Saturday, January 9, 2010
One of the things that touched me the most about the Mexican people we met and served was their joy and passion for Christ Jesus and their desire to serve their people. Even those who have very little are willing and eager to give to others in more need than themselves. One such person touched me deeply, more deeply than I ever thought possible.
Her name is Iridian Sanchez. She is a child of Christ, an 11-year old who was helping prepare and serve our food, working during her school holiday to help the children of her country. She is one example of the children Pastor Steve has dedicated his life to helping. Her past is not a pleasant one and not uncommon among the children of Mexico. The details are not the important part of her story. What is important is how she is growing beyond that and the dream she has for her life.
Iridian's dream is to become a doctor so she can help her people, the children who are or will suffer just like she did in her early years. She is fortunate enough to be able to attend schools in Texas as a US citizen but the money required for college is well beyond her reach.
Iridian's nickname is Starfish.....it comes from the story of a man who was on the beach picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. When another man stopped and asked him 'why, you cannot make a difference, look at them all, there are thousands of them' The first man responded ' but it makes a difference to this one'. And he picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean. Her story touched me deeply and I want to help make a difference for this one. While on the mission trip, God laid it upon my heart to start a college fund for one 'Starfish' and make a difference in her life that will provide her with the opportunity to help many more. Imagine how many children can be saved and helped by just one more doctor dedicated to their care.
I am not sure how this will happen, I do not have the funds to pay for this myself. But I know with Gods help and guidance, the funds will be there for Iridian's education when the time comes.
Please pray for this and ask for God's guidance.....ask Him to touch and move the hearts of those He wants involved in this venture. Maybe it is you, He is trying to reach! Open your hearts to Him and listen to His call. If you do, you will be deeply blessed in more ways than I can describe.
In Deuteronomy 28:1-11 talks about the blessings we will receive if we obey the commands the Lord has given us....."The Lord will grant you ABUNDANT prosperity". He wants to shower us with His blessings if we just trust & obey. I choose to obey, how about you?
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Fear. Fear of traveling to Mexico after hearing all the news reports about the drug cartels. Fear of going on a missions trip by myself, without Jerry. Fear of the unknown. Fear of blogging and telling my story to people I’ve never met!
Fear almost kept me from experiencing the most amazing trip of my life. It’s easy to come up with reasons for why we can’t do something. It’s harder to say yes, I’ll go. I’ll be honest and tell you I’m still processing all that I experienced, but I know that I’ll never be the same. I don’t want to be the same again.
As soon as I stepped in the van on Saturday to leave for Chicago, I felt the “peace of God, which transcends all understanding” come over me. There were times when I should have felt fear, but amazingly I felt protected--that our entire team was protected.
If I would have said, “No, it’s not safe.” I would have missed the opportunity to help make a home for children who have no home. I would have missed witnessing God’s miracle of providing food for close to 500 families, when we only had enough food for 350. I would have missed the chance to get to know the incredible people who served with me on the trip.
Since returning, I’ve had the opportunity to share my story with family and friends. I’m already beginning to see fruit from those who’ve said, “I’d like to go on a missions trip and serve too.” Or, “I have so much, I wonder how I can help those around me.”
I won’t tell you I’m completely cured of fear, but I’m working toward not letting it control my decisions. If God is calling you to serve Him, but you’re too afraid to say “Yes Lord!” I hope you’ll take the chance and jump. You won’t regret it.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Thank you for your continued prayers for Tapestries of Life Ministries.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Saturday: As you probably have heard, it snowed all day in Chicago and our flight was delayed. It kept changing but eventually we took off a few minutes before midnight Chicago time (we were scheduled to take off at 6:39). There were a bunch of flights that were cancelled so there were long lines of people trying to get their flights changed so they could get to their destination. We finally got to bed around 4:30 AM local time, 6:30 AM Fort Wayne time :(.
Sunday: We were supposed to go to two church services on Sunday. One in the morning in El Paso at a large church that seats ~3500 and then one in the afternoon in Guadalupe, Mexico. Since we got in so late, we skipped the morning service and went to the one in Mexico in the afternoon. What a joy to worship with them even tho we could understand very few words. Their worship band was great and they did several songs that we knew. However, we all found it very difficult to remember the English words as they were singing the Spanish version. Afterwards we went to the orphanage and Steve Brewer gave us a tour and shared his vision for the orphanage in it's finished version. He said it is 90% complete but the opening will just depend on groups continuing to "put hands to the work".
Monday & Tuesday: Several people have shared some of the things we have done, so I will just add a few comments. It takes about 30 minutes for us to get to the orphanage from the "Outpost". The road the last few miles is a winding, bumpy, washboarded, potholed dirt road. We take 3 vans which are usually driven by Quinn, Duane, and Tom (from New Jersey). Tuesday night on the way back in the dark and mud (it had rained and snowed that day) we had a flat tire so had to pile 40 people in two 15 passenger vans in order to cross the border and get back to the Outpost. Our worship in the mornings after breakfast and before devotions has been awesome! The food has been great (homemade salsa, red and green, is to die for). The snow on Tuesday morning was surreal.
Wednesday: Quite a bit has been said so again just a few comments. The market was basically empty. Quinn said all the other groups that used to come to this market have stopped and they are the only group coming. Many vendors spoke good English and fun to interact with. The S Mart where we bought the rest of the food for Mercy Day was impressive. One of the more popular things for the locals were the homemade tortillas. They were right inside the front door and they had a machine they put the dough in and the finished tortillas came out the other end. They were being sold as quickly as they were being made. On the journey from Juarez to Mercy Day our van got very quiet as we witnessed some violence alongside the road. Three men were being beat up for what reason we're not quite sure. Quinn and his wife Lisa said that is the first time they have seen something like that. What a blessing to be able to give out ~40lbs of food to needy families! I don't think anyone went home empty-handed which is what we prayed for. I can almost see and hear the sounds as we circled up afterwards to pray. The sunset was absolutely beautiful, the full moon was coming up, we were praying as Duane, Steve B, Abbey (Tappestries staff member) and Steve B laid hands on a local pastor and blessed him with an offering we had taken up. I will always remember the children as they came thru the line. Katrina and I were down towards the end handing out crayons. We had to pry open their bags in order to put in our gifts because they kept dropping stuff as they despartely tried to clutch on to them without putting them into the bag.
Thursday: It was a sunny day probably in the low 50s. On the way to the orphanage we stopped at TOL warehouse and Steve showed us the 5390 lb. Amethyst gemstone that will eventually go in the foyer of the orphanage - beautiful!
It has been a great week and a joy to have this opportunity with my daughter Katrina. Happy New Year! Thank you Jesus!
Blessing on all,
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
We witnessed the anger of men against men and we prayed for them as we drove past. It is not a common sight, we were told, yet it was gripping to watch. We looked into the eyes of women, men, and children as we gave them food that their stomachs had ached for...., many had not eaten much in days. They were all thankful, proud people who had a quiet strength that most of us can only hope to possess.
We complain about things that seem so earth-shattering, but I imagine that the view would change tremendously if we were to step into any of their shoes. They have so very, very little and yet their love of God is rich and obvious. I hugged children who are so incredibly gorgeous, and I shared unspoked compassion and love with women and men who are no different than we are. I will never forget This Day.