Update On Bachiniva Happenings...

It has been two weeks since I sent out our blog post regarding the things taking place here in our town with the drug cartels.  As you know I was hesitant at first to share with you all, not quite sure what the response would be.  However, through you're outpouring of prayers, words of encouragement, scripture verses and support, it confirmed all the more how vital, important and special the body of Christ is.  We received more emails, texts, phone calls and messages from this blog post then any others in the past.  Many of you thanked us for sharing what’s been taking place and how it has encouraged and strengthened you as well.

So, thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts.  I am convinced all the more about the power of prayer, intercession and encouraging one another.

Many of you have recently asked for an update regarding the situation.

Soon after sending out that initial post, 2 weeks ago, things actually escalated to an all time high.  Small battles continued to take place and there were talks of something “big” that was coming.  It seemed like more and more “soldiers” or cartel members were flooding into Bachiniva.  Reports at one point said that there were 200 in town.

On March 20th I sent out an email to our immediate family letting them know what had taken place over the weekend.  Here is the email below...

“Hola family, just wanted to give you an update on what’s going on down here.  Unfortunately things escalated to an all time high yesterday (Sunday the 19th).  People believe it was the big battle that everyone was anticipating.  There were major shootouts in towns about 25 minutes away.  One of our workers and I stood outside our building and watched truck after truck race by our property full of armed men ready for battle.  I shared with most of you that Jackie and the ladies from our church were at a women’s event in a nearby town when the fighting started. Thankfully they all were okay and made it back home safely.  However, the fighting continued into the night and a bit this morning (Monday).

News reports are saying that amongst the numerous that were killed, one of those was the rival drug cartel leader, who has been trying to take over Bachiniva.  This of course is bringing some peace to people here in town, but worries others as most likely someone will rise up to take the fallen leaders place.  They also confiscated 17 abandoned trucks all over the towns that were left behind by cartel members.

Patrols are still taking place in our town as they are looking for someone/some people, no one really knows exactly who. The children continue to not have school due to cancelled classes.  

In light of all this, we are encouraged, as well as our staff, the children and other people here in town.  We know our hope and protection lays in the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

Last night, as we were laying in bed, I read Joshua chapter 1 to Jackie as she was falling asleep.  Multiple times, the Lord speaks for his people to be strong and courageous, for the He is with us.  What comfort and perfect words to fall asleep to.

Thanks so much for the prayers and we ask that you continue to pray fervently.

Jason, Jackie, Ayantu + Erasmo, Juan, Maria Ana, Carolina, Luis, Jesus, Jorge, Osvaldo, Sandra, Idaly, Natalia, Gladys, Valeria, Edgar and Angel

The days following Sunday’s battle seemed as if everything had completely turned back to normal.  It was almost eery a little bit, as if nothing had happened.  Patrols, checkpoints, random stops and the presence of armed men seemed to fade away.  School for the children resumed and it was back to the daily routine for everyone in town.

Was it because the other team was defeated?  Of their leader was killed? Or the calm before another storm?  Or simply God’s hand intervening on behalf of the prayers of His children.  Some would say it was because of the first two.  However, we know that our God who is ever present with us, had His mighty hand upon his people and this town.  Thank you Jesus!

Please continue to pray alongside us each and every day as we don't worry about tomorrow, but focus on the day at hand!

"For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up,lest you dash your foot against a stone" (Psalm 91:11-12).


You can subscribe to the House of Blessing below to stay updated on how God is working.

Click here To Subscribe Via RSS



Today is a very, very special day for all of us down here in Bachinva.  In fact it will be a first for us personally AND the Casa.  At 3:00 we will be celebrating the lovely Maria Ana’s 15th birthday, also known as her “quinceañera” or “quince”.  Months and months have been spent planning and preparing to celebrate and honor Maria Ana.  Honestly, it’s almost as intense as planning a wedding.

I had to do a little research to understand more about the meaning behind a “quinceañera.”  Quinceañeras developed in Aztec culture in Mesoamerica around 500 BC.   A young woman’s 15th birthday is celebrated differently from any other as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.  Sort of like a rite of passage.  500 BC, that’s a long time ago to start celebrating turning 15.  Nowadays, for a young woman here in Mexico, Latin America and in the Americas as well, turning 15 is a huge, sometimes massive celebration.   Basically like a wedding.  In 2015, they say that a traditional quince cost anywhere from $5,000 up to $15,000 dollars. 

From the moment we started talking, planning and sharing about the quince, people within the church and community stepped right up to help.  Whether that was helping with organizing, purchasing, painting nails, doing hair, making decorations, cakes, food, practicing music, etc, a community of people who love Maria Ana, have rallied together to make this an unforgettable day for her.

One of Maria Ana’s favorite places to be is at church.  Whether is for a service, youth group an event, or just helping clean, she requested her quince to be held at the church with all of her church family and friends.  We are also very blessed to have Maria Ana’s mom, older and younger sister here for the special occasion, who traveled down from the mountains (8 hours away).

Normally, the young woman’s father walks her down the aisle and dances with her.  As many of you know, Maria Ana’s father died years ago.  And so, I’ve been asked to walk her down the aisle today.  Wowza, during rehearsal I almost lost it.  I still remember the first time I ever met this once shy, quiet, embarrassed little girl, who today, becomes a young woman.  Sheesh, I hope I don’t start balling!

Today will truly be a memorable day as we have the blessed privilege to honor, pray for, encourage through scripture verses and song and celebrate Maria Ana.  Lots of stories, laughs, food, postre (desserts) will be had.  But most importantly, Maria Ana will know that she is loved and cherished by not only her friends and family gathering today, but also her Heavenly Father looking down from above.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Ps. 139:13–14).

First time meeting Maria Ana in her village Corarayvo, located in the Sierra Madres!

First time meeting Maria Ana in her village Corarayvo, located in the Sierra Madres!

Maria Ana turning 15 years old!

Maria Ana turning 15 years old!

You can subscribe to the House of Blessing below to stay updated on how God is working.

Click here To Subscribe Via RSS

I Will Lie Down In Peace...

I have debated way to long as to whether or not I should blog about recent events that have occurred here in Bachiniva.  However that quickly changed as I spoke with my dad this morning.  I was reminded that we are the body of Christ.  We are a family.  We are to bear one another’s burdens.  We are to pray for each other.  We are to rejoice with one another.  We are to comfort one another with the comfort we ourselves have received.

So, in light of those wonderful truths, why wouldn’t I share with you all some difficulties we are facing here in Mexico and ask for you to fervently pray with us AND for us?

Over the past 3 weeks there has been an incredible increase in the drug cartel violence in our area.  What appears to be happening is that two rival drug lords are fighting for our area.  The individuals who currently control our town are trying to defend it against a new drug lord and his men who are coming from a town about an hour away.

There has been 3 major shootouts thus far, last night being the most recent one.  Pastor Luis called last night to inform me that the fighting had begun again and was very close to the orphanage.  As I walked around our property to double check doors and gates, I heard the barrage of gun shots.  The Military AND State Police have now made their presence at the spot where these battles keep taking place.  They cancelled school on Monday and again today.  Obviously there is much gossip and talk about exactly what is happening, how many have been killed, what is coming next, etc.

As I stood outside briefly listening to things taking place, I could feel the fear quickly approaching.  However as soon as I began to pray and cry out to the Lord, His peace, which surpasses ALL understanding, flooded my mind.  As I walked through the building and the children’s rooms, praying for them as they quietly slept, I was greatly reminded of the power of prayer AND the verse that is painted above Ayantus bed.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety (Ps 4:8).

Either we believe the truths that we read about, sing about, prayer about and hear about at church…OR…we don’t.  Either we believe that the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS makes us dwell in safety, that He is with us WHEREVER we go and He promises to NEVER leave us nor forsake us.  This is where, as my dad put it this morning, the rubber hits the road.

I must admit, after the second shooting, this past Saturday, I was ready to pack, get Jackie and Ayantu and head back to the states until things cooled down.  But then I began to think about our 16 children here at the Casa, and then our staff and volunteers, and then our church family here in Bachiniva.  What about them? Who don’t have the blessing of going to the states? I knew immediately the Lord was telling us to stay put, to trust in Him alone for our safety and protection, and watch the things He will do in light of the situation.

Gracias A Dios we are all safe at the moment.  The children are doing fine, most of them, oblivious to the things taking place.  Probably because they have seen or dealt with this type of thing most of their lives.

Tonight at church we will be dedicating time to pray, worship and seek the Lord for courage, strength and comfort in these times.  Many of the people in church are fearful as well as the whole town.  What a great opportunity to be apart of what we see in Matthew…

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

Honestly, my heart has been breaking for these cartel members, many of them as young as teenagers, who are lost and in need of hope.  As I was driving back down from El Paso on Saturday and passed probably 30 cartel members, waiting in the brush, guns drawn, for whatever was coming down the road, I began praying for them.  One young man in particular looked like he was 17, maybe 18 years old.  He was totally pale and looked so scared, even as he stood there holding a giant gun, waiting for whatever was going to happen, to happen.

You all have blessed us SO MUCH over the past 4 years with your prayers and support.  We ask now, more then ever, that you join us in fervent prayer during these times.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).


You can subscribe to the House of Blessing below to stay updated on how God is working.

Click here To Subscribe Via RSS