Was your summer as fast as ours? As cliché as it sounds, I can’t believe the holidays are around the corner. We have found ourselves as busy as usual with work and ministry.
The outreach each week in TJ is going strong. We have seen a large increase in the numbers (including women with their children) who show up for bread. We meet a lot of people who are still struggling through their drug addictions and some who may even have a current or past criminal involvement. But honestly, down there in the streets of Mexico, I am not sure if I would be able to do differently if given the same circumstances and without the Lord. The dirty streets, abandoned cars, the strangest saddest dogs you would ever see – all make up the dynamics of a forgotten world. Guys we minister to explain that the “Policia” often come and round up random people without ID’s, and haul them off to jail in order to get some free labor out of them. One person told me that in addition to working for free on street repairs or whatever needs to be done, if you have any money on you when you are taken to jail, it is collected and not returned. We have taken bread to the near by jail in order to establish some rapport with the local Policia but also because we learned that those held there are often not fed because there is no food.
Not too long ago, we were late in getting to our street corner to do the outreach at the normal time. Everyone who was waiting on that corner was harassed by the Policia. Anyone without an ID who was not able to scatter fast enough, was carried down to the jail. When we went to this jail to take bread, sure enough, we saw many of our regulars there lined up, chained to one another, waiting to be strip searched and put in a holding cell for the night. Often, when we have taken bread to this jail, while carrying the bags into a kitchen, we pass right by a row of naked men, standing outside of a cage-like jail cell, waiting to be cleared for hiding anything on their person. The amount of humiliation and intimidation tactic is overwhelming. Not unfamiliar to how you would imagine a zoo is run. Mind you, these people are not necessarily criminals. They were just on the street and got rounded up because they had no i.d.
I realized, upon seeing friends we pray with each week being treated like this, a greater picture of what setting the captives free could look like. I also realized how fond I have become of many on the streets, as I was so grateful for those who were not in the jail, yet knowing that they may have been there many times before. Yes, they may be an addict, yes they may have been a criminal, yes they (we) are sinners. But they (we) are not without a Savior Who comes to set us free. Just as the Lord showed me a vision of a clean and saved Victor (who last I heard is doing well, clean and sober), I can have the same hope for so many more we meet each week.
We need you to pray about something, each and every one of you who reads these updates! We are asking the Lord to show us where to best put our “hands to the plow” regarding ministry we are called to. We have been here a year now, and feel that our transition has been made and provided for along the way. Those of you who are faithful in sending support, have made it possible for Wayne to commit 10-15 hours to Mexico each week, thus only working part time 30 hours for our own cost of living. But there are endless ways for expanding the amount of potential donated food. And an even greater amount of need that could be filled with that expansion. It is our feeling that we want to be more readily available to work at meeting those needs. In addition to serving and feeding more, Carol is ever burdened to work toward worship and intercession outreach, that has long been on her heart.
Our goal this past year was to adjust to the relocation and be sure about what we were committing to do, before presenting it to those of you who can help us DO IT. We felt that we needed a break from full time ministry as we took on secular jobs to pay the rent. Now that we have an idea based on what we are already doing and the potential to broaden it in a full time way, we need help backing it.
To be very specific, we need 15-20 partners to commit to $100 a month in order to cover Wayne’s part time job income as we prepare for full time ministry again.
As awkward as it is to ask for support, I always search my own heart and realize that I love to invest in and support others who I believe in, who are serving those Jesus called them to serve. With this in mind, I realize it’s not that awkward to ask you to do the same. Many of you already are doing just that, and may not feel led to sow into this ministry and that’s certainly ok. But many of you might consider this. Though true that times are tough right now, God’s Kingdom continues on a different system. And I know He will reward you! He rewards us with daily bread and has not left us hungry yet!
P.S. Just last night, one of the guys we regularly minister to (who I might add made an honest effort to stay in a rehab for 2 weeks before ditching it), had a few beers too many and started hitting on his girlfriend. She stopped the Policia and told them to come inside and get him. We were standing right there next to the Policia pick-up truck (praying for another guy), which was full of guys arrested with no i.d. They had just collected these men off the street. We watched the Policia chase this guy across a roof as he jumped down onto a van and ran down the street. I know what you’re thinking…”like right off TV” I don’t know if he got caught or carried to jail but I know that I will see him again and get yet another chance to offer hope, grace and redemption to him through Jesus.
“We give thanks to the Lord for some financial blessings through the benefits of our work in Mexico. Our connection to the orphanage led us to a repair on Carol’s truck where we saved much money by doing the work with our neighbors “on the other side”. And we continue to save $40 a week due to gas being at least a dollar or more less per gallon by fueling both vehicles there. Gas has been the same price in TJ throughout the entire gas rage these past few months.” Blessings to you, love Wayne & Carol
. . . that between 14,500 and 17,500 human beings/victims are trafficked into the U.S. each year?
Stay tuned to our next update for more information, and how VOB has become involved in this statistic!