Rescued From The Red Light District

26 Jan

Written by Heidi Boyle

Well it’s an exciting time around Findesin (A safe home for girls).  We have been anxiously awaiting for a bedroom and bathroom to be remodeled.  Now that this project is complete, a few more girls will be rescued from extremely unhealthy situations.  Thankfully, they will be able to join the home very soon.

As promised, here are the before and after pictures of the remodel project:  A huge thank you to all who contributed to make this possible.

before   bedroomfloorbedroom2

This week the staff is sorting out eight new applications of potential residents.  This entire process has been very difficult.  The administrator of the home (Mama Ruth) and her team have been repeatedly going to the red light district in Bogota. They have been passing out flyers with information about Findesin to prostitutes who have young daughters between the ages of 10-12.  These daughters of prostitutes are also sold for sex as cheap as 5 mil COP, which is the equivalent of a couple US dollars.  It is horrific and heart-wrenching to even think about such atrocities, especially when I think of my own children and how I would feel if this was forced upon them.

Some of these mothers have no choice.  Some are abused, on drugs, and forced to do unspeakable acts. However, in the midst of the darkness, there is always hope.   Findesin is offering these poor mothers trapped in a cycle of pain and abuse a chance to give their daughters a different life.  This new and radically different life is filled with true love, freedom, hope, safety, education, and a  bright future.  Please pray for these young frightened girls and their mothers.  Also, be praying for the beautiful girls currently living at Findesin.  This is going to be a huge adjustment for all involved. No doubt, frustrations and fights will arise.

When I was young, my siblings and I fought, and believe me there were times when I was furious at one older brother in particular.  However, even in my fury I never in my wildest dreams thought of wanting to sell my brother to make a little profit and rid myself of him.  Apparently, many others think human trafficking is acceptable.

Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Israel was no exception to being trafficked.  Yes, Joseph was foolish and prideful as a young man, but who of us isn’t at times?  His brothers, in a fit of jealousy, sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver to a few Ishmaelites headed to Egypt.  Once in Egypt, he was sold again to a man named Potipher, an officer of Pharoah, the King of Egypt.

While in Egypt, Joseph was forgotten, betrayed, lied to, accused of attempted rape, and left to rot in prison. But God was with him and always showed him his faithful love.  Soon, Joseph won the favor of the prison warden and God gave Joseph the ability to interpret dreams.  When Pharoah had a disturbing dream that needed to be interpreted, God had a plan to use Joseph.  At once, Joseph was taken from prison and when the dream was interpreted correctly by Joseph, Pharoah made him second in command in all of Egypt.  Only Pharoah himself ranked higher than Joseph.

The dream Pharoah had was about a severe world-wide famine coming soon.  As a result, Pharoah and Joseph prepared wisely. Meanwhile, Joseph’s father Jacob, who was made to believe that his poor son Joseph was dead, heard about the grain available in Egypt.  So Jacob sent his remaining sons to go get some grain before they all died of starvation.

Long story short, Joseph was reunited with his brothers.  He saved them, forgave them, blessed them all and told them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Ex. 50:20

Only God knows the plans He has for you as well as the plans for these girls being rescued, and for your own loved ones. But this I know: What the enemy intends for evil, God intends for good to accomplish far more than we could ever imagine. So today, if you’re feeling forgotten, betrayed, or alone in a dark pit, remember God sees. God knows your pain.  God will never leave you.  God will comfort you. God has great plans to prosper you and not to harm you. He has plans to give you hope and a future. In your deepest pit, trust Him.

Let His light invade the darkness!

Only 5 Months Left

15 Jan

New Picture

Dec 2013 034

It’s hard to believe that in 5 short months we will be back in Wenatchee, Wa.  Our feelings are mixed.  We have grown to love the delicious food, beautiful landscape, the excitement of big city life and the unique Colombian culture. No doubt we will miss our friends who have become like family, the bakeries, the exotic fruit, and the contagious joy of the Colombian people.

A few years ago, packing up a family of five and moving to a foreign country for two years seemed outrageous and overwhelming.  And many people told us we were crazy.  I must admit, leaving family and friends was not easy.  Stepping out into the unknown was scary.  Letting go of comforts and all that was familiar was a radical leap of faith!  However, it was a plunge into the unknown we will never regret. During those initial months of preparation we all felt anxiety, but the peace in our hearts trumped the fears we felt.   Each of us knew this crazy adventure was exactly what God was calling us to.

Fast forward to the present and all five of us can say it has been one of the best decisions of our lives.  We have been stretched and we’ve learned lessons we never would have learned in the comforts of home.  We’ve failed forward in our mistakes.  We’ve cried tears of joy and sorrow.  We all have a new appreciation for so many things.  Our spiritual roots have grown and we have a greater sense of strength.  We have assurance that with God, all things are possible.

And with that, here are a few things you can be praying for:

*Ella got bit by a stray dog this week and she has to have a series of rabies vaccines. (Let me just say needles are one of her greatest fears)

*For doors to be open for employment for both Kelly and I

*That we would finish strong in these last five months and seize the days

*That we would find a reliable car when we return

*That we would give our best to everyone within our sphere of influence

*That we would shine the light of Jesus in all things

As always, we are eternally grateful for your support, prayers and love. May you take radical leaps of faith in 2015.

En Cristo,

The Boyle Family

Why?

5 Jan

Guasca

 

Written by Heidi Boyle

When I was 20 years old my mom asked if I would help pick out the clothes for my sister to wear in her open casket. My sister was 21 when she died and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.  Her death was sudden and traumatic.  Asking God “why” is a common reaction to tragedy. I asked God why many times after her death and again when my husband and I spread the ashes of our daughter Elizabeth Grace. I’ve asked God why in countless situations regarding health, death, cancer, abuse, suffering and so on.  In most cases, there are no clear answers as to why, but I’ve learned to trust God’s heart in the midst of the whys.

Lately, I’ve been asking God why am I so blessed?

Why have I never gone hungry?

Why do I have a closet full of shoes and clothes?

Why do I have access to clean water any time I want it?

Why have I never been enslaved?

Why was I born into a country of affluence and opportunity?

Why have I been blessed with 3 beautiful, healthy children?

Why have I had access to an incredible education?

Why have I eluded genocide, natural disasters, and deadly diseases?

Why do I have transportation, a home, amazing health care etc.?

I could go on and on. Suffice it to say as I reflect on all that God has accomplished in 2014 I feel very much like King David when he said the following in 2 Samuel 2:18:

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”

God has done more than I could ever express in our family, in the school we work at, in the ministry we work with, and in our church.  We praise him for the lessons we’ve learned, the trials we’ve endured, the friendships we’ve made, and the endless miracles we have witnessed. We praise him for each day, especially for his unending faithfulness.

We also praise God for the miracle of financial provision for The Beehive (also known as Findesin, the ministry we work with).  Our 13 year old son Ezra organized a fundraiser back in June with a goal of $10,000 by the end of the year.  The fundraiser brought in $9,607.00 dollars!  Another 13 year old girl in Wenatchee asked her friends to donate money towards Findesin rather than giving her birthday gifts.  We thank God for her generous heart of gold.  Additionally, a business man and good friend of ours had a client appreciation party and his clients donated $3,300.00 to Findesin.  Last but not least, our home church in Wenatchee took a special offering during Advent and the total given was $12,667.00.  God is faithful.  All the time!

In 2015 may you trust God’s heart even when your own heart cries out in desperation “Why God?”

And, may you reflect on your life as King David did and ask: “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”

Happy New Year!

The Boyle Family

2014 Will Soon Be History

30 Dec

Well here we are just one day away from 2014 being behind us.  Time marches on even when we wish we could slow things down.  We are on break from school for a few weeks and enjoying every minute to sleep, read, play games, watch movies, spend time with friends and relax.  We decided not to travel over our break, in part because we went to the states last summer to see family and friends, and also because Heidi suffers from terrible migraines when we change elevation. So we are enjoying the surrounding area of Bogota and the comforts of home.  Below is a picture of a view of Bogota. The other photo is a church in a little town called La Calera. It’s located in the mountains about an hour drive from Bogota.  The church is part of the town square that is representative of almost all Latin American cities.

LaCallera

BogotaView

Tomorrow at the stroke of midnight, 2014 will be behind us. We wanted to give you one last chance to help Ezra reach his goal of raising $10,000 dollars for the girls who live at Findesin, (The Beehive).  It is such an amazing miracle that our 13 year old son is only $600 away from his goal.  Thank you to all of you who have donated.  If you want to know more about his efforts check out this link:  Here is the website where you can donate.

Other than that, we just want to tell you how much we miss you and appreciate your support, love, and prayers for our family.  It isn’t always easy living abroad but your support has sustained us in so many ways.

We hope you had a great Christmas with the ones you love and we praise God for all he accomplished in 2014.

May you know the depths of His love with each passing day of 2015!

With Gratitude,

The Boyle Family

O Come Emmanuel

23 Dec

Written by Heidi Boyle

At times I reflect on the recent world events and I shudder. I think about beheadings, the terrible atrocities of ISIS, extreme racism dividing nations and families, Boko Haram and 300 innocent girls kidnapped in Nigeria,  the Mexican cartel and 45 student teachers slaughtered, the spreading of Ebola, children murdered in Pakistan while attending school, the millions of world-wide refugees and displaced civilians, and the list goes on and on.  Of course my own struggles and pain can cripple me.  But all of it combined can crush me and bring me to tears.

As we all know, there is nothing new under the sun.  And a long time ago the world waited under the weight of their own pain for a Savior.  He came not as expected.  First, as a baby wrapped in cloths.  Immanuel, God with us.  Then he poured out his life as a ransom.  He endlessly served the least of these.  And while we were yet sinning, Christ died for us.  Such amazing love and scandalous grace convicts me to the core.

He was wrapped in cloths at birth and the cloths were the only thing left in the empty tomb.  He is risen and ALL authority in heaven and earth is given to him.  So I take my pain and find rest for my soul in the God who knows the name of every last star in the sky.  I am reminded how His ways and thoughts are higher than mine.  He knows how many hairs are on my head.  He knows each of us intimately and knows our thoughts from afar.  His thoughts towards you and me outnumber the grains of the sand covering all the earth.  He fearfully and wonderfully knit you together in your mother’s womb.  All your days are ordained. He delights in all creation.

Therefore I know if he cares about the death of one little sparrow, He certainly cares about the suffering of the entire world.  So take heart. If your own heart feels heavy this Christmas season, just remember our risen King is coming again and in the end He will make all things right!

But between now and then we wait in expectation for the return of Emmanuel, our Savior and King.

O come, O come, Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

It’s not too late…

9 Dec

Dec 2013 015

Hola and Buenos Dias from Bogota,

Just a quick note to invite you to watch the video below that was played last Sunday in Wenatchee, Wa. It tells all about the amazing news that is happening here in Bogota, Colombia.

And, if you would like to receive automatic emails every time we post a blog, simply put in your email on our blog page and select follow.

Finally, if you are looking for a place to pour your resources into changing lives this Christmas, look no further.  It is not too late to contribute to the lives of a few precious girls who have been rescued.  Read all about it here:

Here is the website where you can donate. (Feel free to share this with anyone interested!)

We can’t thank you enough for all your support, prayers and love,

Feliz Navidad from the Boyle Family

Worship This Morning

30 Nov

We thank God for our worship team!

Happy Thanksgiving from Bogota, Colombia!

27 Nov

Jerseys

Written by Kelly Boyle

Like many of our friends back home in the States, we got up before dawn this morning to prepare our Thanksgiving turkey.  This year we bought a biggie:  25 lbs.  It’s going to be a long, slow cooking process.  If all goes well, it should be done by about noon, just in time for the arrival of our 21 guests.

This year we are going to have a full house, literally.  The size of our living room, kitchen, and patio-converted-to-all-purpose-room might be about 300 sq. ft. – and throwing caution to the wind, we decided to go for it and invite as many friends as we thought reasonably possible.

So we’ll have 2 couples, 3 families with 2 kids each, and 1 family with 3 kids – plus our family – 26 total.  Since only 6 can fit at our dining room table, the rest of us will fight over the couch, stairway, or assorted chairs placed wherever we find room.

But that’s how we roll here in Colombia.  Friends and family are super important.  Relationships rule.  We spend time together – lots of time – and we don’t mind fitting 26 people into 300 sq. ft.

It’s a beautiful thing, really, to get together for an American holiday in Colombia.  The Colombians are eager to learn about our culture and the Christian heritage we have in Thanksgiving.  And we are excited to share time with them, work on our Spanish, and learn more about their beautiful culture.

So we are thankful.  Yes, we miss family and friends back home in Washington, Michigan, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, Florida, New York, Brazil, Africa, India, and Taiwan, but God is faithful to provide a loving family right here in Bogota.

There’s another thing for which we give thanks, and that is for all the people who pray for us, care about us, and financially support us.  We are humbled a hundred times over by the generous support of so many friends and family.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you!

May God Bless you.  We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!  Oh, and GO SEAHAWKS!

 

We Need Your Help!

17 Nov

Written by Heidi Boyle

In Bogotá, like most big cities, it’s not uncommon to see homeless people practically everywhere you go.  You find them on street corners begging for bread.  You see them on the streets selling candy or trinkets.  And, you see them asleep on the sidewalks after long, cold nights.

homelessMan

Their “homes” are made of cardboard and scraps placed under a highway overpass or in the medians.  Often, they are filthy, in need of a hot shower, and their eyes are full of desperation.  They do what they can to survive.  Some perform juggling acts at traffic lights for pennies.

juggling

Others tell wild, elaborate, sob stories on buses.  Some rap.  A few dress up.  Others beg to wash car windows for a coin. Often crying babies and young children are seen playing in the median while their parent(s) work the street. Their goal is to earn enough to silence their rumbling stomachs.

My heart breaks.  I want to save them all.  I want to change the culture, the systems, and the cycle of poverty.  I want to dry their tears, feed them, clothe them, hug them, be a listening ear, and tell them how much they are loved. I want to give them a fresh start and a safe place to rest their heads.

I want to do all this and more, not just for the homeless, but for those who are forced into prostitution, trapped in slave labor, and for those living in unsafe environments. There are so many needs, I am overwhelmed!

However, there is always hope.  And faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.  I am happy to report that here in Bogota a great work of faith is unfolding. The holiday season is upon us and we have much to celebrate!  At this moment, Findesin (the safe home we work with here in Bogotá) is about to rescue 12 more girls who are currently living in very dangerous, unsafe places.

The plan is that they will move to Findesin in January. Much preparation needs to be done before they arrive. Currently a room needs to be remodeled to accommodate the girls.

Remodel

(I will send pictures of the remodeled room in a future blog)

Additionally, kitchen supplies, pots, pans, dishes, bedding, towels, and all the necessities of a home are needed. Seventeen girls go through lots of food, toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry soap and household supplies very quickly.

During this season of celebration, please consider donating to these precious girls, who by God’s grace get a fresh start and a loving environment to grow up in.

Here is the website where you can donate.  It’s very simple and your generosity means the world to these darling girls!

May you and yours be blessed by great compassion and love this Holiday Season.

With gratitude,

The Boyle Family

icecream

Jennifer

 

Nathaly

How’s the weather?

8 Nov

Written by Kelly Boyle

The sound of rain falling on our back laundry room’s corrugated fiberglass roof once again fills our small apartment.  It’s 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and with the arrival of a storm, the mercury plunges 10 degrees in a matter of minutes.  The morning started off warm and sunny.  Heidi, Ezra, and I headed out at 9:00 a.m. for a pleasant, slow jog on a pedestrian trail near our home.  The temperature was in the mid-60’s and the sun beamed down through the big, fluffy cumulus clouds.  As we made our way back home, the ominous, black sky far off in the distance assured us what the afternoon weather would be like.

photo

After living in Bogota for 17 months, we’ve learned it’s futile to look at the daily forecast.  Every day follows just about the same pattern, morning sun and afternoon storms. Bogota is known for having all 4 seasons in one day. Now we pack an umbrella because when it rains, it pours.  In fact, this past week we experienced a couple huge hail and thunder storms, one of which flooded our laundry room.

When we first began to consider moving to Bogota, we were clueless about the climate.  Our first thought was that Bogota is similar to other equatorial Latin America cities with hot and humid weather. As we started to research the city, we were surprised to find out Bogota is situated high in the Andes Mountains at 8500 feet above sea level.  Because of the elevation, the city enjoys a moderate to cool climate with high levels of precipitation.  Many refer to the weather as an “eternal spring.”  There is enough warmth for tropical plants and flowers to flourish year-round but cool enough to avoid the uncomfortable humidity found at lower elevations.

Unfortunately, Bogota doesn’t have an efficient storm drain system, so the streets fill with water really fast.  It’s not uncommon to drive through 6 inches of water.  This video shows you what it’s like when the monsoon rains hit.

 

 

The weather is one of many life changes our family has experienced here in Bogota.  Coming from Wenatchee, we miss the four seasons, especially snow around Christmas-time.  But in reality, the weather has been an easy adjustment compared to a few other things.  One of them is language. I have now experienced first-hand the difficulty of learning a second language.  Therefore, I have a new definition for frustration:  Frustration is spending hundreds of hours reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish and then finding yourself in a conversation where you have absolutely no idea what the Spanish-speaking person is trying to say.  Now that’s frustration!

In addition, I now realize I underestimated what it takes to be a good teacher.  The teaching profession is one of those jobs where if you let it, the work never ends.  I am humbled, to say the least.  I tip my hat to all my friends who work endless hours as a teacher and have been for many years.  It is a noble profession and I pray for God’s strength every day so that I can help my students learn. And to all my fellow teachers out there, I want to say thank you for your dedication to educate, equip and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.

How about you?  How is everything going in your life?  We would love to hear from you.  If you have time, write us at boylesinbogota@gmail.com.

Before I go, let me share a quick ministry update.  Thanks to the generous donations from some of our friends, we now have over $4500 for the girls at Findesin (aka The Beehive).  We set a goal of $10,000 so if you are looking for a worthy cause to support this holiday season, please consider giving here.

Thanks for reading this update.  Enjoy the blessings of God and we hope to hear from you soon!

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