This past week, we had the blessing of hosting our 4th missions team this year.  It was a combination of men and women from Horizon Christian Fellowship and Immanuel Christian School, in El Paso Texas.  Our desire was to accomplish some work projects at the orphanage and church, as well as host a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, to reach the community.  God was incredibly faithful to not only meet, but, exceed our expectations! I think this was my 20th or so missions trip to Bachiniva, that I've been a part of.  In all of these trips, I have learned that you can definitely expect the unexpected.  No matter how much you plan, coordinate or "schedule" the Lord will often change things up...which is ALWAYS for the better!

One of those things we didn't expect, was VBS part two.  There is a dear couple in the church, Sergio and Josefina, who have been leading a bible study in a town named Porvenir, about 25 minutes away.  Pastor Luis and Kim asked them to lead our VBS in Bachiniva, in which they did an outstanding job.  I found out that they needed some help running the VBS in Porvenir, and figured we could spare a day to help out.  However, not too much, because we had our "schedule" to keep with the missions team.

All of that changed, after the first day, on Monday.  About 45 kids came out to the town hall to hear about Jesus, some, for the very first time.  All of the VBS' I've been apart of have been hosted by a church.  However, this was my first VBS, in which a young couple and their family, stepped out to reach a small town for Christ.  Talk about being the "hands and feet" of Jesus.  I felt so blessed and privileged to be apart of what took place.

Here come the kids...

IMG_7552 IMG_7551 IMG_7545Morning started with worship, prayer and our memory verse...

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The day was broken up into 3 stages...bible study, craft and game.  Here is Pastor Jose teaching one group about Jesus being the TRUTH...

IMG_7562 Working hard on their crafts...

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Hanging out waiting to be picked up...or..walk home...

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Another exciting event we had, was our 3 on 3 basketball tournament.  Dan, one of the team members from El Paso, played basketball in high school and then went on to play in college.  He now teaches and is the head basketball coach at Immanuel Christian school.  Spencer, another brother who is serving down here with us from Puyallup WA, also played basketball in high-school.  However, he quit his senior year because he fell more in love with Jesus then basketball.  Then you have my cousin Jose, who played basketball in high school and now loves playing with the youth from the church.

In light of that, we felt that this would be a perfect opportunity to share the love of Christ with the community.  After lots of prayer, planning and prepping...the Lord gave us the green light to go for it...OR...”just do it.”  The city gave us approval to use the gym and we began to get the word around town.  The nice thing about Bachiniva, is that word travels very past.  We put up posters, passed out fliers, and invited anyone we came across.

Tuesday night came and we were all AMAZED at the turnout.  12 teams of 3 signed up to play in the tournament.  Plus, we had probably another 100 people show up throughout the night to watch and cheer on.  The night was full of basketball, contests, hotdogs, prizes and most importantly, the Word of God.  Before the championship game was played, we invited everyone to sit down on the bleachers.  Normally this is where people start to leave...however, over 50 people stayed, listening very intently on what was being shared.  Dan gave his testimony of a life changed by God’s grace and forgiveness, and then Jose brought the gospel message.

At one point, I noticed out of the corner of my eyes, a man walk in with a machine gun.  It was the director of the police.  He was with another gentleman who too had a gun.  I began to get nervous, thinking this was it, they are going to shut us down, ESPECIALLY because they walked in right as Jose was talking about the price that Jesus paid for everyone.  They stayed for a few minutes and then left.  What I learned afterward, from Luis, was that the other man with the gun, the drug lord of the area).  Rather then being worried or scared that he came, I began to get very excited.  Of all the people who could have shown up, at the perfect moment, to hear words of life that he so desperately needs, were these men.  They need Jesus so badly, and we know that the Lord desires for them to come to repentance.  Isn’t that the beauty of what 2 Peter says...

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

We were all exhausted by the end of the night, but it was a such a rich, rewarding and incredible night.  Please join us as we continue to pray for all those that stayed to hear the message of hope and were invited to church.  Please also pray for the drug dealers, that the Lord would bring them to the end of themselves, in an attitude of repentance and a need for Jesus.

Dan, Nieves and Spencer organizing the tournament...

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Immanuel Christian School donated a bunch of basketball jersey's that we will be able to donate to the schools...

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Registration and welcome table...

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Lets the games begin...

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IMG_7635Testimony and the Gospel...

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The last 2 teams standing...

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

 


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