May 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As the world continues to be faced with so many uncertainties, many people are facing very hard situations. But at the same time, we continue to see God working in the hearts and lives of so many! I am so grateful for God's love and grace, and I am still amazed at His faithfulness. Sometimes it is the hardest situations that push us toward the Lord.

God has opened up many doors for us to be able reach out to families in need. We have continued to give out food boxes and each box that we deliver ends up having a special story! When you are stressed and hurting and feeling alone, receiving a big box filled with love can go a long way. Our oldest son Nelson, who has been helping Enrique deliver the boxes said, "Mom there is something about these boxes; I never thought a box of food could change people's lives so much!"

Nelson has been so blessed to be a part of delivering and talking with the families. He recently delivered a box to a dear friend's home. Her father left her and her mother and younger brother weeks before. The stress had taken such a big toll on her mother that she began to take out all her frustrations on her children. Nelson's friend was very sad and knew her mother needed help.

We packed up special items just for them, and even put in toothpaste, shampoo, and bars of soap...things they had been without and couldn't afford. Her mother was so relieved and grateful! She felt loved and not so alone. Simply being able to brush your teeth or wash your hair can make you feel a whole lot better too! Nelson's friend said her mother completely changed. The whole atmosphere in the home changed. Wow! She called Nelson, so grateful and said, "My mother knows she doesn't have to carry everything alone."

Recently, Enrique delivered a box to his childhood friend. We found out he just lost his job and he has a young daughter who is deaf and has special needs. It has been a very hard time for them. Enrique has gotten a message every day from him and his wife telling us what a difference the food has made. It brought them some peace and happiness in the midst of such a hard time. I could tell you so many stories of all the families! I think just knowing we are not walking alone in this difficult time is so important.

When the Lord spoke to us to begin delivering boxes, we had no idea where the money would come from. The coronavirus was growing in Costa Rica and getting very bad in the United States. We wondered how that would effect us, and knew we needed to stay on a tight budget. It can be easy for fear and panic to come in. But God had other plans, and we heard Him say to make up several boxes and deliver them, even though the money wasn't there.

The very next day, a missionary couple that lives in Costa Rica called and said the Lord wanted them to give us the money for the boxes. I was so surprised! And the funny thing is, they had stepped out in faith, and a few days later, God supplied all their needs! We have laughed and cried about this together and have all been so blessed to see God's love! He thinks of everyone and everything. Before God even asks you to do something, He has already supplied your need.

Letting fear creep in can stop you in your tracks. I look back now, and I am so grateful I didn't give in to the fear I felt at first. So many people wouldn't have received the blessing God had for them and we wouldn't have seen, once again, just how great God's faithfulness is.

One thing that has helped us during this time is to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. The days are busy with online classes and homeschool, but we try to do something fun every evening as a family. We also are having devotionals with the kids at least two or three times a week. I think this is a time where God wants us to be focused on Him. I do believe good things come out of hard situations, and I think God is calling many people back to Him.

We want to thank you so much for your prayer and financial support. Because of you, we have been able to continue making up boxes and also continue helping children in the community. We know for the next few months, and maybe longer, people will be facing some very difficult situations. We want to continue helping these same families each month with food boxes and phone calls and messages. Would you please pray about continuing to stand with us?

God is doing something so much bigger than just food...although that is very necessary...He is opening up hearts to Him!

We continue to pray for you and your loved ones during this time. We pray in the midst of it all, that God will give you comfort and peace. We are so grateful for your love and friendship! It makes all the difference in the world.

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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April 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We are praying for you and your loved ones as the Coronavirus crisis continues around the world. Costa Rica is certainly feeling the effects of COVD-19 as many people shelter at home and businesses and schools close. The number of cases is rising here, as it is around the world.

Most people around the world are not able to buy extra things at the grocery store. They live day-to-day, only buying the things they need. So having enough food during quarantine can be very hard. We knew the families we love and support would be in need. We are grateful that we have been able to share with them, thanks in large part to your generous support. And I am so grateful that our oldest son, who has a huge heart, has been able to help us make deliveries to ones in need.

It is heartbreaking to get calls from dear ones who don't know how they are going to make it. One little girl called me very excited that the school near her had delivered her a carton of milk. It was her birthday! She turned nine years old. So we were able to send over some cereal in our box today to go with her milk! That was what she wanted, and that was a big treat! I am sure this will be a birthday she will never forget, and hopefully when she remembers how hard things were all around her, she can remember that someone cared. God has given us an even bigger opportunity during this time to show love, even if it is an encouraging message or video chat. We need to stay in touch now more than ever.

This week, we had our second virtual home group meeting. I can't tell you just how much we have been blessed by these meetings and this group. We shared fears and concerns and how we have felt being in quarantine. It is wonderful to be able to share together, and being together definitely strengthens our faith. We are grateful to have our dear friends and home group leaders, Roldan and Grettel, who have walked with us and helped to guide us for many years. The Lord does not want us to be alone during this time. It is so important to speak life to one another and build each other up as we walk through this together.

Here in Costa Rica, the government has been very strict about people going out; people are only allowed to go out during certain hours of the day and to stay at home as much as they can. We now have a curfew, and no one is allowed to go out after 8:00PM in the evening. People are being fined heavily if they are caught. We hope and pray that this will help to keep the number of Coronavirus cases down.

In our home, we are trying to keep things as peaceful and upbeat as we can. We limit the amount of TV news we watch at night, choosing instead to do something fun or relaxing as a family together. This is a time that we can grow closer and get to know each other better. Even with our older children that are no longer at home, we have tried to do regular video chats and talk over any fears and concerns they may be having. Although we are missing holding our new grandbaby so much, we are grateful we can see him on video chats and see his sweet smile and looking back at us!

Our plan is to continue delivering boxes of food for the needy as much as we can. It brings us so much joy to be able to put together a box of things and know how much it will mean to them. We have several banana trees in our yard, and every day there are at least four to six bananas ready to be picked. God had just the right timing so we could put bananas in each box! We can leave the boxes at their front doors since we want everyone to stay safe. There are so many needs and heartbreaking situations, but at the same time, God is opening people's hearts to Him and there are many ways we can show love to people who are hurting.

At the beginning of March, my Dad called me just to check on us. He didn't know how exactly bad things were about to get, but here is something he said to me that day that I have held in my heart: "Instead of focusing on the circumstances, we should focus on our purpose." It could be real easy to get focused on the circumstances around us, but if we ask the Lord what our purpose is in the midst of it all, He will show us! And purpose brings peace and joy, just like packing up a box or spending time with family or cooking dinner and just being together.

We are praying for God's protection and love to keep you safe during this very different time we are living in. Thank you for your love and support for us. It is hard to express just how much that means to us, but we truly do appreciate your love and friendship! Blessings to you and your family.

We will be putting updates about how things are going here on the Hidden Treasures Costa Rica page in Facebook if you would like to read more.

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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March 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Over the years God has called us to walk with people that have faced some very challenging and difficult problems. Whether our problems are big or small, knowing how to help someone when they are in distress can be hard. Having just the right thing to say isn't always the answer, but when someone knows you care about them, that can make all the difference. I've heard it said, "Rarely can a response make something better, what makes something better is a connection."

David said in Psalm 139, "O Lord, you have searched me and know me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar." When we love someone, we care about the details of their lives. So, how much more must God care about the details of our lives? He knows us and, in spite of all our flaws, He loves us.

I was thinking the other day about a story my mother told me years ago. She said when she was about thirteen or fourteen years old, her mother had to have major surgery and was in the hospital. My mother couldn't wait to go up to the hospital room to see her. When Mom arrived, she rushed into the room and cried, "Momma look at this awful pimple on my face! What am I going to do?!" She got closer so her mother could see the big, bright, red pimple that had formed on her chin. Her mother, still groggy and waking up from surgery, looked up with loving eyes and said, "Carolyn, I am so sorry" and gave her a hug.

When my mother told me this story, she said, "The thing I will always remember is how my mother responded. In spite of all my selfishness, she showed me just how much she cared." That is a funny story that my mother and I would laugh about, but isn't that what people want the most in every situation...just to know someone cares? The most important thing that we can do is to show we care.

The last few months have been hard here in Costa Rica. We have had to walk through some very difficult situations with some dear families. A lady that we have helped and supported has been very sick. She has many children and grandchildren that depend on her. She carries a great burden for her family. And since December, four of our dear friends have passed away. Enrique's cousin's wife passed away suddenly. Their youngest child is only six years old. It was very sad for all the family, but in those moments, God gives us the opportunity to show we care.

At the beginning of this year, the kids received a puppy. We thought maybe this would help bring joy to our daughter, who has faced many health challenges. Not only has it helped her, but Enrique has been able to bring the puppy into other people's homes that are sad and suffering. It has been amazing the joy this puppy has brought to them, too! And not just the kids, but adults as well. They have even asked when we could bring her over again!

When you love someone, you want to fix all their problems or make them go away. But only God can do the fixing. We have to walk with them, and whether it is a hug or a listening ear or even the joy a puppy can bring, what matters the most is just showing you care.

We would ask for your prayers for our friends who have lost loved ones and ask for wisdom as we walk through this together. Enrique has been visiting homes and lending an ear to people that just need to know someone cares. He has a real pastor's heart. His heart has been heavy for many people going through such hard time

We want to be able to keep supporting the families we have walked with through the years. We have helped with school supplies and food and rent. Our funds have been down significantly, so we would ask for your prayers and financial support. We trust that God will supply all our needs so we can continue to be a blessing where needed.

We have had many doctor bills, too; children are often in need of medical care. And we would ask for continued prayers for our daughter. We know God has the answer and we will continue to seek him for peace and strength. We cannot tell you just how much your love and support means to us and many more. We deeply appreciate you standing with us!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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February 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

This has been a very busy and wonderful time for us. Recently, our oldest daughter, Daniela, gave birth to our first grandbaby. Ian. He is the sweetest baby boy and weighed over eight and half pounds when he was born. Ian means "Gift from God " and what a gift he is! Daniela and her husband, Jonathan, are very happy and doing well. Ian has lots of Aunts and Uncles that love him very much and it has been a very exciting time for our family!

Those of you who have been our friends for many years may remember that 20 years ago, we received Daniela and her brothers and sisters into our home for foster care. But there were disputes with some local government officials, and after more than one year in our care, Daniela and her siblings were taken out of our home and put into a government-run orphanage. We had no idea if we would ever see them again.

But one day, in the midst of many tears, God gave me a Bible verse found in Jeremiah 31:16... "'Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you,' says the Lord. 'Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future...your children will come again to their own land.'"

I knew that the Lord had spoken and had given me His word. I held on to this word as we went through a very long and hard adoption process. The Lord restored our children to us! Holding Ian and seeing how God has blessed our family, I am reminded of God's promises and His faithfulness. "There is hope for your future! " says the Lord! We can't ever lose hope. Hope is the belief that things WILL change. We must hold onto hope in order to live a life of faith.

February is always a big month for us as the new school year begins and summer break is over. There are lots of extra expenses, with school supplies and school books and uniforms. Every child is required to wear a uniform in order to go to school, and for many families it can be a challenge to get everything they need.

So, we will be busy getting things, not only for our own children, but the families that we help and support. Being able to go to school is such a wonderful blessing and will definitely change their lives forever.

Please pray for us during this time. Pray for guidance as we make big decisions concerning each one of our children, who are so many different ages and at so many different stages in life. The older ones are making decisions about jobs and colleges and some are even dating; how important is that!

Enrique and I need guidance and wisdom for the older ones and energy and patience for the younger ones. We also continue to walk with one of our daughters as she faces many health challenges. We have had many doctor bills and medical expenses. This has not been easy, but I do believe God has a purpose and plan. We have faith that things are going to change for her this year. This is my hope and prayer. We need the Lord's strength as we walk with her.

We are so grateful for the encouragement that we have gotten from dear friends in the United States. In hard and difficult times, you realize how much you need family and friends to walk with you. None of us were meant to walk through life alone.

We sure do thank you for your love, prayer, and financial support! Please continue to stand with us as the Lord leads. It is hard to express just how much it means to us; we are so grateful to you and to the Lord. He is faithful and His promises are true!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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January 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Recently as I was going through several boxes of old cards and letters, I found cards and letters that my Grandpa Simpson had written to me years ago. After I moved away from home, he would write me at least once a month and sometimes more. He would always include an encouraging word at the bottom of each letter. Wishing I had time to go through and read each one, I quickly opened up a few cards, and one of his notes caught my eye. He wrote in black bold letters, "God keeps His Word!"

Grandpa had been a faith missionary in the bayous of Louisiana for years and Grandpa knew first hand of the faithfulness of God. It had not been easy, by any means, but God did indeed keep His word! Looking at Grandpa's handwritten note, I felt God say to me, "Just as I was faithful to them, I will be faithful to you and your children." He was reminding me that no matter how difficult our circumstances are, He is faithful. God brings about things in His own perfect timing and He is at work, even when we cannot see.

Last month, to my surprise, I received a letter from one of our former foster children. She had lived with us for several years. Her name is Flor. Enrique and I were young and engaged to be married when I got the call asking if I would be able to receive a fourteen-year-old girl. "Fourteen years old," I thought, "I am not even old enough to be her mother!" But I knew in my heart the answer was "yes".

Flor came from extreme poverty and had watched her mother pass away because of complications with a pregnancy. Flor had done everything she could to save her mother's life. She came to us broken and angry. The two years she lived with us were not easy. We did everything we knew to do to make her feel loved. There were many late nights talking and praying with her. Flor was a beautiful girl and she caught the eye of every guy around. We worried what her life would become.

After several years with us, she was moved into a government-run orphanage, something none of us wanted. After a short time there, she ran away, and we lost contact with her for a time. All the time and love you pour into someone and you wonder, was it even worth it? Will their lives ever change? It has been over twenty years since Flor came to us and she never left our hearts and prayers. She still calls me, "Ma", and Enrique, "Pa". Even though her life has taken many twists and turns, and four children later, she never forgot all the love she received. We didn't do it; God did!

In her recent letter she asked for forgiveness for any trouble she caused us and explained to us all the hurt and pain she had felt through the years. She said she has received counseling and is seeking the Lord. She never has forgotten Him! It was a long beautiful letter that brought tears to our eyes. God does keep His word; He is faithful!

Sometimes we may think it is all up to us, but what about when we do our best and people still turn away? What about when we love someone and they don't love us back? They may even treat us badly, but we must ask ourselves, do we love people so they will change or do we love people because God told us to do so? We may never see all that the Lord does in someone's life, but we must always be obedient to His calling. Even in all our mistakes He is faithful and it is HIS love that will prevail!

I am sure I appreciated Grandpa's letters before, but wow, do they mean more than ever now! When we are young, we don't know all life will bring; it isn't easy. But Grandpa knew. What a wonderful thing to be reminded that God keeps His word!

We hope this will be a great New Year for each and every one of you! God is doing new things and we would appreciate your prayers for all that is ahead. Thank you so much for all your love and support at Christmas time. The children were blessed because of you!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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