VOB News August 2022 “Pray for Mexico”

Many of you may have been hearing about some recent violence in Tijuana, Mexico. For a decade or more, strife between the drug cartels and Mexican government has been rather quiet in TJ. Unfortunately, the reason behind that, is because the cartels were mostly in control. The recent stir is due to a greater presence of Mexican military, ordered by Mexico City, attempting to flush out corruption. Some recent arrests of high-level cartel leaders, have caused some of the retaliation of arsons and shootings, causing citizens of Tijuana to hunker down in their homes to remain safe. We have not been back across the border since this situation began, until we are assured it is under control and safe again. All of our colleagues, friends and families are safe. They report that the streets have been even eerily quiet. Very unusual in this densely populated city. These battles between cartel and government have continued strongly in other areas of Mexico over the years. It was only a matter of time before the shift to Tijuana, Mexico’s 2nd largest city and border-town, would also be challenged. 

A local NPR article quoted “The drug cartels had flexed their power in Tijuana in a way not seen for more than a decade and reignited fear and debate over who is it that really wields influence in the country: the government or the gangs.” Read the full article at this link.

https://www.npr.org/2022/08/20/1118420516/mexico-cartel-drug-violence-tijuana-border

We had already been seeing more Mexican National Guard at customs, while declaring our trucks of food. This process has become a hassle once again, as a new administrator overseeing declarations is requiring different paperwork, and the usual red tape to acquire. Of course, both of these matters could use some prayer for our work in Tijuana to continue as it has been, for 15 straight years now. We continue to provide funds to our partners there for food, transport costs, and school sponsorships, as we administrate from this side of the border. 

The last time we crossed the border, we took in cases of Spanish/English Bibles. A young couple we had been connected to through some hardship circumstances of their own, expressed a desire to reach out to the community where they live now, in Ensenada, Mexico. They desire to visit their neighbors, share their testimony in the Lord, but also wish to gift them with a Bible. They explained to me that they felt it was important to give a Bible that had both English and Spanish, as many they have met, desire to learn English. What better a way than to have them read Scripture, while studying a second language! We wanted to honor this important mission, and quickly purchased Bibles in bulk. I researched the best price as the dual language increases the average cost from $3 each to $10 each. If you would like to sponsor the purchase of more Bibles let us know. Perhaps you could even send a little encouraging message that we can translate and deliver, with the Bible. It is always a blessing to have a personal touch from someone they may never meet. And I assure you, that you, too will be blessed. 

With Melody Green & Kathleen Dillard

Also this past month we joined some friends, and remembered the late Keith Green who, 40 years ago, went to heaven with his 2 small children in a devastating plane crash. If you do not know about Keith & Melody Green, please enrich yourself with a quick google of their names. Decades of ministering to the lost through their ministry, Last Days Ministries, which we serve as board members. Melody has become a very special friend of ours the past 17 years. She has long continued to carry the torch they first started 46 years ago, for the poor, the lost, and the Body of Christ. A special remembrance service was held, where fans from all over the world either joined in person, or live stream, as we worshiped, shared stories, testimonies and the challenge for continuing to win the lost.

Wayne moderated the live stream chat as 700 others joined in, sharing their own stories of how LDM had introduced Jesus to them, and how they are serving the Lord now. It was a real honor to hear testimony after testimony. The Lord is faithful! 

We appreciate your continued prayers for our health and our families’ health, as challenges continue. Also Carol is traveling to South Dakota September 29 – October 3 for a worship and prayer initiative on Sisseton-Wahpeton Reservation. Stay tuned for that trips report. Love Wayne & Carol

VOB News July 2022 “Personal Prayer requests and updates”

We have a few personal updates typed up for this month, prayer requests please:

1. Carol’s health.  I have been diagnosed with something called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, which basically means my pancreas is not producing the enzymes needed to digest my food.  I have begun medication, and after a month and a half, it is finally helping, thank You Jesus!! Along the way, I’ve lost weight, and been very weak, due to not being able to eat properly.  Things seem to be getting more normal, and we would ask for your prayers for this, because there is more testing to come. I’ve also been told I have Esophagitis, which means a lower swollen esophagus.  I’ll be meeting with a gastroenterologist in August to address this.  I’ve been asked to travel back to South Dakota, end of August, to lead worship on Sisseton Wahpeton reservation. Please pray for us to decide what to do at this time. 

2. Carols’ mom’s health: an odd vision loss precipitated a visit to the Dr, which led to my mom being diagnosed with what basically amounts to a swollen optical nerve, limiting left eye vision, potentially caused by a blood inflammation problem. This has to be addressed with high doses of steroids in hospital.  She has now been thru this part, but continues high dose steroid at home. The next part involves a biopsy of the nerve.  I would like to head back for a brief time to help, but we have a point of contact with a covid case, as well as my own health needing to be addressed.  So we’re waiting for the all clear. Thank you for praying for my mom!

3. You may or may not know that I/Carol, have been boarding and ministering at a horse ranch in San Diego called “Palm Row Ranch”.  I love this place, and the elderly woman who runs it.  I have folks I’ve been ministering to for many years there, who I now call friends.  Sadly, our ranch owner can no longer continue running the ranch, so we are facing the difficult decision of leaving, after 10 years. Perhaps the Lord has new opportunities for ministering in the horse world, and I honor that.  But it will be difficult to find, locate and shift everything in this regard, particularly at this time.  Would appreciate your prayers on this. I want to be where the Lord wants me to be, as this is an important part of my life and ministry, literally, for decades.  I am certain I’ve been in the right place at Palm Row and have loved getting to know and ‘hang out’ with this very accomplished horse woman who is nearly 90 years old.  We have had lots of GOD conversations over the years.  What a blessing this place has been.  

4. Mexico update; We are still sorting out customs issues. Basically, Wayne lost connection in particular favor with Mexican customs while we were back east for so long. His US partner has continued favor so truck loads of food are still getting across the border. We also lost donation connections we had maintained for years. At this time we are only able to take purchased groceries to our adopted families on occasion. However, with your help we continue to support our Tijuana partner with monthly funds to help secure food and get it to those in need. Also with your help, we continue to support several young people with school scholarships. This includes a young man we have known since he was 15. He dropped out of school to help his single mother and family. Now he is 25, married, with 2 of his own sons, and returning to get his high school diploma, and hopefully some college or trade school in his future. One of our goals is to help young people reach their education goals, to improve their futures and stop the cycle of family poverty. This is a crucial need in Mexico, and one which absolutely makes a difference.