Piercing the Darkness Vignette #5: Shoulder to Shoulder
This is my final Fortaleza vignette. We've been home since Sunday, and we are savoring so many memories. One of my favorites is sitting around the table with my family, planning what we would do next. Ideas were flying. Interaction was intense. (We are Lyons, after all!) And real work was accomplished.
One of our major projects was helping Laticia to get set up in a micro enterprise so she can support herself. We decided to teach her to bake brownies to sell to construction workers at a large nearby construction site, and to students at two nearby schools. Renee and Christi trained her to make and package the brownies. Herb and I obtained a used industrial oven and a worktable. Calvin, Herb, Wesley and I worked out a business plan. And Laticia took on the project eagerly. By the time we left she was baking and selling mostly on her own. We feel confident that she can support herself with this business. Herb and Nicole took on the ongoing oversight of her discipleship and success in the business.
But many spiritual battles remain. Laticia has come so far so fast. It's a class five miracle. But even while we were there she confessed still feeling severely tempted to return to drugs. She started having babies at 14. Now she's 22 and about to give birth to her third child. The first week of this pregnancy she went on a nonstop cocaine binge for a week. It will be a miracle if her baby is normal. Laticia¹s progress is fragile and precarious. Sustained progress seems impossible. But in Fortaleza the impossible now seems possible.
Working together as we did in Fortaleza changed our family forever. We were shoulder to shoulder as the kingdom of God came near.
Answer to Prayer: Five members of my family remain in Fortaleza with Iris Ministries: Herb & Nicole Lorelei and their two sons Ranen and Zadok, and our son Hudson. You can continue to follow their story at http://irisbrasil.org/blog/ or friend Iris Fortaleza on Facebook. And you can see photos of us working shoulder to shoulder at http://www.flickr.com/photos/100841267@N06/sets/72157635248994384/.