On September 8 we went to what we thougt would be a 1 hour appointment to process the paperwork for Gianna's certificate report of birth abroad. We left TJ Centro at 6am to be at an 8am appt. in Otay Mesa. I assured Paulino it said on the website 1 hour average time at consulate so after we would go by Chelly's for breakfast!
Around noon we were called to the final window to swear and sign documents or so we thought. The lady informed us that I proved I was an American, married and gave birth to a baby girl. However Gianna was not her and our only option would be to make an appt. for a DNA exam. I was sure she was mine because there were only two babies born that day at Buen Pastor and the other was very brown. I explained to her we were missionaries and DNA cost a lot so I would rather not make the appt. she then sent us to another window were a very nice gentlemen explained the process and gave us the next available appt. which happen to be November 13 at 1pm, our 3rd year anniversary! He looked shocked when I said we were married. He told us if we did not have the money by then to call since we had up to 90 days or they close her file and keep our $100.
After getting over the shock I decided to get more photos together and get her labs and docs from hospital, even a letter from the hospital director! I made another appointment for 10am November 13 incase God happened to provide the $395 we needed for the exam at the last moment since He is never late. We had enough money for gas but that was it. We borrowed money for food and tolls. At the very last minute Paulino's sister offered to lend us a hundred dollar bill which was strange but we said ok. I asked for prayer and we went in faith knowing God was going to do a miracle this was confirmed by His word so many times.
Wednesday the four of us loaded into the car, with brakes that were metal to metal, and arrived in TJ at sunset where we were cooked a delicious dinner. The next morning we got up early with time to stop at Chely's two for one Birria since last time we were too heart broken to go. Also knowing that it could be more than one hour wait, we needed to eat. We got to the US Consulate in plenty of time to get Jose's wheelchair unloaded and go through the guards who actually are more like a welcoming committee.
Once inside the man took all the info and explained that only two agents were working, my thought of course was great less chance of the agent who obviously did not like us when we came the first time was not there! When we were called the lady was very nice but asked a lot of questions about our marriage. I explained that part was already proven I was just bringing more evidence to prove Gianna is my birth daughter! A few hours later Paulino was called into the interview room where the man told him he called Buen Pastor and they said the baby was not born there, I am pretty sure he was bluffing! He also said someone gave us the baby since I had a miscarriage in 2013! I am pretty sure people would not give a baby to a poor family!
A while later the lady called me back to the window returned my things to me and said the only way we could prove she was ours is DNA! I handed the baby to Paulino and I fell to the floor crying God help! Help them to see the truth! It had been confirmed again and again by His Word that He was doing a miracle! There were believers all over the world praying! Paulino just kept saying it will happen in God's time! By this time everyone had gone to lunch we were the last ones left. Once we got outside we stopped at the only snack shop to buy some granola bars for lunch since we decided to just drive back home. We were paying a guard came out and said the official wants to speak with you, what official? He said we would need to return to the consulate, I knew God had showed them the truth!
We went through the security check all over again then the captain of the guard escorted us back to the consulate building. When we got to the window the woman asked what we wanted and why we came back! I said you called us what did you call us for? After we both put on very rude tones she said look the fact that you do not want to do the DNA shows you are lying! She said she heard her co worker give us another 6 months and she did not want us to come back until we were ready for the DNA! I left Paulino with her he just kept saying that is fine it is in God's hands. As always I was trying to help God, remembering I had the $100 bill! I asked the nice guy who was already helping others with their DNA exams if we could pay the technician and then call the lab in San Diego and pay over the phone the next day. He said yes since they would courier the tests the next afternoon I figured if we could not sale the suburban we could scrap it for at least the $350 we needed.
We knew we needed to get home in order to find a place to scrap the suburban. So I drove over to Morita to visit Janeth who had gone back into the hospital, so we got back into the car and headed back to Centro to pack the car and head home. The only problem was I could not find the highway going west to where we needed to go. After 2 hours Paulino finally took over and we made it back to Centro at dark. Thursday November 13 also happened to be the Baja 1000, starting in Ensenada, so we did not want to be on the curvy road at night. So we decided to leave the next morning and get home in plenty of time to get the cash in the bank and call the lab.
I had just finished feeding Gianna when Paulino woke up ready to get on the road. I convinced him we could let the kids sleep at least until 8am then head out in plenty of time. Around 8 while he was loading the car his phone rang and it was the consulate on the phone saying they have changed their minds that they were giving Gianna her papers! So we threw the kids in the car and rushed over to order her U.S. passport?
The guards a little amazed that we were bold enough to come back after what happen the day prior. When we got to the window it was the same woman I had words with the day before! She was all smiles and said how great God was with us and what a testimony to Paulino's faith since he kept saying give it to God! It will happen in his time! I told her I know how great God is that is why I was so distraught yesterday! She knew it was God that changed their minds and she gave Him all the glory!
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
What can you do with a reusable shopping bag?
Can you build a house? Change a life? Save a life?
One Saturday morning almost two years ago My friend Jill, a missionary with YWAM Chico, gave me some extra despensas (a reusable bag with basic foods like rice and beans) her team had left overs. Her simple instructions: "take these to poor people". So that is exactly what I did that weekend. I came to Camalu and asked my in-laws to show me the poorest people. The nieces loaded into the pickup and off we went. The first stop some very small rental rooms where many women were outside washing. One woman had what looked like a baby swaddled to her back. Juan Carlos was actually 5 and was fed pure liquids because of major health issues, he just recently went to Heaven. His parents introduced us to Alfredo's parents, a 7 year old playing outside in the dirt alone since he is non verbal and can not walk. Juan Carlos' father then got in the pickup and guided us to a one room rental house where we met Christian and his family. I prayed for each family and gave them a bag of food. We met some other families which we still have contact with to this day.
After this is when I was put on bed-rest while pregnant with Gianna until I reached 7 1/2 months in the end of January 2014. While we were loading the cars to move to Camalu a family came over with a boy walking crooked. At first I did not remember them. At their house we had prayed for Christian to walk and be more mentally alert. I also encouraged them to contact Shriners in TJ. Well on this day they had come to re enter their son Christian into the special needs school. The first time he was not able to behave in a classroom setting. Now he was walking better and functioning at a higher level. They asked where we were moving and I told them Camalu near the baseball park, come by anytime. About a month later there was a knock on the trailer door and the 5 of them, the 3 of us crammed into the trailer and started building a relationship.
We found out that all three children are special needs, Vania has a hereditary blood disorder, Christian has CP, and Eduardo the smallest has yet to be diagnosed. Since Jose has DMD we are able to relate to their struggles for good and knowledgeable medical care. We encouraged them again to contact Shriners and any other doors they could and see which one God opened. Praise God Christian was able to get into the program in TJ. More about the door God opened for Vania later. Eduardo is going to have more testing to rule out the heredity problem.
In April Jill brought an amazing group from Colorado to build our house. On Thursday night after the house dedication the group went with Paulino to the trash dump. Jill not feeling well stayed behind with me to pray, we have been prayer partners for a few years. That night Oscar, Gume and the family came to see our house. As we were talking with them God touched Jills heart that this family needed a house. They had been renting a room that all 5 of them lived in. We prayed for them and off they went until a month or so later they came to tell us they had purchased land!
Well within a few months of praying and a lot of leg work Jill had a team, some of which had just been on a house build and met the family when we went to share the love of Jesus and pass out despensas in there neighborhood. The team and many others went above and beyond by providing them an indoor bathroom with roll in shower. Paulino was blessed to be a part of this knowing how thankful we are to have our indoor bathroom.
In June 2014 while in the hospital when Gianna had Jaundice a nurse found out that we have a special needs son and we live in Camalu! Later I found out her parents are missinaries to South America from Oscar and Gume's church. Off the record she asked if we would be willing to visit a former patient of hers. Eva a 7 year old with severe CP who happens to look amazingly like my friend Sandra! Well a few weeks later with just directions and the names her dad Adam and her name Eve we found them! Just over 3 years ago Eva's mom went to the emergency room one day with a headaches and died that night. Gilberto the 15 year old brother now takes care of Princess Eva.
A few weeks later Jill took the team to Eva's part of town and we invited Pastora Olivia who preaches at our church and also the church near Eva's house. There they met Eva's 11 year old brother Elvis and blessed him with a bag of food, a backpack full of school supplies, he was the only one in school at the time. (Eva's story will have to wait). A few days later Pastora Olivia was at our house when Gume and Oscar stopped by and we told them she was now giving Eva's family a ride to church on Sundays!
Olivia took Gume and Vania one day to share Jesus with Eva's family since she could relate as a CP parent, then they stopped by our house.(our house is open 24/7 in this culture people stop by could be 5 minutes or 5 hours. This day Hermana Rosie, who happens to live close to Jill, was at my mother in laws cooking a huge pot of Arroz con puerco! Rosie had meet Olivia when Rosie made a Carne Asada for our kids and we had so much we invited the whole town! When Rosie met Vania she feel in love with her! Rosie being a nurse found out about Vania needing a vaccination that is not covered by insurance and when she went back home she learned more about the vaccination. About a month later someone from up north brought us a package with a tambourine and cash! Both of which were just in time for Vania's birthday! We finally found the only doctor in SQ who happens to deal with rare cases and made an appointment for Saturday. The most amazing thing is he only comes twice a month since he is the pediatric director of the general hospital in Ensenada!
So this brings me back to the question what can you do with a reusable shopping bag? One thing I know is God is not limited to what He can do with one! We are called to be His hands and feet where ever we are!