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 September 2021 “Where is your house built?”

Jesus said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like the wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24 He went on to say, that even after flood and winds, the house does not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Of course, also the parable suggests what happens if said house is built in the sand. I remember the song we sung in Sunday school growing up. How about you?

Jesus, during this sermon on the mount, was teaching His followers who had gathered, many things, including the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes and God’s laws. All of these were words to heed, and words to practice: a foundation to build our faith on.

How often have we, ourselves, really needed to consider this foundation during recent trials and tribulations? Politics, pandemic, storm destruction, much of the world in peril, in general. I don’t know about you, but I have had to remind myself a few times recently, in my interactions with colleagues, friends in my life, and on social media, and even family during hardships … (including my wife and patience with our dogs), not to judge one another. To do unto others, bear good fruit, ask-seek-knock, knowing that the Father gives good things to me and I can share the good with others around me, as well.

We are still in Virginia, writing you from Carol’s parents home, while her dad progresses in getting stronger. Being here, also reminds me a lot of foundations as well. Her folks have been faithful through many seasons of their lives together, including a home they built 55+ years ago, where they raised a family, and built long lasting relationships in their neighborhood and community. SO many examples of a home built upon a sure foundation. One that takes work in keeping it strong and healthy for the storms that come along. And believe me this house has seen its share of hurricanes, rain and wind storms. I am thankful for Jesus’ direction on where to build our house!

Speaking of building a house, VOB is in the process of doing just that. For the very first time, we are solely responsible for sponsoring a home to be built for a very special family you’ve often heard about, over the years. This is one of our very dear adopted families, who’ve had a lot of tragedy in their lives, including losing a daughter “Karen” to an aggressive cancer, losing their father during an armed robbery at his work, and a house fire that destroyed everything. An opportunity came up where a couple of the daughters acquired a plot of land they were able to purchase, in full. VOB has collaborated with a house-building ministry, Baja Christian Ministries, to build the family a small home on that land, where they will raise their children and be able to call it their own, for generations to come. This will be a house built on solid ground, in the Spirit of the Lord, to weather any storm.

p.s. for those who are visual, here is a photo of the foundation that was just poured this past week. It’s the first slab on the new site for the family home. And the floor plan that will be set in place soon. We look forward to showing you photos of the finished project!

Also if you would like to invest in this ongoing project let us know!!!