Monday, February 1, 2010
God's timing and His plan can only be from Him, we continue to shake our heads in amazement. Last week 2 bridges south of us were washed out and it was not possible to go south of San Vicente. A group from Alaska was planning on going to an orphanage down south, found out about us and on Sunday showed up ready and willing to do whatever we needed. They went to Fransisco's and repaired the roof damage and moved two dump loads of dirt to secure the retaining wall. Then went down to the boys home and fixed the roof and worked on the dry wall damage. The ladies did to many loads of laundry to count and cleaned the kitchen thoroughly . They helped pour our foundation for the new apartment complex. The Big Bear team that was scheduled to do the foundation was unable to make it, so between the group and our pastors it all got done. Praise God!! God's plans are not always our plans, and He knew exactly what we needed. The pastors stayed all night after the cement was poured and kept smoothing out the cement. To our amazement all of the pastors rallied together to get this done and done well.
Update on Jamin's community, the road is still not passable. They think at least another week or two. The government has brought in trackers to move the dirt and water. Jamin's family has walked through mud and water to get into their home, there was little damage to their home or church. Praise God! The pastors have bonded together, it has been great to see them grow together. It has been a sweet time, loving on each other, helping whenever someone needed something and serving each other. During the storm, we had two days of dinners at our home for all the pastors and their families. They came together like little kids, sharing stories of their communities and how God was at work.
Through this storm God also brought a couple from Moses Lake, Wa. They were going to be with us only for a few days, but plans changed when the road was washed out south of Ensenada. They jumped in and helped us in many ways. Gene was able to go to Paradise for two days and help put up a wall on one of the churches that collapsed, he also fixed some things that needed to be fixed at our facility. Gene and Starlene get up early each day to help put out breakfast and get lunch ready. This has been a huge blessing for us. Also, one of the members of the Big Bear team who lives in Los Angeles, was able to make it down. Jim was a huge blessing, not only taking wonderful pictures and video, he pitched in and helped get the team where it needed to be. He was willing to do whatever needed to get the job done. We are so grateful for all of the people God brought along our path, just when we needed them.
Please continue to pray for us as we will need to continue to fix things at the boys home, so that they can return. This Sunday our first group arrived to start building the first floor of the apartment complex. Pray for wisdom as we need to make changes to the apartment complex. The Mexican government does not want us to build a three story building (after the last storm). We have a couple of options; pray that God will direct and that we will be wise in what way to go. Thank you all who wrote encouraging words, who prayed and those who gave. Please keep checking our facebook page we will be posting pictures and video so that you can see what is going on here in Maneadero.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Since Sunday, Southern California and Baja Mexico had 4 major storms come through our area. These storms had a lot of rain and very strong winds, at times up to 80 miles an hour. By Thursday in the middle of the night the winds hit the strongest, with a major amount of rain. In Santo Tomas the wind was so strong it ripped off the roof of the boys home, where the boys sleep. Fransisco's family came to our home at 4am for fear that their roof would come off their home, and their home was leaking in three of the four rooms. Around 8am Jamin phoned, his family was stuck in their car as the water was rising. The military asked the families to leave, because the river (I never knew there was river!) had crested. Rick, Fransisco and Reynario left to go rescue Jamins family. The road was higher than waste deep with water, they were unable to go down. The fire department and search and rescue went down to get the families out. Jamin left with all the his kids and Jarib's, Jarib refused to leave. They had to walk through waste deep in water to be rescued, they showed up at our home with only the clothes they had on that were wet and some without shoes, and distraught. Imagine Jamin ( a man the size of Tammie) wearing Rick's clothes, VERY FUNNY! They are not sure if they will have a house or church to go back to. An hour later Sergio went into the community to rescue Jarib and his wife. In the early evening Ricardo's community was evacuated and later allowed to go back. Our apartments now have the boys from the boy's home and our second floor has a family that was evacuated. Our home is home to Jamin's family until the water goes down (hopefully by Sunday).
All areas that are at sea level have been flooded! Today we have no idea how bad Reynario's community or Jamin's community really are. It will take a few days for it to dry out. Today is the last day of the storm, at times it rains really hard and at times there is a beautiful break in the sky. Faustino and Ricardo's communities are fine with very little flooding. The road to Ricardo's is dangerous, many boulders have fallen from the mountain above and not sure if it will wash away. All of the fields are flooded, and many of the dirt streets are filled with water. Fransiscos church has major damage with due to water on the dry wall. All of the shingles on Fransiscos house flew off, causing water to enter his home as well.
Our first group arrives Sunday to start building the apartments for our groups. We need your prayers, for direction and wisdom. Depending on what the damage will be, we may need to look after the churches. PLEASE pray with us that the waters go down and that the houses and Jamin's church were spared damage. We need to help Juan with the boys home roof. Pray for money that somehow what we have will be multiplied, we do not have significant funds to repair the damage. We know that God is in control of all things, and He has a plan much greater than ours. Join us in prayer as we seek God's direction for the Ensenada Project. Continue to pray for the people of Maneadero, many do not have houses that will have made it through this series of storms.
We will update you this weekend as soon as we know how the communities made out. Thank you again for all of your prayers, we are grateful that we have internet (at least at times) so that we can communicate to all of you.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The second week we were home Jamin had a city wide worship service at his church. Ten different churches were represented from the Manaedero area. It had rained the whole day, they were expecting 300 people to come, even with the rain a 150-170 people showed up. The church was so full, you couldn't walk in the church without people having to move out of the way. Even twenty or so stood outside in the cold, rainy weather under a tarp. The pastors in the community will meet once a month at different churches to worship together.
Ricardo and Rosy had an evening for just married couples, Francisco and Jamin's church were invited to share in the evening. It has been great to see the pastors come together. The district superintendent, Roberto comes down to Ensenada once a month to encourage and train the pastors in the Alliance. Roberto has a lot of work to do, but he has been very encouraged with the progress each of the pastors are making. It has been an adjustment for each of the pastors to come under the a denomination, culturally this is not easy for them to have to submit to authority and be held accountable. This is very important that the pastors understand and are willing to go through the whole process so that they will grow as pastors. Pray for Roberto as he is leading the pastors, he has an incredible amount of understanding, but I am sure at times it is very testing.
This last weekend our family and Francisco's family went to Mexicali. We went to church with Gustavo and Francis, first time we had been back since Vegas had constructed the church. They are a church full of life, growing and sacrificing together. Their church was broke into in the summer and their sound system was stolen. Gustavo had to adjust the one mic they have several times throughout the service. It didn't put a damper on the service, they continue to be thankful for all that God is doing. Part of the reason we went to Mexicali was to visit a cell church Francisco has started outside of the city. We met in one of the families home with another family, they were excited to have started the cell church. Francisco has a vision to plant churches in the Mexicali valley. At this time he is meeting with this cell church once a month and hoping to train up a pastor in Maneadero to pastor his church, so that he can move his family to Mexicali. He has four solid families in this cell church, with a vision to reach those who do not know Christ. We are excited to see what God has ahead in Mexicali. As we drove home we were filled with awe at how God is moving, it was a great trip to Mexicali. Only wishing it wasn't so hot in the summer so that we can visit more often.
Our plan is to break ground this January to build our facility to house groups. God placed an amazing man in our community who has graciously given us land (right behind Tacos El Pablanos, how convenient). At the end of January we plan to lay the cement slab and over the month of February we have three groups who have committed to help build the NEW apartment complex. Pray for us that the funding and the help need to put this up will all come together. We are very grateful for the sacrifice each of these churches are committing to, not only the money but the time to come. As the mission has grown we are now in a place that we need to have a facility that is our own. We are moving ahead and trusting that God will give us just what we need and when we need it. Sometimes it is not always the way we think it should be, we are grateful for all who have surrounded us with support. Please pray for us as we move ahead with this huge project. If you would like to see what the apartment is projected to look like, please check out the ensenada project on facebook. Also, there are new pictures of Gustavos church and the work on Rafa's cement pad for a church building.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It has been sometime since we have been able to write a blog. We have been on our speaking tour since the first of September, speaking in different churches. We have been able to spend some time together as a family, and with our parents just hanging out. We have found this time to be very refreshing and energizing as we look forward to going back to Mexico. One of the fun ways we have been able to keep in contact with the pastors and friends at home is through Facebook. Who would of thought that this would have been a great way to stay in touch? While we were gone someone tried to break into our home, and our alarm scared him or her away. Two weeks later Sammy left a message and told us that the robbers came back; he then paused and with a sweet voice said, "just kidding".
Over the past month we connected with several groups that have been down on a short-term experience. We have enjoyed the opportunity to go to the churches that have partnered with us to share our vision with the whole church. Two weeks ago Princeton Alliance Church brought us out to New Jersey to be apart of a concert to raise money for the boy's home. The Refuge Concert was a fundraiser to help Juan plant a church in the city of Ensenada and a youth center. They were able to raise $20,000; praise God! God is so good, we are grateful to be able to do more work to further God's kingdom! At the end of our time out east we were asked to speak at the Metro District Conference. It was a great time of hanging out with our friends and we were able to make some new connections in the district.
We returned to Canada (it's really cold here, it actually snowed last night and we don't have heat in the vehicle, we might have to get it repaired.), spending time with family. This past Sunday, to our surprise Abby and Moriah joined Rebekah and their cousin Paige singing a Spanish song in front of church and Rick was able to share in his brothers church, this was a special time for his parents and brother to hear of what God is doing in Ensenada. One of the things that surprised us was the amount of Mexican brothers who were at the church. We had a great time after the service eating traditional Mexican food and listening to a woman sing Spanish songs. Reminded us so much of home. How our friends love food and having fun together. Who would of thought we would have found a little of Mexico in Canada?
A couple of things that have happened since we left Mexico: Fransisco called a few weeks ago, asking Rick if he would continue to partner with him if he goes to Mexicali to plant three churches. God is moving and stirring in Fransisco's heart, please pray for Fransisco, as he needs to work through the details. Fransisco needs to find someone to lead his church in Maneadero, Aposento Alto. Last week we received an email from Juan, he was excited to share with us that he had been given land, in his words "very beautiful land" for a girls home. God is doing amazing things, we can't wait to go home and start getting involved.
We have just a couple more weeks till we go home; please continue to pray for us as we are traveling. We have spent much of our time seeking God and His direction in what He wants us to do this year. God has been putting many of the details together with a facility for our groups. Our hope is to start in late December, early January pouring the cement pad and begin building in January. We have been encouraged to have groups who are willing to come down and work hard to get this done before our spring break groups. Pray for us, if this is truly Gods will that every thing will come together. If you would like to be apart of this, or know of men’s groups that would like to build this apartment complex we would welcome your interest.
Rick & Tammie
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The last leg of our summer has been an interesting one. God has taught us in unique ways how to continue to depend on Him in all that we do. Three adults over the last three weeks have visited the hospital and needed an IV to rehydrate their bodies. Several people have struggled with the normal Mexican symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. Come to find out our pure water filter hadn't been changed by the company for a year. Two of our daughters and I ran to the hospital for fear they may have had the swine flu, just to find out it was a cold. As Rick has been sharing in the debriefs, coming to Mexico is a step of faith. It is not taking the "safe" route. God shows His power even through the times we're not sure what is going on, or why everybody is getting sick. There doesn't seem to be an easy answer, but one thing I continue to realize, God shows Himself through every circumstance. We have an amazing God who we serve.The past three weeks have been a stretch for us, they have been made up of several different groups each week. Starting in August we had 5 different Churches represented. Two from North Carolina, one from L.A., one from Redding and a lady from Tacoma, Washington. With each group coming together to finish Reynario's church, painting Jamin's church, putting an extension on Pastor Faustino's house and building a home for a family Reynario knew. All this in one week and each group sharing with the children in all five churches. Because there were so many we were able to visit each church three times during the week. It was crazy to organize, but incredible to see more and more kids coming each day. In Fransisco's church there were kids who had been coming to the VBS's, and through that a family became interested in coming to Church. Fransisco got Casey to bring a prayer team by their home, and were able to minister to the family.The following week three different groups from Wisconsin, New Jersey and Redding, California came. Again we were able to pour a lot of time into the communities with VBS. The encouraging thing is that we can see lives change and grow as groups communicate God's love. Two groups were able to work on two pastor's homes. Todd Skinner's group built Pastor Fransisco's home on top of the church (beautiful view of the city and ocean). Lee Cha's group put on an extension for Pastor Ricardo's home. The night before the group arrived, Rosi and Ricardo had a baby girl. And Bob Riconda built a home for a family in Pastor Fransisco's community. Again, all this in one week!!In a matter of two weeks 8 different churches got to taste, touch and feel the mission field. Our prayer and hope is that this will ignite a deep desire to go home and live sold out for God. That this would not only be an experience for Mexico, but that the work begun here would continue at home.Todd Skinner's group sitting in front of Pastor Fransisco's house.Pastor Bob's group moving wood and getting ready to work.Pastor Bob's group gave a Bible to Juan & Sofia along with there house warming gift.