Friday, June 29, 2007

sting rays!

Cathy's sting spot, we had to monitor her foot and leg color that evening

One evening the junior group came over to our beach house for a huge dinner and worship time addition to some much appreciated beach time for the juniors. Alaina Wright and Cathy Winter both had a run in that night with sting rays. Luckily or providentially Josue and Esaul were both there that night from our sister church in Rosarito and they knew immediately what had happened. Josue told them they needed to go the hospital. They were both given shots and antibiotics to clear the poison out of their systems and make sure they didn't have any bad side effects.

The rest of the trip we (the girls) stuck to the neighborhood pool for our "beach side" needs but the boys continued to make good use of the ocean and there were no more inicidents after. Another awesome thing about this beach was the number of porpoises we saw. Almost every evening and occassionally in the morning we'd see pods of porpoises swimming down the coast. It was fun to watch!

serving and bonding

Xavier giving advice on how to find a "novio," they kept asking how he met up with Natalie

Johanna and Emily husking corn from a huge food pick about GROCERIES!

Becky...a shoulder to sleep on

Alan playing on the jungle gym with kids

Jeremy and Nate carrying in ceramic floor tiles

Thursday, June 28, 2007

a growing family

Francis, Isaac, Jacobo

Our third day at GCH three new children, a sister and two brothers, joined the family. Stacey met them at the entrance to welcome them in. Shortly after they were met by a handful of other children and shown around the home. After being given the full tour they were fitted with clothes and shown to their own rooms.

The older sister, Francis was 8 years old and warmed up rather quickly. Her younger brothers Isaac (6) and Jacobo (5) had a harder time and were anxious for awhile. Stacey shared that the children that come to the orphanage have to be in VERY dire circumstances to be placed there.

What a refuge and place of growth and opportunity for those who DO come! They go from intense situations and pain to a huge loving home where they are fed, clothed, loved on, schooled, and greater yet taught about the LOVE of God. I'm thankful we got to be a part of that day and process of seeing their family grow.


George, Stacey and Markus Palau

There is one key family that oversees the ministry and day to day life at Grace Children's Home, George and Stacey. They are from Southern California and moved down to GCH two years ago as full time missionaries. They have two adopted boys from Mexico George and Eric and one biological son, Markus as their immediate family. Their extended but VERY close family consists of 20+ (growing in numbers) Mexican children.

As I watched Stacey in particular day to day I commented to her that they have been given a true gift and ability. While they do have help and daily assistance (2 house moms, cooks/maids, interns, other families on occassion) they oversee day to day life with amazing patience, flexibility, godliness and love. It was a blessing to work along side them and be able to learn more about opportunities to serve and general info and reality of how an orphanage works.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ministry at Grace Children's Home

We're back from Rosarito and there is much to share! Thank YOU for those who were covering us in prayer, God answered in many ways. The group was unified, flexible (a definite must in Mexico), and always ready and willing to step up and help out at the orphanage AND back at our beach house.

The intent of this trip was two fold. One to be service oriented which was definitely fulfilled through our time at the orphanage, Grace Children's Home. The other intent was to be relational, to have time as a group to share, reflect and bond before they head off to college and begin a new chapter in their lives. This was also fulfilled during our times together at our house. It was the perfect fit for this group and the perfect trip. I will share more stories and pictures in the next couple days but here is a quick snapshot of what we did while we were at GCH. We started our days there about 11:30 hanging out with kids, eating lunch with them, helping with homework (older kids) and playing with the younger kids. The guys helped out too during that time with building projects for the education center they are in the midst of building. The last couple hours was spent doing a more "structured" time with a VBS we prepared. Cathy and Diana would kick us off with some fun worship songs in Spanish and English then a pair of seniors would do a Bible lesson, we'd have a craft, game time and snack time following.

Erin and Xavier's Bible lesson interpreted by Mayerly

Craft Time with Amanda and Becky

Rec' Time with Cody and company, we did a waterballoon toss game that day and it was a hit!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Grace Children's Home

This Saturday is our final youth trip with our Seniors. We'll be flying down to San Diego and then driving across the Mexican boarder near Rosarito where we were last year. This year we'll be working at an orphanage with 20-30 children doing a VBS. I've added their blog link to my page "Grace Children's Home." From what I/we know right now there is a Senior center close by that is connected relationally to the orphanage. The Seniors in assisted living situations volunteer their time to help at the orphanage and build relationships with the children there that have no family. I love that idea and am looking foward to seeing how it all works.

We had our final trip/prep meeting last night at the Howell's where everyone had a chance to meet and practice their Bible lessons. There are 14 students going and four leaders this year. In our "off" time we are lodging at a beach house nearby where we'll have a relational group time. The students will get to share their testimonies with each other and high lights from the past serveral years and the leaders will do various devotions focusing on "not drifting" as they head into this next chapter...adulthood! Some of the topics include dating, Christian campus ministry, accountability and Christian friends and mentors. I'm looking forward to sharing about "mentoring" and how my mentors impacted me in college and beyond. Thanks Merry and Karen!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

goin' short...

I've been debating cutting my hair short again this past month and took the plunge Friday. I went in and had Aimy cut and color my hair. Color you ask? I've never been a dye, highlight, lowlight, uplight, downlight, frost and whatever else you can do to hair but since my gray is becoming much more prominent I've decided to give it a try. She did a great job. I am really happy with it and love having it short again! Thanks Aim!