Wednesday, May 14, 2014

THE EXODUS ROAD

After sharing "Commissioned" with SRT and She Shares TruthNorma Bastidas and then that this is Mental Health Month ... I thought God was leading me (as if I was being commissioned) to blog more regularly here, especially on "mental health issues" ... yet God is tugging at my time and my heart to share more on another wonderful organization "The Exodus Road". And the following recent video that I chose will give you much more than I can (at this time since I'm just becoming familiar with them better, in hopes to do more) ... 

"27 MILLION STONES"


This one convicts me 
that
I must 
DO 
MORE


EACH 'STONE' MATTERS

[image credit]
"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, 
plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17

The recent tragedy in Nigeria makes this a very real and crucial time for the world to ACT together and put an END to all of this. One.by.one. because we are WON.by.ONE ... HE cares and so should we ... INJUSTICES are not part of His plan.


Justice in the hands of the ordinary
{All this has inspired a new idea for me}
another HOPE project
perhaps
and
I still should share on some
"mental health"
issues as well 
before this month is gone
{it's going so quickly}
(sigh)



Friday, May 2, 2014

COMMISSIONED

She Shares Truth

Many times, my comments on SRT (She Reads Truth) seem like "blog posts" and I share glimpses that I am in Mexico, living out my commission. I never thought I'd be sharing or writing about this experience as God commissioned me years ago ... and I don't often write it out in details or from the beginning. However, today, I was inspired to share on this my MISSIONS blog (although it is not my main blog) it is about missions: mine and others. 

I'd like to stick to the questions given as the basis for sharing our story, but in my case, I'm not so sure that they would apply or work. So, I'll start out with just the word "commissioned" and the passage in Matthew 28:16-20 of God's "Great Commission" (yes, for each of us) (and not always in another country)(sometimes right at home, or in our community, but that's someone else's mission) not really (whoa, I'm getting off track already). I was called to the country that I have lived in, (back and forth at first) since 1996: Mexico. I had been here twice before this final decision and my move here now for 18 years are filled with "commissioned moments".

The word "commissioned" has two main parts (forgetting the ending) CO and MISSION ... "Co" many times has to do with two working together such as "coworker" and in this biblical and spiritual sense, it could not be more true. We go or we stay and we serve as coheirs in Jesus Christ (another "co" word). Mission is a calling or a place where we serve God's kingdom. Clearly, our mission work or place is one where our greatest "coworker" is that of the Holy Spirit and Jesus sending and going with us as we share Him, His Word and life and make it our life mission. I could not do any of what I do or have done without God, and in fact, when I do try to do any of what I do, on my own, not as a "co", it does not bear fruit, work out or do any of God's work, mission, nor is it a service to anyone. "Co" as a prefix means together, jointly, mutually as in a partnership. Trust me, there is no better partner than the LORD and every "mission" needs a "co" and even a "com" which means about the same, but also adds another easy word that is necessary "with". The reason this passage may say "He goes WITH us" our Emmanuel that is with us

In Spanish and in Mexican family systems (with the Catholic church being the dominant religion, but not practiced as often as claimed), there is a word used when one baptizes, or participates in one of the ceremonies like this in the Catholic Church, where another couple become "compadres" to the parents of the child. This means that they become an additional set of parents to this child as a "comadre" (assistant mother) or "compadre" (assistant father) similar to the Catholic godparent (godfather, godmother) in USA. However, with one big difference, they are being asked to actually become responsible and very much involved in the spiritual nourishing of this individual. 

That's how I fell in love with the Mexican language, culture and people, when I learned of this and other cultural values as a teen. Although sadly, this tradition is not as lived out now as in the past. 

When I committed my life to Jesus Christ, I was in sixth grade and attending a Catholic school. I was raised in the Catholic church, but as an adult after marriage, I chose to leave and become evangelical and then pentecostal (which is what I am, but usually I am non-denominational here). My understanding of my calling in sixth grade was what I refer to now as my salvation prayer because I told God (in a private prayer) that more than anything "I wanted to know Him more, love Him better and serve Him in this world." For me, at that time, that looked like it needed to take place as a nun (which is a sister dedicated for life, as if married to Jesus, taking 3 vows to Him:of obedience, poverty and celibacy. Later, I decided that I need not choose that vocation as a "nun" to know, love and serve God, but everyone of us can be committed to God, as we grow in our relationship and desire to build our walk after Jesus Christ's ideals. So here's another "com" word: commitment.

I married, raised two adopted children, taught in public and private, Christian schools and waited for my husband to retire so that I could fulfill that commitment, that calling yet as far back as sixth grade, my entire education and spiritual life was a time of preparation for arriving to the day that I would serve as a missionary but as I was preparing I was serving also in the mission of my family and my church family, as I volunteered and served in whatever capacity God laid on my heart to be involved in. Each service was a step in the process, a training time and getting my own life ready. But no specific training to be a missionary, other than conferences and going to Weyerhauser, Wisconsin for a weekend to accompany a short term YWAM (Youth With A Mission) mission group of my students to the northern part of Mexico, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. But this experience in the early 90s, was too short for me. But I knew I was getting closer to my lifetime goal of serving, even as I taught Spanish to this Junior High group. It truly was a joy! Just not enough!

Once again, I got ahead of my story ... and so many other life experiences that God used to prepare me and still does. As a student in high school, I studied Spanish and fell in love with the language and the teacher, who taught me my 1st year of Spanish (who later became my husband-but that's a whole 'nother story-after I graduated from college and had worked for and with him for years). He left to another school and administrative position, after my 1st year of high school Spanish, yet I continued on with the language, all the way through college with a double major in education and Spanish. I worked in the Mexican community throughout high school and college, teaching English as a Second language, as I was learning their language. At the end of high school, I went on my 1st trip with our Spanish club to Mexico. That was to Mexico City, D.F. and various side excursions, even one to Acapulco, the summer of my graduation. As I traveled on the bus trip from Mexico City, D.F. to Acapulco, I recall seeing the "poor" and knowing in my heart that I was being called to return. In fact, one of my prayers was exactly that, a promise to return and serve. The people moved and touched my heart, even more than the Mexican American community people that I had volunteered and served for the last 6 yrs during school. When I graduated from college, I was blessed with a bilingual position, within that same community that was my favorite year of teaching K-4. I loved those kids and that school! Yet I knew that some day, I would go beyond the borders of this westside community of St. Paul Mexican American people to serving their mother land of Mexico. 

In fact, my husband's parents had come from Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, but I did not feel called (and still don't) to there. But only God knows. However, he (my husband, but God, too) knew that I wanted to go to Mexico to teach and work with the children, so he promised when he retires that we can retire there. It's just that life changed for him and for me (and he did not have a "calling", or as I found out, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ). I was beguiled by his humanitarian spirit and superior knowledge of all religions, that I just assumed since his family was Catholic that he believed as I do/did. Not at all true. In fact, I believe in part, that is what keeps him from knowing Jesus (the hardships that he faced as a child and adult, as well as his family and people, in the catholic church, has driven a wedge from him ever wanting to be a "church going" believer). Again, another sidetrack ... yet really part of my story. Because I believe that God is even now, speaking to him still and has used him, as my support here in Mexico for all these years. I do not go as sent as I should, commissioned by a church, as a couple should go ... but I came as a single, volunteer missionary, supported by my husband to serve here in Mexico. In other words, he's my financier but God is my Provider! And as I began, God and I are the team, the "co" ... and yet usually that "co" is the church backing someone to go; or go with ... via mission support, my husband is my only support financially but many are praying for me. That makes the "co" also. It involves much prayer and many forms of covering of prayers and others to join with you in completing any mission. It's a joint, combined effort.

My commission goes beyond the walls of any church, into the community, in whatever outreach God opens to me. One that surprised me, in 2007, was clearly a profound awakening and totally new to me ... that which I label on this blog as "Project A", better known a human trafficking ... projects that are involved in this. Stopping it before more are sold into this lifestyle. My eyes have been opened like never before. However, I don't share much of my personal part in this. I recently however share a blog post here of one who will be completing a journey and in my estimation, she will open the doors to much more as she ends her journey this Sunday in Washington D.C. and then is able to share with us via her documentary and whatever else. God's impact through one victim, who no longer is victimized  but now a spokesperson. I'm excited of what her journey will do for this. I am compelled to do more but for now my prayers go with her! 

... as they do with each of you ... as you take on whatever God has "commissioned" you to do or be a part of making a difference for His Kingdom!

In Spanish, we say "Vaya con Dios" which means "Go with God" ... and that is my prayer and closing salutation to each of you!


VAYA CON DIOS

Go with God 
and may HE
(more importantly)
GO WITH YOU

wherever
whenever
whatever 

JUST DO IT
in
Jesus' name

{a bit more of my mission summed up below this}



Of course, that's not the end of my story or "commissioned moments"
BUT 
like I said, it's just the beginning


Since 1996 until now, I have been privileged to live, work and serve in Mexico from Minnesota. I started with one small church here, an orphanage later on the outskirts of town, and wherever God opens the door. In 2003, YWAM returned to this city, and has now served with outreaches here for 10 years, and it was a great blessing for me to see them return and setup a base here.
Another place that I could serve, when and if God says ..."Go". I love, love, love ... watching the baptisms at the beach in the ocean and the "church groups" that come here to join efforts and serve this community. In every project I witness that supernatural power of God at work. Also as I travel the long road trips, I have seen God's supernatural hand and heard Him speak as He did in 2007 when He stirred me to get involved with something I knew very little about yet it struck a core within me that He tied to all that I had done.

It took me years to find out that the denomination of my home church has 22 (or more) established churches here (which I have started to get to know more and more). The Vineyard church, also was a part of a service outreach that I share in as they prepared and reached out "to the other side" of this city. I joined them as they took "lunches" to the poor in various colonies but the biggest outreach was to the "dumpsite" and the colony of the people that live nearest to where all the garbage is stacked and stored. The small church that I first came to be a part of has "children's feeding centers" and they, like YWAM, build homes, for families without one and in need. This church also has a prison ministry, which I, so far, have not felt called to be a part of (but who knows) ... life in Mexico, is like life at home (since it now has become my home), I serve in the church, like anyone would serve in the areas that are needed, whether it's "greeter", teacher, women's or children's ministry, the doors are wide open ... we just need a heart and the eyes to see the need and serve as Jesus would ... and as He commands us to ... there is much to do and the harvest is ever so ripe, yet there are few workers (Matthew 9:37) for the many souls yet to save before Christ's return.

Yet I totally believe "we were made for a mission"; a God given purpose that will play out in your life many times over and over, once you say "yes" and God will use you along your life journey if you are willing to give HIM full reign and follow your heart (and His heart) to reach more with "your life story" because that's all it is, sharing how Jesus changed your life and can do it for others. It's more than "moments" for me, it's a lifestyle of accepting being commissioned, leaving your comfort zone, and stepping out in faith. He will use you if you let Him, right where you are ... as I had the joy to read many of SRT community Sharing ... He is ... stretching and building Kingdom Seekers, maybe right where you are ... you are called to serve! Just GO with GOD!




* in fact, that was the original purpose of this blog as a MEME where others shared any "mission" 
that they were doing ... or concerned about


GO NORMA BASTIDAS!

Norma is nearing the finishing line ... actually I believe it's set for THIS SONday!

"As she arrives in our nation's capital this Sunday, her physical journey will end, yet the legacy of her movement to unite two countries to fight human trafficking and prioritize survivors will be just beginning."~iEmpathize




See my previous blog post for more details and links!

WELL DONE NORMA
{just in time for Cinco de Mayo on Mon.}

Washington Post

"Norma Bastidas is about to complete the longest triathlon ever!"

{to read a summation of Norma's world record of 3,789 miles}


If you live anywhere near her finish, please support, join and watch her finish 
for me - for I'd love to be there and congratulate her, thank her
on behalf of all the trafficked and organizations trying to
END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Finish Line Map


Praise God! Norma ... you can do this!
My prayers go with you
and
for each trafficked person
you represent


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

DO THEY SEE JESUS IN ME?

*

We were ALL made for a mission...God has a unique purpose & plan for everyone.
ALL MONTH, Every Week, Every Day...it's a lifetime experience!
This is where we share MISSIONS that have been placed on our hearts or in our lives. For God has given each of us a purpose & a unique plan to fulfill.
If you are new to Mission4Monday, please click here for more info.
A very special thanks to those of you (you know WHO you are) that faithfully have posted a MISSION4MONDAY whether you remember to link or not I appreciate it and if you are a regular and I notice, I have been linking you to the LINKY!
You are welcome ALWAYS to leave in the current comments a link to anything you share MISSION wise.
Thank you for placing M4M button on your posts, I so appreciate it! YOU each have presented FABULOUS ideas weekly!
**********************************************
Micey also has been to Haiti and shared. Please pray for Micey. Once again she has returned to help in Haiti!
Lots going on over here at a mission field at home in the USA. PRAISE GOD & continue to pour out blessings on Auto Mission & Sherry w/Cowboy.
Nancie was a participant in the very beginning, but unable to currently blog actively. Yet she still has much good material to read in her previous posts along her sidebar of a worldwide health mission.
New blogger that shares MISSIONS at times:
Here's a current post she shared.
****************************************
Choose one or all or any & you will be blessed!
or
I also have another MISSION: to PRAY, so you can visit our team blog, THE LIGHTHOUSE of PRAYER over here
*******************************************
Mission 4 Monday sadly ended last year as a meme, but I continue to share here and I know others also share various MISSIONS, especially the people above. Check them out!!! Encourage and perhaps join us.
Since my life is a MISSION, I share whenever I can. There are many of you, who do community involvement/church events, volunteer opportunities or know missionaries that you could share to motivate others. Motherhood and Homeschooling are MISSIONS and callings!!!
Each of these are MISSIONS and important to encourage others.
If you are doing something or share someone's MISSION on your blog, please leave your info in the comments anytime! Hopefully others will notice & come visit. THANKS!

NO LONGER A MEME!

Blessings to ALL Readers & Participants!

It is with a heavy heart that I will no longer be hosting "memes"!

So Mission 4 Monday will still exist as my blog ONLY and I will NO longer be doing this as a "meme" for others to JOIN me and share!

I truly believe that each one that has participated shared GREAT MISSIONS!


MORE BELOW in my post "NO LONGER A MEME"

Thank you ALL for participating when you were able & sharing your mission & heart with us!

I still believe that each one of us "were made for a mission" and an opportunity crosses our path each week to serve others as a MISSION. Open your eyes & see the needs around us!

I still believe in the great value & worth of sharing MISSIONS!

I still believe that you do not have to be a missionary "sent out in the world" to be a missionary. Your home, your neighborhood, your community is filled with needs to be met with the passion & compassion of Jesus Christ. One day a week or month, take the time. It may be the first "short term" mission that God moves in you & touches others with His love.

I still believe "all" that Rick Warren shared in "The Purpose Driven Life" especially Purpose #5!
WE WERE MADE FOR A MISSION!

I still believe that I will continue to share MISSIONS put on my heart right here.

"God has given you a Life Message to share..."

and I know that HE gave me a LIFE MESSAGE and
I hope to share that through what I post here. I will continue to update on ministries as I have and those in my sidebar.

THANKS MISSION4MONDAY PARTICIPANTS & READERS! Click here to see who participated in MISSION 4 MONDAY!



PRAISE the LORD for REPENTANCE in HAITI! Keep praying; get ready to repent in USA & WORLDWIDE

My dear friend Cathy sent me an email about this. This one is provided by SERMON INDEX of the LOVING HANDS Ministry in Haiti.

Tears of the Saints


I had "Tears of the Saints" from Acts1v8 on Vimeo.


You are the light of the world' –– Jesus talking to His disciples.

Are we being the 'salt and light' that we are called to be?

I needed to remove the Vimeo because it says for PRIVATE USE! It's still worth seeing and all of the others available through Mission Mobilizer. It looks like "Tears of the Saints" is no longer available.


So I have replaced it with this song by Leeland & YouTube by lkittycat






IN THE PAST HOUR:


1625 children were forced to live on the streets

1667 children died from malnutrition or disease

115 children became prostitutes

257 children were orphaned because of HIV/Aids.

It gets worse...

2 billion people in the world today have never ever heard of Jesus. 1% of missions financial support, goes to reaching those unreached people. 30,000 people starve to death every day.

*taken from the Vimeo "Tears of a Saint"

OCTOBER is ...


The Breast Cancer Site

OCTOBER is AUTISM AWARENESS Month in Canada

OCTOBER is AUTISM AWARENESS Month in Canada
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