Oh MAN I am not very good at this blogging thing. It's been months, and every time I think, "Hey, I should write an update to tell people about this", something else changes! So yesterday I quickly wrote something before something else did! If some of this looks familiar, it's because I have cut and pasted from the update I sent out to some people. I would love to send it out to more people, but I still don't have very many email addresses after I lost them all, so this is going to have to do.
At the end of december and the beginning of this year, I began to pray that God would “bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it would not pain me!” I was feeling frustrated, directionless, unsure of which direction God wanted me to go in. Living here can be overwhelming at times; seeing all the hurt and broken people and families, yet not knowing how to help without creating more problems. After so many years of missionary presence and visiting teams a lot of people have been helped and their living situations have improved, but what is lacking are the internal changes; heart changes. Community changes. The depravity and uncaring attitudes are disheartening and and any long term, relational community programs have seemed impossible.
Until now. Primero Dios! A building was offered to some friends to use for ministry which they declined, however this friend came to me with an idea. She said, wouldn’t that building be great as a community center? Well, right then and there we wrote about three pages of ideas and a mission statement. We talked about this idea with other friends, who were just as excited about it as we were. Finally we presented our idea to the owner of said property, and it was approved as well as a small operating budget!
So I am so excited to share with you that as of this coming Monday, February 3 we will be officially beginning the first two programs of what we pray will be many at the ‘Centro Familiar’ (Family Center); music lessons taught by my friend’s husband, and an english class taught by yours truly! I will try not to go on and on with the details, but the basic point is to find local people who have anything they are willing to share or contribute to their community. (yes I realize I am not Mexican, but I am local!) There are so many incredibly talented people in our town, so many people who would be willing to give of themselves and their time but haven’t because no one has ever asked them to. We have a vision to offer all kinds of programs and courses ranging from adult computer courses to health presentations to art classes to an after school tutoring program. The mission of the Community Center is to put Christian faith into action through service to the community with compassion, truth and hope. My role will be as Programs Coordinator, assisting our director Ruth Aviña work with other organizations in the area to form partnerships and spread information, to help implement new programs, and to search out people who have something to share with their community.
For most (normal) people that would be enough, however I must have prayed really well this time because God has also seen fit to grow our family by two! Yesi is 19, and grew up in the orphanage. She is a delightful young woman who is not quite ready to be out on her own, especially since she is just now finishing her junior high education through distance learning. Her goal is to be a teacher, and I think she would be such a great one! She is wonderful with Alex and is such an amazing help to me.
God knew I would need her as much as she needed us, because the day after she arrived I got a phone call from our doctor, who told me “remember that baby I was telling you about, who needs a family? Well, he’s here. Can you come and get him?”
Yes that’s right people, when you pray, be prepared that God might just say yes to what you’re asking for! Little Leonel (lay-o-nel) is two months old, and sadly his mama died while giving birth to him. His dad loves him very much, however since he works on a remote ranch he is unable to care for him. Leo is a delightful addition to our household and has stolen our hearts with his big brown eyes and easygoing manner. He has two club feet and so we are working on getting treatment started for that right away.
As you can well imagine, the past month has been a whirlwind and I have been struggling a little trying to pull everything all together (throw in several nightly feedings and things start to unravel a little in the brain) but God is OH, so good and I know that in His strength and wisdom, tiny changes will begin to be made. And we all know that with just a few small changes there can be some big differences!
Friends! My heart is so full and even in the face of many challenges ahead I am so blessed and excited! God knows at heart I am a mama first, but also has seen fit to let me work in the community with the people I love so much in a way that I really believe will make a difference.
Please help me pray that only God’s will be done in the community center project, the little school project in Colonet, and in all that we do.
Pray for our little family; that Yesi will find her place and be able to continue her studies and work towards her goals, for little Leo’s feet, and for Alex to bear the many changes as well as he can.
For Welcome Home Outreach Ministries and my dear friends Saul and Amber Machado, whom I am working alongside with in addition to the center.
For safety driving back and forth to Ensenada every saturday while I finish the Teaching English diploma program.
That I will be able to get all the necessary documentation and Alex’s adoption process will continue with no issues and be finished before 2014 is!
For all of us to keep searching for God in all that we do, to keep getting to know and trust Him more and more.
We will be seeing a lot of Taberites in these parts very soon- I’lll be praying for the EFree and CRC teams as they head south this coming month. We are looking forward to connecting with you all; I love my hometown!
Wow this is long. Sorry. Thank you all again, and please if you are interested in knowing more send me an email at email@example.com, or to see frequent pictures and updates you can check out my Facebook page.
Until next time,
Karen, Yesi, Alex and little Leo
*sorry, we don’t have a family picture yet! coming soon :)