Monday, May 30, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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!