miércoles, 27 de junio de 2007

"I've never been swimming before..."

This was the words spoken by a 13 year old boy, Gabito. He was one of about 50 kids and 15 moms that we took swimming to a local public pool from the Cadereyta. You could easily tell the Americans from the Mexicans. You see, the kids and moms we brought went swimming in their clothes while the American group changed into their swimsuits. That was the only difference I saw as I glanced over the crowd of people who were splashing, swimming, smiling, gigling. One girl that we have been praying with each week, Nuri, seemed brighter that day. She has had a hard life and now finds herself 15 and pregnant with twins. Her usually downcast faced showed a twinkle in her eyes. Everyone was refreshed. After a few hours in the pool, the group put on a VBS and dinner was served. Hotdogs and watermelon was the only thing some of them had eaten all day.
Praise God for placing the idea of a different kind of outreach when we brainstormed at our retreat last May. God is faithful. Pray for more special times to relate and share Jesus' love with these women and children.

Thank you Pleasant View Church

Recently we received a couple of care packages. One being from our home church, Pleasant View Church. They sent so many fun things for the boys to share with others. We were overwhelmed with the amount of toys, activities, and yes, candy that was sent. They were especially touched by a skateboard from their friend Robbie. In that package was a note stating that PVC was praying for ways the boys could share these things. We have been able to include our boys in ministry when we can. Now more than ever they are thinking how they can be apart and share what they have and God's love with others. Thank you Pleasant View for your prayers and support.

domingo, 24 de junio de 2007

Some photos of our day at the Rio

God is good all the time. The group that went to the Rio was so caring and loving. They immediately held babies, made crafts, told Bible Stories, colored and played games with the kids. They related to moms. It was a great day. Praise God that He is faithful when we just get out of the way.

Proclaiming her own faith

Greg enjoyed baptizing one of the daughters of Bill and Heather Merrill (staff here at Back2Back). Greg has felt blessed to take part of this as we and other staff witnessed Jenna's proclamation of her faith.

sábado, 23 de junio de 2007

Tomorrow is a first for me......

I could use more prayers. First of all thank you for your prayers as God has carried us and continues to carry us through a flu like bug. Interns, Group members and staff alike. It can be so difficult to switch people around. God is good. This week we have 120 people here. Four groups and we are excited.
Tomorrow is a first for me. I am the head staff, leading an outreach to the Rio tomorrow after church. I will have two teens, Cesar and Junior, with me. They are great guys and will be of great help to me. Please pray that God will do great things and that I would get out of the way. I am proclaiming Ephesians 3:20 " Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Thank you. I love knowing we have friends that will pray. Sorry I didn't give you much notice. I'll try and do better next time.

jueves, 21 de junio de 2007

Prayers needed.....

Would you join us in praying for the ministry here. We are battling illnesses from the group, interns and staff? Not sure if its the flu or something eaten but it has kept many from participating. God continues to work but I think Satan would love to slow us down or take us out. Please pray for perserverence and patience. And for God to be glorified in it all. Thank you.

martes, 19 de junio de 2007

Happy Father's Day, Honey

I have been trying find a way to post this picture. This is how Greg wanted to spend his birthday last year. He and the boys face painted their faces and Big Time Wrestled in the family room. My husband is a great Dad. When we were first married, he used to say I can't wait to see how my kids are embarrassed about things I will do. Well, I'm not sure they are embarrassed (not yet) but they adore their Dad. Happy Father's Day Honey.

Happy Father's Day and Happy Belated Anniversary

My Dad is the best. Just recently I received an email from my father. He was thanking me for a gift I gave him 7 years ago. Wow, I was thankful God put it on my heart one Christmas to write out memories that I had with my Dad. These events include memories of sitting on my Dad's lap in church, seeing him at my sports events as I was growing up along with other special times with Dad. He continued on telling me how proud he is of me. That is a gift that means so much to me. My Dad is one of character and genuineness. He gives a compliment when he means it. As a daughter nothing means more to me than making him proud. I'm thankful for giving me a father who was there. Who with five other children could have checked out after working all day. My dad gave of himself which told me that He cared and loved me. I am who I am today in part because of my dad's investment in my life. I thank God for my dad. Thanks Dad. I can't just give my Dad all the credit. My parents have been great examples of how God can use a wife and husband in training children in the way they should go. My parents just celebrated their anniversary. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

jueves, 14 de junio de 2007

And the angels threw a huge shindig...

The Scriptures tell us that when someone comes to the Lord for salvation that the angels rejoice. And rightly, they should. It is always a cause for celebration when someone turns from a life of sin and emptiness and embraces Almighty God who loves them with a passionate love.

This past week, we had a group of nearly 80 people from Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. CHCA sends down several groups a year, but this week, known as McCullom week for the trips leader, is always a HUGE success. The group comes and does soccer camps at each of the homes and the Rios and passes out water bottles, soccer balls and T-shirts to kids who never have the opportunity to attend soccer camps.

But as usual, as great of an outreach as that is, God also works in the hearts of the people who come on these trips, and this week was no different. On Wednesday night, we had an incredible time of worship and then a baptismal service that was a sweet time of sensing the Lord's presence amongst us. 7 jr/sr high girls, 1 jr high boy and one ICU nurse all made public declarations of their faith and commitment to Jesus Christ by being baptized in our pool. I was honored and privileged to be a part of this wonderful time. Through the lead of one of our worship directors, we tried something new. Usually in churches, when a person is baptized, we tend to smile and maybe offer a polite, quiet golf clap. We decided to shout and holler for each person. As each person came out of the water, they were met with a thunderous chorus of applause, laughter and shouts of joy and celebration. It was just a wonderful night. Pray for these 9 people. Pray that their desire to live lives on fire for the Lord would never wane, would never falter, would never be thwarted by the evil one. By the way, I think the party is still going on, so if you want to let out a holler for these precious ones, feel free to do so. -Greg

Worshiping and Fellowship with others

Sunday I went with a group to worship at Pastor Jose Angel's church. It was a different look for an outreach for us. We often go to the Rio or Cadereyta to serve food, or give out groceries. On Sunday we worshiped and them at lunch with the congregation. Because it was a highly relational day, I was excited but for groups that don't speak Spanish, this could be quite intimidating. We prayed for these things and God was so good to us. There were great testimonies from group members and church members. God worked in bringing people to seek out three women who needed prayer and a great prayer time. One B2B staff was asked to come by a women who was an attender at this church. She was asked to come and pray for her sister. The staff women was unable to come and she didn't share this need with anyone. Someone from the group spoke to this women and asked if we could pray for her. Much prayer was given and God worked in amazing ways.

Some days I feel like crying......

Pray for Brandon. He is new at Rayos de Luc. He's four and is carrying hurt of being left at the children's home. I don't know his whole story but had the opportunity to play with him one afternoon. He is shy and quiet and has a sweet spirit. Pray that the Holy Spirit would help him know that Jesus loves him.

lunes, 11 de junio de 2007

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.,....

Has this ever happened to you? You wake up, stare into your closet and don't feel you have anything to wear. A friend of mine here really felt that way. Of course she had clothes. But they were wearing out. You see she is a pastor's wife and wanted to look nice on Sunday. Before she came to church, she sent up a quick prayer. "Lord, how I would appreciate something nice to wear to worship you." Back2Back recently has partnered with a line of women's clothing. This group had agreed to send clothes that we could bless women in need with. The week before we had spent countless hours matching clothes and sorting sizes. I'm embarrassed to say my attitude wasn't the best as I find myself not naturally valuing clothes. That Sunday as Beth our director ran into our friend, she shared with her how we would love it if she had time to come to our property to pick out some clothes . As tears filled her eyes, our friend shared her quick (what she felt like was "silly") prayer she had offered up that very morning.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus talks about how he cares for us and will provide for us. He tells us not to worry about what we will ear of drink or about what we will wear. For most of us these are foreign worries. But for a lot of the world, these are real daily concerns. Jesus goes on and tells us that we are to "seek first his kingdom, and his righteousness and all these things will be given unto you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it own."
How awesome that my friend had been seeking God's kingdom first and that God chose to add "all these things" to her that day. Our God cares for the details. Gracias a Dios.

jueves, 7 de junio de 2007

Offering the gifts God has given you....

Last week there was a women's group that came to share their gifts with the women and teens who work with the children's homes, and ministries of Back2Back. As we sat down together for a night of fellowship, pampering, food and giggles. The group began to share their heart to be used by God to help us women feel special. That's when a friend of mine asked if she could share something. She thanked the women for coming and said that God was using them to fulfill a promise He had made her 3 months ago. You see, in her own quiet time, in her small town many hours from Monterrey, God had told her that in 3 months He would treat her like a princess. He spoke to her with this message but she didn't know what it meant. You see she was on the Back2Back property because she was covering for a set of teen parents who went home to the states for 2 weeks to raise more support. As the time of God speaking to her she had not set up the trip to Monterrey with her husband. She was unaware of the groups that were coming and what they were doing there. The morning of our gathering, she was asked to come that night and told a little bit about it. She lit up as she heard about the plans for that evening. Checking her journal, she discovered what she thought. That night was 3 months to the day for when the Lord told her He would treat her like a princess. That night she went home to her husband with a new hairstyle, a facial, pedicure, manicure and a several sets of new clothes. Praise God for caring for us as a whole. Thank you Lord, that you are faithful in the details. She shared with us that night and we all were blessed.

domingo, 3 de junio de 2007

Summer is here......last day of school, field day

Graduation from Kindergarten, First Grade and Fourth Grades

The boy's teacher, Miss Katie. The graduation of Sierra Madre Christian

On a personal note.....

Mark wanted to share with family and friends that he recently lost his first tooth. Harrison and Damon incase you were wondering, the tooth fairy comes to Mexico too.