Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We want to thank each of you for the blessing that you are to us throughout the year! We love you and hope that each of you have a blessed Christmas season!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


This is a photo of a 16 year old mom and her soon to be 1 year old son. They live in Rio 3 with her 3 year old sister and her mom who is in her mid thirties in a house like the one pictured above. She is a very pretty girl and her baby is adorable. Our work here in Monterrey can be summed up as we consider this young teenager's future.
Betty and I serve in Rio 3 because we want to minister to families like this one that are surviving on a thread. Over 30 million people in Mexico live in conditions that we would describe as extreme poverty. We believe Jesus loved the poor and has called us to love and serve them also. In Rio 3,we serve them by working side by side with the local church, Mercy House Church. Our highest priority is that they come to know and love Jesus. But we realize that we must help with basic needs like food, clothing and shelter in order for them to understand that God loves them.
We also serve in Casa Hogar Douglas, a children's home to almost 70 children. Unfortunately, young moms like this one, come to the point where they can't go on. They bring their children to a children's home like Casa Hogar Douglas. Sometimes, the family situation becomes unsafe. No one is really taking care of the children and they are roaming the streets. We believe it is better that they are in a safe place.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Rescue

A short while ago, we had the privilege to help out in a child rescue case. Actually, there were 3 siblings under the age of 8 years old that were brought to us by their mother, through a friend of ours. For privacy reasons I won't go into all the details but I can say that all 3 of these kids were in physical danger. They had no home and were living on the streets. That alone is not safe in this country! But I am so thankful that ever since they were brought to us, they have been safe, well fed, cared for and loved daily.

I remember what my friend who brought them to us told me on the day that we met them. He said, "Jim, I was made for days like today!" As every paramedic or fireman knows, there is a rush when you assist in a real live rescue! There are many aspects to orphan care ministry. There is education, physical, spiritual and emotional development. All of these things are part of what we do as a whole. But when you are able to be there in that moment of a young child's life and be a part of changing their destiny, there is contentment. I know for sure, that on that fall day in 2011, we saw the future change for those 3 young children. They were literally snatched from the hands of Satan and placed in a place where they are not only protected but are free to grow in their knowledge of Christ as their True Savior.

Yesterday, I was reminded of this as I was worshiping in the church at Casa Hogar Douglas. I turned to my side and there was the oldest singing out loud the songs of the redeemed. He was singing them as one who knows!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Day to Remember

A couple of weeks ago, in our Sunday morning church service, an important milestone was accomplished that I believe will have a profound impact on the future of Casa Hogar Douglas. It wasn't planned. In fact, I was thinking before the service started that morning that Satan was having his way more than God it seemed. Ever feel like that?

We didn't have a sermon prepared. After the time of worship, the song leader invited anyone to come forward and share a testimony. When we have done this in the past, it is usually only the adults that want to share anything. This Sunday, after a couple of adults shared what God was doing in their lives, a 6th grade boy came forward. This young boy has never wanted to open up about his feelings or openly share anything that was going on in his life before. The whole crowd was quiet as he shared the hurt and pain that he had been carrying for a long time. At times his emotions had him crying but he spoke very clearly and thoughtfully with all of us. This opened the door for others to follow. Many kids began to share what they were feeling in their hearts and asking God to fill up the void that they had in their lives. Many gave thanks for the children's home and the staff that showed them God's love.

At the close of the service we sang a closing chorus as usual. Another boy who had shared his pain, was on the front row and fell down to his knees with his hands lifted high as we sang "Blessed be the name of the Lord." His 6 year old sister came forward and began to hug him. By the close of chorus, the 2 of them were embracing each other on the floor and crying.

I believe God is not only blessing the kids of this children's home, but I believe that He is breaking down barriers as well. As many kids have experienced pain in their young lives, they have reacted by holding their feelings and emotions in. Or they have acted out in anger or frustration that has led to them being labeled a "troubled child" by others. This morning, that I thought at first would be a day without hope, turned out to be a milestone where hearts and minds were opened by the Holy Spirit. I would ask for continued prayer as God continues to work through His Spirit in breaking down walls that have been built out of anger and frustration in these kids' lives.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Using the Blessing we've received to bless others

Recently, the kids at Casa Hogar Douglas received a blessing of new mattresses for their beds. When the kids learned that another home we serve, Casa Hogar Bethany, had 24 kids that slept on thin foam mats, they wanted to share their old mattresses with them. So last Wednesday, we loaded up the mattresses and took some of the older kids to meet the kids at Bethany. We shared a sandwich lunch that we brought along with some other treats and the kids enjoyed the afternoon getting to know each other. It was a great time that was had by all and we are already planning more activities to do together with our new friends at Bethany. We invited them over to play soccer in our large soccer field and they invited us to come back next summer to swim in the river that flows through their property!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shelter Program Highlight

This past week, we had something happen that I think says alot about the hearts of the people who come to serve with us. We had a group of NASCAR people come and serve with us in Monterrey. We have had several other NASCAR groups in the past and they all have impressed me with their humility and desire to serve! On this trip, we had Nationwide Series driver, Justin Allgaier and his wife Ashley come and meet their sponsored child, Magali from Casa Hogar Douglas. We also had several members of Joe Gibbs Racing #18 car crew on the trip.

The day after they got home, one of these guys called me to let me know that he and his wife wanted to sponsor Lola from Douglas in our Shelter child sponsorship program. For those who do not know Lola, she is a 38 year old Downs Syndrome girl who has lived at Casa Hogar Douglas since she was 3 years old. We never really thought that we would ever have a sponsor for Lola. When Jason called to tell me this, I told him that I doubted that Lola would ever be able to write to them. Her level of communication is very limited. He told me that he understood that and that he was moved by watching Justin & Ashley and the relationship that Magali has with them. He also said that he felt God calling him to sponsor Lola who truly is one of the least of these!

I am humbled and stand in awe of our God! For us, we give thanks to ALL of our Shelter Sponsors because you truly enable us with the power to care for these children! God is using so many people in 2 countries to carry out the work that is going on here! THANK YOU!!!
                         Justin and Ashley Allgaier with Magali (their sponsored child)

                        Lola in the front on the swingset at Douglas

Friday, October 21, 2011

Unplanned sleepover

Last week, we had a heavy rainstorm. The unfortunate thing was that at the children's home, we were in the process of replacing the roof on the main dorm. The result was that the roof leaked very bad during the rainstorm. The smallest girls' dorm was flooded. So that night, we brought 7 of these girls and their care giver to our house for a sleepover. The next morning was school so they couldn't sleep in but it was fun none the less!
The good part is that we now have the roof replaced and we are completing a lot of other renovations to all the dorms. I hope to post an update on this when we are finished. There is a lot of blessing that is happening right now at Casa Hogar Douglas. We want to thank everyone for your prayers and financial support in every way! 
Now the girls want another sleepover but they want to have it on a weekend when they can sleep in!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New computers at Casa Hogar Douglas

We recently received a local donation of 5 new desktop computers for the new library at Casa Hogar Douglas children's home. The really cool part is that the business that donated the computers also is paying to have 2 teachers come 4 afternoons per week to teach the kids computer skills. All of the kids that are above 1st grade have at least one computer class per week! This is just another of the ways that God is blessing our efforts to better prepare them for success in the future.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Working with a purpose in Rio 3

During the summer, our friend Amy Tuell came with a group to serve with us for a week. While she was here, she wanted to show some of the women in Olga's soup kitchen at Rio 3 how to crochet using plastic bags. Instead of making a blanket or a sweater out of cloth material, they can make plastic mats out of plastic grocery bags, that are more durable in the rio homes.
Last week when we were there, Juanita, one of the ladies from the soup kitchen gave Betty this mat that she had made. She was so proud of it and wanted to thank us for helping show her how to make it. We asked Juanita what she needed. She told Betty she could use an electric iron. So, we bought her an iron and traded it for the mat. Now we have a plastic mat for our bathroom floor and Juanita has an iron.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Better Opportunities

This year, we have 12 students from Casa Hogar Douglas children's home enrolled in other schools. What we are trying to do is choose schools where the kids have the best opportunity to learn and succeed in school. This is made possible by money we receive from the Shelter child sponsor program. These pictures were taken of Magali who is in 6th grade in one of these schools. This was a school assembly for Mexican Independence Day. Betty and I were there to watch and I realized that no one in this school knows Magali is an orphan. She tells me often, "Jim, I love my new school!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Slide at Douglas Children's Home

We recently rebuilt the big slide at Casa Hogar Douglas. This slide was originally built about 25 years ago but was showing some signs of age. During the remodeling phase we decided to add a set of stairs. You can now walk all the way up the hill to the chapel from the dining hall.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We lost a friend this week

                                               Ron's baptism.

                                               Ron with Lola in Casa Hogar Douglas

                                             Ron dressed in his clown outfit in Douglas

One of the people we met in the past 5 years is a guy named Ron from Cincinnati. Some friends of ours, found Ron on a park bench in Cincinnati a few years ago. He was homeless and addicted to alcohol and drugs. They shared the Gospel with Ron and he became a Christian. Ron's life as a Christian was radically different. He got involved in a clown ministry and began to experience the joy of serving the Lord in this new life that he had in Christ.
Ron made 2 trips here on short-term mission trips. During these trips, Betty and I came to know and love him. I believe his experience here stirred something inside of him to serve even more. Ron did landscape work and he often referred to this as his "tent-making." What he loved to do was clown ministry. Last winter he took a few months and moved to a small pueblo in Mexico to serve as a missionary. He worked with a bi-lingual pastor in a small church all by himself. It was a testimony for us of someone who was completely changed when he accepted Christ.
We had stayed in touch through email and we last saw Ron in Cincinnati about a year ago. He came to say hi to us at a Chipotle restaurant. This past week, Ron passed away. He was 50 years old. His last email to us was just a few days before he died. It was titled "Victory." We will miss Ron. He liked to raise his hands high and shout "Thank you Jesus!" everytime he was thankful for something.
Ron, you taught us a lot about living in grace. After your conversion, you were a changed person. We give thanks that you were our friend. May God bless your friends and family and comfort them in their loss! Thank you Jesus!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What it takes

At Casa Hogar Douglas, we currently have 70 kids. You might ask, how much does it cost to take care of these kids each month? We have been working on our monthly budget and have come up with the following rough numbers:

Electric = $1,200
Gas = $600
Gasolene for school vans and trucks = $700
Workers' salaries (12 workers) = $2,000
School fees and supplies (monthly average) = $400
Food for dining hall = $3,000
Telephone = $100
Trash service = $140
Insurance and vehicle maintaince = $250

TOTAL = $8,390 per month

Our Back2Back Shelter Program is designed to help us come up with the funds each month to meet these needs. When you sponsor one of our kids, at $100 per month, your sponsorship goes towards helping us fullfill these commitments. 
We want to thank all of you who sponsor one of our children or support us directly. Together we are helping to "Care for them today and give them a Hope for tomorrow!" We are very grateful for your support!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How do you feel close to God?

I suppose, this post is a continuation of my thoughts from the previous post. Actually, I listened to a tape of Rich Mullins recently that prompted some of these thoughts. Those of you who know me, know I am inspired by Rich's words and songs.

In the tape, Rich said that many people ask him, "how do you feel close to God?" He answered, "I don't know. When I read the psalms, many times I think most of the psalmist didn't always feel very close to God. Closeness to God is not about feelings," he adds. "Closeness to God is about obedience. When I read the scriptures, I realize that God has a special place in His heart for the oppressed, for the broken and for the poor. Jesus said, 'whatever you do for the least of these, you've done it unto me.' If I want to identify with who God is, the best way I can do that, is to serve the poor. I don't know how you feel close to God. I know that if we obey, occassionally the feeling follows. Not always, but occassioally. I know if we disobey, we haven't got a shot at it!"

God's Peace

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks

Wow! What a title for a blog post, huh? But actually it is a verse from Psalms ( 137:9 )

This psalm was written when the children of Israel were in exile. The Babylonians had conquered Jeruselem and the writer is expressing his anger towards the Edomites who were Israel's neighbors and cheered on the armies of Babylon. As he writes this verse, he is imagining the day that God repays them for what they have done. Pretty gruesome yeah? But it is in the scriptures none the less. 

God has brought several verses to me recently, that have to deal with injustice. I admit that one of the hardest things for me to deal with sometimes is fairness or justice. Many times, I witness things that make me feel like the psalmist when he wrote earlier in this text. "But how can we sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land?" ( vs. 4 ) How can we be filled with the joy of the Lord, when we are oppressed by evil? I've been reminded lately, that that's just the way God works. When were we ever NOT in a foreign land?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just a quick thought

I copied this from a Facebook post. It says what I have been thinking about lately!

Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Mary was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old and Lazarus was dead. Now..... what's YOUR reason for thinking God won't use you?
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies those whom He CALLED

Sometimes, I think that I'm not qualified to be doing what I'm doing. I hope if you ever have doubts about what God is calling you to do, that you will take comfort and find strength in this quote.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Video of Summer

Hey, if you haven't seen this video, it is worth watching! It was made by a group that was here with us this summer and captures what goes on here pretty well. Here is the link....                   


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Patio Project Completion

As I reported in May, we have been working on developing a patio outside the chapel on the hill at Casa Hogar Douglas. Well during the summer months, when we hosted many American groups that helped us pour concrete, install lighting and landscape. I have posted some photos of the finished project. While the photos are beautiful, you really need to see this in person to appreciate the full beauty!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Playset at Casa Hogar Douglas

This summer, we have been working on a new wooden playset at the Douglas Children's Home. Thanks to the generous gift by one of our Shelter sponsors, the kids will have a new area to play right outside their dorms. The play structure will include an 8' high platform, overhead bridge, skywatch platform, climbing wall, heavy duty swings and monkey bars. We had to purchase and import a few pieces from the states (good quality products are hard to find here) but we should be putting the finishing touches on this thing by the time school is starting. This will be a huge blessing for many kids! Thanks to the Osborne family from Cincinnati for making this happen!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Staff Retreat for Douglas Children's Home

The first week of June, we had the opportunity to take the entire staff from Casa Hogar Douglas on a retreat. We went up on a mountain for 2 days and 1 night and rented a retreat center. The staff was able to forget about taking care of 70 kids and cooking and laundry for a few hours. We invited a pastor to come and lead some talks and team building activities. It was a chance for all of us to reflect and relax as we listened to God's voice. I believe that the Holy Spirit ministered to each of us! The picture above is of the staff women and Betty on the steps of a treehouse, during one of our breaks.
We had a large team of Back2Back staff and summer interns that helped run the children's home for 2 days. They took the kids to and from school, fed them, bathed them, helped them with homework and slept in the dorms with them. This was a huge blessing for the staff of the children's home. As one of the staff ladies asked me as we got back in the trucks to come back "Jim, if we are good, when can we do this again?" 

Monday, May 30, 2011

God's Ways

A week ago, we had a staff retreat for 3 days as we prepared for the busy summer months. One of the things that I feel like God has been teaching me lately is to trust in Him. This is difficult sometimes for a person like me who likes to plan what is going to happen next. There are times when God's plans aren't always the same as mine. Sometimes, God allows conflict or even hardship to happen so that He can accomplish an even greater task. I feel like I am trying to trust more and more that when things don't go as I would plan, that God has a better plan. I find myself saying to myself and to others that are close to me that God is in control. I want to live with a passion and purpose but I also want to yield to God and trust that He is in control no matter what.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Caregiver Makerover

The Makeover....
Nothing makes a woman feel better than a makeover. New hair style, pedicure, manicure can be just the thing a girl needs sometimes. We recently found a cosmetology school that was looking for "models" for the students to work on. When we told them about our caregivers at Casa Hogar Douglas, they were happy to offer their services for free at special times. So over the next several weeks, we want to take all of them to receive their "new looks." 
The pictures above are of Lorena, the first to receive her makeover. Lorena has been at Casa Hogar Douglas for 18 years. (over half of her life) First as a teen, later as a student in the Bible School and for more than 10 years now she has been taking care of abandoned children. She was more than deserving to be our first "model."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Patio Project at Juniper Tree Chapel

Several months ago, we received a donation to develop a patio and garden area outside the Juniper Tree Chapel at Casa Hogar Douglas. This donation was made possible by the Juniper Tree Foundation. Our desire is that this area, where the church is located, high above the children's home, will be a place of refuge for all that come there. The name is taken from Elijah's experience under a juniper tree in 1 Kings 19. Just as the Lord spoke to Elijah that day and renewed his strength we want God to renew the lives of the children and workers who seek Him there.
The first phase was to build a large deck that has a view overlooking the entire valley. I've included pictures of the finished deck above. We have now begun to pour concrete to make an adjacent patio that will have benches, lights and landscaping. The project might take all summer as we use the groups' help with the labor required to finish it. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The War

Today in church, I felt God's protection. During worship, I was reminded that we are in a war. The war is against Satan and it is being fought over souls. Not only our souls but the souls of the 70+ kids at the children's home that worship God with us each week. I know that Satan wants them but I also know that our God is more powerful! 
I shared with the kids today that I know it is a sweet sound in God's ears when we worship Him in song. Our church is high on a hill, not only overlooking the children's home but you can actually see for over a mile from this site. The war we are fighting is serious. The impact will last for eternity. I know that Satan can only run when he hears our Lord being praised. That is exactly what we want.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I want to be more intentional about blogging. Even if I just write down a few of my thoughts. Random. Not neccesarily any certain topic or event. Maybe not always pictures. Sometimes maybe just a few lines.

As I was thinking about wanting to do this, these thoughts came to me. I want to go deeper into this radical life that God has called me. I'm not sure what that means exactly but I want to be unafraid to sacrifice my own desires for God's. His ways are always better anyway. Sometimes I think all of us desire to live our lives for Jesus in ways that WE want to live them. I think often about the disciples that were called away from the lives that they had planned for themselves to follow this radical teacher. When I think about this, I want to be a satelite that is soaring out into the unknown and no one knows where it will end up. But it goes on for as long as God and time allow.

I really believe there is joy and freedom and adventure in this type of living. Not careless living, but surrendered living. As Rich Mullins once said, "In the end we're all going to die anyway. You might as well go out doing something you really enjoy, like eating colesteral. Because what will matter is if you didn't really live!"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Real Fight - Spiritual Warfare

I know that I have shared my opinions and feelings about Spiritual Warfare before. I just feel that I have been reminded again just recently of how real the fight can be.

We recently had a group here serving with us and one of the women in the group is what I call a prayer warrior. We actually have several prayer warriors that are constantly praying for our work and many times they communicate to us what God is telling them. When more than one of them shares the same message with me, I take special notice. The woman from the group this week shared something with me that a few others have shared also in the past year. She described a picture of God's angels standing guard over the children we serve. But, she also felt that there were demons lurking over them that were powerless but never the less were there. I remember about 5 years ago, when we were developing the property where our Hope Program is today. We felt like there was spiritual warfare taking place and our director Todd used almost the same picture to discribe what he felt was going on.

As we were praying this morning, Betty said "God, we know that the fight is fiercest, right before the victory!" I am reminded often that there is so much more going on than what I can see in front of me. I pray with faith that God is orchestrating things all around the world right at this very moment. Perhaps there are events happening in the US, or maybe even in some other country, that will have an impact on what happens here.

Betty and I both sense that God has been moving in answer to many people's prayers over our work. We thank you for your faithfulness in prayer. We rejoice with the angels, as we witness strongholds of injustice and oppression crumbling before us.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Library at Casa Hogar Douglas

We recently completed remodeling the library at Casa Hogar Douglas. This children's home for over 70 kids now has a very nice library! It was made possible by a donation from The Rotary Club International.
I recntly read that 94% of the municipalities of Mexico DO NOT have a library. The reader index for Mexico is the LOWEST in Latin America. I am so excited that these kids will have an opportunity to benefit from the blessing this library will be!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Several months ago, one of the moms that had 3 children in the children's home we serve, asked if we needed help. She indicated that she would be willing to come work at the home if we needed the help. It was evidence to me that not all moms that bring their children to a children's home are bad. Some of them love their children but are unable to take care of them. Usually this is some situation related to poverty and the lack of family support.
Irma had left Kevin, Alexis and Alexia at Casa Hogar Douglas many years ago but she was faithful in visiting them whenever she could. In January, she came to live with her children in the home. It has worked very well for everyone so far. Irma is a hard worker and is the head caregiver in the youngest girls' dorm. She currently has 10 girls in her dorm. Irma brings a special understanding of the children's needs as well as an understanding of the feelings of the parents.
I've mentioned before that we really want to be a ministry to families. We primarily serve children that are abandoned, neglected or abused but we realize that if we can reunite biological families that have been separated due to economical hardships, it is best for everyone. It is one of the reasons that we started the church in the children's home and invited family members to come and worship with the children. We believe that Jesus was about healing and we want to be also.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

5 New Kids

This past week, we accepted 5 new kids at Casa Hogar Douglas. It reminded me that the work here is far from finished. But we feel that God has called us to be here "for such a time as this." We are thankful that with all of your help and support, we are able to provide a place like Casa Hogar Douglas, where hurt kids can find refuge and help.

Thank you for helping us to be the hands and feet of Christ to kids who need to know a Savior!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shelter Update

I want to take this opportunity to thank ALL of you who support us financially. We truly could not be doing this without you. We give thanks for your faithfulness always in our prayers!

I also want to thank all of you who sponsor one of the kids in the children's home through our Shelter child sponsor program. Your sponsorship of one of our kids is really making a difference. This past month, we were able to meet all of our monthly needs in Casa Hogar Douglas and we were able to do something that we have wanted to do for a long time. We were able to give all of our workers a $20 bonus. When I explained to them that God was providing our needs and making  it possible to have a little extra, they gave thanks to God. We have 14 full-time workers and they each make about $100 per month. Receiving a $20 bonus was like having a 20% increase in their pay! It was one of my most happiest days that I had lately.

Thanks to all of you for the part you are doing to care for these children!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friday night Youth meetings

Every other Friday night we have been holding youth meetings outside the Juniper Tree Chapel in Casa Hogar Douglas. We want this time to be for the youth. We have 22 junior high age kids at the home this year. The meetings are informal and fun. Some of the kids have even invited their friends from school to come. Last week, we had a teacher come and bring her little brother! There is singing and food and we encourage the young people to open up about their feelings and thoughts. Eventually we want the young people to pretty much run the meetings as we adults just observe. Stay tuned on this because I sense that God is up to something.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

7 Day prayer walk in the children's home

Preparing to start a prayer walk outside Juniper Tree Chapel one evening

This past week, all of the kids and staff from Casa Hogar Douglas did a prayer walk around their campus each night after dinner. They started on the hill outside the chapel and prayed over all of the buildings in the children's home. They offered up prayers of thanksgiving as well as petitions for God's guidance in the future. Each night has been uniquely different as the week has progressed. They even made flags that they carried on the walk that said "Jesus is Love," "Christ is Just" and "God is King." We began to break out in choruses each night as we worshipped God together under the setting sun. Most of the evenings have been beautiful to watch the sunset and the full moon rising up over the mountains on the horizon.
The kids will conclude this week by walking 7 times around their campus on Sunday the 7th day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

4 Years that have Changed my Life

I just recently celebrated my 4 year anniversary of serving with Back2Back Ministries here in Mexico. Looking back, I know I've changed a lot and so has the world. In that time, my mom passed away, my son and daughter-in-law have given me 2 grandchildren, I've gotten married and met a lot of great people. I've experienced some very sad moments and some very exciting times. But, I imagine that most of you that are reading this can say the same. 

Through every experience I can say that God has richly blessed my life. Each year that passes, our hope is less and less in the things of this world. It seams like every day I long more for the things of heaven. I remember when I got married, I thought there is a big possibility that Betty will be the last person I talk to on this side of eternity. I rest in knowing that she will help prepare me.

Most of all, I take great comfort in knowing that I am loved by the Maker of the Universe! I know that He loves me relentlessly and only wants to have a relationship with me. I pray that I will only seek what He would want for my life. I pray that my joy may be found in Him alone. I miss family and friends that I don't get to see that much, but I pray that they know how much I love and appreciate them. I give thanks to you for taking the time to read our blog and for following along on this journey with us! We pray that God blesses each and everyone of you for the ways that you lift us up and support us!

Thank you!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Causing Trouble all over the World

Yesterday, in church, we discussed a verse found in Acts 17:6. The second part of that verse is describing Paul and Silas when it says, "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here!" I was really taken by that verse and it caused me to think alot. Luke was sharing what the opposition was saying about the ministry of these 2 men. It made me think because I wondered if those who appose Christ where I minister would say the same about me? Am I causing trouble all over the world? Or am I even making a wave in the world I live in?

The footnotes in my study Bible say this..."What a reputation these early Christians had! Our world needs to be turned upside down, to be transformed. The Good News doesn't merely improve programs and encourage good conduct; it dynamically transforms lives!" I'm going to pray that the world sees me as someone who is causing trouble. I don't want to just encourage people to "do good" or "act right." I want to share the radical Good News of Jesus Christ in such a way that others are compelled to want to follow Him.

My prayer is that this year you will see more of this in my writing and what I choose to do with my time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

George Muller

Have you ever heard of George Muller? He lived during the 1800's. I was recently made aware of who he was by a friend. I decided to look up some facts about his life. The following is some of the things I have learned that interested me.

He was born in 1805 to a wealthy family in Germany. The first 20 years of his life were spent in self-service and he cheated many people out of their money. But at the age of 20, God spoke to George and he turned his life over to Him. Soon after that, he decided to be a missionary. At the age of 24, he moved to London to live at an orphanage. He learned the value of meditating upon the scriptures and praying for God's provision. He was married and at the age of 30, he and his wife started an orphanage. Throughout all of this time he lived his life with this principle. He would pray for God to provide and trust that He would. A well known story illustrates how he lived...
      One morning the plates and cups and bowls on the table were        empty.  There was no food in the larder, and no money to buy        food.  The children were standing waiting for their morning        meal, when Muller said, "Children, you know we must be in        time for school."  Lifting his hand he said, "Dear Father,        we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat."        There was a knock on the door.  The baker stood there, and        said, "Mr. Muller, I couldn't sleep last night.  Somehow I        felt you didn't have bread for breakfast and the Lord wanted        me to send you some.  So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some        fresh bread, and have brought it."  Muller thanked the man.         No sooner had this transpired when there was a second knock        at the door.  It was the milkman.  He announced that his        milk cart had broken down right in front of the Orphanage,        and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh        milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it.  No wonder,        years later, when Muller was to travel the world as an        evangelist, he would be heralded as "the man who gets things        from God!"
By the time he was 70 years old,his orphanage covered 13 acres and housed over 2,000 orphans. George lived to be 92 years old. He preached to over 3 million people in 42 countries. His most moving reunion with an orphan was on October 19, 1878 when a 71 year old widow met him...she had been his first orphan over 57 years previously. 10,023 other orphans were to follow her there and have Daddy Muller rear them. Muller read the Bible through over 200 times, half of these times on his knees. He said he knew of some 50,000 specific answers to prayer...requests to God alone! Over 3,000 of his orphans were won to Christ [through his ministry]. 
I would say his was a life well lived!

Preach the Word always. Use words only if you have to!

Last Saturday, the kids from Casa Hogar Douglas traveled to a small village to serve 80 kids. This town is very poor and the families do not have groups that come to serve them. This past December, the children's home had so many groups that wanted to come and bring the kids gifts. The kids in the children's home decided that they would like to share some of their blessing with others who have less. By working with a local pastor from a Christian church in this village, we were able to aquire a list of names and ages of 80 kids. The kids from the children's home prepared personal gifts for these children from their excess. We rented a bus and traveled the hour and a half to the village. The kids from the children's home were able to serve the community a hotdog lunch, provide a pinata and pass out the gifts. I'm not sure who was blessed more.....our kids from Casa Hogar Douglas or the kids from the village.