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Las Brisas Burns and Returns

9 Dec

On our 20th anniversary, September 18, 2013, our favorite taqueria, Las Brisas suffered a total loss after a gas tank exploded.  The owners, and good friends, Manuel and Norma, escaped with their lives, but little else of the family business. 

Manuel in the aftermath of the fire

Manuel in the aftermath of the fire

Within six weeks, however, Manuel and Norma had made the decision to rebuild, hired an architect, done the construction and were open for business.  Just as we had been present to comfort and offer support the day of the fire, we were there for the grand re-opening sharing in the celebration of the resilience and resolve of these friends who decided that the service they provide to our community is something worth saving.

Las Brisas--Garcias

For our family, Las Brisas is a place that represents the best of Ensenada, where we have shared many tacos and many memories with the people we love.

"Las Brisas returns with more fire than ever."

“Las Brisas returns with more fire than ever.”

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October News | 3rd Annual Ensenada Leadership Breakfast + more…

18 Nov

For the third time we had the privilege of celebrating another year of gathering together with leaders from all spheres of influence in our community.  For this third anniversary breakfast we had in attendance a congressman and others from local government offices; directors of various non-profit organizations, schools, and businesses, as well as representatives of various churches and ministry organizations.  We were privileged to have as our speaker, James Lee, a bi-vocational, Korean born man, who is a Regional Vice President for the East West bank, as well as an associate Pastor in his church.  His thoughts were inspirational and encouraging as he challenged those in attendance to follow the wisdom of God and invest in education, citing that Mexico has the potential to be one of the greatest countries in the coming years.

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Also during this month we were blessed to be able to facilitate a weekend retreat for our ministry partners Danny and Lucy in conjunction with Restor Ministries.  It was the first International retreat that Restor has sponsored, and it was such a gift that it could be done here in our city.  God used this time that Danny and Lucy invested in their relationship with God and with each other to do a transforming work in their lives and marriage.  Thank you God and thank you Restor!!

Also this month there was an important meeting between the leaders of our Home Church and leaders from Terra Nova church to pray and share ideas about continuing our partnership in service to the community of Ensenada.  It was very exciting to consider some new avenues for ministry together.

Thank YOU for your part in all God is doing!!

Celebrating 2 Years of Monthly Leadership Breakfasts

3 Nov

On October 6th not only did we celebrate two years of the monthly Ensenada Leadership Breakfasts that we help to organize, but also another step in the dreams God has given us for our city.

Our heart for Ensenada is to see leaders who are united in their desire to serve, especially the least of these, with integrity, vision and commitment, in the spirit of Jesus Christ who taught us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.

For that reason, we have been sharing this passion with leaders in all areas of service in our community—politics, faith, education, the family, the arts, business and non-profit—and inviting them to build relationships across the aisles so that through those relationships we can accomplish more than any of us individually.

We invite you to share with us through pictures — the 2nd Anniversary breakfast and ask you to continue to pray for our city and for all the leaders who are serving here.

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Many thanks to Marvin Garay at EOC for the great photos!

Jesus and Leadership

29 Jul

On Tuesday, July 19th we were staying with Board members Steve and Linda Boyle in Bakersfield, CA.  With just a couple of days of advanced planning, Linda invited some friends to a dessert gathering in their home to meet and talk with us.  She didn’t know who would show up, but we were willing to eat the brownies and lemon cakes even if no one else came!

Besides the Boyles, another couple attended that we already knew, but all the other people there were new acquaintances.  The other couple, Rick and Lorraine Davies, took some friends with them who were visiting from out of town.  The husband is an author and speaker with the ministry Lead Like Jesus.  They listened as we shared about our lives and about our hearts for working with leaders in Mexico and serving our community.

David shares about our lives and work in Mexico

At the end of the time, Phil Hodges (above right), asked if we would be available to meet the following week down in Southern California as he was interested in knowing more about our work and how their materials could be used in Mexico.

We set up a lunch meeting for the following week, Tuesday July 26 in Orange County.  This time another couple from our Board, J. and Cheri Steele, were able to be part of the mix.  Phil, and his wife Jane, shared with us about the ministry of Lead Like Jesus around the world and then we specifically considered how their material could serve the leaders we work with in Ensenada.

Sharing about Jesus and leadership over lunch

This second encounter was a confirmation of the first–God is doing something significant.  Phil gave us several of his books and workbooks that he co-authored, that have been translated into Spanish.  The more we talked the more we sensed that we share a passion for making Jesus known and for encouraging people in leadership.  It’s exciting to consider that this may be God’s timing for Lead Like Jesus to enter Mexico and for our leaders in Mexico to benefit from this resource.

any given first Thursday of the month…

16 Dec

Thursday morning, a little after 7 a.m. people are beginning to gather at a local restaurant and coffee is being poured and enjoyed around the tables. Where I am seated there is also an architect; an older gentleman who used to be part of the Mexican secret service and currently works as the only licensed private detective in our city; a psychologist; a retired executive with an international company; a state congresswoman and the general manager of the local plant for the national fuel company.

By 10 a.m. I am in my office at the family crisis center. In this room over the next few hours I will listen to several women tell heartbreaking stories of drug dealing, prostitution, jail time, addictions, alcoholism, severe abuse, broken relationships and children removed from their care and put into the “system.”

What do these two very distinct scenes have in common? Both are strategic facets of the ministry that we do here in Ensenada, and both are contexts in which we can openly and honestly share our lives and our faith.

At the monthly breakfasts, leaders from government, business, education, the arts, media, churches and non-profits are meeting together to deepen our relationship with God and with one another in order to better serve our city. Some divine networking has taken place and many plans and projects are been discussed and initiated. We, along with our friends and ministry colleagues, are amazed and humbled by all God has orchestrated in these months we have been meeting. Please pray with us for these breakfast gatherings on the 1st Thursday of each month.

In our counseling we first share the reality of our spiritual dimension as human beings, and then begin to introduce the reality of God and His power to heal, to save, to set the captives free and to transform lives and circumstances. You can pray for us in this work every Thursday morning from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. David also recently joined the staff of a new counseling center as well and will work there Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 4 – 8 p.m.

Leadership Breakfasts… meet Claudia

13 Dec

This is Claudia Agatón.  She has been attending our Leadership Breakfasts the first Thursday of every month.  We were able to pray for her in July three days before the local elections.  She was running for a state congressional seat representing a small political party…and she won!

Claudia Agatón

In this photo she testified before the leaders attending the September breakfast how much the pre-election prayer had strengthened her.  By the time the date for the elections neared, Claudia shared that she was exhausted from the campaign process and was feeling unsure that she could go on.  After the prayer she explained that she was filled with peace and her resolve was renewed.  She said that day she asked the Lord that His will be done and that if she was favored by Him to fill that role, that she would do the best job she could.

Claudia invited us to participate in her swearing in ceremony in October.  Here she is seated next to the Federal Congressman (left) who attended this unprecedented event—the first time a person from her party has been selected to hold this office.

Claudia with the Federal Congressman

Claudia’s new duties, prevented her from attending the November Leadership Breakfast, but she sent a greeting and asked that we continue to pray for her and thanking us for all the support.

When you remember her, please pray for Claudia and the tremendous responsibility that she now carries on her young shoulders and that she would continue to look to the Lord and to other believers for strength and support.

Agua Viva Colleague Shares at Leadership Breakfast

8 Oct
Shaun and Maria Sheahan worked with us at Rancho Agua Viva during the majority of our time there from 1986-1993. Our friendship has continued and our lives and families are deeply connected and our life and faith journeys have been interconnected although we now live in different countries.
For that reason it was our privilege to invite them to our most recent Leadership Breakfast and to have Maria speak to the group that gathered there. Her comments challenged us to consider what it is that motivates us to serve God and serve others.
Along with the Sheahans, three other members of the community where they now live and work came down and attended the breakfast with them: John, Bri and Laurie. Sharing friends with friends–that is one of the most rewarding parts of our work.
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