VOB News May 2022 “The Fighting Father”*

 “He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” 

The scripture from Isaiah 33 verse 6 above, was read over me (Wayne) by a group of men I had just had in a men’s small group. My good friend Peter, and I, had been co-leading these good men, for a week, at a Living Waters training in Pasadena California. Often, this small group experience is a time where men risk sharing some vulnerable places of pain, from both abuse they have suffered and abuse they have caused. As I sat, this time myself in the center circle (hot seat we call it), with the guys laying hands and praying over me, I marveled at how much the Lord had truly been faithful, in my 33 years of salvation, to shore my foundation with His wisdom and knowledge, through my own life’s brokenness. The guys emphasized the fear of (or submission to) the Lord being the key to gaining access to the Lord and these treasures. Trusting the Lord built my faith and increased my confidence in knowing how to battle my demons and, in turn, has allowed me to fight the same for many men, both young and old. This time around, these 4 men were younger than I,  leaving me to realize in the natural, that I had experience to offer them. But also, having gone through some recent years of challenges, I have realized that the Lord has done a good and faithful work in me. In one situation in particular, I have learned as close to what it might feel like to be a father, while advocating for a young man, near and dear to our hearts. Through other recent circumstances, I have learned to be a son, and allow God to be a Father. 

In the years I have walked with the Lord, I have done a lot of self-discovery, and how this has shaped who I am. Drawing from many things that were strong and positive in my life, but also learning from the things that were less than healthy. I think our wounds, and ,ultimately, scars, are important, as they give us a testimony to not only identify with others, but also a drive to fight for them. After being involved in Living Waters, both working on myself, and leading many others the past 25 years, I finally have taken to heart what it means to be a fighting father.  Fighting for those men in my small group, was worth the time invested. And they will go on and fight. And those they fight for, will fight, and so on, and so on. Another one of them, while praying for me, spoke of all the spiritual children we have from our work in discipling others in this worship and compassion ministry. He said you have a lot of ‘Kiger-Rice’s’ running around. We sure hope so. 

We all want to know that our purpose in life will be fulfilled. Be sure you know what yours is, and make every effort you can to see that there are no hinderances to that purpose. Many of you have been, and are, fighting mothers and fathers. This generation needs it like no other.  A few weeks ago, I was asked to attend a San Diego board of supervisors meeting, to implore them not to pass an ordinance that ultimately would redefine the definition of women and girls, to include men and boys who identify as female. This ordinance was being solicited under the idea of eliminating discrimination. Ironically, only discriminating women further with such absurd inclusions, while also putting the vulnerable at risk by criminal minded “men” who would take advantage of such allowance to enter women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, and domestic violence shelters. Unfortunately, although there was a huge support of men and women opposing this ordinance, the board voted it through. We have to fight for the innocent and vulnerable. In my speech to the board of supervisors I concluded, sadly, with a current example that had just happened to a dear friends 15 year old daughter in Tijuana. A San Diego businessman posing as offering her employment, sexually violated her in TJ, and then retreated to San Diego. Please pray for this situation as we assist and navigate justice on behalf of this dear adopted family of VOB. Through the years, they have had many tragedies that too often occur in their impoverished surroundings. They need a fighting father, having lost theirs to another crime. Our Father God, and ourselves will fight for them! 

We are returning to SOUTH DAKOTA!!! Yeehaw.

We are so excited to be able to get back to South Dakota, this time for an extended 3 week trip.  We will be traveling around the state, throughout the month of June.  See online map of SD Reservations here.

  • June 5/6: depart. (Road trip … yep we are driving! Prob as you get this letter.)
  • June 9/10: 24 hr Worship and Prayer ‘Strike’ on one of the central reservations – Lower Brule.  The Lord is moving powerfully there!
  • June 11: Sioux Falls intercessors meeting. Worship/sharing with key leaders in the Sioux Falls area.
  • June 12-19: Prayer walking the land, seeking the Lord and enjoying the beautiful state.
  • June 20-24: Pine Ridge outreach: tent meetings, worship, prayer, evangelism, youth activities, encouraging leaders.  This is a big project, reaching the vast Pine Ridge rez.
  • June 26/27/28: return to CA.

PLEASE be in prayer for us throughout this time, and leading up to our departure, as well as when we return.  It is a gift to minister on these reservations.  We are honored to partner with and encourage our South Dakota brothers and sisters, both Native and non-native.  Mark your calendars and prayer journals! We would so appreciate your prayers!! Love Wayne & Carol

* “The Fighting Father” Chapter title in Living Waters guidebook exclusive to DS Press. Order Guidebook here if interested.

VOB News March/April 2022 “A Time for Everything”

Rita, Grizz, Wayne & Carol at the Georgia State capital in Atlanta

A time for everything… If you get a chance, read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 to familiarize yourself with the whole passage. It will be easy to see where to apply “a time”, to many things going on in our world today, the hard and the good times. For us, in this season, it has been the uncomfortable realization of the “time to die”.  Many of you would have your own experiences with death, and the sorrow that relates to it.  Early, in our first fews years of ministry here in San Diego, we lost our ministry partner, and mentor Mark McCoy.  Then, a year later, we lost another dear co-leader, Sherman, in our church who was also a great supporter and encourager in our marriage and ministry – including a father figure to Wayne. I remember Carol’s dad telling us that we were much too young to be having friends pass away. Fast forward 20+ years and there have been many other co-laborers, friends and family who have passed on. Naturally, this includes our current season, where losing Carol’s father would have been more than enough to handle.  Sadly, however, we just returned from a celebration of life this weekend, of another fallen ministry partner. Our dear friend Larry Grizz Brown, an elder in the Native American community, passed suddenly and unexpectedly. We had just spent time with Grizz and his new bride, our friend Rita Bear Gray, in Georgia, and again in Pennsylvania. Another dear brother in our worship community, Dan Simonek, passed recently as well, and we will gather to remember him at the end of the month. They all are in heaven, which is amazing and truly wonderful for them!!   It’s just a little hard to stay on that reflection for those of us left behind. 

I know this letter may seem like a downer, but we wanted to be honest about where we are at in this season of our lives.  Perhaps you are there right now as well, or have been there at one point in your life. We live in a very difficult time – standing for our families, our nation, the world. We know to keep our eyes on Jesus. We know His promises. We know that so many things we endure, would be hopeless without Him. The Bible also says in 1st Thessalonians (4:13) to ‘not mourn as those whom have no hope.’  Our hope is in the Lord!!!  But we do need one another, to be reminded of that. And yes, we all endure these hardships and sorrowful times, so that hopefully we grasp a deeper empathy and compassion for others in their day to day struggles. Ultimately that has always been my (Wayne) goal – to use the areas in my life that are the weakest—or yet to be healed—to motivate my compassion for others. Work for our salvation? NO. But work OUT our grief, trust and salvation? YES! These life setbacks, discouragements, and shortcomings make us stronger. His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. (2nd Corinthians 12:9). His grace is sufficient. I trust these promises to give me hope. I hope you do too! Yes there is a time to mourn. But there comes a time to dance as well! (Ecclesiastes 3:4)  Always remember that, dear friends. 

Wayne, Lorenzo, Genesis & Carol

On the ministry front…

We are in the process of returning to our regular routine and schedule in Mexico. Sorting out the usual customs issues. However we have made some strategic trips across the border. We attended the wedding of a young woman we have known since she was a small girl!  Our ministry partner Vicente’s daughter got married.  Through a VOB sponsor, this young woman has received saxophone lessons for years, a skill we hope will help her take a small step higher in economic advancement in her life and culture. Her instructor, a sax player in the Tijuana symphony, played her bridal march at the wedding, and joyously celebrated with us.  

Nurse Angelica – The oil lamp in Angie’s hand is an international symbol for nurses widely known to symbolize Florence Nightingale and her transforming work in the nursing profession. Her lamp became synonymous with goodwill, reliability, and compassion, which are all attributes that are highly desirable in the field of nursing today. [Google]

Also, we were able to deliver a large amount of medical supplies to a missionary nurse about 2 hours south of the border. This missionary nurse works with disabled kids and their families in Maneadero, a very poor area south of Ensenada Mexico. Our hope was to share the many things we collected while caring for Carol’s dad.  This dedicated nurse has alread  y written us, and spoken of how deeply appreciated, in particular, a donated pair of special soft booties were to a 12 year old boy who is bed ridden with pressure sores on his legs and ankles. These booties are a resource they would have not had available to them otherwise. It is a real blessing for us to be able to provide relief for another, through resources from a difficult experience of our own. Lastly, though we did not get to attend her graduation which happened while we were away, another young woman (whom we have also watched grow up) who VOB has sponsored with your help, graduated from nursing school!  We are so excited for Angie’s future! Your partnership investment is one of the highlights of what we get to do. Making a difference for one who can make a difference for many.