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.
As a fundraiser to sustain my work at Amor Ministries I've created some greeting cards from some photographs that I have taken.
As I see the beauty of the rose I think of my relationship with God.
As the rose opens it's delicate petals to bring forth the beauty inside so does my relationship with God.
Take a look and let me know what you think. Thank you!
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?
Recently I went to a worship conference at Calvary Chapel San Diego where a group of musicians named Shachah played. Now what stood out for me about the group wasn't their talent (which by the way they had plenty!) But it was their name?...
Shachah means "to bow down" in Hebrew. At this point in my life that is just how I felt.
I mean lately I've been realizing that trust is not just a feeling, but an action. When you trust someone you actually physically need to rest that what they said they will do they will do!
Just like a flower who just sways in the breeze enjoying the sunshine and trusting that the earth will provide for it's very need. I too needed to come to a place to just enjoy my every day living.
Look up Shachah and enjoy the testimony of God's love and grace!
At the end of September two co-workers and I visited our Ministry Planning Board in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora. Amor Ministries build homes there for the needy twice a year. This little town is starting to get noticed because of the booming resort hotels. Due to the fact that Puerto Peñasco is not heavily populated these resorts had to bring in personnel from southern Mexico. Many families left their hometowns with only the clothe on their backs. It's a miracle that with what little pay they receive that they can buy a piece of land. Yet not enought to buy materials to build a house.
I stood there in awe at how little that these families had. Where do these little ones sleep?
Some families that we will build for in November have a physical illness or disability that prevents them to be able to work.
One elderly woman lived with her disabled son who sold candies in the street. I walked in their little shelter and the little bed just seem to be almost out in the harsh elements.
Amor Ministries will be building 56 homes for families!
p>Check out our website at www.amor.org</p>
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!
I travel to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico at least once a month to meet with the pastors representing Amor Ministries there. They are a great bunch of men and one woman that serve at their churches plus continually work with the families we build for. In May of this year we had an outreach in a community near one of the pastor's church. Pastor Felipe gave a strong message of love and acceptance. We even had some "clowning" around. The kids were all decked out in their best clothes too cute for words. Enjoy the pictures!
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.
I met these little boys at a photo shoot in Tijuana where I was a photographer's interpreter. They walked up to me and asked me what we were doing. I explained to them that we were taking pictures of families and their homes. I then asked them if they wanted their picture taken. They agreed and smiled the biggest smiles I have ever seen in my life. I had some donations with me so I gave them some food and a warm blanket. They blessed me with their smile and I was able to bless them with a gift. God showed me that it's always good to be prepared to give. You just never know when the need will arise. These two boys left with happy hearts and I left with a beautiful reminder of why I do what I do.
Part of my work as Mexico Ministry Coordinator is to organize our "Back to School" program. I am so excited that this year we were able to give out 420 backpacks this year!
Children are now ready to head back to school this August! Thank you to all our supporters and friends of Amor Ministries