Thursday, October 28, 2010

Giving Augustin a Chance. Oct, 2010

Augustin, age 42, pictured with me here was one of the patients who came through the clinic this week. He tried his hardest not to be a patient with his response of "I'm just here waiting with my wife". After some heavy duty coaxing, he finally allowed me to check his blood sugar and blood presser while he "waited". Oh My!!!!! It was a good thing that he did too, as his blood sugar was over 350. For you non-medical people out there. This is SUPER HIGH and very DANGEROUS! Here before me was a young man who looked healthy, but clearing was in trouble. He told me his dad was a diabetic too. He was ushered in to see the Doctor and armed with this new information, given chance to make some major changes that can extend his life. Pray that he'll seek the follow-up care that is necessary.

Clinic Day, Oct 23, 2010

A new mobile dental unit is a blessing for Dave and Lynne Johnson and their ministry with Mexican Medical Ministries. They've done a great job learning the ins and outs of meeting the dental needs from Ensenada to San Quintin, Mexico. When the "Mobile" dental/medical clinic is being utilized, I sometimes assist by checking blood sugars and blood presser of those waiting to be seen.

Children's Ministry in work camp

New challenges have arisen with the children's ministry now that school has started up. Those taking on the leadership roles have started high school with school hours from 1:30pm-8pm result in many of the "Angles" not being available during ministry times. So, now it's time to GROW some new leaders. This week I worked with Betel to take on the mantel of group leader. She was streeeeetchhhhheddddd in a good way. In the two years that I've worked with her, she has blossomed from a shy 11 yr old to a more confident teenager. Whenever, she would ask me what to do, I'd respond "You're the boss".

School Uniforms

Here is Daniel, Alvina's son who just started kindergarten. What's really cool is that Alvina sewed the school uniform that he is pictured in. One of the projects I'm working on with the 3 ladies who are part of the micro-enterprise in how to take advantage of the new school year by sewing both uniforms and book bags. Each school has a very unique uniform, so I've found it challenging to make the needed adjustments to meet the requirements. Each of the ladies were able to gather a few orders after sewing uniforms for their own children. In the coming months I'll be perfecting their skills in this area so that by the next school year they'll be up to full speed to take advantage of the business they can have.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Never Unpack the Suitcase... off again!! 18 Oct

Hello, all!! Monday, 18 Oct, Chris in Chula Vista...

Well, the 'modern missionary' life means alot of different living skills, and the #1 is living out of a suitcase all the time.

Yes, 'the grand old days' of missions meant a sending Body (usually denomination) stood behind you fully, paid the bills and sent you to a country where you actually could live long-term... means unpack the suitcases, pull up a chair and redemptively start digging in to the lives of the people in the region.

Those days are long-gone.

Now, 'missionaries' have to scrape together financial support from multiple sources, sometimes from groups that don't like each other. Churches don't see the sending of long-term people as their primary 'mission' strategy, but have moved to the 'send short-term outreachers' model because their congregants like the one-time cross-cultural experience.

Besides questions of effectiveness of the 'short-termer' model, it definitely means that 'long term mission workers' live a life of running back-and-forth, many times because they need to straddle the worlds of 'working in missions' out in the Field (internationally), then step back into the USA to raise support and work various part-time jobs to be able to fund the endeavor. Church-based support has slipped significantly, and individual supporters are now hurting from the body-slam of the Econ Crisis.

What that translates to in our lives is that we never get to unpack our suitcases. Lori is now down in the San Vicente (Baja California Norte, Mexico) village for a week-and-a-half, and we are trying to strategize the next few trips down for the fall/winter, while figuring out how to pay the bills.

We would much rather be able to live in the village full-time, but the Mex gov't will not allow us to work in Mexico (and make a local wage), and the US-based support doesn't even come close to allow us to live 'foreign'... all of that in the face of a STRONG call from the Lord to work amongst those people in that region... ahhhh!

Guess we won't be unpacking our suitcases soon.

Hanging on, your bro Chris