VOB News September 2022 “Perspective”

I just got home from an experience that is not all that familiar or common for me. I took a load of things into Mexico. Only this trip across the border I had planned to leave our pick up truck down there for some repair. Our ministry trucks are 20 & 31 years old so that is certainly to be expected from time to time. But my experience, I would like to share, is along the lines of taking public transportation to return home. What normally is a 30 minute drive in my truck, started like this: I first walked about 15 minutes to cross the pedestrian USA border crossing. Then another 15 minutes to a bus stop, where I then took a 45 minute city bus ride, to the trolley stop. On the trolley, I would continue another hour, coasting back to my neighborhood, where Carol would collect me. End to end, this took a little over 3 hours. This included a slight delay, with a couple of trolley changes to make sure I was on the right north bound track. 

Over all, it was somewhat amusing, in an adventure kind of way. But as I studied the process among the other passengers, I really began to realize this was a way of life for so many. Not that I was unaware that many take public transportation, of course, and this was not the first time I had made a similar trip. But the good folks I was encountering, were not just carpooling, or thinking about the environment. Many would not have an automobile, and many, many folks travel very far to make a living for their family. This includes some who live in Tijuana, and have a work visa in the US. I just could not stop thinking about how much my “entertaining” adventure ride, was a very long, tiring, every day process, to incorporate into their schedule. Less time with their families, less time for rest, less time to do all the things that we all have to do on a daily basis. What a huge sacrifice. 

I was rather worn from all the walking and hopping, and aggravating some of my personal ailments. But I saw many with physical limitations, who clearly endured this often. I had a small bag of some personal items, I did not want to leave in my truck which weighed me down a bit. But several others, had multiple shopping bags, tools, back packs. Keeping up with all of that is a task, let alone carrying it along. I thought about how much more vulnerable many daily public transport travelers were, through this recent pandemic, or even just to the common cold and flu when exposed to so many who sit in that space all day every day. There were many elderly folks. Also, some who appeared homeless, and, sadly, some who were mentally ill and not even supposed to be on the trolley, without a ticket. This led me to also think about vulnerable women and children, those whose safety would be in question depending on where their trolley stop ended. In fact, when I had to change trolleys, an elderly hispanic woman got off with me and started asking me questions in broken English about making sure she was on the right train to schedule. We stood there waiting on the transfer train in a rather sketchy part of downtown San Diego, and I was just glad she was not alone. 

This experience brought a greater reflection on my abundance, and the many things I am grateful for. It is always good to have a perspective outside our normal day to day lives. The greater population around the world, endures challenges and hardships that few of us may know or experience in our lifetime.   Selah  love Wayne & Carol 

www.voiceofthebride.net   • PO Box 99057 San Diego CA 92169  • vobministries@sbcglobal.net

VOB News August 2022 “Pray for Mexico”

Many of you may have been hearing about some recent violence in Tijuana, Mexico. For a decade or more, strife between the drug cartels and Mexican government has been rather quiet in TJ. Unfortunately, the reason behind that, is because the cartels were mostly in control. The recent stir is due to a greater presence of Mexican military, ordered by Mexico City, attempting to flush out corruption. Some recent arrests of high-level cartel leaders, have caused some of the retaliation of arsons and shootings, causing citizens of Tijuana to hunker down in their homes to remain safe. We have not been back across the border since this situation began, until we are assured it is under control and safe again. All of our colleagues, friends and families are safe. They report that the streets have been even eerily quiet. Very unusual in this densely populated city. These battles between cartel and government have continued strongly in other areas of Mexico over the years. It was only a matter of time before the shift to Tijuana, Mexico’s 2nd largest city and border-town, would also be challenged. 

A local NPR article quoted “The drug cartels had flexed their power in Tijuana in a way not seen for more than a decade and reignited fear and debate over who is it that really wields influence in the country: the government or the gangs.” Read the full article at this link.

https://www.npr.org/2022/08/20/1118420516/mexico-cartel-drug-violence-tijuana-border

We had already been seeing more Mexican National Guard at customs, while declaring our trucks of food. This process has become a hassle once again, as a new administrator overseeing declarations is requiring different paperwork, and the usual red tape to acquire. Of course, both of these matters could use some prayer for our work in Tijuana to continue as it has been, for 15 straight years now. We continue to provide funds to our partners there for food, transport costs, and school sponsorships, as we administrate from this side of the border. 

The last time we crossed the border, we took in cases of Spanish/English Bibles. A young couple we had been connected to through some hardship circumstances of their own, expressed a desire to reach out to the community where they live now, in Ensenada, Mexico. They desire to visit their neighbors, share their testimony in the Lord, but also wish to gift them with a Bible. They explained to me that they felt it was important to give a Bible that had both English and Spanish, as many they have met, desire to learn English. What better a way than to have them read Scripture, while studying a second language! We wanted to honor this important mission, and quickly purchased Bibles in bulk. I researched the best price as the dual language increases the average cost from $3 each to $10 each. If you would like to sponsor the purchase of more Bibles let us know. Perhaps you could even send a little encouraging message that we can translate and deliver, with the Bible. It is always a blessing to have a personal touch from someone they may never meet. And I assure you, that you, too will be blessed. 

With Melody Green & Kathleen Dillard

Also this past month we joined some friends, and remembered the late Keith Green who, 40 years ago, went to heaven with his 2 small children in a devastating plane crash. If you do not know about Keith & Melody Green, please enrich yourself with a quick google of their names. Decades of ministering to the lost through their ministry, Last Days Ministries, which we serve as board members. Melody has become a very special friend of ours the past 17 years. She has long continued to carry the torch they first started 46 years ago, for the poor, the lost, and the Body of Christ. A special remembrance service was held, where fans from all over the world either joined in person, or live stream, as we worshiped, shared stories, testimonies and the challenge for continuing to win the lost.

Wayne moderated the live stream chat as 700 others joined in, sharing their own stories of how LDM had introduced Jesus to them, and how they are serving the Lord now. It was a real honor to hear testimony after testimony. The Lord is faithful! 

We appreciate your continued prayers for our health and our families’ health, as challenges continue. Also Carol is traveling to South Dakota September 29 – October 3 for a worship and prayer initiative on Sisseton-Wahpeton Reservation. Stay tuned for that trips report. Love Wayne & Carol