VOB News January 2023 “The Making of a Missionary”

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. 

VOB News October/November 2022 “a few highlights”

A couple of months ago, we told you about some friends of ours in Ensenada Mexico, who desired to reach out to their community and distribute Spanish/English Bibles. Several of you even surprised us with additional contributions to buy more Bibles! We have purchased and transported 50 down to Ensenada so far. The recipients have been blessed and have been intrigued to make further connection. 

We were sad to pack up from the barn where Carol boarded her horse, and worked with so many others the last decade. But among other blessings, one of which includes another great private home/barn she now boards at, there were many discarded horse items from other boarders that were given to VOB, and donated to an awesome therapy ranch in Mexico that works with special needs children.  The missionary nurse, (also a horse gal) at the ranch, was blessed to not only receive items they could use, but an abundance to trade with other nearby ranchers, for things they could use. We love making sure resources reach their intended destination! One thing I have learned…our friends south of the border are very resourceful!! There are just too many needs around the world, to let useable items go to waste.  

Earlier this month Tony married his bride Danae. We have known Tony since he was small boy of 6 years old. He has served alongside of our team most of his life, always willing to work, and always smiling. He has only grown to be more kind, faithful, respectful and Godly. We were able to help Tony,  and his now wife, complete their high school education with private school. And the plan is to get Tony enrolled in University as soon as he is ready. 

We made yet another cross country drive from coast to coast. If you ever wondered, its 8 states, 2500 miles, 40ish hours of driving, stopping 3 nights on the road (we use to do it in 2 nights when we were younger) and oh so many things to experience. Even as many times as we have done it in the past 26 years living away, there really is a lot of beautiful creation to appreciate in our great country.

Our first order of business was to minister our nieces wedding, with Wayne’s family in North Carolina. It was beautiful and also amazing how perfect all the plans sorted out – even in the midst of unexpected Hurricane Nicole that downgraded to a tropical storm and came and went between rehearsal and wedding day for our outdoor wedding venue. Kaley and James, now the McNeils were blessed as were we to officiate their union in Christ. We quickly then had to drive on to Virginia (yes a ninth state) to help Carol’s mom return home from rehab after her hip replacement. We are praying full recovery from her recent falls. She has sure had a difficult year, one starting with her beloved husband going to heaven one year ago this month. We sure appreciate your ongoing prayers for Carol’s mom, and also for Carol’s continued pursuit of restored health. We hope to see a few of you back home if helping and being with our family over the holidays allows.  

And thank you, as always, for supporting the mission of Worship and Compassion outreach. We hope to resume this mission at the first of the year and look forward to what God has for us to do in 2023.

Blessings, Wayne & Carol