Monday, February 22, 2010

A Church on a Hill

Yesterday we celebrated the one year anniversary of the church at Casa Hogar Douglas (CHD)!
This church building stood empty for 40 years! Now God is using it in powerful ways the bring hope and joy to the kids that live at CHD. This is also the chuch that most of the B2B staff attends. On Sunday one of our staff members spoke in the service about the mighty things that have been accomplished over the past year. He also stressed the idea that "well begun is only half done." This church has been built on a strong foundation, but there is still alot of work to be done. Please pray for this precious little church as it continues to grow.
The girls prasing the Lord by playing the tambourine and dancing!
The older kids prepared songs to sing for the congregation! Such a beautiful choir of voices praising God!
CHD is a larger children's home and Back2Back has partnered with them for a long time. All the homes we serve have struggles; financial needs, finding and keeping good workers, immense needs of children that are sometimes hard to meet and more. This home in particular is struggling and has been for awhile. Our ministry & staff are committed to this home and the kids there and therefore we are committed to fighting for them...on our knees as well. Would you please join us this month in prayer for this home? We have seen God do mighty things in the last year at this home and we know He is just getting started. Join us as we fight for His justice and His reign in this home and over these dear children!

Here is the prayer request list that is being sent around:
Thanks friends for joining us in prayer for Casa Hogar Douglas. Just for clarification, Wyman is the man who is the director there. Jim and Betty are the Back2Back staff who are captains of Douglas.
Following is specific ways to pray for them:

1. Care givers would be full of the love of Christ.
2. Children of all ages would experience God's Love in this home.
3. Financial needs of the home would be met.
4. Fear and pain would be minimized in the kids' lives.
5. The Holy Spirit would come and fill every dormitory.
6. God would protect this place with a "Band of angels" guarding against all evil.
7. That this home would be a "Shelter" and a "Rufuge" for these children.
8. Wyman would be open and supportive of changes we suggest need to occur.
9. We would find tutoring help for kids that need help in school.
10. God would remove anything or anyone that hinders the spread of His Revolution in this place.
11. God would raise up positive role-model leaders within the older boys' dorm.
12. The younger kids would look up to and follow these positive leaders.
13. Every care giver and child would know that they are part of the family of God.
14. Light would cause darkness to flee.
15. All care givers and staff would seek truth in their own lives.
16. All care givers and staff would demonstrate compassion in discipling children.
17. Betty & Jim would be filled with Godly wisdom and courage as they minister.
18. All outside influences (other groups) would be edifying to the Spirit.
19. Godly people would not grow weary of doing what is right.
20. The leadership would be sanctified for God's service.
21. Tired workers would have time to rest.
22. God would use the church to minister to staff and kids weekly.
23. All staff not filled with the Holy Spirit would leave.
24. Staff and kids would recognize and give testimony to God's provision in their lives.
25. God would complete His promises in the lives of these children.

Friday, February 19, 2010

All My Weight

Tonight I spent some time reading back over the entires in my prayer journal that I wrote in the months after my move to Mexico. My how the time has flow by! One journal entry in particular stood out to me as a main theme, or truth, that God has been continually showing me in this season of my life. I would like to share the entry with you because I love the way that God uses simple moments in our lives to teach us profound truths, which is exactly what happened for me on October 11, 2009.

"... My dad is here right now and I love it! Today we did a bit of the ropes course at ERJ (one of the Casas Hogares that we work with has a ropes course that allows them to raise money and be more self-sustaining). My dad and I did a low ropes challenge where we had to totally lean on eachother and trust oneanother in order to get all the way to the end of the 'V' shaped course. He was on one log and I was on the other and as the two logs split we had to both lean on eachother or we would both fall. We did it without any problem because we both trust one another. I know that I have complete trust and faith in my Dad. This made me realize how much more faith I should be able to have in You! Lord, I need to put all my weight into you, holding nothing back so that without YOU I could not even stand because I have released all control and placed all weight on you. Please show me the areas in my life that I am holding back. Please teach me how to lean fully on you."

So that is what I wrote in October, and that is that lesson that God still has to teach me over and over as I try to figure out how to lean on him (praise the Lord for his unending patience with me!). It is a great analogy, but how do I put it into practice in my everyday life? How would my life look if I leaned with all my weight on the Lord?

As I think about the analogy more, I realize that I have great balance, and I could have probably walked the length of my log alone, like a balance beam. But then at the end of the challenge I would be alone, I would have missed out of the great joy of sharing the experience with my Dad and giving Him the glory for carrying me through! For when all my weight is on the Lord, there is no way that I can take credit for the things that he does in and through me.

Please pray for me as I continue to pray for you! I know there are many of you that I may not see for a long time, but we are bound together through prayer and the comroderie that is built through prayer is such a special and precious bond!

Here are a few specific prayer requests that I have:
-I have applied to graduate school to begin working on my masters in Global and International Education. In order to keep my teaching certificate I have to begin graduate work, so I began looking into programs at the end of last year. In my research I found an incredible online program that would allow me to study International education while continuing to teach in international schools. I truely believe that this degree will also equip me with some valuable skills in other areas of education that I feel God is leading me to in other parts of the world. Please pray that I will trust God with the finances and the application results. I will find out within the next couple of weeks if I have been accepted.

- I will be purchasing my plane ticket for Africa this weekend. Please pray that I will be able to find the best deal that I can and that my process of appling for a Nigerian visa will go smoothly.

Please email me with any specific prayer requests that you have!

A dear friend of mine always says, "His love from across the miles," and I love that! So that is how I will leave you today!

His love from across the miles,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love is Like...

Yesterday in SMCA we had our Valentine's Day party! To prepare for the party, and to practice writing with figurative language, I had my students complete the following sentence: "Love is like..." After they had written their similies we wrote them out on hearts and placed them in the hallway for some festive decorations! I want to share with you some of the things that my kids wrote becasue I was very impressed with they came up with!

Love is like a poor family that is happy.
Love is like a flower that blooms in the spring.
Love is like a good dream in the middle of a nightmare.
Love is like coming home.
Love is like an umbrella in the rain.
Love is like a cool summer breeze.
Love is like a happy smile.
Love is like the stars shining in a cool winter night.
Love is like reaching the summit of a tall mountain.
Love is like a lamb sacrificed on a crossbeam.

I just thought those were wonderful similies! Way to go kids!

The whole school at the Valentine's Day Party!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Take Flight

As you may know, the mission of Back2Back is to provide "Care for Today and Hope for Tomorrow" to the abandoned and neglected children of Monterrey, Mexico. As I write this blog, I hope to give you tastes of what that looks like in our day-to-day activities. Everyday is different depending on the needs of the various homes that we work with. However, one thing that remains constant is that we have about 40 teens that live on our campus.

These teens grew up in the homes that we work with, but at age 15 they can no longer live in the homes. Due to this, many of the teens are back out on the streets and end up in the black market or prostitution because they believe that they have no other options. In order to put a stop to this cycle and provide hope for these young students, B2B started the Hope Program. When the students turn 15 they are invited to come and live on our campus in one of the teen homes with house parents.

While they are here, B2B pays for them to complete high school and go to college to prusue the degree of their choice. They are given hope through education and opportunities for success, but more importantly, our constant prayer is that we are able to show them a greater hope. A hope that does not depend on circumstance, education or opportunity. A hope that is only found in Christ. It breaks my heart to think of the lives that many of these students have lived. They have suffered through constant abandonment, abuse, neglect, lonliness... and many more things that I cannot even imagine. Yet we know that we serve a God who can bring healing, redemption, identity and hope.
Last weekend we took the teens to a youth conference at one of the churches in the area. The theme of the event was "Alza el Vuelo", which means "Take Flight". It was a powerful weekend of worship and speaking. It also opened alot of doors for great conversations with some of our teens who are really seeking right now. But the thing I am most excited to share is that one of the teens accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior!! Praise the Lord!!! My heart fills with such excitement as I see the things that God is doing on our campus. He is pursing the young people who most of the world had written off and cast aside. Yet he is pursing them, capturing their hearts and preparing them for mighty things in the future! What a loving God he is! He will not give up on them, and we must not either. Please pray for each precious teen on our campus. That each one will come to know Christ and experience joy, peace and hope!

Click HERE to see a short clip of worship that Becca took the second night of the convention. It fills me with such joy to see our teens worshipping the Lord!

I pray you are growing in your love for the Lord who pursues you and does not give up on you!