jueves, 31 de diciembre de 2009

Shooing away the birds........

Genesis 15 :11 " Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away."

Recently I was reading a marriage book in Spanish, thus not mentioning the title as I don't know what it is exactly in English. The author was taking about a time when he was ill for a year and the doctors didn't know what to do for him. He spoke about the difficulty of this time and how God used Genesis 15 in his life. He was especially struck by the verse above. See, God had just told Abram that he was going to have descendants that out numbered the stars. He had asked Abram to prepare a sacrifice as a part of the covenant. As he cut the animals and placed them on the altar birds of prey came down wanting to eat the animals. Abram had to fight them off to protect his sacrifice.
I have been thinking about this a lot. It seems quite often that God gives me a blessing and Satan sends his birds of prey to try and steal my joy away. This month we have been hit hard with financial situations that we could never have expected. Greg and I found ourselves fighting depression, disappointments, and discouragement. But God brought this passage to mind. When we look at the blessings God has given us and who he is, we can stand firm in our faith. We can trust God because He knows what is going on, He knows what we need, He is faithful. He is loving. He is everything we need for life and godliness. So we are choosing to shoo away those birds of prey, that tell us we can't ever have anything, that tells us our worth are in things, that tells us the Christian life isn't worth it. Those birds and so many others need to be shooed away.

jueves, 17 de diciembre de 2009

Candy Cane Outreach in our Neighborhood

Our school, SMCA, took candy canes and the legendary story to the houses in our in community this week. It was a great time to see our neighbors also.

Mexican Christmas Traditions

Last Sat. at the Rio we shared in a few Mexican Christmas traditions. After our usual soup kitchen service, we all shared a traditional Christmas meal of tamales and champorado. Champorado is a hot chocolate of sorts with corn meal and cinnamon added to it. Afterwards, Maru shared the Christmas story with the kids and they make Christmas ornaments with the children. The pinata followed, one for the girls and one for the boys. They everyone left with a special little gift. The Rio was blessed this year with two big donations to support this event. We had about 80 kids and 60 adults. It was a blessing to be a part and celebrate the birth of our Lord.

domingo, 6 de diciembre de 2009

Thank you for everyone who helped make the XV night great.

the girls ramas (bouquet)
~140 attended
Greg with Homero who lives with us at B2B

Greg with Edgar the director of Manantial de Amor
Thank you Womens Group, thank you donors who gave for the dresses, the padrinos who paid for watches, rings, necklaces, etc. Thank you Priscila and Rosa for the countless hours shopping and planning. Praise God for how He provides and pulls all of it together.

More pictures from the XV

Me with the girls, Shirley, Selene, and Karely
boys from Manantial de Amor

A Night to Remember

" These three girls have been with us for a long time. They grew up in this children’s home. As I was praying today, God reminded me that we all are daughter’s of the KING. He wants us to know that. In a very special way, God is showing that to these three girls tonight.” Cony, the director of Manantial de amor told me this last thursday the night of the quincenera for three girls from their home. Her words are true for all of us. And in a very tangible way He was showing these girls what they mean to Him. Usually we (B2B) are able to provide a dress, a few humble gifts, a few flowers and a meal for the children’s home they live in and any family that can attend. Because of a great donation of a woman’s group for a warm reception room, free hair and makeup by a relative of staff, donations from folks through a petition on facebook and email, these girls received royal treatment. They all got the gown of their dreams. Thursday night was in the low 50’s/high 40’s and rainy. So the room inside a Mexican buffet restaurant was a huge blessing. Edgar, the director, gave the message and the woman’s group shared in the ceremony giving the symbolic gifts a girl receives (like a watch, bible, ring and pillow). Dancing followed the ceremony and dinner to round out a perfect evening. If you are interested in helping to make a night to remember for a 15 year old girl in one of our children's home, send a check with quincenera in the Memo and/or contact the B2B office. www.back2backministries.org

martes, 1 de diciembre de 2009

Praise God for how He is working in our community

Three people in our community accepted Christ last week. About a month ago, my friend Norma told me about a family whose husband has muscular dystrophy, both arms are atrophied and he can not breath well. As a result he is unable to work. He and his wife has three young girls. (6,4 y.o and under a year). The wife can work however only four hours with an aunt and she makes tamales in the house in front of their house. Last week was the third time visiting them. I was bringing food, and a Bible for them and books for their girls. I was suppose to go with two other friends of mine but when it was time to go they were unable to go as well. I was silently praying if God had someone else in mind and a women on a group here was walking towards my car as God was saying take her. My friend has had a chronic illness for many years now. She has a strong testimony that I have seen God use in might ways. So I asked her to go and she quickly agreed. Sparing you all the details, the Lord encouraged this man and his family through my friend. He looked at us the whole time, something I've not seen in him before. He seemed to relate and I believe God spoke to him through her. At the end of her testimony, the Aunt said "Did they tell you we accepted Christ on Monday?" Wow, I was so excited as they had told me before that they were Catholics but didn't believe Christ to be their savior. The aunt has a daughter who is a strong Christian and had been sharing and praying for them. We closed in prayer for healing and for growth in their faith. My friend Norma (who introduced me to this family) told me later how God used my friend's testimony and how he felt touched with prayer. She also reports that He has read the bible a lot since last Sat. Praise God. Please continue to pray for him and his family. I plan to meet with the wife and I have a staff man to meet with him weekly. I'm excited for what God will do in their lives. Amen. Sorry no photo but I don't want to make him feel self conscience.

viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Meme and Hope in from of the Thanksgiving Tree (Arbol de Accion de Gracias)
The group provided a great feast of Pollo Loco
I give thanks to the Lord for this life.
I give thanks to God for the food each day and for my family and my children.
Thanks for creating me.
Thanksgiving to me is about being with family and giving thanks. I was unable to be with family from the states and even my own family here because I was scheduled to work. In a way I was able to be with "family" as the people of the Rio have become my second family. As we planned for the Rio, Hope had a great idea to explain our thanksgiving holiday and do a little activity. I tried with my Spanish to explain about the first thanksgiving and that as well as join together for a meal, the pilgrims and indians also took time out to give thanks for all God has given us. Hope then asked everyone to participate in a thanksgiving tree activity. Everyone was asked to take a leaf and write about for what they were thankful. I'd love to share a few with you. One said "I give you thanks for creating me." Another one read, " I give thanks to God for this life." As each leaf went on the tree, Meme read them off and I was reminded how big God is and how much He cares for us. Lord, I thank you for my family, the food you give us each day, for the sunsets and all the beauty in your creation. I think I need to make a thanksgiving tree everyday.

miércoles, 11 de noviembre de 2009

Recent groups at the Rio

putting up a wall to keep cold wind and dogs out
Shoe give away
One of Meme's grand daughters, Leann enjoying watermelon
Two girls who allowed the kids to face paint them.
China and Magdelina teaching the women in a group how to make gortitas.

sábado, 7 de noviembre de 2009

R and R with my hubby

Thanks to Rodolfo for watching our kids, we were able to go on an over night by ourselves for the first time in about 6 years. We had the opportunity to hike a trail in Chipinque that was both challenging and beautiful. God blessed us with some birds of prey and about three hours to talk about so many things. We laughed and just enjoyed one another. Later we went to a nice dinner, stayed in a nice hotel and returned refreshed and rested. Praise God for the time.

Anderson Hills United Methodist Church Group

Anderson Hills United Methodist Group brought a group to B2B this week. Here are a few pictures of this week. God did so much through and in them. They were a joy to be with.

Fall Festival Fotos

All the adults at the kids fall festival party
Bob the Builder and Princess Leah
SMCA teacher and STINTers as condiments
love the dougnut game
Mark trying to find his doughnut

domingo, 1 de noviembre de 2009

Creative photos by Bryan

A boy at the children's home named Bryan took Greg camera and took some creative photos of the men who helped. I just wanted to share his creativity and a photo of him. Bryan obviously is in the photo with Greg. Because of Bryan we have a fun close up of Jim in the orange shirt, Rodo in the blue shirt and Mauricio in the ball cap.