Thursday, March 9, 2006
Today was our first day of traveling down to Mexico. Thank God for
safety on the roads and fairly good weather. All the way from
Thetis Island to Eugene we had all kinds of different weather. At
the US border we had snow - about an inch of it. We also had
periods of rain and patches of sun, etc. We arrived in Eugene at
After lunch, we listened to the first part of Hans Peter Royer's
teaching on Finding Truth Through Experience. He talked about
faith. You can have faith in a lot of things that aren't true. For
example, you can have faith that a pond covered in a thin layer of
ice will hold you when you walk on it, but in reality it won't
hold you at all. So we see that faith is only good if your faith
is in the right object. It is better to have faith the size of a
mustard seed (Matt. 17:20) when it is in the Lord Jesus because it
is the object of our faith that is the most important.
Friday, March 10,
On the road again..."
5:45 in Eugene, USA and
the first of fourteen clocks starts to ring. While the
"early-morning-30 minute duty-kitchen-crew" is preparing our PBJ's,
the rest of us enjoy self made banana-muffins, pineapple and CAFÉ!
After that and the
encouraging input from our friend Jolin, we are ready for the day
and all the things that the Lord has set before us today!
To be on the road for
about 10 hours is probably not the most exciting and thrilling
place to be - but the Lord was truly faithful to do His work and
showed us especially through the beautiful and powerful nature
that He is obviously a great and awesome God. And the song we
heard in the van, "the universe declares your majesty" became
again so real by watching His creation.
After a good lunch bag
with PBJ and lots of other treats, we were on the road again! This
time, with a special guest on board: Hans Peter Royer (director of
the Torors Center, Austria). In the cassette, we listened to, he
spoke about John 14 and that Jesus, after going up to heaven,
became for us what His Father was for Him! So clearly he reminded
us of the fact that we on our own can do nothing, as Jesus could
do nothing on His own strength (John 5:15). But, through the
Father, He was able to do what His Father called Him to do! In the
same way, He, Jesus, will give us all the strength, the grace and
the mercy we need to accomplish His will TODAY!
I thank God that He
reminded us of that, especially on the way down to Mexico! That we
on our own cannot do anything for these people or even please Him,
but that we will if we are dependent on Jesus and realize how much
we need Him in our daily walk. We cannot love the people or rides
down here or even one another, but He will give it to us, so that
we are able to lay down our lives for one another, not just in
words, but in actions and truth (1 John 2:18).
Saturday, March 11, 2006
We left California and we
went to eat at IN-N-OUT but the most obvious thing that God did
that day was how He took care of us during the road trip and the
control He had of all situations. Then, we listened to a tape
about faith. There was a big motivation to know that what we were
doing was in faith. God opened the doors of Mexico and prepared
the way and took control of every second of the trip. When we got
down to Mexico, we went with Sergio to the main streets in
downtown Tijuana. We were faced with a hard and heavy reality. We
went to the street where there was more prostitution and drug
addictions in Tijuana. We saw a reality that we couldn't escape.
The world needs the love of Christ and to recognize that He is the
Light and that He gave us that light so we can share it and bring
light to the darkness.
Something that I thought
was that if we have light but not love or faith, it's easy to hide
that light. When Jesus walked in the world, what He did was He saw
people in the darkness and He felt compassion for them. He gave
them light because He is Light.
We live in the world of
darkness. It doesn't matter if it is in the street of Tijuana or
in our own places. Everyone in the same way needs the big piece of
the puzzle of life. That is Christ. There is no sin big or small
that Christ hasn't covered. There is no soul who doesn't need God.
That's our reason to live, to share the love of Christ with
others. If that is not our reason then it doesn't make sense to be
in this world. Thanks to our Father because He gave us faith to
walk and to see and to do things we haven't seen.
But they are in the world
of faith waiting for us. Let's activate by faith what Christ gave
us so we can see His Glory in our lives.
Isaiah 58:10-11, 60:2
Monday, March 13, 2006
Well, today was our first
full day at the orphanage and I must say, I really enjoyed myself.
We had oatmeal for breakfast, which made things even better. Oh
yes, and I can't forget the amazing truck ride four of us girls
went on. This wasn't just any truck ride, we were sitting pretty
much on top of the truck... and it was illegal!
At the orphanage, we
forgot the toys we had brought so by about eleven, I know at least
I was thinking, "Oh man, what are we gonna do for the next 5
hours?" Thankfully, and I'm sure it was to the team's great
delight, we discovered what the word "ackapuche" meant, and gave
piggy-back rides for the rest of our time there. For supper,
Sergio's wonderful friends made us some great food. Then we all
went our separate ways. The girls had a little sing-along. I don't
know what the guys did. I'm sure it was great.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
We had breakfast once
again at 6:30 am. Jordan led devotions on 1 John 2:18-27. It talks
about how we have the Holy Spirit within us that speaks the truth.
If the Holy Spirit abides in us, this helps us from being
deceived. It's so easy for us to be deceived by lies so we need to
continually choose to abide in Christ and believe in Him.
We headed back to City of
Angels, the orphanage. God blessed us once again with safety and a
beautiful, hot and sunny day. Despite a few "minor accidents",
things went well. We finished the work that we wanted to -
drywalling the room, put in the door and some other jobs. It was a
fun day hanging out with the kids again. It's cool that we could
be there for the kids and be with them. Each one of them are God's
children and God loves them as much as He loves us.
We came back to where we
were staying and had supper - beans and rice and a hamburger
"stew". We had sharing time after supper about our day and what
God taught us or what encouraged us. Some shared how it was neat
to see one-on-ones with us and the kids. Someone shared that they
were encouraged that we got the work done and the drywall all up
and how the kids were excited about it too. Then we pretty much
headed off to bed.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Today was our fourth day
in Tijuana and it was definitely the hottest so far. Today we did
work at a couple of different places, but before we got to these,
Sergio had the guys load up cement blocks onto a truck. Our first
job was to build some steps with the cement blocks for a lady
because when it rains, her yard is really muddy.
On the way there,
Ralf got pulled over by the police because there was no license
plate on the truck and one mud flap was missing. Sergio got out of
his vehicle and managed to talk his way our of the ticket. After a
rather bumpy ride on a Mexican dirt road, we arrived to build
steps and do some landscaping in the backyard. It was fun being
there. We were all busy doing something. We wound up doing a
walkway, a place for her car and a walkway from her car to the
other walkway. We also were able to finish all of the work in the
We spent the afternoon at
the junior orphanage. While we were there, the guys were busy
building a rook over a bathroom and the girls played with the kids
but other than that had not much else to do. This was the most
trying experience of the day for me. It was a test of my patience.
I'm so used to being busy and having things to do. It was hard to
me to realize that even the things that seem so little and boring
to me can be meaningful and important to God. It was a lesson of
trusting in Him and letting Him perform His will in my life.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
We woke up and had eggs,
hash browns and cereal. Then we drove to the junior orphanage that
we went to yesterday. We were just finishing up the projects we
started yesterday: a couple of people were working on the roof
over the large bathroom. Ralf and another guy worked on another
roof, smaller ones for the girls room.
Then the rest of the group
either played with the kids or else moved a very large pile of
dust out of the way so they could pour a cement pad there. That
was the major project of the day and what most people worked on.
Multiple blisters arose from it. The work wasn't fun, challenging
or exciting but the entire group kept at it from start to finish.
We left the orphanage
earlier after an emotional goodbye and thanks from the body that
runs it, so that we could go out and have supper at a Mexican
restaurant, probably the best meal of the week even though it was
the same thing we had almost every day: tortillas. After supper,
Sergio drove us around Tijuana and he took us to the first
orphanage he started around 20 years ago. It was very different
because it had over 80 kids and was a much nicer facility. But it
was still sort of the same, with the kids all wanting love from
whoever would give it to them. We met another group from Virginia
at that orphanage - well, we only really met one person, Breanna.
We didn't spend very much
time at the orphanage before Sergio took us on another tour of
Tijuana, showing us the ocean and the bull rings and stuff like
that till he took us home to go to bed.
Friday, March 17, 2006
We woke up and we had
breakfast and went to the market. There, we, or I learned a lot
from the attitude of sales people because they want to sell
anything because that's their living. When we were driving to
Mexicali in the van, God was teaching me patience because it was
very tight space and really hot, plus I had a lot of my stuff in
the seat with me but I had patience to get through. Also, God
protected us which was awesome. We could have fallen off the
cliffs but God protected us from that and with safe driving that
day. I also thank God for warm food in Mexicali when we got there.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
We got up today, had
breakfast and then the guys were told to go onto the lawn of the
camp and pull weeds while the girls painted chairs (and
themselves). The work wasn't that bad and it reminded me of the
curse that man received in Genesis due to disobedience. At first,
I wasn't really into it but then as it went on I got into it and
had some good talks with Ralf, Matt and Eric.
That night, the guys went
our to a men's meeting that was in Spanish. It was nice to see the
fellowship that was obviously having God in as the center of it
all. Then we had a good supper there and a weird rice drink, then
drove home and went to bed... the girls took the evening off and
Monday, March 20, 2006
Today we went to the
church in Johnson to work. There were 3 jobs we were working on.
The girls painted more chairs, several of the boys dug holes for
new outhouses and Ralf and Victor worked on tiling. We worked
until lunchtime, then we had lunch at "Sister Rose's" house.
we headed back to the campground where we decided what we were
going to do tonight for the service. The service went well tonight
as well as playing with the kids during the sermon. We did a
little skit about the story of Joseph and then played some games
with the kids.
When we got back, Ted
shared from 1 John 4:9-15. He shared about love - God's example of
love towards us and how we should love others. Verse 9-10 show how
God loves us. He sent His Son into the world to give Him
satisfaction for our sins. Then the challenge in verse 11 - if God
so loved us, we ought to love one another. When we do love one
another, God's character is seen in our lives (v. 12). Why?
Because God is love (1 John 4:8). For me, one thing that has
challenged me is do I actually really love the people here. Am I
coming down here just to serve and to do stuff for people
(although that is an effect of love) or am I in Mexico because the
love I have for the people gives me the desire to help and spend
time with them? True love is only by His Spirit working through
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
It is just 5:30 in the
morning but the sun is already shining. What a joy to be woken up
by the sun. With that in mind, day number 13 begins. Sleepy eyes,
slow movers and a desire for café are signs of the every day
morning ritual, but of course it is nothing that could stop us
from doing the things that God has set before us today.
For the boys, it means
very practically to build some very deep, deep holes for "los
banos". The girls were very busy painting chairs in the sun and
kept on trying to get a nice tan.
Exhausted and red, we
returned to our "home" and for the highlight of the day we all
went together for supper after the evening service. From Parkares
over Tacos, Buridos and Quidadillos, we got everything that our
Thanks be to God for how
he provided for us in so many ways. For all the strength He gave
us in the midst of all the work. For all the joy even though our
work didn't seem that effective sometimes. For all the things He
shored us individually throughout the day. It is great to know
that even on such an ordinary day, we can please Him in giving our
lives to Him and being available and obedient to the tasks He
gives us! When we are faithful in the small things, then He knows
we will be faithful in greater things!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The last day in Mexico,
in the morning, we divided the group and went to work at the
After working, God taught
me about patience because we had to wait for the pastor when we
didn't have to. Then we went back to Olen's place. The group had
lunch there. Then Olen and his wife shared their testimonies with
us and God talked to me one more time about faith. We have to be
secure when He calls us to do something knowing that He provides
and He holds us. Their testimony encouraged me to keep walking in
faith knowing that God has a perfect plan for my life.
After that, we went to
get ready for the evening church service. Then in the evening we
went to the church and enjoyed the last night with the kids. We
did dramas and games. It was sad to say goodbye but we know that
God is the same there and wherever we are. So He will be faithful
to complete His job with those people. In the end, I just thanked
God for His faithfulness all of the time and for letting us serve
Him in His kingdom.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Today we woke up at three
so that we could be ready to leave at four in order to spend a
couple hours at a beach in California. We finally arrived at the
beach at around eleven, but the early morning turned out to be
worth it. The beach was gorgeous and we were able to get a quick
glimpse of the Hollywood stars and the famous Hollywood sign. We
then proceeded to drive... and drive... and then continue driving.
During all of this driving, we looked out of the window while
we're on the I5 and saw Rob, Danny, Tim, Travis and Jeff yelling
and waving their arms crazily. We met up with them for dinner at
IN-N-OUT Burger to hear about their wild road trop and talk about
how crazy it was that we saw them. After that, we continued
driving until we got to Tracy, California where we spent the
Friday, March 24, 2006
We are now finished day 2
of our 3 day van ride and I must say, not much happened. That's ok
though, it gave us all time to think about what God taught or
still is teaching us from the trip. We arrived in Eugene, Oregon
around 5 pm, perfect timing for Ralph to pick up his stroller. We
then had supper at Karl's Jr., did a bit of shopping and headed
over to the church. The team settled in and then met for one final
time of sharing (and a bit of singing).
As awkward as it was to
have Peter video-taping what we were saying, I was really
encouraged by what everyone shared. God definitely did some
amazing work in the hearts of the team.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
We had breakfast at
around 6:30 am. Ted shared devotions, 1 John 5:11-21. It talks
about how we who believe in Jesus have eternal life. We can have
confidence that whatever we ask God according to His will, He
hears our prayer and will give us our requests. We are God's
children and the evil one cannot hurt us. We should pray to God
when we see people sinning. Jesus Christ is eternal life. We who
are believers are living eternal life. Overall in this book of 1
John we've been encouraged to live in love.
We continued our journey
home. We missed a ferry going to Nanaimo by about 10 minutes. So
we had to wait for over an hour to go on a ferry to Victoria. We
ate at sort of a "mall" or "food court" at the ferry place and
hung around there for a while. We got on the ferry around 5:00 pm.
From Victoria we drove to Duncan and ate at Tim Hortons. We made
the 8:45 pm ferry to Thetis Island. Thank you Jesus for keeping us
safe and help us to remember the things that you taught us.