Thank you for your prayers this past weekend. Our trip down to Oregon was wonderful. It was nice to get away, just Jackie and I, as well as have the opportunity to share at Calvary Chapel Cottage Grove. Prior to a few months ago, I'd never heard about Cottage Grove, nor the church down there...but I am so thankful the Lord opened the door. It's actually a neat story that started while we were still living down in Mexico. We were shopping one day, preparing for the missions construction team to come and I got a phone call. I hesitated to answer it because we were right in the middle of loading the van...but I'm glad I did. It was a brother named Jeff, from Cottage Grove, who wanted to know more about the orphanage. He had heard about it from the NW Pastors conference and ended up getting in touch with me. I shared with him, for about 20 mins or so, the vision, plan, ministry etc...AND THEN...at the end he prayed with me. That was so encouraging to have, especially near the end of our 3 months in Mexico. It truly was a God ordained phone call and prayer!
So, this past Sunday I was able to teach and share with their fellowship about the orphanage and ministry in Bachiniva. After the services we had an info meeting for those interested in knowing more or maybe coming on a summer trip and over 25 people stayed. We had another great time and it apprears that they will be venturing down to Bachiniva to serve with us, the beginning of August.
The other exciting part about our trip was that we were able to meet with Ray Wilson and his wife Gail. We spent 3 hours at Starbucks, Monday morning...and truly it was a blessed time. Among a number of things we talked about, Ray gave an update regarding the children's home in Creel and the Mennonites. As you know, the Mennonites were praying and discussing among their leaders and churches about the possibility of purchasing the home and helping care for the kids. They contacted Ray after Christmas, and it looks as if the Lord is indeed leading in that direction. They feel like this is a great opportunity for them to minister in Creel, as they have been wanting to for many years now, as well as partner with Ray and Black Buffalo Ministries. They have loved and appreciated what Ray and the team has done over the years and they would love to continue to see that. So, if everything continues in this direction, the Mennonites will purchase the land and then continue working with Ray and Black Buffalo, to care for the children. The Mennonites will be able to provide years of experience (having had multiple orphanages all over Mexico) and continue caring for the kids. From everything that Ray shared...I really appreciate their heart, seriousness and desire for caring for those children. I know that they will be in wonderful hands.
The Mennonites will be voting on and making a final decision on January 16th. After that a lot of the plans, details, etc, will begin to unfold...including what our involvement might look like. Both Ray and I know that God brought our paths and ministries together for a reason and purpose...and know FULLY that He will continue to unfold whatever that might be, in His timing. If churches can unite and minister and serve alongside each other...why can't orphanages do the same? The wonderful thing about this whole situation is now you have 3 ministries/groups, the Mennonites, Black Buffalo and Casa de Bendicion, that have a desire to love, nurture and care for orphans in Mexico. And there are a lot of orphans in Mexico...way more then just the children in Creel...some 10 million more actually.
Over the past few weeks I've been doing research and have found that of the 150 million orphans in the world, 10 million of them are in Mexico. Since the drug war intensified in 2006, some 17,000 children have been left abandoned by parents or family who have been involved in and killed by the drug war. When I read those studies my heart leapt all the more..."Lord, open up the floodgates and bring these children."
He has also been speaking to me a specific verse in the gospel of Luke...
"Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).
I got VERY excited about going out to the highways, hedges, alleys, street corners, and wherever else in Mexico, to compel, invite, bring children to the 'House of Blessing'..that the orphanage might be filled. We invite people to church all the time...."come experience Jesus...the one who can change your life forever" SO...why not do the same for children. Yes the Lord will bring the kids, but He may need us to go out there and bring them home!