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FSM 301       DO/TS
"Angel of the Street Children" Goes to Heaven

{\b © Copyright October 1996, The Family, Zurich, Switzerland}

       -- Angel of the Street Children Goes to Heaven       1
       -- Family Training Pays Off! In Project to Help Slum Kids       1
       -- Palomas Homegoing Brings Many Closer to Heaven       5
       -- The Work Goes On! From Heaven!       7

"Angel of the Street Children" Goes to Heaven
-- Brazilian Paloma Continues Her Help from There
       Another of David's faithful children has joined him in Heaven. Brazilian Paloma, wife of Amos and mother of four children, died in a car accident in August of this year. (See PL 36.) Amos and Paloma have been working for years on a very successful foundation to help homeless children, partly funded by the government of Amos' home country. After her homegoing, the Family at the SACRO office received a beautiful message from her, encouraging her husband and children to continue in their work, as she promised to help them from Heaven! Following is the amazing testimony of their project (written some time ago), followed by the story of Paloma's graduation. God bless dear Paloma for giving her life so selflessly for others! The work she has left behind is a beautiful testimony to her love for the Lord and the lost. Praise the Lord!

Family Training Pays Off! -- In Project to Help Slum Kids
From Amos and Paloma (TS), South America

Dear Family,
       We love you and appreciate hearing from you. Thanks for your interest in our life and work among the unfortunate children in the slums and streets of South America.
       We are "made in the Family." It is a lifestyle of faith and pioneering. What comes natural for us are big steps of faith for normal people -- even other Christians. They admire us and would love to do what we are doing, but for them it is out of this world. After years of our daily walk with the Lord and training in the Family, we know how to abase and abound. Pioneering and venturing out by faith has become a part of our nature.
       When we first were asked to go TS, we felt like strangers in a strange land, and we experienced a real culture shock! We were very discouraged at first, but we thought that if we hung on a little longer we would see some changes soon.
       It was then that we took up the challenge to start this project, and we started to discover all the riches we had gained through many years of serving the Lord in the Family. It is so true that if you don't use what you've got, you won't gain any more; in fact, you may lose it all. We feel a lot closer and more positive now, and we are venturing out by faith.

A promise to God
       How our ministry came about is a long story, with a long road of preparation. It started with a promise Paloma made to God. When her mother was only sixteen, she was raped and expelled from home as a result. Only a desperate plea from a friend got her into her grandmother's home for two days so she could have the baby, Paloma. When Paloma was two days old, her mother lived under a tree with only a sheet as a shelter. She worked in the fields, holding the baby and feeding her as she worked.
       After two years, her mother married a black man. Paloma remembers him as the only person who loved her as a child. He would intervene when her mother would become violent and beat Paloma. At seven years of age, Paloma went through a traumatic experience. Her stepfather died suddenly while her mother was giving birth to a baby boy in the next room. Her smaller brothers were crying and trying to wake up their daddy, and their mother was screaming in pain. As a little girl, she had to cope with getting a midwife and comforting her little brothers.
       After the birth, her mother was sick for a long period. First Paloma had to go out and beg for candles for her stepfather's funeral. Some people were very mean and threw water on the little girl coming to their door. Others had mercy and kept her family alive by helping this poor skinny creature. One lady always took her in and gave her something to do so that she would feel she had worked for what she received. She would give her one cup of beans, one cup of rice, some sugar and pork fat. Paloma always carried white clean bags with her to carry the things that she was given. Her mother had taught her that there was no shame in being poor, but it was no excuse to be dirty. At night she would wash these bags so they would be clean the next day.
       This lady actually took such interest in her that she paid her way to go into a Catholic school. There she received four years of schooling, from the age of 10 to 14. At 14 she was offered a job by a lady who had a house in another city. Upon arriving, though, she was warned by a friend that she would be sold the following night to a man, so Paloma ran away, not knowing where to go.
       She had no money or legal documents and ended up living on the street with other children and families. She slept under trucks and bridges. One night three men raped her so forcefully that she was left very injured. She became so frightened after this incident that she would stand at bus stops pretending to wait for a bus just to have company.
       After a while she got a job as a cleaning lady and then as a bartender. She would watch the bar dancers and try to learn their steps and practice at home. After a while she became a good nightclub dancer, even becoming quite well-known. At 18 years of age she was offered a job in Japan and later married a Japanese man. He was in the Mafia, and after some problems she ran away from him.
       She traveled all over Asia, dancing as she went, until she met Philip (Brother Sun) in Indonesia. It was nothing but a miracle that she got saved. She believed that God had to use someone with crazy faith like Brother Sun to pray with her, as he was so persistent and believed she was a sheep.
       The night she was raped when she was 14, she had promised God that she would do anything to pay Him back if He got her out of her present life. She never forgot that promise, even though fame and money overshadowed it for awhile. After she got saved, she felt an urge to do something for her own people.

As TSers, starting our project to help street kids
       After becoming TSers in Europe, we traveled that summer, singing and performing on the streets in Europe. We decided to start a project to help street kids in South America, and began to raise funds for this purpose. The response was good, and many Christian friends supported us. We had friends from different Christian groups, and the Seventh-day Adventists were a big blessing. Our children had attended the SDA school where we lived and they were a big help both in supporting our project and schooling our kids.
       During Christmas, 1990, after selling almost all we owned, we left for South America to work on establishing our program to help the street kids. We found a farm for teaching the kids who we planned to help. We returned to Europe with our hearts full of the project and held meetings, where our children performed. The Lord miraculously supplied a beautiful house. He also supplied furniture and electrical appliances through provisioning.
       Later that year Paloma went back to South America to buy the farm we had found there. We had just received a big donation from a Christian family which was their complete life savings. They told us that they couldn't do what we were doing, but through the money they could make our hands theirs.
       We were already in touch with an agency that collects money for developing countries. The head of the agency liked our project and arrangements were made for Paloma to travel with him on a different project in South America. It was a major breakthrough. After that meeting we were given a large grant, well into the thousands of dollars. We got the good news about this grant a day before Christmas!
       The following January we received word that we had been adopted by this organization and they would support us for at least five years. The ones that work at this agency are teachers and are Christian. We have very good relations with them and consider them part of our family.

Wide media coverage -- our children shine!
       Our supporter agency and another international organization collaborated that same year in a fund-raising campaign that gave us lots of publicity. One magazine had four articles done on Paloma's life and the work we were doing. Reporters from this magazine spent over a week in South America with us and later gave us a special print-out of all the articles they published on us.
       We were featured twice on the main national TV stations, and our children sang and danced. We were pictured in the media with officials who supported this campaign. Our kids faithfully performed at different places during this campaign.
       This project started with our children sacrificing their school holidays to sing on the streets with us, and they are still with us helping with the project. Our oldest daughter, Flower (16), has been the leader of the singing group all these years and is very good at doing PR. She had been the "mommy" when Paloma has been gone for months to work in South America. She is now working with us on the project and has a burden to open a daycare center on the farm. We believe our involvement together with the kids has benefited our relationship with them.

Paloma's testimony of the Lord's forgiveness
       We've been invited to many schools, and teachers have been amazed how Paloma could captivate the students for two hours. Some schools have had more than 1,000 students sitting on the floor. When she has told her testimony, many have cried. The part about being forcefully raped and consequently developing a hatred towards men really touched many. Before coming to the Lord, Paloma wanted to take revenge on men in general and became very clever in using men to the ultimate without giving anything on her side. In her hate, she wanted to meet the men who raped her again and kill them.
       The turning point in her life came when she realized how much Jesus had forgiven her, and He took that burden of hate away and turned it into forgiveness. This part has made a real impression on some girls. Many girls here experience sex through rape or they are forced into it by peer pressure. They have come to thank her for her testimony and expressed that it really helped them, as she knew exactly how it felt.

More support on a large scale
       Together with our supporter organization, we applied for a donation that a large company in the European country we are based out of gives away every year. Although there were 40 other applicants, we got the full amount, a very large gift! Later that year, another organization granted our application for investment in our farm. By a real miracle of God, they also gave us the full amount of funds we needed to finish the building that we'd planned.
       At times we've joked and said we are like the mouse that roared! Here we are, this small family, receiving huge amounts of money and all this responsibility. We are nobody and nothing! We are the organization! It would be just unbelievable, if it weren't for the Lord.

Having faith to climb mountains -- step by step
       Our lifestyle and faith have been the cornerstone in our work. With the Lord's help, every step has come as naturally as normal daily activity. We believe that God put this project in our hearts to do. The other day while at the farm and viewing the center that's being built, we realized all the progress that was being made and the huge responsibility we have and we almost wished we hadn't undertaken it. "Mountain Man" has been such a good illustration for us. At first it doesn't seem to take that much to climb a mountain. But when you are half-way up, it's a scary feeling to look down! -- You are already high up, and you start wondering if you are really going to make it to the top. At the same time, though, it's thrilling and you're looking forward to seeing what it's like up on the top!
       The development of the project has been like a fairy tale. Whatever we have put our hands to do, the Lord has prospered and increased it 100-fold. The right people have been in the right places at the right time.
       "Have you ever thought your involvement in this project would be your lifetime service?" was a question we were asked by a journalist. We told him that God had put faith in our hearts from the beginning. Three years ago, when we had no money as yet, we were determined to move to South America to start this work, and thank God, He rewarded our faith.

Others touched by our work
       A Christian publishing house wanted to write a book on Paloma's life and the project. The writer from this publisher spent ten days at our farm and fell in love with the people and the place. His daughter, who is a journalist and photographer, came with him to photograph the story. They have made about seven radio programs on us to be broadcast through the year. He is a Christian, and on the programs the Salvation message comes through very clearly. He's also written five articles on us and has totally fallen in love with this project.
       In fact, we have many people who have given their hearts to this project, both in Europe and here in this South American town. We have had three different high-ranking officials tell us that this project will put this village on the map and will help prosper this area. We have so far managed to get the influential on our side to help the poor. We have doctors, teachers, dentists, and others volunteering to assist.
       Some young people have had a dream of doing something for the youth here, but finances and moral support have been lacking. One athlete has already gathered several hundred of the youth together for aerobics and sports classes. The fee for members is so low that both rich and poor are studying together. It's a good place for witnessing.
       Another young boy wanted to help the poor farmers develop their land. He is a very smart boy and has been educated as a chemical engineer. We got him a portable laboratory with which he can analyze soil for the farmers. It seems to be the beginning of something that is very needful for this area.

Development continues
       As the project developed, the first farm we bought became too small. An agency back in Europe granted us a large sum of money to buy a bigger farm suitable for our use, where the center is being built. We will be able to house up to 120 children for courses and rehabilitation. In connection with the center there will be a swimming pool and a full sports center. The farm is being prepared to produce enough food to feed everyone at the center, plus more to sell. It is a big job that has taken a lot of work and investment.
       The project has had a big impact on the local area. All the materials for the building have been bought locally and we're employing more than fifty local workers. We believe that this could inspire others to do something similar, even though it doesn't have to be so big.

Our Family training coming to the fore
       We have seen many talented people who have had a hard time with the rigors of DO Family life, so they got discouraged and left. They are hiding big resources under a bushel, though, and don't even know it. They are experts in the field of giving aid to the needy. As mentioned before, the training that we have received in the Family has followed us, and God can use it mightily in whatever capacity we choose.
       Through this ministry we have met so many people that we never could have gotten in touch with before, and we have been able to give them the witness. One time we had a meeting with the bosses of a large company in my home country. Paloma told them straight out that they shouldn't think it strange that she is always praising the Lord for everything, as He is The One Who is really in charge of this whole project!
       We are so thankful to the Lord that He has given us the desires of our heart and at the same time has taken care of our support. This is more than we could have dreamed of! We are also so thankful for the training we received through all these years in the Family; it's helped us to look at problems as challenges and has given us a back strong enough to carry success.
       Much love, Amos and Paloma


Paloma's Homegoing Brings Many Closer to Heaven
From Amos, South America (August 1996)
Dear Family,
       One week after we returned from a trip abroad, my dear wife and our dearest mother passed away in a car accident. Thank God she passed away immediately.
       The night before the accident we had a long conversation together. She told me she was so tired, and the pain in her body had become unbearable. She has had chronic pain and strong headaches for eight years, which have become more intense over the years. She told me, as a tear ran down her cheek, that each day had become a torment (physically), and she wished that God could take her Home. She felt it was not fair that her kids and I had to suffer with her.
       The day after the accident I told the kids about our talk, and Christopher -- who has always been Mummy's special comforter -- said, "But Daddy, why didn't you tell us before? We could have explained to Mummy that she was the 'bestest' mummy in the world!"
       In the beginning it was so unreal to think that Mummy was no longer among us and wouldn't return from this trip. Angelina (6) told me several times in a wishful way that Mummy was in another city and would probably come back soon. I sympathized with her and told her that I also get tempted to wish that things were different.
       In situations such as these we always ask ourselves why! At first we felt her accident (a car accident) was so unjust and absurd. Thank God that our faith in Jesus and God's Word has built such a strong link between this world and the Hereafter. Now both the kids and I have full confidence that Mummy is doing so much better now, without the strain and the pain she had while on Earth, and that she is more alive than ever. After all, she didn't really leave us, but will continue to be with us and help us through the spirit.
       These values of faith are worth more than anything else when you feel totally stripped and naked. Our faith has made the threshold from this life to the other side so much smaller. Of course we miss our mummy a whole lot, but just the knowledge of her being still close to us has brightened our days.
       Such incidents often knit people together. We have felt a warm closeness in our relationships with our family and friends, both here and abroad. We have felt strength from all the prayers for us in this difficult time; they have built a bridge over the sorrowful gap. Firm handshakes and deep looks of compassion have given us strong signals that the people of this town sympathize with us and are there to help.
       The funeral service was held in a church, and it was full to the brim. Lots of people followed the service from outside. That day the most prominent people of the town, as well as the poorest of the poor were in attendance, sitting side by side.
       We as a family felt that the day of the funeral would be a heavy load for us. Mario (10), our eldest son, couldn't really understand why we had to go through all this when Mummy had already left her body and was living in Heaven. But what we had dreaded turned out to be the most beautiful experience. The service was simple and beautiful. Paloma's body was laid to rest out on the hilltop right by the school center overlooking our farm. After the funeral many indicated that they would help in the project she had started and gave her life for.
       Government officials brought warm greetings from different sectors of the government that Paloma had been having meetings with. The wife of the president of this country also sent her condolences and promised to come for the inauguration [EDITED: "of our center"]. One official told us that our project is widely known among many government entities. He promised to continue the work he and Paloma had started, by lobbying in Parliament.
       Our mummy was not only a mummy to us. She was a mummy for nine other orphan children that live on the farm. Kelli (8) cried bitterly a whole day. This was the second mother she had lost in the space of two years. Several of the youngsters that work on the farm felt also that she was like their mummy.
       The target group in the shanty towns felt that she was their protector, and that she had given them a feeling of security. Many people -- both young and old -- have come to me and told me how much Paloma's work has meant to them. She was the street kids' ambassador and had given them a face.
       My kids' immediate reaction after Mummy's departure was to want to pack up and go back to Europe. But after a couple of days we started to see how absurd it would be to leave right now and close down the project that Mummy had given everything for. We know that she expects us to take responsibility for this corn of wheat that has fallen to the ground and died, that it shouldn't abide alone, but that it should bear much more fruit.
       Paloma burned the candle at both ends and had an enormous capacity for work. She hardly rested. She said she could keep her sickness under submission through work and by being active. Most of the nights turned out to be like nightmares for her.
       In 1992 she received the message from the Lord that she was to be an Esther for her people, an ambassador. She managed to speak to thousands of schoolchildren in Europe throughout the years, about her life and Salvation, and the project. She appeared on television, radio, in newspapers, magazines and three books, one of them being her life story. She even became friends with a member of one of Europe's royal families and won her support.
       Paloma never put the light that Jesus had given her under a bushel, but always tried to let it shine and be a witness. Most of the newspapers in my home country wrote a little memorial about "The Angel of the Street Children," as she was called.
       We'd like to thank Dad and the Family for all the good teaching we have received, and most of all for making the Afterlife so real for us. Even though I have had trials over the latest mailings, it all makes more sense when someone close to you has departed. You really want to be close and talk to that person and expect that they will hear you and send their answer one way or the other in His good time. Please pray for us. I love you!
       Love, Amos


The Work Goes On! -- From Heaven!
Excerpts of Prophecies Received at the SACRO office for Amos and his childrenafter Paloma's Homegoing
       (Paloma speaking:) My beloved dear little ones, set them free! They are weighted with shackles and problems, multitudes of problems and diseases! [DELETED] Please, don't give up. I'm right here with you! I'm helping you! Don't turn your back now! Don't turn your back on the plow.
       You started a good work; we all started together. For this isn't my work, it's all our work. But I want to keep on working with you. I'm not there with you now, but I want to do it through you, and this is the only way I can do it, if you will be my hands. I will put thoughts in your minds. But don't give up!
       I'm well, I'm happy, I'm running! I don't have any more pains! I don't suffer pain. Do not worry about me. I am sorry that you miss me. I am sorry I left a hole there. But you know Jesus. -- He is real! And Jesus will give you the grace you need, the power for the hour. He'll fill all your empties. He'll raise up others to fill the hole that I left.
       Do not worry. Do not think, "What are we going to do?" For as you go, the Lord will show you, and our Jesus is with you always. If you just take one step at a time, He will show you. He'll show ahead, not too much ahead, but He'll show you what to do the next day.
       Beware of the Enemy! Keep fighting! Keep fighting for Jesus!
       We worked so well together, and we will continue to work together as a team or even better now, because I have another perspective. I can hear Jesus a lot better and I'll be able to tell you what to do, if you just tune in, if you just believe and fight the Devil's lies and doubts.
       The spirit world is so real, as real as I am speaking here to you, and I will help you. Just tune in to me! Ask Jesus to allow you to hear my voice, and you will, He wants you to.
       (Jesus speaking:) I have taken your loved one from among you in bodily form, not only that she might be close to Me, to behold My face, and be free from her trials, but that you might be closer to Me as well. [DELETED] For I love you all dearly.
       Even as it was with My disciples, when I was taken from them, they became more attuned to My Spirit and communed more with Me and with My Father in prayer than when I was with them. So it is with you now. You will seek Me more, and My spirit world, the Kingdom of Heaven, will be more real to you now that this one of you is here with Me, and I will use this to draw you all closer to Me. I will use this to strengthen your faith, if you will but let Me.
       For indeed she is near you, as I am near you, and as many of us are near you and with you. As the days draw near, the dark days of trouble, this nearness to Me that you will learn now, beginning now in your time of sorrow and the tenderness of the parting, will be a strength to you and to others who look to you for leading, who look to you for strength, who look to you for substance and support.
       Allow this time to enlarge your heart, and I will use you mightily. I will prosper you and continue to make you a city set upon a hill, a shining light, a beacon of hope, a strong tower, a place of refuge.
       Stand fast in your faith, and hold fast to the crown which I offer you, lest any man steal it. Hold it fast and diligently seek it, and I will minister unto you a great door of entry unto My Kingdom, for you and many others.

Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family