“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the WORD of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
One of the biggest adjustments for me when we moved down to Mexico 3 years ago, was not teaching anymore. I had been so used to teaching bibles studies 2-3 times a week forabout 9 years. Now, I wouldn’t say that I “ceased” teaching the word, especially once the children started coming in to the orphanage. It just looks different now. I am no longer leading formal bible studies with worship, prayer and then a 45 minute message. Now, it is simply incorporated into daily life. I find myself teaching the children things about the Lord throughout the day and in our devotional times at night.
I’ve been traveling for almost 2 weeks now and have had the blessed opportunity to teach formally again, 10 times. Many of you have been praying for this trip, which I am deeply grateful for. It has been a great trip, although i’m at the point now where I am very anxious too be back home with my lovely wife and 15 children tomorrow.
My adventure began with spending a week down in Ensenada Mexico. I was invited to come and teach a week long worship class at the Calvary Chapel Bible College campus. Not only did this allow me to see all the amazing things the Lord is doing there at the school, but I was also able to visit a few orphanages as well.
We are in a very transitional period in the ministry down in Bachiniva. God is bringing tremendous fruit and growth at the orphanage. It has FAR exceeded my thoughts or expectations, as Paul mentioned in Ephesians 3:20. Now that we have a full staff and are caring for 14 people full-time, the learning curve is greatly increasing. I felt the great need and importance of connecting with other missionaries, directors, pastors, seasoned veterans that have paved the way before.
My first stop was at the Colina de Luz orphanage in Tijuana. Jim Drake and his wife answered the call some 30 years ago to minister to the children in that area. Although we only spent a few hours together, it was unbelievable to see and hear all of the stories that God has done through that ministry. Very inspiring and a huge example to me of someone who trusts God, never gave up and has been faithful to keep Jesus the center of everything.
On the bible college campus, there is another orphanage that takes in disabled children. They currently have 6 beautiful boys and girls. I was given a tour by one of the workers and a precious little girl named Jessica. Jessica is Ayantu’s age, 5, and is blind. She immediately grabbed my hand and led me around the facility. “This is the office, this is the bathroom, this is where we eat, and this is my bedroom.” The joy in this girls voice, the endless smile she had on her face and the enthusiasm of life was beautiful to see and something I will never be forget.
I headed back up to San Diego to catch a plane for Kansas City Missouri. Yes, Kansas City is in Missouri…well, and also in Kansas. I know, I was confused too. A map might help you as it did me.
Pastor Jack Coultas of Park Grove Christian church in Lowry City, invited me to come out to teach and share about the ministry. He also asked if I could lead the 3 day revival services. I wasn’t quite sure what this would look like, so as Jack explained a little more, it sounded like something straight out of a Billy Graham book. Once or twice a year, churches gather together for 3 evenings of worship and preaching. Jacks prayer and desire for the 3 days was to be centered on missions, orphans and getting out of our comfort zones. Each evening, churches all throughout the neighboring cities came out forthe services. We had an incredible time together. The response to the word of God was amazing. Lives were changed, commitments were made, and a desire to go outside the “four walls of church” was deepened. I’m very thankful for that opportunity and glad we have some new friends from the midwest praying for and supporting the orphanage.
The final leg of my trip led me to Nashville for the CAFO (Christian Alliance For Orphans) annual summit. Some 2,500 people from all over the word have been gathering for a time of worship, prayer, studies, workshops, networking, etc…with a desire to see the Lord continue to work amongst adoptions, orphans and foster care. It has been a very powerful time and I have learned so much to take back to our staff, volunteers and children.
The underlying theme throughout the past two days has been Jesus and His word. This is why I started the blog with the verse found in Isaiah. We can rest on the hope, encouragement and PROMISES throughout God’s word. It has to be our very foundation, our core being. Caring for widows and orphans in their time of need is not easy. In fact, it can be incredibly hard. You’re fighting for the lives of these children with governments, leaders and individuals that don’t seem to care. Yet, we know that the Lord cares in a profound way for the fatherless.
I came across this verse today that will give me the much needed strength as I head back home tomorrow to the orphanage, to the 14 children that we are caring for, to the battle ground that the Lord has called us too!
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Is 40:28-31).