miércoles, 24 de diciembre de 2008

Christmas Eve Party with Casa Hogar Douglas

There were about half of the kids (35) at Casa Hogar Douglas who didn't get to go home for Christmas. Traditionally B2B hosts a Christmas Eve party for these kids. Our family had the opportunity to take part this year. We shared a meal, made crafts and had the traditional pinata. I think all had a good time. Here are a few shots of those that attented. Merry Christmas.

lunes, 22 de diciembre de 2008

sábado, 20 de diciembre de 2008

Feliz Navidad from the Rio

Luke and Mark handing out candy
Cesar taking a shot at the pinata
Pastor Rene praying for the women
Gloria sharing with the children

Another little one clapping to the praise and worship
Today we celebrated Christmas at the Rio. Our family went for the second year to help celebrate Christmas with people from the Rio and a group from Nuevo Pacto. We sang praise songs, Pastor Rene shared the Word of God, tamales and frioles arrachara (beans and sausage and other stuff) were served, gifts were given, a pinata was blown to smitherings and candy given out. I was very proud of my whole family. Ben played with the kids and helped pass out a candy cane craft, Luke and Mark helped Greg pass out candy. Greg was asked to preach the next time (in Jan.) It was a joy to be with everyone at the Rio. For me that is what Christmas is, not the gifts, or food, but to be sharing lives with others. I miss spending the holidays with my parents and siblings but enjoy sharing our lives with others. Merry Christmas.

jueves, 11 de diciembre de 2008

faces of Meme's Rio

With the colder weather here, work is hard to find and people are more strapped than before. Pray for these children, their parents and families. Thank you.

miércoles, 10 de diciembre de 2008



Reflections. Been thinking a lot lately about Christmas' past. Memories of laying under the tree and staring up at the ornaments that made my nose look big. Thoughts of falling asleep watching one of many Christmas classics. Christmas music piping through our house. Helping my mom make Christmas cookies. Helping my sister-in-law make her famous (atleast in our family and hers I'm sure) cherry tarts. Setting out the bayberry candle on Christmas Eve and keeping it in the sink when we went to bed to that it would continue to burn safely. Getting dressed up and going to church on cold, sometimes snowy Christmas Eve nights. I remember being alone in our living room with just the tree lights and the candles (the electric kind) in each window. I remember having the job of going around the house and turning all the lights on and knowing at night when I was sleeping my parents were going around the house turning them off. I remember being in elementary school or middle school and being excited to have my older brother and sisters returning from college or come in from out of town. Its funny to me what I remember and don't remember. Like I don't remember the gifts until I see a picture of something I recieved. Instead I remember spending time, laughing, sharing life with my family and friends. I remember times that were busy and those that were more mundane. I know I didn't think about it, but I remember those of security, of love, of feeling like I belonged. Thanks Mom and Dad for providing such great memories. I pray I can make some with my kids.

Got it sucked out of me........

Recently I've been serving others on my own. I got so busy doing for others I stopped connecting with God, stopped reading the Bible, stopped praying, stopped listening to where He wanted me to go. I had too much to do. You know, I was serving food, sharing Jesus, driving people to Dr. appts. All great stuff. But I was doing it. ME, ME, ME. And when it came to the end, I crashed. I was depressed, down, not wanting to do anything. I figured ok now it time for myself, that's what I need. TV, Chocolate, Pop (or soda) and a nap. After all that I was more down. I found myself bawling uncontrolably at a Bible Study over a small thing. God hit me between the eyes. When I serve on my terms, in my strength, without my daily, moment by moment plugging in- I am spent, washed out.
These next few days I'm recouping. Not with sugar and TV but with time with the Lord. Singing, reading, thinking, reflecting, confessing, praising, and maybe a nap. God is all I need. He gives us the other stuff as fluff but He is it. Are you feeling the hussle and bussle of the Christmas holiday. Maybe you've scaled back but you still are short with your family or friends. Maybe you've made time for yourself but it didn't seem to stick. God is calling you. He wants you to rest in his arms. His yoke is easy like it says in Matthew 11:28. Read it. Pray and He'll give you what you need whether you are relaxing or have a busy day.

Christmas Time, is it happy or sad?

When we think of Christmas it can be easy to think of the exciting and fun things that come with it. Parties, gifts, special foods, time with friends and family. However what I don't always realize is that for so many this isn't such a happy time of year. I know quite a few people who have lost loved ones and for them this will be their first Christmas without them. For some seeing others enjoy their families bring hurt as they don't experience fun with their families. As spending time with family comes hurt, missing expectations, and loneliness. This Christmas as we stay in Monterrey I'm experiencing sadness in missing my family. I'm also reminded of the many children that we serve. Some will have the chance to go home for the holidays. For some its a welcome homecoming. For others they walk into hurt, being faced with the parent (s) who gave them up to a children's home. For some kids they are hoping for love from their parent this Christmas only to be disappointed again. And for some kids they wish they could go home for Christmas break but for different reasons, no one will come to get them. Here at B2B, we will hold a Christmas Eve party, this is the day that most celebrate in Mexico. Those children in the homes we serve that won't go home for Christmas will come for a meal, a pinata, songs, and to belong to a bigger "family". I will miss being with my family this Christmas no doubt about it. However I look forward to spending this special time with a bigger "family". So this Christmas as God opens my eyes to the hurt of others with you join with me in prayer for these kids, for your neighbors who may have lost someone, for your famiy who may be struggling with financial problems, friends with hurt or sadness. I'm praying for the comfort, peace and joy (yes joy) that only can come through the love of Jesus Christ. I'm excited to share with you all about our party on the 24th.

lunes, 8 de diciembre de 2008

Monterrey Christmas

This year we will have a Monterrey Christmas. We were blessed with vacations with both sides of our family this August. However with such a blessing it also means we need to stay here in Monterrey for Christmas with the economy as it is and already having spent money on our trip. We will dearly miss our family and friends. It truly will be different this year.
We watched "White Christmas" while it is 60-70 degrees outside. I realize for you Floridians that's not too unusual. But for us northerners its rather strange. We have had hot chocolate to drink when the weather dipped into the low 50's. funny huh.
My husband has his birthday on Nov. 30th. We have really enjoyed different Christmas lights and decorations during his birthday as most cities begin to decorate shortly after Thanksgiving. This year was quite different and just as enjoyable. Here you will find many creche or nativity scenes however we didn't take any photos as they were still putting them up. Pointsettas or Noches Buenas are super popular here. The real plants as are the images in lights, ornaments or decorations. Trees here aren't usually green although you can find green ones and live ones. The silver ones that you see on Charlie Brown can be found here in some homes. Check out the huge multicolored one here in the downtown. No matter where you find yourselve celebrating Christmas this year, I pray that we all realize that Jesus' birth is the ultimate gift of love. That through Him we are reunited with God. Praise God.

miércoles, 3 de diciembre de 2008

Learning how to give...

Recently I've been thinking of giving. In particular my giving, however I am not alone in this learning curve, I think. I used to think all giving was good. I mean how could it be bad?
I couldn't have imagine a bad thing from giving until one day I was with a group who had brought coats for the kids at the Rio. As one lady taught about a Bible story the others were slowly pulling coats out and putting them on the children. The back of the car was soon empty and many kids still were without coats. As I asked about the other kids, they explained to me that they didn't have enough for everyone and that they were only giving to those children without a coat on this very cold day. What they didn't know is that one mom held the coat of her daughter as she was refusing to wear her coat. While two other boys were wearing all the clothes they owned looking warming and without need. What resulted was mothers who were angry with Meme after we left causing strife in her community.
Another time I chose to treat one of our teens to an outing. I trusted the teen to ask her parent who didn't. When we returned from a trip to Dairy Queen I found out that she had been in trouble and should not have been allowed to go out. I soon learned to ask the teen parents first before the teen.
Recently I found myself planning a day for my husband. I was very excited about where we were going and what we were eating. Until God stopped me and asked me if I was doing this for him or me. When I evaluated my day I realized I was choosing my day not one for him. Praise God I had enough time to think through what he liked and changed the day. He had a great time and praise God for pointing those things out.
I'm convinced that giving isn't bad, sometimes the motives are. Sometimes I chose to give so that I would feel good........so that I will look good........so that people will like me better. Sometimes the best gifts are what costs me the most ( I don't mean money), things like time, risking being open and honest with others, allowing others the limelight, choosing to participate in activites others enjoy even though its not my favorite. Gosh, I think I could go on and on. These are just a few things I've learned about giving. Help me Lord to be open to your perspective on giving not my own.

miércoles, 19 de noviembre de 2008

Trusting in the Lord for the Big and the Little things...

Been hearing lots of things about the economy in the states. Some really scary perdictions of 1 of 3 people will lose their home in 2009. Or the amount of people that will lose their job. I don't know if it will come true. None of us knows the future. It reminds me of my friend Robles. I think that is how you spell her name. She was telling me how someone had encouraged her recently to trust God for everything. Two weeks ago she was unable to go to work because she didn't have 30 pesos for the bus (about $3.00). Her husband is not currently working and they are without. They rely on her to work. When day on the way to work, she prayed for the money to come and go for the next week. She got off the bus and found 20 pesos in the street. As she walked to our gate, she found another 10 pesos. 30 pesos in total, exactly what she prayed for. God was, is and will provide for us. He will show us where to go, what to do, what to say. He knows our going out and our coming in. He knows it all, we just need to trust.

martes, 11 de noviembre de 2008

Praise God for how he provides

Inside of the old pick up.
The old pick up with the name of the children's home on the side
5The almost new 15 passenger van.

Here is the picture of the new van that God provided the children at Rayitos de Luz. These precious kids were riding in an old beat up pick up truck. All 12-15 of them were smooshed in back. Not a bit safe. God, through many of you, provided not just for a better vehicle but the best. This van is 1 year old. It was a rental so it has some mileage on it, however its in great condition. The inside is nice but kid friendly. Praise God for how he is carrying for these kids. Now Esteban and Puri can ride knowing their children are safe.

West Kirk Presbyterian Church

This is our family with Sasha and Jonah Mudlaff
This past week Greg and I had the privilege to work side by side with a group from Iowa. Greg's good friend from Seminary, Michael Mudlaff is the pastor at West Kirk Pres. His wife, Sasha, and one of their four sons, Jonah, joined 9 others from their church to come serve in Monterrey this week. God blessed them with such great days of working hard, playing with the kids, hiking with them at a local park, throwing a birthday party, serving lunch to a poor community, buying gifts for a couple with twins and delivering food to a children's home. God is so big. He could see that all of these things are done by himself, but I love how He chooses to use us and bless us and teach us and love us in the process. I love how God does exciting things in people's lives. I love how a group can come with fears or certain expectations and leaves with deep changes in thoughts, perspectives, and a new sense of how to live outside their comfort zones. Groups inevitable leave with a deeper trust in God, a wonder in how He works things to His good and give us joy and strength in the process. West Kirk was no exception. Praise God for how He both used them and grew them. I am richer for being apart. Praise God.

lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2008

Introducing Andrea and Priscilla

These twins girl belong to Cony and Edgar from Manantial de Amor. They are so precious. Please pray for Andrea that was born with some heart issues. I think Cony said she had a murmur but not sure exactly. Its a condition that may need surgery and they will check at 3 months. The doctors say she may grow out of it in time. Will you pray with us that God will allow her to grow out of it. Please also lift Edgar, Cony, Damaris, Hannah and the twins. They are directors of the boys and girls home of Manantial de Amor. They don't take a salary and depend on the Lord to provide all their needs. They have no savings, no retirement, no health care. I could go on and on. We are praying that God would bring people to help support this young family faithfully serving Jesus and caring for many kids. Currently there are 6 girls living in the girls home with them and 18 boys in the boys home. The homes they live in are in bad conditions. They deseparately need to move. We serve a big God and are praying to see how He will provide for MdA and the family of Edgar and Cony.

martes, 28 de octubre de 2008

Juniper Tree Clinic dedication and the first medical group to use it

Recently we dedicated our medical clinic and hosted our first medical group to use the clinic. We've had medical groups before however now we have a place on our campus to work out of. The group of 4 doctors, a pharmist and an assistant treated about 120 kids from our casa hogars, and 175 people from the Cadereyta, a impoverished community that we work with. They also saw staff, jovenes and workers from Back2 Back. All of this in three days. We were blessed by their service and God worked things out so smoothly. To God be the Glory.

Fall Festival 2008

Can you find our boys?

viernes, 24 de octubre de 2008

A Walk to Remember.....

Yesterday morning I went with three other staff women to walk and pray through a dorm at one of the children's homes. One of our staff women, Mandy, has a strong burden for these older boys who live in the dorm. There are 17 boys who range in age from 12-15 years of age. Recently two of the boys have made attempts to kill themselves. As we went I really had no idea what to expect, just that we were praying for boys who are hurting in a way I couldn't imagine.
When we arrived at the children's home, the encargadas (workers) were in prayer. We decided to pray outside in the palapa (a shelter with a thatched roof). As we sat down, Lola joined us. Lola is a 30 something year old woman with down's syndrome. I said to her, "Vamos orar" which means "lets pray". She knelt on her knees to pray. After 5 minutes I was convicted by her postition and went on my knees. 20-30 minutes later she was still on her knees as I had switched to various position before finally resting on my bottom. The Lord taught me a lot through her actions. The picture of her tiny body curled up on the palapa concrete floor will not soon leave my mind.
After praying in the palapa, we recieved permission to walk through the dormitory to pray. Before entering we spoke with Mareno about the trouble some of the boys were having. He described how the two boys had made attempts and how that trickles down to the rest of the boys. He spoke of how the workers pray daily for these boys and pray that they can see God through them. His humility was obvious as he described their needs and care for these boys. Personally it seems like a daunting task. I was convicted to pray more for all of the workers of the children's home we serve.
As we began to walk and pray I became so overwhelmed with emotion. I felt hurt like I hadn't before. We first walked into a room of the older boys. The first bed had a "tweety bird" on the pillow. I couldn't help but think of all of the reasons he had that. Did someone special give it to him. Mom, Dad, someone else. Was he frightened at night and this helped him through the rough times. The next bed had several blankets. You could smell urine throughout the room. I couldn't help but pray for these boys when they were sick at night with no one to help them. Or the embarrassment of wetting your bed at that age and in front of 7 other boys. I wondered of the spiritual attacks that happened at night. Mental messages that they are nothing, or no one cares. Its those times in bed that your mind is flooded with those kids of thoughts.
We then prayed in the other room where we found 9 beds. In the few belongings that each boy owned more questions came about. Why did he draw a skull on his shelf? This was one of the boys who attempted to kill himself. I lingered longer here, praying for him to find his identity with Christ. Lord, put someone in his life to show him You Love Him. Help him to see it. Help them all to see it. As I touched walls and beds and chairs that they sat on I was overwhelmed with hurt and wondering what a typical day would be like. I kept thinking that this is such an age where you doubt everything, have a hard time liking anything, and spend most of your time protecting yourselve because if you don't no one else will.
Can you tell I was impacted heavily? I can't stop thinking about it, even though my life is full of so many other things. I am convicted to pray more. For the kids, the workers, the families, so much work to do. Will you join me?

jueves, 16 de octubre de 2008

Felizidades Edgar and Cony

This morning at 4:00, Alicia and Andrea were born. The girls and Mom are all doing well. Praise God for his goodness for providing for them. Stay tune for photos of these precious little ones.

miércoles, 15 de octubre de 2008

who says God doesn't still work miracles....ask Milagros

There was a picture here that I was lead to believe was Milagros as a tiny baby, however I have been shown this same picture as a wax model of a baby. Therefore I have removed it as it is not Milagros herself. Nonetheless, she is a miracle and a true gift from God.

About a year ago, I shared a story of a girl who was born at about 20 weeks. The doctor thought she was dead at first, or perhaps she really was. Minutes later they noticed she was breathing. In Mexico, parents often name their first born after their corresponding parent. But this Mom had something else in mind. She wanted to name her Milagros which means miracle in Spanish. I wanted to share these pictures because you need to see it to believe it. It is a real life miracle. Even after seeing this photo I have had many ask me, is this really real. The shoes are the ones she wore at 4 months of age. The other photo is of Milagros today. She is the one on the left. She is 16 years old and beautiful. She has a hearing impairment but that is the only evidence of her being born so early. Miraculously she is able to speak some words, write and read as her mom had her attend school through the 6th grade. She has learned a little sign language and her family has been super supportive in communicating with her as much as possible. This summer a doctor came and saw her need. He knew of a physician here in Monterrey and connected her and her family to Dr. Leon. The Lord has brought all these people together to continue to work more miracles in her life. God is providing continued education for her to learn sign language and Spanish (both written and oral) that will help her to be more independent and gain the best possible kind of work. This school is also testing her to see if any hearing aids or other medical treatment can help her. Gracias a Dios for his continued miracles in her life. God has many plans for her and one day she will able to share with others what he has done for her.

martes, 7 de octubre de 2008

Keep Edgar and Cony

in our prayers. Edgar pictured here in the middle is expecting twins (ok his wife Cony is) very soon. The babies continue to be healthy. As you can imagine, she is ready and thought they might come the end of last month. Pray for health, patience, sleep, money for the many expenses, and if you are a parent I'm sure you can add to this list of prayers. They have 2 girls ages 3 and 4. The twins they are expecting are girls too. Wow. Thanks for your prayers.

Movie Night at the Rio

Wished I had a picture of about 40 people who attended Movie Night at the Rio. Our church here Nuevo Pacto brought a evangelical to the Rio. After a very exciting movie where the thief accepted Christ, there were many there who also responded. One in particular is Juan. I've written about him before. About a year ago he contracted gangreen in his private area and was hospitalized. He was in a coma and was thought that he wasn't going to make it. Well he did. Meme spoke frank to him and it seemed that God was working on his heart and he was listening. After he began to feel better, he turned back to his sinful life. He kicked out his mother who was by his bed side all those restless nights. He began bringing home very young girls to keep company with. There was even talk of sexually abusing a young niece of only 5 years of age. After the movie a friend of mine from church who has a strong gift of prophesy and intercessory prayer asked if I knew anyone who needed prayer. Juan came to mind and we asked if we could pray for him. She was direct and spoke truth to him that she knew nothing of. He was told of his sin and that he was once again sick because of the sin he had fall back into. She said she wanted to pray for him however if he wasn't open to God working in his life, she would not pray. He agreed to pray and that He wanted to seek Him out again. After her prayer, the pain in his back ceased. He moved so much better not needing the crutch he had brought to walk the long distance from his house. God was working in his Juan's life. Would you pray for him. Satan doesn't want to give him up and will do whatever it takes to keep him where he is. Juan can't do this alone. Only through the strength of Jesus, through the blood of Jesus will he be freed from his sin.. Please pray....we are in a fight.....our Lord reigns.....Jesus has the victory.

sábado, 4 de octubre de 2008

Today I went to serve at Meme's Rio

Three new teen girls went with me, Jessica, Perla and Sandy. They were great helpers. They cooked, invited the people and Jessica even preached. She shared some of her favorite verses sharing the importance of reading the Bible and praying to the Lord. She said so many people say the don't hear God's voice. She said you want to her God talk open the Bible and pray that He will speak to you and He will. Some people say I don't know how to pray. She shared with the people that it is as easy as talking to your friends. Jessica is 17 years old and has such grace. Her faith was easy to see. Perla and Sandy seemed so confident as well. Jumping in to cook and talking with the people as we invited others to come eat and share in God's word. I am so blessed to see these three learn from Meme and Meme and I learned from these three.
Tonight I will return to the Rio to watch an evangelical movie hosted by our church Nuevo Pacto. I'll write more about that, I'm sure.