Wednesday, December 26, 2012
With 500 mini Coca-Cola bottles chilling in a huge cooler and barrel, the gospel was shared. The reactions were really neat. Some were asking how much it was going to cost. Then they found out it was free, and that Jesus also was free. When a man realized why we were there, he asked for prayer. (Prayer also is free!!) Than I was told that my son Cole had prayed over this man. (I am one proud mama!!) For me to see Mason excited about what we were doing, and watching Brian and him working as a team. I am reminded of the opportunities we are given and that we need to make the most of them with our children watching. Making sure that we include them.
We were at a corner where there was a beer store just across the street with two young men. At the end we had 2 cokes left and Juan and Chris walked over and shared the gospel and why we were doing what we were doing. I'm standing on the sidewalk watching this all unfold, praying that their hearts may hear. You can imagine my happiness when I saw them taking off their hats and bowing their heads in prayer!!!
We ended our outreach with prayer over all the people we had encountered and the 5 people who received Christ, with the reminder that everything we do we do for eternity.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Today started off as a normal day. My plan was to go with Juan Carlos to visit the community of Potom, which is a tribal village about an hour from San Carlos. Our intentions were to scout out the community and try to make connections with any Christian Pastors that are there. God has placed it on Juans heart to connect with the surrounding tribal pastors to find out how they are doing and offer them love and encouragement. Our plan was to leave San Carlos at 10 am but little did we realize, God had an agenda of His own for us today.
Juan and I decided that it would be best to drive dirt bikes down to Potom. I do not own a dirt bike so a friend of mine was willing to let me use his. I arrived at my friends place this morning to find that the bike's rear tire had gone flat. I knew that this was going to hold us up a bit but the guys got on it right away and before long the tire was fixed and back on the bike. Shortly there after Juan arrived and we were ready to go. I hopped on my bike to find out that the rear tire went flat again. Although this caused a bit of frustration, it also gave us a sense of opposition. We started to feel that "someone was trying to stop us from going." The guys got right at it again and half an hour later the tire was fixed and the bike ready to go. We suited up once again, Juan fired up his bike and I hopped on mine, and that's when I heard one of the boys exclaim to Juan, "your front tire is flat." Seriously??? How bizarre! Yes flats do happen here in Mexico but this was to bizarre. The guys, once again, quickly took off Juans front tire and a few minutes later found 2 holes in the tube. Ironically, we had two patches left and before we knew it the tire was patched and the bike ready to go. Listo! Ready! Finally we were all fixed up and ready to go, or are we? Once again, I hopped on my bike to find that, you guessed it, the rear tire was flat. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! What is going on? At the end of our wits and patience we clearly realized taking the bikes was not going to happen. This is just too bizzar! (fyi, the tires on both bikes were checked first thing in the morning and were full) We disappointingly resigned to the idea of riding down and decided to take my truck. The time was now after noon and if we wanted to make it home for supper we really needed to get going. Juan needed to drop off his bike in Guaymas (the neighboring city) so i told him I would pick him up there after I picked up a few things from home. Off he went. A few moments later Cole and I left in the pick up on route for Guaymas. As we merged onto HWY 15 we see Juan on the side of the road waving at us. We pulled over and guess what we found out. Now his rear tire was flat too! Ok, that is 5 tires. What is going on and what are we going to experience in Pottom? We loaded up the bike inside my truck box (had to lay it on its side because of the topper) and off we were to find a place to get it fixed. We quickly stopped for a bite to eat and then after stopping at several shops we found a place that could fix the tire. Long story short, we were all fixed and ready to go at 4:45 in the afternoon.The idea of just staying home crossed our mind but Juan and I quickly realized that God had a plan. Neither of us had peace with giving up on the journey.
We had a great evening in Pottom. We were there the entire evening, connected with several Pastors and were even invited for a true Yaqui tomale supper. Lets just say it was a good experience. Although there was allot to share about our time in Potom, like testimonies of how the radio program has impacted them, I wont take the time to share them in this story. The whole purpose of this story is to share about what happened on the way home. The events of this evening have left me heartbroken, reminded of Gods goodness, and reminded of His timing. He reminded us that He is in total control and that He will use those that are willing to pay attention to His promptings.
On our way home Juan and I were talking about the bizzar series of events of the day and wondering what the purpose was. Why had Delayed us for so long. Was it dangerous for us to be hear earlier in the day? Was it Satan trying to stop the meetings from taking place? What was it all about? We experienced great connections with new Pastors but we still didn't feel like that was the purpose for everything that happened. Juan simply stated, "maybe we wont know before heaven." I thought about it a few minutes, looked at Juan and found him fast asleep. Cole also sleeping in the back seat.
Ready to get home I stepped on it, my hwy speed down here is rarely under 130 kms per hour so I set my cruise and got comfortable. Maybe 15 minutes down the road the strangest thing happened. I cant put it into words. I saw a man, sitting in the ditch. He was surrounded by long grass but he was in a clearing. He came so clearly into view. It was like he was a beacon or like a spot light was on him. He was way down in the ditch. To this moment I can clearly see his face as he sat there. Clearly in distress, waving on of his arms in the air. (Remember, it is pitch black outside, and I'm going 130, I only saw him for a second yet it felt like 10) I started slowing down and woke Juan up immediately and told him what I saw. We pulled into the ditch and started to make our way back to him. We were shocked as to what we found. This man was in agonizing pain. His leg and arm very clearly broken. I was trying to make sense of the scene. How did he get her. I assumed there must be a motorcycle here somewhere, he must have slipped of the shoulder and rolled it? As I looked for the bike Juan looked at me and said, "Brian, he was hit by a semi trailer!" I looked at the man in shock thinking that he should be dead. We tried and tried to call an ambulance but we had no cell reception. Car after car drove by, no one stopping to help. We soon decided we had to get him to a hospital. Knowing the danger of moving a person in that state we reluctantly lifted his broken body into the back of my pick up and slid him in. Juan sat with him in the box and i closed up the topper and sped off to Empalme. In Empalme I found a Police cruiser on the side of the road, pulled over and told them what happened. They escorted us the the Hospital. From there he was in their care. We did everything that we could and now it was time for someone else to take over.
I took a few moments outside the Hospital to recap everything. Clearly this was the reason for the delays. God knew this man would need Juan and I specifically to pick him up. No one else would do, He wanted us there. Wouldn't you know that as I was rushing this mane to the Hospital, Juan was in the back of the box with Him sharing the message of salvation and forgiveness. There in the midst of his agonizing Pain, in the back of my truck that man accepted Christ as his personal saviour! I believe with all my heart that each driver that passed him never saw him there, God opened my eyes to see him so that Juan could share Christ. Wow! After all the delays, the frustration, and the confusion, God revealed why he needed to slow us down. He wanted to open the door for Manuel to receive Christ as his savour and ask forgiveness for his sins. As I stood outside the truck with Juan and we went over all the details tears rolled down our faces. God had a Divine appointment for us today. An appointment that required us to leave home at 4:30 not 10am. Required a truck and not motorcycles. One that required a Christian, not an ambulance attendant. God needed someone to meet the spiritual need of Manuel as well as his physical need, and he chose Juan and I to meet it. What an Awesome God we serve!
It was decided that Manuel would be transferred to Hermosillo. After he was prepped and loaded into the ambulance Juan had the opportunity to say good by. When he saw Juan he recognized him and said look, "here is the man that saved my life." Juan smiled and said, no, "God saved your life."
What a day. Juan and I are both exhausted. I'm so glad that we were persistent and went even though we felt like staying home. I feel horrible for the frustration I felt during the day when things were not going the way i would have liked. But tonight, I'm so full of joy knowing that Heaven has a new resident to prepare for. Angels are rejoicing, Gods will was done.
All Praise and Honor to Him!
ps, sorry, i quickly wrote this out and didnt bother with much of an edit. please forgive my writing, it is a weakness of mine but I really felt i deeded to share what heppened today.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
Leah loves her water! She's experienced her first shower in Mexico, and she like it. I'd say that she like bathes more. We only have access to showers, so I've been trying to figure out how I can give her a bath. I am thankful for my friend Karen, she gave me a container that is going to work well for bathes. Even mason is excited. Lol.
With Leah being a blankie baby, I am so glad that I had found cotton musslin blankets at Target before we had left for mexico. Single flannel blankets are too warm right now, so the musslin blankets are in constant use. There are still times where they are even too hot. I try to keep her exposure to the heat to a minimum, and everyone we encounter have been very accommodating. I can say that we look forward to when it's cooler. The little bit of time that Leah is outside, she sure enjoys it. So come winter, she will be able to be outside all she wants!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Leah is growing so fast! Her hands are grasping what she wants to get a hold of, and she's loving her exersaucer. She is now rolling over, and she rolls over every chance she gets. Since we have no easy access to a bath tub, Leah has been joining us for her showers. We are happy to say that she likes them, even though the water isn't really warm. (the water is air temperature). Today I filled a larger plastic container so that she could sit and enjoy the water for a change. I'm hoping to take her and the boys to the pool this week, so we can enjoy the heat without all the sticky sweat.
Brian has been busy getting everything lined up for the next year. He's been searching for a Spanish teacher who is around right now to give him a jump start on his lessons. He currently has his office at Jax Snax for his studies. Which I'm a little envious of. :).
The kids program has been doing well. There are new faces in the kitchen and the program has now settled with a core group of kids. There is about 60 that make this core. Absalon has been leading the singing, but he has been working on getting a kids worship team together. He has asked Cole if he would be apart of this group. Cole is super pumped, he has missed playing his guitar. We will see how this will unfold.
God bless, and we miss you!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
We stopped at the Lava hot springs to check out their natural hot spring hot tubs and also enjoyed their Olympic size pool with slides. When we drove by this pool excitedly exclaimed " this is my favoritest place I've never seen!!.....well kiss my girlfriend!! ?what?! He seems to come up with some odd liners lol. Also they have a train that goes by every 2 hours that blows its whistle at night. ( one of the joys of camping!) We were very ready to make it to Mexico after this. Mason had asked everyday "is this Mexico?" Brian and I were ready to say yes to this daily question. Needless to say, our last 3 days we pushed a little harder.
Sunday when we crossed the border, we were greeted at the visa office with 3 of the popular things Mexico has to offer. Squeegee men, someone else trying to sell us their goods, and another asking for money for their family member that has cancer. Also while going through Hermosillo, a nice reminder of one of their traffic laws. How to make a left turn at the light. ( you turn from the lane second to the left.) But none the less we made it home by 5:30. We managed to get a little settled and make it to the Sunday evening service in Fatima. It doesn't feel like we had left. (besides the mission center being so very quiet). So my day today as been solely nesting in our home. Brian even commented that we could fit 5 in our camper. :)
Friday, August 3, 2012
Well our time here in Manitoba is quickly coming to an end. We have determined that our departure date will be on August 12. We are very excited to get back down to Mexico and back to somewhat of a normal life again. As we prepare we ask that you please pray that God would provide the remaining amount of support that is needed. We are a bit further away from the mark than I would like to be. Having said that we have also seen God pull off some small miracles so there is no doubt in our mind that we are on the right track. He will provide it in His time, its just time for me to be patient.
We thank you for remembering us in your prayers and ask that you pray for our financials, for our family as we finish up odds and ends and also for us and our families as the time to say good by is just around the corner.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
While I am down here in Mexico for this visit, it is my top priority to make sure I spend time all alone with the Lord. I'm trusting that this will be a time that God will speak to me and show me what His plans are for the coming year. It has been on my heart that God has big plans in store for this year. I have dreams and desires of what that might be but I am really trusting that God would confirm them in a significant way. Please pray for me particularly next week as take time to process the upcoming year in Mexico.
It is also time to get my support in order. It is this season that I find myself feeling extremely stressed. I hate it, I often have to try to get my head around the idea of people supporting me but then I stop and think of the lives that have changed over the last year. If I didn't swallow my pride and humility someone else would have had to I guess. From the responses I get in talking to people, not to many line up for the opportunity. Its funny though because it is through the experience of raising support God has affirmed to us that this calling is real and that He wants us in Mexico. Please pray that the support would come through and that God would lay it on the hearts of those He chooses to support this ministry. I have had a few verbal confirmations of support but as far as I know no one has confirmed with the church. If you are a current supporter I ask that you please contact the church office and make them aware if you are planning to continue supporting us or if you have chosen to stop. This will be very helpful for me in making the decision as to when we leave. Right now I'm assuming I have a clean slate. Also pray for me, I have a crazy skin condition that breaks out when I am under stress. Once again this past week my skin is breaking out in a blistery rash on my hands and feet. I find it really frustrating and very painful if it gets out of control. It makes it really tough to walk and my hands are in constant burning pain. After the rash begins to clear my skin dries up and starts to peal off. The whole process can last up to a month or two if I catch it and treat it right away. Its not pleasant. I'm glad that I am in Mexico because the only drug that controls it is Prednione which I can buy over the counter here. (if your a doctor close your ears, i know all about it, had the speech numerous times) I can never get into see a specialist before it dries up and none of the doctors I have seen can figure it out. So right now I try to control my stress levels and hope it doesn't happen.
Time is slipping away faster than I can keep track. There are so many of you that I want to get in touch with personally and yet its almost time to go back. I would still love to try and connect with any of you that have questions about our ministry in Mexico. Please feel free to contact us. Reality is that we are going to be gone soon so please don't wait. Call or email us! In the same breath please don't assume that we don't have time for you. Call or email us and we will do our best to work out a time.
I ask that you remember Clarissa, Cole, Mason and Leah as I'm gone. I've got an amazing wife! She is so very supportive to me and what we feel we are called to be a part of. It takes a special woman to follow a guy through the adventure we have been on. I love you Babe! Thanks.
God bless all of you
Saturday, June 9, 2012
|First evening "home" :)|
|Our favorite pass time. The boys love spending time with their cousins.|
|Together at last. :)|
Monday, April 2, 2012
I am super excited to see you all back home and re-connect with you.
Monday, March 12, 2012
We are blessed! We are blessed in so many ways that we take completely for granted, a car to drive, television, good friends, family, but what about those things that we need to survive such as a roof over our heads a place to sleep or more importantly a meal. I recently had the opportunity to visit a community where they may not have a second pair of cloths, don’t have electricity, literally can not afford to finish the roof above their heads, and have to send their kids away to a special program just so they can have food to eat. I would like to share my experience with you and I pray it will touch your heart as it has certainly touched mine.
It was a chilly day on the 28th of February when we boarded our flight out of Grand Forks to Mesa Arizona, during the flight I thought of all the great things I was going to do on my vacation with my friends, I wanted to go deep sea fishing, Jen wanted to snorkel, we wanted to bring back lots of souvenirs for the kids and our families this trip was going to be great. Mid afternoon on the 29th we arrived in San Carlos Mexico, a town thriving on rich North Americans, we saw condo upon condo, luxury cars, large houses and a line up of huge ocean boats that stretched for about a quarter mile, this was going to be fantastic. The first day we were in San Carlos we booked a deep sea fishing trip, deep sea fishing was on my bucket list so this was important to me, and I was excited to go. We went to the beach later on in the afternoon and watched the dolphins play in the shallow waters, we collected sea shells, and even had a friendly dog mark Brian’s shoes so he could find them later. In the evening we went for Jumbo Mexican Hotdogs, they were amazing. After supper we went back to the mission center to make plans for the week.
We were staying at a hotel that was separate from the mission center so in the morning on Thursday we got dressed and ready to tackle a new day of fun, we headed down to the mission center to see what was in store for us today. After a wonderful breakfast we met a little girl obviously not with our group, she came to the center alone, so we decided to ask who she was and what was her story, it turns out that this little one needed surgery. The family of this little girl could not afford the surgery that she needed and sometimes not even food to feed her. Art and Brenda, the couple that run the mission center, were helping this girl, they were feeding her and driving her to her medical appointments. Nothing is harder than seeing a child in need and we were happy that someone was caring for her. We had a little time to pass before our next adventure so a couple of us assisted with some construction on a second set of dorms at the mission center. In the afternoon we went on a hike to a beautiful oasis, we walked through the mountains towering on either side of us, there were cactuses, palm trees, small lizards and at the end of the hike there was a beautiful oasis, streams that were flowing, worn paths in the rock where the water falls run when it rains and gorgeous green plants everywhere. At this point the trip was looking more like a vacation instead of us coming out to see a children’s ministry but I was having fun and so far had only seen one troubled child, and then came Thursday evening.
That evening, Thursday evening Brian and Clarissa took us to a near by city called Guaymas, and they took us to a very run down part of town, buildings made of scrap tin, sometimes brick, some had complete roofs, and some were open with just 4 walls, the average size of the houses was about as big as the living room and dining area in my home. We drove down the streets and the truck we were driving in was like an ice cream truck, kids were running in the streets to touch it, to say hi, obviously this truck and the people that were in it meant a great deal to these children. We arrived at the house where the children’s program was to take place, as we were setting up for the evening Brain hooked up his computer to some large speakers that were at the house and started playing some upbeat Christian songs. As we continued to get ready for the evening even more children started coming out of these shacks, homes to the people that owned them. As the kids arrived we started dancing with them and playing games with them. I held so many kids in my arms and on my shoulders I was in pain, but to see the smiles on their faces, to snuggle next to their cheek and to feel their happiness there was no way that I was ready to stop. Child after child lined up just to receive a hug or a short ride on our shoulders just wanting to feel loved. After a few games we set up tables for the children to sit at, there were over 100 children that attended the program that night. The children ate and we played some more after the meal, as it got later in the evening we had to start sending the children home, most of them did not want to go they tried to stay in the yard but eventually all were sent back to their homes.
That night was very hard for me, on the way home I learnt that it cost about $100.00 to feed the children that attended the program, for some of the children that attended the program this Thursday supper and Saturdays breakfast are their only meals for the week. I was told a story about a little girls grandmother who was looking after the little girl because the mother had passed away, she could not afford to feed the kids or herself but she told the child when her stomach hurt from not eating to not worry, on Thursday there will be a meal for you at the program. My heart was broken as I realized that I had just booked a fishing trip that would have fed these children for a month. That night I cried as I thought about all the things that I own and what the cost of these items were in terms of meals for starving children. My car $400.00/month payments = 400 kids going to bed each month with food in their tummies, my garage in the back yard that I have yet to use except to store more items I don’t really need = 25,000 babies without upset empty stomachs, but the part that hurt the most was the 200.00 kids that could be fed twice a month if I didn’t need a fancy meal, or ice cream Friday night, a special coffee in the morning, the newest video games or movies, if I alone, one single person did without the stuff in my life that I want to have, the children of that section of Guaymas would have a never ending supply of food and never go hungry again………then I thought……..that is just if I were to help……..how many of us out here do the same and how many lives would change……..then my eyes turned to water falls.
The next morning we got up at 5:00 to head to the harbour to go fishing, we didn’t sleep much that night because at the hotel we were staying at there was a big party all night. We headed out to our fishing spot about an hour and ten minute drive from the harbour, I slept the whole way out. The 2 gentlemen that were helping us on the boat did everything for us, they baited the lines, showed us how to feel the fish on the line (they don’t bite hard 270 feet deep), they fed us, cleaned the fish for us, took pictures for us. Jen got sick on the boat and with hand signals they continuously were asking if she was alright, they took extremely good care of us on our trip but in the back of my mind I was still thinking of how kids could have been fed if we gave up our 6 hours of fun, the answer was a bout 800. We are on day 2 of our trip and everything we do is already being measured by plates of food, I felt selfish, guilty and greedy. We got back from our fishing trip about mid afternoon, we helped out a little more at the mission center and then drove back to Guaymas. We went to a large statue close to the edge of the city it was on a large mountain so we could see the edges of the city from the top. There we were told of the future plans for the children’s ministry the 4 corners of the city were the most poverty stricken areas of the city and the plan was to contact other pastors in those areas to assist with the growth of this ministry. We learnt of a pastor that was already giving back to his community in the was of clothing and at time food when he had money to do so, we were curious why it would not work to partner with this pastor who is so willing to serve already. The problem is that there was not enough money in the program to reach out to another section of the city, we were shocked, almost sick to our stomachs, there was not enough money in the program. I could not understand how there would not be funds available for an outreach program that fed these children and taught them of the Jesus’ love, especially since it did not take a lot to run this program.
Saturday morning was another blessing that I will not forget anytime soon, we were able once again to play, teach and serve these children. We saw many of the children from Thursdays program at Saturday morning’s program as well, we laughed, we played and though we could not understand each other, hugs and kisses seem to be the same in every language. Today was special for me personally though, I was introduced to Pastor Rafael boys, Junior, Absalon, and the most special teenager I have ever met, Ramon. Ramon is a 17 year old boy who grew up in San Diego, his mother and step father are wealthy, Ramon had the chance to live a life without wanting for anything, but he put his wants aside and moved to the city of Guaymas to care for his Father who is almost blind and his grandmother who can not see at all. Their home doesn’t have a working fridge, Ramon goes without food sometimes for days and he can not see if the sun is not out. Ramon has a special gift though, he knows both Spanish and English, I asked him what he was doing helping at the children’s program and he told me, God put events in my life to lead me to this program to translate. The amazing part of this story is the Pastor speaks mostly Spanish and Brian speaks next to none. Without Ramon and his huge sacrifice for a good life this children’s program would be a lot more difficult to keep going. Junior wants to be a pastor some day and start a new church, he works 10 hours a day manufacturing parts, ha makes about $20.00/ day, most of which is given away. He told me he wanted to come to Canada to work as a mechanic for 3 months and then move back to Mexico, because with just 3 months of wages he could buy a house and start his church. Absalon has a gift in music, at any given time he would start singing and most of his songs were singing praises to God. These 3 boys had continuous smiles, they were always giving of themselves and taking nothing in return, when I was around them I felt happy and excited, if they could be happy with so little why is it so hard for me to be happy with so much.
Sunday morning came and we attended Pastor Rafael’s church and the 3 boys from the children’s program (Junior, Absalon and Ramon) were front and center singing and praising the Lord, they even had a translator on the stage for us so we could have a English service. After church the Pastor invited us back to his house for lunch, he was so thankful for the little bit of help we gave him he wanted to show his appreciation. We knew full well that there was no way he could afford to feed all of us, and only later did we find out that he had borrowed money just to serve us that meal. We ate we sang and talked about how different our lives were, we talked about the vehicles I had, the money I made and the toys that I have bought over the years. I asked them if it made them angry that I spend all this money on stuff that gives me temporary joy when they don’t know when their next meal is going to be. I was told God blesses people in many different ways, and they felt blessed every time they served the Lord, just because they didn’t know where the next meal was coming from didn’t mean they did not believe that the Lord would provide when they needed. In the afternoon the boys took me down to the docks to look at the sights and over the naval harbour. We walked along the boardwalk and came to a coconut water stand, the boys asked me if I would like to try one, I said sure not thinking anything of it, and they bought me one. I asked them if they did not want one as well but they only had money for one, 12 pesos is what the drink cost, that is approximately $1.00 Canadian and they used it one me, I felt horrible. We piled back into the van and they took me down the street, to a part of the city just as shabby as where they lived. They explained to me that on a Thursday night they will have up to 40 kids in the back of their safari van to bring to the children’s program from this area of the city and most Thursdays they have to pick children to leave behind because they have no more room. Can you imagine a program that started with about 6 Children is reaching a part of the city with 40 plus kids waiting to receive the message of Jesus, more than enough children to begin a second ministry. A wise friend told me that when the fields are ready for harvest to harvest, but in this situation so many would have the chance if not for the limitation of finances. We decided to leave town to look for firewood, we wanted to have a fire with them in the evening so the boys were going to supply the fire wood. Just outside of town we found some trees that they said were good fire trees and we should cut off some of the dead branches so they brought out an axe with that had been broken several times almost every other swing it needed to be put back together, and a machete. They wanted to contribute so badly to our party they all came back with huge blisters on their hands but enough fire wood for the evening. We had a fire that evening and sang many songs, they even knew a few English songs that they sang for us as well.
Monday all the boys were at work so we decided to stay at the mission center and assist the team that was there do some more construction on the dorms. The team that was there was running out of time on their project and decided not to participate in delivering food hampers or clothing hampers that afternoon. Just after lunch we left for another section of Guaymas called independencia, this is a government funded section of the city, basically all of the families that are living in the streets or in houses that should be condemned are relocated to this section of town. We drove to a church located near by, we had about 7 suitcases of donated clothing to give away, we laid a tarp on the floor and set up a table at the front of the church. The church we were in was constructed by the pastor and his wife, made completely from cinder blocks and bricks, the church only recently received some tin to make a roof which was not complete while we were there. People filed into the church waiting for their chance to pick a few items from the piles of clothing we had laid out. When the clothing had been picked through and we were packing up to leave a few people that had been picking through the clothing came to us, thanked and hugged us. It is hard to hold back tears when someone with so little is grateful to the point of sobbing for 5 articles of clothing. Little did I know that my emotional strings had not begun to be tugged yet, we got back in the truck and headed to the government housing. We arrived at the first house, outside the door of this square concrete house there was a pot sitting on a burning piece of lumber, the kids were playing in the dirt in front of the house. The pot was half full of a boiling substance that I would be hesitant to feed to a dog. They invited us into their home, on the wall was a shelf, it had a couple of cups and plates, there was no fridge or stove, just a wood table with some blankets that resembled a bed. There was no electricity to the house and on the 4 shelves on the wall there was nothing that looked like it may be edible. The mother told us of a dream that she had the night before, she dreamed that she had passed away and she was pleading with a man to let her go back to her children and husband, but the man told her you have a choice, you can tell everyone you know about the Grace and Goodness of Jesus or surly you will die. She told her husband about the dream and decided that she was going to tell her friends about the love of Jesus and the next day we arrived with a food hamper for their family. GOD IS GOOD. We went to a few more houses and we came upon another house of a single mother again the same story walls were bare, there were a few vegetables on the table so she was a little better off, but in this case Pastor Rafael asked me to pray with the lady, (he had asked me twice in other houses already so I could not say no a third time). I took her hand for some reason I am not sure why and I took Pastor Rafael’s wife’s hand, I began to pray, as I prayed for this house and this lady that was thankful for what she had, my hands were getting squeezed tighter and tighter from both sides, they were praying as well but in Spanish. When I finished praying she immediately gave me a big hug, our little contribution of food and small amount of time we spent with her seemed very minor to us but was received with such thankfulness and again GOD IS GOOD.
Being that the community was so poor even though they lived a walk away from the ocean most of the volunteers of the children’s program had never been on a boat, so we decided this being our last full day out we would book a sunset cruise for the volunteers. The entire day was very sad since we knew this was the day of goodbyes, in just a weeks time we had become so close to these people, and seen the sacrifices they had each made so another child could receive a meal and be taught about Jesus, they are the type of people that draw you in close because you want to have 1% of the true happiness that they live even though they have nothing. Tuesday evening we set sail on a 35 passenger boat we watched dolphins jumping next to the boat we took pictures from the boat next to island landmarks. We ate together, joked together, danced together and laughed about the adventures that we had shared during the week. As the sun was setting I realized that the goodbyes were getting close, we took our final few pictures as the boat returned to shore. When we got off the boat the Pastor called us all to a circle, they gave us each a gift to thank us for taking them on the boat. This was very emotional for us since we knew that they did not have a lot of money to spend on gifts. I can not recall all the words that were said, I was busy shielding my face, but it was the single most emotion moment in my life as such a simple act was appreciated beyond measure. One by one they thanked us for the help with the Children’s program, for spending time with them, and for the boat ride. I spent most of this time with my face buried in my sleeves, my nose running like rapids and my tears flowing like an open faucet, I had barely gained my composure when I looked up and was unable to find a dry face in a crowd of 35. We all hugged each other as we said our last goodbyes, muttering words of kindness over the sounds of sniffles. The gift that we were given by our friends in Mexico was a banner that read the following…
What is friendship
It is a door that is opened
An outstretched hand
A smile that encourages you
The face that understands you
A tear that shares your pain
A word that encourages you
A criticism that improves you
It is the embrace of forgiveness
An applause that excites you
An encounter that makes you rejoice
A favour without reward
To give without expecting return
To do without keeping a tab
And one that waits without getting tired.
It has now been 3 days since our last goodbyes to the outstanding, dedicated, servants in Guaymas and my prayer for them is as follows.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for the short time we had with our new friends in mexico, I pray that you will continue to touch their lives is special ways. I pray that you will continue to be with Pastor Rafael and his family, help their ministry reach more children and their church to continue to grow. I pray that you will be with Ramon, even though his eye sight is poor, it is clear he knows you are the light, please restore electricity to their home and put people around him to encourage him, for what he is doing is priceless to the Children’s program. Please be with Brian, Clarissa, Mason and Cole as they are in Mexico, forfeiting there comfortable lifestyle to serve you and bring the news of your love to the Children of Guaymas. Dear Lord I thank you for the opportunity we had to interact with all the volunteers in the area and I pray that you will bless them all. Dear Lord I also would like to pray for the people here in Canada may you draw us to those that have a desire to serve you financially and assist with this amazing ministry that you have begun in Guaymas. Help us to reach people around us Lord that together we may all receive a feeling of peace, love and joy like our friends that have sacrificed so much for the program. Dear Jesus I thank you once again for the amazing eye opening experience that you have put in front of us and I am sorry for the cost involved to realize this lesson, please be with the volunteers involved in the program, those that are contributing financially and the people that you will put us in contact with in the future. Amen.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
What a busy time!! Brian and I weren't even involved with this team and we felt exhausted at the end of each day. lol It blows me away how many people they can gave medical attention to in a couple of hours. Also just seeing how they have it set up so it moves smoothly! It has deepened my appreciation for the medical care back home as well as any one in the medical profession that gives some of their time to help others in other countries. Big Thank-you!! I also can't forget the people who support these teams. :)
During this medical week, DIF (social services) had taken the time to take a look into the food program in Fatima. (!!) They set up a clothes and shoe hand-out for the community in the church. (Already God has used His building numerous times for the community!!) They also took the time to talk to Brian and P.Raphael about the program and how they wanted to help. We hope that the promise to supply beans is a promise that they are able to keep.
Also P.Raphael is seeing the need to set up food programs like his in other areas of the city. We are finding that there are people who are requesting it, and are interested in running a program. Along with this we have connected with missionaries Brian and Shelley from Hermosillo that have kids club curriculum's that work well with large groups of children. Plus helps Maricela design her own. :) We had all met together in Hermosillo on Monday, and seeing P.Raphael and Maricela come out excited for this help, is precious. I also wanted to put out there that if any of you have left over crafting flannel (felt is another name for it) or material that you would be willing to donate to the kids club, we would appreciate it!! Our home church is sending a team down over spring break, and we also have friends coming down in a week that have room to bring some supplies down. Let's make the middle man Winkler MB office for drop off and pick up. :)
This picture was taken on Valentine's Day during our walk to the oasis. Cole is proudly leading the way and Mason is courageously protecting us with his broomstick sword. :)
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
We've decided to put Cole and Mason into the Tae Kwon do class that is offered at the local gym. lol They go three days a week and are liking it. Mason calls it kicking class. :) We are also looking forward to using the gym heated pool. Mason had learned to swim in the summer months and I want to encourage both in their swimming and what an easy way to do it. :) As the locals say, my belly is big. (Thanks lol) Baby is healthy and growing, and sure moves a lot. I would love to have a live in massage therapist, Brian is offering 100 pesos to anyone who is willing to rub my back. lol Would someone back home tell him that it's his job?! lol
My picture on top is of Cole and Mason using my blood pressure machine. When I take it out to use, they are eager to get their "muscle's pumped up" as well. lol Mason is helping Cole with the reading of the monitor.
Ted and Maddie have been great with putting their pictures on their picasa web album and if you are interested in seeing a whole lot of pictures of the going ons here send Ted an email requesting an invite. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
It sure feels like we have gotten over the hill of adjustment and settling in. Especially my boys. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get to the easy sailing on the other side of this mountain. :) Cole and Mason are doing so well in school and with the groups that come down. Cole has a best friend that I've mentioned previously that is so much fun. Mason has buddies at school that he loves to be with, and a cute american girl that just thinks he is the best. They have had the same teacher through the school year so far. (In the school that our friends have put their child, they are on their fourth teacher.) They love the Sunday School they attend at the american church. Yes, Mexico is becoming more like home. :)
We are happy to see the arrival of our neighbors. :) (Ted and Maddie) We find them just fun as who they are, and much appreciate their wisdom and insight in life. They really are a little piece of home.
The food program has been hitting a consistent 100+ the last couple of programs. It is great to see this outcome, but is also is making obvious where we need to strengthen the program to be able to handle this amount of kids properly. So our biggest prayer is for teachers!! We have reached another goal we had for the food program, and this one is where there are local people who have been offering to help with the cooking. (yeah!) So this thursday will be the first program where this step will start. So this means that we just need to discuss what is on the menu, purchase the food and deliver it to P.Rafael's home. :) :) :) I am just so pumped to see women offering their services in this way.
We are on our second team from the Winkler area. The Bethal Church had shown up shortly after Christmas, (there is a picture on top with some of them playing duck, duck goose, as well as one where Mason is being assisted with the logics blocks) and we currently have a team from the Vineyard Church. It has been good to see family's show up and too watch them take Mexico in. Right now, there are 6 children from the age of 8 and under. (Not including my boys.) It is refreshing to not be in an adult only world. :) The two youngest are around 1 and it is a good reminder for me on what the next year will be like!! (Lots of naps.)
Baby and I are doing well. I now feel ready for her arrival. (We spent a weekend in Tuscan to insure this. lol) Next week monday is my next check up with Dr. Chavez, it'll be fun to see how my little one has grown. :) The last appointment Dr.Chavez told me that my baby was 2 lbs. lol I don't think so!