Tuesday, October 2, 2018

BajMission Outcomes 2006-2018


(Here is the continued series of 'reports'. This section lists Outcomes that we have, through the Grace and Mercy of our Lord, seen in the last 12 years... if you are a Partner with us in ministry, this is a Praise Report on the GOOD THINGS we've done together... enjoy!)

We are long-term missional workers sustaining an in-country work over the course of 27+ years, working directly with the nationals in the region. Our work is a Spanish-language intensive, relationship-intensive, and Mexican-culturally intensive method of ‘incarnational ministry’ with the poor and resource-critical families in Baja Mexico. It may be helpful for you to see some of our outcomes during the past 10 years. The numbers below correlate with the “Areas of Service above” (ed note: previous BajMission Blog). 

<1> Mexico village of San Vicente:
            -we have worked in the greater San Vicente region since 1992 (25+ years).
            -prior to the current long-term work, we had worked 1-2x/year in San Vicente for 14 years (1992-2006).
            -we have worked in a focused, long-term missional approach in San Vicente for 12 years (2006-2018).
            -we have maintained a dedicated ‘ministry center’ in San Vicente for 7 years.
            -we have built and sustained positive, interactive working relationships with 6 established Mexican churches in San Vicente, as well as 4 large para-church missional works in the area. This includes long-term works with the pastoral leadership and outreach teams within those Mexican national churches, involving complex language and cross-cultural relationship management.
            -we regularly participate in a number of local-church and local-ministry outreaches, as well as engaged in a number of joint-venture outreaches and ministry activities to the San Vicente community.


            -during the winter months, we have conducted multiple annual ‘Great Cover-Up’ hat-distribution outreaches since 2003 in Baja Norte, Mexico. Number of hats distributed range from 750 to 1500 hats each year (est. 17,000 hats given in last 15 years).
            -‘Great Cover-Up’ outreaches are done through and with the existing churches and ministries alongside evangelism and church-planting efforts. Many hats have been part of Bible-study outreaches to the farming work-camps that surround San Vicente and community-health care outreaches.
            -the ‘Great Cover-Up’ project touches people around the US as hat-makers. All hats distributed are hand-made by these individuals.


<2>Community-wide Sewing Outreaches began in the SV area in 2008. Due to multiple logistical complexities, the number of community classes has varied over the last few years, but over 300 community classes have been held over the last 10 years.
<3> We are working to build a long-term, Biblically-based, social-justice, economic development project with poor Mexican families in Baja Mexico. This is through the development of Micro-Enterprise Cottage-Industries with women who sew high-quality product for sale.
-The 7-year duration of the ‘Star Seamstress’ project has had a huge impact on the financial health of 12 women and their families. Here are just a few of the ‘economic benefits’ realized by the ‘Star Seamstresses’ Micro-Enterprise participants:
            -Albina, windows and poured floors in house
            -Camalia, children able to attend school, buy block to build water cistern
            -Alejandria, supplement food security for family
-Yolanda, purchase of small plot of land,
-Sina, dental work, property fencing
-Yazmin, surgery costs
<4>Developed nutritional educational program that has been utilized dozens of times in the kindergarten and elementary schools in Mexico.
Wrote and taught a response to the “Ebola Crisis” at the request of a SV church.
<5> Part of leadership and teaching team for several International Missions Healthcare conferences.
Trained over 300 individuals in Oral Rehydration Treatment (ORT) to prepare them to serve internationally.
<6>Assisted at mobile medical outreaches in the greater Tijuana area and other communities in Baja Norte, Mexico.
Helped coordinate dozens of “Children’s Health Fairs”. A fun-filled educational program that we developed geared toward elementary-aged school children.
<7> Worship ministry support: held a number of training classes and workshops through local San Vicente churches, and have helped train 4 guitar players who now serve as worship musicians in that region.

Thanks for reading!
Bro Chris
<<>>

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Tell Da Mountains 2 Move... Sept 2018

Well, our usual trip down to our Ministry Center in San Vicente has become significantly longer.
Why? The Mexican government is doing a MAJOR upgrade of the Highway we travel along to the village, the 'Mex 1' that goes from the US-Mex border in Tijuana alllll the way down to Los Cabos, at the tip of Baja, well over 26 hours south.

Image result for Mexico 1 Baja

SO.... the Mex 1 going thru the mountains south of Ensenada and north of Santo Tomas have been a tight, narrow 2-lane highway for decades. Why? Those mountains are solid granite, with a 1500 foot climb to get over them.

Well... the government has been re-doing the Mex 1 from Ensenada all the way past San Quintin (well south of our San Vicente location), and those roads have been fantastic.

But, the Santo Tomas mountains ... well, re-doing that 5-mile stretch... tough to do.

Guess what, there is NOTHING about a mountain that will hold back a Mexican crew from blasting and chipping away. They started doing the hard-core section last month: they blast away a chunk of the mountain, clear out a single lane, then let us crawl thru... close the road and Kaboom!

That means we get stopped for well over an hour while they are doing the Kaboom-clear it out-let us thru cycle.

Last time, we were stopped behind a rancher truck with a massive, snorting, angry bull, and the gate was held closed by a twist of twine to keep it closed... yeah, we were nervous!

Upside was that the usual Mex popcicle guys came out to sell their wares, and we were able to enjoy some tasty Mex ice-cream and 'palatas de limon'...

KA-BOOM! Dust clouds in the distance...

The big benefit WILL BE a fantastic new, wider road thru the mountains... but it's gonna take at least a year.


(Hey, popcicle guys... keep comin' around)


<>



Friday, August 31, 2018

BajMission Calling, Areas of Service [2]

Aug 2018

Hello!

^^^
We've been recently asked to articulate our CALLING as missionaries.
Here's what we came up with (thru alot of prayer and discourse)

Bajmission: Our calling is:
-to work alongside the Father in the Holy Spirit as faithful witnesses and disciple-makers of the Master Jesus among the peoples of Latin America and those in the ends of the world.
-to know God deeply, and make Him known among the peoples of the world, especially the poor, disenfranchised, and under-served in Latin America.
-to see the Kingdom of God realized in families and churches throughout Mexico, particularly Baja California.  

^^^
Our AREAS OF SERVICE were something that the Lord had us prayerfully craft way back in 1993-94, as we were sensing His call into life-long Mission service. We had encountered a great deal of teaching about Jesus and His 'areas of service' in His 'mission' as the Saviour, which resulted in a pretty effective outcome (the redemption of all mankind).

Our ‘Areas of Service’, guide what we do... and don’t do, unless directly led by the Holy Spirit. These best describe the outcomes that we look for while ministering.

The BAJKIEWICZ MISSION AREAS OF SERVICE are:
<1> Ministering to hurting people while working alongside of national churches, sharing the “Good News” and making faithful disciples of Jesus in order to restore the spiritual health of individuals, families and their communities.
<2>Teaching new skills through DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS that focus on building confidence and restoring emotional health while encouraging friendship evangelism.
<3>Coaching those who start MICRO-ENTERPRISES by expanding and advancing their knowledge in order to assist in restoring financial health to their families.
<4> Focusing on impoverished families and children in underserved areas through COMMUNITY HEALTH AND EDUCATION, restoring health to body, soul and spirit.
<5> Instructing nationals, healthcare workers and field missionaries serving throughout the world with TRAINING AND PREPARATION, equipping God’s people for works of service that extend “His” Kingdom.
<6> Assisting mercy/healthcare organizations working in the ‘Emerging world’ through SUPPORTIVE ROLES of their ministries, outreaches, and training programs.
<7> Restoring hope within overlooked children and youth through CREATIVE ARTS EVANGELISM AND WORSHIP, shining “Light” into their darkness with the Presence of Jesus.

^^^
Thanks for listening!
Brother Chris

^^^^
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BajMission Statements of Faith [1]

Aug 2018

Hello!

On occasion, we get asked about our BajMission 'Statements of Faith'.

Valid question: what are our 'Statements of Faith' rooted in?

Of course, these are usually coming from 'pastoral people', who are studied, have theology degrees, and spend a great deal of time flowing in these areas.

Our website ( www.bajmission.com ) has always listed our Statements of Faith, two of the most fundamental and historic 'statements of faith' in traditional Christianity:
   The Apostles' Creed
   The Nicene Creed







Thanks for asking!
Brother Chris

^^^^


Just So You Know... BajMission Goals, Objectives, Desired Outcomes, VIsion 2018 [intro]

August 2018

Hello!

It's been a hot, sweaty summer all around North America, and SoCal/Baja Mexico hasn't been any different in 2018.

One thing Lori and I have been 'sweating over' and made busy with these past months have been writing formal applications and answering formal questions from some churches who have supported us financially. We welcome these opportunities to be accountable and transparent in our mission work. Many of these 'fill-out questionnaires' were extremely lengthy and detailed...

... so, as we were praying about the BajMission Blog, it occured to us that ya'll might actually like to see that we are a formative Mission with Goals, Objectives, Desired Outcomes, Vision Statements and Areas of Service. We have always stepped out in Missions with clarity that the Lord is calling us to something specific, something distinct in His service.

The up-coming Blogs will share some of those formative BajMission statements.

We hope this will answer questions you may have, or spark vision towards the areas of Kingdom service the Lord is calling YOU towards!

to know Him and make Him known,
Brother Chris

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Tarahumara Miracle (a BajMission Rememberance...)




The Tarahumara Miracle
 by Chris

This is one of the big ‘life-impacting’ moments, one of those amazing ‘God-moments’ that ‘ruined me for the ordinary’ and signed me up to be a part of God’s Amazing Mission to all the races, tribes and tongues of our planet for life.

This is a story of seeing God do the miraculous for a Tarahumara baby, literally raising the dead, and bringing a whole village to the Kingdom because of it.


(Thanks to Jana A. and her home-schooled daughters Grace, Josie and Anna, who asked for this fantastic 1989 Mission Moment from our time in Mexico...)
^^
While we were living in south-eastern Michigan, praying about our mission calling to Mexico, we led a team from our home-church Redeemer to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico for a two-week outreach in 1989.


While the team were doing child evangelism outreaches and building a house (that later became the community church) in the outskirt of Juarez, I was seeing patients as an Advanced Practice Nurse in the little YWAM clinic near the Juarez dump. A few days in, there was an ‘emergency request’, asking the YWAM Juarez medical team to come to a rural church outside the city of Chihuahua and do a medical clinic for a group of indigenous Tarahumara . Since Lori and I were seriously praying about coming to Juarez and join this work full-time, I agreed to leave the Redeemer team in Lori’s leadership in Juarez, and go 7 hours south as a health-care provider.

We loaded a beat-up van with whatever medicines and antibiotics the small clinic had, packed up medical exam gear, and off we went for a 4-day trip: two days back-and-forth, and two days of mobile clinic.


^^
A bit about the Tarahamara people. One of ‘Mexico’s original peoples’, they are thought to be remote descendants of the Aztecs who moved north to the Sierra mountains. Counting 800,000 in 1980, they were experiencing a huge die-off due mainly to Tuberculosis in 1989. By 2010 (well after the outreach), they are counted at only (ONLY!) 70,000 in their region, the Mexican state of Chihuahua. 

The Tarahumara live in little clusters of 40-80, high up in the mountains, many villages over 5,000 ft  ‘up’, and sometimes a 3-5 day walk from their villages to any city. This remote distance makes it nearly impossible for the Tarahumaras to access the Mexican TB-treatment programs in the large cities.

The Tarahumara are known in their own language as rarámuri (refers specifically to the men) women are referred to as mukí (individually) and as omugí or igómale (collectively).


The Wycliffe ‘language experts’ tell us that the Tarahumara language is very old and rooted in indigenous structure, and has no relationship to the Spanish that came into Mexico in the 1500’s. The native name is Rarámuri/Ralámuli ra'ícha for their tounge, a guttural and complex language, and it was my later joy to meet the Wycliffe missionary who labored over 20 years to translate the Gospel of John in Rarámuri for the Tarahumaras.
^^
Point of interest: There are over 60 different languages spoken in Mexico, many with ancient, indigenous roots. Spanish came into Mexico when Hernan Cortés invaded Mexico in 1519 and conquered the Aztec Empire in what is now south-eastern Mexico and north Guatemala. Currently, Spanish is the second-most spoken language amongst Mexico’s people; Mixteco rates as the most-spoken, it’s root- peoples coming from the south-western regions of Oaxaca.
^^
Another point of interest: Tarahumaras are called the ‘running’ tribe because they literally run between homes and villages in very steep and mountainous areas... barefoot! Mexico placed 2 Tarahumaras in the 1928 Olympics, and there is a 16-yr-old now training for the next Olympiad.

As far as the spiritual state of the Tarahumara, they were deeply rooted in tribal animism and poly-theism, ancestor worship and a weird version of Latin America’s major religion, Santaria. Very, very few Tarahumaras were Christian in 1989.



^^
Arriving in Chihuahua, we met the Pastor, who was an indigenous Tarahumara, with a church reaching out to the numerous Tarahumara villages in the surrounding mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. He had contacted the YWAM team to come ‘immediately’, because he had spent a literal month walking up to the villages, inviting tribal members to a clinic promised by a US-based group. His heart was to share the Gospel with his people-group. Well, the US group decided at the last minute not to come, and this Pastor knew many of the Tarahumara had already left their villages to come down to his poor, little church in Chihuahua. This Pastor, who had lost a lung to TB 5 years ago, had a word from God that miracles and salvations were about to happen, and the Lord told him to call us.

^^
I remember getting my first real taste of ‘outreach to the Least of These’ that first night. We slept on the make-shift church benches. The smell of the out-house was... well, significant. The crowing roosters were louder than any concert-band I’d ever heard. Oh, yeah, the huge, flying cock-roaches....
Still, I was totally jazzed because I had a deep, prayer-born sense that GOD wanted to do something way, way beyond anything our little medical team could stir up. As we arose at dawn for prayer and worship, the whole team of 7 people had reports of dreams and visions of GOD doing amazing things. As we held a ‘YWAM-styled intercession session’ (ya had to have been in YWAM to know; those times were SO off-the-hook), the Holy Spirit filled us with wonder and anticipation.

The small clusters of Tarahumara families began to arrive at the church, their little huddles patiently waiting for clinic exams and care.

^^
After a breakfast of cold beans and tortilla, I saw the first ‘patients’, both with obvious TB. and malnutrition. Somehow, we had brought cases of liquid protein to help treat the malnutrition.  The non-providers were praying with the Pastor over each person who had come, as he preached the Gospel to each and every one who had come. He and another church Tarahumara brother served as translators, which was tricky because I had to ask really good questions (in English, didn’t know Spanish yet), the YWAM teen translated it into Spanish to the Tarahumara brother, he asked the questions in Rarámuri, answers came, then back again. A simple exam took over a half hour.

My third patient really launched this story. A Tarahumara village leader had brought his wife and their sickly son 4 days down from the mountains. The man told us that his son had diarrhea for a couple weeks, and there was blood in his stool.
As I had the mother ‘un-wrap’ the child (who was bundled up, in a very hot climate), I could immediately see this toddler was near death, presenting as a ‘limp ragdoll’, listless, breathing at 35-40 a minute, mouth dry as the desert sand around us, a heart-beat at 140/minute, and little response to stimulation. His diaper has streaks of stool with blood (severe bacterial infection). He was critically dehydrated, and a few hours from death. We immediately began to attempt to administer oral rehydration fluids (Pedialyte), but the child would only take a teaspoon drizzle into his mouth without choking. We sent the YWAM teen to the local Farmacia, but they had no IV supplies, and neither did we. Our little team, along with local church-fold surrounded the child and began fervent prayer and intercession, pleading for his life. After 2 hours, we were able to only get him to swallow ½ cup of Pedialyte. His diaper was bone-dry, and he was comatose. We gave injectable antibiotics and ground up Tylenol into a suppository, the only meds we really had with us for him. We explored taking him to the city hospital, but in those days, Tarahumaras were basically denied care by the local medical system.

Inside my heart, I was in deep pain, seeing this toddler about to die. God, You’ve got to move! Please! PLEASE!

As day turned into night, people continued to pray for the child, doing warfare in the Spirit-realm and calling out. There was worship, speaking out the Faithfulness of God and calling it down on this dying child. I prayed with the team. The family made a make-shift sleeping spot in a shed attached to the church, that toddler barely breathing.

Exhausted, I slept a little on that rickety church bench, and rose with the dawn and our team to worship, pray, and call out for God’s Goodness as our Banner today.

After those morning vespers, in the light of day and the already-warming temps of the chapparel desert, I was coming out of the church and encountered the father of that toddler. My stomach sank as my head told me that he was going to be grieving the death of his son thru the night... and I didn’t know what to do.

He motioned for me to follow him, and... what! The toddler was alive! Not just ‘alive’, the little boy was awake and fussing and moving and breathing normal and pink and giving his mom a hard time! God had literally risen him from the dead! His mom was giving him sips from the cup (more Pedialyte), which he was freely drinking!

I went and got the team, and the Pastor was with them. Rejoice, we did! Dance, we did! There were tears of joy and squeals of delight and songs of Victory... Jesus is alive, and so is this little boy!!! There was no doubt in anyone’s mind... including the ‘medically-trained skeptics’ ...


God had wrought a mighty miracle! We had seen the dead brought back to life.

I had noticed the Pastor talking with the village-leader-child’s father. It seemed intense. After a bit, the Pastor came over to recount to us the conversation (once again, thru interpreters).

The father-leader committed to the Pastor that he and his family would follow this Jesus he had been told about by the Gospel preaching yesterday, because this Jesus truly saved his son from death, and that He must be the True God. Not only that, but the Pastor needed to come back with him to the village, because he (the village leader) would tell this story, and the whole village will commit to follow this God-Jesus who has the power to raise the dead.

Yeah, there was a lot of Praise and Worship and joy and singing and dancing! This is the Kingdom of God turned up to 10!

There were other great victories as we cared for the sick and prayed that second clinic day. We saw the toddler playing in the yard by evening... from death to life! My heart was in a continual dance of Joy for what GOD had done!

We had been told that photography wasn’t going to be allowed of the Tarahumara on this trip... complicated reasons. However, right after the glorious news of God’s miracle, I asked the Pastor to ask the couple if I may take one picture, and they said yes.

This is the ‘Tarahumara Miracle’ family in 1989.

This picture is fixed in my personal Bible, and has literally traveled the world with me, as a reminder of WHAT GOD DID for a little Tarahumara toddler. What God did then... what He can do again... what He WILL do again...
I hope this picture of FAITH and VICTORY will stay with you, as well.

We finished up the clinic, left at dawn the next day for the long journey back.

^^

Yes, we followed God to Mexico as missionaries in 1991. We served in Juarez for 6 months, then Tijuana for 17 years, and now San Vicente for a decade.

Yes, we have other interesting Tarahumara-related ‘God-stories’.

No, I’ve never forgotten the Tarahumara Miracle of 1989.
Chris.

^^^^



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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!!