Friday, August 26, 2011

Start of the new school year

School started this week in the area, as well as for Cole and I. We were on the fence on how we would go about doing school. I liked the idea of putting him in school in the area so that he would learn spanish. But then we would have to do a little of H.Schooling after school to make sure we also are up to Canadian curriculum standards. I also liked the idea of just H.Schooling because we could have time off when family comes to visit. Freedom to spend all our time with family has won! We started school when the rest of the kids started. We've had a week of figuring out how to make our 2-3 hours work to their full potential. I have always had a respect for the teachers in my child's life, but I have an all new respect!! I now see first hand the struggles there are when Cole hasn't had a good nights sleep, also when he struggles with a subject or just plain doesn't like it. Even the effort on the teacher side to make sure that they have a good nights sleep if they will be at their full potential!
I'm also excited that Cole's classmates want to keep contact with him, and I look forward to helping Cole email his friends.

God Bless!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Close Call

This evening started out to be a normal Thursday evening. We headed off to Guaymas for the programs and arrived there a bit early, it was around 5:30. Marisela, Clarissa and Duelse started their walk gathering all the children for the program as I stayed back with the boys. We were outside when I saw Clarissa and Duelse hurrying back to the house. Clarissa told me I needed to get in the truck and go pick up Erica (13) from her house and get her to the hospital. She was struggling to breath. I rushed over to go and get her and when I arrived she was gasping for air and in tears. We got her in the truck and Maricela, Erica's aunt, her mother and I were off to the Hospital. I drove as fast as I could on the Fatima roads without the truck breaking into pieces and once on the highway sped into Guaymas running stop lights, stop signs and dodging vehicles. We arrived at the Hospital and Erica was barely breathing. Hospital staff took her in imminently as she was unconscious when we arrived. Initially her mother went in with her but after a short time she came to the waiting room in tears. She said that it wasn't good, and that the doctors were working on her. I found out later that Erica had an allergic reaction to Asprin. The doctors managed to stabilizer her and a scary situation turned out okay. We are so thankful that Erica will recover and all will be okay, She is in the hospital for the night but is expected to go home tomorrow.
I cant help but think what would have happened if the girls hadn't gone out for their walk to pic up the kids for the program? The household has no phone or vehicle. They had no one to notify! We are so thankful that Gods timing was perfect this evening. The girls showed up just on time and we got her to the hospital just as Erica dosed off into unconsciousness. We Praise the Lord that everything worked out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I miss...

Through the last couple of weeks, the line "I miss" has entered my mind often. There was a day where I felt I could have written a song. lol While talking to my sister about it, she encouraged me to blog it.
I miss dirt.
I miss walking barefoot, and not worrying about critters.
I miss working in dirt.
I miss waking up in the morning and having to check what the weather is like outside. (Here it's a consistent hot.)
I miss seeing big trees with big green leaves.
I miss seeing my family. My nieces and nephews. (Skype is just not the same.)
I miss knowing all the little things that are happening in everyone's lives.
I miss my kitchen, where everything I need is in the cupboards.
I miss flushing the toilet paper down the toilet. (It goes in the garbage here.)
I miss all the relationships that I have been blessed with back home. Especially in the church family. (I miss you guys!!)
I miss being able to just start a conversation without much thought on how I will be able to express what I'm trying to communicate. (I have often wanted to ask someone something, but because I don't know the words for them to understand, I just am quiet.)
I miss a scheduled day, and that everyone around me has a scheduled day.
I miss eating supper before 10:00pm. (This is usually when we are at P.Raphael's home.)
I miss our culture, and understanding it.
I so so miss the women in my life that have pulled me under their wing.
I miss a/c everywhere I go. :)
I miss a pressurized shower. (Right now it literally pours out of a pipe out of the wall. We did put a shower head on, put there wasn't enough pressure to spray out.)
I miss having water come out of the tap every time I turn it on.
I miss seeing animals that are fed.
I miss our gravel roads!
I miss normal driving. (Here, anything goes.)
I miss home.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's been awhile!

"I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." Rev 3:8

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it has been awhile since we have posted on our blog. We have been quite busy this week and on top of that we have been dealing with the loss of internet to our home.
The past week has been a week of many emotions and feeling. We have had good days but this week has also brought us to the verge of wanting to go home. Although we have experienced hard times this week, God has also reminded us that He is only an arms reach away and He is wanting to walk this journey with us.

We went on a small road trip this week up to the town on Sonoyta and held VBS programs at church that is right on the USA border. It was an eerie feeling standing at the 12' fence looking into the USA knowing that that the fence was there to keep us out. It felt like we were on the side of the bad guys. (i guess we are) It was an uncomfortable feeling and although I was outside I felt a bit claustrophobic knowing they were keeping us out. I would have much rather been on the other side of the fence. During our travels we hit numerous check stops. Again, the heavy presence of the military and the marines is a bit eerie and uncomfortable. We saw (and continue to see) many Police trucks armed with mounted machine guns and its common to see officers armed with AK47's. Although they are intimidating, each time we have crossed through a check stop or have come in direct contact with a Marine or Military officer, each one has been really friendly and pleasant.
Our boys continue to do well in our new surroundings. We are thankful that they like it here. They are missing our families back in Canada and are very excited for their visits. Mason's infection on his toe is healing which is great and Cole has officially started home school. We are hoping to get a head start so that he can take some "time off" when Grandma and Grandpa show up.
Clarissa and I are doing okay. Clarissa had a rough week in that she was to the point of going home. Yesterday was my first day I was officially frustrated with "Mexico" but today is a new day and its off to a good start.
The food program is going well. We are waiting for some assistance from Canada so that we can start making some small changes. My goal right now is to get it to the point that it can function on it's own using support from the US and Canada vs. the funds coming from Pastor Rafael or myself. Both of us are finding the financial weight of the program draining even though its not requiring huge dollars right now neither of us have extra funds to cover all the costs. Pray that God would provide for the program so that we can continue to reach the children here. We see awesome things happening with the children, not necessarily because we feed them but because the program gives us the opportunity to spend time with them and be an example of love and support. They sense security and stability while they are with us and we know that they are learning and watching us. We want to start feeding twice per week so that we can double the amount of time that we spend with them, as well as meet a "real" need that they have all in an effort to have as much influence on the as we can. So Pray that God would guide and direct and also provide.

There are several ways you can support the Food Program.

If you are in need of a Birthday cake or a cake for a special occasion call Jenn Scapinello at 325-6332 or look up her up at "Charity Cakes" on Facebook to see photo's of here work. She is donating all the proceeds towards supporting the program here in Guaymas.
2) If you are in need of a Hair Cut and would like to Support, on August 25 my sister, Jen Winters is offering her services at McKena's Spa in Morden by donation only. You can visit her also on Facebook as well at "Haircuts for Guaymas" or call her at 822-1328 to book an appointment. Again all donations from the hair cuts are going towards the food program here.

Both these ladies are offering their services free of charge as they want to contribute in their own way by using the gifts that God has given them. I believe they are also being obedient to God's promoting to help make a difference by using their gifts. I strongly encourage you all to take them up on their offer as they want to help make a difference here. I am truly thankfull for both Jen and Jenn for their servent heart and for giving of their time. Neither of you understand the huge impact that you are making in the lives of the children here and I pray that one day you will have the opportunity to come and meet them first hand!

If there is no special occasion in your life right now that requires a cake and if you are freshly groomed but would still like to support you still can! Cheques can be made payable to the Winkler MB Church but please attach a separate note indicating your pledge is designated to the food program by titling the note: "Fatima Church Program Support." Drop it off at the Church or mail them to the address below and all funds will be sent to us on a monthly basis.

Winkler, MB Church
120 Pineview Dr
Winkler, MB

For questions or inquiries you can contact myself at or call the Church office and 204-325-8322.

Thanks for keeping us and the program in your prayers. Will always look forward to hearing from all of our friends and family so don't hesitate to send us an email or reply to this post. At times we do get lonely so your messages are encouraging.

Love from San Carlos

Brian % Clarissa

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seeking Him

Hi Everyone,

We trust that you are all well. Thanks to all of you back home that continue to pray for us and the program here. We are facing many different emotions everyday but we feel you prayers and know that without them we would be struggling.
Today was another eye opener for me. Now that I am at home and relaxing my mind is starting to slow down and the reality of the events of the day are starting to settle in. I think I must have been running on adrenalin because all of a sudden I'm not feeling well. I have the a/c blowing at me but can't seem to cool down? Maybe a good night sleep?
So, this morning I had to run some errands in Guaymas. 2 members from the Koenes ministries team accompanied me as it is a 20-30 minute commute and they also had some errands to do. It turned out that we ran into some delays but through it we had some amazing experiences. I'll save that story for another time because its a good one but while we were out something else was happening that I would like to share.
We live in San Carlos however we are working on the other side of Guaymas in a community called Fatima. As you have read and heard the people there are living in extreme poverty. Pastor Raphael has been telling me that the people of Fatima are becoming very curious about us and are interested in why we are here in Mexico. They have been hearing the stories of the food program that we are offering to the children but they are also seeing that we are helping families that seek help. The Pastor has been telling the people that God has sent us from Canada to serve here and that we are helping them work with the children and the food program. Over the last week or two I have been hearing rumblings that the people are putting hope in US because God sent us here to help them and they are starting to expect dramatic changes because we are "sent by God." Although I believe we are called and I believe remarkable things are going to happen it is not US who is making it happen. God is doing the work! I didn't like it that I was hearing people confuse the work that God was doing with the idea that it was Brian from Canada doing it! I tried not to give it much thought thinking it would pass but then today the unexpected happened....
I arrived back at the mission center this afternoon around 2:30. While I was away a family had shown up at the center looking for me. I thought this was odd as I don't know anyone here other than the team. This family arrived at the door. They had hitch hiked from Fatima all the way to San Carlos and from San Carlos they walked the additional 2-3 miles in the desert with a 6 year old boy and a 5 month old baby. Keep in mind it is 37 degrees here today. They arrived at the center dehydrated, soaking in sweat and exhausted. The man at the center asked how we could help and all they would say is they were looking for Brian. (the person at the center is a family member of one of our staff visiting. there was no staff there to assist) They needed to talk to Brian. Obviously I was not there so they asked if they could wait for me to return. They waited for 2 hours at the center for me to arrive but I was still off on another "mission." The gentleman at the mission continued to ask the family what it was they needed and why they had come all that way looking for me. They opened up and indicated that he had not had a job quite awhile and that they have been out of food and they desperately needed help. They said that they knew "Brian" was working in Fatima with the Pastor and they needed my help and that they needed to speak to me. The gentleman at the mission went on sharing with them that they shouldn't be seeking man to meet their needs but that they should be seeking Jesus as he is the only one that can provide and that if they would seek Him with all their hearts maybe he would provide work for him so that he could care for their family. He went on to say that you have walked all this way seeking "Brian" and he isn't even here. You shouldn't put your trust in man, it is only God that will always be there for you. Because I was not returning the family ended up getting a ride back to San Carlos and from there the gentleman bought them bus tickets back to Fatima.
I am left with mixed emotions from this story. A family spent all day looking for me! Had I been here, I would have packed them a food hamper and probably given them a ride back to Fatima to meet up with Pastor Raphael so that we could see where they are at. The reality that they were desperate enough to travel all that way to find me once again overwhelms me with the fact of how bad things are here for the people here and that they are looking at me to somehow help them. It is a really long way to go!!! I'm sorry that I missed them, I can't help but think that there are 2 hungry children in bed tonight because I wasn't available to help, after all they probably spent 6-8 hours of their day looking for me. I can only imagine that they too are thinking of the days events as well and if only I was there they wouldn't be hungry. I feel I have let them down. But... at the same time, I like the response that the gentleman at the center had. Don't rely on or seek man for your need but look to God for your provisions. Maybe God planned it that I would not be there and maybe it was a lesson for them to learn??? I don't know?
Regardless, with us being present in Fatima, people are desperately looking toward us in "hope" that we will bring change to their world. I want nothing more to help them and to bring change but it is not by my strength and power that it will happen. It is only through Him that it will happen. I believe that God will do great things here but it is going to take time. We are in major need for pray and we are in need of financial assistance. It is on nights like this one that I feel very, very small and have to totally rely on God to make things happen. After the events of today I cant help but have tears in my eyes. Please make Fatima a matter of your prayers regularly! Pray that God will send us provisions and that he will continue to reveal his plans in his time. In the mean time we will continue to help in any way we can but also pray for us that we can hold out and that we would stay strong and not get discouraged. And pray that I will cross paths with that family at some point so that we can see what we can do to help them out.

Gods Richest blessing to all of you,


Oh and be very thankful that we are so incredible blessed!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Update on Victor

Hi Everyone,

I have had a number of people inquire on Victor asking how he is doing? We are happy to say that we feel he is coming around allot! He joins us at Pastor Raphael's home almost daily, and has become quite a help. We held him a big Birthday party on Thursday evening including gifts and a DQ ice creme cake. I didn't ask the question but I would question whether anyone has ever celebrated him before. It was a special evening in that Victor felt as part of our team/family. I so badly want to upload the photo's of the party but unfortunately our video card got wet so they were lost.
He told me that he looks up to me as a dad, and he doesn't understand why we would go through the effort to love him. One of the things that we see over and over is the desire that the children have just to be cared for.
It was a special night. We are thrilled to see Victor hanging around and never miss the opportunity to greet him with hugs and a high five. Thanks to all of you that have been praying for him. He is a special boy to us.

Trust you are all well. We can't express enough our appreciation to all of you that are following our blog.


July - Monthly News Letter

The July edition to our monthly news letter has been emailed. If you did not receive a copy or if you would like me to add you to our contact list please let me know. We would love to get you a copy.