November 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We really don't know what will happen when we make the decision to care for someone. The journey may be long. It can get hard. But caring for others is rooted in the heart of God. What a difference it makes when someone comes alongside and walks with you in a genuine, unselfish way. God wants us to walk with others and I believe we are blessed when we do!

We have been studying the biblical Book of Ruth with our children. Ruth is a perfect example of someone who, in spite of all the hardships and struggles, remained faithful. The Bible says that Ruth "made up her mind" to go with her mother-in-law Naomi. She was determined with all of her heart to be faithful and care for her. Her journey was not at all easy and I imagine that caring for a sad, sometimes bitter woman may not have been so easy either; but she never left her side.

Ruth had no idea what was waiting for them in Bethlehem, yet she kept going. On the journey I am sure there must have been times she wondered: how much longer? When will we get there? But she never wavered in her commitment to care for Naomi. Maybe it was because she "made up her mind" in the very beginning and her determination and faith in the Lord kept her going. If she had only known all the blessings and wonderful things that awaited her in the future! There is a price to pay for walking with others but the gift we receive in the end is so much greater.

Whenever I was going through something hard, my mother used to say, "This too shall pass." She said that with such assurance and peace. I didn't always appreciate it because I wanted to know...when? How long would it take?! But I have come to learn that Mom was right. Things do pass. Some seasons are harder than others and sometimes the hard seasons can stay awhile. It can be easy to be caught up in the negative, the "bad" and forget that we too can have peace and assurance in the midst of the storm. Even in the hard times we can find good (another thing Mom was so good at).

And when time passes...and it does...there are things we will miss. We look back and we can see the beauty in the struggle and pain. God was there all along. He never left our side. Times change and pass away. Children grow up. Loved ones come and go. Life keeps going. New seasons come. Look for the beauty in every situation; there are sweet moments in the midst of the tears. Remember, "This too shall pass."

Trusting in the Lord in spite of all the things going on around us can be hard. We become focused on what we see and not what the Lord has said. When we trust that the hard moments will pass and are determined to keep pressing on, new and different seasons are on the horizon. God's blessings have been there all along, even on the long journey to get where we needed to be.

We would ask for your prayers as we continue to work on our house to get ready for children in the future. It has been quite a big job and they recently found more problems with our roof. We may have to make more changes as things have been badly damaged due to bad weather and earthquakes in the past. Please pray the weather will be good for them to be able to work and that the Lord will give us wisdom in all the decisions we will be making concerning our home. We still also need to change out gutters and change side panels that have been damaged from mold and humidity. We want things to be done right and pray we will have all the funds needed to cover all these expenses.

We are very excited by the way God is putting together a "Hidden Treasures" team here in Costa Rica. There are big decisions to be made; we have been in many meetings as we plan how we will go forward in the future to help more orphans and foster children. We are very grateful for the doors God is opening and would ask that you be in prayer with us going forward in the future. We realize how important it is to have people walking with us that can give us support and guidance, not only in the United States, but here in Costa Rica. It is amazing how God brings new people alongside to help in the process. We feel very blessed and encouraged to have met some very wonderful people.

We want to thank you for all your love and support, standing with us in this new season and all the Lord is doing. Your faithfulness means the world to us and so many with whom we walk and serve here. Christmas will be coming up and we will be reaching out again to many children in our community. So please pray we can give to the needy children around us. If you know of anyone that would like to help, please let them know!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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October 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Recently my Dad preached on how God uses chaos to bring order and new life. This message really touched my heart because I believe it to be true in so many ways! And I have seen this first-hand in our children's lives and my own. Anytime a child has come into our home, there is always a process of bringing things into order; this can take a while. As our children continue to grow, there are more issues and situations that come into the light. After all, almost every child we receive has come out of a "chaotic" home life; some have had very traumatic experiences that can take time to heal.

When we first received Cristal, one of our foster daughters, she was so afraid that she could only go to sleep if she was holding my hand. I loved to look at her sweet, peaceful face as she finally fell into a deep sleep, after struggling so much, while she held on tightly to my hand. She and her sister had been left outside to sleep many nights, in a very dangerous neighborhood, as "punishment for bad behavior". You can only imagine the fear she had at night in the dark, but soon she learned to trust us and knew she would be safe.

Dad said in his recent message, "God can work in chaos to create something right, peaceful, and joyful in the Holy Spirit." Isn't that great news! Just like with Cristal, after the struggle, then peace and rest come, and God is there holding our hand through it all. Raising children can be filled with times of chaos. Many times, you have no idea what to do. But when we call on the Holy Spirit and realize He is right there with us, He can make what seems to be a hopeless situation into something beautiful! We just have to go through the process and sometimes a little chaos to get there. Going through the process and remaining faithful is the hard part. If we are consistent and faithful in our actions, one day we will see the fruits of our labor.

I have seen this when we have taken in premature babies. They need to be rocked more and held more and fed every two hours. It can be exhausting! But then one day, you realize they are going to be alright; they feel loved, they are happy and healthy; it is a beautiful thing!

When we go through hard seasons, it seems like it will never end and we can be tempted to give up. These last three years have been hard for us in many ways, even chaotic. We have had two children who have dealt with health issues and one of our daughters was constantly in pain. Because of her pain and so many medications, she has dealt with anxiety and depression. You wonder will this ever end? How long will we have to go through this? But God can and does work in chaos! He is working on all of us to bring something new.

We have felt the Lord saying that we are going into a new season and a new beginning. This has been very comforting to us. I feel like we are finally seeing the light in our children's health and emotional situations. Our son has finally gotten the right medicine for his thyroid and is feeling so much better. Our daughter's pain has lessened a great deal. She is exercising and eating a very healthy diet and has been taking wonderful natural supplements. She is able to study and get out more. When you are in chronic pain, it is just hard to function. As her parents, it broke our hearts. She has a group of people and specialists that are helping her, which has taken some of the load off of Enrique and I. We have found a team of people who are supporting us and counseling us and walking with us. I have learned we cannot do this alone. Having the right team around us has made a huge difference in our lives. We are seeking the Lord for His will and guidance and are excited for the new season that God is bringing.

As many of you know, we badly needed a new roof on our home. This required us to move out for a time as they work on the roof and do other house repairs. We have the money for the roof and we hope we can put up new gutters and to repair walls that have been damaged from earthquakes and humidity. There is much to be done. We are so grateful that we have been able to get started, and we found the perfect place to live in the meantime. We will be renting in a nearby town close to schools and grocery stores, in a very safe and restful area. I think in spite of all the work to be done, this will be a time of refreshment for us and a time to seek God's will for the season coming up.

We are getting our home ready for more children. We often get calls asking if we can take in a newborn or toddler; most have been through very traumatic events. They need a place to stay until they find a forever home. Depending on their legal status, that can take a while. Many need extra care and love so they can be ready to be adopted. We would love to continue this work, but we will need more help in the future. Our daughter and son-in-law are very interested in helping, as are several other couples who have been part of the Hidden Treasures team. Please be in prayer that all the financial needs would be covered. Taking in more children and covering all of their special needs is a big expense. We have space in our home, but raising financial support for each new child and the caregivers will be a priority.

We appreciate you standing in prayer with us in this new season and we thank you so much for all your love and support! Without you, this work could not be done. I would encourage you to read my dad's new Pastoral Letter (visit It sure did encourage me! "God can and does work with chaos. Chaos is the end of something, but if we listen, it will be the beginning of something new." Thank you Lord for new beginnings!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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September 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

Isn't it a wonderful thing how God uses our own trials and struggles to help others! It is so comforting when you are going through something hard in life, but then you meet someone who has gone through the same thing. You think to yourself, "Hey, they made it through, they survived, so maybe I can too!"

We have a daughter who has struggled in school. Learning has been hard. We study and study, but still her grades have been low. You get to the point where you just don't know what to do. It broke my heart to see her struggling so much and trying so hard, but always ending up frustrated after each test. We have been told many times she was probably dyslexic, but never have found the right person to help.

I called a new specialist in dyslexia for help, not knowing how she would be and wondering if she would be able to help us. I felt a little overwhelmed myself, but what a comfort, what a relief, when she said, "I am super dyslexic! I know just what she is going through. I know how she feels! I have studied dyslexia for years because I want other people to know they can learn just like I did!" After meeting with her, we felt so encouraged. She assured us she could help our daughter and give her the tools and confidence she needed to learn. We had finally met someone who understood. It is one thing to have studied something; it is another thing to have lived it.

I believe we go through hard things, not just so WE can grow and learn, but to be able to help and encourage others in similar situations. Recently, I have connected with other families who have adopted and fostered children. It has been so encouraging to see they too have faced trials and struggles with each of their children. The road has not been easy. Reading their blogs and chatting with adoptive families gives us a support system and a feeling that we are not alone. We also get to share with them the testimonies of what God is doing in our own children.

One lady who has fostered many children wrote, "From the instant we saw her, we loved her with our whole hearts, but any adoptive family can tell you (indeed, any family at all can tell you) that love does not heal all hurts. There is a pain that can last a lifetime."

It isn't hard for me to love a child. I adore children, and I can say that every time a new child has come, I have felt so much love in my heart. But their hurts run deep, and can come out at the most unexpected times and ways. Especially children who have come to us when they were older; they have been through so much, and healing takes time. I am so grateful for a faithful God that uses all our hurts for good and all our trials and struggles to help others. Our process or journey doesn't usually look like the promises God has given us; it can get messy and ugly, but we have to focus on His promises and know without a doubt it will all be used for His glory in the end!

Please pray for our children, and that God would give us strength and wisdom to walk with each one in the trials and struggles they face. It can be exhausting, but we must give each hurt and pain to the One who knows all about hurt and pain and suffered the most. Jesus is our hope and comfort, and He understands because He lived it!

Many of you know we are getting ready to do much needed repairs on our home and will be getting a partial new roof. We have raised enough money for the roof and we are so grateful for your love and support and the donations that came in from very dear friends. We will have to move out of our home for a time while things are being repaired. Please pray we find just the right place and we will have the financial support for our family while we are away.

And please pray that God will show us His will for the future. We would like to receive more children in our home, but this means we would need more help. Our oldest daughter Daniela and her husband Jonathan would like to help in fostering and adopting more children in the future. They have been a great support to Hidden Treasures and we feel God has a great calling on their lives. Pray that God will make it clear what His will is in the future. Receiving more children means getting rooms ready and getting the government's approval. So, please be in prayer.

Thank you so much for your love and support and walking with us. These have not been easy times, but we know God is preparing us for a new season and the opportunity to reach out to more children. We trust in His timing and promises, and we know the miracle is in the journey as well as in the destination!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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August 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

July has been a very big month for us! We are so excited because our oldest daughter, Daniela, got married to Jonathan Murillo on the 14th. My Dad came to Costa Rica for the wedding and was with us for two weeks. He performed the wedding ceremony which makes it even more special! That has always been Daniela's dream to have her Grandpa be a part of the wedding.

Daniela came into our home when she was nine years old. She and her other four siblings were the first five children to come and live with me in my small condominium near San Jose. Daniela's seven year old brother, Eduardo, escorted her down the aisle at my wedding and who would have thought that eighteen years later, we would be getting ready for her big day! They were our first foster children and never in my wildest dreams did I know what the future would bring.

Bringing a nine-year-old and four younger siblings in my home and getting ready for my own wedding was far from easy, but oh what fun we had practicing for the big day! They knew nothing of weddings and flowers; marriage and commitment and family were all brand new things to each child. They came dirty and broken from abusive and hurtful relationships. So, for them it was a dream come true to be a part of a family! But, easy it was not. You would think it would be easy to be part of a loving family; it was something they had always dreamed of, but dealing with insecurities and hurts that go way deep down take time to heal.

Daniela had many ups and downs and faced many challenges, but we are so grateful to the Lord for His faithfulness through it all. We are especially grateful for the man the Lord has given her. He is strong and loving and puts the Lord first in his life. Not only has he been like a son to us, but he has also been a dear friend and has taken a big interest in all the other kids, spending time with them and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord. God has given him a gift to reach out to others and he has been a big part of the work at Hidden Treasures. Isn't it amazing how God puts everything together?

When I look at Daniela and Jonathan, it makes me remember God's faithfulness. A mother, facing many trials with her own children, wrote, "Seeing Daniela get married has brought our whole family hope." That really stuck out in my mind; our testimony and what God has done in our lives bring so much hope to the people around us. God's faithfulness to us makes faith and hope rise in others. As one hurting child said, "If God can do it for Daniela, maybe He can do it for me too!" This really touched my heart. When hope and faith rise, lives are changed and we know that with God, all things are possible. God can heal broken hearts and He will use our past hurts to bring hope to people in the future.

A few weeks ago, we had a team from Atlanta visiting in our home. They have been dear friends of ours for years. Chris Hyatt was my youth pastor growing up in Alabama. He had a big influence in my life and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. He spoke at our church and it was a very timely message for us. Chris said, "The same God that started something in your life, will finish it. We want God to handle the things around us, but He says, 'I am working in YOU.' The Father still has business to do and He is calling you into His partnership."

Many times I have thought God was just working in my children's lives, through all the hurt and pain, but God was and is working in me to change me and make me into the person He wants me to be, preparing me for what He has in the future. I am believing what He started, He will finish, and He's not finished yet!

I'm so grateful that God sends dear friends when you need them and so grateful my Dad was able to come also. I can't tell you how much it has meant for us to have him here. He is such a blessing. It seems the older I get, the more I realize just how much I need him in my life. Each time we were with him, we tried to take in all his words of wisdom. His love and encouragement will remain in our hearts forever! Thank you, Dad, for letting us pour out our hearts to you and for not only loving me, but loving and caring for each one of our children. Nothing compares to the love of a father!

We want to thank all of you for standing with us in your prayers, giving, and friendship! It means so much. These last few months have not been easy, but we are so grateful for all your love and support. We feel like God is calling us into a new season. We are seeking him and preparing for what he has next. Please pray with us as we seek his will.

We will begin soon with major repairs to our home. We have had a lot of damage from humidity and bad weather. We may have to move out of our home while repairs are being done. Please pray that we find the right people to help us and that we will find the right place where we can go.

You have been such a blessing to so many lives! Many of you have supported us financially and have been with me since I first came to Costa Rica. It was because of your love and God's faithfulness that our daughter Daniela could live in a loving home and finally meet her new husband. Just think of how many lives will be changed because of their story; there are so many more stories to be told! We must never forget what God has done; He is faithful! Her story gives many hope, and what He started He WILL finish!!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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June 2018 Newsletter

Hola Amigos y Amigas!

This month, it is my honor to write to you on behalf of my sister, Charlyn and my brother-in-law, Enrique. As you know, Enrique and Charlyn founded and lead the Hidden Treasures Costa Rica Children's Home. As a brother, I want to share some personal stories and thoughts about this wonderful ministry and ask for your prayers.

It was 25 years ago that Charlyn answered the call of God and traveled to Costa Rica to study at the Instituto de Lengua Español in the capital city of San José. While she was still a student there, she began to reach out to people she met in the city, including many homeless, elderly, and hungry people. After graduating, she sensed that the Holy Spirit was leading her to stay in Costa Rica to continue outreach.

Over time, the Lord gave her a dear, faithful friend named Ana Bermudez who prepared delicious meals of arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) in large pots to help Charlyn feed the hungry children living in the precarios (squatters' camps) of the Central Valley. Their work was hard, but hundreds of children were fed, heard the Gospel, and felt loved and accepted. Ana's son, Enrique, believed strongly in the mission, and began going with Charlyn and Ana to serve and also to protect ...sometimes, a precario can be a dangerous place.

One day, Charlyn called me from Costa Rica as I was at my office working in Alabama. She was unusually happy! She explained that this wonderful friendship and ministry partnership with Enrique had grown much deeper and they were in love! In 2000, they were married. Immediately, God gave them 11 children in foster care; their home was very full, and very happy.

The journey continued with major challenges and heartbreaks. By 2002, Enrique and Charlyn had adopted 5 of the children for whom they had provided foster care. By God's grace, they were also able to remain in close contact with several of the other children. During these years, the vision for Hidden Treasures Costa Rica Children's Home came into focus. Enrique and Charlyn would buy land, build a house, and invite children to come and stay; not at an orphanage or institution, but in a family.

Miracle after miracle ensued. More children joined the family and by 2012, with the prayer and financial support of many friends like you, they finally moved into their new "Carolyn House", named after our dear Mother, who had been such a vital part of the ministry until her death in 2008. The home and the land upon which it sits has become a beacon and a haven in the community; hundreds of visited there over the years; many children have lived their full-time or part-time as beloved and accepted members of the family.

You've probably read most of their monthly letters during these years. Here in 2018, after many great victories, the Mejia family once again faces new opportunities and challenges. These past few weeks have been especially intense in terms of spiritual attacks, financial needs, and health crises. I want to express my deep personal gratitude to one special couple, Roldan Ruiz and his wife, Grettel Leon, who have provided pastoral care and prayer support for the Mejias. Their faithfulness has meant so much to our family!

This week, Charlyn and I were talking together via phone, and the Lord gave me a verse to share with her: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

We believe that in our tribulation, we receive comfort from God that overflows out of our lives and into the lives of others who are also in any trouble. What a beautiful promise of God's provision and redemption! We approach these current challenges with great faith in what God will do. May I mention a few specific needs to ask for your prayer and, if God leads you, a special financial gift?

1) While we have some money saved, we still need approximately $8,000 over and above our regular budget to finish major repairs on the roof. Leaks and other issues have caused interior damage, mold, and other problems. The house sits near a large rainforest in the mountains, so you can imagine how critical this need is.

2) Some exterior panels are rotting and need replacing, as well as interior repairs; the estimated total need is $4,000. There is a possibility that due to the extensive nature of all of these repairs, the family would need to temporarily re-locate while the work is being done.

3) Hidden Treasures is now renting another house for three more children and their mother who have had a long-term relationship with the Mejias. They have many unique needs, including education. Their mother has many personal battles, including health. Enrique and Charlyn have provided desperately-needed assistance for her through the years.

If the Holy Spirit impresses it upon your heart to give, or in any way support us in these needs, please know that it will be a great blessing and used to advance the kingdom of God. This will greatly strengthen the Mejia family, and all who receive from them will be tremendously grateful.

Thanks so much for being a part of this journey! For more information, visit us on Facebook at Hidden Treasures Costa Rica or at

Muchas gracias!

Stephen Simpson

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February 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! We are so thankful for the way you stood with us in 2017, and already, we are into the second month of 2018. Time flies!

Christmas is such a busy time, especially when you have so many children who are just waiting for a gift. Now, I don't like to give just any gift; I like to think about what each child needs, not only for my own children, but for the children we reach in the community. Each child is different. Each child has special needs. This makes things much more time consuming going out and thinking about each one's specific needs. But putting time and thinking about what each child needs makes each one feel special! Isn't it amazing to think that God does that for us! And He already knows ALL of our needs!

A dear friend of ours spoke at church on Christmas. She read a verse that really touched my heart. After Jesus rose from the dead, He sent an angel to Mary Magdalene. The angel said to her, "Go tell His disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you into Galilee." My favorite part of this verse is "...and PETER" (see Mark 16:7). Jesus went out of His way to let Peter know He loved him and He was still there for him, in spite of Peter's failings. He called Peter by name. God knew that Peter felt like a failure. God knew what Peter needed! God doesn't speak to me the same way He speaks to others; He speaks to me according to my needs. He doesn't give me the same gifts that He gives others; He gives me what I need.

Recently, God put a very special lady in my life. She truly has been sent by God; many days I feel she is an angel! When you have so many children, I think one of the hardest things is knowing each one of their needs. They are all different and knowing how to relate to each one in the best way can be challenging. I met up with this dear lady for coffee one day. She has more educational degrees than you can imagine! She was head of the children's hospital here. The list of things she has accomplished is long and quite impressive. I had been praying for a friend, someone who could walk with me and just let me pour out my heart, which is a very good thing to do when you work with people with so many needs.

As I sat down with her for a cup of coffee, telling her of all my children's needs, she said, "I can talk to you as a professional or I can talk to you as a mother." Tears rolled down her face as she begins to tell me all she has been through with each one of her children. She spoke to me right where I was, as a mother, just trying to do her best. Even though she has all the degrees you could ever need in child care, she was a mother just like me trying to do her best and trusting in the Lord every step of the way. "It certainly hasn't been easy," she said. "But God is faithful!"

Then she shared with me something that blew me away: she is also an expert on the topic of epilepsy. She has given many talks and taught in many hospitals. While teaching on this subject, her own daughter had a seizure, and much to their surprise, they found out their daughter had epilepsy. She asked me a question that has stuck with me ever since: "Do you think I gave better talks before or after I went through epilepsy with my own daughter?" Then she said, "Before, I spoke from what I learned in a book at school; now I speak from what I have experienced and from my heart. God is only able to bring about change at the level of the human heart."

Not only does God know our needs, He knows us! When we really know someone, we can better meet their needs. Every person is different! My husband, Enrique, recently said, "God finds us wherever we are and whatever condition we are in. He finds us; we don't find him." Isaiah 43:1 says, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." God called Peter by name...He knew Peter. God knows me and He knows what I need. He knows you, too!

Many of you know the story of our daughter Mabel, who has had health issues over the last few years. My sweet new friend has given Mabel the opportunity to work at one of the schools she has started for Down Syndrome and Autistic children. It has been Mabel's dream to work with special needs children. She is very excited to start in March volunteering as a teacher's assistant. This has given her hope and encouragement as she faces her own struggles. I am beyond grateful to the Lord for all He is doing in each one of our children's lives. We appreciate you standing in prayer with us as each one faces different challenges and has different needs.

Because of your love, we were able to give very much-needed gifts to many children in the community and the children for whom we personally care. A six-year-old little girl named Ashley couldn't wait for her gift. Every time I saw her, she reminded me that her dream was to have new shoes and a doll baby. She lives in a house with a dirt floor and her many brothers and sister and cousins.

Thank you for all that you have done in past months and years to stand with us, whether in prayer or in special financial giving or volunteering. We are so grateful, and we ask you to please continue to remember us. Thus far, 2018 is filled with many new opportunities and challenges. Have a wonderful February!

Much love,

Enrique and Charlyn Mejia

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