Friday, September 13, 2019

Modeling Gratitude and Thankfulness

Sept 13 2019
ONE important thing we do in our ministry is give the people who benefit (including the kids they bring) with the Community Outreach classes, as well as the Mexican Star Seamstresses, is that there are people who help FUND their projects, and that it's important to say THANK YOU.
We give opportunity for these folks to write some form of THANKS.
 Here are scans of the last Community Sewing Class.




We also have women write specific people with TY notes, especially when things happen like 'funding for a sewing machine' or 'new start-up learning sessions and product' costs. We translate those individual cards and send them to the peeps.

Just to say, modeling the Godly character-quality of GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS is important to us.

Blessings
Chris

Baj Mission August Newz

Here are the jpegs... IF you are on the BLOG but NOT on the email list, email me
admin@bajmission.com







Thanks for reading and praying!
Chris


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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Got Email? (you may need to respond to this...)

6 June 2019

Hello, BajMission Blog readers!

 SO, we are making a shift in our digital communications.
We will be blogging LESS on BajMission Blog.
We will be sending out a MONTHLY Baj Mission Email update, which will essentially be a 'mini-Monthly Newsletter'.
This update will, as named, be sent out BY EMAIL.
SO, IF you receive our Emails now, you SHOULD have the June 2019 Update in your InBox.


If you DON"T receive our Emails, and would like to read the stories and updates that we USED to post on the Blog... PLEASE send your Email address to be added to the List:

^^^SEND TO^^^  admin@bajmission.com

We WILL be putting WAY more pictures up on our Instagram, and those pics automatically feed over to Facebook, SO there should be a stream of visual updates with bits of the stories through those two on-line venues: 

facebook:          www.facebook.com/chrislori.bajmission

Instagram:         www.instagram.com/bajmission    @bajmission

 Overall, we are just trying to spend 'adequate' time doing on-line reporting, and MORE time actually out with people in Baja Mexico, doing... umm... ministry...

thanks
Chris

(here's the Update bit we just sent out via Email, to help you fill the gap...)
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“BEEP! BEEP!” (Zoom!)
We are SO amazed at the incredible things that GOD did these past few months in the lives of the people in San Vicente, Baja Mexico...
   --we saw ‘redemptive friendships’ emerge and great encouragement come out of the Sewing Outreach, as well as FOUR ministries working together to hold the week-long event
   --some fantastic times during the Kidz Outreach (while their mums were sewing) where children were able to taste some Kingdom FUN in singing, worship and crafts
   --the ‘new launch’ of the Oral Rehydration Education... (it’s being re-vamped and re-booted)
   --some awesome connections to encourage and equip two ‘Lead Worshippers’ in Mexican churches
   --two distinct opportunities of personal ministry that brought significant break-through of God’s Grace and Healing to people
   --and SO many more ‘God-stories’!


We’ve also been blessed as missionaries with God’s wonderful provision...
   --our ministry vehicle getting much-needed work (brakes, tires, tune-up)
   --our Ministry Center getting some construction and clean-up attention
   --the ability to attend a Worship conference in LA, then a two-day mountain-camp retreat for prayer and reflection, seeking the Lord for His Voice moving forward

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Looking forward to a busy and effective summer 2019!
Chris and Lori
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Thursday, May 2, 2019

ORTIE Saving Lives!




ORTIE Saving Lives!

ORTIE! ORTIE! ORTIE!


It’s a huge part of our Community Healthcare Education ministry.
[You’re thinking... what in the world is ORTIE?]
Ready???!!!

~~ORTIE Briefing~~
-ORTIE stands for Oral Rehydration Therapy Implementation and Education.

           [artwork by Lori Bajkiewicz]

-When somebody is dehydrated, they immediately need to be given Oral Rehydration Therapy.

-The basis of Oral Rehydration Therapy is Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). Safe water + electrolytes and citric acid = ORS. Commercial Pedialyte® is a form of ORS. In Latin America, ORS is called ‘Suero Oral’. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls the packets they distribute ‘Oral Rehydration Salts’.
-The ORTIE campaign is the 2019 ramp-up and revision-launch of our old effort ‘ORT’... this has been a major project Lori and I have worked on as missionaries since 1991.
-The ORTIE effort, in short, is teaching moms and kids how to make ‘home-made Pedialyte®’ in resource-poor areas of the world, especially with our beloved Mexican villagers.

-ORTIE is SO needed world-wide: over 3,000 sick children world-wide will die today from Dehydration, which most of those children can be treated... and survive... by drinking ORS.
-Dehydration, the condition that ORS treats, is also behind the illnesses of an estimated 50,000 children world-wide today... huge!
-Teaching and How-To materials we’ve developed have made it to 52 countries around the world since 1991 via missionaries and health-care workers on short-term outreach... every continent except Australia and the South Pole (hmmm...)...

~~How To Make a Cup of Oral Rehydration Solution~~

                [Illustration by Lori]        


Simple (basic recipe):
-assemble materials
-wash hands
-ONE CUP of drinkable (potable) water
-add a three-finger pinch of TABLE SALT
-TASTE-TEST the solution and adjust to make it SALTY AS TEARS (too salty, add more water; not salty enough, add more salt)
-add one level teaspoon of SUGAR to the drink
-IF AVAILABLE, squeeze in juice from a slice of citrus fruit (lime, lemon, orange, etc). IF citrus not available, go with just the water-sugar-salt.
-GIVE to the sick child/person until they are making/giving urine every 2 hours.
-MAKE MORE ORS and give liberally.
That’s it! SIMPLE!
Except for ‘profound humanitarian crisis’ areas (war, earthquake, typhoon, etc), many dwellings around the world have the water-sugar-salt ingredients easily available to them.

~~Teaching Strategies~~

-We teach anyone age 5 and up how to make ORS [Demo and Return-Demo].
- Our ORTIE Save-A-Life-Stations utilize graphic charts (wordless AND with local language/dialect), pictures, posters, colouring sheets (sight), hand-outs, puppets, music, simple how-to promo talk (sound), AND actual hands-on (taste, smell, touch)... engage all styles of learning and memory
-We make sure everyone at a ORTIE Save-A-Life-Station tastes and drinks the ORS... that way, a young child will be familiar with it when they are sick and encouraged to drink! Drink! Drink!


-We strongly encourage that, when available, use of WHO Oral Rehydration Salts packets, such as those available from government clinics and stores, OR buy-able Pedialyte®... although such products can cost >400% more than soda-drink products, and difficult to find in most villages.

~~Ramp-Up~~
After a hiatus, the ORTIE arm of our ministry is up-and-running:
-live ORTIE Save-A-Life-Stations in villages are up-and-running; 2 held in April 2019

-pre-work and professional literature review for a major re-write of the ORS curriculum is under way (we published a nursing journal article in 1999; an updated version is in the works).
-all the previous ORS education was built and deployed in the pre-on-line world. With the revision, all education will be built for digital platforms and use on digital devices (it’s amazing how tekk is available and used world-wide, even in the middle of the most remote places you could imagine...)
-ORTIE is being built as an on-line COURSE that students will be able to enroll, learn all the finer points, receive a certificate (yes, we are investigating college on-line platforms and college credit availability) and will give alumni long-term access to all the tools and resources.
~~ORS and the Water of Life~~
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. [John 2:7]
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) [John 7:37-39]
14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” [Jesus, John 4:14]

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-So many people in the world... especially Mexicans... have been told that God is very angry with them, wants to punish them and their children, and that they are living under a curse that He put on them [the Hispanic concept is known as  El castigo de los Dioses’ ]

-ORTIE is such a perfect and real demonstration of the Love of the Father, and a powerful platform to break these oppressive curses over people and their children. The healing waters of ORS are a parable of the Living Water that Jesus gives, and leads people to a God who wants to rescue lives and peoples, especially women and children. We’ve ‘shared Christ’ with SO many people while standing in their dirt-floor homes, making ORS for their sick child and ministering life to them through prayer and practical rehydration.

ORTIE points to Jesus, and we let everyone know!

ORTIE! ORTIE! ORTIE!
Your bro, Chris

All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sewing Outreach = Kidz (+Worship) Ministry

April 2019


“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”  
       Jesus, Matthew 19:14   NIV

Like many of you, I love this Scripture. There is a crisp simplicity to the words of Jesus, labeled with a big ‘do not’ that deserves attention, with a rock-our-world reality tagged on... YES! All things said, this is a Scripture to ‘open up the doors, and let the music play, let the children come!’...

Looking over the BajMission blogs and social-media posted from the last few years, it would easy to miss a big aspect of our ministry in Mexico. With the large focus on the ‘Star Seamstresses’ and the Sewing Outreaches to the community, it’s possible to think that the vast majority of outreach efforts and our teaching-discipling platforms involve only women, spools of thread, bobbins, and fabric.

Well... as is true with lower-socio-economic areas, doing any activity means the women always have kids in tow. Kids. Lots of kids. The neighbor’s kids (they swap entire kid-packs to get things done, especially in emergencies or urgent matters). The extended-family’s kids (many single daughters with children living with mom). The kids who are currently on extended visit with them (typical Mexican cultural life means a woman with kids travels from the other side of Mexico for a visit... a two- or three-month-kind-of visit...).
Kidz. Lots of kids.



As well, the Baja Mexico education system uses a very fluid schedule. Fluid, like... school today, but oh! Tomorrow cancelled! Opps, scheduled vacation dates changed! Short day tomorrow (first notice), the teachers are being called to Ensenada for a meeting (notice when you arrive to drop off our children)... absolute craziness for all the parents involved.

SO, besides the volume of kids factored into the change-on-a peso-coin schedule, women coming to the Sewing Outreach have to bring kids... lots of them.

Babysitting at home, you say? Not possible in a poor village setting.
Lori has worked diligently over the last decade of Sewing Outreaches in San Vicente to build a Kidz Ministry that is way bigger than a glorified child-care corner. She realized long ago that these women, handling a half-dozen kidz on most days, with ages easily spanning 6 months to 14 yrs old... that the only way they (the women) can learn how to make a straight stitch on a machine is to NOT have the children about, being those children are a constant flow of need and issues.


Lori also has felt from the Lord the ‘nudge’ that kids at the Outreach means an opportunity for them to hear about Jesus and His Kingdom while having some fun... (maybe this should be titled Kidz Outreach...?). Many of the homes these kids come from are NOT following the Lord or plugged into any Church...

SO, Lori has built quite the elaborate system for Kidz Ministry during the Sewing Outreach. Along with the visionary participation of a couple local Churches, this ministry has been staffed with 2 to 4 people over the last few Sewing Outreaches.

Lori has well-equipped the Kidz Outreach. There are dedicated ‘Easy-Up tents, separate from the Sewing area. There are puzzles, make-and-take crafts, games and activities. Ministry interns from the Churches have brought extensive colouring sheets.

A growing area for the Kidz Ministry has been Kidz worship. We’ve incorporated a box of ‘kidz praise-rhythm’ hand-made items from the Kidz Church we planted in the colonia Granjas (south-west of Tijuana) back in 1996. We’ve made song-lyric posters that feature many well-loved Mexican ‘Sunday School’ kidz tunes. Also, one of the Mex churches’ worship leaders (Pablo) has participated, bringing a solid guitar and boundless energy to the songs. This April 2019 outreach, we went a notch higher, with 2-to-4 times-a-day song/worship times, with your truly ( ;-) ) adding to the joyful noise. There were challenges in getting un-churched kidz ‘into’ the songs and lyrics, but... hey.
 
The past few Outreaches, we were also blessed to have an experienced Kids’ pastor, Mayra, who affiniates to the little ones in diapers and kept the colouring station flowing.




Oh, yes, there were cookies... any Kidz Outreach in Mexico means cookies...

This last outreach lasted 5 days; we had a total of 39 kid-visits in that period of time, over half previously un-churched.

The women who come to the Outreach are getting linked-up with the Star Seamstresses, all who live in that Village, and are helping bridge the un-churched moms into a friendship that can lead them to one of the congregations in the Village.

Kidz... Kidz Outreach... Kidz coming... “let ‘em come! Hey, here’s Jesus! Jump up on His lap! He’s the coolest, fun-est, most awesome-est, safest person in the Universe”.
Open up the doors... let the (noisy) music play (Bang! Bang! Clank! Go the tambourines) ... let the (kidz tent) be filled with chaotic, loud, happy, joyful-noise singing...


Your bro, Chris
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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Community Development and... Cone Thread Holders?


Community Development and... Cone Thread Holders?
Hello, friends! 


So, Lori and I spent an afternoon doing a home-made project for the up-coming Sewing Class/Outreach. We made 10 ‘cone-thread holders’. These are a sewing accessory to help feed thread to the machine from the large thread spools (yeah, I had to learn what that all meant)... the high-volume sower uses large-spool thread (fraction of the cost of small spools).
We used scrap pine board, dowels, dis-garded thick-gauge wire and a lot of elbow grease with simple tools.
We COULD have just bought the needed ‘cone-thread holders’, at about $12 each... (well, 10 x $12 is a bit...)
But that is NOT what Community Development missions does. 

The main objective of Community Development is to demonstrate how to make needed accessories and processes using locally-available material. We needed to model how to make a home-made version for students to see, and... well, replicate.
Community Development missionaries are always a bit obsessive about these type of things.
‘Give someone a fish, you fed them today. Teach them to fish, you fed them for many, many days” is the Community Development axiom.
Fish and fishing, or... sewing and product development and how to make cone-thread holders.

Stay tuned, the next step is probably to hold a ‘how-to’ workshop and have students make their own cone-thread holders.
That’s what Community Development missions do. 

Your bro, Crisbaj

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Bajmission Newsletter March 2019 OUT NOW


Hello, Blog-post readers!

Our Bajmission Newsletter March 2019 is out NOW, and being sent to the 'email posse' we have the Bajmission ministry.

THREE important things:

<>If you are on our 'email posse', and receive your digital copy... rejoice! "Ain't God good??", as an old church friend used to ask every Sunday!

Feel free to print off copies for your friends, pastors, home groups... for sure, we can always use the prayers!

<>If you are a regular Blog-reader, you'll notice that we are basically referring newsletter readers who want to read the 'whole story' back TO the Blog... SO, as a regular Blog reader, you're already 'in the know'.


<>IF, for some reason, you are NOT on our 'email posse', send me an email TO
     admin@bajmission.com
... and we'll get you hooked up

Thanks for being a Partner in reading, praying an giving to this ministry with the Mexican peoples.

hugs!
Chris and Lori

Monday, March 4, 2019

Finally... ABOVE average rainfall!!

March 4, 2019

YES   YES   YES   YES  YES

Average rainfall for our San Diego-North Baja Mexico region is set at 7.2 inches from October 1 to April 30.

Some areas of our crazy region, particularly the high-desert mesa regions (chapparal biome) run 3 to 3.5 inches/year.

We looked at Mexican government data last year, and our San Vicente region averaged out 3.6 inches/year over the last 40 years.

Last rainy season (2017-2018) , we only received 1.8 inches (yes, the Mex govt has a hydrometer in San Vicente).

Guess what?? RIGHT NOW, we are at almost 130% of normal rainfall!

San Diego is well over 10 inches of rain for the Oct-Apr season. We won't receive the Mex govt data for a couple of months, but we are SURE it's right up there... we've been there, the mud is ankle-deep, some roads are totally im-passable, and we've had to do significant 'seal up' work on the Ministry Center/House.


Oh, yeah... GREEN can be seen everywhere... not the usual brown-brown-brown...



WE ARE NOT COMPLAINING!!!
Yes, Lord! You've sent the physical rain... send Holy Spirit rain in a Revival and Visitation in San Vicente!

Chris

Friday, March 1, 2019

Modern Missionary Struggles – Part 2: When There is Family Crisis


Hello! Chris here. 

This series of Blogs about the missionary realities, especially ‘modern missionary struggles’ is, hopefully, a window for some of our serious partners to ‘pray with understanding’...
So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.     1 Cor 14:15

Hopefully, this Blog will give you some solid ways to pray for us.

Gone are the days where missionaries pack their earthly belongings in wooden caskets and ship off to a land that they will never return from alive. [Hence, the casket-shipping containers]. These heroes of missionary history would usually find out their family and friends passed away in a letter or post that took months to reach them. For them, the call of missions meant a tearing away from any real family involvement, literally following the Gospel passage,

Many people were traveling with Jesus. He said to them, “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—even more than your own life! Whoever will not carry the cross that is given to them when they follow me cannot be my follower.    Luke 14:25-27, ERVersion

When we are in the SF Bay area, we’ve stayed at a wonderful, historic missionary ‘transit house’, where so many missionaries waited for their ship passage, mainly to China and Japan. Some of the portrait-pictures were the last pictures taken of them in America... ever. They served, and were buried in their field of service, never to have returned.

That was then, this is now.



Welcome to the days where;

^^you can travel to anywhere on the planet in 72 hours from wherever you currently are on that same planet, with no regards for $$$, of course, 

^^we are fully available for phone calls, texts, emails and Skype video calls anywhere there is a cell tower signal, and

^^our families know this

Given we are missionaries working 4 hours out from the major city with a fly-able airport, sometimes hampered by bad roads and un-safe weather (especially the mountainous travel)...
...and all our travel is on a limited budget...
...and all our family are between 500 and 1,800 miles away...
...and it’s more than air-flights: it’s ground transpo, places to stay, cost of travel-eating...

...Sooo...

...what do we do about family crisis and emergencies?

Here is our Scripture grid for decision-making in family crisis and emergencies:

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.     James 1:5


In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps     Proverbs 16:9


My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.       John 10:27


Here is what we do:
       ^^We pray and ask the Lord to speak,
       ^^we begin making appropriate plans,
       ^^we keep listening for the Voice of our Shepherd,
       ^^we make calls and connections, we keep listening, and...
       ^^plans emerge... we fly out.

Yes, there can be significant work-flow disruption in our Mexico work by being ‘pulled away’ and having to quickly change plans and fly to where family is. Working with people in a Mexican farming village has an entirely different pace, planning rhythm and final ‘it will happen’ factor.

Example: it took us two weeks of arranging dates to pull off the Kindergarten Hat Outreach a few blogs back... planned dates, changed, new date, oh-yeah-school-closed, how about this date? Date change, FINALLY an outreach!

In the last few years, we have had to change some Outreach plans and one of us do a ‘rapid-deploy’ fly-out more than a few times.

Our bottom line is, we ask the Lord, and follow what His direction is to us. Since He is the Lord of the Harvest, we work for Him.

There have been some tough spots along the way. For the family who all live and work in America, there can be an assumption that we can ‘drop what we’re doing and fly over’ for the ‘expected family involvement’... and they let us know that.

That is a really, really tough thing, especially given the cost of ‘time-talent-treasure’ involved.

SO, good friends and partners... PRAY-PRAY-PRAY for us in all these matters, that more than anything, we can hear the Voice of our Lord and respond to Him and His calling in the situation, not the pressures of expectations in a family crisis.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   Matthew 6:33

tu hermano,
Cris
 
All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.
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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Yikes, It's Cold! Hats On Those Heads!

San Vicente 2019... yikes, it's cold! Frost on the windows in the morning!

('What? Cold in Mexico?', you say... )
Yeah! High mesa desert... it's really cold!
That's why we connect with dozens of people to give out hats in Mexico... hundreds and hundreds of hats for hundreds and hundreds of heads... especially the kiddos.

The Kintergarter in San Vicente... "oh, yes! Please come! We love your annual visit (Lori's been doing an annual hat give-away at the Kinter for over a decade...)

Over a hundred kids plus the staff, over 170 hats, controlled chaos, a roaring 'Gracias!', grateful parents... saw so many kids days after the outreach in the community with their hats...

The Kinter was just on of many venues to get warm hats on the heads of kids and people in San Vicente... Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hats distributed these past weeks, including with the work of our local partners...







We celebrate... we are grateful to those hat-makers... we get so excited by working with our San Vicente 'team', representing leaders from five local churches... yeah!
Your brother, Chris
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