Here's a link to the many pictures I've taken of work and play. Enjoy!
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!
I've always loved art and photography. Capturing fleeting moments to remember them for many years to come. My dream is to some day have someone look at my photos and say... "I want these photos to be in my resturant!" That's one of my dreams... Take a look at some of the following photos and let me know what you think.
Has anyone ever had a hard time letting go?
I didn't realize what a control freak I was until I was "out-of-control". It was a scary place between worrying about my surroundings and worrying about what will happen to me if I were to let go.
Could I trust me? Could I trust my God to sustain me? Could I trust others around me to care?
Since my dad died I realized that everything given to us is a gift. A cherished treasure that could be lost and never found again. I also realized that pleasing people is an up hill battle. Wait... Let me rephrase that...
Giving of myself to others is my life, but running on empty isn't.
I would love your comments on how you are allowing God to take "control" of your life.
As a Mexico Ministry Coordinator for Amor Ministries I get to visit all the different cities and pastors who help us find the families who we build for. One group of pastors that I visit about once a month is the Tecate pastor's board.
At our last meeting one of the pastor's wife made us some great fish tacos. Which is odd because most of Tecate is mountains and desert, but just 1 hour away is the finest fish you will ever eat in Ensenada. So, the pastors had a special treat for us all the way from Ensenada. Yadira and Jonathan joined us in the feast. Also, Amor's very own Juan Garay blessed us with his presence... We had a good time with our pastors.
This was my first time ever at Dana Point. I had heard a lot of nice things about the place, but never took the time to go. A friend and I took a little "girlfriend" retreat and enjoyed the change of scenery. If you ever have a chance to got to Dana Point, California do it!
On July 28th my friend and co-worker from Amor recently got married. She looked so beautiful and the groom looked so happy! It was a wonderful time of laughter and of celebration.
I've been involved in ministry for many years now and I never really took time to reflect back on God's handiwork. I mean just recently I've taken time to just chill and take a deep breath and start thanking God for this journey called life.
I hit some rough spots on the road, but looking at my life now and looking at where I was before I can't help but to be amazed.
So many changes not only in me but in everything I do. One of the things I've realized lately was that I had lost my "identity". Not by theft but by allowing my identity to be defined by what I can do for others and not by who I really was. It happens...
Sometimes I get caught in the work that I forget Lydia in the process. My needs and wants were set aside and I wasn't important anymore. It meant that other's needs and wants were more important than mine, but that wasn't so with God.
God's plans were different(like always)...
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:8 NIV
I felt trapped by what was expected by me...What I should or should not do...What other dictated in my life...
Now it's different...
I ask what I truly want and desire.
I've stopped postponing my life until this or that changes.
I've believe in me. I believe in the God who created me.
I welcome openness, freedom and love.
I'm welcoming life back!
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!
I haven't written on my blog for some time now and I'm starting to miss it. It's been hectic these last few months... Still the season of busyness is winding down and I know that I will have more time to write. In the meantime I covet your prayers.