Hey. Yesterday was a great day in the Lord. I went over to the building a little early to get in some personal worship time. BUT, as is usually the case , when people see us going over they go as well, never heeding the actual hour. So, honestly, I was feeling a little selfish and aggravated that I was not going to get that worship time alone, just me and Yahweh. I set up the sound and by the time I had finished most of the chairs were full. There were 4 or 5 ladies with babies ( great I thought, they (the babies) will probably cry the whole time.) And there were about 25 small children, most under 7. I turned on the music and began to just pray in tongues a bit and got very convicted of my selfishness and my religiousness. I turned to see most of the children just quietly sitting and hearing the music. One little guy was restless though and kicking his grandma! I beckoning to him and offered a microphone. Of course heran up and snatched the microphone and I asked him if he wanted to sing. Then I put a very simple song on and started teaching HIM line by line…… It went like this….. Yo vengo al lugar mas santo (I come to the holiest place) Atravez del Cordero de Dios (Through the blood of the Lamb of God) Yo vengo solo a honrar (I come only to honor) El gran Yo Soy (The Great I AM) Dios te adoro a ti (God I worship you) Pues solo To eres Santo (For only you are Holy) Line by line we went over and over, after two times thru I looked up to se that everyone was so attentive and EVERYONE was following. The women as well. We went thru the song 4 times more and the presence came and some were lost in it and all were at peace in it overwhelmed by it to the smallest infant each one , mexican, Trique and MIxteco all alike………it was awesome and I declare it was the beginning of a new thing and I believe we will begin to see the Power of Yahweh manifested in these people, because that is what I saw yesterday. I saw walls coming down, prejudices broken and as a testament afterward the Triques were actually mingling with the Mixteco and this is something that I have not seen…… Now, something else has been on my heart all day and I just had not gotten around to sitting down to write it till now. But I want you to know how much you all’s financial generosity affects my life. Of course it provides for the work that goes on here but also it blesses me, us with a quality of life we otherwise would not have. I/we are so blessed because of your generous spirit and I just want you to know that I thank God for that and am aware of that all of the time. It is a good thing to be able to be such a blessing in so many people’s lives and I thank you all and I strive to be like that because I respect it in you. Much love and Blessings, detra
How are ya’ll? The “devil winds” are in town again, the Santa Anas that is-those hot dry winds that wreak havoc in these parts every year at this time. The range of mountains behind us (not the first ones behind the house and church building but the second big row behind) are burning tonite so we are taking turns watching. The balcony actually has a light layer of gray ashes covering it and the air stinks of burning. and you can actually feel the heat coming from over the hill. The fire is not TOO close but it is not TOO far either about the same as it was the time it tried to devour us last time-2 years ago?? So yes we are watching because it can happen so fast. Frank wet down around the house as much as he could before dark for what it is worth and praise Yahweh he and Chrlie and <Marcial were working on the fireline on Wednesday just because its that time of year. But in the end as always it will be the Lord that keeps us and although it is wise to watch I am TRUSTING in HIM.
Frank has been working on getting phase two of the classroom project done all week-the walls and columns-he is doing it in block this time so it will be equal to the existing arquitecture on the school grounds. When the principal returned from her summer vacation and saw all of the work done so far on this classroom she literally broke down in tears and thanked God. (remember she is not yet a Christian) She did not expect it to happen so rapidly and is so happy that soon they will not have to teach on egrade in that old school bus they ahve been using which is HOT in the summer and wet and cold in the winter. I think it is an awesome testimony again of the Kingdom of our Lord.
We have set out sights on really fixing up the playground area here at the mission. We've painted the slide and swings red, yellow and green and they look really cool. The wet paint seemd to send a special inviation to children from all around and we finally had to post Charlie down there for the duration of it's drying time as obviously a sign would not work with our "special" kids…….still, Charlie has a short attention span and many an indian child went home with striped booties that afternoon. But anyhow, I am seeking building instruction sfor a seesaw and a wooden type jungle gym to build and at the same time appealing to folks we have known up north who might have old equipment to donate. Since so many children use the existing playground area as skimpy as it is we really think it would be worthwhile to make a little "park" down there. I mean we have the property available to make it really nice. We are going to start by faith as we usually do working with what we have….in this case (as it was also when we started the house) we have access to lots of rocks. So we will delineate the area with painted rocks and do some landscaping. I believe it will be a real blessing. i mean this is the only area like a "park" that the kids ever come in contact with and they use it a lot.
If in your internet perusal you run into anything pertinent please fwd it.
It has been so warm here and with no electricity there are no fans at night, so we've been sleeping on the balcony. Oh, BURD and AP-wish you were here to do this. The stars last night were so amazing . I saw half dozen falling stars and EVERY constellation, it was so cool. literally too. Had my heart set on it tonite but the ashes are nixing that plan….Anyway, you guys must try it, it is much fun.
Yesterday was my Ladies Bible Class. I had seven Triqui women show up.One lady just arrived here from Guerrerro, she is in her early 60’s and has 7 small boys aged around 3 to 10!! They arrived about 12:30, here at the mission. (I get done cooking lunch by 10am now and yesterday I let the men serve the meal Thank you to my husband!) I had cleaned out my closets this week and I started with them by handing out all of my dresses that I don’t wear anymore. (My “holiness” wear haha). I have just decided that the Lord MUST want me to be comfortable and happy and He knows how UNCOMFORTABLE I have been in those darn long black skirts and long sleeved blouses. The way that religious people dress here is a real hang up and a barrier to people who do not already own the “appropriate attire” for church -After griping about it for years ,I finally am drawing the line and will no longer participate in a manner of dress that really promotes religious pride that
has nothing to do will the Lord or His Will.
But anyway, the Indians wear long skirts over pants to work the fields in and they were thrilled to get my stuff and for them it has zip to do with church. I had a really good translator yesterday and that made it a blessing. We gathered round down under the balcony in the shade and had a really great time of fellowship!! I love being surrounded by these people as it is like entering another world. They are so humble and I am learning that they rush to do nothing. Time spent with family and friends is valuable to them and they treasure that time and try to draw it out. I am alo learning that just being with them is important somehow. I no longer worry about having “enough to say, ‘ because silence is just fine with them.It i not the words but the sentiment and the mere fact that you are willing to spend your time with them that speaks and is building a bridge. By around 2:30, most all of the women had actually stretched out on their rebozos right in the dirt. One was breastfeeding and the two oldest women were sleeping, while I intermittently snapped beans and talked with the younger women. The children as well had found shade down by the swings and were sacking out one by one. I talked about some of the awesome stuff I have seen the Lord do and also about His Provision. Later I laid hands on the new ladies ankles and asked the Lord to strangthened them “as deer’s feet.” She has been having a lot of pain in them. They respected the laying on of hands and were so reverent as I prayed. Finally, around 4 I excused myself upstairs, but they hung around until 6pm and finally one by one headed home with babies strapped to their backs and water on their heads. It is the first Bible Study I have ever attended where sleeping is actually encouraged., haha. But really, I have to say I was so excited by th ewhole thing by everything that happened and by my growing relationship with these children of Yahweh that it took me hours to get wound down, to be able to relax………I pray that they will experience the love of Jesus through me, that the Lord will manifest in me somehow so that they might REALLY know Him like I do as my Providor, my Healer, my Protection, My King My everything………….if only they can see how He really is, that is my dream. Not for some religious experience like we know it some fleeting thing that we know briefly and spend he rest of our lives trying to attain again just for a moment……no………let them REALLY KNOW JESUS. Please join me in my prayer that this happens for them.
I have got the next Clinic rescheduled for the 21st, Doctora Jeannette finally got back to me to confirm that she can make it that day.
Not one single person showed up for to see a doctor on last Friday, so I am convinced we made the appropriate decision in rescheduling. There have just been so very many outside activities going on this month! However, per past experience, as summer wanes, so to do visits from a rushing stream to a trickle by Labor Day and after Labor Day it is back to normal and time for those of us who live here to pick up the slack. I am really just glad we were able to pull this off in advance this time and am praising the Lord for keeping my ears open to what is going on.
Frank went over to pick up the MCCA food delivery across town today and I stayed here. Now that ALL vehicles are supposed to be searched for contraband upon ENTRANCE TO MEXICO (this is a first, in the past it was very very rare to catch a customs red light coming South, in fact I have NEVER had it happen) it is just as time consuming to come down here as it is to re-enter the USA. I guess in fact they are actually searching every third vehicle as of today. Usually MCCA trucks are here and unloaded by 1pm whereas today Frank says they did not even start rolling in until 4pm, a result of a 3 hour border wait. This will really affect those who depend heavily upon support from the local San Diego/So-Cal area as only the fanatically faithful will be willing to endure the wait coming and going in my experience. I praise God that our supporters ARE actually “fanatically faithful” anyway and all the way from Mississippi …..
The weather remains warm for us and I spent all day again dispensing drinking water to the Triqui and few Mixtecos who come to the mission home to get their drinking water. They started walking up here at around 7am and the least child lugged a clorox container filled with water at just about 8pm as the sun dropped into the Pacific in red splendor. The children come barefooted and sweating -each one the youngest to oldest with some kind of receptacle plastic soda liter bottles, milk cartons, you name it. They stop first distracted by the swings and they’ll set their containers down by the little acacia tree. Their laughter brings me much joy and I realize that this place is as close to a park as some may ever get while they are still young enough to swing and slide. I would really like to add more playground stuff and do some landscaping to make it more park-like and that goes right along with our plan to focus on the mission property from now until we can get it finished.
May the Lord bless the branch of the Lyon’s Club who donated this equipment years ago. I promised them then that I would make sure that children would get good use of it and they have, praise God. (It came out of a Redding, CA. park which was remodeling to meet the new playground codes and a group of young men who were here recuperating from heroin addiction donated their sweat and labor putting it together and getting it well installed. Those boys are long gone their seperate ways now, but their fruit lives on. I pray they are all okay and hope that they remain free of the bondage that brought them to our door.) So they play and play hard and then suddenly some interior alarm rings and they will regroup regather their bottles and make towards the big water dispenser, usually hollering, “Hermanaaaaa, AGUA, POR FAVORRRR!” For some thos eare the only 3 words they know in Spanish. They are so cute,(but I have to catch myself from getting bugged because there are so darn many of them and it just goes on and on…). Especially the tiny ones. Do you realize how HEAVY a gallon of water is for an 18 month old child? Who must walk a good 3/4 mile over a rough dirt road? The tiny ones will have to stop and rest many times before they make it home. I watch them til they reach their housing area because I still can’t get over turning a baby loose like that and it wracks my nerves because our neighbor has started digging a septic tank down below us so there exist this huge gaping black hole. This day, one little boy, new to the area, pulled some coins from his pocket as the water neared full. How much? he asked me. I explained that it was Jesus Our King who provides the water here and he listened with eyes round as dinner plates.He was doubtful until I actually pushed his little hand full of sweaty coins back into his pocket.
I really love to tell people this and see their reactions. To me this part of the ministry is so important because water is so vital to our survival` every day for every one and it just shows people that Our Lord and King is real and that He is truly interested in our welfare!
All told, today 56 people came for drinkng water! This week we went through two containers of 250 gallons. Praise the Lord.
I am happy to relay that some of the parents are planning to do a car wash somewhere in town to raise funds to help with getting our school bus ready for the upcoming year. It starts August 24th. Don’t know how much they could raise but every little bit will help. It needs a tune up at least. Then alos , our car has experienced a major issue. The air suspension stoppe dworking Thursday and it is riding so low that it belongs in East LA. We borrowed a truck to pick up food today, waiting to hear from the mechanic about the Expedition. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad. We did get the generator out for $2500 pesos…..turned out they had to totally replace whatever it is that is made of a lot of copper wire all coiled up and it took some serious hours of labor. It is back in service though now and we are rotating it with the Suburu which we had rebuilt, 4 hours at a time to give them a little break. I am hoping that they will last until electricity comes in which is a very realistic possibility as we get more and more neighbors. The Ejido(municipal) grader came in and graded our road for the very first tim in like NINE YEARS sowe are seeing some progress here.
Well I guess that is it for me. Have an awesome Sunday and love to everyone there,
Help get your blog out there with condron.us
Greetings to everyone back home at Harvest of Faith!
I have high hopes that this letter finds you all doing well. The sun is just dropping like a ball of orange fire into the Pacific as I write this.I know you all will laugh at this , but it has been so hot here today! Okay, I am spoiled , it is in the high 80’s and to us that is rough. I know you are enduring worse… guess it is all just relative. Anyway, the heat here has everyone using more water and it seems almost a full time job today just dispensing it and attending to the many children and mamas who bring their empty jugs up the hill to the mission home. It has become such a blessing though to see how they are also getting some revelation of giving as well- my kitchen counter is stacked with lovely purple, green, red and yellow bell peppers, pearl onions, lemons and chile gueritos right now as almost everyone who comes for water brings an gift of the current harvest. That is very exciting and just really means a lot to me. It feels good when people express their appreciation AND I always need the vegetables. Oh and I forgot enough broccoli for a meal on Monday.
The fertile farmland here with its bountiful harvest is drawing more people in as well- today , here at the house I have met representatives of 4 new families. Hopefull they will come to church tomorrow, iF they are not working. We are considering changing Sunday Service to an evening service as so many are working 7 days a week right now.
Francisco continued to work on the classroom at the elementary school today, he is anxious to finish it for them. It is all formed up and ready for the cement truck to come in to pour the foundation and floor in one fell swoop on Monday. This is first, having a cement truck come in instead of mixing it all by hand, but now it has become economical enough to be practical for us to do. I was happy to see the letter from the principal posted on the blog today. Yesterday as I hunted down a classroom key so we could turn on the water pump at the school I ran into two teachers who re really really SO grateful for this project and so happy not to have to teach two classes in one small room next year. They say that makes it very difficult for everyone involved and makes learning slower. They just could not stop saying thank you. With the finances that you all provide us with so faithfully we have been able to really make an impact on the school this past year.
In January, Francisco made a pledge to purchase the drinking water and the utility water that comes by truck each month which is something that no one was doing. The bathrooms, with no water were just shameful, you can imagine I am sure and very unsanitary. We just thought that that was sending a message of unworthiness to each child and did not think that we could allow that to continue. Francisco and his group of three younger guys who are in an unofficial discipleship program with him have done tons of work around the school, painting, installing windows and ceiling fans, building their trash incinerator and developing the soccer filed. Finally, last week we hired a backhoe to come in a level the field as they just could not get it done by hand. The school come a LONG way from one room in a tent 6 years ago and all of you who support us financially have a huge part in that so THANK YOU very very much. I pray that we will see the fruit of this labor when we see these children staying in school but also the fruit is in the community seeing the CHURCH as an entity which demonstrates the love and faith that it preaches with real acts that impact them on a daily basis! This the Kingdom ya’ll!
The feeding program continues to bring only glory to the Lord’s name as well. We are still feeding an average of 52 poeple a free nutritious meal EVERY DAY! I am still cooking and Bro. Marcial is still washing dishes as he heads into his 8th year free from addiction to heroin- praise the Lord. Some of you may recall that this is a man who battled the demon of addiction from age 18, saw it destroy two marriages, wound up doing several stints in prison due to it, who went through 9 rehabiltation centers and who finally on eday wound up on our doorstep about 8 years ago. It so happened that a day after his arrival and deep in withdrawals as satan tried to convince him to give up and return to the streets- Pastor Richard flew into town for a scheduled visit to the new mission. Thankfully, Marcial was able to submit to and recieve ministry from Pastor Richard and the Church. Pastor has relayed the story that at the time he prayed for Marcial he actually had a vision of hundreds of cockroach-like demons scurrying from his body. and Marcial bears witness. Praise Jesus, from that point forward he was totally healed of the addiction that had plagued his life and has NEVER had a desire to use heroin again.
By the way, on a trip into the town to buy groceries last week, we found ourselves being funneld through a military roadblock to check for drugs and weapons. Although they still make me somewhat nervous I am getting pretty blase about them and this time I just kept on reading my book as they poked and prodded the bags in the back of the car in search of contraband. Suddenly , I noticed Francisco’s voice go up an octave and snapped to attention to find a handsome soldier sort of rushing toward my open door…….”Sister!” Don’t you remember me? From the prison, then youyr house!” This stout young man had come to recieve the Lord some 8 or 9 years ago in the prison ministry and when released had come to live with us for over a year. He is now a sergeant in the army. It wa s a very very sweet surprise and a gift from the Lord to encourage us, I think.
Next Friday is our monthly medical clinic. It will be the fourth time we have done this. Each time we see at least 30 ptients and they are provided with necessary medications and all recieve vitamins. This has become an awesome blessing to the community and it is an answer to many years of prayer on my part. I am very excited to hear the heartbeats of the babies of the newly pregnant women as the Clinic now owns a Doppler for that very purpose. It was purchased by two couples in Nampa Idaho who have been divinely appointed to us by the Lord. They have formed a group called Eagles Wings and are funding this clinic. They had applied for grants to do so last year but none came through so they decided to step out in faith and I tell you, the Lord is really honoring that faith. At this early stage we have a really well stocked little medical clinic and dispensary, praise God.
Most importantly, the Church is remaining very stable and we are seeing new faces every weekend. We have a good group of people who come faithfully every Sunday and they are all indians hailing from three different tribes. I ask that you all really pray for the Church and for their understanding to be opened constantly and especially for them to be able to overcome the division between people groups( or tribes) as this is something that we struggle with somewhat. It is so wonderful to be able build buildings , to provide water and medicine and to feed the hungry, but it is only the Gospel that will save people and change their lives and we must never ever forget that!
Well, the sun is gone now and my stomach is growling so I will sign off for now.
Thank you so much for your generous giving. Make no mistake , none of this could take place without your gifts and that I hold constantly before me.
May the Lord bless you abundantly and keep you in the fold of His Mighty Wing, Sis. Detra and Pastor Francisco arriaga Avila Baja California Norte, Mexico
Pastor Francisco Arriaga Avila
Harvest of Faith Mission
Pastor Richard Chambliss
Harvest of Faith Ministries;
I direct this letter to thank you for your interest in constructing a class room for the Luis Mercado Solis Elementary School, clave 02EPR0471K in zone 039 located in Las Brechas del Mirador, Maneadero Baja California Norte, Mexico.
As of the writing of this letter our school does not have a class room for the first grade for the coming school year, 2009/10 which starts on August 24.
Fortunately, as promoters of change in this Colonia where the school is located we are seeing more and more children enrolled in school each year although there still exist many parents who do NOT send their children to school at all. So day in and day out , we battle to see that things change and that no child is left without an elementary education at least. Our dream is that every child receive that elemenatry education which consists of garde 1 through grade 6.
One of our biggest challenges is that we are not considered by our government to be a “complete” school until we have six class rooms, a school library and an address. Until we have those things we do not qualify for the government support which would give us the services of a physical education teacher, a psychologist,social workers, vocational programs and assessment, among many many other benifits for these students who make up some of the most economically marginized in our area. Being counted as a “complete school”, approved for the appropriate government support provided by the Secretary of education of Mexico, would give these children a much different future allowing them to stand on at least the equivelent educational ground as every other student in this state, regardless of their economic status.
I believe that education can only enrich these children’s futures. I thank you on behalf of the children, their parents and the teachers who all possess the conviction that these children can grow up to be citizens with great abilities, knowledge,values and principles capable of contributing with excellence to a society which is constantly changiing.
I also felt it was important in writing this letter to express my gratitude to you and your congregation for your commitment to service to this community and all of the work that you and all involved in your church have done thus far to further these children’s education and for the betterment of this community. I want to say thank you on behalf of all involved for fulfilling every promise you have made to us with never expecting anything in return. Thank you for providing the drinking water and the utility water for this school in a timely manner every month and thank you for cleaning up the schoolyard, for painting, for building us an incinerator for trash, for installing fans in the classrooms and for our windows as well.
Since their are no recreational facilities in this growing community, which means that the children have little to do physically, we especially thank you for cleaning and clearing the futbol(soccer) field and for the manufacture and installation of the futbol goals. This will help these children in so very many ways,
Many groups and people have expressed a desire to help us with the continuing developement of this new school but only you have caused your words and promises to be come a reality, again thank you.
Jesus Yesenia Heredia Armenta
Luis Mercado Solis Elementary School
I just celebrated my 57th birthday. I have been thinking on the connotations of the number. I have realized 50 is the number of jubilee or liberty and freedom. Seven the number of completion. I felt I heard the Lord say to me this 57th year will be a year of the completion of my liberty . He spoke to me at the first of the year that this would be the year of discovering true identity . If the people of this planet need anything we need to find our true identity. We need some reality in our lives. The church seems to have only added to our confusion. Telling us that we are our doings instead of our beings.
I feel a call to speak present day reality to people. I hear a lot of people speaking what is going to happen but I know what has happened and is will affect our future more than guessing about what is to come. I know that if I walk in the light of His reality now, the future is a guaranteed secure place for me.
I don’t know about you. I can teach you, encourage you to believe but I can’t guarantee your security. Not a very good advertisement in this day of guarantees of total success. All I can do as a teacher and a spiritual navigator is point the way and give reality based instruction. You must take the knowledge of the truth (reality) and walk in it. The Lord showed me that our greatest threat in these days is not global warming, terrorism global unrest, war, famine ad nauseam. Our biggest threat is the onslaught of false reality bombarding our senses which in turn is creating fear in our hearts. Paul said we walk by faith and not by sight. The opposite of faith is not fear but walking by sight or conducting our lives limited only to knowledge gathered from the world by our senses. Experiences build an ego or carnal mind that is at enmity with God’s Reality. The ego is limited to only what it knows from experience. This is not necessarily reality. We cannot limit ourselves to this ignoring what Jesus came to give us. The Promise of the restoration of of the Presence of God’s Own Holy Spirit in us . It is Christ in you that is your hope of Glory, I heard a prophet describe Glory as a higher existence. Because Christ is in me I have a hope or confident expectation of a higher existence the one I am currently in. I am not talking about going to heaven when I pass from this earth but experiencing the higher existence of fellowship with my Creator and Sustainer. This is a present day reality. The people of the earth need to know that this is real now. Knowing this will change their earth. I hear a lot about shaking. I would like to shake them and say wake up to what is real now. Awake to your righteousness and quit missing it.
We are not in the end of time or the end of the world. Jesus completed the work for us to have glory. We are living in the times of completion not the destruction of the earth. World without end Amen.