Monday, January 29, 2018

The Lord Has Delivered Us!


The Lord Has Delivered Us!   (by Chris)




We arrived at our San Vicente Ministry Center (yes, a rented house, but hey!) a few weeks ago, and after opening it up and settling in, we realize... “WOW! We haven’t been robbed here in over a year! Guess the security bars and doors made a big difference! Way to go, Lord!”

A year ago, we were at a difficult point... what to do? Installing security was going to be expensive... would the owner go along? Adjust the rent if we pay? What about the enormous amount of time to do this installation?

For us, the words in Obadiah 1:5 were not IF but WHEN... “If (when!) thieves came to you, if (when!) robbers in the night— oh, what a disaster awaits you!— would they not steal only as much as they wanted?” We felt like the Israelites in Joel 1:4, “What the locust swarm has left, the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left, the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left, other locusts[a] have eaten.” Getting robbed, and robbed, and robbed again was not do-able for us long-range.



The LORD worked it out. Julio and crew did a fantastic job, designing security measures adapted to the styles of robbery in the Village (no kidding!) and installing them in a brilliant way. The rental Owner worked out the issues of rent-credit. It took two months of hard work back in 2016-17, but we secured the Ministry Center from most forms of robbery. Thanks to SO many of you, our Partner-Team, who re-supplied us after the robberies, did fund-raising to pay for the security measures, and SO much ‘stay strong!’ encouragement... thanks, team!

Now, January 2018, we feel like the Joel Chapter TWO bit: ““I (the LORD am) repay(ing) you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm” (verse 25).

When we recognized that it had been a YEAR without robbery... we stopped and gave HONOR to the AWESOME GOD we serve, for His Mercies are new every morning!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Praying for a Higher Level of Protection


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Praying for a Higher Level of Protection

Hello from our Influenza-ravaged household!

For the third year in a row, the large area of over 6 million people that we live and work in has been hit hard by the influenza season. Greater San Diego has 3.5 million peeps, Baja Norte Mexico... which includes Ensenada and the village we work in, San Vicente, has confirmed 2.5 million souls. A combination of dense population, friendly winter weather (cool but not ‘stay home and don’t go out’) and punchy viruses have meant for thousands and thousands of people affected by winter colds and flu. Each of the public health administrations in San Diego and Mexico have declared the level of Influenza as epidemic each year.

Lori and I have, for the last 3 years, been hit hard by the yearly Influenza epidemics here. This year was no exception; December was marked with some serious home-sick days, and the lingering coughs are still hanging on. We end up ‘down with the bug’ for a couple of weeks each year.

Yes, we have had to slow up or postpone some ministry activities due to illness.

I’ve been studying the maskil Psalm 88, where the writer... David’s lead-worshipper Hamen... in a time of intense sickness and suffering;
            13 But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
            14 Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?” (Psalm 88: 13-14)

Have you ever been lying on the couch, super-sick with a flu, with coughing/fever/body aches, unable to get much done... and prayed that Psalm 88 prayer? I sure have been there... recently...

Why? Why our annual ‘down-sick’ battles? Regardless of all the precautions we take (first to get flu vaccines each year, vitamin and diet regimens, vigorous hand-washing, etc.), being ‘in ministry’ means working closely with people... and people easily share the viruses they are fighting themselves. Also, ministry means a great deal of hard schedules, travelling and activities. This means a great deal of expended energy in long, tiring days, and it also means being with a lot of people, all of whom have viruses to share.

SO, dear friends, join us as we are praying for a higher level of protection from these regular, seasonal, debilitating illnesses that we keep fighting. These past few years, the coughing lasts for a couple of months, regardless of the talented doctor’s interventions.

‘Higher Level of Protection’... please, PLEASE, Lord, we are a bit sick-and-tired of feeling so sick-and-tired...

Chris      



(pic credit: ‘The Right Hand of God Protecting’ by Jean Fouquet, circa 1455, Illuminated Manuscript, in the Robert Lehman Collection, 1975)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Giving Tuesday 2017... Sponsor a Mexican Seamstress!

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#GivingTuesday   #BajkiewiczMission  
It’s GIVING TUESDAY!!
Please consider adopting a “seamstress” for a week, helping to bring financial health to struggling families in farming villages of Baja Norte, Mexico.
Your $25 donation provides a week of:
*learning sewing techniques
*creating items for her family &/or products for sale
*accessing tools, fabrics, patterns, & supplies
*training to build her own home-based business
*receiving encouragement & support
     Checks can be made out to
     Bajkiewicz Mission
     P. O. Box 120265
     Chula Vista, CA 91912

Many Thanks,
Lori and Chris Bajkiewicz

There is no charge to the ladies for the training.
Your donation helps to defray the expenses of providing the above supplies and services.

Bajkiewicz Mission is a ministry of South Coast Set Free Inc., 526 Kingwood Dr. #168, Kingwood, TX 77339,
a registered 501(c)3. E.I.N. #46-2632765

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Smells of a Village Ministry Center (3 of 3)






Sights, Sounds and Smells of a Village Ministry Center
Part 3: Smells

San Vicente, the sprawling village of 3000... we’ve been working here for over a decade... quite interesting being here, your senses... uniquely filled...
 
Smells: to be fair, there is nothing as wonderful as Carne Asada meat over mesquite coals... definitely the yuck of pit toilets and doggie-stuff everywhere (3/4 of the homes only have a pit latrine)... smoke from the trash/garbage fires (municipal trash pickup isn’t dependable), everyone has a ‘burning can’, which smolders for hours (we regularly have to close all the windows in the middle of the night, regardless of the heat)... a rural village, walking by pig wallows and sheep stalls... with all the people draining water into the street, stagnant, yucky water filled with old soap and who-knows-what... walking by the houses, the ‘madre de la casa’ cooking dinner (usually something to smile about)... walking by the numerous food ‘puestos’ along the Highway, all cooking something (but we don’t eat there, famous for giving people severe ‘ED’, requires 3 days of Oral Rehydration and Pepto, possibly antibiotics... yeah, even the locals... how do these places stay open???)... oh, did you know that blowing dust has a smell?...

Hey, many of you have gone on mission outreaches to other places in the world... what say you? Email us!

Sounds of a Village Ministry Center (2 of 3)




Sights, Sounds and Smells of a Village Ministry Center

Part 2: Sounds

San Vicente, the sprawling village of 3000... we’ve been working here for over a decade... quite interesting being here, your senses... uniquely filled...

Sounds, oh the sounds: there IS the delightful sound of the old Catholic church-bell, ringing promptly at 0830 (not sure why)... but, that’s after the 0730 blasting Zumba music at the make-shift workout room, which can be heard all over the Village...dogs, dogs, dogs barking everywhere (half from their fenced yards, half the packs of street-roving free dogs), roosters crowing most of the night (thankfully, our neighbor gave her roosters away, quite the racket outside the bedroom window)... during the day, the blaring vehicle-mounted PA announcements, advertising vegetables, brooms, bottled water for drinking (a must!)... then the LP Gas trucks and their blaring sirens... there’s the tempting, soft bell-ringing of the roving ice-cream coolers and candy salesmen (my favorite: the hot churros, all cinnamon and sugar and melt-in-your-mouth, with champurrado, a hot corn-meal and chocolate drink)... Click! Grrr! Click! Grrr! The neighbors water-tank pumps going on-and-off (we opt to just fill our buckets when the water comes on, no water-tank)... Bbbrrrrrr go the semi’s on the Highway, down-shifting... goes along with the vehicles that have NO muffler, back-firing down the road...weekends, the NorteƱo Mexican music so loud from dusk to 3am, you can’t hold a conversation in the house... oh, yes, the sound of water trickling into our buckets as we fill them up at 2am, the stars keeping us company (they only turn on water to our part of town in the middle of the night, 2-3x/week)
 C
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Sights of a Village Ministry Center (1 of 3)


Sights, Sounds and Smells of a Village Ministry Center

Part 1: Sights

San Vicente, the sprawling village of 3000... we’ve been working here for over a decade... quite interesting being here, your senses... uniquely filled...

Sights...totally normal sights: horses trotting down the main cow-path dirt roads... pickup trucks filled with people in the back, flying down the road... roads in the center of the village clogged with make-shift booths (PVC pipe, blue tarps, plywood tables) on ‘Market Days’ (called Tianges)... dozens and dozens of dust-covered field workers walking home, 5-gallon buckets slung over their shoulders... nothing like a Baja Mexico sunset over the mountains, cactus in view... the vehicles klunking down the road, 30-40 yr old rusty hunks held together with duct tape, ‘chica-nada’ metal repairs, bondo-and-bailing wire... like last night, darkness (the city transformer blew, no power for about 10 hours)... clouds of dust, blowing right at you... every 3-4 months, there is a roving ‘kid’s carnival’ that comes to town, and we both cringe at the rickety-barely held-together rides they put up... driving north, you can see the ruins of the original San Vicente Mission, established in 1780... at night, when filling water buckets at 2am, the Screech Owl flying overhead (he buzzed me once, took me a few minutes to breathe again)... with a small, rural village, one beautiful sight: on a clear night, before the garbage fires, you can see the Milky Way overhead, and the orbital satellites criss-crossing the sky...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Missionary Psalm Canticle I

Missionary Psalm
Canticle I
A Song of Laments


  
Two things about serving the Lord
Three things about walking with You, O God

Life consists of seasons
Each with it’s own wonders
Each with it’s own challenges
Each with it’s own pain

My heart is tested severely
To see what is really there
Gold and silver endure fire
Everything else burns

The only safe place
In this storm, in the storm
is in the middle
of the Hand
of the Lord Almighty
the Maker of Heaven and Earth

Grab on, O my soul
Strength and Refuge are there
Grab on
Don’t let go.

Selah

O, praise the Lord!
Praise Him, my weary soul!
Praise Him in this and all seasons
In the season of many difficulties
In the place of trouble

You are good, O Lord
Your Love prevails
Your Mercies endure
Now and forever

You are good
You ARE good
You are GOOD

Trials and tribulations come, but look up!
The Creator God sees us to safely
Even when I have stumbled,
Your Hand breaks through and
Pulls me

We will walk through these walls
The sunrise of His Kingdom
on the other side
Shining in our eyes
The fresh wind of Your Kindness
Flowing over us

All who walk with You
Will be delivered
will be satisfied in Your Presence
now and forever-more


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crisbaj   Aug 2017

(pic credit: © 2017 crisbaj. Used with permission)