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Consider the Flowers of the Fields

26 Apr

Every Sunday with the children of our Home Church we look at a portion of the Gospel according to Matthew.  This last week we shared from Matthew Chapter 6 verses 25-34 where Jesus tells us, “Do not worry about your life.”

As we spoke of how Jesus drew two examples from nature, the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, some birds began to sing louder and sweeter in the patio where we were meeting.  We said, “Each time you hear a bird sing, remember that God will take care of you as He takes care of them.”

Then today three families from our Home Church took a field trip to a vegetable production and exportation plant where a young man from our church is the Administrator.  After giving us a tour of their plant, we loaded into his truck and he took us through some neighboring flower fields.  The words of Matthew 6 came to life as we drove past the rows of bright hued blooms.

"Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow."

“I tell you not to worry about your everyday life–whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.”

"They don't work or make their clothing."

“Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?”

"Solomon is all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are."

“And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you…your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs.”

So don’t worry about your life….

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Celebrando Pascua

24 Apr

What a joy to share this Easter Sunday with our Home Church!

As we celebrated together the resurrection of Jesus, we could rejoice in many other facets of our lives together that are a reflection of His love and His presence growing in and transforming us.

Laura was one of the first to check out a book from the new library

A dream was fulfilled as on this special day we “inaugurated” our Home Church library.  Made up of a small selection of personal favorites and recent acquisitions, the books were put at the disposition of the members and several excitedly checked out titles according to their personal interests and needs.  Our hope is that this resource will provide aid and encouragement for those in the church as they grow in their faith.

One of our young members is an accomplished, competitive swimmer and this next week will be competing at the National level in the Jr. Olympics in Veracruz, Mexico.  Today David had the privilege to pray for him as he represents his family and his country in this exciting venue.

Praying for Isaac along with his family

Each week Karen shares from the Gospels with the children before they go to their Sunday School class.  Today the portion was from the end Matthew 6 where Jesus exhorts us to live free from worry.  In response to a question from the lesson, one second-grader in the group responded confidently, “With God nothing is impossible!”   He later put the same affirmation on his Easter banner.  The children of our church are such an example of what it means to follow Jesus.

New life, new beginnings, hope and forgiveness–that is what we celebrated today.  In fact, that is what we celebrate every day!

Happy Easter!  Feliz Pascua!!

Casa Bello Update

2 Feb

We are a week and a half into the house building project and it is amazing to see all that has been accomplished. The exterior is virtually finished and much of the interior too, such as the electrical and plumbing. Our friends at EOC/Yugo estimate that by the end of next week it should be completely done!

Today our friends at EOC/Yugo sent us their video blog on this project.  Our friend, Dina, speaks at the beginning and shares the heart behind this gift. We hope you will take two minutes to watch it.

Continue to pray with us, please, as we go into the final stretch of seeing this dream become a reality for the glory of God.

For the latest pictures of the project, see the links below.

> day 4 <

> day 5 : roofing <

> week 2, day 1 : shingles <

> week 2, day 2 : electric + plumbing <

David swinging a hammer on day 5...

 

Working Together

25 Jan

Sometimes a spontaneous comment or a seemingly impossible idea turns into a dream come true.   Here in Ensenada many of us are witnessing and participating in just one of those times…

One of our best friends, Dina, who is also our neighbor, our stylist and a member of our home church, became aware of a need around September or October of last year.  An older couple, the husband a blind Pastor, Bible teacher and counselor, had been hoping to build a house on a piece of land they had purchased.  An unfortunate set of circumstances eliminated that possibility, along with their hopes of ever having their own home.

David and Guillermina Bello

Dina shared this couples’ story with me and commented that she would like to see their house get built through the collaboration of as many people as possible who would be willing to give of themselves and their resources to bless someone else.  I immediately pledged my support sensing immediately that this was God’s heart too.

For the past four months our friend has navigated the myriad of details, many times confronting disappointment and apparent dead ends.  She has shared this dream with churches, ministries, friends, family, our Home Church and many have responded.

The truly gratifying part for us is to see so many people in our community coming together to work for a common goal.  Our friends from EOC/Yugo are providing the human and material resources to do the actual building.  A friend from our Home Church who works for the government was able to participate in getting the building permit…for free (something she was told the Mayor couldn’t even do for her!)  A local paint store owner donated some paint.  Many professionals have donated their services for free or at a substantially reduced rate for different aspects of the project.  Students from Dina’s father’s Bible School have worked throughout the process preparing the lot, helping to pour the slab and are now working after their classes on the construction phase.  Others from our Home Church are preparing food for the workers, helping with transportation…and the list goes on.

casa de bello home construction project ensenada mexico

Dina & Karen getting their hands dirty...

Jesus once told His disciples that the world would know that they were His followers by the love they had for one another.  My hope is that this house would not only be the home of a very faithful couple, but also a monument to what can be accomplished when we trust in God and live out His commandment to love one another.

View all the the photos for this project:

> initial meeting at the Bello lot <

early shots of the lot <

pre-building preparations <

day 2’s construction <

> day 3 : siding & windows <

A Christmas Potpourri

1 Jan

Our daughters along with some of the other children and youth from our Home Church surprised us with a special Christmas presentation during our gathering on the last Sunday before Christmas.

Thanks to our dear friend Danny Meza this was captured and is available to share with you.

We hope you enjoy it, and Happy New Year!!

A Turkey Imitates Loaves and Fishes

24 Dec

This may appear to be your average, run of the mill, Safeway brand turkey, but we believe there was something miraculous about this bird.

We agreed to provide turkey for our Home Church Christmas lunch after the service this past Sunday and David purchased the biggest one he could find when he went to San Diego the week before.  The tag said it weighed between 20-24 pounds, but even as I was slathering it with cooking oil, covering it with spices and slipping it into the roasting bag; I voiced my doubts to David.  Do you think this is going to be enough to feed everyone?  His exact response was: “Dios lo va a multiplicar.  No te preocupes, amor, vas a ver.”  Oh…that means—“God will multiply it.  Don’t worry, love, you’ll see.”

We had a wonderful gathering.  David shared about unity among believers and we shared communion together.  Then came the time to mash the potatoes, heat up the gravy and carve the turkey.  The meat fell off the bones and David filled up one platter, then another, then another and one more besides as hungry members observed.

We set up the buffet and adults and children alike began filling up their plates.  Some went back for seconds, others for thirds.  Two families arrived later and ate their fill.

I left the extras behind for the hosts and took the bones home to make soup.

Yesterday we had the turkey soup and invited two of the church families to eat with us and learn the recipe.  We began to marvel at this incredible, bountiful turkey and decided to finally take a head count.  33 people had eaten their fill of turkey the day before.  Eleven had turkey soup…and there is still leftover soup for the days ahead.  Maybe not twelve baskets full, but is it just me, or does this story sound a bit familiar?????

A Home Church Family serving the Community

1 Oct

Juan Carlos and Laura have been friends for many years, even attending the same church at one point. Because of Juan Carlos’ career as an executive with Mexico’s largest privately held corporation, they moved frequently, but each time they came back to Ensenada we would reconnect. Laura is a psychologist and has been a tremendous support to our work with the CAME crisis center.

This past February we “happened” to be at a CAME gathering at their home when Juan Carlos informed us that he had resigned his position that very day. Laura was even surprised! That evening when everyone else had left, we listened to their story and also shared with them what God has been doing in our lives and in our faith journey and told them about the Home Church. The next morning they called and asked if they could attend, and ever since then they have become part of our church family along with their 22-year-old son, Gabriel, who is also a psychologist. (At far left in the picture is Manuel, their oldest, who lives and works in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.)

Laura is also recently retired after 30 years of working as a school psychologist. But don’t picture them in rocking chairs somewhere! In May they cut the ribbon and officially opened their own counseling center called Desarrollo Personal (Personal Development) serving the Ensenada community with professional and value-centered therapy and support.
But they did not stop there. While promoting the Center’s services they connected with a local children’s home (sometimes known as an orphanage) that has 11 special need youth transferred from a psychiatric facility. So for the past few months this family and others on their staff have been developing and implementing a program for these young people, training them in basic motor, cognitive and interpersonal skills.
God has also given them the grand vision to assist the children’s home in becoming self-sustaining and in the process they have been inviting other friends and colleagues to partner with them in this project. It has been an incredible set of events that has us in awe of our awesome God!
As members of our Home Church it has been our privilege to support them spiritually as well as participate in this exciting new phase of their lives and life work. Leaders loving and serving God as they love and serve the community—That’s the fruit we trust that God will continue to develop here in Ensenada.

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