Thursday after my monthly meeting with the Tijuana pastors Ryan Perkio and I had an opportunity to join up with Pastor Jesus Lobatos to see if we could visit a few of the families he has been working with. He was very happy to accompany us and show us the way. One family was the Lopez Jimenez family. Micaela, the mother of three children, shyly smiled and told me that she was very happy to have her new house. Due to her extreme shyness it was hard for her to express her gratitude. Here and there I tried to make her open up a bit. Still, she was very surprised to have this gift of a house given to her. She in some way thought that she was unworthy of such a miracle. Pastor Jesus mentioned to us that he literally had to beg Micaela and her husband to apply for a house. Pastor Jesus knew that they were in great need and that their house was deplorable.
This was their house before.
Pastor Jesus mentioned that she could not comprehend why they would do something for her without asking anything in return. Pastor Jesus reassured her that this gift was from God for her and not only her, but for her children. Finally, she agreed and filled up the paperwork. Now they enjoy a beautiful new house.
Here is Micaela with her kids. Even her little boy is shy!
Thankful for God's love even when we don't think we are worthy of it...but we are made worthy by the greatest gift given to all human kind...the sacrifice for all our sins...Jesus!
Some cactus in her yard. It's funny just like Micaela. She seems to try to keep people away, but God knows just how to reach her.
Recently Pastor Fausto Meraz of Tijuana took me to a family that the group from Canyon View Christian Fellowship just finished. It was an interesting interview due to the fact that the mother of the family speaks no Spanish! She only spoke her native indigenous language. Though love knows all languages because she welcomed us into her humble house and smiled constantly and she chattered (unknown to us due to not knowing her language, but we could only imagine what she meant) away about how much she has been blessed with the groups from Amor Ministries.
Here she is with a few of her children she has seven children! She is in the middle of the back row.
Truly they were grateful for the house. Though that was not the end of the blessing. Out of the group from Canyon View Christian Fellowship came two nurses that noticed that the youngest son (little Jose Armando) had a severe case of cleft palate.
Here is a before picture of little Jose Armando.
Little Jose Armando's mother had barely enough to feed her children let alone pay for such a costly operation. Even the children worked hard by selling gum and candy on the streets. Then these angels of mercy in the form of Amor participants made connections with a doctor in Tijuana who did all the necessary operations that this child needed for free! What joy has this brought to the family.
Little Jose Armando wasn't up too his picture taken, but as you can see he is healing well and his mother is looking forward to his complete recovery.
Such a good looking boy he is!
The rest of his brothers and sisters had no problems with having their picture taken.
His sister Virginia was very happy that we helped her little brother.
July 13th just an ordinary hot summer day, but what an amazing day this turned out to be.
As Mexico Ministry Coordinator I am able to meet with our pastors who help minister to the many families we build for. They are divided into pastor boards. One is in Tijuana, another in Tecate, Rosarito and Ciudad Juarez. I meet with them once a month to discuss issues and present needs. After my meeting with the Rosarito pastors I was able to accompany our friendly pastor Florentino Gallardo from Rosarito. He serves most of the families in the Lazaro Cardenas community. As I drove to the community he told me the vision that he has for the community.
Lydia: Pastor, where are we going to see the families that you have been working with?
Florentino: This is the commnity of Lazaro Cardenas in the La Gloria section of Rosarito. These families had there houses made about three months ago.
L: Pastor Florentino, I know that God has given you a vision for the your future ministry. Can you share with me little bit of that vision?
F: I have been a full-time pastor for many years in a well established church. Happily we have served the community of Palacios. Then all that changed when I was invited to be part of Amor Ministries. As a pastor in fellowship with Amor I have come to dream big. What I mean is that now that I go into the communitites to offer destitute families a shelter not only for their physical bodies, but it also opens doors to show them that they can find shelter in the arms of Jesus. Recently a group came down and built my family and I a house. I was so excited because it's in the same community where most of the families that I serve are! What a joy to know that our home will welcome many new souls to Christ. My heart's desire is to open my home to the families near by and offer them the opportunity to learn more about the God that so graciously have given them this new home. A physical demonstration of God's love and care. Everytime I see the families when I pass by they are always so happy to see me. I encourage them to seek God and read their Bibles. We pray together and I've established a great rapport with the men. They have even come to visit me at my new house.
L: Wow! That is wonderful. I can only imagine how excited that makes you feel.
F: Yes, I want them to feel comfortable about going to church so first I will establish a good group of people then look for a bigger piece of land to build a new church.
L: This only goes to show what the Word of God says concerning his children. "He WILL supply all your needs according to His Riches in Glory.".
F: All this as the result of working in partnership with Amor Ministries. Though there is still a lot more work to be done.
L: Yes, I believe that God has opened the door to many new things for this community. I can see that after visiting with these families that they are very hungry to know more about a God that finds them worthy of receiving such love. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication Pastor Florentino.
Pastor Florentino with his wife and grandson
Pastor Florentino in front of his new house in the community of Lazaro Cardenas
This is Mirna Rodriguez and her two precious girls. They use to live in this small camper shell.
Now Mirna and her family enjoy a nice big home!
Mirna told me that she was so happy in her new home. She said that her marriage has been stronger now that her husband believes that God can take care of them.
This is Luz Maria Ramos. She has two sons and the little one is a nephew. Her house was built one year ago and see how beautiful it has become. They even painted it!
Such a good looking family.
This is Juan and Carmen Ramos. He is Luz Maria's brother-in-law. They are very open to the gospel and look forward to going to the Bible studies.
I know in my heart that God's mighty hand is on these families.
Juan just had back surgery and is recovering really well. Unfortunately, he has not been able to work so with the donations that Pastor Florentino receives from our Food bank and Donations warehouse we have helped this family. Here is Pastor Florentino praying for Juan for a fast and complete recovery.
Last year I had the opportunity to meet John Close from the Church of Christ of Calgary, Canada at one of the Youth Specialties Conferences. He was oragnizing a group of young people to work with the children in Mexico. I was able to help them organize their program for a week long vacation Bible school in the colonia Lucio Blanco in Rosarito. Yesterday, I was able to see them in action. They did great! Even I was able to participate. Fun! Fun! I hope in the furture they can participate with us. Way to go Canada!
Two sweet little girls having fun with bubbles.
Isn't he darling?
If only we could delight in such simple pleasures!
One of the Canadian teens with a new best friend.
Little two year-old Lily was carefully making her necklace. Though she was busy at work she never let her piece of bread far from her side.
Amazing what a child can do to you.
This is the little church where we had the program.
I find myself reflecting on why God would take time with us to come down and visit with us. Then I see the sheer joy of a child and the complete trust that they have in knowing that no matter what happends we are all going to be ok.
"You are valuable just because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are." Max Lucado
Pastor Valente Reyes-Pray: Please pray for the registration of our church land and for my family. Praise: I want to thank you all for praying about receiving Bibles. Your gift will be given to many hungry souls. God bless!
Pastor Fernando-Pray: I would like you to join with me in prayer for a van for our church and different electronic devices for our church. Praise: I want to thank God for your prayers. God has been providing instruments for our church. Like someone donated a guitar and drum set. I also want to thank God for healing me from a growth that I had near my eye.
Pastor Fernando, Pastor Elizabeth, and Mexican Field staff Alonso
Pastor Antonio Sotelo-Pray: I really would like to ask everyone to pray for our lives, for the lost souls we are trying to reach and for the whole world. Praise: Thank God that he has answered by faith all our requests. God help you all!
Pastor Antonio, Mexican Field staff Alfredo
Pastor Javier Heredia-Pray: I really appreciate prayer for the continual health of my family. My daughter Ivon is in California and for my parents will receive complete healing. Thank you for your prayers. May God bless you! Praise: God has answered so many prayer requests. My daughter Joselin was ill and God healed her.
Pastor Jesus & Pastor Javier
Pastor Jesus Garcia-Pray: Please pray that we would be able to obtain chairs for our church and tables for our dinning hall. Thank you for your prayers!
Pastor Felipe Posadas-Pray: We need prayer for our spiritual well being and for donations to help those that are in great need. Thank you! Praise: We will continue to preach the Word and minister to many people.
Pastor Elizabeth Avendaño-Pray: Continual prayer for the construction of our new church and that God will grant us wisdom concerning our finances. Praise: Thanking God for allowing us to meet with several government officials and to invite them to an outreach we are going to have in July.
These are the prayer requests and praise reports that our brothers and sisters in Ciudad Juarez have shared. Thank you for your continual support of the church in Mexico.
A little lunch with the pastors.
Even in Ciudad Juarez I got to wait in a long border line .
I spent my 4th watching the Coronado 4th of July parade.
Take a look at this picture album!
This is where I found a seat right in front of the grand stand. The streets were closed for the two hour parade.
These horses would ride so fast down the street that they had to make several passes to make sure they were in time with the other parade people. I believe they are Argentine horses and riders.
Everyone was happy to see the firefighters, but notice which way the flag is...
They had a salute to about 10 WWII Pearl Harbor Survivors.
Cool cars! So bright and colorful.
... Real Black Widows!!
Those Shriners are scary riding their little cars.
Way to go with the patriotic!
I really don't know why these ladies are dressed like flamingos???!!!
Happy Days again
Go lady WACS!
Those suits look so hot! Poor kids.
Does this make sense to anybody?
Lovely dancers and interesting drummers.
I don't think I would be so willing to have a massage in front of hundreds of people.
This is from the Longboard Club.
They said that this board has been ridden by at least 10 people. Crazy!
Overall it was a great day. With good food, fun sights, and wonderful weather!
Francico Chavez: Please pray with me for spiritual growth in our church and to obtain musical instruments, a sound system, microphones and amplifiers.
Eusebio Haros: Please continue to pray with me about obtaining a 15 passenger van
Juan Bahena: I want you to please continue to pray for God's perfect will to be done in our church and for our church to prosper each day.
Adolfo Escamilla: Please pray for myself and all my family as we drive to Oaxaca, Mexico. For our leadership at our church. To be able to receive a sound system for our church.
Armando Ponce: We would like help in praying for the souls that were won during the citywide evangelistic conference recently. Also that God helps me to speak His word more boldly.
Fausto Meraz: We are believing God for a 12 passenger van and pray for the needs of our church.
Juan Briceño: Praying for a van for our church, amplifier for our electric guitar, and for a bass guitar.
Jesus Lobatos: Prayer for our family and congregation. We are in need of a van to transport people to and from church. Also, our church needs speakers, microphones, electric guitar, and a new drum set. Thank you and God bless!
Joel Rodriguez: I want you all to please pray for my family, our church, and for a project that I am involved in with an orphanage and Christian school.
Recently LaDonna brought in some suits that were given to us from a friend of hers. I knew that they were going to be a hit among the pastors. Nice tailored suits that were in excellent condition. Three pastors benefited from this gift and they posed happily before the camera with the new suits. One pastor once he put one of the suit jacket on he never took it off even in the heat of the summer sun! That truly blessed me to know that we could provide something so wonderful for these hard working pastors.
There was a time in my life that I realized that when God calls he also provides. I was invited to go visit a missionary friend who lived in Lima, Peru. I was currently working a part-time job at a Christian bookstore and earned very little money. I just smiled and said to myself, "Well, it's a beautiful dream, but I just don't have the money for this trip." My mom thought otherwise she told me that God would provide for this trip even when I didn't have faith to believe it. It wasn't that I didn't believe God it was that looking at my circumstances I thought that probably the timing was off. A few days later we went to visit a dear couple that we have known for a very long time. She talked about her children and about the events at their church when suddenly she turned to me and asked, "I feel God wants to take you somewhere. Where do you want to go?" I was speechless... I told her how God placed on my heart to go to Peru and that I didn't know when to go. She looked me straight in the eye and told me that she felt that God wanted me to go now. New found faith sparked in my heart. She excused herself from the room and called her husband out of the room. When they came back they had a suspicious smile on their face. "Here this is for your plane ticket!" She said as she handed me a check for $700.00. I learned my lesson that day. I learned that when God wants something done He will get it done with or without me. When I called my friend she told me that I really needed to be in Peru by a certain date which was two weeks away! It two weeks I raised $2,000.00. Even my boss at the bookstore said that they would hold my job for me until I returned three months later. I got my passport ready and bought my ticket for $700.00. Funny, huh? God doesn't make mistakes.
Here is the youth group that I helped minister at. The church is "Camino de Vida". "Way of Life" church is a church founded by Pastor Robert Barringer (amazingly a surfer dude from California). Him and his family have been working in Peru for many years birthing ministries like mission churches, two battered women's homes, two orphanages, children's ministries, medical ministry and much, much more ministries click here for more information.
When I first arrived (mind you it took almost 24 hours to get there!)I was put straight to work. We were going to fly from Lima, Peru to Cusco, Peru to hold a city wide children's crusade. So, we had plenty to do! Here I am with my peruvian friend Clavel putting the finishing touches on a costume.
Here are some pictures of the outreach while in Cusco, Peru. The "Entrenador" is me!
Before each show we would go outside of the church in full costume to invite the kids to the evangelistic show.
It was a blast being in the show!
Cusco is very beautiful. It's way high in the mountains and it really rains hard!
We even had a chance to visit a city named "Imatambo" where we visited an orphange. The land is vast and gorgeous!
I've met many new friends in Peru like my friends the "Elizabeths" (Elizabeth Fernandez & Elizabeth Roman).
I was also able to teach at a Sunday school conference in Cusco.
One day I want to go back to Peru. Lord, willing very soon!
"I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!" Psalm 116:1-2 TLB
Pastor Leoncio wants to share that he is very grateful for everyone's prayers and may God bless you all.
Pastor Hortencio shares that he wants to give praise to God for the continual growth of his church and for giving them another church to expand even more. Thank you for your prayers!
Pastor Mere wants to share praise for the construction of their new roof on his church. They have $2,300.00 dollars of the $7,000.00 they need to complete the whole renovation! Thank you for your prayers.