VOB News February 2021 “Borderline”

Stuck in be-tween

the border of 2 nations, I asked myself, ‘how did this happen….and what’s going to happen next?’ 

For the second time in a week, my large truckload of food, was being turned away, keeping us unable to cross into Tijuana, to give food to those in need.  Since returning to San Diego in mid-January, officials in charge of Mexican customs declarations, have changed.  This has resulted, as it has so often in the past, at requirements being completely different.  We’ve been charged a much larger sum, than in previous years, for smaller loads.  Now, things had devolved to the point of not even being allowed to take food across at all! 

When Mexican customs officials turn a ‘declaration’ away, one is required to wait in line, until enough other ‘rejected loads’ accumulate. At that point, a Mexican customs official, leads this procession of rejected loads to the US/Mex border line, where the cars are dumped back into a line to cross back into the US.  On this particular occasion, I waited an extra long time for other drivers to be turned away.  During my wait, which is basically right at the US/Mex line, some of the border line workers from the Mexican side, came up to me and asked for some of the food on my load (many people walk up and down working the line of cars waiting to get back into the US, where they sell everything from flowers to food).  I allowed this person to grab a couple of loaves of bread, knowing the man would be very much in need.  Before I knew it, line workers were swarming my truck, essentially begging for food.  The food in my load quickly began to disappear. Naturally, this attracted the attention of the Mexican agent who had turned me around! He came over yelling and being quite animated about these line workers getting food. 

At a certain point, even the line workers were speaking up and defending me, going to bat for a guy they didn’t know, who just wanted to give food away.    It was worrisome, because the official had taken my keys already.  Now he wanted my ID, as well!  Eventually, things settled down, (he took photos of my ID and truck and then returned keys) and enough cars had joined the line to be turned back into the US.  This line of cars was lead in a procession, by an official with police lights blaring.  It was quite a scene.

Once back into the USA, still with the remaining load, the reality of not being able to take food at all, across to those in need, hit hard.  While we are working on this, via official channels, we still manage to get small loads (inside truck cab) of ‘undeclared’ food to a few of those we are in relationship with in Tijuana. We have also been able to help some friends on a local Kumeyaay reservation, as well as some other local folks.  None of this is easy, and, in fact, it can be quite discouraging.   Nevertheless, we press on, ‘fighting the good fight of faith.’  

[1 Timothy 6:12]   Please keep us in your prayers, as we ‘press on, for the high calling in Christ.’  [Philippians 3:14]

Praise Checks︎:

☑︎ Carol has been able to participate in a couple of ‘Zoom’ worship s︎essions, with people from around the states, and the world.  It’s not quite the same as being in a room with folks, but worship and prayer STILL go forward.  Thank GOD, that He is not bound by time, space or viruses!

☑︎ We have managed to assist some of our regular folks with food and donations, in spite of the stoppage at the border.

☑︎ Carol having been in ER twice in 1 week, for an abscessed tooth, and a then scratched cornea, is thankfully on the mend! Including concussion ongoing recovery. Thank the Lord!!

Prayer Needs:

◻︎ Definitely pray for a breakthru for crossing with our regular loads. People need food.

◻︎ Pray for some health challenges Wayne is having.

◻︎ Please pray for our beloved Franki June, our 13 year old rescue dog. She has been having a very difficult time lately with her health too.  We know the Lord heals!!

VOB News Jan. 2021 “Thanks & Gratitude”

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

Happy New Year!  

Voice of the Bride sincerely wishes you a HAPPY new year.  It goes without saying that 2020 was quite the rollercoaster.  For all of us.  For us, we had some extra craziness thrown in, with Carol injuring her rotator cuff, sustaining a concussion in late October, and arriving back from 7 weeks in VA (helping her parents through significant health issues), only to have a cracked tooth, rear it’s ugly head. Wayne’s family also had a serious health emergency, and he also spent part of our holiday with pain from an infected ear. All of this in addition to the pandemic, the elections, the demonstrations and so on (as you experienced as well).   Still, we continued doing the day to day work of the Lord, feeding the needy, worshiping the Lord, praying and encouraging.  

With all of that, we can honestly share that there has been grace for this journey for us, and for Voice of the Bride.  We are very thankful to the Lord, for how He has sustained us through each thing.  We are certain that our story is not much different from yours, in terms of how we are all navigating this bizarre period of time in history.  Certainly, there have been moments of great desperation, anxiety, and stress.  Fear, seems a daily force. Nevertheless, Carol happened to be reading Psalm 27 the other day, and was particularly struck by the following verse: 

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living”.  

Goodness is still out there.  GOD is still moving and working.  We see evidence of that, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.  We see that in Native Americans moving out with authority in worship and prayer…we see that in the grateful hearts and faces, of those we have the honor of serving in Tijuana.  We read and hear stories of good/GOD doing amazing things around the world.  Keep the faith brothers and sisters..…

“GOD is Love” (I Jn 4:8). “Perfect love casts out all fear” (I Jn 4:18)……guess what, GOD is perfect, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  Lift up your eyes to His throne!  Be encouraged, even in the midst of the chaos!  And thank you for continuing to be a part of this work!  You are one who is bringing the ‘goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living.’  Psalm 27:13

Urgent prayer request for crossing the border:  A new change of leadership in Mexican customs, has brought about extremely strict ‘new’ conditions to meet, before being able to cross with food.  We have been limited—severely limited—in the food we can take. Including even being refused entry into Mexico with our loads.. Even as recently as today (1.22.21), there was somewhat of an unavoidable incident that put Wayne in potential conflict with customs agents. Please pray.  Also, Carol would appreciate prayer for health: concussion residue, rotator cuff, teeth!!  

PS.  You might want to read Psalm 27 as your prayer for a few days….you’ll be encouraged. For sure!