Monday, April 25, 2011

Albina's new purse designs

Chris wrote the highlights of the 9-day trip in a blog a few slots down. So, be sure and read on.

It was thrilling to see all that the ladies had accomplished in the two weeks since I was here in San Vicente. Yolanda, Erika, and Albina have been sewing diligently during my time away hoping to build some inventory of products to sell. They have received orders from neighbors and friends and are thinking up new sales avenues. Pictured is Albina with some of the new purse designs I've recently taught her.

San Vicente button mania

One day of this past week, 15 children joined their 6 Moms as they worked on their sewing projects. Now that can add to the activity! So, I try to have things the kids can engage in like, puzzles, books, coloring sheets etc. This time around I pulled out the big tins of loose buttons and kept the little ones busy sort and matching up sets. Okay, so it didn't last all day, but it did keep them occupied for a time.

San Vicente church Easter play

The wonderful celebration of our Savior's Resurrection is upon us and the church here in San Vicente is preparing for this year's drama. There's a need for lots of period costumes as they seek to review the days before Christ's death and Resurrection. So, this week's sewing class time was spent with over a dozen of the actors coming by to dig through fabric looking for just the right combination. Jenny (pictured) and her Mom were two of my new students for the week. Jenny's Mom was very apprehensive about using the sewing machine but was swayed into action by her need for a costume. Her first sit down before the machine had her trying to pump the peddle, but it wasn't too long before she was sewing up the seams of her outfit. It was encouraging to hear other students of mine cheering her on with statements like, "Don't worry that was how it was for us too". and "You'll get the hang of it, Lorena is a great teacher." I just received and email from missionary Lynne Johnson stating "I just heard today that the word on the street is the drama is really good and you should go on Sunday evening. Friday night there was standing room only and they expect way more people tonight."

Saturday, April 23, 2011


April 2011

When the Kingdom of God breaks open in a locale, many people are liberated from the kingdom of darkness in their lives in significant ways. Jesus sets this out in Luke Chapter 4:

16 He (Jesus) went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[f]
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

We are seeing a tangible breaking open of the Kingdom of God in San Vicente. This past week, which would be a ‘landmark week’ in many places, seems to have been par for the Kingdom happenings in the Village.

Lori went down last week for her ‘one week a month’, and I joined her on the end of that trip. Lori has been working consistently with the women of the Village for 3.5 years in sewing classes and economic development, and has made some strong connections with a number of women there. Many have come to Lori for prayer and advice, and Lori has networked with Pastora Marta in the Village in this area of ministry.

Last week, we went to the funeral of Isidro, a Saint who lived in the Village and beloved by many. During the all-night funeral service (no kidding!), somewhere around 11pm, Isidro’s two sons responded and gave their lives to the Lord. They confessed how they had been resisting God, but couldn’t do so any longer. One of the sons is a well-known ‘narco-trafficante’ in the region.

As we found our way to our quarters (around midnight, the funeral was still going on), I was reflecting how Pastor Jose Luis had been telling me before the funeral that two major ‘narcos’ had come to the Lord in the last week there at the church. We laughed together at the ‘new problems’ of having former ‘narcos’ filling the church…

Lori and I were walking to the church in the dark. The saints were rehearsing their “The Heavens Sing” Easter outreach music. Since we were needing to leave the next morning, Lori wanted to hear her ‘ladies’ singing their songs in rehersal.
We hear ‘Lorena! Lorena!’ in the distance, and see a woman running to catch us. It was a sewing student Lori had prayed and counseled with in times past. As we talked under the corner streetlight, she began to pour her heart out and expressed her deep need to return to the Lord in the midst of many trials and tribulations. After quite some time, we began to pray together, and minister to her as the Holy Spirit led. What amazing things the Lord did! By the end of our prayer, arms were lifted towards Heaven and God was praised for His wonderful liberation. We parted warmly and continued on to the church.

At church, one of Lori’s ‘ladies’ told us how she is actively looking for a place we can stay at in the Village. “I saw a place, but somebody rented it the next day”, she related. “I’m going to keep looking. The Lord told me you belong here”, she explained.

We are working out details to rent a place to stay at and minister out of in San Vicente. Carving out a local presence ‘in country’ is always a bit tough for any missionary.
It’s clear that the Lord is doing something special in San Vicente, and He’s calling us to be there for more.
We want to be where the Presence of the Lord is manifest, where people are being set free, where the blind see real light, where the time of God’s Favor is sung out at the top of our lungs… and we get to be a part of a Visitation.

Your brother, Chris

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 Health Missions Ministry Conf Aug 18-20

Hello, friends!

Well, looks like we're going to be involved in the annual national meeting of healthcare missions and ministry... and hope that if you have a calling to healthcare ministries, consider coming!

Thurs-Sat August 18-20 at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA
The 2011 West Coast Health Missions and Ministry Conf

Link (info, registration):

Besides all the speakers and workshops, the BEST thing is to be in the room with hundreds of people who have given their lives... and sacrificed lucrative professional practices for a humble quality of life... and served the Lord in healthcare missions all over the world.

San Vicente Ministry 2011... growth, new directions

14Apr2011 Chris in Chula Vista

Hello, ministry friends!

Yesterday, Lori and I tripped to Ensenada, Baja Mexico for the 'monthly connect'.

This is where we are met by the kind and faithful missionaries from San Vicente to take Lori down for her 'monthly trip' to the village. The missionaries come up to Ensenada every week, a trip that takes 1 1/2 hours thru the mountains north. The trip from our house to Ensenada is 2 hours south.

This time, Lori heads down for ministry with her 'Pearls'; the 3 women doing micro-enterprise/cottage industry, a couple women who may be joining that project, and some teen girls Lori is helping to grow as young Women of the Lord through domestic skills and service to the work camps that surround San Vicente. Lori has seen steady, sure and progressive growth in all these areas. The local Pastor and his wife are very, VERY positive about how all that is helping these women and the life of the Congregation... they want us to move to the Village and grow these ministries...

SO, I drove the 2 hours back to our place, sad to be 'parted for a week from my sweetie'...

I will drive down to San Vicente in the middle of next week, spend a few days, then Lori and I will return to the US together.

We are actively praying and seeking the Lord to find some NEW DIRECTIONS that would allow us to spend more time in San Vic
ente, stay longer and facilitate the growth of the Lord's movement in the Village. THAT translates into FACILITIES (house, store-front shop, etc). While I'm down there next week, I will continue to explore the options open to us. This involves housing and location logistics (location, location, location!!). It's complicated in this robbery-prone region... how do we 'go back and forth and not have everything ripped out by thieves when we drive away' is a real concern.
There is a huge part of me that wants to just move to the Village and not have to do the 'translocation' back-and-forth, BUT there isn't the financial/logistical mission support for that...

SO, here we are, Lord... show us Your plan and Your path in all this!!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Digging deeper in San Vicente, Baja 6Apr

Finally found a space to blog about our trip to San Vicente.
Lori's blog tells what she was up to. Pray for her as she preps for a week trip down next week.
While Lori was busy with her gals, I spent a fair amount of time in prayer and prayer-walking the small business district of SV. I am pressing into the Lord for clarity regarding our next ministry growth step in SV, and God spoke some exciting things during those times! The business district will somehow be a part.
We also spent time with Pastor Jose Luis and his wife Pastora Marta, key leaders in SV + movers-and-shakers in their denomination (Nazarene). It appears he had a small heart attack a few weeks ago, and has been getting back his strength little-by-little. Plz pray for him... we sure did/are!!
I spoke with him at length regarding how I/we could help him in this season. Stay tuned for more on that..
One thing for sure: both Lori and I feel a great draw to San Vicente. We'd move down there right now, but we lack the support $ and logistics to make that happen right now. Lord, show us what to do!!!
Until then, down as much as possible...
your bro,

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March Meaderings

Had a wonderful time connecting with the people of San Vicente this past week. Celebrating a Sunday service with the saints, praising the Lord in Spanish, and catching up with friends. It doesn't get better than this.

I was able to meet with the three ladies that are currently taking their sewing skills to new heights by making items to sell. It was good to see that they have been working on purse projects even when I'm not around. Shows initiative! I was happy to spread around lots of encouragement while helping them work through struggles. Yolanda and Erika are having to rearrange things as both have had to move into smaller places in the last month. Albina used every opportunity of my visit to glean. She even swayed her daughter and sister to assist her in cutting fabric for her next batch of purses. We joked about how someday her sewing business will grow and she can hire family members to work for her. Her current goal is to sell enough so that they can get electricity into their home. Can't wait to see them all again in April.