Thank you so much for your overwhelming response to our last blog post. Indeed we do serve a God who does wonderful and amazing things in our midst. Your encouraging words as well as your prayers have been such a blessing to Jackie, myself and our team down here. A lot has taken place over the past few weeks, one of those, being our trip to the mountains. However, 2 more significant things have taken place that I’d love to share with you all.
Work projects continue to go well, as we are rapidly trying to finish the facility. Our room is finished being tiled, as well as the kitchen. Our plan to move into the children’s home last week was altered, by our trip to the mountains, a missions team passing through and a surprise visit from the DIF (very exciting).
Ray Wilson, who is the director of Black Buffalo Ministries, and helps oversee the children's home in Creel, stopped by for a few hours. He is leading a team of five, as they head up to the mountains of Creel to pass out food, presents and the love of Jesus! Although there stop was only for a few hours, it was a wonderful time and a tremendous blessing to us. They were able to bless us with a beautiful, 9 foot long industrial restaurant sink. Not only that, but they also gave us food, clothes, towels and toys. Things are definitely coming together as we prepare to receive more children. What a blessing to see the Lord “…supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
The missions team and our new supplies...
Jeff Jinnett, president of Marble Brewery...
Preparing to receive children, is why the DIF made a surprise visit to the House of Blessing. A few weeks ago, we met with the DIF in Cuahtemoc, to start the registration process. During that meeting, Guillermo (the director) shared that there was a tremendous need for children’s homes. There is an influx of kids, that need places to go, and unfortunately, homes are shutting down, due to abuse, facilities not being up to code and care-takers who are mishandling funds, children, etc. Guillermo was very glad we were starting the registration process and immediately called his superiors in Chihuahua, to see if we might be able to take in children now!
There is another children’s home, about 2 hours away, in a town called La Junta, that will be closing soon. The Mennonite board of directors, feels like they need to shut it down to reevaluate, reorganize, restructure and seek the Lord for its future. There have been many problems with the home, mainly due to the caretakers. The Mennonites actually contacted us a few months ago to share and ask about the possibility of helping take in some of the children.
There are some 40-50 children staying there, 15-20 which were brought in by the DIF. The other children, have come from the mountains, or wherever else the care-takers recruit them from. Yes, I said recruit. Unfortunately, care-takers of children’s home, can view this as a lucrative business. The more children you have, the more donations and handouts you can get. And unfortunately, most of those never reach the children that are to be cared for.
We have been having some great meetings and conversations with the Mennonites, who oversee this children’s home. They agree with the DIF, that it needs to be shut down, temporarily, the care-takers removed, and the children relocated.
Before DIF is allowed to move children to our facility, they need to come and evaluate the home, the workers, etc. Guillermo told us it would be anywhere from 6 weeks to a few months, for the state DIF officials, from Chihuahua, to come and check things out. That estimate was in man’s timing…but, in the Lord’s timing, it only took 5 days.
Last Wednesday, the 15th, Jackie, Ayantu, my cousin Becky and I were in Rubio, getting supplies when I got a call from Nieves. He said I needed to come right away, because 4 personnel from the state DIF were there to review our home. What? I thought it was suppose to be weeks to months? Remember, this is Mexico where things usually don’t happen fast.
When we arrived, we were greeted by four individuals, Sergio (the Lawyer), Paty (the Psychologist), Lupita (the Social Worker) and Jose (from the Health Dept). They came out to do a full review, evaluation, interview, etc, because they want to move those 15-20 children, from the other home, as soon as possible. They gave me a ton of paperwork and documents…as well as asked lots of questions. Each one of our workers was interviewed by Paty, and then I spent quite a lot of time with all four of them. Once again, I felt like my head was going to explode from information. As I listened to pros, cons, expectations, requirements, challenges, blessings, everything that has to do with children’s homes, I became very excited. I too held nothing back either, and shared my heart, rather, the Lord’s heart, for the House of Blessing, packed full of verses from the bible.
I assured them that those difficulties they experience with other homes and workers would NEVER happen in the House of Blessing. Not because we are immortal or extra special or something, but because we serve the One true and Living God.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
I also clearly explained to them, what Joshua said…
“…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
This children’s home, will be a home that FEARS the Lord and SERVES the Lord. I, as the director, am accountable, not to South Hill Calvary, a board of advisors, or even the DIF…I am accountable to the LORD…whom I’ve committed my life too. I’m not sure where they are at, in regards to Jesus and the gospel messages, but they greatly appreciated our heart, vision and passion for the House of Blessing.
Our time ended together with the DIF proposing a plan. They have found temporary living situations for the children, for the next 2-3 weeks, while we finish the facility. At that point, give them the go ahead, they will begin working the paperwork to process and move the children.
One of my biggest prayers and desires, has been far beyond just caring for children. I’ve been praying that we would be a light in a dark place…
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
I want to have such an impact in this community and everyone we come in contact with, for one reason, and one reason ALONE…that they might “…glorify our Father in heaven.” Earlier this week, Jackie and I got 2 new face-book friend requests…one from Lupita (the social worker) and Paty (the psychologist). They also messaged me with the following…
Hi Jason, I loved the children's home project, and hopefully it will soon be open. Congratulations!!. I'm Lupita - Social worker of DIF.
Hi Jason, it was a pleasure speaking with you the other day. I wanted to tell you...my husband and I are very interesting in the project. I would like to invite you all, to our house for dinner when you are in Chihuahua. (Paty)
Yesterday, we came to Chihuahua to get some paperwork done as well as shop for some supplies. Last night, we met up with Paty, her husband and there beautiful son Emilio. We had a wonderful time getting to know them, eating pizza, and watching Emilio and Antu become friends. Paty immediately asked if there were any updates about our home. We shared about Erasmo and how well he is doing. She asked me if I had received a call from the DIF yet about taking in another little boy. I told her now, but realized I left my Mexican cell phone back in Bachiniva. She said not to worry, they would be calling back soon, to see if we could take this child in to care for. AMAZING!
Saints…we continue to covet your prayers, especially over the next few weeks as we finish things up.
- Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide money and resources for bunk-beds, mattresses, and the security wall that needs to be installed around the facility.
- Please pray for me, as I have a lot on my plate and try to meet all the legal and paperwork demands of the DIF.
- Please pray for our team of workers, who are working very hard to finish the facility.
- Please pray for my cousin, Becky, who has been translating our blog, website and other materials into spanish.
- Please pray for Erasmo, as well as the other children that are preparing to come into our care!
“And Joshua said to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you’” (Joshua 3:5).