I want to introduce you to Gethsemane Learning Center…
Pastor Lenin and his wife, Flor, opened the Gethsemane Learning Center in 2014 to provide a safe place for vulnerable children in their community. Many children who attend the Learning Center are of the Quechua Tribe. Their parents are farmers or daily wage workers, earning a mere $2 a day. Through the help of VisionTrust sponsors, 75 children come to the Gethsemane Learning Center after school for a nutritious lunch, tutoring, and—most importantly—to learn about the love that Jesus has for them.
In March, just one year after opening the Gethsemane Learning Center, Pastor Lenin and Flor hosted an overnight spiritual retreat for the children. The local heroes made many preparations including decorating the retreat center, placing hygiene kits of soap and toothbrushes on each child’s pillow, and praying and fasting for the children. During the retreat, the local heroes put on dramas and interactive Bible lessons for the children to help them learn how to grow closer to God. A few of the topics included, “Who Am I? Learning to value myself as God values me,” and, “Never Going Back! Getting rid of sin because it keeps me from communion with God.”
A Special Lesson
By far the most impactful and emotional time of the weekend was a time called, “A Brave Heart: Loving, Forgiving and Serving My Parents.” Many of the children at the Learning Center experience hardship from an early age because their families are broken and extremely poor. Pastora Flor wanted to minister to any hurt or bitterness the children were feeling towards their parents. During the lesson, the children learned that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them as well as earthly parents who take care of them. They learned that God wants to heal their hurts and give them a new heart that is brave.
When the children arrived back home, their parents were waiting at the Learning Center for them with a special gift that Pastor Lenin had asked them to prepare. As the children gave testimonies of how God touched their hearts during the retreat, many tears were shed. Praise God for drawing many families closer together during this time.