We closed out the year 2016 with a grand celebration of Navidad aka Christmas! All of our 13 children ages 5-12, received gifts. A special thanks to Lola Church and students of Germantown Christian School and many others how made it possible for us to have a grand Christmas party with PRESENTS!!!  Before the day of the party, we decided to teach the children the valuable lesson of giving. Thus, the children selected baby clothes we had in storage, and they personally donated articles of clothing to underprivileged, pregnant women or mothers with infants. This was a very treasurable moment. There was one mother who had recently found out that she was going to have twins, consequently every article of clothing was received with great gratitude. Most importantly, the children were taught the importance of giving and not only receiving.

Days prior to the Christmas celebration, the children were asking about their receiving a present. Our youngest, Andres, of 5 years of age, yelled out in his small high-pitched voice, with his shepherd attire, beard included, “And my present?” You can imagine the excitement of a 5-year-old, who has been told there would be presents, and then also imagine how many times he asked us about his present, even up unto his receiving it. It was his birthday also, hence he was especially excited. The children received hygienic needs, such as toothpaste, brushes, hand towels, hair berets, and much more. Naturally, Christmas would not be Christmas without toys, there were Yoyo’s, soccer balls, Barbie dolls, and all sorts of fun and excitement that I can not recall them all! All the children were with smiles this day, as they expressed their joy, as some received Christmas presents for the first time this day. 

They had practiced a Christmas pageant, detailing the birth of Christ. We wished to teach the children that this is a time where we celebrate Christ, not only presents and giving.  Most of the boys had beards on, and this made some of them look so grown up. TIME quickly came to my mind when I saw them! How quickly it flees, and how we must work while it is day, because night is soon coming. Momentarily these children will no longer be children, and what are we doing NOW to exemplify Christ in their lives?

We, at the House of Refuge, desire to seize the time with the children in our area, whom God has entrusted us with. Time is swiftly passing, many of our children have received Christ, but it does not stop here. There are additional children in the Leon, Nicaragua, who are  waiting on YOU to sponsor them, and permit them the opportunity of a place of security, a refuge. A place where they may see Christ. 17 children are needing sponsors. Please help us seize the time, commit now in your heart to change the LIFE of a child. The time is now!

Happy New Year.

Bettina Long

ALMI International Director of the House of Refuge

León, Nicaragu 

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