Where has the time gone? I’m not sure really. I can’t believe it has been over a month since I last updated you all on the happenings down in Mexico. I guess that is mainly because we have entered our busiest season of the year. June kicked off our summer months full of missions trips, VBS’, lots of traveling and trying to keep the children from going crazy of boredom. Now I think I know what it must have been like for our mom, when all five of us kids were out of school for the summer. It takes a lot of work! Music Room…Having played music since I was 12, I absolutely love it. So naturally, I want to figure out a way that we can integrate music into the lives of the children in the home. So far so good. In fact, all 4 of the kids, well 5 including Ayantu, absolutely love music and are wanting to learn how to play and sing. We began to pray about getting musical instruments for the children and that prayer was answered the first week of June.
Two very dear brothers from Utah, Pastor Joe (Calvary Mountain View) and Ted (one of my good friends) came down for 3 days to see the orphanage, meet the children and bring a wonderful surprise…music equipment. We now officially have a music room with a sound system, microphones, guitars, piano, ukele and percussion. The children spend as much time in there as we allow them and are learning very quickly how to play and sing!
SHCC Missions Trip…No sooner had I dropped off Ted and Joe in El Paso to fly home, I was picking up my dad and a missions team from our church, South Hill Calvary. It just so happened that there was also another team from Sonlit Hills Church in Santa Fe, that came down as well, to help Pastor Luis stucco the church. Over the weekend we had visitors working and serving alongside us, both at the orphanage and the church. What a blessing it was with both groups. Although missions trips can be a little exhausting…they are very refreshing and encouraging and we were so thankful for all that was accomplished, newly stuccoed church, cemented walkway at the orphanage, new sign for the orphanage and lots of hanging out with the children.
My dad with the boys...
Interest From Mennonites…Not only have we had teams and visitors from the states, but also from the neighboring Mennonite communities. Some how, well, we know its the Lord doing it, word is getting out and people are coming every week, to visit and see what’s going on at the orphanage. It has been wonderful meeting new friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and seeing the children, orphanage and ministry impact peoples lives. One of those visits was extra special as we had a class field trip from a Mennonite school. 14 children came from to see the facility, meet the children and learn about the ministry and how we run things on a daily basis. We had a great time with our special visitors and it was neat to see the impact it had on their lives.
Sanchez Vacation…Somehow in June, Jackie, Antu and I were able to cram in a much needed vacation. We headed up to Bear Lake, in Garden City Utah for our family reunion. A year ago or so, my siblings and I started talking about how it was probably time to start having our own family reunions. Since all five of us are married and have kids, we figured it would be good to get together, since it had been over 3 years since the last time.
So, in one giant house, 27 of us (parents, grandparents, spouses and kids) gathered for a week of laughs, world cup, coffee, stories, milkshakes, swimming, badminton, hot tubing, late nights, a bit of fighting and a wonderful time of being together.
Update On Children…Speaking of children, they are all doing great. We are continual blessed to have the opportunity to invest in the lives of Erasmo, Luis, Jorge and Sandra and watch them learn, grow and desire to know more about God. Everyone is healthy and doing well. Of course, now that we are at the end of the school year, there is a lot more time on their hands which can lead to boredom, fighting and mischievous actions. However, we are keeping them busy with new things they’ve never experienced before. One of those was swimming. Aside from Erasmo, I don’t think the other children had ever been swimming before, so this was quite the adventure. The 3 younger ones were very nervous and skeptical, but quickly saw how much fun everyone else was having and they soon joined in. The Mennonite pool that we took them to has a large swimming area and then a kiddie pool. It was a blast starting to teach the children how to swim. Now that they have experienced it and spent over 3 hours in the water, they ask us almost every day, “when are we going swimming again?”
We also had the chance to take them to the circus. This is something NON of the children had experienced and was an amazing time. I was very impressed with the circus although its a lot different then circus' in the states. I think by the pictures, you will see what I mean!
My nephew Coleman VS the bear...
Another Mission Trip…I’m actually up in El Paso right now, waiting to bring our next missions team down for a week long trip. Nine brothers and sisters from Immanuel Christian School and Horizon Christian Fellowship, along with my niece, Lucy, from Nashville Tennessee, will be assisting us with a VBS, more cement work, basketball outreach AND, teaching the children. 4 of the 9 team members are teachers and each of them have planned exciting lesson plans to help the kids learn and discover new things. I’m personally excited for the science experiments and things we will either be destroying or creating. Please pray for safe travels today as well as a fruitful and productive week.
Golf Tournament…We will be taking the team back next Friday, and then I will be on a plane flying up to Washington for our churches “Golf Invitational.” Each summer, South Hill Calvary hosts a golf tournament that benefits different non-profit organizations and this will be the 2nd year, the tournament proceeds will support Casa de Bendicion.
I would love to personally invite any and all of you to be involved in this. Whether you would like to put together a team and play, sponsor a hole, or just pray for this event, we’d love to have you join us. We are praying that we raise enough money to buy a 15 passenger van, which we are greatly in need of for the orphanage.
I'm so excited that I get to fly home and be a part of it. While i’m in Seattle, I will also have the opportunity to teach at a few churches and lead worship as well. Looking forward to a wonderful week. Please pray and consider being apart of this exciting and fun filled day on Saturday, July 26th. I have included a link to the website where you can read more information, find out details and even get registered, if you would like to play in it. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance, or call the church office, 253.841-5680. Thank you so much and I hope to see a lot of you on Saturday, the 26th.
Prayer Request…One more thing to share with you all. Back in January, when the state DIF, visited our facility and approved the orphanage to receive children, they requested a number of things. One of those, was a security/perimeter fence, around the building. Because our property is so large and open, they wanted to ensure the safety of both the children and the staff.
We spent months and months trying to figure out how we are going to build this 1,000 foot long, 8 feet high, fence, find people to come out and build it, as well as have enough funds to make the project happen. 4 months have passed and it is time to take a step of faith and start building. We found some Mennonites who agreed to build it and they started last week. The fence is looking wonderful and the project is going extremely fast. We are trusting the Lord and His faithfulness, that as we continue to build, He will provide the finances for the project.
For those of you who continually ask for different ways to be involved, both prayerfully AND financially, we’ve thought of a way. The biggest expense to the project is cement. We have gone through some 300 sacks of cement thus far and need about 100 more. Each sack costs about $8. If the Lord stirs upon your heart to want to help, you could purchase a sack or multiple sacks of cement. Please email me or contact me and let me know and we can arrange that for you. If you’d like to write a check and send it you our church office in Puyallup WA, please make the check out to “House of Blessing” and earmark it “fence project”. If you’d like to donate through paypal, via our website, please make note its for the “fence project”.
Well, I told you there was a lot that has happened…and there are more exciting things to come. Thank you for your continual prayers, encouragement and financial support.
“Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in Mexico" (God Of This City - Chris Tomlin).