Last week Vincent attended a meeting at the local school with 11 year old Maram. Due to the violent abuse Maram's mother endured when pregnant with Maram, the dear child was born with a brain injury and continues to struggle with ongoing medical and cognitive issues. Despite her beautiful spirit, her determination and hard work, she has reached a point where she can no longer keep up with her peers in a normal school, and so starting in September 2023, in 6th grade, she will go to a special school for kids with disabilities. The meeting was important, arranged by her teacher and the Principal of her Elementary School to introduce Maram to the Principal of the new special school and to talk about her transition. Maram's mom was of course unavailable to attend the meeting (and no-one knows if the father is even alive), and so at Maram's request, Vincent attended the meeting with her. At the meeting Vincent was shocked to discover that for several years, Maram has been telling her teachers at school absolutely EVERYTHING about me, Vincent, our personal lives, Parfums de Vie, our camps, everything - that she reads the Bible with us, that she prays to Jesus, how much she loves us, belonging to Parfums de Vie, coming to our home etc. So for the first half of the meeting the two principals and Maram's teacher were just so curious to talk to Vincent and questioned him intensely to learn more about who we are, what is Parfums de Vie and why we do this work!
We have worked with Maram every day since 2015 when she was 4 years old. She's a dear sweet child, who has managed to master reading, writing and math (currently at 3rd grade level) despite her learning difficulties. However, she has been aware for some time that she can't keep up with her peers academically or physically (her head injury means that she even has to be careful when playing) and this is very hard for her, because although she is a little 'slow' to master skills compared to her peers, she is also intelligent and capable and very much aware of what's going on around her, and she is frustrated by her inability to keep up. In fact if French schools were a little less rigid and more flexible in learning styles, Maram would be more than capable to continue in a 'normal' school setting, she just needs more time to learn.
I wanted to share this story because it really reminded me of the immense importance of the work of Parfums de Vie. While I know that Parfums de Vie is a safe haven, where every day we are bringing Christ's life, love, light, hope and healing to so many children, the reality is that it is also just a lot of hard work everyday - being present, being consistent, being patient, showing up, making sure there's food, that the bills get paid, that the government paperwork is correctly filed, that we remember to celebrate everyone's birthdays and that we show up to meetings at kids' schools because if we don't go, no-one else does. So sometimes in the daily struggle of the endless lists of everything that needs to be done, sometimes I forget that for all of the kids we work with, Parfums de Vie is literally their ENTIRE world, it's the most important thing in their lives and it's the reason why they keep showing up every day! God is truly at work!
Will you pray for Maram? Her mother is very abusive and neglectful (the two principals were shocked that she didn't even show up to the meeting) and the home environment is very difficult, but we remind Maram every day that God is present, even in all of these struggles, and that she can trust Him today and for her future.
When I write to tell you that your love, prayers and generosity is changing lives - this is what I am talking about. An abused, neglected child with a disability feels loved, cared for and important. She wasn't upset or surprised that her Mom didn't attend the meeting - she was proud, happy and confident that Vincent was there for her. Maram is important in God's eyes, and thanks to Parfums de Vie, she knows it.
with love & profound gratitude for your partnership with us,
Nicole & Vincent
How to Give?
***We continue to raise support for our General Ministry Fund which covers the operative costs of running our Education & Literacy Center, Kids Clubs, Youth Groups and Camps. We have camps planned for December 2022 and February 2023. We are also still raising support to cover Tuition and Living Expenses for our four College Students. If you would like to support the ministry through regular or one-time giving, all the information is below. Please don't hesitate to contact me for more information! Thank you so much!***
*****Please remember to specify if your gift is for: Parfums de Vie Côte d'Azur Project #70350 OR the DERIEUX family #40415*****
If you would SPECIFICALLY like to help our College Students - please designate the gift to Parfums de Vie with a note specifying "University Scholarship Fund"
Phone: 888-242-5930You can make donations over the phone if you prefer. Lynette in the office is amazing and super helpful. Stock donations are also possible, ask Lynette for more details!
Post: PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS
PO Box 60543
City of Industry, CA 91716-0543 USA
You can email the Communitas office for any enquiries about setting up donations.
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