The Joyful Margins between PA and Peru
“There is so much joy on the margins!” This declaration from a pastor friend of ours expresses our reflection on the past couple of months that we shared in the USA with family, friends, and new friends. We had returned to the States with stories of hardships abounding with hope, and over and over again we were encouraged by the depth of the reception, interest, and commitment we encountered from our partners. For this and so much more, we give thanks to our Lord…
We give thanks for the presence of KAI leaders and the strong turnout to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Kids Alive International, and even more for the unity of spirit among those in attendance in rejoicing over the past century of God’s reach through this ministry to rescue those on the margins. [KAI President Matt Parker pictured on left; L-R Kristin and Mark with KAI Lima graduate, Adrian, Regional Director, Rich Anderson, and Peru Field Director, Mike Fietje; not pictured, Director of Missions Mobilization, Brian Veen].
We give thanks for a new friend who learned more about Kids Alive Peru and decided to make an extraordinary donation in order to build the next house in our Orchard Children’s Home. Other friends of the ministry, through the Kids Alive office, have committed to paying the remaining costs associated with the project, so the construction of the next house is funded! We anticipate breaking ground in the near future. Just a week before learning of this person’s commitment, we had heard that the director of The Orchard could fill another house with all the children she was having to turn away for lack of space.
We give thanks for the child sponsors who have committed to helping us raise the children that have been rescued. The regular prayer and support through monthly sponsorship contributions matter more than you can imagine. We still need more sponsors to join us in this “long obedience in the same direction.” There is tremendous difficulty in raising children who have been abused and abandoned. If you wish to join in this hopeful work that has no end as it presses into God’s eternal kingdom, please contact us and we can connect you with one of the children here from The Orchard or elsewhere in Peru.
We give thanks for the Lancaster County Christian School family for our shared partnership in kingdom education, including our own children attending the school for the 4th quarter – a blessing of fellowship that characterized our total experience. The special senior class gift and the corresponding matching funds through the LCCS-KAI Peru Next Steps Initiative will strengthen the educational programs of Kids Alive Peru and provide opportunities for our graduates to take their next steps. From LCCS’ investment into our own children to those we serve in Peru, a testimony has been established of fruit that will remain from LCCS’ “Living Education.”
We give thanks for the opportunity Mark had to create and teach the Capital Seminary (connected with Lancaster Bible College) course, “Missional Families in a Global World.” The interaction and sharing with the students and the broader college community hold the promise of impacting those on the margins in ways that God will orchestrate for His glory.
We give thanks for the opportunities we had to connect with so many dear friends from different circles, including our church family and extended church families. The conversations we have shared with one another we will continue to treasure and hold before the Lord, trusting Him together. We found ourselves learning about very meaningful expressions of God’s justice and righteousness on the margins through the mission being lived out among those we are honored to call brothers and sisters in His family. For those we did not see in person, please know you were missed, and we look forward to the next opportunity we have to visit with you!
We give thanks for the opportunity to meet a U.S. Representative during our family’s visit to Washington, D.C. During our tour of museums and sites around our nation’s capital, we were reminded of the vulnerable moments in our nation’s history, from its very inception. Our trust in our true King deepened as we continue intercession on behalf of our country. We focus our intercession according to the request shared with us by this representative mentioned above – “for wisdom and patience.”
We give thanks for all of the experiences our family had during this stateside work assignment. There were many fun outings, and our boys had the opportunity to play baseball, reigniting the joy they have in playing this game with others.
Finally, we give thanks for our family, with whom we freely go forth in the love and mission that we share. Counting the visit of Mark’s brother Andrew’s family right before we left Peru, what a delight it was for our children to play with all 26 of their cousins (and now there is a 27th cousin to meet when we visit the next time)! The times we all shared with immediate and extended family were precious. Oswald Chambers reminds us that “if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and leave all consequences with Him.” As a precious reminder that He is trustworthy to handle all such things related to our family that we love so much, this beautiful double-rainbow appeared over Kristin’s parents’ home when we were preparing to depart for the final time during this visit.
As human beings, we often fear being marginalized. More than the margins being places to be avoided, may we live there among those turning to see the One whose kingdom has come and is coming, a new creation breaking forth into the margins even as the old one fades away.
Mark, Kristin, Caleb, Jacob, and Rachel Coté
Missionaries of Discipleship and Development based in Pucallpa, Peru
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