VOB News May 2011

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!

Jesus said, "If a person is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." John 7:37
Jesus said, "If a person is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." John 7:37

“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.

Carol & David hand out sandwiches.
Carol & David hand out sandwiches.

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

“Right across the border from one of my favorite cities, San Diego, there are desperate situations in Tijuana.  It is easy to hear
Elderly home with 120 residents
Elderly home with 120 residents

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.

David communicating beyond words.
David communicating beyond words.

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.

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