Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Compassion without Christ = Pity... Nothing more

I've been thinking a lot lately of what is really important in this life. I guess we all do that from time to time. I believe even non-christians think about the importance of their lives occasionally.
Betty shared with me recently, that while she prays for her kids often, the only real request that she has of God for their lives is that they will put Christ first in everything. She said that while she knows they will have success, they will also have failure. While they will experience joy, they will also experience pain. All of us experience the highest of highs and we will all experience the lowest of lows. Only God, and a real relationship with Jesus who gave his life for us, can truly satisfy our souls. David knew this and wrote about it in many of his Psalms.
My son and daughter-in-law, Ryan & Alli, are experiencing pain in their family as I write this. Their nephew, Robbie, passed away suddenly last Saturday. It isn't like we can experience extreme highs in our lives that will cover over the lows. There are some lows, like losing a loved one, that can not be covered by any extreme high. I am thankful for their faith in Christ. I know He is the only one who can comfort them. At times like these, we can only have peace, in a real relationship with Christ.
The work that we do, bringing compassion to the abused and abandoned children here in Monterrey, is like that too. Some of the kids have experienced heartbreak and pain at a very young age. If we only take care of their physical needs like food, clothing and shelter, and do not include Christ, then it is only pity. We can prepare them great meals. We can give them new clothing. And, we can build them great places to live. We can even give them a college education. But if what we do for them, does not eventually include developing a relationship with Christ, it is mere pity!
I thank all of you who support this ministry. I want you to know that we are not just ministering to physical needs. We realize that the most important thing that we can give to our children, or anyone, is to show them the importance of a true relationship with Christ. It is really the ONLY THING that is important.

I think the flu is over!

Everything is back to normal here in Monterrey! 

Chris Tomlin - How Great Is Our God (LIVE)

I love worship music! I believe that it is good for our souls to worship God in song. Lately, I've needed that. Thus all the music video posts. ha ha...

On this video, Chris closes the worship just like the late Rich Mullins would. Blessings my friends!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Worship at Casa Hogar Douglas

Check out this video of part of a worship service at the church at Casa Hogar Douglas.

Restoring the past

This picture was taken 10 years ago. It is a picture of the inside of the church building in Casa Hogar Douglas that we are remodeling. It was given to me by Lorena, one of the caregivers. Her husband is Jorge and he grew up at the children's home. It probably won't look exactly like this when we are finished but our desire is that it is a beautiful place. Most importantly we hope that it is a Spirit filled place of worship. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summit of the Orphan

So Beth and Antonio from our staff here in Monterrey just returned from the Summit of the Orphan Conference. They shared many stories of people they met and we will use some of this information as we plan how we can best serve the orphan child in the future. Let me share some of the statistics with you so you can understand why we are involved in this work.
There are somewhere over 140 million orphans in the world. Only 8 million of these orphans live in an orphanage. The remainder live on the street or a refugee camp or are involved in some type of child exploitation or are living independently and working to provide for themselves. Only 1 out of every 3 orphans has a shelter over their head. Over half of the world lives on less than $2.50 per day. In his book 'Fields of the Fatherless', C.T. Davis asks the question,"If the fields are ripe for harvest, why do we spend all our money on painting the barn?"
I am reminded often that there is much work to do. But I am also thrilled every time I witness a difference being made in the life of one of these children. I thank you for what you are doing to support us in this ministry.

I am truly blessed!

I wanted to share something that I shared with the rest of the staff in a recent staff meeting. I shared that I feel like God is blessing me lately and answering my prayers in ways that I would never imagine. When I think about this, I know it is God showing me that He will take care of me and  I should just trust in Him and follow where He leads me.
Let me give you an example. My truck is 12 years old and has over 435,000 miles on it. It has a diesel motor and I have found it hard to get parts for it here. I was having a problem with the starter. It would sometimes be hard to start. I was pretty sure what the problem was but I couldn't get anyone to fix it. A few weeks ago, we were 2 hours from here on top of a mountain. When I tried to start the truck it wouldn't start. In the past it might be hard to start but it always started. This time it would not.
I really didn't know what I was going to do. We were so far out in the middle of nowhere that the cell phones didn't even work. Just when I was beginning to get nervous, along comes a stranger with a 2 way radio. He radios down the mountain to a pueblo that is close by. He tells me that a mechanic will be right here. I think to myself, well when he gets here he won't be able to fix it. But in about 1/2 hour along comes a gentleman. When I describe the problem, he crawls under my truck and in about 15 minutes he has my starter in his hands. He says he will go back down the mountain and fix it. In about an hour, he returns with my starter, puts it back on my truck and it starts right up. He replaced some electrical contacts on the solenoid and it is good as new. When I ask him how much I owe him, he tells me $25.
The point of this story is that I feel God led me out into the middle of nowhere and had my truck breakdown so that He could fix my problem. The truth is that if it broke down in my driveway I wouldn't have known who to call. But in the middle of nowhere, God blessed me in a beautiful way. I know with all of my problems God is going to work them out in His way and in His timing so that I will learn to trust Him more.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

In The Shelter of The Most High

Today we had our church service at Casa Hogar Douglas. I know I talk a lot about these church services, but I just can't contain my excitement! I am thrilled to worship our Heavenly Father each week with these 80 kids that live in this children's home. It is hard to explain, but many times these young kids inspire me. I know that many of them have dealt with more pain and disappointment in their young lives than I have in a lifetime.
Greg preached the sermon today. He preached on Psalm 91. It will be the text that the theme of our Bible Study here this summer will be taken from. The theme of our summer is "Shelter." When we started to read the scripture for the sermon..."He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty...", I was moved as I realized that the kids were reciting the words along with Betty as she read them. They were reciting them from memory. If you read the rest of the chapter, you will realize that these words are inspirational for orphans or anyone who needs to know they are loved and cared for by God. Today, God used these kids to inspire me.
".... If you make the Most High your dwelling - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."  Amen!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunday after church fellowships

We have prepared a hot meal after church services on Sundays now 2 times. It is something we want to do once a month. We invite everyone that comes to church to also eat dinner with the kids. 
Sundays are usually family visitation days at the children's home. Many kids live in the children's home because their family feels they are too poor to take care of the kids. It could be a single mom with 5 kids or a couple going thru problems and they just feel that the kids are better off in the children's home. For most children, the only time they see their family is Sunday. And probably not more than half of the kids have anyone to come and visit them. 
We have tried to make Sundays more enjoyable for all of the kids with our worship services. We have invited relatives to church and also to the meal afterwards. Our desire is that all of them come to know Jesus as their Savior and realize the blessing of a Christian Community.

Cada día

Sometimes we can be down just like everyone else. When we are, one of our favorite things to do is watch this video. It is Jesus Adrian Romero (one of the most popular Christian Artists in Mexico) and his wife Pecos. The song is beautiful even if you don't understand the words. I won't take the time to translate the whole song but Cada Dia means "everyday." It is a very comforting song that reassures us that God is with us everyday. Betty and I always feel lifted up after we view this. We hope you do too.


The passing of Francisco

It was a Wednesday afternoon and we received the call that Francisco of Casa Hogar Douglas had passed away suddenly. Francisco was a 41 year old man with severe Epilepsy who had lived all of his life at this children's home. His family did not want to take care of him when he was a young child, so they abandoned him at the children's home. He was known and I believe loved by hundreds of children over the years. The last few weeks of his life, his seizures were occurring more frequently and with more severity. He was known as Tango to the kids that live there and when we informed them of his passing they were deeply saddened.
This photo was taken several weeks before he died at one of our church services. Tango is in the red coat and can be seen praying in this photo. I'm thankful that he had the opportunity to worship with us the last few weeks of his life. Tango was like many of the other children we serve in the children's homes that we work with. He may have been born into a family that did not want him, but he was adopted by a Heavenly Father that loved him enough to send his only Son to die for him. And now Tango can live in eternity with that Father in a place that knows no pain or suffering.