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Archive for March, 2009

At the end of our work day on Friday, a large group of the children gathered together to sing us several songs. It had been a very physical day of digging and cleaning but ended with this and a couple of hours playing with the kids.

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Two Words: We're Home

I’m too tired to craft a post right now but will later tonight. Anita shot some great video of some children singing songs for us. If you closed your eyes, you would have no idea who these children were or the harshness their personal stories represent. Even if you open your eyes and watch the video, you’ll still see children filled with joy because they are under the tutelage of their children’s home directors, a man and his wife who love Jesus Christ and have been called to help these children figure out their role in this world.

I would ask all of you to remember and pray for the children of Monterrey, the children that are in homes working with Todd and Beth Guckenberger of Back2Back Ministries. The enemy is on the prowl and would love to snatch one of these little ones from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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Before we took the children to the park, we accomplished quite a bit of work. Often times we’re not able to see the big picture of what projects are completed at each children’s home but today we were able to see exactly what was accomplished. Not exactly the “big” picture but certainly we saw some projects get completed.

  • Completed the painting of the Comedor
  • Made three lounge chairs, and waterproofed them all
  • Painted the ceilings on several of the kids’ dorm rooms
  • Cleaned up trash around the campus
  • Painted the outdoor kitchen
  • Filled in a drainage ditch with concrete so the metal grate that has been puncturing tires could be removed
  • Finished putting nets on the soccer goals

Here are some random photos from half-day of work:

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Picture 198Picture 172Yesterday, we finished up our projects at Casa Hogar Douglass and then had the afternoon to take about 35 of the children to a local state park, Chipinque (sp?), high up in the Sierra Madre mountains on the northwest side of Monterrey.

Each of us  took a “buddy” for the afternoon and our family hung out with two little boys: one who looked to be about eight and the other 13 (photo at right). The older boy apparently had just arrived at the children’s home fairly recently and looked as though he didn’t have a lot of friends yet, and was a little shy. Now I realize he likely wasn’t shy, but was still reeling from the reality that his little world had dramatically changed – that he potentially had been dropped off there with his siblings, that his mother could no longer take care of him. He and his siblings potentially didn’t even know what was happening until their mother was gone. This happens every day in Mexico and breaks my heart as I look at my own children and yet I have no understanding of the difficult choices these mothers face every single day: take care of my children and starve or go to work to we can eat, marry this man who can provide or keep my children.

One the drive up to the park, the kids started out having a great time but as time wore on many of them fell asleep. My 13-year-old boy (John, I’ll call him), just sat staring out the windows at the tall buildings, the boxing gym we passed, car Picture 177dealerships. I wondered what he was thinking. Was he reminded of his father when he saw the boxing gym? Did he imagine himself ever working in one of those tall buildings? So many thoughts and we could only partially communicate with each other.

Picture 175 Once we arrived at the park, he began to warm up but even there he just wanted to sit, even when all the kids were playing on the slides. Todd gave me a little of his family background and it all became real for me. We sat next to each other in the shadow of the huge mountain and I just prayed for him, for his future, for the incredible wounds he must have and that he would eventually know of and accept the love of Jesus Christ.

Our debriefing last night included lots of pictures of each person’s child and funny things they had done. It’s one thing to play with the kids for an hour or two at the children’s home, quite another to get some freedom from the institution and enjoy God’s creation together.

Here are some photos of our outing:

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Day Four, Casa Hogar Douglass

We spent today at Casa Hogar Douglass, a children’s home of about 85 kids about half a mile from B2B where we played with kids (soccer, jumping rope, coloring, playing with puzzles etc), painted the kitchen building, built picnic tables, painted the outdoor kitchen (that we had prepared on the last spring break trip), cleaning the kitchen tables and chairs, applying stain to the picnic tables and lounge chairs and lots of other cleaning and miscellaneous stuff. I’m running out of words to describe our trip so will increasingly be posting photos to tell the stories.

Here are some random photos from the day:

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Picture 133 Was I created to do more than I am allowing in my life? What about you? Were you created to do more in your life than you are allowing? If not, what’s getting your way? Is there a door just waiting for you to walk through? That’s a big part of what we talked about this week.

Hill Country Bible Church has now taken three groups of people to serve the children of Monterrey and a significant number of people have asked that same question of themselves. I’ve seen first-hand the power of God’s Word to bring to life how each of us can bring something to care for the fatherless, the forgotten, the orphans of the world. In tonight’s debrief, Beth mentioned some of God’s promises to the fatherless: to vindicate them; to rescue them; to deliver them and not leave them; to be their father; to provide for them; to love them; to execute justice on their behalf and many, many more.

We were God’s hands to do many of these things this week. The question all of us will wrestle with as we return home is this: was this just a mountain-top experience or will we continue to seek opportunities to care for the fatherless. We’ll also consider if we’re fulfilling God’s plans for our life.

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Random Photos

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