Calling all Voices of the Bride…
We need your help this month, from our 146th newsletter. Yes! 146th, I counted! We have each and every newsletter in a special binder, safely locked away. This is a very special journal of our life in ministry together, since the day we packed up our home in North Carolina, in January of 1996. The “our life” in ministry, includes you! We have always been so grateful for your partnership, as you have walked each step of the way with us. From our travels on the road, through many trips abroad, salaried ministry positions, part time missionary work, to now full time missionary work, it has been a colorful journey.
This may sound like a tee up for another change in ministry on the horizon. In fact, it is just the opposite. We have never been more sure about what the Lord has given us to do here, in these days.
Serving the needs of the poor in Mexico is of one of the highest honors. It is a mutual blessing that works both ways. Working with some of the most humble brothers and sisters in Tijuana, has truly enriched our lives.
Our ongoing gatherings of Worship and Intercession for the Lord, on behalf of the NATIONS, has been gaining momentum and steering on course. It is a privilege to stand in the gap for brothers, sisters, and people groups around the world, fighting the good fight of faith.
This brings me to how “we need your help.” Being sure of what we are called to do, we believe like never before, the Lord is going to make provision for us to do it. Most of what we rely on has been a daily bread, which is a lifestyle not uncommon nor concerning to us. However, as with all things, there is an ebb and flow to ongoing support, and we are in an ‘ebb’ at the moment. We could use your help to boost that back into a ‘flow’, as we carry on with serving the Lord through worship and compassion.
We also realize that many of you who know us and believe in us, could also connect us to those who do not! Could you take a moment and ask the Lord who might He want you to share VOB with? Possibly someone you work, or go to church with. Perhaps a church missions director, or Sunday school teacher. Maybe you have a fundraiser idea. We could use your assistance in this way, to boost both prayer & finances. A few extra monthly partners can really make a difference.
Ok, sure, it’s a bit awkward to let you know we are trying to boost monthly support, as well as ask you to help spread the word. But, I often find myself realizing that I so love to know of a good cause, and I love spreading the word when I think it can help that cause. We are tossing it out there, and asking you to pray about how you might give Voice of the Bride a hand.
This past year, in addition to a successful matched funds fundraiser, our daily bread was there. We just need to put the word out there to stay ahead. Already this year, gas prices are really taking a toll on us due to the need for big trucks to carry the food back and forth across the border. Recently, the fees charged for crossing the border have doubled, due to another administration change with Mexican Customs. We have more we’d like to do with worship, including travel. We know that economic times are just tough all around. But, we also know that the Lord’s economic system is entirely different! What do you say?
We have photo brochures describing much of what VOB does, if you are interested in having us send you some to share. Let us know. And of course you can always recommend this site or our Facebook site. And continued thanks for how YOU stand in the gap for US!
Grateful, Wayne & Carol
p.s. please pray for our upcoming 24 hours of Worship event, “Burn for the nations” May 311/June 1. Email us for the details or check Facebook!
“Sitting down to write our newsletter, this month, our effort to stay in touch with you, I’ve just finished viewing the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I am sure much will come out about this in the coming days. But, for now, this causes my agenda in writing, to change.” (Read More)
Praying for the nations and the situations on the heart of the Lord, is so gratifying!! We are web streaming our worship nights. Maybe you can join us sometime! Upcoming This Saturday April 20th 7-9:30pm.
www.ustream.tv/channel/voiceofthebride You can also watch archived video after the fact as well.
For more info on Good News Etc and Caz Taylor see sites below.
We feel the need to let you know about some prayer needs this month, since we have so much going on, and are having a hard time keeping up! Read on regarding prayer needs, reports from our border crossings, and exciting things happening with worship! Read more here.
Happy New Year! May 2013 be a year of blessings to you! We were blessed this past year and want to share these
VOB Reflections with you! Including a blast from our past (20 years ago to be exact) photo!
Merry Christmas everyone! We have had a typical busy season ensuring that all the kids we are connected to in Tijuana get a special toy or gift. Also, thanks to many of you, we collected enough non-perishable food items to distribute to 10 of our adopted families who receive food items from VOB weekly. We wanted to stock their cupboard during the Christmas season. This month’s update is our Christmas greetings passing along the thanks given to us from those we serve. Check it out here.
Worship and Intercession for our Nation; Update on brand new rehab facility we are sponsoring; Christmas 2012 and V.O.B-A-Gift in full swing again. This and more in this month’s update. (Read more here)
This month we are updating you on one of our adopted families. Antonio, is still in school despite his school having a lottery to decide who could come back due to overcrowdedness. And his sister Angelica is cancer free after 2 years of treatment that the “Karen Fund” helped with. Read their stories here.
This month, VOB had the opportunity to minister at a special outdoor gathering of our partner Vicente’s, colonia house church. We took our Pastor, Gary, and a worship team. Maybe you can join us sometime! Following, are some thoughts from the team: (Read More) Listen in below!
Thank you to VOB Partners who helped us with these exciting gifts, including Victor’s new guitar that you can hear him on below. (Read More) Would you like to partner with us?
Over the years, we have been asked on many occasions, “Why don’t you just help people here in the U.S.? There are many needs here!” And while that is certainly true, a day on a mission trip to Mexico, many years ago, might explain why we are doing this particular work: (Read More)
What would you reply, if you were told this story?
“I am 57 years old and I had lived in the US since my parents brought me there when I was 2 years old. I went to school and college and worked a career and paid taxes for over 30 years until the day I was deported recently. I have only been to Mexico once as a young boy and feel completely alone here. My wife, children, grandchildren, and new great grand child all live in the US. (Read more)
Last month, during one of our VOB sponsored open worship nights (‘open,’ meaning open to anyone and everyone), a young man wandered into our gathering. He had been invited by a friend of ours, who stopped him to ask directions to the venue. As he sat through the night, I noticed his countenance change dramatically. His demeanor went from one of bewilderment and reserve, to a look of pure joy and delight. It was as if …(read more)
We are excited to share this note from our board with you.
This is a brand new, and exciting opportunity, which can be a great help toward future full- time ministry.
Worship events, From Hotels to Homes, & more. Read more from our latest newsletter here.
Lately, I’ve been reading about David. You know David: the king of Israel, the worshiper of GOD, the lover of GOD, the writer of songs, the builder of worship instruments. When I read about David, every, single time, I am moved by his passion & commitment to the Lord. He goes to great lengths to remain faithful to the Lord, and his steadfast trust & hope in the Lord are unparalleled, in many respects. David had to run from Saul for years, & even had opportunity to kill Saul on two occasions. And yet, he would do nothing to harm, ‘the Lord’s anointed’, even as he, himself, had been anointed to be king of Israel one day.
David was fearless when he worshiped the Lord. He told his wife, Michal, when she made fun of him for his passionate display of worship upon bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, that the Lord had anointed him ruler of Israel, and that he would, in fact, celebrate before the Lord, and be even more undignified in his own eyes, but he would not hold back in front of the people (II Sam. 6:21,22).
This is how we should be before the Lord: fearless, unafraid to passionately display the love we have for the One Who saved us from death, hell & the grave. When we live a life of worship in this way, others are moved to seek out the One we love. Oh that we could introduce others to our Lord, simply by the passionate act of worship we display before Him daily!
When Wayne & I returned from our Christmas trip to the East coast, I asked the Lord to open up some doors of opportunity to do worship. When a couple of these invitations came, I was so excited! And I found it no coincidence that I just so happened to be reading in I & II Samuel. I was daily being reminded of what it is to have the heart of a true worshiper. When I see the faces of the men at the Aqueduct outreach in Tijuana each week, I am reminded of His great love for these dear ones. I see their countenance change when they get into the presence of the Lord, through the atmosphere of worship! As the Lord inhabits the praises of His people, His presence brings peace, joy, hope, change. We’ve heard the word ‘change’ bandied about in the last few years. But real change, only comes from knowing the One Who can truly change hearts, & minds. It is our prayer, as we get the chance to take worship into the streets, buildings, churches, communities & even the nations, that true change will come within the heart of men & women. That they too, will become passionate & committed worshipers of GOD, even as David was.
Would you stand with Voice of the Bride, this year, as we develop the worship arm of this ministry? Would you pray for the Lord to send more worshipers to minister with us, and those who would have a heart for the poor as well? It is our sincere prayer that we would be able to say, along with David,
““Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For
great is the Lord & greatly to be praised….Let the heavens be glad & let the earth
rejoice; and let them say among the nations, ‘the Lord reigns’”…I Chr. 16: 23-25 & 31.
Thank you & blessings to you this month!!
p.s. thank you for prayers for our ongoing support and for safety and health. For Wayne related to ongoing back pain the past couple weeks. Also for Carol’s hands and arms from playing guitar more often.
Happy New Year Friends. We hope your Christmas and New Year with your family was blessed. Our’s was, as was our drive across the country! Yes, we drove again, nearly 5,700 miles round trip! We have done so quite a few times now, and though many find it hard to believe, the time goes rather fast. There is so much to see in this great country of ours. And of course, we enjoy one another’s company, having also celebrated 19 years of marriage during this holiday season. We consider ourselves blessed.
“I believe that as we bring worship and compassion to the poor, God wants us to help them not only with their physical needs, but also with a ministry that brings change and healing to their mindset; a healing of their self esteem, and a restoration of the dignity of heart that comes from knowing they are created in the image of God….As we draw the poor into a life of intimate worship and fellowship with the Lord, He not only takes people out of poverty, He takes poverty out of the people.” [D.W]
During our holiday break we received a few phone texts from our ministry partners reporting on how the Christmas festivities and outreaches were going in Tijuana. It is always bittersweet to be away during Christmas as we do not get to participate in the passing along of the toys and gifts that we collected for the children and others. However, we smile anyway, knowing that the kids are also smiling. We realize how grateful they are without having to be present to see it.
Referring to passage Luke 4:14-21, “ Proclaiming the whole gospel, then, means much more than evangelism in the hopes that people will hear and respond to the good news of salvation by faith in Christ. It also encompasses tangible compassion for the sick and the poor, as well as biblical justice, efforts to right the wrongs that are so prevalent in our world. God is concerned about the spiritual, physical, and social dimensions of our being. This whole gospel is truly good news for the poor, and it is the foundation for a social revolution that has the power to change the world. And if this was Jesus’ mission, it is your mission, and it is the mission of the church.” [R.S.]
It is good to be able to step back and reflect on what it is that God has called us to. The holiday travel was a good time to do so. During my rest time, I (Wayne), read from a book I received for Christmas entitled, “The Hole in our Gospel” by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S. Some of the quotes in this letter are from his book so that we may reflect on them together. I have been further inspired, as well as further challenged. Perhaps you will be as well.
“Some people have even described a ministry of compassion as a discovery of Jesus sacramentally present in the poor in a similar way that He is present in communion… Often, the presence of Christ is deepest and strongest among the people and in the situations where we are least comfortable.” [D.W.]
I also read “Kissing the Face of God – Worship That Changes the World” by Dale Walker, Pastor of Heart for the World Church and HFTW Ministries missions organization. We quickly discovered in this book, that it beautifully weds who we are, concerning worship and compassion, and how we want to represent VOB. You will see a couple of nuggets quoted from Dale’s book as well.
Referring to passage Matt. 25:31-46, “…the sheep had acted in tangible and loving ways toward the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, and the vulnerable, while the goats did not. Those whose lives were characterized by acts of love done to “the leasts of these” were blessed and welcomed by Christ into His Father’s kingdom…..Let me take some liberties in this paraphrase. - For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick , and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved.” [R.S.]
We are eager and excited to start this new year. We look forward to seeing what the Lord wants to further do with worship and compassion for the lost, as we continue to be HIS ‘Voice Of the Bride’.
Love Wayne & Carol
p.s. Carol has received several worship invitations both here and in Mexico. Please pray for anointing, clarity, protection and guidance.
Merry Christmas from Voice Of the Bride! We have had a wonderful BUSY month spreading the cheer of giving and remembering Christ the Gift! Non-perishable food drive, Toys collected, your sponsored V.O.B-A-Gifts, Medical outreach and more.
Thanksgiving Reflections of 2011!
It is Thanksgiving night, and as I read many words of thankfulness from one friend or another on Facebook, I ponder our thanksgivings at VOB.
It has been an exciting year, full of many things to be grateful for. As we reflect on those things, you are a priority on that list. We are grateful for your partnership with us. Without you, we would not have had Wayne now being able to pick up food full-time, 7 days a week. We would not have been able to deliver countless truck loads of bread, pastries and canned foods. We hope that in some way, you can reflect on your own participation in helping us put shoes on little (and big) feet one week, while delivering mattresses and clean sheets the next. How about 400 tortas and 80 gallons of water each week, for the homeless living in the Tijuana aqueducts? Although you may not have been able to hear their sincere thanks, and see the grateful expression on each face, we gratefully reflect, knowing we have a team of partners behind each satisfied smile.
What a blessing it was to have a team of “text intercessors” who were mobilized to cover us in prayer, each time they received our text, as we crossed the border (some 150+ times this year).
Perhaps you participated with us this year, either here, or in your own prayer closet, worshiping and interceding over the nations, as we launched, a new worship initiative interceding for Japan after the earthquake, as well as the many critical issues in the Mid East. Also, another targeted intercession time for the U.S. and for Mexico, and the many problems that continue to arise with the government and drug cartels.
You probably get the idea. We are thankful for you. We are grateful for the opportunities to share Christ, by both communicating, as well as demonstrating the Gospel.
One last prayer request to wrap this year up: We are participating with our Mexican partners, in holding a large outreach event in Tijuana, Saturday, December 3rd. Carol will be leading worship, and others will be sharing testimonies. Along with our regular feeding of people, there will also be a medical team to care for medical needs, including dental and eye care. We are expecting to have a thousand people in attendance to serve. We will give you the full report next month. Hope your Thanksgiving was great!
Love Wayne & Carol
p.s. If you haven’t already, check out the post below this one to look at some Christmas gift ideas with V.O.B-A-Gift. Perhaps share it with a friend. If you would like to provide a gift in honor of someone, we need your reply by Dec. 15th, in order to return a Gift card to you. Otherwise the gifts that keep giving can be designated at anytime. We are also collecting toys and non perishable food, locally, for the holiday season.
V.O.B-A-Gift this Christmas Season!
As Christmas approaches, we thought we would invite you to participate in something new this year. Many of you are familiar with what we call, ‘catalogue gifting’. A mission organization sends out a catalogue with various ‘gifts’ you can give toward.
We would like to offer you the same opportunity to donate this year, through Voice of the Bride, with an offering of various ways you can help our Mexican brothers & sisters in need. You may choose one of any of the following items you like, and contribute towards that need. In doing so, you will be helping to provide for many very poor families, and/or individuals, and to those we are ministering to on a weekly basis. As hearts are softened, through needs being met, more openness to the Lord Jesus comes through. [READ MORE FOR FULL DETAILS]
How many folks does it take to move a van load of papaya’s?
Or how about, how many people does it take, to move the same load of papaya’s multiple times (i.e. on the truck, off the truck, on another truck to distribute at the outreach, etc.)?
Let me tell you, it takes many good, and faithful helpers! In TJ, we call this process “hormega” or ‘Ant’, as it takes an army of ant workers to move a pile from one side to another.
We are so grateful to have such a wonderful partnership with our brothers and sisters in Tijuana. Actually, it really ministers to me. I have realized how amazing it is to be surrounded by like-minded individuals, who work together for the cause of the poor. The obvious blessing, is that the work goes so much faster. The greater blessing, however, is the unity. Click here to read the whole story.
Sure, kids like to go bare foot in the summer time.
But for some kids, it is not just an option.
For the lone, young boy in this photo, the soil in his colonia, makes bare feet an unhealthy option. We were thrilled to get more shoes from soles4souls.org and HilariousGivers.org to distribute in Mexico. All of the kids and adults who got new shoes were most grateful. I sure wish you could experience their smiles like we do. But thanks to you, and your support of this ministry, for making it possible!
Click here to read more: VOB Newsletter August 2011
“Sitting in the back of our pick-up truck, on a metal folding chair, several hundred men, a few women and children, all along the dirty aqueduct which the Tijuana River flows through, seems like a weird place for a worship setting. What, no fancy building? No polished furniture or excellent sound equipment? Nope. Just hungry people, waiting in line for a few oranges, a sandwich and some toiletries. Or at least that’s what they THINK they are waiting for. What they actually GET, is the love of GOD in the handshakes, the prayers & the stuff handed out. And what I hope they REALLY get, is the peace that passes all understanding, as they walk through the atmosphere of worship which flows out of the back of that pick-up truck!”
Click below to read more.
Our friends David & Hilary Overton, missionaries in the Philippines, were here visiting us recently. We all went down to Mexico with Wayne, on the day he helps with an outreach to those living in the aqueducts of the Tijuana River. We also went to take food to an elderly home, where over 100 people live, and an infirmary, where up to 15 people with severe medical issues are cared for.
For some background information, understand, that when I say, ‘elderly home’, or ‘infirmary’, or ‘rehab’, I am not talking about something that looks like 1 of these places here in the States. These are usually run by ministries and/or individual people like you & I, who have a heart for these situations, & start something. There is no government support, no local community support, no extra funds, no regular distribution of monies or food. These places often rely almost solely on the provision the Lord provides. The outreach to the aqueduct dwellers, is headed up by a lady in Mexico, who had it on her heart to feed the poor who live behind the levy doors. She, and a few others, make sandwiches, with bread provided by VOB & Surrender Ministries (Greg Rosa, VOB partner). We also provide toiletries & oranges, and the group makes them & gives this all out every Thursday morning.
So, Wayne, myself, David & Hilary show up for the outreach, with food packed for the other locations, and set about to help the group down there in giving out food. We shook hands with the 341 people who showed up, prayed for them & helped hand out food. As I stood along the line of mostly men, many of whom are addicts, I just started singing in the Spirit. I immediately felt the presence of the Lord in such a hugely powerful way. And then, the Holy Spirit came flooding back into my memory, of the first ever experience I had with the power of worship, some 20 years ago, before I could even play a guitar. As I was singing, I heard one of the guys sitting there, ‘shushing’ his friends, and saw out of the corner of my eye, that he was pointing to me. The Holy Spirit reminded me that, when we worship, no matter how simply it is done, the presence of the Lord comes & people are changed. The atmosphere is changed. People who may have, not the slightest moment of peace, suddenly DO feel peace & want to be changed. I realized that we have a chance to change the lives of, at minimum, 341 men & a few women, each week with, not only a dignified way of treating them, a sandwich, some water & toiletries, but also, thru the powerful presence of the Lord in worship.
As we moved on to the elderly home, helping to give out pastries, pray for a few, and just shake hands with & smile at many people who are generally forgotten, I began to feel a little guilty for not being a person who shows up every week.
Once we got to the ‘Camp of Faith‘, I was overwhelmed at different times, with the needs of these men who have zero money to go to the hospital & get, sometimes simple operations. One man broke his back over a year ago. One man got hit by a car a couple of months ago. One man broke his arm, and, with no money to get the needed surgery, his arm is now useless, since the hospital did not reattach the tendons & ligaments, but only partially set the bone. A man there started crying as soon as Hilary & I touched him to pray for him. He could not talk due to a tracheotomy & was so miserable, we think he wanted to die. He kept talking of heaven. Most of their needs would have been ‘fixed’ in the U.S., but not in Mexico, where you must pay before you can receive medical care. We did pray for them, because that is all we could do.
As we left that day, I felt guilty again, but the Lord quickly showed me, that just showing up & worshiping or praying for someone, or even just listening to their story, brings a great light (THE Light) into their lives. How would I feel, if I sat day after day, with no one to visit me, then suddenly someone showed up to just visit. I think I would be so happy. Food for thought for all of us. -Carol
Be sure to listen to the Radio interview with Wayne on Prophetic Underground Radio about the Mexico missions. Just click on the play button in post below!
|From time to time, we have people who visit with us & go down to Mexico to experience or participate in what VOB is doing. It is refreshing for us, to see through the eyes of someone else, the work which we are doing. It also refreshing, and most encouraging to get feedback from those who go down & participate with us. We thought you might be encouraged too!
“Going into Tijuana with Wayne and Carol, was an experience that truly reminded me just how much Jesus loves HIS people all over the world. It is easy to forget that there are hundreds of nations all over the world with men, women, children, drug addicts, elderly, and orphans, literally going hungry, and living their lives in physical, emotional, and spiritual brokenness every day. But the wonderful part of this apparent sadness, is that God has called each of us, in our ways, to “loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. To share our food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter; when we see the naked, to clothe him” (Isaiah 58:6-8). When we start to look around, we realize that there are people going through the same situations all over the world.
There were many times during our day in Tijuana, that I though I was back home in Cebu. It made me remember the magnitude of need in our world. The need for Jesus, a Savior. The need for the most basic of needs: food, water, clothing, and love. The need for proper health care. The need for a helping hand to start a new life in victory over addiction. The situations we saw in Tijuana, we see in Cebu, and in millions of people across our world at the very same moment in time. I can’t help but dream of a Church united, that is meeting the needs of people, just like you and me, and people in Mexico, and the Philippines, that Jesus may be known in every tribe and tongue and every individual’s heart. We have a great task ahead of us and yet Jesus makes it so easy for us. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Loose the chains of injustice and then “light will break forth like the dawn”. I love how Jesus is so practical! These are fairly easy things to do, and yet they bring light and life and healing to individuals, and to nations. This is what I saw as we ministered with Wayne and Carol in very practical, necessary and powerful ways, to bring Jesus’ hope to TJ. It’s challenging and inspiring for all of us, no matter where we live. We can all find ways to share food, to clothe the naked, and help to provide shelter to those in need, keeping in mind that it’s not for our own self to boast, but that Jesus may be known in the hearts of those we reach.
What I appreciated most about our day in Mexico, was the dignity that was shown to each individual. Before feeding a very long line of 341 hungry people, many of whom are addicts, we went through the line and shook hands with each one. It wasn’t about just meeting their physical need in a quick, in and out fashion, but it was recognizing that there is an individual with a life story, who is valuable to this world, and to the Kingdom of Jesus. And that deserves more than a handshake and a sandwich! And, wonderfully, amazingly, awesomely, Jesus knows each one by name. I only wished my Spanish was better! But language barrier or not, I was truly honored to shake hands with each one of these men (and a few women). You just never know who you are shaking hands with! Someone in that group could be the next Billy Graham, and go on to do greater things than even Billy Graham did. And that’s really exciting. It was truly a joy and an honor to spend the day in Tijuana with Wayne and Carol and their ministry. Jesus is truly doing an amazing work through them and their team in Mexico. Thanks for letting David and I be a part.” -Hilary Overton
of these situations in the news and then go on with our busy lives. Fortunately, for the people of this border town, Voice of the Bride is not forgetting about them. We had the privilege of going into Mexico when we visited Wayne & Carol to see firsthand what VOB is doing. We went across the border in Wayne’s truck, which was filled to the brim with bread, fruit and other donations that would be distributed to various shelters and orphanages. As we traveled to some of these shelters, I will never forget what we saw in one. It was a home for the elderly, and as we walked through the gates we were greeted with the warmest of smiles, the gentlest of handshakes, and the greatest of needs. As we walked into the kitchen with the shelter director, he showed us the shelf for food and bread – there was only one bag of bread remaining. One small bag of bread. There were more than 120 people in the shelter, and only one a few pieces of bread. We brought loaves of bread from the truck for them to use and then we took out one box of pastries and handed them to all of the people there. I felt a little guilty turning one elderly man away, who was claiming that he did not receive one, yet the crumbs around his mouth clearly said he did. I wondered when was the last time this man felt “full”; or did he feel “hungry” all of the time.
We continued to walk around until a man caught my eye. He looked Asian, and, since I live in the Philippines, my curiosity was sparked. I approached him, and after devouring his pastry, he began to speak to me in a language that I still cannot identify. I listened as best I could, and the shelter director shared that they thought he was from Hong Kong. I tried saying hello in as many Asian languages that I know how to say hello in, however he either could not hear or understand me, or he spoke another language. He talked to me for 10 minutes. I didn’t understand a word, but I sat with him and listened to him. As we were leaving, I turned to wave goodbye, and saw this elderly man starting to follow us out, thinking that he could go with us. My heart broke as I told him he needed to stay – in English – knowing that he wouldn’t fully understand my language. As we drove away, I realized what a desperate situation this man faced, living somewhere that he would neither understand nor be understood. These situations are everyday life in Tijuana – one bag of bread to feed hundreds, clothing yourself in rags to keep warm, sleeping on the street or living in a country where you neither understand nor can be understood by anyone – all just 30 minutes from San Diego.
We were unable to fully communicate with everyone, however everyone, including my Asian friend, did understand the language of Love and the Gospel of Jesus – to feed the hungry, to welcome a stranger, to clothe the naked, and to care for the sick and broken- hearted. This Gospel is the daily work of Wayne and Carol, VOB & their partners in Mexico, and I was honored to be a part of it for one day.
In addition to being a part of that one life-changing day in TJ, my wife Hilary and I are committed to monthly financial support for VOB and empowering this amazing work to continue. Jesus calls each of us to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and broken hearted, and preach the Gospel – Voice of the Bride is doing all of these things and they need your financial support to continue their work. Today you have the chance to be a part of this amazing work and make a difference in TJ!” -David Overton ”Missionary to the Philippines”
David and Hilary lead an incredible ministry to the poor in Cebu, Philippines. They started and have maintained for over 8 years a free maternity and health clinic for the needy in their community. Glory Reborn Clinic, a staff of 30+ has delivered over 2,000 babies and touched countless lives of families in need. Please visit their site www.gloryreborn.org and see how you can sponsor a mother, a child, or a family.
I Love TJ Campaign
These men live on the streets, under bridges and in the Tijuana River sewer system.
The music is called “Deportation,” by film composer Gustavo Santaolalla from the movie “Babel.” A fitting song, as many have lived in the US and Canada before getting sent back here.
Filmed and edited by Dean Krueger
This month I got to hang out with my good friend, Peter. He and his wife, Nikki, have been a great encouragement to us and our work in Mexico. Peter was down from the Northern California area with his son, a high school senior, and his annual school (Kings Academy) building trip to Tecate, Mexico. Each year, this group of 400+ come down, and build multiple houses for families in need in just over 3 days. It is wonderful to see a ministry group continuing their commitment to Mexico, inspite of any recent concerns about crossing the border. This time, 19 small houses, and a school building were completed. It truly is a sight to see all of these young people, and their leaders, who take their spring break to come and be a blessing to others. They stay in tents on a local ranch near the building site. This sea of tents, 100 in all, in the middle of a huge cow farm industry, is another site to see. It is like an invasion of gringo’s here, to help our neighbors, south of the border. VOB benefited from this group, in that I was in the right place at the right time, when they were discarding some tents for one reason or another. But I quickly knew that my buddy Vicente would have those tents up and useful. And within a couple of days (see photo) one small family was happy to have the tent to live in as it better suited their present needs. Imagine that? The look on the boys faces was priceless.
While connecting with Peter and his group in Tecate, I also got to connect with my new friend Ken LaPoint. Ken started the “Mi Casa Children’s Home” in Tecate where we (Peter, I and a group of men) put roofing shingles on the new dining hall last fall. But if you also remember, this is where I delivered the 50 mattresses for the bunk beds. I wish you could have seen the smile on my face and my relief at getting to sleep on one of these donated mattresses for 2 nights. Sleeping in a tent does not fare too well with my body these days. God Bless the teenagers who loved it! I love Ken’s heart and most of all, his long term vision for the children and families he is connected with in Mexico. I also look forward to a long term relationship with Ken and Mi Casa Children’s home. We see this facility as a great place to accommodate future VOB mission teams. I love how God networks his Body together. Again meeting Ken was through my friendship with Peter who I met while working for Desert Stream in Kansas City. Don’t you love stories like that?
One last fun story: While in Tecate, we were out, picking up some needed supplies. After parking my truck, and walking across the parking lot, I hear, “Wayne Wayne”. I look, but do not recognize the man, so I keep walking and figure, who would know me in Tecate (a little east of Tijuana)? But the calling does not stop, and the caller reaches me. It was Rudy, whom I truly did not recognize, as he went on to explain that he got bread from us on Tuesday nights for 2 years as a drug addict. He goes on to tell me that he ended up at a Christian rehab and had been clean for 3 months. He had 1 more month to complete his discipleship. Again, I wish you could have seen the beam on Rudy’s’ face! His was a brand new face, that was truly unrecognizable. He was a new man!
UPDATE: Our first “WorldWide Intercession Plan” worship & prayer event was held on March 26. Our prayer ‘target’ was the Middle East, in particular, all those nations with uprisings going on. We also prayed for Japan, in light of the recent earthquake & devastating tsunami, as well as the nuclear power plant breakdown. The evening went well, with many prayers going up for these nations. This is the first of what we hope will be many, many such events. We have another scheduled this Saturday, April 30th, targeting California & Mexico with worship & intercession. We will be praying & worshipping & asking the Lord to come & bring His Kingdom into our state, as well as our neighbor, Mexico. We know that prayer changes things. We hope to be a part of changing the world for the Kingdom of GOD.
See www.ipcprayer.org for a 21 day (April 15th-May 5th) prayer guide for Mexico.
Outreach: We had nearly 200 brand new shoes donated this past month.
If you ever wondered how much fun it would be to drive a “shoe mobile” and find feet to match...IT IS! The smiles on these faces tell it all. The shoes found good homes among the children in many poor colonia’s as well as some of their parents. The shoes were also nice gifts rewarded to many men and women who are working hard on their own rehabilitation.
There may even be more shoes to come!
If you read last month’s newsletter, you know it was focused on worship being a priority.
This month, we would like to announce a new addition to Voice of the Bride, called WorldWide Intercession Plan! This new endeavor, is focused on bringing together worship & prayer in a format designed to bless nations, people-groups, missionaries, and whatever else the Lord should call us to focus on. Our first ‘mission’ will be a worship & intercessory event, here in San Diego, on behalf of situations in Egypt, Libya, Israel, and the Mideast in general. In light of the ongoing tragedies on Japan, we will also be focusing on praying for, and worshiping the Lord, over that nation. We believe that prayer rides on the wings of worship, and we KNOW these nations & the peoples living in them, need our help in both a tangible (giving) way, as well as a spiritual (praying) way. Please join us, wherever you are, on Saturday night, March 26, from 8:00pm (pacific coast time) until 10:30 pm and pray for these nations/situations. The time is critical. (you can pray for us, as well, as we move forward with this new ministry opportunity). THANK YOU!
If you live in Southern California and want to attend, the venue is: East County Prayer Center 737 Main St. El Cajon, CA 92020
We hope to gain some additional monthly supporters for this next year. Let us know if that is you!
“ ..and when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb,having each one a harp & golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints…” Rev. 5:8
In this passage in the Book of Revelation, worship is represented in one hand (the harp representing worship & music) and prayer is represented in the other hand (the bowls are full of incense which represent the prayers of the people of GOD). Often, in our prayers, we pray, ‘Lord, let Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, here on earth, as it is in Heaven’. But what IS going on in Heaven? According to the above passage, there is a distinct correlation between worship & prayer. When we pray, GOD answers our prayer (not always in our timing or according to our wishes, of course, but He always answers and He is ALWAYS good!). When we worship, GOD inhabits our praises and He comes and fills the room with His presence. (Psalm 22:3)
Prayer seems to flow more easily out of worship. Probably because we get ourselves into a more appropriate attitude as we worship. The cry of our heart often comes out during worship, like no other time. We seek the heart of GOD. We sing about Who He is. We gain revelation about Him. We cry out. He hears us. He answers. It’s a simple flow that yields complex results. As we ‘do’ the activity of Heaven, which seems very clearly to be worship if we study Revelation, we are now, in reality, being the answer to that very prayer mentioned above about bringing the Kingdom of GOD here on earth. And when the Kingdom of GOD comes, all kinds of cool stuff happens!
Most people, whether they follow Jesus or not, have some understanding or idea of what prayer is. Studies have shown that people in hospitals, who receive prayer, seem to heal faster. You, yourself, have probably seen untold answers to prayer over the course of your life. It is a valued and worthwhile endeavor to pray. Some people even seem to have the gift of prayer, and they simply love the act of praying. We pray for our family, our friends, our jobs or schools, our country, or the world in general. We pray for missionaries. We pray for people groups. Many people are praying right now for the situation in Egypt & in the Middle East, as things become even more volatile. We have asked you to pray for us, as we minister in Mexico, regularly feeding the poor. Prayer is vital to our walk as Christians. Worship is equally as vital to our walk as Followers of Christ. The Old Testament is particularly full of passages on the importance of worship! When we put worship and prayer together, a powerful force is unleashed upon the earth. Try it sometime! Put on a favorite worship cd, or a cd of favorite hymns. Sit and ask GOD to direct your prayers. Or grab your guitar and play some worship tunes…or improvise however you need to. If you’ve never done this before, you will be amazed at the renewed depths your prayers will go, and the sense of ‘mission’ you’ll feel has been accomplished when you are done. If you HAVE done this before, you might want to refresh yourself in it. There are few things I do where I feel so satisfied.
May the Lord guide us in accomplishing HIS will in this day and in this time.
Could you please add these requests to your prayer time:
- please pray for a developing VOB vision to launch worship and intercession for the nations as described above.
- please continue to pray for protection and safety in ministering in Mexico.
- also please pray for Wayne’s physical health to keep up with the physical demands of the ministry.
- praise GOD, we have had an easier time in getting food (though still limited to non-produce) across the border! Although this could change at any time, (please continue to pray) this is a HUGE answer to prayer!
Also, just as we have asked you to pray we also like to offer PRAISE for answered prayer! It has been over a year since Wayne quit his job and focused on the Mexico mission full time. God has supplied our need and we are grateful for those of you who committed to being part of the provision of that need. Many of you are monthly supporters, and one of you (back home) has consistently supported us since we embarked on our full time ministry journey in 1996. (you know who you are – thank you!). Perhaps this year, some of you may be able to commit to monthly support. Any amount helps build our budget for Wayne to remain full time. Again your partnership is vital both in prayer and resources!
Check out our Facebook community page for a couple new video’s from Christmas outreach and feeding the homeless in TJ. Go to www.facebook.com/voiceofthebride and click on the photos and videos!
Homeschooler assembly line = nearly 500 bagged socks and 150 personal care packs.
So grateful for the extra help to pull this off!
For our Christmas give away this year, instead of winter hats, we bought over 1500 pairs of socks. Our dear friend Julia Cecil offered her son’s homeschool friends to help prepare the red gift bags for women and green for men. We also made more personal care packs for those living on the streets of Tijuana. So everyone got 3 pairs of new socks at our Tuesday night outreach, the aqueduct outreach, the elderly home, and the infirmaries. We also had a successful toy drive – where every kid got at least one toy. Photo’s to come perhaps next month. Thanks for your help making this all possible!
(above) We were donated new mattresses from a cruise ship overstock. VOB delivered over 200 twin mattresses to children’s homes, rehabs, and families who either had no mattress or in dire need of a better one
(below) My buddy Vicente built a bunk bed (for the mattresses) for the boys of one of our adopted families. They have their own bed to themselves now. We bought them new sheets for Christmas to go on their new bed! Wish you could have seen the smiles!
TJ is the nickname for San Diego’s neighbor city of Tijuana. It is also the first letters of the words Truth and Justice.
I Love TJ is a group for those who want to see Truth and Justice in Tijuana. The Truth is that it’s not right that our neighbors are suffering from poverty. It’s not right that people live in fear from cartels and corrupt government. It’s not right that people are dying for lack of medical care.
Justice would mean more than enough food to meet their needs, a warm home and freedom from oppressive politics and environment. Basic needs, yes. But for many a difference between life and death.
When Jesus was asked to define neighbor, he told the story of a man robbed by bandits and left for dead, and the string of people who avoided Truth and Justice. On this group, you can follow the ministry of Wayne and Carol Kiger-Rice, as they feed the poor and the orphans, or more simply as they love TJ. In this way, you are showing your love for the poor and the broken in TJ. Wayne and Carol are living their lives finding and helping neighbors who need help.
I love TJ. Or as the locals would say, “Me Gusta TJ.”
Click on link below to check it out:
Happy Hanukkah and a very Merry Christmas!
from Voice of the Bride Ministries!
Over the last couple of months, I have been doing something I have never before done on a horse. I have been riding my young ex-racehorse, SurfLine Saint, up to the border wall, between the U.S. and Mexico, and praying. The ranch where I work and board Saint, is right at the U.S/Mexico border. Riders can take a trail right up onto the ‘mesa’ and see long, beautiful views of the Tijuana River Valley, the Pacific ocean, and all the way to downtown San Diego on a nice day. But our mission is something else. The amazing thing is, “Saint” is a very young horse that I have been training for some time, with much difficulty. He is not all that brave when it comes to leaving the ranch. But ‘prayer-riding’ is something I really felt strongly about doing, and, with the location we are in, I just prayed that he would calm down so that we could take on this prayer assignment. The first day I rode him up to the border wall, I was amazed! Saint seemed to know that he was on ‘royal business’, as one friend called it. He was perfect, and seemed to take very seriously what we were doing. I know it sounds odd, but it was as though he knew he had to behave because he was carrying someone doing important business. He never took a wrong step, or even flinched when something scarey presented itself to us! I felt the presence of the Lord as I sang His praises out into the hills and mesa. As I sang over the city of Tijuana, and the nation of Mexico, these simple words came to me: “Pour out Your Spirit Lord, Pour out Your Spirit Lord, Pour out Your Spirit each day. Pour out Your Spirit Lord, Pour out Your Spirit Lord, Pour out Your Spirit on TJ!!!!!” Each ride has revealed something different to pray about. I will tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything so wonderfully fulfilling on a horse. And I am very thankful for my ‘prayer partner’
I have continued to make regular trips up to the border, and hope to continue to do so. Thank you for praying for VOB, and helping us carry His presence to others. And remember, if even a lowly horse can do a mighty job to further the Kingdom of GOD, why can’t you? Carol
I wanted to thank those of you who responded to being added to my text intercessors list. I also wanted to share how much it has meant, having you cross the border with me each time. Some of you reply immediately, and that has been great (one friend often replies “ten four”), and many of you have expressed how much more involved you feel. I had not actually expected to enjoy it, personally, as much as I have. I mean, I knew that it was important to have more praying, specifically, each time I cross the border. But I had no idea how much it would impact me knowing that each of you knew when I was crossing. Though I am never alone with Jesus, it is also comforting knowing that you also are thinking, and praying of the adventures that await us. I am also convinced that great favor has come out of the extra prayers you have spoken on my behalf, and the mission at hand. Some really great things have been accomplished this month which we will have to wait until next month to expound upon. Wayne
p.s. it is not too late to join the text intercessors … just let us know.
Hitting the highlights this month . . .
We collected donations, via Facebook , for Children’s Illustrated Bibles available through a contact with Last Days Ministries. LDM got a case of them donated for free! Thanks Carol D. The children loved them.
Wayne connected with VOB partner Peter K. and his men’s group from Northern California who traveled to Tecate Mexico to shingle a new roof on a children’s dining hall. It was great fellowship, great fun with the kids and a long lasting blessing of a shelter from the sun and rain. We also gave each kid a new pair of shoes – thanks to VOB supporters.
We created, and continue to create care bags for those who live on the street. A VOB partner and a neighbor of ours’ (both travel for work), supply us with multitudes of hotel bathing products! These items, matched with donated toothpaste and an online bulk purchase of toothbrushes, turned a little bag of love, into a large blessing, to souls in many desperate situations. Thanks Peter S. and Christy W.
We are grateful to serve in Mexico and grateful for you on the home front! We would like to beckon you for one small, yet important task. A good missionary friend strongly encouraged us to make sure that others are praying for Wayne’s safety in Mexico. Safety, as well as border official hassling, does make for a trying trip across each day. We thought there might be some of you who would be interested in getting a text from Wayne when he (along with his angels) is about to cross the border, so you can agree “yes Lord”! If you are interested (and able – as we just got new phones and entered the world of texting)…just let us know if you want to be added to the group. Let’s cross the busiest international border in the world together!
The Karen Fund….. you may remember, is a fund we set up last year, in memory of Karen, a young girl who died due to an untreated medical problem, which her family was unable to afford. Since then, VOB has worked to help provide relief for the medical needs of those we minister to, as they arise. The “Karen fund” has been able to cover emergency root canals, taxi rides to the hospital for a young girl (story below) to receive chemo treatments, and help with burial costs for another recent and sudden death. Our friend, Adrienne, was 32, and had a sudden intestinal rupture a couple of weeks ago. Due to his impoverished circumstances, emergency treatment did not come quickly enough. He was a dear and humble brother, whose smile never went unnoticed.
Angelica is the 11 year old daughter of our very good friend Vicente. She had a tumor develop rather quickly, on her forehead last year. She was able to begin immediate treatment for cancer, because Vicente has family that lives in the U.S., and can provide some financial help for his family. Both Vicente and his wife, Lupita, work very hard out of their tiny home. They accommodate us on so many levels, helping to store the food we bring down, as well as helping to distribute it at various times during the week. We love this family and stand with them in agreement for Angelica’s healing.
Below is a personal report from a recent visitor. She is a VOB supporter, former board member, and, well, we just call her ‘Mom’.
“On my recent trip to San Diego to visit my son, Wayne, I was able to see how much he hustles to pick up food. He has wonderful connections with several organizations which give food. I was privileged to go with him to pick up this food. After the pickup, he returns home, checks the food to be sure it really is ok, and then organizes his trip across the border. I also saw, first hand, how Wayne has to declare his goods at the border, and has to wait around for the agents to get to him to check him thru. Truly a servant of the Lord.”
“One family I met, in particular, greatly impacted me. I really enjoyed being with Vicente, Lupita and their four children. Their oldest daughter, Angelica, has cancer. I felt a very close connection to her because I survived cancer in 2003. The whole family was wonderful, but little Angelica felt sick, and we could tell. We stayed at the house a little while, and gathered around her, and prayed for her. After I returned home, Wayne informed me that she had to be put in the hospital because she needed blood. Wayne said that, in Mexico, if a person needs blood, it is the families’ responsibility to rally volunteers to donate blood to the blood bank. They are required to do this, in order to replenish blood before it is given to the patient. Angelica was in the hospital for a week or so. Wayne keeps me posted on her condition, as I desire to help this family in any way I can, because of the impression made on me while visiting them.”
“My prayer is that Wayne and Carol can find a place to store all of the food donated to them. They need storage. Right now, he is using their garage, which is not enough room. Therefore, he sometimes goes to Mexico twice a day! He truly does not want the food to go bad. On Tuesday night, I joined Wayne and Greg as they gave out food to a whole host of people who know and trust them to bring food every week. The people all appear to be so grateful.”
“This is just a touch of what I saw this August, 2010. Needless to say, I am a very proud mom that her son and his wife want to serve the Lord. ‘Thank you Lord, for all your provisions. We just love You so much.’ Please pray for Wayne and Carol, and for Angelica. God Bless you! Mary”
Hit the Ground Running…
That is what I have been saying to myself all month. And the busier the month got, on went the running. We have some prayer concerns that we wanted to ask you to bend God’s ear on.
First I want to share what an honor it was for me to be by my grandmother’s side when she breathed her last breath. For those of you who prayed that I would make it to NC in time, I thank you. It was a privilege to spend a couple of days with her before her passing. It was also an honor to deliver her eulogy, though hard to summarize the faithfulness of a 97 year old saint. Our family will miss her dearly and we will need to up the anty on a prayer warrior loss for VOB.
I returned from North Carolina, along with my mom. She had an already planned visit to see us and tag along on some VOB missions. Many of our friends and ministry partners in Tijuana loved meeting her. I know it means a lot to them that someone would come down and visit while on vacation, just to be a blessing. In turn, they were a blessing to her. You may hear from her next months newsletter!
VOB is what I like to refer to as, “on call” for what sometimes is a daily pick up of food (yesterday marked 13 days in a row). We have connected with a local mission which provides food and various needs to the massive homeless population of downtown San Diego. This mission, appropriately named “God’s extended Hand,” receives donations from many resources, including the San Diego Rescue Mission. When they have more (particularly non-perishables) than they can move quickly, they call me. I then sort the truck load, and attempt to properly store items, until I can run them down to Tijuana. Sometimes an immediate delivery is necessary. Although I am most grateful for this provision, it has been hard to determine a consistent schedule each day. Thus, I need your prayers for my ability to plan accordingly, as well as for favor in managing my time. And please, just as when we pray, start your prayer first with THANKS for the abundance, because we ARE so thankful!
A final, and current concern for prayer, is regarding a new difficulty we are having with Mexican Customs. More specifically, with Mexican Agriculture Inspectors known as the “Sagarpa”. As you may remember we have not been allowed to declare fruit for 8 or more months now. Remember the huge truck loads of oranges we were getting in just before? This is due to a concern about the potential problems of a fruit fly epidemic. Well, the concern now, is over a moth that may pose a potential threat by coming in on vegetables brought INTO Mexico. We are working closely with the Sagarpa, regarding this concern. But, as of now, we are being told we can no longer bring produce of any kind into Mexico. This is a huge upset, as not only do we desire to get important nutritional food to the poor, but it comes at a time when we are experiencing an abundance of donated produce. At this point, I am limited to only taking small, undeclared amounts of food in multiple trips across the border. This ban only applies to produce being brought in through the non-commercial declaration side of the Mexican border entry. Therefore, the ban only applies to those bringing in donations. We are looking into what it would mean to be recognized as a commercial exporter of produce, recognized by the Mexican federal government. This is what we are told would give us greater favor. Basically the government wants paperwork which documents where the produce originates, and how it was managed. The irony is, most of the donated produce we get first originated in Mexico before being imported into the US!
Thank you for beckoning the Lord on our behalf and on behalf of the poor, once again oppressed by red tape! I am encouraged by a quote we found jotted down in my grandmothers night stand:
“The Lord has been good to me, whenever I have any worries I go to Him”.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep,
so that you will not grieve as those who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
A scripture that has come to us many times this season…a scripture quoted recently at a dear ministry friends’ memorial who, like a couple of other ministry friends in recent weeks, has gone too soon. These friends are gone too soon for those here on earth who will miss them dearly, and who struggle with understanding why. I guess, as you know, it is harder on those of us who are left behind. However, we are encouraged in scripture to rejoice in their home going. For we, unlike others in the world, have hope in eternal life.
In addition to these 3 ministry friends we also have known 3 close friends who each lost a parent recently. Though these parents may have lived life a little more toward its fullness, being prepared to lose someone is never easy. I, myself, have my dear grandmother on my mind each day. At 97, she is likely in her last days here, as her body is tired and responding less to earthly substance and she most likely has her eyes on her Savior.
How do we prepare for grief? How do we comfort those who grieve? Perhaps there are some around us who do not fully grasp having “hope” when losing a loved one. Thankfully, all those mentioned above knew the Lord and met their awaiting King. They all had faith that they would someday meet Jesus, and they had great hope in that knowledge. As Believers, this is something we look forward to.
Many of us often look forward to Heaven. Particularly when life is hard, times are tough, the state of the world seems in such dire straights. But we press on and know that our present duty is to tell as many around us of His grace and His free gift of Salvation that extends eternal life to every soul.
We had the opportunity to do just that at a recent Tuesday night outreach in Tijuana, when addressing the group that had gathered to receive their bread. Yet another passing in the prior week, of a dear friend and helper, just an hour or two after the outreach, gave us reason to exhort the crowd. Raquel (pictured in last update below) had been a faithful helper in distributing food with us each week. She collapsed from a heart problem due to prior drug abuse and, although her life was redeemed and her passion was serving the Lord, her frail body had run its course. Raquel loved serving her community and as we reminded them of that we encouraged them that, like Raquel, our days are numbered and life on this earth is not guaranteed. But a new eternal life in Jesus is promised if only He is made Lord of their lives.
So, just as we did at this past weekends memorial, we gather with others to remember a loved one who has passed. We rejoice in their completion of suffering for those who were sick. We remember their mark on our life and attempt to make a difference in others lives based on their influence. Though we are saddened, we are thankful for having hope and therefore able to grieve in a way that says “bye for now…until we meet again” And as I posted on my Facebook status this week, “Heaven has yet another good one up there!”
who went to be with Jesus just an hour and a half after our Tuesday night outreach
was over this week. Her heart had suffered some abuse from former drug use
and she had high blood pressure. Raquel loved helping us serve her community
and she will be deeply missed.
“ ….your work of faith, and labor of love,
and steadfastness of hope in our
Lord Jesus Christ….I Thess. 1:3
I’ve been reading I Thessalonians of late, and Paul’s description of the life of the Thessalonian people who were following the Lord really stood out to me. The people who Paul was speaking to, were not Jewish, and they did not live in a Jewish culture. They suffered great persecution as followers of Christ (one GOD), living in a very pagan city, where multitudes of deities were worshipped. Daily, as they went about their business and social lives, they were confronted with the reality of doing good and remaining faithful to Jesus in a very hostile environment. Paul was honoring them for their steadfastness in the faith, as he wrote this encouraging letter to the friends he loved so dearly. His words made me ponder our own circumstances and ministry in the Lord.
There are days (and nights) where I watch Wayne drive long distances to pick up large loads of bread, or produce. He is faithful to go out many evenings a week to pick up donations from a local bakery when they close at night. He goes out to meet people who may have clothes or toys to donate. He gets up early to start a long day of both picking up and delivering food to ministry partners and needy facilities in Tijuana. Truckloads of food are loaded and unloaded several days a week. I watch as I see this labor of love.
I know of families who are weekly ministered to as stories are told and prayer administered to those who have lost loved ones, or are in physical pain or financial need. And I see a work of faith being discharged through VOB and ministry partners, knowing that one plants, another waters, but GOD brings the harvest.
Sometimes when you’re passing out food to the hungry and needy, you never know how a person receiving a loaf of bread or a bag of tomatoes might be touched. In fact, you may never even see that person again. But this is also a work of faith and carries with it, the steadfastness of hope in knowing that the Holy Spirit is touching hearts, causing people to come to know Christ. As someone shares the Gospel in spanish on the Tuesday evening outreach, hope rises up, knowing that the word of the Lord will never return void.
And so we pray for these three things: to be faithful, to have love, to be steadfast in hope. We pray for these things for you too, as you carry out your day to day relationship with GOD, laboring in love, being faithful and carrying with you the steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…. May the Lord bless you this month. And we thank you for YOUR faithfulness, love, and steadfastness toward us and Voice of the Bride….
May the Lord bless you today and give you great encouragement. Love Carol & Wayne
-more resources for food, including refrigerated goods such as milk, meat, salads.
-a more suitable vehicle for transporting these goods
-continued networking with new ministries and the sharing of resources to extend the Kingdom of GOD!
-a refrigerator for storing perishables.
-warehouse space that would be a good space for worship events as well.
“Hilarious Giving” was Pastor Lee’s sermon title one Sunday morning at our church in NC,not long after we were married. Of course this message stemmed from the scripture;
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Cor. 9:7
The word ‘cheerful’ in the passage above is ‘hilaro’ in the original Greek. We loved this teaching and if I remember correctly, laughter broke out in the congregation and lingered every time hilarious giving was discussed (I still have that sermon cassette tape somewhere). Though I had already learned principles of tithing, and the discipline of doing so, from then on I loved the concept of carefree and generous giving.
Fast forward 16 years or so, and guess what the name of an organization VOB has recently aligned with for getting food to the poor in Mexico? Hilarious Givers! That’s right! And what hilarious joy it has been. I found myself smiling and chuckling all day today as I delivered the first truck load full of nonperishable food that we have had the privilege to deliver. As you know we have had bread, various sweets, occasional fruit and more often produce. But today, along with these usual items, we carried in dried soup mix, rice and protein meal packs, bottled sport drinks, bottled Muscle Milk, canned tomatoes, jarred sun dried tomatoes, nut snacks, dried fruit (fruit ban at the moment prevents regular fruit from crossing) candy bars, cookies, vitamins and even a case of bar soap. It actually was quite hilarious wondering what the Aduana agents were going to make of it all. But above all, it gave glory to God because it is in HIS name that we GET to give.
HilariousGivers.org collects overstock nonperishables. Remember those dinged or mislabeled canned goods? Those are collected as well, but by the semi truck loads! These items are stored and then matched with other groups, such as ourselves, who are able to carry it into Mexico to the various needs. And get this: these items are donated exclusively for the poor in Mexico! What a great, great blessing. So our garage has now become a VOB storehouse week to week, as things are dispersed each day with trips to the border. We are realizing that a real storehouse may be a coming need for VOB. Would you join us in praying about that?
This month we wanted to just bring special attention to our blog and invite you to surf around it some. We have a brand new slide show uploaded on Youtube for you to enjoy. There are many things that you may not know about. For example, you may find it interesting how we came up with the name VOB, or realize that we have Carol’s worship CD’s available with total proceeds toward the “Karen Fund” for medical needs in TJ. Or perhaps there are archived newsletter’s you missed or would like to review again; such as why/how we returned to San Diego as detailed in the April 2007 post. Simply scroll down to find the post entry of interest. Other things to click around on are: outreach photos, video from one of the orphanages, links of other ministry associates, worship articles by Carol, Paypal link for donations and CD purchases, and blog visitor comments.
We so appreciated the VOB article featured on Last Days Ministries website last May – that’s a great re-read. Our blog has been a wonderful tool to expose what we are doing to a wider audience and we think that you may appreciate it as well. Thank you to all of you for your valuable partnership with us! Love Wayne & Carol
With all of life comes dichotomy (the division of two contradictory groups). Pertaining to this weekend, Jesus was tried and crucified on what we call Good Friday. A horrible death, preceded by a mock trial. Devastating for all who knew Him. But three days later, He arose from the grave, triumphantly overcoming death on behalf of us all who now know Him. A huge victory, coming on the heals of a seeming defeat. Much of life is like that. We all struggle with pain and suffering, some things in life going so badly, while other things seem to be going quite well.
For VOB, this last month has seen the lessening of bread coming from regular sources, only to find more bread from other, new sources. As well, the border crossing issues have been better, only to be turned around completely one recent Monday.
In light of this, we thought you might find relevance and encouragement in a story from our personal life. We always enjoy reading something personal from missionary friends and others we know, so this is ‘that’ for us today. We hope the story below will bring encouragement to you, as you face the ‘dichotomy of life’. And by the way, just keep remembering that, ultimately, Jesus over came it all for each one of us who choose to accept Him. Blessings upon you!
“There is nothing too great for God’s power,
and nothing too small for God’s love.”
This quote is from Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor, and well-known missionary, Corrie Ten Boom. Her family, during W.W.II, saved many Jewish people from death by the Nazi regime, and she certainly understood trials, both large and small.
I recently read the quote when a friend posted it on Facebook. I ended up reposting it to my own status, as it spoke to me quite deeply in our current circumstances. I thought I would share this very personal story with you this month, in hope that it might speak to you as well.
To some, my particular circumstance, will not seem like a big deal. To others who know me well, you will probably understand exactly why this situation has been so difficult. But either way, the implications of a GOD who loves us, and is intimately involved in every detail of our lives, continues to be a revolutionary and awesome revelation.
About a year and a half ago, we were blessed to be able to adopt a little dog from a local rescue I do work for at the ranch where I train horses. This little dog brought a tremendous amount of joy and happiness to our home, because she is such a bright little personality, with so much joy and exuberance. In fact, she is probably one of the happiest dogs I have ever seen. This, in spite of the fact that she was abandoned by the side of the highway, completely matted and filthy, tied to a shopping cart and left for 3 days before being rescued.
We named her Franki June, ‘Franki’, after Francis of Assisi, who loved animals and loved the poor, and ‘June’ because we got her in June. She has become a real companion for me, as I travel back and forth to my job, quite a distance each day, keeping me company while I work, and bringing real joy and laughter to all of us at home, including rescue parrot, Gabriel! I found myself being extremely thankful for Franki, because Wayne and I both love dogs so much and because she is just so happy all the time! As time went on, I kind of felt like the Lord was speaking to me to pay attention to Franki’s ability to just ‘get on with it’, and be joyful and not dwell on unimportant issues. Mind you, the Lord has always spoken to me personally thru animals, so this is not surprising to you if you have been around for awhile! He has, on numerous occasions with the horses, revealed Himself to me via one thing or another concerning the horses. So I took this to mean I should pay attention, because the Lord had a life lesson for me thru Franki June. I tried to be obedient.
In February, right before Valentines’ Day, Franki began to get sick. At first, she simply became uncoordinated. We thought maybe she had an ear infection. But the uncoordination quickly progressed to an inability to stand, walk or hold her head up very well. Thru the vet visits, foxtails were discovered deep in her ear, and removed. These are nasty little plant-like spurs that go in, open up and don’t come out. We hoped this would be the end of it, and indeed, she did get better. Then she regressed again, only much worse this time. She could barely move, and our happy little dog became almost completely incapacitated.
Through a series of vet visits and tests, it was determined that Franki had something called ‘Inflammatory brain disease’, a disease of unknown origin and somewhat unknown prognosis. The vet did not have much information to offer us, but put her on medication for swelling of the brain, and we brought her home to try to nurse her back to health.
Nursing Franki back to health meant, basically, round-the-clock care for her every need. When she could hold her head up pretty well, we were so glad. Then she could stand up on her own, with some effort. Finally, she began to be able to walk again, and has now regained the ability to get water on her own, play a bit, and even go on short walks. She is still unsteady, & more so when tired, but we continue to pray for her progress, and that our ‘happy little dog’ will once again, be that same, exuberant, ‘let’s have a good day’ personality we have truly come to love.
So it was during the 24-hour care portion of this last 6 weeks, that I read Corrie Ten Boom’s quote above. It was during a moment when I was struggling with what I was doing, what was happening and what the outcome might be. I had enlisted several close friends to pray for both us and Franki, and I was very grateful that they were doing so. But it was still so hard. When I read this quote, I felt a breath of fresh air, because I was reminded of how truly powerful the Lord is, how He can do anything, and nothing is too difficult for Him. Not only that, but He is intimately acquainted with every little detail of our lives, down to the very hairs on our head. (Lk.12:7). He says that He takes care of the littlest sparrow, and how much more important are we to Him! So I knew, and was reminded once again, of how this seemingly insurmountable problem that Franki had, was “not too great for GOD’s power” to fix. And I knew that Franki, a little, ten pound rescue dog, not regarded with much value in the eyes of the world, but so deeply loved by us, was one of those, “nothing too small for GOD’s love”.
So in this crazy, chaotic and mixed up world we live in, no matter what walk of life you are in, no matter what your own personal struggles are, no matter the burdens you carry for yourself, your family, the nation, or the lost, please remember, in those trying times (and there are so many), truly, “there is nothing too great for GOD’s power, and nothing too small for GOD’s love”. I am standing on this for myself, for you, for Voice of the Bride, and for Franki June. Thank You Lord……We hope you have a wonderful Easter season with your families! Happy Resurrection!
p.s. please pray for Franki June
“are not five sparrows sold for two cents?
And yet not one of them is forgotten before GOD”.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The poem above, by Emma Lazarus, is inscribed upon a bronze plaque on the interior of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. I have always been intrigued by its wording “..give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse … send these to me!” What a prophetic message similar to Isaiah’s “…bind up the broken hearted to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…”
No matter how one views illegal immigration, it is hard to see what we see every day and not respond in some small way to help those in desperate situations. Such as Frank who, after being deported, has now overcome his drinking problem but remains separated from his family in the US where he spent most of his life. Or Juan, who was 2 months old when his parents brought him to the US and now living in a culture and language that is foreign to him, birthplace or not. Maria had a green card for most of her adult life, working for a family in their home, taking care of their children while she raised her own kids who were US citizens. Maria returned to Tijuana to take care of her sick mother before 9/11 and was not permitted to return to the US afterwards. Recently she asked me to call her son for her, as she was worried about him, and wanted him to know that she was fine. Maria, for reasons unknown, died 2 days later. My second call to her son was certainly more difficult!
I am reminded of a friends observation while participating in our street outreach with the many deported immigrants, when she commented “setting all aside and making the lives of these strangers a little more bearable with kindness, a little conversation, and some food”.
February 2, 2010 (San Diego AP) – A statewide report on immigrants released this week reveals that 23% of residents in San Diego County are immigrants—and nearly half (45%) of those immigrants are citizens. Of all children in the region, 43% have at least one immigrant parent. These and other intriguing findings are based on data collected in the 2005-2007 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.
¡feliz año nuevo! January 2010 Happy New Year!
We thought it to be important to start 2010 with updates and answers to your prayers for 2009. It is so easy to ask for prayer, a little more difficult to be diligent to pray, but often overlooked to give praise or credit to prayer. We do not want to overlook what God has done with your praying responses to our requests.
One reoccurring theme for the past several months has been favor at the border with the Aduana’s (Mexican Customs). Though I could not really tell you that a complete parting of the sea has happened, something has occurred with those request made that “obstacles be removed for caring for God’s treasure – the poor”. Some of this change occurred over our willingness to jump through every hoop with each customs requirement presented to us. This included our needing to be more willing to cross the border at certain times versus only when our schedule allowed. (yet how can we do this? Details below!) But overall, our persistence with your standing behind us, and the Lord who delivers the oppressed ahead of us – His Kingdom has prevailed. We have not been refused entry, nor have there been any new requirements in recent weeks.
We have asked you to pray for the past 2 years that something would work out for Wayne to be a full time missionary to Mexico. God is good and He, through you, has provided over recent months, that extra funding which has provided a budget for Wayne to do just that! We are very excited about this new endeavor for 2010! So, as described above, we are now able to make daily trips across the border if need be. Today, one of the local wholesale produce distributors donated 2 bins of oranges. Tomorrow another 2 bins, plus 25 boxes of tomatoes. Being able to undertake this large of a donation on a regular basis is certainly an answered prayer. I have also been linked to another potential connection for large quantities of rice, beans & other nonperishable items. I will have to keep you posted on that outcome. But it looks very promising.
As I resigned from my position at my job with MHS, I was assured that both my program and a sister program would like to remain in contact as an ongoing resource for the people of Mexico. Already I have returned to the office for donated baby items and clothes which were designated for Mexico. It is a real blessing to have these former coworkers who provide services to families in need here in San Diego, desire to also help abroad.
We asked you to pray regarding our having a mercy fund for medical needs as we become aware of them. As of now, we are accepting designated funds for such, but also look to explore possible grants available for foreign medical missions. Just the other day, someone at Carol’s work told us of some medical supplies she would like to donate. These will be taken to the Camp of Faith in Tijuana, where the very ill are cared for. In my most recent visit there, Vicente and I prayed with an elderly man who was severely depressed and suicidal. He had 2 broken ankles from a first attempt to end his life jumping from a high roof. He had bandaged wrists from a 2nd attempt, and, in a third attempt, had taken a piece of glass to his throat just the day before our arrival. As we prayed and loved on him, he accepted the Lord as his Savior, and invited Jesus to help him. I sensed that he was able to receive grace and acceptance from the Lord. Vicente’s recent report was just that! The man is now full of life, in high spirits, and is also helping others sick at the camp. Also, to update you, the “Ancianos” returned to their elderly home, El Refugio, after damage from the fire had been repaired and restored. They are also getting a new moble missionary nurse, whom I have been in contact with, who will serve full time between both El Refugio and the Campo de Fe. Their basic needs will be well looked after and cared for!
Lastly, we recognize that our ongoing protection in Mexico, our good health, and debt free finances are all attributed to you, our faithful partners in prayer. We are grateful for continued prayer regarding these same things, especially as we now walk the full-time ministry faith walk. Also, as a bonus could you pray for Wayne’s increase in spanish to be muy rapido (very fast)! Gracias, Wayne & Carol
Merry Christmas Friends and Partners!
Maybe it seems cliché to say, but I can’t believe another year has gone by. It seems like just yesterday that we planned our holiday travel to end sooner than usual, in order to be sure and not be in the air or out of town for Y2K. And here it is almost 10 years later!
I believe that this years activity with VOB, contributed to a fast paced year of “time flying…having fun”. And fun it has been! We have seen so many things progress in the area of collecting food donations and networking with others who have helped provide for so many needs. Thanks to many friends, local churches and home groups, we are building a community to bring awareness and promote serving our third world neighbors.
We are grateful for the produce company’s who think of the poor before throwing away fruit and vegetables that don’t move fast enough in the business world. These make a great treat to many who can’t afford nutritious food. Remember I mentioned having fun? Well you should have been around when we distributed 2200 pounds of watermelon in Mexico one afternoon, right out of the bed of our truck!
A sudden fire at one of the elderly homes forced 134 residents to be set up in emergency shelter housing in an old drafty dance hall. But the response from various organizations around Tijuana, brought more attention to these overlooked elderly than they would otherwise have ever known. This includes the reunion of an elderly man, who was suffering from dementia. He was reunited with his family, whom he had wandered away from 8 years prior. His family spotted him on the TV news, and he was quickly welcomed back into their home. The same thing occurred with 12 other residents whose families were unaware of their current state of need. It is not uncommon in a large metropolitan and crowded city like Tijuana, for many families to be separated (amidst the chaos) if even only by short distances. VOB got to deliver a shopping cart full of “Depends” due to a spontaneous and quick donation! (thanks Jay & Facebook) See last post for photo’s of the fire.
Our Tuesday night bread distribution outreach has seen attendees nearing 200 at times, proving that hard times are being felt around the world and not just in our own households. Unfortunately, some challenges with the border officials, as we have reported before, have made it difficult for us to transport the quantity needed to meet the needs. But we are gaining some favor and the work has not been thwarted! (continued prayers please!)
Really, there are just too many things to mention in a short Christmas letter. But we did think that you would be interested to know that this Christmas season, VOB was able to collect over 150 toys for the kids in TJ along with an undetermined amount of clothes for their entire families. And again this year, winter hats for everyone at the street outreach, which as already mentioned, meant 200 to wrap! Worth each smile worn on every face!
We appreciate you, our faithful partners, as we end 2009 and begin again in 2010. May your Christmas and New Year bring abundant blessings from Jesus, and hope to your hearts. Thank YOU!
With much love, Wayne & Carol
A recent fire damaged an area of the home that required all 134 residents to be relocated. There is a great need for food, clothes, blankets, and adult Depends to care for these displaced at this time. Thanks to the Lord they were all spared in this fire…. but need to return to their home as soon as possible to be better accommodated.
During this “Give thanks” season we wanted to express thanks for the growth VOB has seen in our work in Mexico. We have seen more people coming to get more bread. This gives us a greater opportunity to reach those whom the Lord loves. We are continually thankful for the abundance of bread from Panera, and goodies from Starbucks. We are thankful for all those who have prayed for us in the last year; for health and protection, and for all the fruit that has been borne because of these prayers. We are thankful for more people who have come on board with VOB, helping support what is being done for the poor in Mexico. These include our new partnership with Last Days Ministries (we were so blessed by the wonderful article they did on VOB), and for others who have taken interest in VOB both through inquiries, and thru actually coming here to participate with us.
We were privileged to host a few friends from Kansas City for several days in October. They have a wonderful ministry to the poor in KC, and we have experienced the good work they do in that inner city. Having them visit us here in San Diego was an immense blessing! We thought you might like to hear from them this month. Thank you to Lisa, Ray, Bill and Lora ….for coming to be a part of this thing we do, and for being so encouraging!!!
“The greatest impact on me ministering Christ in TJ, was simply being there, looking into the peoples’ eyes and seeing the need. The need for food yes, but a deeper need to be really seen and known. The Lord is using you and others Wayne,to form relationships, trust, love, confident prayer and physical food. We can send our money and prayers, as well we should, but there’s nothing like really being there and being open to how Jesus wants us to serve. The need is great, but our God is greater. Keep running the great race of faith brother.”
“The thing that sticks with me is the need of these people … such a huge need! The face of all the people, sick and well, saved and lost. The Face of Tijuana; that is what sticks with me. You are taking in what they need: JESUS CHRIST.” -Lora
“In visiting the world of VOB ministries with our trip to Tijuana, I was astonished at how many American Mexican deportees there were . Young men and women in their 20’s who were raised in the U.S., and their bout with the law promptly got them tossed over the border with only the clothes on their backs . It was like watching some kind of sci-fi movie and a horror flick combined . I was thankful and amazed as this ministry set everything aside, to, in some way make the lives of these strangers a little more bearable, with kindness, a little conversation, and some food . Thank you Wayne and Carol for all you do.” – Lisa & Ray
“I am the Bread of Life” [John 6:48]
And so, as we come up to another Thanksgiving (hard to believe, isn’t it?), we just wanted to thank YOU for being a part of what we do. Large or small, every gift helps, and every prayer counts. We could not do this without YOU….and by the way, we are extending an invitation to each one of you, to come out and be a physical part of Voice of the Bride serving the poor. It’s not hard to do, especially if you live here in San Diego, you can come go with us anytime. The rewards far surpass the risks. You might find yourself blessed beyond what you could possibly believe! And who wouldn’t be thankful for that!!! Love, Wayne & Carol
VOB on Facebook
- This is coming up in two weeks! Come & be a part!! fb.me/y4RGMXWa 2 days ago
- Come join us with our friends, Impacto de Fe, on Saturday! fb.me/1r4QmIfHZ 3 days ago
- We could sure use your help sharing our latest update if you will. We are hoping to gain some new VOB partners.... fb.me/25RJCGKxj 5 days ago
- Just a reminder that we are not doing Worship for the Nations at P.lace O.f W.orship Liberty Station tonight but... fb.me/2iVWfylQp 2 weeks ago
- Just a reminder that this weekend, we will be moving our first Saturday's, P.lace o.f W.orship "Worship for the... fb.me/1EmPT0Xt5 2 weeks ago