Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Quiet Revolution

Where to start...

In our hearts is a quietly emerging revolution. One that began a long time ago and is giving birth to new ideas and prospects for future ministry. We've been doing lots of reading, soul searching, and growing lately. God has been placing new things on our hearts and we are pumped! First off we felt lead to start a small group in our home. One where EVERYONE is welcome, one where we grow and share together, learn from each other, and study the Bible, which can often be difficult to understand. We are learning what it means to be like Jesus, that often people who claim to be his followers fall terribly short, and we too feel convicted. Deep in our hearts we have a desire to live like Christ, to love and live with the poor, and to love all those we meet. Suddenly, life, our calling, and our faith are making sense in a way that they didn't before and we feel content. Not content in where we are, because we want to do so much more than what we are doing, we want to love deeper and go far beyond what we think imaginable, but what we have started is exciting.

There are many stories we could share with you, but let's start by saying that we see Jesus in the face of our friends. In the friend that stays at our house because he struggles with alcoholism and cannot go back to his broken home, our friend who doesn't know where she is going to get the money to pay for her children's schooling, our friend who is our Spanish tutor and has shown us love time and time again this year, or our friend from the local market who is searching for significance in his life and is going to start attending our group. Love transforms. When we live life to serve, we see Jesus. Thanks for contributing to our work so that we can be here and do full-time ministry. Thank you. God is beautiful and as Shane Claiborne says in his book The Irresistible Revolutionn "We are about spreading a way of life that exists organically and relationally and is marked by such a brilliant love and grace that no one could resist it." And as we spread that way of life we have seen some beautiful things and some remarkable changes in people. This week made us stand in awe of God, his grace, and love for us. We feel humbled to be living here and sharing life with wonderful people, though we are all broken, we can help one another on this journey that is life.

This week Jennifer had the chance to go to the doctor once again with her friend and little Vicente. Vicente is a 10 year old boy who cannot see well because he is almost blind in one eye due to a cornea problem and has severly damanged vision in the other eye. A friend of ours felt lead to use a connection she has with a doctor to help little Vicente and his vision. This precious child comes from one of the poorest neighborhoods of Leon and his family have no resources to help his situation. To give you perspective, his mother got married and had a baby at age 13. She is 30 with a 17 year old, 10 year old, and 8 year old. We met Vicente when we worked in his neighborhood on Saturdays. It is not that these people are bad, or stupid, they merely do not know any better because they've grown up in these conditions their whole life and have not been given opportunities to help them succeed. Well, come to find out, Vicente needs a cornea transplant and it costs about $4,000. Our mutual friend is looking for assistance, but so far she has not found any help. We would love to see God bring sight to Vicente so he can play and do his school work like normal. If you are interested in contributing to his surgery or know someone who would be, please send us an e-mail. In the meantime he is going to have some special lenses made that will help his vision a little. Thankfully, we have a friend from the States that donated some money that will be used to help Vicente with his lenses. We know many people like Vicente. Sadly, we cannot help everyone, but we can do little things with lots of love. That is all any of us can do. And we hope to watch this precious child open his eyes wider soon. =)

God is calling all of us to a revolution, to make a difference in the world, and do something big with our lives. Are we going to listen?

Pictures: Vicente and his house.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


The day before we left for our one week trip to Texas I was feeling tired and worn out after packing and running around that Saturday. Sunday we'd be leaving the house at 6am to drive to the States and it was now almost 8pm on Saturday evening. I was on the phone with our friend who is now part of the small group we started in our home, and I was trying to explain to her that I was too worn out to stop by and visit her. After just receiving the news 2 days prior about my miscarriage and preparing myself for the trip ahead, I felt as if I had nothing left in me for even one last visit. My friend was understanding, but sounded disappointed that I wouldn't be visiting her and I changed the subject to ask how her week had been. She explained how it had been extra hard to make ends meet and feed her children, but that thankfully they had not gone without food. A neighbor had brought some food over, and she also thanked me for giving her some leftovers from a dinner she had attended at our house earlier in the week. I never thought leftovers would be so meaningful. She asked for nothing. Then as I was on the phone with this dear friend, and I put myself, a single mom trying to feed my kids, in her shoes I thought "what can I do?" It dawned on me I might have some leftovers in the fridge and on the shelf that would go bad if they were not used soon. I couldn't leave that food in the house to go bad while we were out of town when a friend down the street did not have anything to eat. I told my her that I'd be over shortly to bring her some things I had in the fridge and say good-bye. Somehow, I found energy and I started clearing out my fridge. Josh and I have always tried to not be wasteful or buy more food than we eat, but I was stunned by the things that were going to go to waste if I didn't do something with the things in our fridge before our trip. Fruit, veggies, leftover salad, and pancake batter were some of the things I put in grocery bags to take to my friend. As I was walking down the stairs of my apartment building on my way to the car I felt convicted. How many times had I gone on a trip and not given away ALL of the good food in my house to someone who needed it? How many times had I thrown away leftovers instead of giving them to a person in need? I decided I would not do that again. I wouldn't let food go bad or forget to clear out the fridge, instead I share it. It was clear to me in that moment that to do otherwise would be to sin and to deny Christ. Mat 25:45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." And if we do not know anyone who is without food or needy, then maybe we should make some new friends. You would have loved to see the look on my friend's face when she and her children saw the grocery bags. They were grateful for my leftovers and they put them to use.

Something that so many of our Mexican friends here have taught us is generosity. To love and give even when you have little. This same friend in my above story and her family are always opening up their home to us. Even when they don't have much to eat at their house they share it with us and will hardly let us walk out the door without feeding us. I struggle with excepting things from people when I know I have enough to eat at home. Yet this is the beauty of generosity. And these people have taught me how to share and love. I could tell numerous stories of our friends endless giving, but I will pick one that happened just yesterday.

We were at a discipleship group that we are leading with some new people and I complemented the host on her very lovely ring. If you know me you know I enjoy jewelry very much. I was trying to complement her and thought the ring was nice. She told me to try it on and the next thing I knew she was giving it to me. I protested at first and then realized quickly I would be rude if I did not accept it. How ironic I thought. I didn't ask for the ring and the last thing I actually need is more jewelry. But this sweet woman made me think. How attached am I to my things? If someone said they liked my jewelry, I like my jewelry too, would I take it off and give it to them? It doesn't matter if I payed five dollars for it, twenty dollars or if I received it as a special gift. Am I willing to part with my things?

The truth is I have been challenged. Challenged in my reading, Bible study, and by living life with my new friends here. Am I willing to be like Jesus? To give all of me to others? To love and be willing to give even when I feel I have nothing to share?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Awake O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you hide your face?"
Psalm 44:23-24

There are times in our lives when for a moment things don't make sense. Sometimes things happen that hurt us deeply. We look to God for answers, often we get silence in return, but still in the darkness he is with us, he reminds us that life is not fair, it was not fair to him when he came to earth, but in the middle of it all he is here and he holds us.

May 28th Jennifer had her second doctor's appointment to check on her pregnancy at 8 weeks. We braced ourselves as we saw on the monitor that the baby had no heartbeat and it had not grown from the week before. With all of our might we had tried to prepare ourselves for another miscarriage, but in that very moment we were once again struck with the sadness of losing our second pregnancy, and Jennifer's body not getting the signal that there was no longer a healthy baby growing.

God is good and we know that. He has been helping us deal with this even though it is not easy to walk down this road again. We are thankful that we are here in Mexico where we can get affordable and personal medical care. So far we've been impressed with the care we've received.

Last week we headed to Texas for field meetings and our annual field retreat. Please be in prayer for Taylor Christian School as they deal with transition and having to make many tough decisions. Thankfully, we were able to enjoy our retreat in San Antonio and our time in the States. It was a nice break from our schedule and it helped us take our minds off of what we had been dealing with in the days before our trip. We arrived home safely on Sunday and had a wonderful small group meeting last night!

As you think of us please pray for peace and understanding as Jennifer goes through some procedures and tests. Also, she is not sure whether or not she should start teaching ballet classes. Pleas pray for guidance.

Thanks for you love and support!

This song has spoken to us a lot. Check it out.
Held by Natalie Grant