Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yolanda gets a sewing machine

Monday, March 29th, 2010

If you read my previous blog, you are probably wondering what Yolanda is doing in this picture just two days after her wedding. Well, let's just say that the honeymoon will have to wait, $.

In the meantime, I'm working with Yolanda and one of my other sewing students as we try to get the micro enterprise launched with them taking advantage of me being in town and having use of the sewing machines. The good news is that Yolanda has been able to save up enough funds from the bags that she has sold already to be able to purchase a used sewing machine. This will allow her to continue working on creating products even when I'm not in S.V. It should be exciting to see what sews in the next few months.


wedding bells

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

What a wonderful day as Chris and I were able to celebrate the blessing of Zacarias and Yolanda's marriage in San Vicente. Weddings are such a communal event in Mexico especially in small towns. Costs for the couple and their families are keep down as friends volunteer to provide a variety of items for the festive event like food, drinks, flowers. cake, decorations, even table coverings. Yolanda asked me to sew 24 fabric squares in "her color", burgundy, that were used in enhancing the tables. A breezy day resulted in the outdoor reception being moved indoors, a little cozy!

When I asked her two days after the ceremony how things had changed, she expressed how she felt closer to God now that His umbrella was over them as a couple.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Full Week

March 14, 2010

Wow! It was a full week in more ways than one. Between the 10 classes held, 30 different ladies attended this week's sewing classes filling 84 spaces. Seems like the morning class melds into the afternoon class even though I have 2 hours between the two sessions. With people staying late to complete projects and others anxious to get started, I'm lucky to get a bite to eat for lunch.

The international border was long today, over one and half hours on top of the nearly four hour commute. Yuck. Still, I LOVE my job!


Blue Jean Purses

March 13, 2010

Aren't these blue jean purses the cutest? (pictured) Alvina, has been one of my faithful sewing students when she's not working in the fields. I've been praying about what product I could create to launch her into a micro enterprise. Well, she is taking off with these adorable purses made from old blue jeans. They are lined with cute prints and trimmed with lace, ribbon and buttons. It seems like the perfect fit for her creativity as each bag is unique.

It hasn't been easy getting Alvina going. She never went to school, and as a result what some of us consider easy/basic skills can be a real stretch, for instance: measuring. She has been taking some reading classes the local govt. offers. Still, it's amazing how many things we really do learn in school and what challenges confront those who have never gone.

Currently, Alvina, her husband, and four children are living in a very small travel trailer (about 15 ft long) while they construct a house for their family. Her husband manages field hands for one of the farms nearby. Things are a financial struggle and Alvina plans to use the money that she earns from selling the bags to help with school expenses for her children and to help complete their house.

If you live near Chula Vista, please save your worn out blue jeans and Alvina will be happy to recycle them into something beautiful. Just think you'll be helping the environment while encouraging Alvina in her micro enterprise. Also, if you have ribbons, lace, button, appliques, zippers etc. that you want to send my way for the sewing class, just contact me.


Loving Gifts for Lori

March 11,2010
I feel so special and blessed!

Several little gifts have come my way during this week's sewing classes. One of my students, Alvina arrived early one morning, 8am, to bless me with homemade hot chocolate, another, Ana, gave me an orange and yet another, Hermidelia, crocheted a headband. Martha, even gave my hair a much needed trim. It's nice to see how creative the ladies have become in extending their gratitude even though they have few resources.

How the world could be changed, if through the power of the Holy Spirit we tried to out bless each other.

Sewing Kitchen Treasures

This week's class focused on sewing kitchen treasures. The ladies pictured were thrilled to show off their hanging towels and to sew tortilla warmers, aprons and potholders.

Two of my students, Reina and Adriana, are engaged to be married later this year and made the extra effort to attend even though they had major tests in their high school classes. They were excited to be able to create items to help them set-up house.

I continue to encourage the ladies to invite family and friends especially if they are not Christians or do not have a home church. During sewing class, it was nice to hear students inviting newbies to the upcoming ladies' night at the church. Also, two students from my class attended the church for the first time while I was in San Vicente. (First-timers are asked to stand and be welcomed by those around them) It's rewarding to see the sewing class introducing new people to the kingdom.

Seeing to read. Feb. 2010

Okay, so you can see that I'm a bit behind on the whole blog thing. What I really need is to be able to dictate to someone while I'm multi-tasking and then have them post these. In the meantime, please have patience as I try and get the knack of this. I don't take a computer with me while I'm in Mexico, so it mean blogging once I return and while I'm trying to catch up on lots of other things.

Anyways, the week of health outreaches into the schools finished on a strong note with the teachings and "Carnival of Health" being presented to over 750 children at 6 different school. There are invitations to 3 more schools for the 2011 calendar.

In conjunction with the school outreaches, we were able to troubleshoot reading problems students were having by checking the vision of those that teachers pointed out. Using gospels of John, we had students read John chapter three. Dozens of children received new reading glasses that will surely help with their school work. It's exciting to hear the children reading scripture and seeing the difference in their vision once they are fitted with the correct strength of glasses. I did some translating and also explained to the kids the importance of light while reading (which usually means sitting close to a window during daylight hours) and also how to care for their new glasses. The whole "enough light" issue is complicated by the fact that most classrooms have just two florescent light illuminating the whole room. Not exactly what would be considered enough to ready by.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

20 Mar dancing on jello

20 Mar Chris in Chula Vista

^^^^^Lori is back from San Vicente, awesome stuff going on down there
^^^^^I'm doing all the prelim stuff for Urban Health Ministry in City Heights... meetings, meetings, site visits...
^^^^^Prelim meet-ups to plan the 2010 HealthCare conference, which looks like it may morph into multiple meetings at multiple locations (including Fuller, UC Irvine, etc)
^^^^^Trip back down to San Vicente in a few days, BOTH of us going down, more a relational thing... but relationships ARE the Kingdom of God and all good ministry comes from relationships FIRST...
^^^^^working on the launch of a multi-layered health-care ministry in our local church here in San Diego
^^^^^lastly, Lori and I are running away for a few days to recoup and reconnect.

SO... what is Dancing on Jello? The nature of ministry, of course...

'nuff said. Thanks for following


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lori south again 6 Mar

6 Mar Chris in Chula Vista, keepin the home fire burning...

Lori went south again yesterday, 10-day trip.

Getting alot of questions on why she trips south so much, I don't, and we're apart alot.
Answer: we don't have a home office or sending agency that takes care of our affairs, so somebody has to stay back to do that. There is not enough mission income for both of us to be in-country 'most time', the support amount has dropped to where one of us needs to work and supplement the finances.

Missions is like a fighter-pilot team: to do the forward deployment of one fighter jet, there is one pilot... and 122 crew behind that pilot that fixes the jet, refuels, loads the payloads, etc... one lone pilot won't survive long in combat without the 'DO' team.

So, I'm more the 'DO' team these days... Lori the fighter pilot...


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Schools Show Appreciation

about Feb. 24th, 2010
Today the "Carnival of Health" was taught at San Vicente's largest schools. Over 350 students enjoyed the lessons and games. This is the fifth year that we've been invited to share the health program with the SV elementary schools. Dave and Lynne Johnson, missionaries to SV first introduced the carnival to the school and I've been privileged to assist them for the previous 4 years and to help them to expand to program to more schools in the area.

I love all the hugs that come my way when we arrive on the school grounds. Many of the students know me from church or the sewing class while others remember me from past school outreaches. I just soak up all their love!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This year, I received a certificate from the school. It's a gesture they use to extend gratitude to those who serve their school. It reads "The Claudio Sarabia elementary school grants this recognition to Lori Bajkiewicz for her valuable help for the benefit of our school with the Health Fair." Something to treasure.

Training Bible Students in Ministering to Children

about Feb. 23rd, 2010
This week's energy will be focused on doing "Carnivals of Health" in 7 elementary schools in the San Vicente area. Well, we are now down to 6 schools as rainy weather prevented us from traversing 5 miles of muddy, dirt roads to get out to one community. The team is made up of 3 Bible school students, 1 of the angels, 5 people from Oregon, 3 missionaries with Mexican Medical Ministries and myself. With 7 Spanish speakers among us, we should be able to communicate well the health teachings. This year's focuses will include, dental hygiene, nutrition, and healthy drinks. After four 15 minute lessons inside the classrooms, the teaching will move outside where fun and games will reinforce the lessons.

The most exciting part of the week was exposing the three Bible School Students to Children's Ministry. They assisted by taking on parts in the "Good Nutrition Train" skit and hands-on activity. They were rather timid at first, but as they gained confidence they became more comfortable with the children. The Bible Students expressed how all they had learned in Bible School was theory about working with children, but now they were getting real experience and learning effective means of teaching "Little Ones". Their wheels were turning as they began to discuss how to use the train to teach biblical themes. I can't wait to work with them again.

Hats On

I just love travelling from school to school and work camp to work camp blessing people with all the handmade hats that so many of you have made. It's so much FUN to just stop by and offer to cover the heads of little ones during the winter season. And the Hats' Ministry has opened doors into schools around San Vicente to other outreach opportunities. Sometimes, Lynne and Dave Johnson and myself get the privilege of fitting hats to the school children while other times we hand them over to teachers to distribute. Oh, a few weeks back, some of the hats went to people stranded by the floods. See me in the center of this pic? (I'm in a purple sweater) Surrounding me is the kindergarten class in San Vicente after they received their new winter hats. Thanks to all of you who help make this ministry possible.