October 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Our son-in-law Jonathan says, "I'm so glad you adopted Daniela and loved her and took care of her, because not only did it change her life but it changed mine too!" Every decision we make in life has a ripple effect. When one person's life is changed by love, many lives are changed by love! Isn't that wonderful? I am so amazed at God's faithfulness when I think back to where Daniela came from and all that she has gone through. Not only has her life been changed...many lives have been changed.

This week, we found out that Jonathan and Daniela will be having a baby boy! We are so excited to be grandparents. This baby will be welcomed into a big family of all ages with many aunts and uncles and great-grandparents too. He is already so very loved! We never know just by loving one how that love will grow and change generations to come.

Sometimes, we get to see how love changes someone and that is a wonderful thing, but sometimes we can love someone and not see much change at all. Having foster children can be hard, because you can give lots of love and time and then that child may leave. Even older children that come may leave, never knowing all that was given. But, we love because God told us to love. Whether we get to see the end result here on this earth really isn't the point. As I was reminded recently, everything we do, we do as unto the Lord. Because that is what He wants and that is what He has asked us to do!

Over the years, we have tried to encourage other couples to open their doors to orphan and foster children. Thank the Lord, many have! And children have found loving families. But it isn't easy, and we all need the support of others.

We ask for your prayers for one of the couples with whom we have worked. They have loved and taken care of a little girl since the day she was born. She is almost two years old. Recently, the government decided to move her into another home. This has been devastating to them. Their hope was to be able to adopt her one day. Please pray that the people working in the government will open their hearts and minds to what is best for children.

Some of the government officials told our friends, "Well, orphans come in the world to suffer, that is just the way it is!" What? Yes, many do suffer, but if we reach out and give them love and a stable family, their lives will be changed forever. It has been heartbreaking for our friends. They will continue to do everything they can to adopt this sweet little girl. We all need your prayers.

This last week, we learned that one of our daughters will be needing surgery soon, so we would ask for your prayers for her. She has struggled over the last three years with her health. We pray that this will be an answer to prayer. The road has seemed long and we want to see her happy and healthy again. She has done much better over the last year and we are hoping that with surgery, we will see even greater improvements.

Love does change things, and while we may never know all it does, God says to love for a reason. It may not be a quick fix; it takes time. I see this with our own children and the families that we help. And while others change, so do we. God uses every difficult situation to teach us how to love more like Him!

We appreciate your prayers during this time. Pray for the government officials, for softening of hearts. Pray for all the dear families who are fostering and adopting children, especially our dear friends who have worked closely with Hidden Treasures. We need wisdom. There is much to be done and many more children and families that need love.

Would you also prayerfully consider a special financial gift to Hidden Treasures this month? Your support means so much to us and to all of the children we are serving. Everything you do has a great ripple effect and has blessed us beyond words!

"Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9).

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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September 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Something I heard my dad say recently is, "Negative thinking brings negative results." But sometimes it is hard not to let negative thinking creep in when we are going through a tough situation. When you work with people who are facing very difficult situations in life, as we do, it can be hard to not see only the negative or the bad.

There is a lady that calls me at least once a week to tell me her problems (and she does have some doozies). She is a lady we have walked with and supported for years. When she can't get in touch with me, her daughter will call me and say, "Can you please call my mother? She says you are the only one that can make her feel better." It makes me happy that I can help, but the reason we can encourage each other is because our focus isn't on the problem, but the possibility for something GOOD to come out of the problem. We have to be able to see something good on the other side.

In every problem, God is there to show us something better. This is something I have to remember when working with children who have been through things we cannot even imagine. We can't have our focus on the terrible past or abuse they have faced, although that must be addressed. Our focus must be on how God is going to use those things for good and His glory!

Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

Recently when I was facing a very difficult situation with one of our children, I was frustrated and grumbling to the Lord. “I don’t understand. I don’t know what to do.” We have had more than eighteen children who we have raised for a time in our home. Every single child is different, every child goes through some kind of struggle and has problems (as we all do). As I continued crying out to the Lord and grumbling, I felt Him say, "You can't see what I see. You don't know what I am doing." How many times in all these years have I been blind and couldn’t see. Our mind gets focused on the problem and we don’t understand the growth and the beauty that can be experienced in the midst of it all.

Sometimes we may want a quick fix for our problems or our children's problems, but many times, there are things we just have to walk through with them. It may be a slow go, but if you keep on going you will get there.

I would ask for your prayers for the families that we walk with and support. Hidden Treasures not only serves as a children's ministry, but God has opened the doors through the years to serve and minister to families, schools, and our whole community. Many families here have children that are in need of much love and support. By working with the children, we are able to serve the parents also, whether it be through home visits or long phone calls or helping to buy groceries each month so they can feed their families. We love these families, and not only have we been able to encourage them, but they have been a great encouragement to us.

We would also ask for your prayers for one of our daughters, who has had health issues through the years. She is dealing with long term physical pain. This can lead to anxiety and that is something that she has struggled with. This last week, we had to have many tests run on her. The doctor was concerned and wanted everything checked out. It was a very hard couple of weeks especially, when dealing with anxiety. She leans on me for comfort and support and Enrique is the one who is with her for every test and doctor visit, in waiting rooms for long periods of time. We are grateful to have found loving, good doctors who want to help. Her tests were not cheap, but something we needed to do. She will need to have more tests run soon. Please pray for physical and emotional healing and for peace for us as we walk with her through this. We are trusting that God will provide for all our financial needs; we need to have more tests done.

Jose, the sweet little boy for whom Daniela and Jonathan have been caring, will finally be getting to go to his forever home this next week. The first family that was going to adopt him changed their minds suddenly. It was a surprise to everyone, but an incredible family who has been on a waiting list to adopt are now thrilled that they get to be his parents. The man who will be Jose's father is a firefighter. He and his wife live in a small town near the volcano Arenal a few hours away. Jose was recently asked, "Who's going to have a firefighter daddy?" And Jose raised his hands in delight and shouted "Me!" Although he doesn't understand everything, he is very excited for his new family, and we are thrilled that they will become a family soon. Jose was born premature and has an incredible story. God knew that what seemed bad would work out for good, and this sweet little boy would find his family!

Keeping what is true and good before us reminds us where our focus needs to be. I am keeping God's promises before me! I am believing and speaking that in every hard situation we may go through, good is on the other side!

Thank you so much for your love and support! Please remember us in your giving this month. I can't tell you how much it means to know you are there praying and standing with us!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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August 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Recently my Dad came here to Costa Rica to visit the family and he also was a speaker at our church conference. I am always so grateful for our time together. It is such a wonderful thing to have a father who loves us and encourages us. I am not sure how my life would be without him. I treasure our times together and the times he has with our children. It reminds me of how important it is to have a family.

Every child deserves a family and I believe having a family is one of the greatest gifts in the world. At the end of August, one of the little boys we have had for a short while will be going to his forever family home. It is always hard to say good-bye, but we are so grateful for the opportunity we have had to invest in his life. Although he may never remember us, there are seeds planted in his heart that will last forever. We are so thankful to know that he will be going into a wonderful home with wonderful, loving parents.

We will be getting things ready to care for more babies. We have already gotten two calls in the last week asking for help. The need is great, so please be in prayer for these sweet little ones. Getting a baby adjusted and settled into a new home can have its challenges. We are grateful for the help we have had from Dani and Jonathan, our daughter and son-in-law.

There are two special families that we continue to love and support; I have written about them in the past. We would ask for your prayers as things have not been easy for them. Many times we get calls asking for help, and the needs are great. They have been like a part of our family, and we need God's wisdom going forward.

Jose, Esther, and Juan are our adopted children's three youngest siblings. Although they don't live with us full-time, we are very much a part of their lives. Their mother has had many health issues, and it is very hard for her to hold down a full- time job. The three children look to us as their caregivers for love and guidance. They love their mother, but she has not been able to provide a stable home life for them as she struggles mentally and physically in many areas. Pray that we would have the resources to provide what they need. We help with rent and food and their schooling.

We also continue working with our dear friend Teresa. She has many children and more than twenty grandchildren; they all live together on a small piece of land. They also have many needs and look to us for help and guidance. She struggles with many health issues and has been in and out of the hospital. She feels the responsibility and burden for her family. As a single mother, the challenges are great. Her life has not been easy, but she doesn't complain. She loves her family and works hard to provide them with what they need. Pray for her health and her family's needs. They live in very poor conditions and their needs are great.

This is a new season for us. New doors have opened, like working with the Catholic home for girls and being a support to the Sisters there. This is a season of caring for more babies and continuing to walk with these sweet dear families. We are asking the Lord for guidance going forward, for the right people to walk with us and be a part of the Hidden Treasures team.

We know that we need people alongside of us to be more affective in reaching out to others and caring for more children. There are many needs all around, and we need the Lord to show us the best way going forward. We can't tell you how much your love and support means to us! Please continue to lift us up in prayer, and would you remember us in your August financial giving as well?

Without you, we couldn't do what we do. You have been a blessing to so many. When people need food, we can go to the store; when people need a doctor, we can help get them there; when a child needs school supplies and basic needs, we can help. All of these things and so much more, you have helped to make possible and it means to world to these families and children we care for. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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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

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April 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

I am amazed at how God uses one door to open another door, and He usually does that when we open our hearts and lives to people. When God calls you do to something, I believe He sends just the right people, sometimes when we least expect it, but definitely when we need it. He puts all the pieces together for a bigger purpose!

I would like to introduce to you Silvia Pena. I met her almost two years ago, when one of our foster babies was having trouble learning to walk. He had been born very small and everything took a little longer to learn. We were sent to her home each week so that he could receive therapy; but, in the end, not only did she help him, but she helped us too! I never would have imagined what she would come to mean to our family. She has become a mentor, a counselor, and a dear friend! She has opened her home to us more times than I can count. She has become part of the Hidden Treasures team.

When you take care of children and young adults who have been through trauma and difficulties, you need a support team, you need a listening ear…someone who can speak into your life and the challenges you face. Sometimes you just need a shoulder to cry on. Silvia has more college degrees than most people I know, but most of the time she shares with me about what she has learned from being a mother rather than what she has learned from a book. She loves us like family and encourages us in the Lord.

I tell you all this because Silvia has been a great help to us in starting a new project and opening up the Hidden Treasures home to new children. Silvia has been in some very strategic meetings (and she knows some very important people, which is a wonderful thing). The government has approved the project, for which we are so grateful! This is not an easy process, but Silvia has been a great help. We are now in the planning stages and we are very excited about the doors that are being open to help more children. Some of these children will be very young mothers and their newborns. The government needs a place for them. As you can imagine we will need a team of people giving them all the love and care that they will need. We would appreciate your prayers as we go forward.

We recently met with Silvia, our daughter Dani, and Dani's husband, Jonathan. Both Jonathan and Dani will be taking some intense courses over the next few months to get ready for the new children that come. We will also have other couples helping out. We are grateful for the team of people God is putting together! One thing we have learned over the years is that we cannot do this alone. We need people walking closely beside us and I am so grateful that God has brought us all together.

I also would like to share with you that at the beginning of April, our daughter Ruth will be going to Guatemala. We are so excited that she gets to go and serve with our dear friend Mary Purvis. Mary has a wonderful ministry that serves and helps the poor. Ruth will be serving in the feeding center for the children there and helping with the music program for the youth. Ruth has a wonderful voice and is very talented in music.

Ruth came to us when she was just a baby. Later, she was taken away from us and then put in an orphanage. Thank God, after a major battle, we were finally able to officially adopt her by age three. We know God has a plan and a purpose for her life. Ruth has a big heart and loves serving and helping others. Many of you have loved and supported her through the years and we are so grateful. We would ask for your prayers as she prepares for the trip. She will be staying for three months and then we will see what doors may open there and if she will be staying on after that.

I am so grateful for God's faithfulness. The road has not been easy but His love never fails! He heals, restores, and reveals His purpose. My life was changed in Guatemala, and Mary Purvis was on my very first trip. She was and is an inspiration to me! And now, after many years, my own daughter gets to go and be with Mary too! Isn't God just wonderful? He brings everything together in His perfect timing.

Thank you so much for your love and prayers! Many of you have stood with us from the very beginning and it is exciting to see what the Lord is doing. He is bringing new children in and sending our older children out to minister. He really does use one door to open another. Our sweet little foster baby is now with a very loving family. We opened our home and hearts to him and in return, many more doors have been open to us; he will remain in our hearts forever!

Please continue to keep Hidden Treasures in your giving this month and in your prayers. As you can see, we face many opportunities and needs. Our hope is in the Lord; we thank Him for friends like you.

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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March 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

There is a song I used to love to sing in church when I was growing up. In fact I can still hear many of our church elders harmonizing together as we sang it loud and clear. It was so beautiful, and singing it now brings back wonderful memories of joy and happiness. Maybe it is because the verse talks about just that: joy, happiness, and good news. Many of you, I am sure, will remember the song, "Our God Reigns" from Isaiah 52:7, which says: "How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news proclaiming peace, announcing news of happiness, the news that our God reigns!" In a world where there seems to be so much bad news, Jesus has called us to preach the GOOD news: the Gospel. The Gospel is about Jesus: His life, death, and Resurrection; His Kingdom. And that is the best news anyone could ever get!

Isaiah 61:1 says "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim GOOD news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release prisoners from darkness." In order to preach the GOOD news, we must have faith for things that we cannot see.

I have two dear friends that we have walked with for many years. One of the ladies is the mother of our five adopted children. We also care for and support three of her other younger children. I can't say she was my friend at first; she was poor and brokenhearted and living in darkness. We have walked through some pretty hard times with her and have wondered if she would make it.

Another dear friend is Teresa. We met her eight years ago. She lived in very poor conditions along with her children and eighteen grandchildren on a very small piece of land. Her home was not fit for all those grandbabies. The burdens she carried were great. Bringing "good news" in such bad circumstances can be hard, especially when everything around you seems to be falling apart. Also, there are some people around who like to be negative. It is easier to talk and blame others for their problems rather than believing that maybe...just maybe...God is able!

I have found after walking with so many families and children who are brokenhearted, the best thing we can do is give hope, encourage, and speak words in faith. It may not be what we are seeing; in fact it usually isn't at all! But we can remember God's promises and we can choose to believe that His Word is true! That isn't always easy when you are right in the middle of a hard situation, but remembering and declaring the goodness of God is SO important. It encourages us and the ones God has entrusted to us in our faith; it helps us move forward in our walk with Him.

Last December, I started telling my two youngest children that the year 2019 was going to be a good year. Last year was a hard year for us, especially for one of our daughters who had been suffering in great pain. Each night, I would walk with them and we would talk of all the Lord was doing and all He was going to do in the new year. I watched their faith rise as we talked about GOOD and encouraging things. In faith, I told them "Get ready, this is going to be a good year." We talked about God's faithfulness and, even though, yes, things had been hard, God was bringing us into a new season. Every night, without fail, we walk...in fact they can't wait to go...and by deciding to put our focus on God's goodness, I have seen our joy increase greatly!

Recently, I got a call from my friend Teresa. She still has many problems and has even more grandbabies in the small place where they live, but she has seen the goodness and faithfulness of God! And now it isn't just me encouraging her but she encourages me! Isn't it funny how God works? She has been through the fire and her faith is stronger than ever. I am amazed at the strength God has given her. She recently had surgery; her health hasn't been good, but she gets out of bed every day and works hard for her family. She knows having a big family can be hard and tells me, "If I can do it, you can too!" Last night as she told me about God's faithfulness and goodness, I couldn't hold back the tears; it had been a hard day. I was feeling tired and hearing her GOOD news of joy and happiness lifted my spirits and gave me strength. Even though things had been hard, God is able! He had lifted her up and at the same time, He had lifted me up too. How wonderful is the Lord!!

In Ephesians 4:29 it says, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your months but only such as is GOOD for building up, as it fits the occasion , that it may give GRACE and PEACE for those who hear."

Please pray for my two dear friends, Teresa and Isabel. We continue to walk with them and support and love Teresa's many grandchildren. We also love and support Isabel's three children, our children's other siblings. Although they don't live with us full-time, they are very much a part of our family. They have many needs and need love and guidance. I am so grateful to see the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in their lives.

Jesus said, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel (good news) to the whole creation." We must spread the GOOD news. Our focus must be to encourage and bring hope. Without the Lord, things seem hopeless. With Him all things are possible.

We would appreciate your prayers as we continue getting the government's approval for taking in more children and helping young unwed mothers. We have more meetings coming up soon. So we appreciate you remembering us in your prayers and in your giving. Also, please pray for our older children; most are working and studying, but they need prayers as they make big decisions for their future. And pray for Enrique. He carries so much. He is a spiritual father to many and every good father is concerned for his children. He has been such a strength and I know he would appreciate your prayers as we make decisions going forward. We could not help and encourage others without you! You have been such a blessing and encouragement to all of us!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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January 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! We are really excited about 2019! God is doing new and wonderful things. Last year was often hard and challenging. It was a time for growing, learning, and preparing for new things to come. We are so thankful for this new season and all the Lord is doing.

Many of you know we have been doing a lot of much-needed work on the "Carolyn House". The new roof was just finished and it looks beautiful! Getting the new roof has helped greatly with the humidity in the house and the best part of all is we have no more leaks! We can't thank you enough for your support. We are so very grateful! The next project is to get the new gutters and finish painting and fixing walls.

We want to get as much as we can fixed and finished so we can receive more children in our home. Many new doors have opened and we have been meeting and talking with some very important people.

Even after nineteen years of caring for so many children, there are still challenges to be faced and new things to learn. Every child is different. I have had lots of support, love, and a wonderful husband by my side every step of the way. But, imagine, a young single girl, all alone, just a baby herself, becoming a mother. This is what is happening in Costa Rica and in many places around the world. It is a very big problem.

Recently, we were in a meeting with a lady that has worked in the government and children's agencies for years. She began to tell us of the great need to help these young mothers. Very young girls, not even in their teens, are having babies. Right now in several of the government run orphanages, there are five girls, ages twelve and under, who have recently had babies and several more who are pregnant.

They are orphans and need a mother themselves. They have no idea how to care for their babies. The government does not want to separate these young mothers from their babies; instead they want them to learn how to be good mothers and also have a chance to get an education and have a home. They have asked us if we would be willing to help them. The government does not have a place to put them and they need special attention. This is something new. We wouldn't be getting one child but two...mother and baby.

We would also continue receiving newborn babies as we have been doing. Many of our adopted and foster children are grown and are studying and working hard. So we want to be able to receive new children and help these young mothers. As we get our house ready, we are in the planning stages and talking with people who will be volunteering and others who will be working full-time helping with the children. Daniela, our oldest daughter, and her new husband, Jonathan, are very interested in working with the children full-time in the future. They have been in meetings and are working with us very closely.

After several years of taking in foster babies, we have realized how important it is to have help and support. These children come needing so much love and care. Many times, they are born premature and underweight. This means they need extra care and attention. Please be in prayer. This month we have some very important meetings and we will be making some big decisions as we move forward. Pray we can finish all repairs on the house and raise salaries and support to have the help we need.

We are so grateful to have several new couples who have joined our team. We have been amazed at how the Lord is putting it all together. Change is not easy; last year was a time of change and healing and making a way for something new. I can’t tell you how much your prayers and financial support have meant to us. Please continue to remember us this month and throughout 2019.

God heals! God restores! It is so important to put our trust in Him. We are so grateful for God's mercy and grace. His faithfulness is never-ending and His love is great. Thank you for standing with us and we pray God will bless you in this new year! "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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