Thursday, November 17, 2011



Last week Clarissa shared with you the story of a young lady that was taken by her father.
We wanted to take the opportunity to tell you that she is home now. We have not seen her or talked to her yet so I can't say how she is doing at this time. We expect to see her tonight so we are praying nothing happened to her while she was taken. We want to thank you for praying for her. We are so happy she is home again and safe with her mom. Please pray that she will be willing to talk to social services and have a restraining order put in place so her father can no longer hurt her.

Blessing to all of you


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pray for us!!!

Hi All
Hope that everyone back home is doing well. We are enjoying the season but I tell you it sure does not feel like November. We are enjoying nice days and cool evenings.
So life here has been good. We are seeing God at work for sure. With the food program we see Him providing just enough to keep us going. We are continuing to feel His presence all the time. This week we went out into the community to hand out hampers and it is just so great to touch base with the people. It is so freeing not to judge them or there lifestyle and just go there and bring them some food, and tell them that Jesus loves them even though they have baggage in their lives. We all have baggage but God forgives it all. We feel the Spirit is moving and hope to see some seeds sprout really soon.
At Casa de Esperanza life is busy too! We have building projects on the go. Teams are arriving and life is BUSY! We are starting to fit in a little more with the family here, although we are still trying to figure out where exactly we fit in. Art and Brenda as well as the rest of the team are awesome and they are stepping back and allowing the Spirit to lead. It's so cool!
One thing that I love about the ministry here as well as in Fatima is that the door is always open. People look to the mission center as a light house and a place of refuge. If they are in trouble or in need they come to us and know that we will do whatever we can to help them. (they think they come for help but we are actually giving them love) Again, we don't judge, we don't frown at them or their stories, we simply show them love and share Christ love and that's what is all about.
We see so many great things happening in the ministry here as well as other ministries in the community but we also sense that the dark forces are equally alive and moving. We sense it here. We all feel constant attacks. Starting at our staff in leadership right down to Cole. We are all feeling it. In talking to other mission organizations here they are sensing the same thing. Satan is alive and trying hard to mess up our teams. Please pray for protection. I know that even as a family we are always under attack and at times out of control. Please pray for Clarissa and I. As leaders in our home we definitely feel that we are being separated. With everything going on it seems hard to communicate and stay on the same page. This adds additional stress and often restless nights. For some reason I thought once we were down here life would become easier. Boy was I wrong! Missions is not joke!!! It's hard!!! So often everything seems out of control and falling apart. Help us stay strong and lean on the truth that when we are weak He is strong but pray God would deliver us from the stress, anxiety, and lies that Satan is trying to distract us with.
Please pray for Koenes Ministries/Casa de Esperanza, the food program as well as the church building project. Each one is a ministry in itself and the work that is happening is really amazing. None of it is possible without people that want to make a difference down here as well as people at home that want to be involved as well. Please pray that God would continue to lay it on the hearts of those he chooses to support these programs. As we are down here and see the work being done I can attest that your prayers and financial support is making a difference in lives and DEFINITELY impacting eternity. We praise God for all our supporters and trust that He will bless all of you. I'm sure at times some of you question whether you contribution really makes a difference but I assure you, you are bringing hope to a world that has none. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
We are looking forward to our visit home at the end of this month. It will be very good for our family to step out of Mexico for a breather. We would love to touch base with everyone that has been a support to us but we realize that it just cant happen. We are booking in time with our families first and then seeing if we can squeeze in some time with friends. Please forgive us in advance if we simply don't have a chance to connect with you but if we cross paths I look forward to touching base.

God Bless you all


Monday, November 14, 2011

Time with the boys

We had an exciting Saturday morning with our oldest boys. We decided to take them out to climb the Tetakowi Mountain. We all had a blast. With our lunch packed and equipped with water we set out on our journey up the 1400' mountain. It was an awesome opportunity to share Gods love with them and reflected on the time that Jesus was on the mountain praying while his disciples were out on the water battling the storm. I shared with them that life has challenges and storms but we are not alone. Jesus is praying for us and with us and will be our strength in time of need. It was so cool to share of the story being up on the mountain with the ocean at our side. Pray that the boys understand and that all of them would surrender their lives.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Girl time with Maricela

Casa de Esperanza has been a true blessing for Maricela, Dulce and the 6 young teenage girls this Friday to Saturday. The girls were super pumped to be here, and they kept on saying they felt like they were in a dream and that they never wanted it to end. :) After supper on Friday, the girls gathered under the Palapa first to be greeted by us the staff at the mission center. Second to have a evening of encouragement and sharing time with each other. I am so thankful that Itzel was willing to translate for me as this happened, I now know the girls more personally and can pray specifically for each one. Maricela did a great job of encouraging them in loving their family, even when it is sssoooo hard. (Like when a parent is giving you the gears or siblings just being nasty.) But also hearing in what kind of environment Maricela grew up in. She has experienced everything that these girls have, which makes her the even better "mom" for them.
As all slumber parties go, they did not get to sleep until after 2 a.m. and were up by 6:30 a.m. lol I know Maricela wanted to sleep in until 9 a.m. I didn't sleep over with them because I still needed to get to fatima the next morning. I know all that time they all were up talking, brought them all closer. I could see it already Saturday at lunch. I don't know about you all, but boy do teenage kids (or any other age) wear me out!!!

There is one girl specifically that we ask you to raise up in pray the next while. She was to come to this retreat as well, and was even at the Pastor's home ready to go. Until her drunk father showed up and insisted that she was coming with him. What I all understand is that he isn't with her mother, and that she actually has a step father back home. What gets me is that her step father back home treats her and her siblings as his children where as her biological father sees her as a woman. He has been texting her that she needs to go with him and be with him. When they are alone together he molests her. It had got to a point this last Thursday (which I wish I would have known at the time) she had reached her breaking point with him and told her friends that she would just go with him already. (She had been resisting and telling him to leave her alone.) As all the pieces are falling together this weekend we are going to see what we can do to protect her from him. Pray that Brenda has the strength to talk to the social services as well as the police so that we can get a restraining order on this guy. Pray protection over her. This morning I did not see her at the food program in fatima, but her little sister showed up. Something is very wrong.

God bless you all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It has been too long since our last blog!! I am happy to finally get you all up to date on what's been going on. :) It sure seems like there is always something. lol We have officially moved for our last time. Any itch I've ever had to move has been scratched more times than it needed. But none the less, our new home suits our family the best. We purchased a camper and the boys are loving it. It is so nice to live on site at Casa de Esperenza and not do so much driving!! As well, the boys have their own space when they need a nap or play on their own. ( I also appreciate the nap option.) :) Even just having a place for all our stuff!! We had been living out of our suitcases and totes since we had got here.
The food program has changed and improved greatly the last 2 weeks. After the volunteer meeting, all the volunteers had their position in the program and some simple rules laid out that helped everyone out. We now have designated kitchen staff, and during the program the kitchen is off limits to everyone. :) (I know the cooks are loving it.) We also have split up the kids into age groups and have leaders for each group. (Very much like Sunday school.) After the lesson, the volunteers serve the children one class at a time. It is amazing how the kids have adapted to this new system. We have number of 65-70 kids regularly, and it sounds like 20. It's shocking!! The kids are much calmer and much more patient with the food. In some ways I wonder if they are just relieved to have one part of their life that's not ciotic? Even their playing after the program is more calm. None the less, we still have some kinks to work out, but we have a good start on forming a program that will be able to accommodate 100 on a regular basis.

Little Alex has been blossoming! He is acting more and more like a 1 year old. :) Thanks to Absalom and Brian. :) The time they spend with him, is precious to this little boy. Once he's in their arms he does not want to go to any one else. lol Also seeing Daniella (his cousin that takes care of him) opening up to us, and willingly handing Alex over when she sees us is huge. In the beginning she wasn't so willing; but we knew she needed to play with the girls her age (she's 11) and just be a kid. :) Now she's anxious to run off with her friends to play. :)
Now that I think of it, so many of the kids have been totally transforming in front of our eyes. P.Rapheal has a van full of kids that come to church with his family every Sunday. Also hearing that at home the parents are seeing a difference in their attitudes, for the good. It sure gets the parents curious in what they are being taught. :) (Which is an exciting part of God's plan)

The weather has changed to what would be normal summer weather back home. The evenings can cool down to 15c and I hate to say it, but it's cold. lol (But we sure appreciate the change.) As perfect weather goes, it's the same everyday. Sunny, with maybe a little bit of clouds. There is usually a bit of a breeze. I hate to say it, but it sure does not feel like we're approaching Christmas. I do miss the changes that come with each season, at least you know where you are in the year. :)

Baby News: I am 15 weeks along and the little one is growing. :) I haven't had a doctor's appointment since the ultrasound and I am currently working on changing that. I think I have found the doctor that I will use. He is know for being the doctor that delivers babies. (25% ) Not a very high rate if you ask me, but I'm trying to find the doctor that won't be super eager to give me a c-section. (They are hard to find, they make more money if they perform a c-section) I'm also finding myself at ease with having a baby in Mexico. Previously I just wouldn't let myself think about it.

The boys are still in school, and each one is having a different experience. Mason is doing well, and learning Spanish quickly. I am catching him using Spanish when he's talking. lol Also he seems to be a trouble maker at school. Yesterday I received a note that he had pumped out all the soup in the boys bathroom and we owed them a bottle of soup.
Cole is struggling with the boys at school. They are a rough bunch, and it's really hard to adjust to when back home this kind of play wouldn't have been tolerated. We are currently getting to the bottom of this, and while we're doing this we have advised Cole to defend himself in the meanwhile. Cole's Spanish is coming along very well. He also has gained confidence from an experience where he could translate what a worker was saying, when Brian didn't. I honestly think that was what Cole needed to start liking the language and to encourage him to learn more. (I wish you could have seen him, he was super pumped that he could translate something for dad.) :)