Monday, February 28, 2011

Wonderful 1st Bible Study

Max Lucado - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus
This afternoon we started our first ever group Bible study with the homeless ministry.  Everyone was invited but honestly we didn't expect a very good turn out.  As He always seems to do, God took our doubt and showed us how big He really is.  

We had 10 people, 13 if you count Courtney, David, and I, show up for our Bible study.  

They struggled a bit with the reading aspect of it all but powered through.  Those that had adequate reading skills proved to be patient and loving with those still struggling.

They were engaged and excited throughout the whole study.  I was amazed at how involved they were.  Typically I have experienced the opposite on the first meeting of any group Bible study.

Everyone shared stories, advice and kind words with everyone else

And wrote life examples into their worksheets

I LOVE this picture of Courtney and Talanga side by side bringing their hearts before God.

The closing prayer.  
I am so honored to be able to share this time with some truly amazing people who have experienced more in their lives than I can even imagine.  They are so eager to come to a deeper understanding of God's word and develop a relationship with Him.  They even asked that the once a week study be a twice a week study.  So tentatively we will now be meeting every Monday and Friday at 4.  Please keep these studies in your prayers.

A New Home and Some New Volunteers

A couple of week's ago Belkis (Rosie's mom) was kicked out of the room they were renting.  They moved into another room that was evidently in a really bad part of town.  I'm unclear of the story line but evidently Belkis came home the other night and there were several gang members in their room dancing to the radio and refusing to leave.  She asked me if they could move into our building for a time and tonight we helped them all move in.  
Who knew 1 adult and 5 kids with no income could generate so much stuff in one room.

It took 2 pickup truck loads to hold everything

Brendin Williamson and Simon Baker are here for the week helping us out.  They are already expert sandwich makers and professional movers.  The rest of the week is sure to hold lots of adventures.

Moving in

The kids were SOOO excited.

The whole family getting settled in

"Tarea"  their really cute little puppy.  We're hoping to teach him some manners soon.

I'm prayerful that we are able to make a difference in this precious, but trying, family's life.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Great Bible Study and A Great Day at Church

Reina and Talanga are very excited about their relationship with God and how to make it grow.
Today we had a long study about baptism

And praise God they both decided they wanted to pray and study about it this week and get baptized by next Sunday at the latest.  I love them both so much and I'm so excited that they will soon be my brother and sister in Christ.  Please pray for them as they continue to earnestly seek God's will for their lives.

Church today was a lot of fun.  Our numbers are starting to grow again and Darwin is getting more and more comfortable with his role as a leader in our church

We did a lot of singing with hand motions today and everyone loved it!

I love to watch God work in this ministry and in the lives of these amazing people.

Children's Bible Class

Last week Courtney started a children's Bible class with our kids at the homeless ministry and this week David and Jenn were there to help her out.  It is truly a blessing that these kids can learn about God's love for them on their level.  
Dayana dreaming up some thing crazy to do.

Singing with the kids

David's not real sure of the motions

Trying to keep the little ones involved

Pamela working on her craft

Arol having a blast

Jenn explaining the craft to Dayana

Hard at work.   They just started learning about the creation story.

God separated light bulbs and dark :)

Please keep these precious kids and their very patient teacher in your prayers.

A Triple Wedding!!!

This week 3 beautiful couples decided they would like to make their relationships official in marriage.  We're hoping to have a triple wedding during spring break while so many dear friends from the United States are here.  This will allow us to share this experience with our friends as well as allow us to get some things from the states for the weddings for less than they can be purchased here.
We are all extremely excited to share in this blessed event.
Consuelo and Jorge, they have two kids together and have been together for over 16 years, it's time to make it official.
Sweet, sweet Josue and Nanci.  They are very young but seem very much in love.  Of the three they are probably the healthiest couple.  They are expecting their first child in June.

And of course, Reina and Talanga.  This has been a long time coming and an answer to a lot of prayer.  They are hoping their first baby holds out for the wedding.

Measuring Reina for her dress.  We're not real sure what measurements we're going to need to we took plenty to be sure :).

Everyone was giddy excited when we started taking measurements.

Josue was a little confused by all our measurement taking but he let us spin him around and get what we 

Please, please be praying for these dear couples as they prepare to make their relationships official.  We're currently in search of a good premarital bible study if you have an advice and if any of you would like to help provide supplies or money for the weddings we would greatly appreciate it.  We want this to be a very special day for each of them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Visiting My Boys

We've recommitted to visiting the boys at 21 every Thursday.  Unfortunately it's easy to get busy and stop going.  These boys just light up when we walk in and it's truly a blessing to spend time with them.  
Here are a few pictures from yesterday.
One of the counselors with two of the special needs boys.  There are 7 special needs boys at the home who have very little chance of ever leaving and never have visitors.  One of the counselors has made it her mission to make sure they get the same attention the other kids get and we're doing our best to help her out. 

Jose de la Cruz is back and looking pretty rough.  This kid wants so bad to be loved and begs me to adopt him but his past and present with gangs is not something I can submit my children to right now.

Jose Mungia LOVES Rosie and she's pretty fond of him too.  They played together most of the time we were there.

Melvin and Courtney.  One of the counselors said Melvin was having a rough week behaviorally.  Please pray that he is able to work on his behavior and find a successful placement.

The little guy is Carlos and one of my favorite kids at the home right now.  He is so young and just looks so vulnerable.  Pray that his heart isn't hardened by his difficult life.
Angel is also back and asking about Alli.  This kid speaks great English and is from a fairly affluent background but can't seem to leave his dangerous friends behind.

Each of the boys at 21 have a different but equally disturbing story.  I pray that God's love finds a place in their hearts and is able to see them through the battles they wage every day against drugs, desperation, and fear.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

RAVE Ministries
RAVE Ministries is a group I had the privilege of meeting while I was at Winterfest.  It is a group of young girls who have made it their mission to reach out to their peers and show them that life with Christ is an amazing life worth raving about.
These sweet girls blessed our ministry with words of encouragement and a generous donation, as well as a few T-shirts.  
Tonight I gave those T-shirts to some of our teen girls.  You should have seen their faces light up as I told them about the girls in the states who were praying for them and who were eager for them to find Christ.  It was a joy to watch.  
I hope to start a girls group soon, specifically for our teen girls.  They need a safe place to belong that is dedicated to them.  Courtney and I are so excited right now to get so many things started.  We pray for the strength, wisdom, and manpower to reach out to these precious souls and give them a place to belong, nestled in our Heavenly Father's hand.
Thank you RAVE for your blessings and encouragement, you are doing amazing things and the ripples are going around the world.

Wednesday Night with Our Friends

A few beautiful faces from tonight.  Everyone was in good spirits and we shared a lot of laughs and hugs.
Josue, quickly becoming one of my favorite kids.  Tonight we were able to give him a little bit of money to start a "chiclera" basically a traveling snack stand.  He wants to save up some money so he can take care of his baby that is soon to be born.

A cute pic of Jenn and Rosie, Jenn managed to be in several cute pictures tonight

Sweet Suyapa, she doesn't come by much anymore but we love her soo much.

Carolina, one of our teen prostitutes.  She's living in our building and just started going back to school.

Jennifer is another teen prostitute and a little farther down the road of destruction but she is eager to be loved.

Rosie and "Pitufina", Carolina's cat who is now living in our building

Carolina, Darwin, and Carlos starting a dance party in the street.

Jasmine is new to our ministry and has made a connection with Courtney.  

Leticia got a new dress and looked ADORABLE.

Jennifer wearing Jenn's glasses

Marvin playing with a grasshopper he found.  Unfortunately he still couldn't put down the glue

Jenn and Sergio

Sergio showing off his dance moves.  They had a blast dancing around on the sidewalk and behind the cars tonight.  It's so much fun to watch them enjoy themselves.