I have often referred to the words of Solomon since I have been down here in Mexico; in particular, those found in the book of Ecclesiastes…
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (3:1).
As our 4th year of being down here in Mexico is coming to a close, lots of changes have taken, and are continuing to take, place. As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take moment to share with you some those changes, new seasons, and ways that you can continue to pray for us down here!
Over the past 4 years, we have had the blessing of being able to provide jobs for 14 individuals here in Bachiniva. On top of that, we’ve had a number of different interns, volunteers, and missionaries help, serve, and minister to the children as well.
Some of those have served with us for a short period of time, others, from the very beginning. Anytime someone leaves or moves on to something new, I tend to worry a bit or wonder how things are going to get covered. However, I’m not worrying about that anymore, because I know the Lord always works things out in his perfect timing, in the midst of different times and seasons.
Staff and Volunteer Personnel…
Jairo Gonzalez, has worked for us for the past 2 years. I’ve actually known Jairo since he was a little boy. Jairo has served as our children’s administrator. He’s done an incredible job overseeing the children’s school schedule, meetings, doctors appointments, government issues, etc. During his time of working here, he met his wife Jessie and they were married this past June. Last week, Jairo received his paperwork to be able travel to the USA and become a resident. We are very happy for Jairo. Although we will miss him greatly, the opportunity he has now to experience things in the states for the first time will be very exciting.
Jose Nieves, my cousin, has played an invaluable role here at the orphanage from the beginning. He is one of the board members of our Mexico non-profit as well as serving as the assistant director. Nieves’ schedule continually became more challenging as he balanced working at the orphanage and serving as the youth pastor at Capilla Calvario de Bachiniva. A few months ago, the Lord began stirring on Nieves’ and his wife’s hearts to minister to the Tarahumara Indians up near the Sierra Madres. After continual prayer and seeking the Lord’s will, God revealed His plan for Nieves and his family. A tremendous door opened up to take over pastoring a small church in the town of San Juanito (about 3 hours away).
Currently, Nieves is helping out here at the orphanage 3 days a week, the church 1 day a week, and then he and his family spend the weekend up in San Juanito. As soon as they finish remodeling their place to stay, they will move up to San Juanito full-time. We are REALLY excited for this and what doors might open with Nieves being up there. Most of our children come from the Sierra Madres and San Juanito is sort of the hub for all those smaller villages.
Amanda Wiebe, first came to intern at the orphanage almost 2 years ago. It was during that time that the Lord called her to the mission field full time. After raising support from her home back in Canada, she moved down and lived onsite as our girls side dorm steward. Amanda’s heart to see the young gals of the casa come to know Christ is tremendous. God used her in a powerful way during those years. Now, God has put a number of other things on her heart, including moving out into the local town, as well as, ministering to the mothers of our children. She still helps out 2 days a week, however, she wants to devote most of her time to helping out at the church and continually being a light to the Tarahumara mothers both here in Bachiniva and in other towns.
The Heist family moved down to Bachiniva 2 years ago with the intention to serve full-time at the orphanage. The Lord, however, had other plans, and as they got settled into their new home in Mexico, the need for them to serve full-time at the church was very evident. Pastor Luis and his family spent a year up in El Paso while applying for his US citizenship. During that time, Isaac and Tara oversaw the worship and children’s ministry along with helping in other various areas. Upon the Vargas family’s return, the Lord once again began redirecting steps and opening the door for them to serve more here at the orphanage. Isaac has been a huge blessing already, helping me with administrative stuff 3 days a week. We are excited to see what other opportunities open up for them to serve here more.
Sanchez Living Quarters…
One of the hardest things for our family when we moved down to Bachiniva was leaving our lovely little 917 West Main house in Puyallup, WA. You could say we downsized a little bit, going from an 1100 square foot, 3 bedroom, 1 bath house to 2 small rooms in the church. We started off with bunkbeds, Jackie and I on the bottom and Ayantu up top. After 3 months of that, we moved into a bigger room in the church, which allowed us to have a little more privacy. The only draw back was having to walk across the path to shower inside the church. When we moved into the orphanage, 3 years ago, we had the biggest room yet we still needed to walk through the orphanage to get to the bathroom.
Fortunately, all that has come to an end as our new, lovely, wonderful house is complete and finished. We were able to move in the week of Thanksgiving. We cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have privacy, Ayantu not sleeping in a closet anymore, AND only have to walk a few feet to our own bathroom. WE can’t thank all those enough, who dedicated their time, effort and finances to help build our family a home. Hopefully you all will be able to come down at some point for a visit, meal, or just to sit on our couches and have a cup of coffee.
Christmas and the New Year…
Each Christmas has been a little different for us over the years because we never know which of the children will actually be with us. Friday will be the last day of school and the children will have 2 weeks of vacation. Most of their mothers of family members will begin trickling in this weekend to pickup their children. Normally this would seem to be a positive and joyous occasion, which for some children it is. However, most of our children will be leaving the safety, security, warmth, and love of our home to spend two weeks in random places, poor living conditions, inconsistent meals, and with a lack of proper supervision and love. As much as we would love the children to be in our care, we know that time with their family is important. This is why we pray and ask you to join us for all of our kids who will be leaving the home. Please pray for their safety, health, well being, as well as for their families, that somehow Christ would shine bright in their lives this Christmas season. Also, please pray for those few children that will stay here with us who are true orphans and have no biological family to spend time with.
I think that is about it for this holiday post. Thank you again for a year of support, prayers, visits, and encouragement. I am already excited to see the greater things that are still to come in 2017.
For those of you who have asked or are wondering in what ways you can be involved with Christmas and the children: this year, we are purchasing most of the gifts, clothes, jackets, etc. down here in Mexico. We don’t have anymore trips up to the states for the remainder of the year so mailing presents or items for the children won’t work out this year. If, however, you would like to donate money specifically for presents and festivities during Christmas, you can do so via PayPal, through our website www.thehouseofblessing.org, or you can mail a check made out to “House of Blessing” to 1902 South Meridian Puyallup Washington 98371.
Praying you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!