Adriana is a young woman who we have known her for some time now. She has been disabled since birth and is a very reserved young woman. She told us of her solitud and her need for company and friends. Edificando Generaciones was able to get her a special wheelchair. She was delighted but says that she tries to walk with her crocked feet. She had participated in a program with the Shriners with a special visa but it was stolen from her and she was unable to continue with the treatment and therapy offered. She has been befriended by Legna who has become a beloved friend. Legna encourages and motivates her to live a life of hope. Her parents love her and her father works as a brick layer to support his family. Adriana is always in a cheery mood and very expressive. It has been wonderful to journey with this special girl
Josefina is a woman who lives alone y she takes care of her great grandchild and earns a little bit of money by raising birds and selling plants. She has been the woman who has had radical life change by reading God’s Word …. and her preferred method of delivery? The Portals of Prayer in spanish. When she has visitors she asks them to read a particular day to her because she wants them to know the message too. At the group gathering she offers to pray. Now she asks the group at the end of a “portales” which day was their favorite reading and what impression they had of it. She always shares of her experience and especially comments of what she believed and did before she knew God as well and now what she believes and does because God has shown her truth through his Word in the Portals of Prayer.
She comments that she is amazed that she is bold to ask people questions because she was always a very timid woman but once again, she credits that to the power of God in her life.
She is a transformed life living to God’s glory.
Thank you supporters for making sure we have the Portales of Prayer in serving this group of elders.
What a special time to make the true message of Christmas come alive. The “posadas”…. a reminder of how we are to make room for Jesus is a celebratory time. We make the most of this time with our outreach groups and it’s a time to recognize God’s blessing and the blessing of all the other things —- friends, provision, health, etc—-that He provides year round.
One of our elder groups gathered and shared of their talent……yes, I am talking about tamales and champurrado! They remembered God’s provision and thanked Him. They remembered friends who were promoted to heaven this year. They were thankful and I am thankful to make the Gospel message clear and real for these people who are living in their last season of life.
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.