Saturday, January 17, 2009

Meet the Matteo Family

Today I was awarded the special privilege to revisit a family I fell in love with last Christmas. First let me tell you how I met them. My friend Amanda use to be a teacher (in a lot of ways she still is...I learn from her every time we are together) in Immokalee. Immokalee is considered the poor area in SW Florida. While I have seen worse, in comparison to the million dollar plus homes I drive by everyday in Naples, these people have it rough. Anyway, while Amanda was teaching she took under her wing this sweet family called the Matteo's. Last year I met them for the first time when we brought some canned goods and food to their home while serving with a ministry called Project Immokalee. I was 7 months pregnant at the time and can still remember racing the boys to the end of the street and back as a way of relating to these precious people. There are 6 kids in the family all under the care of one parent, their mother Maria.
(Here is Maria with Amanda's daughter Maryn)
Their dad has been in and out of the picture but we are glad to know that he is gone now so that they will not have to suffer under his abusive habits anymore. But with the dad gone, Maria had to find work and is now in the fields picking the vegitable/fruit of the season. She gave me a huge bag of green peppers today to say thank you- YUM! The kids all speak English because of school but Maria is still learning so it was great to practice what Spanish I had learned while talking with her. Anyway, today we brought them more food but also some clothing, tennis shoes, and some games and toiletries.
(Here is Angel trying out his new shoes. We took them for a test run!)Before the holidays we had decided as a small group to pull together and get some things for their Christmas as well. Today was the first weekend the majority of us could get together to take it out there for them so that is why it took so long. We enjoyed visiting with the family again and Jaxon loved playing with all the boys (football, marbles, etc). The ladies unloaded the food and kitchen items and helped Maria figure out what clothes would fit which child. After everything was put away in the house and all the kids were worn out from being chased by me with their water guns, we gathered outside and prayed together. We managed to take a group photo as well. All in all it was a precious time with the Matteo family. Please continue to pray for them. Maria shared with me that she is struggling with the rent so pray that she will trust God to provide for their every need.

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