Friday, December 23, 2011

Our December 2011 Newsletter

Newsletter ---  December 2011

We recently went through the process of renewing our registration and visa application so that we can reside in Macedonia another year (through the month of September 2012).  All the laws had been revised once again since our last registration process in September 2010.   We have an attorney (advocat) who worked diligently for five months to insure that we would have the visas by the end of the year.  If we had not received the visa stamps by this deadline, we would have had to leave the country in order to register at an embassy outside Macedonia before we could continue the waiting process.  This would have been an inconvenience, but we would have obtained the visas eventually.  It was good news when Dijana called to tell us that our visas were waiting to be picked up at the Skopje office.    

The whole process caused me to wonder what people do when they do not have an advocate.  What would it mean for the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden or the victim to have someone to “stand up” for them?  What about the African woman who is a victim of rape, war and abuse?  What about the mother whose son has been diagnosed with epilepsy, but she has no way to pay for the medication?  Who is their advocate?

The Future of the Family Kindergarten has become a place of “advocacy” for over 300 families whose children have attended this small school during the past eight years.  These families have been the recipients of “good news” many times, and many of you have provided that “good news” through your contributions to this ministry.  You have supplied nutritious meals, a loving environment in which to learn and grow, and a teacher (Habibe Iseni) who nurtures them consistently and caringly.  You have gone beyond these basics of a solid education by providing heat for families in the winter, buying clothes and shoes for the children, seeing that the children who needed eyeglasses were able to do their work, and even supplying medication for several children who were in dire need.

So we want to take this opportunity to “thank you”, on their behalf, for all you have done to “stand in” for them.  You have been their “advocate”. 

May you experience this “Good News” in a very personal way this Christmas Season,
Arville and Shelia