Here is our sister in Christ, Susan. She owns a beauty salon and finds much joy in making women feel confident and beautiful. She attended our women’s retreat two years ago as well as received spiritual counseling from our ministry collaborator Kathy who is a marriage and family counselor from Washington state. She has been shepherded at her church, Iglesia Evangelica Luterana de la Sola Gracia y la Sola Fe with much love. She is active in the church and depends on God and is a wonderful evangelist sharing the Good News with people who come to her salon and family and friends. She is a member of the Bible Institute and is learning so much about God in His Word and marveling at how generous and God is with us. It has been a joy to see her grow in her faith and faithfulness. Pray for Susan’s ministry in her community.
A day of firsts. Edificando Generaciones had never hosted a concert before. In collaboration with one of our local missions, and a dynamic youth leader, we hosted the “Elegidos” concert. The CHOSEN ones. Andres did a good job at assembling a team of musicians and they were excited about serving and ministering in spanish. Andres hadn’t sung publicly in spanish before and he did a great job. One of other team members, Alex, prepared a short message of encouragement and did great too. I love seeing them serve, stretch, move outside of their area of comfort all because they know they are advancing the mission of God.
Thank you friends who support the work here in tijuana with the Edificando Generaciones ministry. Your partnership is so important. Continue to pray for the work here, the staff and where you are able…..continue to provide financial support!
Pastor Schmidt is teaching the class on Systematic Theology at the Bible Institute in Tijuana. It is beautiful to see their desire to learn more, understand more to serve more and love more. I marvel at the intensity of the students and love to see their “Ah-ha” moments as the clarity of a deep point and understanding comes over their faces.
I love to see Pastor as he is painting a picture for the students and creating new ways to communicate a point. He really focuses in making complex concepts simple. That is an art. He tackled really important but complex concepts tonight but made sure the students had a clear framework to understand the material…often prefacing the discussion with “not letting their mind get in the way” and not going beyond what Scripture says and ultimately understanding that God is God and we are not and will not understand things perfectly.
The things he tackled today in a nonstop 2 1/2 hours (yes, non stop and fast talking!) were Sanctification, Election and Sacraments!
Thinking about how this will bless the ministries of the students is a beautiful thing….and I know it blesses Pastor Schmidt and it certainly blesses me.
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10
A short term mission team (from Northern California and Colorado) is here this week serving in our “Building Generations” ministry in Tijuana. They have led sewing workshops, led devotionals, sang, laughed and have thoroughly enjoyed being in community with people from four of our mission churches. I am so grateful for Londa, Luther, Pastor Clare, and Twila. There have been some long days this week but very sweet ones.
They have served in four distinct areas and each has been a very different experience. Everywhere they have learned to be flexible, learned that time with people trumps plans for activities, learned that children sometimes don’t realize you don’t speak their language when you hug them and interact with them, learned that there are beautiful things you can communicate even when you don’t speak the language! They have communicated love, presence, honor and generosity in sharing heart and time and treasure. Not only have many who were served this week been blessed, but I too, and our ministry leaders have been blessed. It has been a time of building up the Kingdom too because there were many women at each site that were visitors from the neighborhood and got to experience what it means to be part of a faith community. I know there is Holy Spirit work going on there as they observed, prayed and heard God’s Word and saw love from God’s people. Pray with us for this continuing work!
Yesterday Londa, Twila and Luther helped the women of Iglesia Evangelica Luterana de la Sola Gracia y la Sola Fe tackle some sewing projects and I translated for Pastor Clare as he met with Pastor Enrique and lay leader Sadoc to discuss matters of faith and theology. Actually, it was more of an encouragement session and I know that was a tremendous blessing to these servants of the cross. What a generosity of heart for Pastor Clare to simply offer an ear to listen and encourage and share. Then we participated in a two hour devotional that the women have each Thursday. It was beautiful how they sang, worshipped God, talked about how they are supporting their church’s ministry and serving the poor, they celebrated and prayed over the birthdays of a couple of women and they prayed prayers of thanksgiving and petition together. They prayed together, they cried together, they encouraged each other and then they celebrated together with a fellowship meal.
As we were driving across the border, I asked the group what made the most impact on them as they got to interact with the people of Tijuana. Without missing a beat, Pastor Clare said, “….how they care for each other with such devotion and affection.” He couldn’t have summed it up better!
Here leaders of the sewing project were “commissioned”. Now that they are learned, they will teach! I was touched by one woman saying what a beautiful responsibility it is to teach and serve others. She commented: ”I think about how we can serve in simple ways. Maybe we can’t read or write but even if it is with needle, we can serve God.” Such wisdom. Truly God is doing a beautiful work among these women.
Watch this snippet for a treat. God’s people sing!
We partnered last month with the Dress A Girl Around the World organization and All Saints Lutheran Church in Seattle Washington to distribute hundreds of dresses along with a blessing and message of hope for girls.
Here are more photos! I love the girls expression as they were receiving their blessing with Pastor Abdiel.
Dresses to Mexico
One of the beautiful things of serving on the Frontera Ministries team is getting to know dedicated men and women serving along the border in ministry. Working in ministry in Tijuana both Rev. Ramon Contreras (LBCM ministry) and I serve on this board. We invited Dr. Richard Schlack, director of the El Paso Missionary Institute to give a workshop to the bible institute students in Tijuana on his way over to California to pick up his two beautiful daughters from Concordia University, Irvine.
He was able to join us yesterday for a three hour workshop on worship. What a wonderful offering that was very edifying to those studying with the Bible Institute and other church leaders. Pastor Schlack was a missionary in Venezuela for 19 years and his experience, deep knowledge and passion for the Lord’s word and work was a blessing to us! Thank you Dr. Schlack for your visit. We look forward to your visit in August.
Day 6 Life of a Missionary
Today we are going to visit with Tere, the local Directora of Edificando Generaciones who works alongside of Melissa, and her family, husband Sadoc, the magnificent mechanic, and her 3 boys, and her mom. These are delightful Missionaries for the Lord. They are young, enthusiastic, and loving God. They have built the Community Center on their own property and have built it pretty much by themselves por los manos (by hand.)
As we arrive we are greeted by many people with hugs and “Mucho gusto.” Today the children will go play and have activities supplied by All Saints, while I have a teaching class about the concerns of women. We will discover that the concerns of women are pretty much the same around the globe. In Every country and every state, women seem to be challenged similarly.
Our discussion is quite lively and exciting. I have Legna translating today. She is the Missionary who runs the Youth Center. She informs me how she has begun her program with other supporting Northwest churches to continue her critical work with the youth. She is a most valuable Missionary.
A surprise I have today is that one of our participants is a young woman who I have known since she was a small child. She is bubbly, her eyes are full of light, and she sparkles as she walks. I am inside bursting with happiness, because I see before me an example of the fruit of hard work of the missionaries here. This young woman is walking with the Lord, is well educated, and has a lot to say to encourage women. She is in a unique position to be a great model for other young people.
We have a delicious lunch handmade by our Missionary Tere and we visit.
After our lunch we have the rest of the day to prepare for the event for Day of the Child. They tell me that they are expecting 200 children tomorrow. I look around us at all of the boxes and packages, tables, stacked chairs. We have lot to do!! So Tere, Sadoc, and her family get started on the preparation. We itemize the dresses to sort out the sizes; we put together brown bags of prizes and gifts for the children and mothers. We get the big prices ready for the children; and cut up 4000 gems for the craft. Sadoc washes the chairs and floors. There is much to do!
I get the opportunity to sit and chat with each of the Missionaries’ children while we put packages together. They are my maestros (teachers). They humble me with their goodness and kindness. We have fun; it is hot and sunny outside, but very cool on the inside of the Community Center.
I reflect on this day how God has provided for this Missionary family and how this Missionary family participates in God’s great plan of salvation for all peoples of all nations. The good Lord did not only say to spread the good news to the 12 Jewish tribes; He told us to spread the Gospel to all nations from one part of the earth to the other. Just think – this whole family is actively listening to God and being directed by God! What a marvelous thing! Praise God!
They live right in the midst of peoples who need hope and encouragement, besides everyday needs of food and water. They can do God’s work- food for the soul and food for the body. Muchas thank yous.
Day 5 Life of a Missionary
On Day 5 the sun came out early and it was a glorious day!
We went out to the Sola Gracia Mission site where the groups who do work over the Border come. We greet the ladies from the retreat last year. They are so happy we bought coffee (from Seattle) and goodies and lunch. We plan on a whole day of counseling and classes and scrapbooking and Bible class.
We start up our counseling classes hitting on topics such as child rearing, parenting, safety, depression and anxiety. These are challenges that I see as common in all cultures where the Life of a Missionary goes.
The Missionary today that is serving us is Doctora Vicky- a beautiful woman of God inside and out. With her husband Gustavo, they are critical Missionionaries at the church; and Gustavo is the director of the Bible Institute. They are passionate about Jesus Christ and ready to serve at moment’s notice. They inspire folks and are humble givers. The other Missionary involved today is Melissa who keeps up all relationships with the spiritual leaders in Tijuana. She faithfully meets with the leaders and drives to the Bible Institute. Melissa blesses everyone with her presence.
We have a parent and child- grandparent /child lesson today. This lesson is to demonstrate positive parenting skills for babies and toddlers and give tips on parenting. I use my clinical techniques of Floor Time. At first, as Evi says, these ladies probably think I’m a little “loco” to sit on the floor with their babies. However, after soothing the babies, as Melissa said, “In two minutes, Kathy, as a total stranger, had the babies crawling all around her and playing; then in 3 minutes, they were calling her “mommy;” and in about 10 minutes, one is sound asleep in her lap.”
I wish we had a video tape of this session! It was so clear how the grandparents and parents could use some of these skills at home. I was so proud of one mom who played with her baby and told us, “I don’t know what to do with him at home- I never talk to him.” She learned a new skill today and I am Praising God -We had a God moment there!
After our class, the ladies and children were gifted with the gifts from All Saints. The angels, pictures of Jesus, journals, pens, etc. The Missionaries took some of the dresses for their Day of the Child Event. This year each Mission is offering their own Day of the Child Event to draw more children to the church and hear about Jesus. I am silently praising God because in the next few days there will be 4 Day of the Child Events at the different sites- rather than One! Just think How magnificent God is and can grow His Kingdom!
We ate delicious lunch and special Mexican cream cheese dessert. We enjoyed each other and chatted, drinking Coffee from Seattle. The ladies then began to create their scrapbooking projects – complete quiet- noo sound in the house- they loved them!
By this time it was 6pm and Melissa and I needed to start our travel back over the Border. The ladies were going to stay and have Bible class. What devoted women of God on such a lovely day!
Day 4 Life of a Missionary
What Blessings these Missionaries are for the people they serve!
Today the van is repaired by the Best Mechanico in Mexico- if you need a good mechanic- let me know.
We go off into the Neighborhood of Octubre to visit with the new Pastor Enrique and his wife Amparo. They have had a death in the family and are still grieving. We pray and visit with them and read their letters from Pastor Dallman. God gives Pastor D the best thoughts of encouragement for these fine Missionaries. Life of a Missionary can be very tough-going sometimes. We start the day off with a somber touch.
Old friends start to visit, bringing the children. One old friend is Rosie who Ron and I had bought tamales from years ago. She had had a brain tumor and had been very sick. God is healing her a bit at a time. Others have not been to the church for awhile. Still some go faithfully and serve as missionaries cooking and cleaning in a nearby Foster Care home of 37 children. (We are going to make sure those girls receive dresses too.)
We have a Bible study for the women – “Becoming a Woman of Grace.” Pastor stays outside to play with the children so the moms and grandmas can have adult bible sturdy. Isn’t he lucky? We have a great time discussing God’s word. We sing and pray. The ladies receive their gifts of encouragement – angels, journals, pens, pictures of Jesus. The girls come into the Inglesia to receive their dresses; and the boys receive the knitted beanie hats.
As I said the day had begun quite somber. But now Pastor and his wife are smiling and joyful to have these fine folks in their church. The ladies are absolutely delighted to mingle and giggle over the dresses. Each one gets to take home a dress for their other children or grandchildren. Invitations are given to come to the big event The Day of the Child put on by the other Missionaries. There is lightness in the air and a quiet joy coming out of the pervasive sadness.
The ladies begin to plan to meet for more Bible studies in the future and set a date. The Missionaries just had their first Bible study for women! Isn’t God awesome – He is working all the time. Who would know that a church in Seattle – All Saints- would help out the Missionaries and begin a new project?
Day Two of the Missionary’s journal: ( a look into the journal of a short term missionary to Tijuana partnering with Edificando Generaciones ministry )
Day 3 Life of a Missionary
Today we get to spend a whole day with Pastor Abdiel, wife Alicia, children Keren and Abner in a neighborhood far off the beaten path. This is truly the life of a missionary to be out of the city and into the countryside on dirt roads with no running water. We are so happy to see each other and we are invited into the Inglesia. Pastor Abdiel has a new lay worker Alberto. We read the letters that Pastor Dallman writes to them every year. Such a simple touch of encouragement goes a long way in the Life of a Missionary.
We first go and visit with an infirmed grandma and we pray with her. We go then to the community Center to visit with 3 sets of children who are in the Martial Arts program with Legna. They are having so much fun and Legna is a true Missionary ministering to this neighborhood’s children day after day. She is building a new building (with old garage doors) next month for her martial arts stars. We had an opportunity to talk with nine moms about the adolescent life and how to understand them and not be confused by this time in life.
While the children are in class we have a program with the mothers about parenting. As each class comes out of the Center, they receive toothbrushes; and the girls receive “Dress a girl around the World” dresses with a blessing from Pastor Abdiel. They are surprisingly very shy; but they are very happy. In the photographs their joy is not quite apparent, but they left the Center full of giggles and bubbling joy and skipping up the dirt road.
As we walk back to the Inglesia we have children come out to see what is going on. Some of the children come waking to the church to receive their dress and toothbrushes from All Saints. Pastor and Alicia are so excited to visit with these children. Keren wore her own dress all day running around the church with us.
As we left the neighborhood, we stopped off to visit with a mother and her very ill child age 16 months. They are waiting on heart surgery for the baby. She is dressed so cutely and gives us a smile. We adorn her and her big sister with Dresses and a Baptism dress to be blessed in. We can see how this mother’s heart is breaking so we give attention to the children with smiles and encouragement. We pray over this baby and touch her with our hands. The Life of the Missionary deals with much sorrow and suffering sometimes. The Healing hands of God reach out through the missionary and Bless the children.