Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Busy life.. but good times and lots of hugs.

Wow! Life has been so crazy and busy. The orphanage has had group after group bringing gifts to the kids and throwing them fun parties. What a blessing! Right now a lot of the kids are away with family members.. we are done to like 15 kids right now. Which is okay. I have been super busy trying to keep up with the season and trying to find gifts for children who don't have anything in the area. Finally we are finding some things and going to wrap them tomorrow. I am excited to see it all work out.

My friend Jesus who is 23 and has kidney failure
is struggling tremendously. At the beginning of the month he was suppose to get his transplant. He went
to his "last" appointment with his doctor and found out that his doctor is moving to a different state in Mexico and he has to find another doctor to do the surgery. So he has to start theprocess all over again! I cried when i found out the news. I couldn't believe it! We were so close for this boy to be healthy again. I don't understand. So we are checking into other hospitals in Tijuana to see if they will take him. But it is going to be a lot money we believe. So I have a feeling we will be having some fund-raisers soon for this young man. His faith astounds me. He was like Tenielle, it will all be okay. God has a plan. I was like this is crazy! He is in a lot of pain.. his blood count is down and he can't breath well because of all the water pushing on his lungs. He said to me the other day, "tenielle, all i want is to drink some water! please can i just have a glass of water." Sometimes it hits me like a ton of bricks that he can't even drink water.. he is always thirsty. This young man is so special in my heart. I believe God gave me a special love for him. I would do anything to see him healthy. A friend and I are going to go buy some food for him and his family. They are super poor and he is just eating beans and rice. He needs fruits and veggies and things.. he needs to be healthy. One day i believe that my friend will have this surgery and will live a life without dialysis.

It is raining a lot and streets are flooded. It is tough to drive but we are getting by.. trying not to leave to much. This Christmas is going to be good. I can't wait to be with the kids on Christmas and just share it with them. One of the little girls, Ana, asked me what my family was doing for Christmas.. I told her that they will have a party and things. I said that a lot of people are going to be there but i decided that it was more important to spend my Christmas with you, my beautiful Ana! She smiled super big. I love the kids here so much. I am planning on Christmas day to go hand out food to the homeless by the border with some Mexican teens that I go to church with. I think it will be such a good experience.

I thank the Lord everyday for these wonderful
people and even though I struggle I know that I
am here for a reason. When I hug the kids I can't
help but think... seriously WHO AM I to deserve to be in their lives? Such amazing children with gorgeous smiles and warm hearts.

I am working with another mission now too.. they are building two homes and a new clinic in the area. I am working with emailing the people who donate and keeping track of the donations. It is a lot of work but it is good. They begin the build next week and I hope it doesn't rain! This mission is such a blessing too.

I visited the Hospice the other day and it was amazing. I had missed them so much.. it had been a few weeks. They were so excited that I came. They were like.. YOU ARE HERE!!! It was so cute. I hugged them all super tight and saw some upsetting things but every time I go I realize that my heart is always with them. They are super special and amazing. I sang some songs for them and just talked for awhile. They smiled so big when I sang in Spanish. My friend, Raul, is a patient there and he was struggling with different things but he talked and everything. he was doing good.. well this time he was laying in a bed and looked so different. He had two blood clots to the brain and almost died. He can't talk anymore. i could tell by the look in his eyes that he knew who i was when i walked in. He looked at me with such want and desperation. I prayed with him and held his hand for awhile. He kept rubbing my hand. ONe of the workers said that he is usually really angry and doesn't like anyone around. I said, "well he seems okay with me.. maybe its because he remembers me." Alex, the worker, said... yah maybe with a big smile haha.

Well i hope you all have a Merry Christmas, thinking of the ONE who loves you the most. :) In church the other day the Pastor said something like, "The kingdom of God has dinner with the homeless and prostitutes." I was thinking about that a lot... The kingdom of God is not comfortable but challenging and real! Hugging the orphans.. feeding the hungry.. taking care of the sick.. and giving love to those who need it. This Christmas may we truly be the body of Christ and give.. not just receive.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

healing my heart...

On Sunday I went with Sergio to the orphanage to pick up 3 of the boys to come to church with us. I walked into the orphanage with a big smile on my face. I hadn’t been there in a couple of days and I had missed my kids like crazy. The kids saw me and ran to me and hugged me super tight. So I went around and hugged each of the kids. They asked, “when are you coming back to live with us?” I told them, “Tonight, I am coming home!” They smiled so big! They kept asking how long I would be staying and I told them until I go home to Nebraska. I said, “I won’t leave you again.” It hurt them worse than I thought it would to have me stay at Sergio’s for over a week. Most of them thought that I was not going to live with them again.

We left for church and it was amazing. I sang on the worship team and sang a special song. For the first time I sang every song in Spanish! The Holy Spirit was definitely with us and God was singing through me because I got the words right. Haha. But I was blessed a lot by that time. They asked me to join their worship team full time. And the worship leader told me that his sister has a recording studio and he got me in for two songs. I thought that was pretty cool to be able to record in Tijuana. I spent the rest of my Sunday counting down the minutes until I was back in the orphanage. I couldn’t wait to be holding my kids all the time.

I came back in and was super excited. I spent a lot of time that night with the teenage girls, just catching up and being silly. I told them how much they mean to me and how much I missed them. Seriously to not living at City of Angels was like a piece missing in my heart everyday. But the time I spent away was such a time of trusting God to heal me and refresh my spirit. I was so down a week or so ago that I was wondering if I should be in Tijuana anymore. It was horrible.

On Monday the kids hugged me so much. It was one of my favorite days in my whole life. One little boy named Armando kept hugging me over and over again. Our cook, Teresa, asked him, “Who is Tenielle to you? Your friend, sister, or mommy?” He said, “My mommy! Right Tenielle, you are my mommy?” I said, “Yes, of course.” He squeezed me tight and told all the kids “Tenielle is my mommy!” Others started to ask if I was their mom too and I told them that they were all my kids. My boy Chuma asked me, “Am I your son? You are my mommy too, right?” I smiled and kissed him. And told him he is mine forever.

One of our little 3 year olds is named Josue and he is super sweet. He is always wanting held and cuddled. It makes my day when he screams my name and wants a hug. He calls me, “Te ne!” haha.

Later that night I was in the living room and saw my wonderful 6-year-old Arnold. I honestly adore this little boy. He has the greatest personality and smile. He asked me to help him get his shoes on and tie them. So I did. Afterward he hugged me super tight and said, “Did you miss me?” I said, “Yes! SO much!” He smiled and said, “I missed you a lot, Tenielle.” Then I told him that I loved him and he said me too. I told him, “Every night I would pray for him and hold my heart and say Oh Arnold, I miss you!” He said, “Every night I would hold my heart and say, Oh Tenielle, I miss you!”

I feel like the Lord was showing me more and more each day that I am walking in His will. Even through tough time I see His hand guiding me and showing me exactly where I should be. It’s amazing how much protection He has on us here. He is such a great God and I can’t thank Him enough for these people. I believe that all the problems in my heart will be healed and any relationships here that have been hurt will be brought back together and mended, in time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For the JOY of the Lord is my strength!

November 14, 2010

In the past week or so I have had some struggles but the Lord has been faithful like He always is. Today I was at church and I was able to sing a song called “Here with us.” It is about how Jesus was here with us on earth to save us. It is such a beautiful song. When I stepped up on stage I looked out in the crowd and I saw this face that completely shocked me. One of my orphanage kids was there with his mom.

But the thing is, is that this young boy is one that never gets to see his mommy and hardly ever leaves the orphanage. Sergio picked him up this morning without me knowing and let him come to church to see his family. His mom is a major alcoholic and her brain is basically gone from all the drugs before. She is doing a little better. Anyways, so Chuma is the little boy and he is 10 years old. He has a lot of issues but I adore him. I have never seen him so happy. He was like I have my mommy! Tenielle, I have my mommy! I could hardly sing in the beginning because tears filled my eyes as they walked up to be prayed for. This little boy and his mom danced together hand in hand in praises to our great God. Sergio and I began to cry as we watch them together. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, to see this little boy so incredible joyful. He hugged me so tight and kissed me on the cheek.

Right now I am able to stay at Sergio’s house for a little while, for a break and some renewing time. I have been in a lot of pain lately and Satan is definitely trying his best to bring me down. But, Sergio has helped me tremendously. He reassures me who I am in Jesus and how much he loves me. But I miss the kids a lot even just being gone for only a day now, and being able to see one of them. I miss all the hugs and love.

The other day I sat down with two of our 12 year old boys to help them with homework, Roberto and Jeovany. They are super silly and always trying to make me laugh. Well, Roberto decided that he needed to try on my glasses. So he took them off of me and he says, “wow you look different without glasses.” I was like what? Better or worse, and I smiled. Then Jeovany says, “With or without glasses you are beautiful.” I was in amazement as he told me that. Jeovany is one of my little ones that I am closet too. He calls me Mama and we talk a lot.

As I struggle and cry in front of God I keep thinking of how much I love the kids here and I know that this is the place I am suppose to be. I told God to guide me and show me what He wants for my life here and when He is ready for me to leave and serve somewhere else that I am ready to follow His will.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Privileges of living in City of Angels

This morning I woke up at 4:45am so that I could help take Jesus to the hospital for dialysis. As I was getting ready a mouse ran past my feet and under my bed. I hate mice so much. I was hoping they were finally gone and I laid out some traps. I heard one the other night and it freaked me out so I slept with the little girls on one of the bunks. The people here tease me about the mice because they are used to having them. Some still hate them just as much as I do.

Then I went outside to have a stray ugly dog run out of one of our buildings we are constructing past me. haha I laughed and thought where am I? It is like I am living in a 3rd world country or something… haha. I waited for Israel to come out to leave for Jesus and I heard this little screaming as Israel threw a mouse on a mousetrap over this wall away from the orphanage.

So gross… It is the rainy season so I guess we are going to have more. Israel and I talked about all of it and he said you have so many privileges here… a pool in your room (from the rain water coming in under my wall getting everything wet) and you have pets crawling around your floor and bugs to keep you company. He smiled so big and said just imagine if you were serving in Africa… maybe God is preparing me for that. He said I bet instead of mice and dogs jumping out at you that I lion will. Haha. I love Israel so much and I said I know that God never said this would be easy but really I hate mice. J The blessing was is that I didn’t scream at all in seeing all these creatures come past me.

The little girls laugh at me and one night as I walked in they threw a furry stuffed animal at me and attacked me… trying to scare me even though I could hear them counting down out loud to the moment of trying to “scare me” haha. They all jumped on me and tickled me… it was horrible cause I couldn’t move. Such silly girls!

I was reading in the book of Acts last night about the life of Paul and all the crazy things he went through in sharing the gospel. I thought I couldn’t imagine being persecuted so severely. But we have to be willing to do anything for Jesus. No matter how dangerous, gross, dirty, scary, or uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable with hearing mice run across my floor but I know that it just a small thing that doesn’t even really matter and I don’t let it affect my serving here. We make it all a joke. They said why don’t you name your little friends and just get used to them being there because they are just cold. I am asking God to take away of the stupid fear and have me never to worry.

God is so good and finally my friend Jesus doesn’t have pain in his stomach! For the first time in over a month he is not in horrible pain. This morning for the first time he was smiling so big and happy… even in his time of pain he had joy in his heart but he was hurting so bad that he didn’t smile that much. But he always talked about the faithfulness of God and how much he loves Christ. My favorite things about this kid are his sense of humor, smile, and amazing faith. He has changed my heart so much and has showed me what it really means to trust God with everything in your life. I believe that I am here in Tijuana at this time to help my friend Jesus. To be a comfort, a person who loves him, and to show him even more how much God adores him. I praise the Lord for this wonderful young man in my life.

In the picture are two of my favorite little boys in the world. They are super special to me and amazing. Luis and Geovanny :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rainy Day in October

Today has been an exciting day of lots of rain. It seems like the past week it has been kind of rainy BUT today it has rained A LOT! Flooding the streets and making it all a mud slide.. Watergot into my room and got lots of my stuff wet but i didn't have to throw away much stuff. We are gonna fix my wall soon so this wont happen again.... maybe by fixing the holes in the bottom of my wall will make it a little warmer haha. Its all good though.. As we were driving to get something i was looking at the broken homes and how a lot have no good roofs or walls.. they must get SO much water. So sad.. so i have no room for complaining on the little thing that happened in my room.
This past week I have been working a lot with my friend Jesus who has kidney failure. I have been taking him to the hospital for dialysis and i went once with him last week to a doctor appt. to set the date for his transplant. Well we waited for 5 hours to talk to the doctor... and they talked for 15 mins and the doctor said that it should
happen in the next month or 2. I was so sad... He has been in so much pain with this stomach infection. But I am trusting that God will heal him in time.

I adore the new kids tremendously. I can't believe sometimes that i get to be in their lives :) God is good. Lots of other stuff has been happening too.. we have been talking to families about building them new homes and working with the kids. I am going to start an english class for the kids and piano lessons. They are excited about it all.

Thank you for all your prayers! I know God is working.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

First week back-- feeling the most blessed i have ever been!

What can i say? But that I am blown away by the love of the people here in Mexico. I have never had a better welcome or so many hugs in one day. :) This last Tuesday's was honestly one of the best days of my life!

I started out this week on Monday-- my mom took me to Fort Morgan and some friends let me stay with them that night and took me to the airport the next morning. I was super stressed in a lot of ways but also it didn't feel real. I had a great time with my friends and they blessed me very much. I got on my knees that night and prayed deeply to Christ to reveal His will for this trip to me.. to have me focus tremendously on the kids and to just grow in God. I was woken up
before my alarm and started to get ready.. i flew out of Denver that morning around 9:30 and got to San Diego around 11:00 (their time). Aaron (our office guy) picked me up and we had a change of plans. He needed to drop me off at the border and have me walk over.. i was like ok.. i have never done that before BUT im willing to go for it! AND Sergio was picking me up on the other side!!! I was so excited. So i got across the border and saw Sergios car. I ran over and hugged him so tight! I got my mexican father again!!! It was wonderful. He then dropped me off at the orphanage where I the kids were at school but the little ones were still there and the workers. I was SO excited. I bet i was beaming!

I hugged everyone and talked for a long time. Then later the kids got home from school. They screamed so loud my name and all ran to me to hug me. I couldn't believe how much they had grown in just 2 months. Oh how i adore them all! And the new kids are amazing too! We have 9
new ones! :) That night Aaron came by with all of my bags and things were different... he said the border stopped him and looked though ALL of my stuff. they broke my zipper on my big suit case.. and everything was mixed around. and broke a few little things.. THANKs! haha but its all good.. it happens.

I think this was the most excited they had been to see me in coming back :) i can't wait to see what the next 6 months hold. Yesterday I was able to visit the hospice for a little bit. Not everyone was there cause some were able to go to something.. and also we had lost some. Then i got to see my wonderful friend Jesus (Chuy).. he is so sick . I was bawling. he has kidney failure and has been in the hospital with a stomach infection for over 20 days. Yesterday he had just gotten home and i have never seen him in such pain... i told him how much i loved him and i had to go. My heart cried out in pain for him. It was tough. I spent a lot of time with Sergio yesterday and Zack a kid who is living here too from California. It was a good day. Last night we sang songs with the kids and had a little service just like everynight.. then we prayed over the kids and it was special. I kissed and hugged them all good night.

What a blessing this place is... i feel so undeserving. i love these people more than i can ever describe. Thank you Jesus for choosing me!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

heading back!!!

hey everyone,

God is SOOO good! I have been back in Nebraska for the past month or so. It has been really tough on me but God has been faithful. I know that my body is here but my heart is definitely still in Tijuana. I am heading back in less than 2 weeks! Praise the Lord! I can't wait to be hugging my mexican babies again :) they are such blessings.

Last week I was able to skype (which is a video chat) with ALL my kids and staff from the orphanage! It was spectacular! I can't even describe how much i smiled to see all their beautiful faces. :) They freaked out seeing me again and all they could say was "when are you coming back??" "i miss you! and i love you!" it made my heart so happy
and made me feel better.

I can't wait to see what God will do my next mission in Tijuana. My plan is to be there from October 5th through
March something. Haven't decided a
come home day. Im trusting God to work and lead me like He always does. I will try harder to keep my blog updated.

thanks for all the prayers and support!

Keep the SON in your eyes,


Saturday, July 31, 2010


Beauty-- What does it mean to be truly beautiful? From the inside out... I find that I struggle with beauty quite a bit but I am constantly reminded here that I am a beautiful daughter of the King. I feel like I am told that I am beautiful at least once a day here or more. It is something most of the people constantly tell me and a word that is said very often but in a sincere way. It is so humbling and loving. As I am at the hospice I smile at the patients with everything that I am to show them my love for them. They always say "aw que bonita" (how pretty or beautiful)... I feel like Christ must be shining through me in those moments.

I love my time here and I am super sad that I am getting toward my last week here in Tijuana for this trip. My heart has developed such a comfort and home here but I can't imagine being anywhere else. I feel like I am right in the center of God's will for my life. I am praying a lot about my time coming back even longer term. I feel like this summer was a time of growing tremendously in relationships/friendships with these beautiful people. The kids are trusting me a lot... telling me their pasts, their lives, and how much they love me. It is quite amazing to me that they love me back. :)

We have gone to the beach a lot lately. A couple from Australia came and took all the kids. It was good. I don't enjoy it as much as the kids but that is ok. We have gone a few times to another beach too. Which is fun and freeing for the kids to get out and have some time out of the orphanage. Most of the kids are still gone with their families so we love to take out the kids who have nothing out to enjoy themselves.

There was another group here the other week from Australia/ Canada. I loved them so much! I became really close with some of the people. they built a house and church in their time here. At the end of their trip they had Sergio and I come to share some time with them. I help lead worship and shared my heart on Mexico to the people. I love sharing except that I always end up crying. At the end of that night after Sergio's testimony they prayed for us. We were all crying and it was so powerful! I felt God so much! One of the guys prayed and said "God always remind tenielle that she is amazing and she has a family in Australia and Canada who are praying for her and that love her." I was so humbled because they would tell me how much they loved me and cherished me but had only knew for 2 weeks. So amazing what God can do.

I had a tough week the other week... I had a HORRIBLE sun-burn, heat rash on my legs, flea bites, emotional crisis stuff in my heart, head lice from the girls, and stomach pains. I was like God I need your strength to get better. Amazingly I was still joyful and full of peace. I hated the lice more than anything but I was okay... i mean now i understand what the girls go through almost everyday of their lives. But I love it here so much! I thank God everyday for these kids. I adore them so much. Please be praying for all of us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

my life lately

Sorry that it has been awhile since i have written but life has been busy and i keep forgetting to keep up with this! But the Lord has been working on me in such a different way then when i was living here last fall. I have been working with groups a lot and building homes. At the end of last month I was able to go with a group that took ALL the kids from the orphanage to the beach about an hour south of Tijuana. It was an interesting 3 days sleeping in tents with these girls but I had some fun and made new friends. We saw dolphins in the morning jumping out of the water and some of the kids got stung by jelly fish which made it even more of an interesting weekend.
Lately I have had a really hard time just staying focused on what God wants for me here. i keep thinking about the future and not about today. But I feel like the Lord wants me to come back here for maybe at least a year. I don't know why but I love it here so much. But I don't want to be comfortable I want to be challenged. My spanish is growing more and more everyday. I get frustrated that I don't know more but then I think back to where I was last August and I am amazed. I knew nothing coming in a year ago and now I understand over half of what they say to me. :)

A lot of the kids are on "vacation" right now because they are out of school. This orphanage is more like a foster home... each
of the kids have some sort of family still but they can't take care of them full time. Right now we have like 14 kids living here. Some are owned by the government and others can't stay with the family that they do have. I miss the kids that are away but Im so happy that they get to have some time with their families.

I went to the hospice the other day. When I am there I forget how much I miss it. There is a new guy who they have no record of his name, age, or what is wrong with him. He is like in a different world. I was trying to get his attention. He was sitting up on the bed, in a diaper, and just shaking. He is probably in his 60s and super skinny. One of his eyes was blood shot and I just stared into his eyes, smiling, and speaking to him. I grabbed his hand and spoke to him in english and spanish. Finally he looked at me and said hello. he just stared deep into my eyes... like super deep and held on to my hand super tight. I tried to get him to talk but he would go off into his other world. I would try to take my hand away and then he would almost wake up and try to talk. He didn't want to let go of my hand. He had a tight grip but i wanted to talk to other people too. i told him that i would be right back. When I walked away he reached out for me and looked me with such desperation. It made me almost cry.

There is a room in the hospice that is what I call the worst room. It is the completely bed-ridden patients. One of the last time i visited there was a man in there that was really bad. He had the smell of death and his eyes were becoming blue around the brown. He moaned in pain... Alex (one of the helpers) asked me if I would like to help clean out his wounds and change his diaper. I told him of course. I put on my mask and gloves. Alex told me "be careful blood could get everywhere it did this morning"... I feel like im in a totally different mind-set in the hospice. Because I was like Oh no problem but i think about how gross that is now. Anyways, he had this huge open wound on his back side that we had to clean out and everything. The smell was horrible. I think it was the blood and just this weird.. sweet and sour smell of death. I don't know how to explain it. But i had some people with me. Two of the oldest kids from the orphanage who are 18 and 20... and also Atheana was with me too. (a friend from home) They just watched us do all of this and I saw one of their faces... the 20 year old was so completely almost terrified and sick. He had his face covered and was in awe of everything he was seeing. We left and he was almost in tears. I know it is difficult to see and not for everyone but I tell that boy every time to think of these people as your friends and not as people who are dying.

When we were done I said goodbye to that man knowing that it was probably the last time i was going to see him. I rubbed his head and called him "abuelo" grandpa... which is a comfort thing. Then told him that God loves him. I left and was sad because I haven't been able to spend that much time with those people and truly miss it.

Also we had some graduations! One of our girls graduated from high school and I
am s proud of her. :) I went to the graduation and it was a little different than ours but a lot the same. Also two of our little ones graduated from pre-school and will be going to kinder-garden. Im so happy with all of them :) they are so special.

So life has been interesting and i know that the Lord is with me all the time. Please be praying for my friend Jesus who has kidney failure. He needs his transplant so bad. He has been in the hospital off and on lately. It scares me because I love him so much. the Lord has put a special place in my heart for Jesus. Thanks for all your prayers! it means so much that you would take time to think about me and my people. :) Please pray for me to be more focused and see the will of God in my life here in Tijuana.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Working on my heart

This last weekend went really well in Ohio. We raised over $1000 for Sergio and the orphanage. It was such a blessing. I found myself crying by the end of each speech. Saturday night we had a special benefit dinner. I sang and spoke at that for quite awhile. Also Sergio’s granddaughter was there to talk about her time of living in the orphanage and growing up with the kids.

I talked about everything that I could think of. It seems that I walk on the stage really not knowing what I will say but God just speaks through me and leaves me in tears by the end. I truly love the people in Tijuana and I can’t imagine my life without them. They are such blessings and have changed my life forever.

Sunday morning was fun. I was able to sing with the worship team and talk a little about everything. The church that I was with is a multi-racial and multi-cultural church but most of the people are black. I was actually the only white person on the worship team. Haha. It was interesting… they sing songs that I know but in a different way so I had fun doing something different.

Israel the director of the orphanage had surgery yesterday but is doing great. He is taking some days off to heal and just rest. I believe the rest is what he needed anyways. He hasn’t had a day off in a long time. I am in Chicago right now in the airport waiting for my flight to San Diego. I am so excited to see the kids today! I have missed them in the last five days that I have been gone. I can’t wait to hug and kiss them. J

The Lord has been working on my heart a lot this weekend. I have had time just to think and relax… and just be away. I mean I was busy some days but other days I just watched movies and spent time with different people. The sermon was about not worrying and being a “Robin hood” for Christ. I needed the part about not worrying. I mean I know that our God is all powerful and in control but I still fight when I feel lost. I hate letting people get to me, especially when they treat me bad and I’m trying to evaluate what is wrong with me. I need to realize that I am important to Christ and what He thinks of me is the only thing that matters. I am trying to figure out my security in Christ but I have a feeling it will be a constant battle for some time.

I am super excited because the Pastor of church came up to me and told me that he is going to talk to the elders about supporting Sergio monthly! What a blessing and exactly what we need! I know Go brought me to Sergio and Baja Vision Ministries at this time for a reason… and one of those reasons is to help set up this support system for Sergio so he can keep doing what he loves to do.

I thank God for this weekend and I know that it was all in His hands. But now I’m so ready to be back in Mexico and at the orphanage. The more I come back to America the more I realize it’s not my home. I find that I don’t even miss home very often when I’m in Mexico and that the people I work with have become family to me and Tijuana has become not comfortable but a home for my weary heart.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My life right now

Right now I am in Colombus, Ohio for the weekend. I am talking at a church here on behave of Baja Vision Ministries to raise money for my orphanage and Sergio. I feel that this time has been relaxing and kind of a free time to go through different thoughts of my life. Mexico has been super busy! Last week I spent almost every single day building a house with a group from Nebraska. It was kind of tough for me because I hardly saw any of my kids. I would leave in the morning before they wake up and get back when they were in bed. It was super crazy and time just flew by.

Right now my friend Atheana is staying at the orphanage for two weeks. She came two days before I left to come to Ohio. I know the Lord will touch her heart in this time. There is another guy who is staying at the orphanage who just graduating from high school and is from northern California. I enjoy having other Americans around and it seems different though sometimes. I have gotten used to having to deal with my broken spanish to talking to everyone in it so to be able to speak complete english to someone is nice.

My spanish has been growing a lot. I feel like I am understanding a lot more recently. I really have to listen and think. I wish i could speak it better though. One day I know that I will. I have been thinking a lot about moving full time to Mexico. I truly feel at home when im staying at the orphanage and working with everyone. Sergio blows me away and brings tears to my eyes with his amazing stories and faith. But i have also been thinking a lot about Africa and talking to someone about going there for like 6 months. I guess I will just wait and see where the Lord leads me.

Please be praying for Sergio and all of us. We need to be lifted up. Right now we are struggling with money in the ministry but God is faithful. We are trying really hard to raise some support and I hope everything works. I am just trying to give it all to God since I have no control. haha

thanks again for all your support and prayers so far! I cant believe i have been living in Tijuana for around a month and 1/2 so far.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Life in Mexico

Life has been interesting but not extremely busy which is nice. I have been here a month already. I can't believe it! Time goes so fast. We are raising support right now for finishing the new girls dorm at the orphanage, building up a monthly support system for Sergio, and trying to help the orphanage out too. I am able to go and speak at a church in Ohio the second week of June. Im excited to see what God will do.

Lately I have been working at the orphanage a lot. Helping with laundry, cooking, or whatever they want. I love on the kids so much. They are my babies. The other night one threw up all over me... it wasn't very pleasent but it is life. I have become even closer to two of the lady workers here. So amazing. Both single moms and they have the most grand smiles. I have also been working with Israel (the director) to find families who need homes and other things.

I have been struggling a lot with my heart and old wounds that seem to come up a lot. God is slowing healing them and I have realized that I need to know what they are and get over them. The affect everything I do and who I am. I am so glad that God still loves me even though I am so broken sometimes. I keep thinking... how can You use me? But He does.

Sergio keeps saying that I have become their official fund-raiser for Baja Vision and I like the sound of it. I don't know exactly when God wants me to become a full time member but I have a feeling that I will be one day. I went to San Diego the other day to work in the office with Aaron (the main office guy for the mission) we had a lot of fun. He is hilarious. We are starting to work on sending out letters for Sergios support, a new newsletter for the mission, and raising this money for the girls dorm.

It is going to be the 10th anniversary of City of Angels (my orphanage) this next month. It is pretty exciting to see what Gad has done! I love hearing all the stories from Sergio. :)

Please keep me in your prayers with just everyday life stuff and letting God use me. Also pray for my people here and this city. Drug-trafficking and violence are still so apparent but we are fighting along side to save people for Jesus.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interesting day...

Life has been kind of crazy lately but I can feel the Lord. This last weekend i was able to go work with some girls from a womens shelter and just have a fun weekend with them. I was the worship leader and i just hung out. We went to a really good church that spoke english and spanish. it was nice to understand a complete sermon haha. We also went to a youth conference/concert thing.. i didn't understand much. haha

The kids have been starting to get sick. Some more than others. I feel so bad seeing them so bad. the others are keeping busy. Yesterday I was able to go see some boys that used to live at the orphanage. I miss them a lot. They are at a place for troubled teens. We plan to build an extra building for that ministry at the beginning of June.

Today was my interesting day.. I woke up early to be able to leave with Sergio to go to Ensenada (a town about an hour south of Tijuana). He picked me up and i was not feeling all that well so i didn't eat much breakfast. Well we got to Ensenada and drove to the hospital to see Sergio's son-in-law who is really sick. I got to his room and Raymond (his son-in-law) told me that he is good but a little tired. he said "when i was at my worst I saw Jesus and I saw my name in the book of life but He told me you have to go back its not time yet. And i am happy to be here or to die because either way I am with Jesus." I almost started to cry to hear him talk about his amazing faith and trust in the Lord.

Well the nurse came in to take some blood from him and we were standing over to the side talking to the two other patients in the room. One we might take to the hospice because he has no one and needs to be leaving the hospital soon but can't take care of himself. he is so young. Anyways i was standing next to Sergios daughter, Suzy and i started to feel really warm and light headed. I put my hand on Suzy and the next thing i knew i was on the floor and everyone was talking to me in spanish in my face. I just said i don't know. Finally Suzy was translating and they got me up to sit me in a chair. I have never fainted before really... i think its because i hadn't eaten much and this sickness going around. They thought i couldn't handle the hospital and i was like i work in a hospice and have seen far worse haha.

It was so interesting and everyone was so worried about me. I felt so scared that i couldn't remember stuff.. i almost started to cry. Suzy got me something to eat and Sergio prayed over me. He told me "I was so scared all I could do was pray cause I didn't know what was happening. You were so pale and your eyes were wide open but you were not there." I hugged and thanked Suzy for catching me and helping me. She said "when i hug you i feel like I am hugging my daughter. You are so precious to us and never stop using the gifts that God has given you." I almost cried.

Sergio and I were talking as we were driving and he said, "i thank God for you that He gave us you to help us with this mission and you are so amazing." i almost cried because they are all so amazing and special. Then we almost got in two wrecks on our way home. Such a tough day, all i wanted to do was go to sleep. haha.

I got back and found out that some of the kids were worse so i went in to talk with them and see what they needed. I love these people so much. The Lord has opened a door and a group asked me to come to their home church in Columbus, Ohio to talk about Tijuana and sing. They are paying for me come and they will raise money for the mission! I am so excited.

I think that is it for now. I feel so blessed to be here. the kids have my heart and amaze me everyday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

opening my eyes

Hello everyone,

Life has been crazy the past ten days. We have had lots of groups come to the orphanage. I was able to spend time with some great new people from New York and some old friends. We built a house from Sunday-Wednesday. Through that time we were also able to raise over $4,000 to build another home in august. They raised the money through facebook actually. It was quite amazing to see what God can do.

I was able to go to the Mothers Day Party at the school with the kids from the orphanage on Tuesday. It was so cute. Each age group did a little skit, dance, or song. I loved it. One of the youngest girls called me Mama that day and I cried. I feel so unworthy of what is all going on. I’m glad that God knows what’s going on when I’m lost.

I have actually been kind of struggling the past couple days just with who I am. I know that Satan is trying so hard to make me upset and he was winning. I felt so helpless. I didn't know what God wanted me here for. I am still learning the language and struggling to communicate. How can I help these people? Also the teens are hard to read sometimes. They find a way to make me feel bad about something. I know that they are struggling too but its tough. But one night in my room after a tough day I read in my devotion that "God did NOT just love me when I was lovable but he loved me through it all" through all my nasty and dark and rude times. The Lord was patient with me. I think that, that is going to have to be my heart through my time with them. I mean honestly there is nothing else that I can do.

I have been able to see a lot of old friends, which has been so grand. Also I have been able to spend time with my friend Jesus. He came to the orphanage yesterday and was so happy. He has so much energy and I enjoyed our time together.

I am praying a lot through the soreness, blisters, bruises, sweat, and tears. I know our Lord is faithful and keeps His arms around me through this all. When I was at church on Sunday the Pastor read a passage in Luke 18:28-30 "peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you." "I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come, eternal life." After reading that my heart had this since of... is this me? Did I leave my life behind to be with these people? Am I serving the Lord with all that I am? Or am I still comfortable?

I’m still thinking about all of it. I hope the next couple of days will be a blessing for the kingdom of God.

Tonight I went to the hospital with the directors for the surgery of one of the girls. She was getting her appendices out. I saw her before she went in and she seemed happy that I showed up. I kissed her and told her I loved her. We came back after she was out of surgery. She was screaming for a long time and saying over and over again “oh my stomach” they didn’t give her any painkillers. That girl is strong. I went in and held her hand, talked to her, and petted her head. We calmed her down and started to pray for her. Israel the director kept saying don’t worry Jesus is here with us. She was so miserable. I cried being with her and praying for her. Before I left I got close to her ear and whispered in Spanish “I love you, my girl.” I kissed her on the cheek and we had to leave.

After that time my heart was broke and I am realizing that loving these people with the love of Christ is enough. They don’t care if I speak perfect Spanish or understand their culture completely but just being here and doing all that I can and loving them is enough.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Summer 2010 :)

Hey everyone!

I rolled into Mexico on the 29th of April and life became super busy. The Lord has been constantly working on my heart. My mom came down for the first 5 days and loved it so much. She was realizing my heart even more.

We walked in and only a few of the kids were here because most were in school. It was a sweet time. I went to the preschool to pick up the two youngest boys and they showed off on the play ground for awhile. Then Pepino a six year old gorgeous little boy had me carry him back to the orphanage. He hugged and kissed on me the whole way back. It blessed my heart so much. The rest of the kids got home from school and were excited that I was back to live for the whole summer. Also they couldn't believe that my mom would come and meet them. they loved it! That night we went to a church up these stairs across the street from the orphanage. It is usually a long service and they had me sing and play guitar for awhile. When i was done singing the kids cuddled with me on the chairs and then got up to tell us what they wanted to thank God for. They said... my life.. my mom.. my dad.. Tenielle and her mom. I about cried as i heard that. Kid after kid said it and smiled big at us.

Through out the last 5 days lots has happened. On Friday Sergio came and took us around. Before we left a boy named Geovanny who is around 11 years old asked me if i was going to be here through out May. I said yes and he asked 'would you come to my school on mothers day to be my mom?' tears welled up in my eyes and i couldn't believe it. My heart was filled with compassion and he dug his head into my stomach after I said yes then kissed me on the cheek.

The kids have been super loving and constantly giving me hugs and kisses. I love this place so much and it feels so much like home. I went to the hospice yesterday and visited everyone. There was some new people and a lot had passed away. Which is always tough.

I also have gotten to see my friend Chuy or Jesus. He is doing better and we took him out to eat. He got super tired after spending the afternoon with us but he hugged me for a long time. We surprised him with our visit. He thought only Sergio was coming over then all of sudden my mom and I got out of the pickup. haha. He was smiling so bigged and hugged me with such passion. I hope and pray he will have his transplant soon. He needs it so bad.

Today we took my mom to the airport and then I spent the day with Aaron at the office in San Diego. It was a good day of learning more about the business side of the mission and just getting to know Aaron more. Good day. :)

I will be keeping up as much as i can with this. I am so excited that the Lord has brought me back to Tijuana to serve. I know He has big plans in store.

keep the SON in your eyes,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Visiting for a week in March!

So I was able to go from march 7th-15th to visit my wonderful 2nd family in Tijuana. :) It was a great time of reconnecting and just hugging the people. I love them so much and it was so good to hold the kids again and talk to the people face to face.

I am planning on going back in May for at least 2 months. I really felt as i was sitting there last week that this was my home and I never wanted to leave. I love serving there and feel so fulfilled. So I am praying to see if God wants me to move there for a long time to serve. :)

My Spanish is getting better and I am growing a lot in the Lord. It is such a sweet time. I do struggle but the Lord is SO faithful. I think this summer will be a great new learning experience. Can't wait!

This trip 3 of my friends came with.. Chelsea, Kellanie, and Atheana. I don't know exactly how the week was for them completely.. sometimes it is hard to process. But it was a good time.

During the Week we were able to live at the orphanage that I did before, City of Angels! I adore and cherish those kids so much. It was so special to walk in and hear them screaming my name and attacking me :) My eyes filled up with tears in that moment realizing that the remembered me. I felt so loved! We were able to visit the Hospice twice. My sweetest moment was seeing my friend David standing and walking! He has a severe case of Epilepsy.. where he has seizures all the time and he can't walk and he talks with a bad stutter. BUT for the first in the year and half that i have know him he was standing and walking! My eyes filled with tears as i noticed he is taller than me! He told me he loved me in spanish and english. it was pretty amazing!

We got visit another orphanage, the old folks home, and some families. I loved seeing my friend Jesus (Chuy) again. He has such a great spirit. He is the one with kidney failure and he is 22 years old. I love him with such a passion... i just want to give him my kidney. We are hoping in the new month for him to get his transplant. He needs so much encouragement right now. So be praying for him. So much happened in that week.. i can hardly remember what happened what days.. haha. I loved spending time with Sergio again. He calls me his daughter from America! We are super close. I can't wait to work with him again this summer.

Well ask me if you want to know more stories. I miss Mexico so much. It has a huge place in my heart and I am just ready to live there full time. :) I guess we will see what the Lord will do!

keep the SON in your eyes,