Sunday, December 18, 2011

AFE's "Gran Fiesta de Navidad 2011"

There were fond, familiar faces. There were new faces. There were faces we have not seen for a while. Here a few snapshots of AFE's Gran Fiesta de Navidad, 2011....revealing the success of our labor in the garbage dump, and the great deal of work that is left to do.

A Night to Remember

December 10th was a night to remember at AFE. It was a night to remember the past, and how far the graduating seniors have come, and simply to remember the evening itself and the beauty of an unfolding miracle.

A diverse crowd of roughly 50 loved-ones gathered in a salon in Chiminike, the beautiful children’s museum and meeting facility. A slide show presented pictures of AFE’s seniors when we had first taken them out of the garbage dump. They were skinny back them and malnourished. Their faces with darkened with grim determination instead of the light of innocence children’s faces should reflect.

But God had has his way in their lives….thanks to donors like you and the committed staff of AFE.

When the music began, nine handsome young adults walked confidently down the aisle to the sound of ringing applause. Now their faces betrayed hope, self-confidence, purity and grace.

Rene Daniel Elvir Giron was the student chosen to give a speech to his fellow graduates. Rene was the first child Pastor Jeony rescued from the garbage dump.

When Rene stood up to speak, his did so with his usual confidence and teenage-boy bravado. But then something happened when it came time to thank the people who had invested in his life.Rene’s strong face melted into tears. His hid his face from the audience and his began to cry. Rey and Jesi stood beside him to give him support. After many moments of silence in the auditorium it became apparent that Rene could not go on. But he did not need to. His tears of gratitude spoke more than his words could have.

Pastor Jeony then addressed the graduates. He charged them to remember what God had done in their lives, and that their feat was not accomplished by their own power and strength. He encouraged them to always remember where they had come from, and where they are going. His final charge was to remember this night forever. I think I can speak for the graduates when I say: they (and we) always will.

Rene with his parents, garbage dump workers
who supported his education at AFE