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She is 8 Years Old!

Yesterday, January 13, Dariana turned 8 years old! She always asks to have her birthday party at our home and we always say yes. Her grandmother cooked a meal and brought snacks. It is an honor for us to be considered like family and celebrate another year of her life watching her grow.

Dariana was just 2 years 8 months old when I saw her big brown eyes for the very first time. She was our crash course in how abandonment seeks to rob the identity of a child very early in life. While the enemy would destroy her life, the Lord has allowed us to stand in the gap for her and her family; and many of you have prayed for her and her family over the years.

And prayers have been answered. Dariana has blossomed despite the emotional struggle of being separated from her mom. Math is her favorite subject and she is very good at it! She loves to serve and give to others. She is strong-willed and is learning to choose what is right over her own desires.

Dariana’s greatest desire is for her mother to be released from jail so they can be together. Her mother’s dream dor Dariana is for her to know the Lord, be the first in her family to finish school, and be the first in her family to go and college. Please continue to pray for her and her family.    
She has always had a sweet smile and she is also sassy! 3 years old in these pictures.
4 year old birthday party.
6 years old
                7 years old
She loves to do my hair.
                 8 years old
        She loves all things sweet!
Happy Birthday Dariana!

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas from The Bridges
Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Our December Update: Click  december2016christmasnews.

Father to the Fatherless

      ros&jhon      rosmery     jhon 
Psalm 68:5, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows, is God in his holy habitation.”
Rosmery, 9, and Jhonathan, 5, are siblings. They lived with us for almost two years before returning to their family. They live in a city about three hours from us and we have consistently made home visits, helped with offerings, school supplies, and other gifts to help the family.
The kids live with their aunt because their parents are mentally unable to care for them. The aunt’s husband recently left her and another family member has placed the blame on Rosemary and Jhonathan for the husband leaving and has pressured her to place the children in an orphanage.
We tried to speak truth to the lies spoken and we offered to financially help the aunt with a sitter to help alleviate some of the stress. Rosemary and Jonathan did not want to leave their aunt’s house because this is their home. The aunt seemed determined, despite the family member’s advice, to raise the children. However, we found out yesterday the aunt has taken the children to an orphanage run by the State.
Randy and I were up practically all night, praying for the Lord to speak. We came to the same conclusion. God’s Word rings clear about those who are fatherless. We shouldn’t wait for God to come from heaven to serve and love the orphan because as a Christian, it is our calling. We both are clear that if the Lord opens the door for the kids to return to us; they will have a home here.
The judicial process in Peru is very complicated; but God is bigger! Rosa, our director, and I will be traveling to their city on Monday to speak with the judge and the aunt. Please, please pray for favor, the Lord’s will be done, and whatever walls be broken down which might be put up to prevent us from getting the kids.

A Father’s Heart

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6 

In 2009, we were able to travel to Mozambique. The trip affirmed our call to South America and the Lord began speak to Randy about having the Father’s heart.

The Lord has been faithful in conforming and perfecting Randy continually by changing his heart to become more like the Father’s. Although he is not overly affectionate; his love for others shows in ways not always noticed. He disciples Garrett daily in the mornings sowing the wisdom of the Word and speaks in to Tyler’s life despite the thousands of miles gap between us. He encourages me when I am discouraged and he builds me up when my attitude is not lovely. His love for the kids blows me away. Many precious moments we have in ministry are never captured by the camera’s lens. Like when Jonathan returned to his family, he constantly asked for Tío (uncle) Randy. A couple of years ago, Piero made a quick visit to see us after returning to his mother; he sat down by Randy, leaned in to his chest, and rested his head against him. (For those of you who followed 6 year old Piero’s story, he often raised his fists to Randy and threatened to kill him.) He helps the kids with Math and roams from table to table making sure they are all finishing their homework. And he is the go to guy for making their science projects for school.
We did capture this photo of him putting together a puzzle on a follow up visit to Rosmery and Jonathan.
Frequently, our kids walk up to give him a big hug or just hang by his side. Especially Scarlet.
In Tingo Maria, when we visited Williams, Williams didn’t leave his side for long.
The Lord shows His love through Randy fulfilling his promise that He is a Father to the fatherless. He was invited to represent Dariana’s dad on Friday for her classes Father’s Day celebration. (Her dad is in jail.)
What began as a tug in my husband’s heart many years ago, continues daily as God perfects Randy’s heart to have a heart like His.

Casting Our Nets

The Great Commission Church Bulletin Cover
Mark 1:16-17, “As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 
Sitting in the church pew, I remember the invitation, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” These words came out of Mark 1. Jesus was talking to Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew. Jesus gave an invitation to follow Him. The men were invited to do something different. They were fishermen by occupation. They knew fishing. Jesus proposed they continue to fish…for men.
As the Word was read in church while I sat in the pew, it was as if everyone in the room disappeared. Tears began to stream down my face. I heard the invitation. “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” I was 28 years old and had no idea what that meant but I said, “Yes”. I began a journey – an Exodus journey. A time of going out of the only place I ever knew. Leaving the Sunday morning Christian lifestyle and realizing, I was responsible too. God hadn’t just called the Pastor or the leaders of the church to fish for men, He had called me also. This became a defining moment for me and for the first time I became very aware of everyone around me.

My Exodus journey has had seasons of wilderness, seasons of pain and healing, seasons of joy and sorrow, seasons of great strength and weariness. As Randy and I seek the Lord, we find Him always pointing us back to Him. We find who Jesus is through reading and meditating on the Word of God. We discover who we are to become through applying the Word daily in our lives. We are real people. As we share and speak in many places, one thing people always say, “You guys are just real people.” And we are. And so are you.

Just as I was invited many years ago to follow Him to become a fisherman; the Lord is inviting you to do the same. Will you follow Jesus today and allow Him to make you a fisher of men?

We invite you to read along with us as we travel on this Exodus journey.