Usually this time of new year we reflect on the old year and often like to highlight several things the Lord did among the worship and compassion ministry of Voice of the Bride. There are so many things to mention that God is faithful in. But there was a recent occurrence that blessed us, so we felt it deserved the mention!
As you know we traveled to the east coast again to be with our family for an extended season of caretaking, for Carol’s mom. Typically, when we are going to be away from the Mexico ministry, Wayne makes effort to stock his weekly food recipients so they have some provision during his absence. Last year, when we unexpectedly were gone for a longer time, we sorted out a way to provide funds for our ministry colleagues, to purchase food for those we care for.
This holiday season I did the same. But instead of having a ministry partner come by a couple of our adopted family homes, I enrolled one of our adopted family members to help. We have spoken of Ivonne often through various events that have surrounded her family over the years. She is the oldest daughter of Veronica, and the oldest sister to Karen, Jasmine, Carlos Jr and Fernando. She is also mom to daughters Alexandra, and Gabriella and raising her brother’s son, Carlos III (Carlos Jr has gone through some rough times since losing his father tragically, but we are keeping check on him and he is doing better.). Last year, with your help, we built the house they all live in now. They are so grateful, and have been so blessed for over a year now, with their home they call ‘a blessing from GOD.’ This summer, they sent us photos of the family working together to paint the inside of the home since that had been left as an unfinished project for later. The family did so with great pride and joy! This Christmas, they were super excited to show us how they put up a new ‘first’ Christmas tree.
After we left San Diego, to drive to NC before Thanksgiving, I arranged to wire money to Ivonne, in order to buy food for her family for that month. I asked if she would mind also buying a bit more food, and delivering it to an elderly neighbor who lives around the block from her. Amelia has been one of our friends also, for many years. She lives alone, and welcomes the help and visits. Ivonne was so happy to do this. Without us even asking, she sent a photos of all the items she bought, one of Amelia putting her items away, and a photo of her daughter, Gabby, with Amelia. Our heart was touched by how much joy it brought them to serve!!
It has always been our overall goal, for the compassion mission in Tijuana, to be one that helps the folks help one another. For years, we have undergirded the ministries of brothers and sisters we call partners, so that they can care for the folks in their communities, and share the Gospel in practical ways. It just seemed extra special to have one of our families raised up, to also accomplish that goal. When Ivonne was eager to do the same again at Christmas, delivering gifts to Amelia, it occurred to us…we have empowered our first missionary!! Praise the Lord!! Certainly a highlight of 2022!
p.s. As you receive this newsletter, we will be in process of helping Carol’s mom transition to living with Carol’s sister full time, with a part-time caregiver. We appreciate your prayers for them and us as we then load up our truck and drive back to San Diego.