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Friday, April 26, 2013

Round trip ticket to Guatemala.

I finally paid for my ticket to Guatemala. I was really nervous and excited to finally make it legitimate. I will be flying out on the 27th of July and coming back September 2nd. I don't know what to expect or what exactly I will be doing. All I know is that I will be there to serve.

I read a scripture today that I read a few weeks back. It's Matthew 25:31-(the end of the chapter). One things that Katie from the book "Kisses From Katie" talks about is how serving the poor is something that God demands of us. It's not just something that we should occasionally do, but it should be a lifestyle. I think living in wealthy Orange County it's sometimes hard to comprehend what true poverty looks like. I was asked to share about the medical mission for church this upcoming Sunday and for a quick second I started to feel a little nervous. My prayer is that I can inspire at least one more person to serve or to give financially to the cause. I have been practicing on what I am going to say, I pray that the Spirit of God moves my lips and shares what's on His heart.

I, once again, looked at my debt that I need to pay and I can get a little overwhelmed by how much I need to pay, but I know it will be worth it being free from loans and live the life that God has set forth for me to live. I want to live in the center of His will.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How can I help the Poor?

The more people I run into who want to help those in need the more I realize that there are people who genuinely want to help, but don't know how. A few months ago a family friend shared with me a story that really impacted me. When she was a child her mother was not able to take care if her and her siblings. Her mom took them to a village up on the hills of Tijuana, Mexico to live with her aunt and uncle. They were so poor that shoes were a luxury. She shared that a Christian group came to her village to hand out clothing and other necessities. She ended up with a pair of boy boots. She later ended up with blisters because she did not own socks. Wow, socks? That's all, just socks? I was a little sad that without a piece of cotton on your feet can cause so much pain. Not that long ago we did a show drive for the children in Tecate. Many people had donated used and new pairs of shoes. Unfortunately we were not able to give to all the children because we were missing certain sizes. HOWEVER, most were so excited with their new, to them, pair of shoes. After the conversation with the family friend, I realized that many of the children in Tecate do not have socks. After discussing it with Glenda (the woman who started the trips) we agreed to do a sock drive. To my shame, it has been probably 2 months and we have not done anything about it. While in Boston last week I attended church and guess what they were doing for the poor??? A Sock Drive!!! I knew God was reminding me to make a move.
So here we are attempting to collect socks for the families who live at the village in Tecate, Mexico. I was so excited because we received the first donation. I know that God is going to multiply it and we are going to be amazed of what He is going to do.

“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. (Habakkuk 1:5 NIV)

If you would like to donate socks please let me know.





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Orphans

I saw this picture of how often children are left without a parent. Every 18 seconds...I am speechless. Yesterday a friends father died and he lived a good life. He had a strong faith which helped him through the toughest 2 years if his life as he battled the excruciating pain of throat cancer. My friend is doing well, obviously missing his dad. My friend has a job, his sister's are also not struggling financially. Then I think of the children in Uganda who are left to fend for themselves because there Is no one to look after them. I dislike how difficult it is to adopt, the amount of paperwork and money it takes is devastating for those who cannot afford it. I completely understand that in the past people have adopted children out Of the country for sexual pleasure, to kill them and sell their organs and some have been abused. It breaks my heart that even some have stolen children and sold them. I guess laws and rules are placed for a reason. It still brings me back to the picture I saw of how many people claim to be Christians, yet do nothing! Is it lack of understanding of how to help? Is it ignorance? Is it shame? I wonder if it's also a lack of trust? Who wants to give money to someone, an organization, a stranger? I want to do my part. I don't know what that means. All I know is that there's a little boy in Guatemala name Diego who has stollen my heart. A friend told me that Diego will marry her daughter when they get older to make him legal. It was quite funny when she mentioned it. It made me hope. I pray that we all can do our part in taking care of those who have been left behind to fend for themselves.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Serving the Poor; Tecate, Mexico

About 12 years my friend Glenda Moreno had a desire to serve the poor, but more specifically orphans. Her friend +dominic luu Encouraged her to go after it. I don't think she thought he was serious about pursuing her dream. Before you knew it they took their first trip to Tecate, Mexico. In the past 12 years they have served a boy's orphanage, a girl's orphanage, a village and an elderly home.  We go every month and it fluctuates on how many people come with us. Sometimes 12 other times there's almost 30 volunteers.
We went this past weekend and there were about 25 volunteers. We meet in Irvine, buy food before we leave and make the drive to Tecate. Let me share with you a little about the different places we go. We don't visit all the sites the same day due to time. However, we do attempts to visit 2-3 sites.

The Girl's Orphanage
The number of girls fluctuates because some end up going back to live with family. All of these girls have a relative or parents who see them every weekend. The government is trying to have the children stay connected with family. You may think this may be a good thing, but I am not too sure if it's the safest thing for some of these girls. They were taken away for a reason. I understand that we all need the motherly love, but some of these girls who have gone through abuse, it's not the best solution. One girl who went back with her mom was then murdered by her brother who was on drugs and when the mother came home, he also killed her. This is the kind of trauma these children have lived through. Our mission is to LOVE. We have such a great time playing with them, doing arts and crafts, and painting their nails. We have even helped out making their dream quinseaƱera come true. Here are some pictures.






The Boy's Orphanage
The boy's are a little different because they love to be rough and are a lot more active. They like to play soccer, basketball and Angry Birds. As soon as we get there they want to use our phones to play games. There are about 47 boys and about 5 or so of them are orphans, without any extended families who have claimed them. The mission there is the same, to LOVE them, play with them and sometimes we will share a meal together. 



The Village
There are about 25 families who live in a very poor area on the outskirts of Tecate. However, there's about 45 families total who show up, sometimes more. They live next to the city dump and they dig through the trash to collect metal to sell and be able to buy food and other necessities. We bring them food, clothes, toys for the children and other donations. In February a woman donated 35 blankets. One for each family. We try to be attentive to each need. For example, one of the ladies was pregnant and she needed baby boy clothes and a stroller. We cannot provide specific needs for every single family, but we at least give the basic necessity which is food. We have seen a lot of their children grow, some families have moved away and the ones who move in and have not even pots and pans, by the grace of God, that trip someone had donated what was needed. Each family come with a bucket and we fill it up with the food that was donated or that we bought that morning.

 You can never go wrong with beans and rice with Mexicans ;)






Elderly Home
We make a drive about 45 minutes from Tecate to a town called La Rumorosa. We visit a home where there are about 50 men, of which the majority of them are disabled and abandoned. they love it when we come. We talk to them, sing worship songs, and we have even helped clean the walls. It's in the middle of a high desert so the weather is HOT in the summer and super COLD in the winter. Here is a clip of us singing.

We end the day with some Tacos. We get home late and exhausted, but it's all worth it! It's all for the glory of God, because it's only through Him that we do this and because of the example that Christ has given us.


 











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