Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Poverty Stinks or does it?

There was a caption about us on a blog that said “Choosing Poverty” it made me cry but it also made me call unto God! I have my way of living out God’s will and usually it is kicking and screaming! So the word “Choosing” hit me straight in the face! Did I choose poverty! I know Paulino did not, he and his family were kicked off their fathers ranch when his dad died and his mom had many kids she had to split up to different people. At age 8 Paulino went to live in the city with a woman where he was made to take care of her animals. As for me did I choose this poverty or did God send me here! I can tell you from 1996 when He told me I would live in Baja I refused! His exact words to me were from Jeremiah 29:11-14. Verse 11 was also read at our wedding which was confirmation of God saying it took until 2011 for you to obey me and seek me with ALL of your heart!  I had no idea how bad the people here in Mexico needed Jesus, the freedom that only He can give and the love that He has to offer!
I can say leaving my accounting job and my condo on Ocean Blvd eating out daily and the morning coffee and afternoon frozen yogurts were not on my list of things I could not live without! Sushi and pedicures now those were on my list! Missing my nieces and nephews growing up and them never really knowing their aunt and me never wanting to get married was also on my list! So how do I go from there to being a step-mom of a 14 year old disabled son and a soon to be born baby girl!  Being wife to an evangelist and living in a trailer that leaks and has no running water and praying for our daily bread. A house that is never empty from children or drug addicts. Making sure to cook enough beans and rice to feed whoever comes by hungry and need the love and acceptance of Jesus.
So does poverty really stink! Well I am starting to see that Spiritual poverty DOES STINK! However financial poverty has its perks! Today the teenage neighbor asked for help with her homework and I gave her an answer, later on when I thought about it the right wording was Guinness World Records, so I stopped over to her house to tell her and her dad said come on in and sign for a despensa. This is a box of food, rice, beans, oil, cereal and some other things! The best of which was a can of tuna in water yes water not oil! Watching how God works is amazing meeting our every need right when we need it.  He also uses us to meet others needs. Last weekend there was a dead dog in the road near the ball park so Paulino made a funeral for the kids to have for the dog and he buried him.  We are able to offer food to whoever needs it even if it is the simplest meal. Meals that used to feed the three of us now feed 8 at times. We used to buy meat and milk and such for daily meals. Now they do not even ask for meat!
Some of the things He has provided just this week I would have never thought to use, parts of palm trees dumped at the dump.  These make us feel like we are living on the islands and we have the base for the fence in front of our house. Our corner posts are tree trunks that only husband was strong enough to take away.  The men at the trash dump gave us pallets to use for firewood to cook the food we bring them every week.  Old buckets have now become our washing machine, manpowered by my hands or Paulino’s, while old floor boards from a demolished trailer have become the walls to the shack that holds Jose’s electric wheelchair with a tarp for the roof (thank God it has not rained yet). The best idea I have seen so far are the shot glass checkers set Paulino paid $2 US dollars for to use the as the Communion cups! Two dozen communion cups made of glass! Who knows what the checker board will be used for? Since our trailer plumbing for the kitchen sink was leaking out the bottom of the floor in the bathroom Paulino took out the pipes and ran one out the wall to make a gray waterfall so I can make a canal to start a garden!
Who would have thought that a full meal could be made out of beans and rice! I used to judge expectant mothers for not eating enough fruits and vegetables and judge my in laws for not giving their kids fruits and vegetables but now I have repented and understand some days there is not enough money for food. I remember judging the missionaries when we were in Africa that they had a yard boy and a house girl. Well I have read Proverbs 31 and it says the Proverbs 31 women woke early to give her servants instructions.  Now if I had money I would more than happily have servants! When you live in town and your door is always open, the tiredness of my pregnancy and the problems of Paulino’s back and knee, I would be more than happy to have servants!
I decided to look at the word poverty in the back of my Bible. Many references refer to poor or poverty in a sense of the poor you will have with you always. Or in lazy people become poor however this is not what I have seen around me or in our home. Laziness for sure does not apply to people who leave for the fields at 4:30 am after getting up at 3 to make lunches and wash clothes to hang dry while they are gone and then come home by dark which can be 6pm. Lazy is not my husband who has to take care of Jose and I am wash clothes and blankets by hand and dig holes for toilets or for fencing, trenches for electric or water pipes. This is not the kind of poverty I am seeing around here in Camalu or in the Baja. The poverty is Spiritual and situational, some signs are desperation and hopelessness that there is a way out of this whole that is so deep you cannot see the sunshine.  The fact that you have never been registered so you could register your children and without a birth certificate no one can go to school to free them from this cycle.
The poverty I see is more like the poverty spiritual where people who know Jesus walk in peace no matter the situation around them and that is what we are called here to do! We are called to walk in peace and love and share it with our neighbors. Daily we try to find a way to meet their needs that will bless them not make them dependant on us but dependant on God. Simple things like loving on their kids who are home all day alone or giving them a blanket that was handmade with love and prayer.  Making a meal for the kids so they do not eat cup of noodle for breakfast every day or a tortilla and cold beans  for lunch, bringing the men from the trash dump to our house to cut their hair.  However no matter what we do daily we need to share the Word with them and also show them in our actions that God is the only true love and the only solution to their need to walk the road with Jesus.
The commentary in my Bible says this based on 2 Corinthians 8:8-10 not as a command. Giving to the Lord’s work must be voluntary, not compelled. And when it is voluntary it brings much blessing. was rich…became poor. A reference to Christ’s preexistent status as the eternal Son of God in heaven and the humility of his incarnation, including his death, so that the believer might become rich (salvation and all the benefits that flow from it). This work. What Christ has done for the Corinthians is to be reflected in what they do for others.
So if I have chosen Christ or He has chosen me is to theological to get into and I am not sure I care all I know is that the Great I AM is all that I truly need and all that I really have to offer anyone of any eternal good. Obeying Him is what I want to do even when I am pregnant and tired and too dark and cold to go outside and write a letter for someone in Spanish, who cannot read or write and is asking for help!

Jesus says the poor you will have with you always. So if we do not poor out our alabaster jar in worship to Him what will He have to fill with His Spirit for us to be able to give away?  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blessed by His Wonderful Grace

Some of the smaller kids at our house on eating peanut butter and celery! We took out the chairs sinc they really do not fit into this small space and the kids can fit 8 around the table to eat standing up! The teens were hiding from the camera! 

My husband wanted to lasso the moon for me instead God put a ring around the sun! 

Paulino´s life long friend taking him out to see Rancho de Cristo. He was afraid to get out of the truck thinking we might leave him there! We told him God will not go against your own will but here it is when you are ready to be free from alcohol and drugs! 

Our youngest Uriel Jonatan giving his best at reading the daily Bible story. Each kid encourages the others as they read! I love to hear them answer my questions at the end. 

Not having a generator does not stop Glenda from cutting hair for the guys at the dump. We just go get them and bring them to our house for the Word some food and fellowship! God spoke to Glenda to ask them if they wanted to be free and both Pedro and Jose prayed to be free. Please continue to pray for them! 

Gabriela and her new baby and two boys were blessed with hand made blankets! 

Taking Jesus to the dump these men knew Paulino when he was on drugs years ago and they are Christians who work for the trash company. We encouraged them to love others out of their comfort zone! 

Please pray God will build our house. This trailer is what we live and minister in for now. We need a space before the rain comes. The winds are already getting to us! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

You Can Jump Longer

I love my kids and all of their crazy comments! Today Uriel told his 10 year old sister that takes care of him 7 days a week it is not his fault she can jump longer just because his arm gets tired of turning the rope she needs to jump less!

Erica that same sister came over this morning for breakfast and asked what I was doing cooking a little pot outside on the fire! I said it is your breakfast she said oh you are out of gas lol Poverty sucks! These kids know way to much for thier age and live a very hard life. Every time she comes over in the morning her 6 year old brother has already exhausted her!

PLEASE PRAY! Tomorrow Glenda is cutting hair and Paulino giving a message as we bring the guys from the trash dump to cut hair. We no longer have access to a generator and are praying how to make a bathing room and bathroom for the guys to have some privacy!

After the message I will share a message with the kids and play with them!
God has provided for daily but the food of God has been the best blessing the kids love to hear the Word and today Enrique even quoted scripture!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Normal Week in Our Life!

What a great day we had sad but great! Glenda was over blessing us by cutting the kids hair on Sunday! Which she is going to start doing every week so that we can have a small church service and share the Word! These lovely ladies showed up from California! Well the two Georgian Peaches on the left live here. 

The sad part of our day was that Jesus who we met at the trash dump was recently deported from Los Angeles and Jen who lives close to his family brought money to put him on a bus to Jalisco where he has Mexican family who can help him. He was not willing to go even if we tried to guilt him into how much he is going to break his mother´s heart! He was willing to accept the bag of clothes she sent and we asked Jen to return the money to his mom so he would not smoke it. Please pray that God will get a hold of his heart and he will come to know Jesus while he is here. We seen him yesterday at the trash dump even though he tells us he has a job and a place to live. 

We we were able to go to the OB-GYN  we were given some very difficult news that the Rhogam that I need is very hard to find here and the doctor can get it but he would charge us $500 US dollars! This was a hard day since we paid our electric bill and the doctor visit and only had enough to buy toilet paper and yogurt! We know in these next few weeks God will show Himself faithful as always and care for this life he has put inside of me. I will need the shot in two weeks and then again after the baby is born.   

Tia Glenda has agreed to be on our team Happy Cross Camalu! She is such a blessing to us and thankful for open arms and hearts of IDT! Glenda is willing to do it all even cooking the beans and rice outside on an open fire. Sharing and loving with the guys no matter how dirty they are! This Sunday we will bring the guys from the dump to cut their hair. We are praying we can build a shower and bathroom at the dump and we can find a generator to take to do haircutting with us.  

Pedro standing by the water cans we now use to bring the guys water and a really nicely built pallet house at the dump. There are only two original guys at the dump from when we started 2 years ago Pedro and Jose who is 17 now and addicted to snorting glue. We continue to offer rehab to them however they feel hopeless! Please pray for God to move in all of the men but especially these two break our heart! 

A typical morning at my house! Please pray God keeps out the rain until we have a building for them to come into. We hardly fit around the table at breakfast. Today I made Frijoladas! Fried tortillas and left over beans you have to use what you have. When we have vegetables the kids do not like them because they are not something poor people can afford. Last night I made salad for dinner and the kids ate it!

Story time after they get tired of jumping rope which can be an hour or so! I tried to read just one Bible story a day but they always want more. Jose is locked inside because it is just too cold to be outside. In the afternoon we have some very nicely dressed kids who go to school in the morning. They are well cared for as their mom is a stay at home mom and the dad and grandfather have their own business. The only thing is just like these very poor kids in the picture whos parents work at 4am until late. ALL the kids and the parents need Jesus! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

URGENT PRAYER! Right now Paulino Martinez Roque is sharing Jesus with Bernardino his friend since childhood he is off of drugs but still on alcohol. He had breakfast with us and the kids and for the first time is listening to how much Jesus loves him! The other day he came over without shoes and very drunk now he is not drunk but living on the streets!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wow I will have to get more photos up what an amazing weekend. God has really been working in our lives. Saturday we did a big Valentine´s party for the who neighborhood. First I told the story of how Jesus loves the children and how we are all His children, Paulino served 100 ice cream cones and we played balloon games and tell we ran out of balloons. I was encouraged to see even the parents playing the games sometimes people around here start to work in the fields so early that they have to skip childhood.

On Sunday Glenda came and cut hair for the neighborhood kids. We plan to have a team come in the afternoon one day this week but since all of our kids go to school in the afternoons Glenda was nice enough to come and do the kids here, She also told them about the Good Shepherd and how much they need to follow Christ!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Poverty Stinks

The other night there was a knock on our trailer door as we were discussing how to fix the trailer so it is liveable. At the door was a Paulino's brother in law and his sister. They had just seen a friend who always gives us strawberries and he needed to move off the land he was on tomorrow. 
His house was this tarp as a roof and 4 garage doors nailed together. They have three kids and both parents work in the fields.The men left at 7am the next morning to dismantle the doors aand take them to this land. It is about the quarter the size of ours and cost the same by the time they finish payments in 5 or more years. 
The property is on a hill and the dirt is horribly hard so Paulino is going to try to find some help to level it out so they can put the garage doors back up and Lord willing a roof. The 5 of them are now living in this tarp covered shack and the father works 24 hour shifts in the strawberry fields. 

When we start to sit and look at our situation God always seems to send someone to remind us that there is always someone out their that has it worse physically, financially, and mentally. 
The worst poverty of all is Spiritual and that is why we choose to love these people live Jesus does so that no matter what their bank account says they can know Jesus has them in His hands!   

Monday, February 10, 2014

A day in our lives

Moving my memory stone

Jose´s new friends 

Our new bath for Jose

Flying kites and being the light of Jesus! 

This was the first day on our new land. We are praying we can build a house and ministry center before the baby gets here in May! 
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Serving out of poverty

Random Thoughts!
Please pray for our bodies! Paulino fell while carrying Jose into the trailer, I fell out of the trailer twice! Jose and Baby seem fine.

Being poor has a lot of blessings!

I see so much from the other side, as I say.

People are more open to come and offer a hand and more ready to receive one.

No one can think of another more highly because we are all poor.

You can stay poor because you have to shop at the little corner store that charges full price for a smaller size

Daily we receive or daily bread and are thankful for it!

The only solution to poverty is Jesus!

Really, the only solution to any of life's problems is Jesus!

Please pray for the newest resident of the Camalu trash dump! So sad that he is there and praying he does not get into the life! We also ran into a mother and her special needs son scavaging what they could find.

and thank you for praying for us too!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wow what an amazing two weeks! Today was the best! God sent the pastor and another sister from the local church to visit us and pray with us and see how they can be a part of the ministry!
God is working in unity and bringing many together to serve Him and love on others. Paulino´s family has been an amazing blessing cooking for the trash dump and washing our clothes since I still can not do much.

From Tijuana to Camalu, God first spoke to me about living in Baja in 1996 on the TJ dump and this last week we were blessed with quilts made by a a woman who ministered there for 20 years! Well we were able to give blankets to many and especially pray for Gabriela and her new baby who was blessed with a baby blanket and a blanket for her and her two boys. Not to mention some of my diapers and toiletries! She moved here from Bakersfield with her husband and her two boys. They have since split up and the man that owns the rent a rooms was nice enough to take her in.She has now had a beautiful baby girl and was taken in by another woman who rents a room where we serve food. Praying a church will step up her baby is only 5 pounds and does not want to nurse!

Please keep praying for health in our house it seems like everyday our house is full of sick kids. We are here to minister to them so I can not close the door but praying God will put a huge hedge of protection around Jose. It is very cold and windy Paulino is fixing the trailer so we can have it more air tight but we have still not figured out a good way to seal the roof!

Praying for each of you and please feel free to send prayer requests to