"God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" Ephesians 3:20 MSG
Forrest told me about a family that a group was building a home for in Cerro Colorado III. He told me that this family was very friendly and so grateful for the new house they were building them. Forrest explained to me how this family was living on the very top of the community of Cerro Colorado and that our material vendor could not get up there to leave the materials. So, the materials were left at the bottom of the hill and the family carried all the material (even the sand and gravel) to the very top! I spoke with Alma and Fernando Ayala Duarte about their experience with having a house built for them. Luis Millan, our Mexican Staff Representative, drove me to the family and our, Seasonal Staff Member, "TJ" met me there. He is working with the group from San Mateo, California.
Lydia: Alma, how has this experience affected your family?
Alma: (crying) I am just amazed on the dedication and careful work these workers are doing on my house. They are taking it seriously and I admire their details. I see the results of a safe and secure home for my family and words cannot describe my gratitude to God and them. It's been a wonderful experience.
L: I see that you children are involved and your husband is working hard to help the group.
A: Yes, even though my two younger boys are deaf they fit in well with the group. My middle son Eduardo has been waking up early to be ready with his carpenter apron on and his gloves in hand to go to work.
L: I can see that each one has his part in the process.
A: I am grateful to the group for that because it's difficult to raise two deaf boys and at their age everything is like a new adventure. The group has been very receptive.
L: Fernando, how have you felt about the whole process?
Fernando: I am very happy.
A: My husband is a man of a few words.
L: Fernando, what has stood out more in this experience in receiving a house?
F: Just to see how my kids have reacted to the whole process...Well, it's just...(his voice broke and tears came into his eyes).
Lydia: Enough said I can see how much it has touched your heart.
Lydia: Alma, on behalf of the church I have brought you donations. Here is a new blanket, cooking pot, and utensils for your family.
Alma: I was totally satisfied with just receiving a house...now this! (she was brought to tears again!)
Lydia: Yes, this is from donors that support Amor Ministries.A: Wonderful blessings! Even my sons don't want to sleep anymore in the old house. Plus, they have been mapping out where everything is going to be. I hope that they leave room for mom and dad.
Lydia: You can tell that God made this all happen for all of you!
A: Funny that you said that because it was a up hill battle to get this house. When we first qualified for a house a representative came to my house, but I had an emergency and had to leave to go to my mother's funeral. I missed my opportunity to get a house. I cried so much and my husband asked me what was wrong. I told him that because I had to leave to my mother's funeral we missed the chance to get a house. Later that week the representative came by again and said to me that in fact they were going to build my house. He also told me that the materials were being delivered I wondered how we were going to get the materials way up here, but God touched the hearts of the community and many people helped us take the material one by one to the top. Then here I go again crying back home when my husband said, "What's wrong with you now?" I excitedly told him that we were going to get a house after all! No words can explain how God's mercy and grace has been shown to us.
L: I can see that your whole family is just enjoying the process and look forward to the future.
A: What I look forward is that this serves as a testimony to my husband that God is real and the He really cares about him and our family. May God bless everyone at Amor Ministries and all the people who made this wonderful home!
Lydia: Like so many families I want to express my gratitude for everyone's support and prayers. Please keep the Ayala Duarte family in prayer and all the other families our ministry has touched!
I took this picture from the bottom of the hill. There are some people working on the roof of the house way up high.
From the bottom of this hill (near the truck) is where the materials were delivered and the family needed to carry the rest up the steep hill.
Picture of the community Cerro Colorado from the Ayala Duarte house.
The group from Christians of the Evangelical Faith Pentecostal of San Mateo, California working hard way up high!
The very happy Ayala Duarte family.
Even got a chance to see "TJ's" beaming smile. He mentioned that this family was one of the most awesome families he has ever met.
Brothers Eduardo and Fernando are deaf since birth, but that didn't bother them when they were helping to get there house finished! Here is Eduardo in the yellow shirt on top of the old house painting the window trim.
Here's our very own "Tool Man" (Fernando) with his mom acting goofy in front of the camera. Mom said that he would wake up early to get ready to go to work. With his carpenter apron, gloves, trowel and hammer in tow!
Fernando only 9 years-old and already a hard working man!
Another angle from the Ayala's house. Fernando showing off his muscles.
Mama Alma surprised to receive such lovely gifts. These are donations that we have received from donors and a donation program named "Gifts in Kind" (Bed, Bath and Beyond).
Alma was so happy because she mentioned that she needed forks and spoons. She said that she was so clearly satisfied with just receiving a house that these donations were a bonus.
Mom telling Eduardo in Sign Language about the gifts their family has received.
Eduardo is completly thrilled about the new house and new things.
Here dad Fernando Sr. this picture was taken right after he told he how happy he was to see his kids get the house they dreamed about. This is also after he shed some tears of joy.
This is me and Alma. I made such a connection with this family that she said once her new house is in order I needed to come back to have some coffee.
Alma's tears are just an overflow of love for all of the love and support from everyone at Amor Ministries.
"There is no limit to God's love. it is without measure and its depth cannot be sounded." Mother Teresa
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"
Luis Millan's church in the community of Cerro Colorado III just finished their vacation Bible school. Here are some pictures of the kids who attended. Around 200 kids came everyday for a whole week!
This seven year-old is the bass player. Luis has been his teacher and Isai has been working hard. He can't even touch the ground yet and still he has a great future as a musician.
Here is the little drummer praying before he starts to play. He is eight years-old and his name is David.
This is Isaac and he is 10 yeard-old. He is the worship leader.
My great friend and "Youth Specialties" partner Jen. She is leaving for Thailand to teach English and share God's love to college age students. It will be a facinating trip to another country and I know that she will flourish wherever she is planted. I will miss her oodles because she was not only a great friend, but as a traveling buddy she's top-notch. Thank God for friends like Jen.
Here's my beautiful friend Jen.
She'e very hugable!
She's a team player and great listener!
You'll always know she's around if you see her Converse!
She has a big heart for kids and wants to make an impact on their lives.
Her smile brightens any room.
She will be greatly missed.
As she crosses huge oceans to get to her new adventure...
And as God as her captain...
She will do great wherever she is at!
We Love You Jen!!!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
My "Comadre" Esther is leaving Amor Ministries to pursue her dream of being a pastry chef. She is going to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study bread making and pastry. She will live with her grandmother who lives in Argentina. I will miss her tremendously as I find her more like a "sister" than a friend.
Instead of "Please don't cry Argentina"...we need to say "Look out Argentina", because this fireball is heading your way!
May God bless and keep our little Esther and may she return soon to bake us many goodies. Thank God for our friendship!
This is Esther when she is wondering where in the world she's at.
Esther doing what she knows best making everyone laugh.
She always seems to be the center of attention.
She's a great friend.
She hardly ever gets lost...yeah, right!
She's very photogenic!
Esther is a good leader.
We all love her very much!
She does well with kids and has been a great helper with my puppet shows. HMMM... I wonder why?...Maybe because she is a kid herself!
I love you Comadre keep in touch and may everything you touch prosper...Even your bread dough!
The Tijuana pastor's board has been busy working hard to follow-up with all the families that we have built a home for. Here are a few of their prayer requests and praises for this month.
Pastor Francisco Chavez: I would like everyone to pray with me for my church and it's continual growth. Also, that we will be able to receive new instruments, speakers, microphones, and a guitar amplifier. Praise: Thank God that we were able to receive a piano and plenty of chairs for our church. We know that God will provide the rest.
Pastor Eusebio Haros: My continual prayer request is that Gd will provide a 15 passenger van to transport people to and from church. Praise:Thank God for His steadfast love toward us and for healing my wife of her illness.
Pastor Juan Bahena: We are asking prayer for our church expansion and for spiritual support for myself and my family. Praise: Thank GOd that he will continue to prosper our church.
Pastor Fausto Meraz: I want to thank you for praying for us and ask you to keep our church in prayer as we are working on expanding our church. We need Sunday school rooms. Praise: I want to give all the glory and honor to God for his provision. We requested awhile back for a new keyboard and God answered! Thank you everyone for praying for us!
Pastor Juan Briceño: Please pray for my family and congregation. Also that God will provide a van to transport people to church and for a bass guitar and amplifier. Praise: God has answered our petition about an electric guitar amplifier! Thank you.
Pastor Jesus Lobatos: Please pray with me for my family and my congregation. We are in need of musical instruments, a keyboard, and microphones. Also, that God will make provision for tables for our dinning hall and chairs too. Praise: We are so grateful to God and you for keeping us in prayer. we prayed about a building to be able to do a feeding program and it's built now and a church from Los Angeles, California gave us an extra long van for 13 passengers.
As a thank you to all our pastors we provide the means for them to have a Pastor's Retreat where they go to a location with their families and have a time of rest and relaxation. Here are a few pictures from their retreat.
Thank you Pastors from all the cities we work in!
July 13th I had a meeting with our pastors that work in the Rosarito area. Here are a list of prayer requests and praise reports.
Pastor Angel: Please join with me in prayer concerning a vehicle to use to transport people to and from church. Also, for my continual health and that of my wife because we have been a bit ill lately. Praise: I want to praise God that he healed my wife's right leg.
Pastor Jose: Please pray with us that we can continue our work in holding home fellowships groups. And that God will continue to prosper our ministry. To win amny more souls for His kingdom. Praise: I am very grateful for the work Amor Ministries does. To think that many souls will be won by the sheer joy of receiving a new house. I have some families in my congregation that have accepted God as their personal Saviour as a result of receiving God's love in the form of a house. Thank you for your love and passion to help those that are in great need in Mexico. Thank you for all the donations that blesses many families. We love you all!
Pastor Florentino: Thank you for your prayers. That our congregation continues to grow spiritually. Praise: I want to thank God for the little trailer that Amor donated to us. Currently we are waiting to finish our house and the trailer has helped to house us in the meantime. And thank God for the house that a wonderful group from Amor made.
Pastor Gustavo: Please help me pray for my wife's health and for our congregation to grow. Praise: Thank God for this ministry (Amor) and for all of you that participate. It's a great experience that Amor has brought and it has enriched my life. May you all continue to be blessed as you have blessed many lives. When I see the people that have benefited in receiving a house I stand amazed. On behalf of the families I want to thank God and you for all your love and support.
Thank the Lord for such faithful men that have not only heard the calling of God in their lives but are determined to increase the Kingdom of God.
Hi, this is Lydia Lozano your Amor reporter giving you the latest news about the goodness of God in Mexico.
I've been feeling like that lately...though I really like it!
One thing I know that many of us here at Amor Ministries are actively involved in our churches and other ministries. For example, I have a puppet ministry and Sunday School program at a child abuse center. This facility takes in children temporarily due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Then they are placed in foster care. We bring joy and the love of God to countless of kids and I have been doing this by the grace of God for over 5 years! We have a Bible program that gives a child in his own language a Bible to keep as their very own. It has been a blessing each time we have gone.
Another person who has been very active in his church is our Mexican Field Representative, Luis Millan. Luis Millan is our Mexican staff person who ensures that the houses are verified, materials are on the ground and that if their is any emergencies he works hard to get make the necessary connections.
His church in the community Cerro Colorado III is very active in missions. They currently have a mission church in the community of Terrazas del Valle and also make a yearly trip to an indian reservation close to the town of San Quintin, Baja California Norte. It's about 7 hours from Tijuana by car.
This is the name of the church. "Philadephia Church" for the gret love they have for one another.
Here is my conversation with Luis about his trip.
Lydia:Luis, how long have you been working at Amor Ministries?
Luis: I have been working at Amor Ministries for about 4 years now.
Lydia: What is the name of your church? What's your pastor's name? How many years have you been an active member of the church?
Luis: My church's name is Iglesia Centro de Fe y de Amor and my pastor's name if Pastor Martin Gomez. I have been steadily working in the church for about 8 years.
Lydia: Tell me a little bit about your trip with your church to the Indian reservation and tell me how God moved among the Triki tribe.
Luis: Every year my church gathers things to take to this church. The tribe we visit is actually the Triqui tribe and we also minister to the Mixteco tribe. Amor Ministries has been able to help by providing clothing, first aid kits and blankets to this very poor community. The men are rarely seen because most of their professions is either working on farms or fishing in the oceans. My pastor has a great heart for these forgotten people. It is said that the indigenous here in Mexico is like a people without a country they rarely have a voice in government affairs. The people here are very quiet and friendly. Even though we all speak Spanish we need an interpreter because they all speak the Triqui language.
Lydia: Wow, that is so awesome! I'm glad that Amor could help you take donations to these wonderful people.
Luis: Everyone was so happy to receive blankets (from the Wrap Them in Love organization), first aid kits (from the Harborside church of Florida), and clothing (various groups that come on trips).
Lydia: Other than the donations what else did your church do?
Luis: We had a huge outdoor service for all the people in the community. We had to have it outdoors because the church is too small for us to all fit in! Then my pastor helped the pastor of the Philadephia church perform a baptismal celebration.
Lydia: That's great! How many people were baptised?
Luis: Three young people.
Lydia: Thank you for sharing this time you had with the Triqui tribe. Also thank you Luis for all your hard work that you put into working out in the field.
Here is Pastor Martin Gomez with his co-pastor and the two gentlemen in front is the pastor of the church and his Triqui tribe interpreter.
Here is Luis leading worship at the outdoor service.
This is the pastor of the Triqui tribe.
Pastor Antonio and his family.
Too many people to hold church inside!
Singing His Praises!
The ladies of the tribe wear these beautiful robes in their tribal colors.
Luis arranging the donations that Amor Ministries help provide.
This grandma was so happy that Luis gave her this sweater that she gave him a little bracelet that she made in return.
Pastor Antonio, Luis, and Interpreter Juan.
Baptismal service at the beach.
One young man's journey to new life.
God is good all the time!
Newly baptized members.
The man who started this all Pastor Martin Gomez.
"Every day holds the possibility of a miracle!"
Pastor Jesus Lobatos also took us to another family's house in the community "El Pipila" named the De La Cruz Peñaloza family. Pastor Jesus had a wonderful testimony to tell about how this family received a home.
Lydia: Pastor Jesus could you tell me how this family received a house?
Pastor Jesus: Well, as you know I have three daughters ages 13, 12 and the youngest is 8. My children are very involved in our ministry which is here in the El Pipila community. We actually live here and our children go to school here. They enjoy helping at church and on occasion they witness to all their little friends at school. My oldest daughter one day told me that during her school break she gathered all her friends and asked them several key questions to see if anyone of them qualified for a house. One friend of hers spoke up that her family needed a home. Happily she took all her information down and brought it to me so that I might be able to visit with the family. The next day I went and visited with the mother of the young girl and she already knew that I was going to visit her because her daughter told her everything that had happened in school. The mother was so excited. I told her that God wanted to bless her family.
L: This miracle literally came "out of the mouths of babes".
J:Yes, my daughters have seen how God moves and have been bold in their faith. For example, one day as I was counseling a couple who were contemplating divorce something happened that was very unexpected. While I was talking with the couple. My daughters were playing outside with their kids. Then I heard my daughter's voice outside yelling. "I hate my life! Nobody loves me! I just want to run away and forget my whole family because they cause me to much pain!" I was in shock! I wondered what was happening. After the counseling session I called my daughter over and asked her what had happened. She explained to me that the couple's eight year old daughter was so distressed about her parents hurting each other that she wanted to just run away. Then my daughter told me that she thought that if she acted as though she had the problem too that the little girl would open up and let all her feelings out. I was truly amazed at how God used my daughter! I called the couple to me and asked their daughter to share her feelings. She was very bold to share how she felt and her parents were literally shaking to hear the news. They just never thought that their daughter could have such strong feelings.
L: What happened next?
J:Well, after we all cried together they looked each other in the eyes and forgave each other and now this family is completely restored.
L: Pastor, how has being involved with Amor Ministries helped you with your outreach to the community.
J: If I can be so honest it has been a great excuse to talk to people. I mean people who would probably wouldn't want to open up their doors to hear the gospel are now willing to listen because they see God's love in action. Another example is a family that I have been visiting trying to get their application for a house complete. The wife shared with me that her husband was a drunk and that she finds it hard to forget all that he he put her through. I spoke with the husband and he did confirm that he put his wife and family through many hard times. He did however quit drinking, but his wife finds it hard to forgive him. I asked him if he was willing to set up a date with her to go out to dinner and that my wife and I would by "chance" meet up with them there. He agreed and we caught up with them at the resturant. Well, the good part about this is that my wife already knew his wife because once again their daughter is in the same grade as our youngest daughter. So, as they got acquainted I spoke with the husband about how God can restore lives. Both of them opened up and my wife and I were able to help their marriage. Now this marriage is doing very well and it all started with an application for a house.
L: Pastor Jesus, I've been greatly encouraged today. Thank you for your dedication and for having such an awesome family.
This is Pastor Jesus Lobatos.
This is the De la Cruz Peñalosa family from the "El Pipila" community. This is the young girl who the pastor's daughter told her about receiving a new house.
Amor Ministries has not only given to families HOPE for a strong and dry shelter, it has brought HOPE to broken families, HOPE for a better future for their children and most of all HOPE to receive eternal life.