miércoles, 31 de marzo de 2010

Spring Break Service

Greg preaching at the Rio with Antonio translating
kids at the Rio coloring after their Bible story

Mark and Luke and others inviting people to the soup kitchen
Boys and Greg helping with the fence
I am so grateful for how our boys have had the opportunity to serve during their Spring Break. About a week ago, our boys chose to help their Dad work on a new fence for a pool on our property. With supervision, they helped cut pieces and hammer parts of the fence. Last Sat. they helped serve at the Rio where we celebrated our 2nd Anniversary of the soup kitchen. Mark and Luke helped invite people as Ben stayed behind to talk and welcome those that came. The helped serve plates and cups to the 70+ kids there and the ~50 adults. Then just yesterday we spent about 3 hours playing with the kids at Casa Hogar Douglas. I didn't have my camera, however if I had, you would seen Luke playing soccer with the older boys, Ben playing legos with the younger boys and Mark playing on a slide with a couple of 2 year olds. We all had a good time. I even got to change a diaper and hug on some little ones.

Before and during the treatment for Lesley

In February, Lesley received a long awaited vaccine for her facial tumor. Above is the bottle for this vaccine. It's written in Japanese I've been told. It took a while to get here, however we are so grateful. The next photo is of Lesley last June when she was diagnosed with this tumor. And the last picture is her last month after a little over a month since her injection. She still has about one more month before we return to see the doctor, however I wanted to show you this response to this drug. This girl has lived with an asymmetric look to her face all of her life. Now, she is no longer getting stares. She can sleep on that side of her face without pain. Praise God for how He provides. Thanks to a group of men who donated money to the Rio to make a difference, God has used it to change the life of this little girl.

Achieving a dream

Milagros had a dream of "doing hair". She had achieved as much as she could on her own, dying her own hair, brading the hair of other girls in her community. But because of the help of friends in the states, Milagros is in beauty school. She is learning to cut and style hair, do makeup and dye and frost and all kinds of things I'm sure I know nothing about. She has begun using these skills in the Rio. Just the other day, she mentioned to a man that past that his hair was getting long. He asked what she'd charge. I think she has another customer. Praise God, he is changing lives and giving opportunities where there were none.

jueves, 18 de marzo de 2010

Never the Same

Praying with one of the two ladies at Rio 3
A precious girl at Rio 3
Group of girls posing at Rio 3
A man waiting to be feed at the soup kitchen at Rio 3
One of my roles here at B2B is debriefing the American groups that come down. Its really an enjoyable part of my job. Its away where I feel like I am out there every day with a particular
group without actually going. When Greg is on the group, I'm home with the boys to help with homework, make lunch, listen to the days going ons, etc. The usual stuff. Above are a few pictures from a recent trip Greg took with a group to Rio 3, a impoverished community on the outskirts of Monterrey. When I debrief a group each night, I get to hear the "pictures of the day" from the group members. Just last night the group was talking about this very site. After everyone shared, I felt like I had been there that day. This type of community is where my heart is so I really wanted everyone to go around again. I wanted to hear more. I had heard about 2 women who greeted this group in away that they made a huge impact. The smiles of these ladies, they way they hugged them at the door, the prayers they prayed over the group was powerful and meaningful. What they didn't say was these ladies are house bond as both have diabetes and have had legs amputated and are in wheelchairs. That information wasn't vital to what they were telling me. Others spoke of a 19 year old who went out of his way to help the group in any activity they were doing. Still others told of a child who had patience with poor spanish, or displayed love and happiness without the material things of this world.
This has happened times before with groups and in my life too. We go to try and help someone out. We look for ways God would want us to give and serve others, and somewhere in the process God turns it around on us and we are the ones who are blessed and impacted. God is amazing how He does that. In the circle last night, I was able to see the fingerprints that the people of Rio 3 had left on the group members. Somehow, only the way God can do it, I was touched and impacted as well. Praise God for how He touches us. It reminds me of a quote that I once heard ...."Some people come into your life, make footprints on your heart and you are never the same" I think I'd change it up just a little and say, "Sometimes God puts people in your life that make footprints on your heart and you are never the same."

sábado, 6 de marzo de 2010

Why spend the money to go to Mexico?

Often I get asked if it would be better to just have people send the money that they would use to come down for a week. The question is usually followed with another question of "Wouldn't the money go further then what I could do in a week?" Without hesitation I tell people no. Recently we had a school group from Cincinnati come. They are 7 th and 8th graders from Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. These kids came for a week to work and play with the kids we work with here in Monterrey. I know their week was full as I had the opportunity to debrief the 8th graders. I also was blessed to go with them on a field trip with Casa Hogar Doulgas. They took the kids to a fun place that allows the kids to "work" different jobs earning play money that they then can spend on other activities or with little toys. A child was paired up with a group member as they got to pick from several "jobs" such as learning to put our a fire, police work, entertainer, McDonald food preparer, fashion designer, etc. The options seemed endless. Initially it seemed like the group members were just a supervisors of sorts. Some junior highers were trying desperately to figure out what their kid was saying, some running after an excited child, some wondering what they were supposed to do. But before too long, it wasn't hard to see the impact these kids had. I saw one child complete a task only to look back to get the approval of a teen boy who was already giving accolades. Or a Mom and teen girl who were so enjoying the precious boys they had. A B2B staffer told me she had never seen one of the boys smile so much. One eighth grader took one for his boy when he was lead into an entertaining task and found himself dancing and singing in front of all of the visitors at Kidszania. What this group gave these kids so out weighs anything money can buy
They recieved
- memories for a life time
-encouragement and love
- the ability to dream of what they could be one day
-time of laughter, and freedom to forget their hard life
-the deposit of happiness, confidence and love that a day of attention from someone who cares
can give
-a great story to tell those at school the next day
-a blessing that they can look back on and say God has given me so many things
- and other ways we can't see this side of heaven.
I really want to make a photo album so the next time someone asks me this question I can say," Take a look at these photos and see for yourself the difference in coming and experiencing being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to these kids."

martes, 2 de marzo de 2010

...been reading a book from an old seminary professor on the prayers of Paul. These words caught my pastoral heart:
"Paul is a man who dreams dreams; who envisages new needs and opportunities, and these are carefully tied to his own prayer life and to the prayers he solicits from others... There are several ... who get so bogged down on relatively picky points related to their health, prosperity, or better, the challenges of the next Vacation Bible School or the fickleness of a teenaged son that they utterly lose any sense of the sweep and direction of ministry. They do not dream dreams; they never really pray for revival; they never envisage the potential next phase of ministry and the steps that could be taken to get from here to there...
Even so, if we do not dream dreams and envisage what might be, it is unlikely we shall ever pray for them or work toward them. We shall spend our lives getting through each day's work as it comes up. How much better it is, wherever possible, to tie our immediate concerns to the larger possibilities of expanding ministry...
Paul's prayer is nothing other than a concern for the gospel itself and for its extension in a needy world. Here we would do well to remember the frequently quoted words of E.M. Bounds: 'One of the constitutional forces of the gospel is prayer. Without prayer, the gospel can neither be preached effectively, promulgated faithfully, experienced in the heart, nor be practiced in the life. And for the very simple reason that by leaving prayer out of the catalogue of religious duties, we leave God out, and His work cannot progress without Him.' "
Lord, bring me to my knees more frequently. Put tears in my eyes that overflow from a passionate heart concerned with the eternal things. Remind me that when I don't pray, I leave you out, and when I leave you out, your work will not progress. Though I don't understand this mystery of 'limiting' a sovereign God by lack of prayer, I accept it as true for your word teaches it. Forgive me for not praying more. Forgive me for hesitancy in calling it sin. I want to dream of what you can do through us when we trust you and beseech you. And I want to be a man that spends his life doing so. Amen.