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.