Saturday, 24 October 2015

Fiesta Time!

So, of course I have grand plans of how things will go, and very rarely do they turn out the way I intend them to. The youth and I planned a party at the orphanage for the two girls who turn fifteen this year. It is a big deal when a girl turns fifteen in Mexico. Anyways, both girls are no longer in the home. Geesh.

Well, ok we wont use the dresses but we will still have a great time. Instead of putting beautiful make up on the two girls we took the lipsticks, blush, eyeliner and painted random figures (the best we could) on the faces of the kids... and they absolutely loved it!

We played tons of games, and ate too much food.

I am so proud of how the youth of Jesus Maria have come along side of me in this amazing ministry. They definetly have a heart to serve!

After everything was cleaned up we went and saw their new piece of land and prayed for Gods provision. Please join us in praying for this orphanage, the kids, the family running it and that God will guide us on how to best support them!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Serving Single

I get nervous talking about singleness because I feel like I am not even suppose to notice that I am single ... because I am so content, right?!

I also hate talking about it, because it often contributes to the enemy's attack. Getting people (me) to wallow in self-pity and bitterness. 

But, I was chatting with another single missionary the other day, and it got me thinking. She is actually leaving the mission field because she feels like she can not do it alone. I am sure that happens a lot, there have been days where that sure would be a lot easier.

There are moments when, and I believe it is true for all singles, where the weight of still being single knocks the wind out of you. Fortunately, for me, those moments do not come super often. But they do show up. There are times when whatever your facing would be way easier with someone by my side. There are times when everyone on facebook is talking about their great husband and kids or whatever and I am just like "hey, look at my dog... she's super cute" By the way, she is! =0)

I do think there are some great blessings in ministry and life being single (and different ones for the married folk out there too). Being single allows me to do more with my day without worrying about someone else. I have the opportunity to minister to different people then my married co-workers. I have the freedom to travel... and its cheaper too! 

By withholding a husband and children, God has given me the opportunity to have more flexibility and really, more time.

And during the time of waiting and praying for a husband, I want to be faithful with what God has entrusted me with. I don't want to waste the time or opportunity I have right now.  I don't want to be distracted by details like marital status.

I hope that when the times of sadness and longing for what I don't have come, that I am able to remember some of the blessings too. While I hope for marriage, I hope that I long for my Creator more. 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Community Center

We are well into our block of community center classes! I love this ministry because I (we) constantly get to know new people, and knowing people is the first step in sharing the Gospel!

There is still in the learning curve here in Palmas. Things that worked in Jesus Maria, don't necessarily work here .... go figure, its not cookie cutter! But, English classes especially are a hit along with Baking classes.

Please be praying for all our new friends, as we continue to get to know them. Pray that we continue to serve the neighborhood of Las Palmas in the best way possible.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

So Much Need, So Easy to Be a Light

No matter where you look.... on facebook, on instagram, on the news.... you see that the world is a hurting place.

You see things about war, school shootings and mudslides that killed hundreds in Guatamala. You hear about abuse, the war on drugs and gang fights.

 I know that it can be overwhelming to think about all the needs and how limited our time is.

The thing is, you don't even have to turn on your computer or look at your phone to see the hurt around you.

Nearly every city in the world deals with homelessness, hunger, drugs, alcohol and abuse. And I can guarantee if you start talking to people you find deeper issues as to why that is happening. People typically assume that it is the fault of the homeless women (lazy) or man that drinks uncontrollably (selfish), and the prostitute (her choice), and while sometimes it probably is true. I am going to say that NORMALLY there is a story. There is a story behind every person and the struggles that they face daily.

Here in Ixtapaluca we are being forced to see the need.

The spiritual need is a huge one. People are worshipping so many idols and in desperate need of a Savior. They are bound to strongholds that only God can break. We are here in Ixtapaluca to share be a much needed light, right? To share the Love of God with people. Yes! We are all called to make disciples, it IS in the Bible!

But, besides the spiritual need, there are physical needs. Sometimes that looks like giving food to a family out of work, or giving a ride to a doctors apt, or just sitting and hanging out with someone that is hurting. Sometimes these people we are helping are believers, but a lot of times, they are not. We, the church, are to be an agent of the kingdom. More often then not, you need to meet a physical need of someone before you meet the spiritual need. If you ask a starving person if they want food or Jesus-- they are probably going to say food! But, building a relationship with that person, helping them fulfill the need for food, or a job, or whatever... that gives you the avenue to share the Gospel.

Recently, in the last six months (ish) we have been made aware of even more needs in Ixtapaluca. We probably had an idea that they existed, but until you experience "the need" you can ignore it, or not know how to help or whatever. The first one is a shelter for elderly people who have been abandoned and/or abused. Spending time with them, doing simple crafts, helping them shower, changing diapers and clothing, giving them a warm meal... those seem like simple things but mean the world to these people. These people don't have a lot, and don't want a lot. And we can help them by meeting basic needs.

The second is an orphanage (well, kinda two orphanages) we never knew existed just a few months ago. These kids, often just dropped off by their parents for one reason or another, have found themselves without a ton of stability and a lot of issues. The family that runs it, does what they can to make the life for these kids the best it can be. But, with 45 kids and 4 people helping, what they lack is help (at the place) and the ability to give the kids the attention that they desperately need. How do we help them? Spend time with them, usually twice a week. Just hanging out, playing, giving hugs, listening to them, picking them up when they fall, helping with homework, teaching english, giving birthday parties, donating food. Anything we can do to make them feel like the special gifts from God they are!

We are so far from perfect here on earth. But we (speaking for all Christians in this world) can be a light in a very dark world. We can share the Love of God. You don't have to live in a foreign country to change the world. Just look outside. It doesn't take a lot of time to make someone feel special or make a meal for a family who needs it or read the Bible to an elderly neighbor. And you never know, it may change a life (or hundreds of lives) for eternity.

I will leave you with this thought...Christians are to go into the world as a witness to the kingdom (Acts 1:6-8). But to spread the kingdom of God is more than simply winning  people to Christ. It is also working for the healing of people, families and nations. It is doing deeds of compassion and seeking justice.

Monday, 5 October 2015

We are looking for people!

As we begin to plan, pray about, and think ahead to the New Year, that is coming up in just a few short months, we are excited.
- We are excited about the beginnings of a new church
- We are excited about reaching new people in Ixtapaluca
- We are excited about new opportunities to serve and love the people the God has placed in front of us.

But, as we plan and dream we realize the limits that we have, that is why we need you!

First of all.. PRAYER!
I know that MANY of you pray for us here in Mexico all the time. Please keep praying. As we begin a new church and continue with the many other ministries, we could definetly use your prayer.
If you do not receive my onceish a month newsletter e-mail me, and i can get you on that list!

Secondly... we need people!
If you have ever wanted to come down (alone, with your family, friends, small group, church, youth group or whatever) for a week, a month, ten years (or anywhere in between). We would LOVE to have you and God will use you to impact lives in Ixtapaluca for eternity. So, e-mail me, we can use all the help we can get!
(we have tons of summer - 4,6,8 week internships for college age and beyond as well, ask me about it!)

Finally, donations!
We (the team here) does not like to harp on money. God definetly provides everything we need, daily. But, we want to get the word out there! There are several ways you can help us.

        1. I would like to have 12 families, individuals or small groups help us with a one time gift of $200 to cover the rent for 2016 of community center in Las Palmas. This is where we have classes, events and eventually our church services. If you are interested, please e-mail me. You can also give here.
        2. I know lots of churches are represented when people are reading this. I would like to find at least TWO churches or youth groups that would be willing to hold a (small or large) fundraiser for community center funds. This would include.... buying supplies for classes, buying wheelchairs, hearing aids, helping with school supplies for the orphanage, blankets for the shelter, and beds for the drug rehab center. Let me know if your church takes one of these spots!  Click here for our project fund.
        3. We absolutely LOVE having teams down here. They are a huge help to the efforts going on (plus they are pretty good for the teams too!). One of the needs here is for transportation. I am trying to raise enough money to buy a 15 person van (or something similar). I am looking for TWO churches to step up and host a fundraiser for this. This will enable us to get groups around more effectively and efficiently, if you have ever been here you know what a pain transport can be without the proper vehicles! We will also be able to host more groups. Currently, I have 5,000 dollars in this fund. I would like to have 15,000 to be able to buy a reliable vehicle. Which I will need to buy Spring 2016 to accommodate what we already have scheduled for 2016. E-mail me for more details! You can give here (Specific Project: 063586)

Just to conclude, I wanted to add a few options for fundraisers. They can be as simple or complicated as you want!
- Bake Sale after church services
- Someone who sales jamberry, thirty-one etc can give their profits of a party
- A silent auction
- A church wide garage sale
- Chili bake off
- Host some sort of tournament
- Give people in your congregation a can to decorate and put their change into.