will be raising money to cover the cost. The doctor would like to do the surgery as soon as possible so please be in prayer!

Mabel is happy we have found answers and this has given her hope, but she continues to deal with anxiety because of her pain and is nervous about the surgery. Please pray for peace for her and that she can sleep at night. When one person in the family is hurting it effects us all and all of her brothers and sisters have been working together to give her all the love and support and encouragement she needs. We have learned a lot and we know God is at work and He has a greater purpose in it all.

Also be in prayer for our "sweet pea" Dylan. We do not know if he can stay with us and we would love for our home to be his forever home. The government is very close to passing a law that would help him to be able to stay with us. This new law would help many foster children, so we pray the law goes through very soon! Dylan is growing and is doing so well!

It is hard to express just how much your love, giving, and prayers mean to us! So many of you have stood with us for years and have encouraged us to keep on going in the hard times and we know it is because of so many of your prayers. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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June 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Have you ever gotten to the place where you think, "What else can I do? What more is there? I've tried everything under the sun and nothing seems to work!" You keep trying all the things that you know to do but it seems to do no good. Sometimes, we do the best we can but it just doesn't seem enough. Part of being a good parent is being responsible, doing our best, giving our all, but when things become too much, it can lead to burn-out or feelings of despair and hopelessness.

I remember when I was a teenager and going through a rebellious period in my life, my mother was reading a book called "God Works the Night Shift". I saw it on her night stand and I asked her what it was about and she said, "Well, it has helped me to remember that God never sleeps; He is always at work, even when there isn't anything else I can do. He never stops working!" I kind-of understood she was talking about me; she had turned me over to God and no matter what I did, He had me! And thank God, He did and He never let me go!

Recently, we started worshiping with all the kids in the evenings. I have been amazed at what God does when we give Him our love and our time. Sometimes, it is easy to get in the habit of always asking the Lord for what we need or what we want. It's wonderful that we can ask, isn't it? But when we ask, many times we are focused on us: our needs, our problems. But what if we focus on Him? What if we ask Him to join us and come sit with us awhile? If He shows up, what more do we need? And what happens when I am in His presence? When He is with me, ALL my needs disappear, ALL my fears go away, and ALL my sickness is gone. ALL we really need is HIM. It is not about what He can do for us but it is about who He is! I have found that when we ask, He is more than willing to show up. He actually enjoys our company!

Raising lots of kids, there are many times we have come to the end our rope. Raising children who come from abuse and pain can be very time consuming, working through issues and hurts. But here is the good news: it isn't just up to me! I do the best I can do and then it really all depends on the Lord. For the past two years, we have been struggling with one of our boys. He came to us when he was older, out of abuse and prostitution. There has been a lot to overcome.

One day, feeling frustrated, I was asking the Lord, "How much longer? When will He change?" Then, "out of the blue", he went to a meeting and some of our dear friends from the United States prayed for him, and his life was changed. It wasn't just something he felt. He has changed: his attitudes, the way he is at home, the way he is with others. He has become my number one helper at home, willing to do whatever needs to be done, without me even asking! He is so excited for what the Lord has done that he is out sharing his story with others! He has a grateful heart. Again I am reminded it isn't about me; it is all in God's timing and He is faithful!

Many of you know that our daughter Mabel has had health issues and has been in pain for about two years. We have done all we know to do, and although we have seen improvements, she has been dealing with some anxiety and fear. One night as we were praying with her, I could see a vision of her walking, and a very big man was walking in front of her. He was so big that I could hardly see her. He wouldn't let anyone or anything touch her or come near her. He walked closely ahead, making sure she was safe and protected. It was the most wonderful sight and I knew God was saying, "I've got this. Don't be afraid!" After all, if God walks before us what more do we need? When we follow close behind, He leads us to safety. He leads us out of darkness, and wherever we are, there is no need to be afraid!

I shared this with Mabel and her heart was very touched. She felt God's presence. I can only do so much but God can do it ALL! And the most amazing thing is, even when I fail, God can still make things right. My husband, Enrique, says, "Many times we want a change, but we are not close to the One who changes us." Real change happens when Jesus shows up and when He shows up, there isn't a heart that He can't change! If you spend some time with Him, your life will never be the same.

We are working on many projects in our home. We will be fixing our roof and painting the outside that has been damaged from lots of rain and a very humid climate. Even earthquakes have taken a toll. One of our boys has been working hard on the greenhouse and keeping the grass cut and neat on our property. With so much land, it has been quite a job! There is always a lot to do and never-ending, keeping up with house repairs and maintenance. We also have had trouble with our cars and have had some very expensive repairs. We live on a very rocky road full of pot holes and we are praying that one day it can be fixed or even paved. Still waiting!

This is life on the mission field in a developing country, but it has taken a significant toll on our finances recently. We are sincerely asking for your continued support this month, in your prayers and in your giving. As I've heard my Dad say many times from Scripture, the opportunities are great, but there is much opposition. (See First Corinthians 16:9.)

Please be praying for our nine month old baby Dylan. His case will come up soon in the courts. They may take his biological mother's rights away soon. We do not know what the future holds for him or if he can stay with us. Pray for the people who make these very important decisions. We love him and he has been with us since he was born. Your love and prayers mean so much! We appreciate you standing with us!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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May 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

These days, many pastors are talking about "being intentional." I really like that word: "intentional". I don't really remember hearing that word so much growing up, but I can tell you, I learned from watching my mom and dad the importance of being intentional.

I remember Mom used to have sticky notes on her bathroom mirror reminding her of who she needed to meet with or talk to; maybe someone in the church had surgery or had been sick or just down and out; she was going to be sure to remember to call them and encourage them! Now, when you are a pastor's wife, it is very important to be intentional with people. Before church even started, she was already thinking about who she may need to talk with. Mom would say, "remind me to talk to so in so...and don't let me get away without speaking with them!" Mom was always making sure people felt loved.

My Dad, for as long as I can remember, has carried note cards in his pocket reminding him of people he needs to call or things that need to be done. When someone or something comes to mind he quickly jots it down so he doesn't forget. Spending time with people is a big priority on his list; finding out how they are or if there is anything they need. Being intentional is not just for pastors and their wives; it is for everyone, and it makes a difference!

In a recent message, my Dad said, "If we can become rightly related to God and to each other, Jesus will show up!" I do believe that is so true, and I believe God doesn't like discord. He wants us to be rightly related to Him and to each other. We ALL want Jesus to show up, right?

I believe Jesus was very intentional; after all, he went out of his way to meet with people, talk with people, walk with people! And not "easy" people, but people with real problems! Being intentional means putting people's needs above our own; it requires time and sacrifice! I am grateful for parents who taught me the importance of being intentional. Being intentional is very important for us with a big family and lots of kids...kids who are all different and have special needs.

We continue to go out every Monday night to feed the homeless. After many months of seeing many of the same people, we have formed new friendships and even some of our new friends have been able to get off the streets. Mondays are very special to us! The "Hidden Treasures" team all get together at our home to make sandwiches and coffee and we have a time of just being together and encouraging one another. Please keep us in your prayers on Mondays. It has gotten very dangerous in some parts of town where we go and we see more and more young people on drugs and in gangs.

Last night, we had a cookout at our home, and many young people and young couples came. We are renewing friendships and want to be an encouragement in our church and community. This is something we will continue doing on a regular basis. We had a time of worship and sharing and we are excited to see what the Lord will do!

There is nothing wasted when we invite people in our lives as they are and not as we want them to be! We feel God is calling us to walk closer with people and to be intentional by spending time and opening our home to others. Although our home has been open, we will be planning more gatherings around food and fun to encourage those in our community and church. There are so many people going through hard times and everyone needs love and support.

We are working on the second green house, and if weather and regularly exploding nearby volcano permit, we will be finished soon! Now we will have more fresh fruits and vegetables to help needy families and it is a great way to put food on the table for our great big, growing family.

We want to thank you for loving us and supporting us! I can't tell you enough how much your love and support have meant to us. Although it has been good year, it has been filled with ups and downs and challenges. Isn't that how life is? But we are growing and learning and trusting in the Lord more every day! Would you please continue to pray for us, and ask your church and friends to pray also?

For more information, you can "like" our Hidden Treasures Costa Rica Facebook page or visit our website: www.hiddentreasuresoutreach.com. Also, please prayerfully consider a special gift this month to support the ministry of Hidden Treasures. Our opportunities and needs have expanded, but our income has been very tight so far in 2017. We trust in the Lord's provision, and we are so thankful for the people He is working through to help us with our needs.

Thank you for praying for our daughter Mabel. We see some improvement in her health; she is sleeping better. We are focusing on the good and trusting the Lord for continued healing and strength. It has been a long year-and-a-half of doctor visits and tests; some days, it has taken its toll emotionally. But this will be part of a great testimony and God's plan a purpose in it all! We pray God's blessings on you and your family!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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April 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Real change has to happen in your heart! Only Jesus can really change our hearts and our hearts are reflected in the way we treat others. In our house it is very important that all the kids learn to get along with one another; it is something we work on, and if there is ever a problem, we sit and work things out. With so many people in our home, that is what it takes. You cannot let a disagreement go on. Ignoring something only causes it to grow and relationships can be damaged. Relationships matter!

Enrique says a family is like a team. We must all work together, and in order to do that, we must learn to get along. If one member is hurt, it effects us all. Enrique is our coach and without him, our family would not work. I never have doubted the calling that God has on his life. He has guided and protected our family, and fought for each one of our children. He carries a great responsibility and takes his job as a father very seriously. He can be tough, and doesn't put up with a lot of foolishness; after all, we have had eight boys in our home and they have come with their share of problems and needed a strong father. BUT, at the same time, you can find Enrique on the floor playing dolls with the girls or super heroes with the little ones. His heart is big!

Many nights he is up late counseling and talking with one of the older kids or on the phone with one of the kids he mentors. He also changes diapers, can cook a great meal, and loves to tell silly "Dad" jokes! What would we do without him? I am so grateful that he was willing to take on such a big task. God has given him wisdom and strength to do all that is before him! Please continue to lift him up in your prayers.

In a recent message, my Dad said, "If we can become rightly related to God and to each other, Jesus will show up!" I do believe that is so true, and I believe God doesn't like discord. He wants us to be rightly related to Him and to each other. We ALL want Jesus to show up, right?

I am excited to see all that God is doing in our older children's lives. And SO many of you invested in them with your prayers and support over the years. Daniela, our oldest, is now a fourth grade teacher! She teaches at a small Catholic school and they have given her the freedom to talk about Jesus and pray with students in her class. She has a Bible study every morning with them and many lives have been touched! They invited her to share her testimony with a group of parents and teachers; it has been so wonderful to see her giving back, and the way God is using her story.

Abraham, who will turn twenty in April, came to us when he was just two years old. He has had to overcome many challenges, but God has really touched his heart! He has a home group for young kids every Friday night; he has had as many as thirty kids come. These kids come from very broken homes and need lots of love and attention. He prepares a message and plays games and keeps up with each one during the week. They know his story and are excited to think God could change their lives and situations too. I have seen the way God has changed Abraham's heart over the past two years and it is exciting to see him giving back! Abraham serves and helps in our home also, and he is my "right hand man" on many busy days. He will have his high school degree in May and go on to study at a college here in Costa Rica. Playing and making violins is another one of his passions, and he has been studying and working with a man in our area.

I could tell you a story about each one of the older kids and how God is working in them. But I will save more stories for later! We want you know that because of your love and support, many kids, not just in our home, but in our community, have been blessed! And the goal is for this to continue on and each child can go out and bless others.

Also please be praying, because there is a very important man in the government here that is trying to pass a law that foster families can have the option to adopt. Right now, we take in children and we really don't know how long they will be with us; maybe just months or others for years. We believe that it is so important for each child to find a family and not be moved from one place to another. PLEASE pray that this law will be passed! We would love for our seven month old baby, Dylan, to be part of our family forever. Please pray! He is doing really well, and brings so much joy to all of us! He adores his Poppy Enrique and they have a special bond.

Also continue to pray for our daughter Mabel. She is on a new pain medication. It will take about a month for us to start seeing results, but the doctors are very hopeful. Of course we continue to pray for healing and trust the Lord for answers. She has also dealt with anxiety which is normal when dealing with pain for a long period of time, but please pray for peace in her life and strength for Enrique and I! Baby Dylan has blessed her life and she says when she is with him her pain subsides. She is such a good little momma and loves him dearly! He never lacks for love with so many arms to hold him in the house.

Please keep us in your prayers and in your budget during this month and throughout the Spring and Summer. Every day is critical; we have many wonderful opportunities, but we also face many challenges and needs. You are so important to this ministry. In Luke 6:38, Jesus says, "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

God is faithful and what we invest in now will be given back in even a greater way to so many more. Thank you for standing with us and loving us and encouraging us to go on! Your friendship means so much to us!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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March 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Recently the Lord put Psalm 121 in my heart. It was one of those days when I wondered how I would make it through. This beautiful Psalm reminds us that our help comes from the Lord! It is easy to get tired and burdened, but isn't it wonderful that we can call on the Lord; He really is watching over all of us and He is in all the details. He cares and He knows exactly what we need!

Recently, Yorleny, one of our daughters, was attacked by a man while walking home from work. He came out of the woods where she was walking and pulled out a knife. She was terrified, but remained calm. They fought and she was able to get the knife out of his hand by biting him extremely hard on his arm. My husband, Enrique, has been explaining and practicing with the girls just what they should do to protect themselves in case they ever get in trouble. Enrique is trained in martial arts and self-defense.

Yorleny said "The whole time this guy had me on the ground, I could hear Papi's voice telling me exactly what to do. I knew God was helping me and before I knew it I managed to get the knife from his hand." She screamed for help and one of our neighbors, who has worked with the police, happened to be outside and came running. He tied the guy up and called the police. Yorleny called Enrique from the neighbor's house; he and her brothers left the house faster than lightning. Needless to say, that guy will think twice about ever doing something like that again. Yorleny had a cut on her hand from where she had grabbed the knife away in the struggle. I am so grateful for God's protection and the courage He has given Yorleny. Although she was shaken up, she is not living in fear and she knows her help came from the Lord!

When we get in trouble or are facing difficult times, we need to know where our help comes from; our help definitely comes from the Lord!

God has been doing a lot during the last few months. It has been a very busy time. We continue to go out on Monday nights to feed and share with the homeless. Our team has been able to befriend and share with many who live out on the streets. The team has also been able to take several to a rehab facility where they are getting help. We are excited about what the Lord is doing! Please be in prayer for our team and family every Monday night, for their safety and protection.

Please also be in prayer for Luis and Erica, who continue working with us and are helping with more babies; this has been a BIG job. One of the little ones has had some health issues and they haven't gotten much rest. There have been many doctor visits and dirty diapers. They have had many financial needs as well, and we continue to support them.

Our littlest one just turned six months old! He is now starting to eat solid food and getting so big! We are so pleased with his progress, and he is such a sweetheart! His biological mother is in rehab and we don't know what his future holds. We would love for him to remain in our family. We would appreciate your prayers for him, and also for several of our children who are battling various health issues.

We also are working on finding the right school for Esther, the newest girl that will be part of our family now. She is thirteen years old, and has many needs. It will be a big adjustment. Please be in prayer that we find the right school for her. Most of the schools right around us are full and we need God's direction and guidance. She will have financial needs as well. We are trusting in God's provision.

Can I mention another significant need? We continue to fight humidity and mold in our house. We are going to have to do some much-needed work on the house, painting and repairing where the mold has gotten in. This is SO important for the children’s health, especially our daughter Mabel who deals with severe allergies. We are looking into putting in a big filter and air conditioner in our attic to get all of the mold out. This is not cheap, so please be in prayer with us that we would be able to make the needed repairs.

Your love, financial support, and prayers have meant the world to us, especially during these very busy days! Please pray for rest and strength to continue on and do all that is before us. Thank you so very much for standing with us!

This promise from Psalm 121 is for all of us today...

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—He watches over you will not slumber; nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, or the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from ALL harm—He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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February 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

When I grew up, we often sang the praise song "Ah, Lord God" with its chorus, "Nothing is too difficult for Thee...nothing, absolutely nothing, nothing is too difficult for Thee!" This song still sometimes pops in my head and I will find myself singing it again, remembering church services from long time ago. It is easy to sing a song with a catchy tune, but do we really believe it? That is the question.

I have been studying the story of Joseph for some time now and thinking about suffering; why do people go through hard times? I find it very interesting that God gave Joseph his dreams and that is where all his troubles begin. It is kind of a funny way to think of things; God knew if Joseph shared his dreams with his brothers, they would get angry. God also knew Joseph's brothers would sell him into slavery. In a way, I guess you could say that God got Joseph into a whole lot of trouble! I really believe God sees suffering very differently than we do. Many times, what we think is bad, God sees as good.

God's ultimate plan is to get us where He wants us! God already knew that Joseph's place was in Egypt and that Joseph was going to be the governor there, but first God had to get him ready for the task at hand, and that meant some pain and suffering. Someone once wrote on Facebook that "God doesn’t want us to suffer". I am not so sure I agree. He wants to bless us, but in order to get to the blessing, or the prize, it might require a little bit of suffering.

Most people who have been called "blessed" have gone through suffering, trials, and testing. Look at Mary, the mother of Jesus, the most blessed women of all: along with the great blessing for her came suffering. The difference for all of the heroes who have gone before us is they held onto the promise; they believed that nothing was too difficult for God! And they trusted in God's promise. It is easy to look at their stories and believe, because we know the ending; but there are so many things in life we can't see and so many things we can't understand or explain.

Tonight as I was driving home, stuck in traffic, I was thinking of a very tough situation a loved one was going through. I said out loud, without thinking, "God this is too much! This is so hard!" And God asked me, "Is there anything too difficult for Me?" Well that is the question. Is there anything He can't fix, can't make right, can't heal? Is there any burden He can't carry? How can we forget ALL He has done? He is great and powerful; His love has no limits!

Just five-and-half months ago, we received a tiny newborn baby. He was the tiniest little baby I have ever seen. And now that tiny little fragile baby is a strong healthy, roly-poly little boy! Our doctor was so surprised at his last visit and told us he was a perfect little boy! Caring for such a tiny little one can be a very scary thing at first. Although I have taken care of my share of babies, he is the tiniest I have ever held and cared for.

When he first arrived, I wondered, would he be able to survive? I kept one eye opened at night to make sure he was still breathing, and I would wake up and stare at him and pray the Lord would keep him safe and fill up his tiny little heart. I am amazed every day at God's love and faithfulness! Our little one came from a drug addicted, alcoholic mother. He was unwanted and unloved, but God chose to save and rescue him and give him a family. We know God has a plan and a purpose. Whether we are there to see it or not, God's promise remains. We can rejoice in God's promises today and stand on His Word. We can know that there really isn't anything too difficult for God!

We would ask for your prayers for a young girl named Esther. She will be coming and living with us and be part of our family. She is thirteen and very important to us! We are very excited to have her in our home, but would ask for your prayers for wisdom and guidance. Also this is a very big month for us as some of our children and the children we are helping in our community get ready to start the new school year. We will be helping with school supplies and uniforms.

This is a very busy time with lots to do! Would you prayerfully consider a special financial gift this month to support the work of Hidden Treasures Costa Rica Children's Home?

We are also continuing the work on our garden and will be building another greenhouse soon, if the weather is good. Please pray the very active Turrialba Volcano not far from us will remain calm so we can continue working on outside projects to help the community around us. This is a very serious concern.

Many of you have also been praying for our daughter Mabel, who has suffered with terrible ear pain for over a year. We would ask that you continue praying. We feel the doctors are making progress, but it sure has been a long process. It has been frustrating and exhausting, but we know God has a promise for Mabel and we are trusting in Him.

I can't tell you how much it has meant to me to receive emails from many of you saying you are praying. Thank you so much for all your love and support! You have blessed us and encouraged us in so many ways! And I will say again, "Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing, nothing is too difficult for Thee!" No matter what you are going through, He is a great and mighty God. We have the promise!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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January 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Where we live is very close to the rain forest, so we get a lot of rain up in the mountains of Coronado. I love the rain but if we have many days of rain, it sure is a wonderful feeling when the sun comes out! Without the rain, we probably wouldn't appreciate the sunshine!

The same is true in life; if it wasn't for the storms, we wouldn't appreciate the calm. I remember a few years ago, I was on a late night flight and the captain announced we would be going through some bad storms, but there was good weather on the other side. Just as he said, in a few short minutes there was lightning and clouds all around us. The plane began to bump up and down and I held on to my seat and began to pray! I felt the Lord ask me, "Do you trust me?" I said, "Yes, but please calm the storm." I tried to relax as I hung on for dear life. I stared out the window with one eye opened, afraid of what I might see, and then after what seemed like forever, all of a sudden, the clouds were gone. It seemed like every star appeared in the sky and the moon shown brightly right before my eyes. It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen.

I felt the Lord say to me, "You have to go through the storm to get to the blessing." Everybody wants a blessing, but not too many people want to go through the storm! Many times, blessings come with a price.

When we go through a storm, how do we respond? Do we come out as victims, or are we victorious? Each one of my adopted and foster children have a story; they have been through some very hard things. But I tell them, "You are not a victim. You have received a blessing. Live in victory! You have come out on the other side of the storm!"

Our daughter Yorleny was rescued from prostitution and abuse. She has an incredible testimony which, until recently, she wasn't able to share. She has been able to open up to young people and share all the Lord has done in her life. They are amazed!

On Thanksgiving, we went around the table and asked the children to share what they were thankful for. Yorleny said, "I have been asking the Lord why I had to go through so many hard things in my past. It was hard to think about the worst times in my life, but God brought me back to those moments and He showed me that in every situation, He was there! He loved me! He cared for me! And He had a purpose for me, from the day I was conceived. He formed me; He made me!" (Yorleny has always been told she was conceived in a very abusive way; if abortions were legal here, I am sure her biological mother would have never had her.) She struggled through the tears to catch her breath as she told us all the Lord had showed her. We all cried with Yorleny. The children all shared how grateful they were for God bringing them through the hard things and into a family!

Everyone, whether or not you are adopted or born into a family, will go through storms or difficult times, but if we can see that God was there all along, it sure does make a difference in whether we live as victims or whether we live in victory! He has a purpose; storms make us strong, they build character, they cause us to trust in the Lord. We would not be who we are without the storms. God gets us ready for what ONLY HE KNOWS is coming.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if God would talk over a loud speaker and announce, "We will now be going through some bad storms but don’t worry there is good weather on the other side!" The truth is, with the Lord, there is always good weather on the other side. We just have to hold on tight and trust in HIM!

Yorleny is now a teacher's assistant at a very good Christian school here in Costa Rica. She is majoring in English at college and wants to be a teacher. We are so grateful for all the Lord is doing in her life!

We would ask for your continued prayers for our daughter Mabel. She continues to have very bad pain in her ears. She has been through all kind of tests. She has a deviated septum and they will be doing another test soon to see if she needs surgery; because she is still growing, doctors have waited. She has allergies and her ears closed up and have not opened for over a year now; it has been hard on all of us to see her in pain. She has a lot of support and love from all her brothers and sisters, but many nights, Enrique and I are up with her until late in the night. Please pray that God will heal her, and bring her joy!

Our four-month-old little boy is doing well, which we are very grateful for, but we need energy and rest to care for him also. Luis and Erika are helping with Nancy, who is one year old. She has had diarrhea for several months and doctors cannot find what is causing it. Caring for this sweet little baby has been a lot of work, with little rest, and expenses have been great, but the main thing is that we want her to be well. Pray that we find the cause, please!

Our trust is in the Lord, and we know He will bring us out of the storm! We deeply appreciate your prayers and support. We were able to help many children and families during the Christmas season, and we want to thank all those who gave to make that possible! It means so much to so many!

We pray this will be a wonderful and blessed New Year for each one of you! People go through hard things, but God is good and He is still in control. He is faithful!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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