Categories: Children's Ministry, Outreach opportunites, Puppet Ministry, Tito's Fan Club
In the dry dessert-like conditions of the city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua (bordering with El Paso, Texas) a small group of young adults, five Amor Ministry pastors, three El Paso team members and me held our annual outreach in one of the communities. Along with two wonderful volunteers from Lone Tree High Adventure Camps we played, sang, prayed, preached, and loved on the people of the community of Granjas de Desierto.
The great story about this particular community was the connection one of our Amor pastors did with this community. This community is a newly established colonia which many families from all over Mexico come to buy land and build a simple home. Work is becoming scarce and building materials are very expensive. Many families build precarious homes of scrape wood or with anything that they can find. This family made up of a father, mother and five children worked hard to give their children food, clothing and schooling, but the house was inadequate. What a blessing to get the news that they qualified for a home!
Pastor Felipe from Amor Ministries mentioned that he has been evangelizing in this community for some time now and was excited to have the outreach in this community.
So after connecting with an awesome group who built this family their house they also went a step further and sponsored the community outreach. Plus, as an added bonus we held the outreach right on the land of the family the group had just built for!
We had games for the kids to play and win prizes. Music to fill the air with Praise. A message of hope from an Amor pastor and plenty of Bibles to give to the people. After we all shared a simple lunch. Everyone was filled both physically and spiritually. It was a wonderful celebration of hope!
If you are interested in finding out how you can help proclaim God's goodness please come to our website at www.amor.org . Also, we are in need of school supplies and Spanish Bibles... You can also donate toward those supplies just follow the links to the gift page. Thank you!
The following are pictures taken at the outreach. Enjoy!
As Mexico Ministry Coordinator for Amor Ministries I run into some amazing people in Mexico.
I wrote recently an article for the ministry that really impacted my life once again
It impacted the way I see the hearts of people.
It impacted my role in God's kingdom...
Each year our Mexico Ministry Planning Board holds a community outreach sponsored by an Amor group. This year our Tijuana pastors hosted an outreach in the community of Terrazas sponsored by the Trader’s Point Christian Church of Indianapolis.
It is amazing to see the connection between our Amor pastors and the “American” groups. TPCC was so excited to make such a huge investment into the Kingdom of God. They met the Tijuana pastors and worked along side them to reach about 500 people at the outreach. Most of which were children.
One thing that stood out for me was the following story of a family of seven who came to the outreach. An Amor Ministries outreach includes fun games for the kids, crafts, small lunch, and a message of salvation for all to hear. All these festivities are free to everyone who comes and there are many opportunities to share the love of God to the hurting. Children from all over the community came to play games and win prizes. Laughter rang through the hills. Each participant had a job to do. Either they were manning the game booths, helping little hands with crafts, making ham sandwiches or talking one on one with a hungry soul. The pastors were busy talking to families that Amor Ministries has built houses for letting them know that all this was a gift from God to them. One lady came up to me with such an expression of joy as she shared that she was grateful to Pastor Eusebio Haros (one of the Tijuana pastors) for connecting her with Amor Ministries. Now she and her family have a home to enjoy and the love of God made such an impact in her life. Still there was one particular family that really touched my heart. In all the chaos of children running around having fun there was a family of seven who stood in the middle of everything looking a little bewildered. A father, mother, and five children huddled together as they tried to figure out what was going on. I noticed that they were carrying buggies, boxes, bags, and a little cart full of scrap metal. The families’ clothes were worn and dirty from foraging through mounds of trash to find a little metal to exchange at the recycling mill for money. Yadira and I explained to them that this was free to them and that the children could play games and win prizes. At first the children felt embarrassed because of their clothes, but with a gentle nudge of their father the children tentatively made their way to the games. The father stayed close to his kids and the mother stood watch over their things. I loved seeing how the father would rejoice with his kids when they would win at a game. I marveled that this family took time for their kids to have fun. I was touched when I saw the kids bring their tickets to their mother so that she could “buy” something at the prize table. She chose a handmade quilt which she continually caressed with her calloused hands. They made a connection with our pastors who will help them as much as they can. I even had a chance to introduce Stan (TPCC trip coordinator) to them. I told Stan that if this outreach was for only this family it was all worth it. I asked the mother if she would allow Stan and I to pray for her and her family. She happily agreed and we prayed together knowing that God heard our cry. The family had to leave so I made sure to pack them a good lunch and gave them a Bible. All this happened because of someone who took the time to care. The outcast of the world met with the eternal love of God. It reminded me of the story of Jesus when he spoke to the Samaritan woman. She was an outcast of society yet He took time to give her what she needed most….love. Thank you for that opportunity to love people into the Kingdom!
My real good friend and co-worker at Amor Ministries, Yadira and I went with some people from Calvary Chapel San Diego to Reino de los Niños (Kid's Kingdom) in Ensenada, Mexico.
Directors Tomas and Marisela Shockey have been serving the Lord at the orphanage since 1989.
We enjoyed a time of fellowship with the kids. That it was hard to leave! Our group took the kids for Pizza at the nearby Costco. They can EAT! One skinny little girl ate 5 slices of peperroni pizza!!!!
This is Tomas with two of his "hijas".
Tomas and Marisela is "mom & dad" to about 35 children ranging from 2 years-old and up. Tomas shared with us the need to just love these children. Some of the children's stories are heart breaking. Some have emotional scars that need healing. And what better place than a christian environment!
I've known Tomas and Marisela for many years and I am always amazed at their fun loving dedication to the children of Ensenada.
Even the puppets had a time with the kids and they were a hit. Especially when Tito came out. One little boy about 3 or 4 years old named Ivan loved Tito so much that when Tito was packed up in the suitcase Iven saw Tito's hand hanging out took one of his fingers and told Tito, "Good Night Tito."
Tomas and I.
p>Tomas shared the story of this ten year old that is living at the Casa Hogar because his mother could not take care of them due to her drug addiction. In his desperation one day he left school and traveled by foot for about 15 miles with a heavy backpack on his back in search of a father he never knew. The local authorities were informed of the incident and everyone was looking for him. They found him at his mother's house. Tomas spoke to him and asked him if he wanted to come back to the Casa Hogar. The young boy said yes and mentioned that he was sadden to see that his mother was strung up on drugs. I was so happy to see him laughing and smiling after living thru so much hurt.
Yadi with Juanito.
Dennis with one of the young men at the Casa Hogar.
The little girl in pink next to Tomas is Lizbeth. She came to the Casa Hogar with her brothers and sisters. Her story is of neglect and abuse. Tomas mentioned that this little one has a place in her imagination where she goes when she wants to shut out the world. Still she was the one who prayed for us... Even in the middle of her healing she still believes in a God that loves her.
Here is Kelly with Lizbeth.
For almost 8 years I have been a volunteer at the Polinsky Children's Center which has brought me sheer joy.
This center meets the immediate needs of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Many children come with so much fear and hurt in their little hearts that it's such a privileged to bring a smile to their face.
I bring the puppets every Sunday morning and share with them the Love of God.
Even if the time I spend with kids is short. I know that our message of hope brings them back to life.
Only God knows their pain. Only God can transform their sorrow to Joy!
One young man shared with me a little bit of what God has been doing in his life.
This young man is 17 years-old and was taken to the center because of poor choices that he had made in his life. Yet he was faithful to come to Sunday School and he asked very direct questions about God and Christianity. After three times seeing him go to Sunday School I had not seen him for awhile. Then one day he came and after we started the service he wanted to share.
He spoke about how that he was truly seeking a better way for his life and that he was not totally convinced about God, but that something happened to him that made him come just one step closer to God.
He told us that he was locked up in Juvenile Hall and that while there a chaplain came in to speak to the young men in the facility. It was on the same day that he was to present himself before a judge. The chaplain spoke to him in a way only he could understand. The chaplain explained that everything will fail, but God will never fail them. The chaplain invited them to make a decision today. The young man left the meeting and went back to his cell where he got on his knees and spoke frankly with God. He told God that he might be 100% a believer but that he was close to being so. Then he asked God to touch his life. At that moment he felt a touch on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and saw that no one was there. In his words he said that it "freaked him out", but he knew that it was God showing him that he was not alone.
God is looking at us and saying, "Who will go and be my hands and feet?"
Will you go?
My true heart's desire is to one day work full-time in an orphanage. I've worked with many children ministries in my life and every one of them has impacted me the same way. Just seeing these babies open their little arms in abandonment to be picked up...Physically...Spiritually...Emotionally. It just inspires me to do more.
What can I say I am called to love God's children.One of my co-workers and I visited the El Pozo Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.What is amazing about this orphanage is that they are located in the middle of the downtown district. Many of the children are from prostitutes and drug-addicts. This is Connie Youngkins the co-director of the orphanage. Next to her is Brianna. She and her family came to El Pozo to spend their summer vacation there. Plus, it was all her idea!
August 17, 2006 Amor Ministries and a wonderful group from San Clemente , CA. hosted a community outreach in the community of Altiplano/Valle Imperial.
There was so many people. To me it felt like 300 kids and adults came to hear about the Love of God and enjoy each others company.
The follwing pictures are just a few snapshots of the days events. What I am grateful for that we were able to touch the hearts of many families with God's goodness.
The summer sun can be merciless in the city of Tecate, Mexico, but that didn't stop about 150 people from attending Amor Ministries 1st Annual outreach in Tecate.
Amor Ministries together with the Ministry Planning Board of Tecate hosted a community outreach in the Cerro Azul area. Many children came to have fun winning prizes with our game booths and gave out over 200 hot dogs.
Pastor Hortencio Guerrero gave a wonderful message of God's love to many hungry souls. Many came up for prayer and the tears flowed freely.
I love the way God moves on the hearts of his people!
I've been going to a women's Bible study that has been such a great encouragement for me. The last meeting we talked about the word goodness.
Narrowing it all down what I learned was that goodness is not just a "state of being good", but an "action of goodness".
As Mexico ministry coordinator for Amor Ministries I have many opportunites to work with men and women who demonstrate goodness to others.
For example this past month a group from Anchorage, Alaska and the ministry planning board of Rosarito hosted an outreach for the families in the community of Ames. Amor Ministries coordinates such events where over 100 people were in attendance!
I had an opportunity to even share God's word with everyone and many raised their hand for prayer.
Together we were able to bless many and with the help of the pastors in the community we have also impacted the Mexican church.
I thank God for the opportunity to share His "goodness" with others.
Psalm 27:10 " My father and mother may desert me, but the Lord will accept me."
If you believe in prophesy or God speaking something into your life read on...
While on a mission trip to Lima, Peru I experienced something that confirmed my life's call.
While in Peru the church that I worked with hosted a Prophecy Service. A pastor from Oceanside, California came to the church to speak words of knowledge to several members of the church. Every heart in the building was in complete surrender to God's presence. In the midst of all this I was called forward. At first I thought it was mistake until a friend of mine walked toward me and took my hand to lead me to the front. I was trembling as I knelt at the altar and prayed, "God, help me." My heart nearly pounded right out of my chest! Nervous, I guess... Then the older gentleman placed his hand on my shoulder and spoke truth to me. The pastor said to me that God has called me to those who are forgotten by everyone, the bottom of the barrel, and the lost children of God's kingdom. Those who everyone turns their head from and go the other way. I will never forget the pastors words as he spoke as a father speaking to their child. He told me that God has equipped me to go to them and speak life to them. To tell all those who are forsaken that they are worth my time...they are worth God's time. That when I speak I would inspire hope in them. The truth of the matter is that I never expected to see how much that prophecy has come to pass. Now I work for an organization (Amor Ministries) that inspires hope in the lives of many Mexican families. God has entrusted me with a ministry to the hurting children of a child abuse center and foster care facility. Truly, I'm blessed to see that God can speak life to anyone who is willing to listen.
Diana is from an orphanage in Queretaro, Mexico. This beautiful girl was abandoned by her mother and was told that she should never return. I would just hold her at times and let her cry.
This little one stole my heart. She was also in the Queretaro orphanage with her 4 older and 1 younger brothers and sisters. When I was leaving she stretched out her hands for me to pick her up. I held her close and she tucked her head on my shoulder and whispered. "Take me with you."
This family is the one who hosted us in San Miguel de Allende. There we worked with Director Victor at the orphanage that he had there. I was nearly kidnapped by all the kids because they didn't want to see me leave.
Behind a banister I did a puppet show for the kids at the San Miguel de Allende orphanage.
My little girls. I was so sick that day and still these little ones could not stay away because they were so hungry for attention. I just wished I could adopt them all!
As a kid it was always a heartache to hear the words...Back to School. It meant studying, classes, and oh yeah teachers. The one thing though that made things exciting was when my mom or dad would take me "Back to School" shopping. All the new clothes, notebooks, pens and pencils made my heart endure the pangs of going back to hit the books. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to buy those luxuries. Luxuries? Yes, because many children in Mexico find that it is a luxury to have school supplies.
Most parents in Mexico average around $30.00 to $50.00 a week. That covers mostly for there shelter, food, and maybe clothing. Let alone if any family member needs medicine or treatment from a doctor. What makes it even more harder is when a family has more than one child to send to school. There are registration fees, uniforms, plus all their school supplies. Multiply that by how many children are in a family that could get expensive.
That's why Amor has set up a "Back to School" program. This way we could help these families by providing their children with the basic school supplies they need to start school.
The supplies include:
3 ring binder
Currently, I am trying to start a school supply drive. Our funds for this program are not sufficient to supply the need. Please, pray with me that I will soon hear a response because these children look forward to going "Back to School".
"Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you...May everything good from God be yours! 1 Peter 1:1-2 MSG"