Monday, August 31, 2009

a great sunday!

August 30, 2009- Sunday- Day 12

We woke up early to head off for the early 8:30 service at the big church this morning. I love it there! It is huge and used to be a boxing ring. They have a full band and dancers throughout the worship service. Our friend Abe from California translated for us and the sermon was very good. It was about directions in life and who controls your actions, if you are or if you are letting God take over your life. I was truly blessed by the whole thing. We sang some songs that are usually in English. I got chills throughout the singing… there is such a passion and amazingness about church here. I truly love it!

Abe took Chelsea to the airport today and I headed back to the orphanage. It was super hot today again and so I took a cold shower right when I got back. After awhile I went and did some things then hung out with the kids. One boy thought both of us were leaving and the moment he saw I was back he ran to me and clung to me for a long time. A lot of the kids asked about Chelsea and were sad. I told them that she is planning on trying to come back for my last week. They were realizing today that I was able to stay for a long time. They got excited! A lot of them were extra huggy today it was sweet.

Lunch was really good and then I again was with the kids until I took a nap. I had only gotten 3 hours last night so my nap was needed but it was SOOOO hot! I was covered in sweat every time I woke up. It was gross. I noticed that I am never really clean here. I am always sweating and dirty. The moment I step out of the shower my feet get dirty. It doesn’t really bother me its just interesting. After my nap I played with the kids and just talked to different people. This whole language barrier is really tough sometimes but that is life.

Tonight I was talking to two of the older boys around my age. One of them told me that he likes talking to me because he is really getting English down. He is really learning by listening and just visiting with me. The other boy and I struggle a lot with communication. It is mostly hand movements and a couple words that we understand from each other. But we are getting there. I feel very blessed that I am here and I know that I will be fine by myself. I noticed today that without Chelsea here I am listening a lot more and just taking everything in.

So something I wanted to share is that the people here LOVE our eyes. They are always saying something about them. It is because most of the Mexican people have brown eyes so we are different. At the old folks home they tell us, the young kids do, older ones, and adults. It’s interesting how many compliments I have had about my eyes in the last two weeks. I mean Chelsea has gorgeous eyes but mine are just normal… but I guess not to them.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

some more days of blessing.

August 27, 2009- Thursday- Day 9

Today was a hot day. It was kind of a normal except when we took the kids to school we took a different road. The road was really bumpy and rocky. When we drive the sliding door is open because it is weird. Anyways when we were on this road something happened and the sliding door slammed shut and a huge cloud of dirt covered the whole van… it came through the windows too. It was ridiculous and we were all coughing and covered in it. We took cold showers and relaxed till the kids got back. The kids always run in with their little uniforms on and sweating like crazy. There uniforms are like sweaters and stuff… it is so hot I don’t know how they do it.

Then I got on the computer to check everything and get caught up. I was able to give City of Angels 600 dollars for backpacks and supplies I was so excited! (they only need like 400 more) But the thing I loved most was just hanging out with Israel and his family. His 3-year-old son is hilarious and did a little dance for us. It was so cute… I just love him except he is so naughty sometimes.

It was a laid back day but hey it happens. We didn’t get to go to the old folks home because of some things that came up but God will work it all out in time.

August 28, 2009- Friday-Day 10

Chelsea and I woke up late today… well we slept in till 8 and then played with the kids until we took them to school. Two of the older kids rode with us to drop the little ones off. We took them to get cokes and our friend Jose told us about his life here and things like that. He talked about how popular drugs and alcohol are here among his friends. We told him it is the same with us. We have the same problems all around.

I tried to take a nap but it was another hot day so I was covered in sweat constantly. Then after awhile the kids came back from school and were super hyper. Tonight was an awesome night of hugs and kisses. The kids were so loving and touchy. Wanting us to be with them the whole time. It was super sweet and blessed me a lot. The kids sang songs before bed tonight. We knew one! I’m in the Lord’s army! It was fun to hear it in Spanish and everything. I went with Israel after to drop off someone and to go to the store. Israel and I talked about just who God was and how we shouldn’t judge. I am learning a lot about his life and how he came to Christ… it is so special. He kept saying the next time you come back after these 3 months you will have to bring friends and family. I want to show everyone how great Mexico is and where God is working!

I got back to the orphanage and talked to some more people. It’s tough on Chelsea to think about leaving in a few days but I know she will get through it. She loves this place so much but one of our new friends said ‘we will call you.’ He wants to call us when we are back in the states and come visit sometime. Haha he is sweet. I hope someday he can see America.

Over all today was a good day except I fell twice today… it was so stupid… I fell once on my way to the van and I slipped on some mud (I was holding a 5 year old in my arms too) then I fell tonight by the sinks in the bathroom because it was wet… and a girl got pop on my computer. I almost cried but God had it work and everything seems to be doing well. My hope is that nothing really got into places that will hurt it. I will pray more about it. I’m pumped for tomorrow hopefully we will buy the kids’ backpacks! I can’t wait to see their faces when they get a new one!

August 29, 2009- Saturday- Day 11

Today it was at a comfortable temperature of 106 degrees as we drove through Tijuana going around 90 mph on the highway with the hot wind blowing in our face and dirt coating every inch of us. It was ridiculous and I guess it was up to 120 degrees the day before! Gross! But hey its whatever. We woke up and then headed out with Israel to buy 35 backpacks and then some tile for the floor in his home. We got back to the orphanage and Sergio was waiting for us. He took us to the Old Folks Home, which is one of my favorite places. The people long so much for someone to love them. It’s really tough to go there and see all their faces.

We then headed to Sergio’s house to see how is wife was doing. She is very sick and needs to be resting a lot. She needs a lot of prayer please pray for her… her name is Rachel. After awhile Sergio took us to what he did in his spare time. He built another orphanage that has like 40 kids in it. It is really small and then need to have more buildings put up. It was so crazy that Sergio said like 20 kids sleep all in the same room on bunk bed and it was a small room.

Israel’s birthday is on Monday so different people brought him a cake tonight and Chelsea took him and his family out for dinner. We went to Carl Jr’s it was pretty good. I loved when were driving back cause his son little Israel was looking out of the sunroof and dancing. He is just too cute. There was a lot of drug business going on that we saw. When we were driving home there were cops everywhere; people being searched and just craziness. The scariest thing was after we said good night to everyone and we were journaling Chelsea and I heard a gun shot not to far from the orphanage. Sometimes I forget where I am and that this place needs so much help. I know that I am safe and in God’s hands but people are stupid sometimes.

Israel talked to me about teaching English to the teenagers and helping them with fund raising. I am excited! Chelsea was up pretty late packing, saying goodbye, and everything so we didn’t get to bed till like 3. But it happens. I wonder what it is going to be like to be alone with no Americans from home with me for the next 2 and half months… pretty interesting is my guess.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

what an amazing day!

August 26, 2009- Wednesday- Day 8

WOW what a day! It was so crazy and filled with things I never thought would happen. It started out with us really tired and hardly awake for breakfast then Sergio came to get us. He is so funny and told us story after story. We started out by getting our friend Martin that he had not seen in two years! It was pretty crazy… we have all grown up a lot and now he has long hair with dread locks. We headed over to the new hospital after picking up Martin. Last summer we were able to help build some buildings for the new hospital. There were either 3 or 4 buildings up but now there are 11! It was super amazing to see how far they have come in a year. There is a place to eat, a home for the people who run the place, and different areas for the patients.

After looking through the colorful new hospital with over 50 hospital beds donated to them we headed to the Hospice Center. Last summer they were mostly all in a garage but Sergio helped them find a place to rent and it is really nice. It broke my heart being there. I was kind of slapped in the face by God. There were men in diapers lying around and lots of people missing limbs. One man had just had a hip replacement and he wasn’t taking it well. He was so skinny and frail… I didn’t know what to do… he was kind of gasping for every breathe. Upstairs in the place there was a man who used to be a heroine addict who had blown out his veins so he couldn’t really move that much but they were doing therapy for him. Outside were more people and we talked to the lady who runs it with her husband. She used to be in jail and now goes to the jail to talk to the ladies about loving Jesus. Sergio asked me if I would be willing to go lead worship at the jail when she goes and talks. I was so excited and said of course.

Driving around in Tijuana is really interesting and scary but with Sergio talking it makes it all ok. He told me when Aaron (the guy on his staff who sets stuff up from people in America) said there was a girl from Nebraska calling he knew it was me. I asked him how and why did you remember me. He said you have such a passion and I knew you looked like a Baja Vision girl. (Baja Vision is his ministry) He really wants me to pray about coming on their staff full time. He wants young people with fresh ideas to come in and help. He said he loved that we are here and wants us to be here all the time.

We went by this place that is really poor. Over 300 families need new homes in this area and it is Sergio’s next mission to get them what they need. It is horrible and I can’t believe what people are going through. There houses are made out of garage doors or tables or anything… it is tough but we can help them we just need to.

We had to get back to the orphanage for lunch and to drive the kids to school. Then later I was able to have a long talk with Israel about who he is and everything. His youngest boy is a miracle baby. His wife and him have been married for 22 years and were told they couldn’t have kids. But a guy came and talked to them about different doctor ways to have kids but they didn’t have the money so they prayed about it. 15 days later his wife found out she was pregnant! Now they have an adorable 3-year-old named Israel. His older son Alberto is from a different lady and Israel didn’t know about him tell a little over a year ago. Alberto’s mom died of a drug overdose… and Israel used to be bad into all that stuff. He had a tough life.

Later we talked about our hearts and why people are afraid of coming to Tijuana. I said they hear the news and are scared plus people are so comfortable in there houses. It was tough to talk about because I would love to find people to come and help build houses for people down here. They need our help and it’s not tough at all. Anyone could come hug a child or hold an old persons hand or help paint a house… not tough its just giving up your time. We need to stop putting our God in a box and realize He is everywhere and will protect us.

A couple from Canada came down and bought some pizza for the kids. They seemed really nice and they are going to go with us tomorrow to some different places. I can’t wait to head over to the old folks home! It is going to be so much fun! Tonight we were also able to go with Israel to pick up his son from school. He goes to school from like 5 to 9 at night… its weird. His school is also in downtown Tijuana by the Prostitute areas and stuff. We actually saw some prostitutes tonight… I wanted to cry realizing their lives. We got to see Tijuana at night though… a view of all the lights and everything from a big hill. It was amazing. It was a busy and fun filled day. I wanted to cry quite a bit… things just really got me. I am seeing Jesus in the face of these orphans or in a man dying at a hospice center or in a prostitute longing for love. Jesus will show us and he is walking in Tijuana. I don’t deserve to be here with these people but God I guess thinks I do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

man this week has went fast...

August 25, 2009- Tuesday- Day 7

Today was a day filled with surprise the Lord blessed me a lot and can’t believe that I am able to help like I can. More support came in which means backpacks for the kids! I cried realizing that this can work! We helped with taking the kids to school again and just hung out with them. It was really not a busy day at all. But the thing I loved the most was that I was able to talk to some of the helpers at the orphanage about their lives before this. A lot of them grew up in orphanages and like helping these kids. It is really great to see how the kids love them.

It was really hot today and when Chelsea and I tried to take a nap we were miserable because our room was so hot. I went with a lady that helps out here named Lupetia to pick up her oldest child from school. We walked only a couple of blocks but there was so much trash its gross. You can’t step hardly anywhere without stepping on a rock or trash. I guess we have been having some issues with someone breaking in and stealing tools. This place should be a safe place for the kids. So some of the guys stay up and keep watch all night to make sure everything is ok. Please be praying just that this wouldn’t be a problem and that the guys would actually be able to sleep.

Even though today was kind of a slow day it was good to just hang with the kids and learn more about people. I am really praying about support for Sergio and the kids… they really need people to give. We will see what happens. But like Sergio always says our God is good!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 5 and 6 in Mexico's taco capitol!

August 23, 2009- Sunday- Day 5

This morning a group from California lead a church service in Spanish. We sang songs like how great is our God and mighty to save in Spanish it was a lot of fun. I really loved listening to the story of David and Goliath that they told… well at least what I could understand. Then that team left and the kids went off to their church. Chelsea and I stayed behind with the older kids. We sang some songs and just relaxed. Lots of new kids came today so we have been trying to learn all their names and take pictures of them.

We decided to kind of decorate our room up with verses and pictures to make it feel a little more like home. Chelsea and I tried to take a nap today but it was so hot out that our room was ridiculous. Really today was very laid back and I was able to speak to people from back at home. Tonight we watched a movie with a couple kids and tomorrow we are going to help them get shoes for school. They actually start school tomorrow and so I have no idea what Chelsea and I will do when they are gone. We will figure it out. One thing that came to our attention was that a lot of the kids don’t have backpacks. So we are going to try to find a way to buy at least 30 backpacks for them. Israel is going to take us to see how much they will cost and we will try to get people to sponsor it. Just an idea!

August 24, 2009-Monday- Day 6

It was the first day of school for most of the kids. They woke up a lot earlier and played all morning then headed out for school around 1pm. We were able to go with Israel and some kids to get shoes right before school started. It was an interesting experience but nothing could have prepared me for taking the kids to school. We took the first batch, which was 2nd to youngest group… we had 23 children and 3 adults in a 15-passenger van. It was crazy! The thing that blessed me was that some of the kids had to kiss and hug us goodbye before they headed off out of the van. J

Then we took the older kids to school and found out that some of them start the next week so we had to go pick them back up. We drove up a steep dirt narrow road with cars all around. It seemed to take forever. Roberto (one of the main helpers at the orphanage) was driving and hit another car which I guess happens all the time and no one really cares. We headed back to the orphanage and talked to Israel about getting backpacks for the kids. After awhile we headed out with him, his wife, and one son Alberto to get some cokes, then fish/shrimp tacos (which were absolutely amazing!) and then looked at supplies for school. My plan is to find a way to get them the supplies that they need. I will raise the money from churches at home. I believe it will only be around $1000, I didn’t think that was bad at all. For 30 kids to get backpacks and over 30 kids to get supplies.

So my God moment today was definitely driving with Israel. He had this CD in that had many Christian songs in Spanish that Chelsea and I knew in English. Israel sang with all his heart and we sang with all of ours. It was a great time of realizing that our God is a God that knows everyone from every domination, country, and language. He also drove us to a place where we could see a great view of Tijuana… it was amazing. I believe there are around 3 million people that live in Tijuana. It is crazy! Oh so we also saw a lot of McDonalds, Burger Kings, KFCs, Sam Clubs, and other America places all over as we drove. I think it is so crazy how Americanized places are. Israel told us today when we were eating tacos that he grew up in an orphanage and that it was not always good all the time so that he wants City of Angels to be wonderful for the kids and place that actually feels like home. I thanked him for letting us come and he said that we have no idea how much it means to the kids that we are here. He remembers when he was a kid people coming and they will always be in his heart. That really touched my heart to know that we are making a difference.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My 4th day in Mexico.

August 22, 2009- Friday- Day 4

We had a pool party for the kids today! It was a grand time of just relaxing and having fun. I can’t believe that God let me come to Mexico to serve… it has blessed me more than I could ever have imagined. I have been talking to a lot of the kids and getting to know them. They are so funny and full of life. We talked with Sergio today again and he drove Chelsea and I to the pool. He is so silly and excited that we are here. He has lots of plans for me and was telling me about all of the ideas he has to help build his ministries up. We think the economy is bad in America… we have no idea. People are struggling everywhere and in Sergio case he needs supporters. People to commit to help him for every month for a year. He wants me to start up some different things for fundraising and maybe sponsoring a child. I am excited to see that I came at a time to help them. J Sergio also was telling other people around about Chelsea and I. He called us his daughters and said that we should call him Papa. We are now a part of the family. He is so proud of us and loves us so much.

So what I think is so cool is that the kids are wanting to learn English so they can talk to us. They are trying just as hard as I am to learn their language. I was singing and playing guitar for some of the kids tonight and after I but all of my stuff away one of the older boys told me I sing very beautifully then an older gentlemen named Chewy said Oh so beautiful its like an angel is singing, just beautiful. You should make a CD! Then I showed them some of my recordings and pictures of people from home. I love how they want to know you and who you truly are.

I am excited for the next 3 months. These children have won my heart and Sergio told me that I could help out with groups that build homes and stuff. He also asked me to lead worship for times that he preaches. I also wanted to say that even though the news says that Tijuana is so horrible and stuff like that… some may be true but really there is so much more to this place and I believe you should come and see it for yourself!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My 3rd day in Mexico!

August 21, 2009- Friday- Day 3

Today was quite an interesting day. I have gotten to know the kids even more and I love it. God is really showing me why I am here and what I should be doing. The kids are super silly and are warming up to us really well. Some won’t leave us alone at all. I am finding out about their pasts and just who they are. At the orphanage we have kids of all ages… ranging from two to nineteen or even older. It’s nice to talk to people of all ages. Chelsea was telling me that some of the kids struggle with some Americas coming. I believe it would bother me to… to see group after group come and go. Having to put a smile on your face and play with them all the time. It would get tough after awhile.

A group from Arizona came today to measure the kids’ feet to give them shoes. I thought it was really sweet that they are giving the children shoes and the kids also got measured for school uniforms.

Sergio showed up today and I was SO excited! He said praise God when I told him I was staying for 3 months. He is so special in my heart. I almost cried talking to him because he just brings back to me so many great memories of past years. Him and I are going to plan out when I will be able to go to the Hospice Center, old folks home, and other things. I am pumped to see how things turn out! I have to keep remembering I am here for a long time so if I can’t go to something today there is always tomorrow. J

God has been showing me some interesting things these past three days. To rely on Him completely is the one that is popping out the most. That even though I don’t have a phone, a schedule, Internet all the time, can’t speak much Spanish or other things I still have Jesus to fulfill my every need. These kids are showing me to see joy in the simple things. It’s sweet to see God work.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The first 2 days in Mexico!

August 19, 2009-Wednesday- Day 1

Hola everyone. So it’s the first day for my friend Chelsea and I in Mexico. It’s been kind of interesting. We flew throughout the morning and got to San Diego where Aaron of the guys who works for Baja Visions picked us up. He drove us down to Tijuana where we ate some tacos then headed over to the Orphanage. I really do love the kids. There is this two-year old little girl named Sinclaire who has really blessed me. We have made some other new friends but a lot of them are away until this next week when school starts. I am super excited to see Sergio this weekend. He is the guy we have worked with for the past two years.

This trip is so different it will really be just going with the flow. Hang out with the kids and try to get a ride to other places if we can. I believe this trip will be so different. I am a little scared in a way cause I don’t speak that much Spanish and there are only two people at the orphanage who speak some English. This shall be an interesting and challenging three months but I know God has me here for a reason and will change my life.

The Internet is not very good at the orphanage so I have no idea when I will be able to talk to people from home. I decided to type up everything and then transfer it over when I can. I guess we will see what happens. It has kind of set in that I am back here but honestly it feels so different than the last two times cause I’m not with a group, there is no schedule really, and I will kind of be on my own after Chelsea leaves in two weeks. My prayer is that I stay busy, really try to make a difference, not freak out about the language barrier, not get home sick, and allow God to transform me.

August 20, 2009- Thursday- Day 2

Today was a great day filled with laughter and children. I have gotten to know a lot of the kids by name and they are starting to love us. They truly bless me. I have found out about some of their pasts and why they are here. Some have been at the orphanage almost if not all of their lives. There is a group of four brothers whose mother couldn’t take care of them because she didn’t have a home and she is a drug addict. I guess their stepfather used to beat them too. It made me sad to realize that when those boys came in to the orphanage the youngest that is now 5 was two weeks old. Chelsea made bracelets for the kids which they loved and we watched SpongeBob in Spanish. That was interesting.

I was talking to this guy named Robert who works and lives at the orphanage. He was reading his bible and I decided to show him a few of my favorite passages. He hardly speaks any English and I struggle with Spanish so it took us a little bit but one passage I showed him was Isaiah 6. This passage is about what he saw when he got to see a glimpse of the Lord. Robert read through and pointed out verse 8. Which is “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, here am I. Send me!” Robert said this is you. You were sent to Tijuana. You came for God. I realized that even though we have a room that has a sheet for a curtain that can be seen through, cement dirty floors, bugs everywhere, a door to our room that won’t shut and bathroom stalls that can’t close because the toilets are to close to the door that I am here for Jesus. I am here to serve. SO what if I am not as comfortable as I would be if I were back at home? This feels like home and I love these people.

My Spanish is already getting better and tomorrow a group from America comes plus we get to see Sergio! I also found out from Israel (the man who runs the orphanage and is our leader) that he will help us see the people we have met before and go to places like the Hospice Center. I am excited.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Getting Closer to leaving

The Lord has blessed me so much and I get to head off to Tijuana Mexico on the 19th of this month. My friend Chelsea is going with me until the 30th. I will be staying until November 17th. I believe this time will be great for me and Jesus. I am ready to be changed forever! I want to be all of Him and none of me!

I will be updating this whenever i can so that everyone can know what i am doing! I am so excited!