WILL YOU LOVE JESUS MORE? was a question I asked myself often since I was in 6th grade in a Catholic Church, and decided from my understanding at that time that my answer was
"YES, JESUS...I want to love You more, know You more so I will serve You more."
Because I was in a parochial school with nuns(Sisters of St. Joseph), we had a vocational day. It was at this same time that I had seen movies like "Dominique", "The Singing Nun" with Debbie Reynolds and TV show with Sally Fields as "The Flying Nun". Also in my family since I was born, I remember many visits of priests & nuns that came to our home to feast with us. To me, this was how you needed to serve the Lord...to become a nun.
I began that day, as I promised my Lord, to prepare myself for serving Him in a mission field.
I believe that is when my personal relationship started with the Lord at my voicing and declaring my personal vow to Him that day. Though I was not taught how to enter into that personal relationship, Jesus came into my life.
Advance many years and a change from Roman Catholic to Evangelical to Pentecostal, I learned all I could to deepen that relationship and served in many ways but knew I was called to GO!
Each time, missionaries came and shared, I couldn't wait for the prayer time or altar call for those feeling God tugging on their heart to go. I would support & pray for many missionaries as I waited for my opportunity to come. I even knew it would be Mexico, just not where in Mexico or when. But Our God is a God of details and each year I waited, He prepared me more. Though I do believe that "God does not call the equipped, He equips those He calls!" And HERE I AM!
In the mid 90s, that longing, yearning burned in my heart an URGENCY...many would say...if you wanted others to know Jesus, why doesn't your husband accept Jesus...why aren't you there together? It is a long story. I will spare you, only to say since he is not, but he is my full support here. So to me, he is here and I report to him. I'd love to report to a church or fellow believers, but because I'm not the "norm"...a missionary couple, I cannot and I understand. I also believe that God is still at work in my husband. I believe that all my prayers will never be in vain. My adopted children were both brought up in church, Sundays & Wednesdays and many other times. As I shared before, my son, the month we were adopting them, at the age of 5-6, asked to be baptized and met with the pastor. So, although neither as adults are living for the Lord or perhaps not even in church, I know that good seed was planted. And I continue to pray!
I had the opportunity to prepare a young group to come here on short term in the early 90s. It was too short for me. I needed more. Eventually, God brought that to pass. He also made the place known to me, when I was here on an Easter week vacation. Though I've been in various parts of Mexico since 1996, I always was drawn back to here-Mazatlan "land of the deer". I was here part-time at first...6 months here, 6 months home to work to return again.
Since I love children & was trained as a teacher, I felt THAT must be where God wanted me~ with the children. So I searched for the orphanages here. Mostly cared for by the Catholics.
I'd like you to know that it wasn't until just this last year, after being here most of the year since 2003 until now, I only knew of 2 but knew there were more that existed just not where.
I discovered finally Tres Islas Orphanage Fund and
Helen, that I wrote about before here...
she organizes many charity events to raise funding for
"The Forgot-Me-Not Mazatlan Children" along with
other excellent organizations here,
Hands Across the Border, Friends of Mexico and more.
Mazatlan became a Land of many Opportunities. In addition to this, I discovered right before this discovery that the Assembly of Gods have 22 churches here, which I had never seen one in the phonebook directory. So, I knew of The Vineyard and the great service that they do throughout the community in 21 different colonies of projects and I just kept searching.
I became a part of a small church with a big heart and a big mission, Amistad Familiar yet I still visited other churches to see what they were doing. God is not finished with His plan for me here and though I have not been able to do what He placed on my heart on my return trip in 2006, He is at work. I see His Hand.
My first service that I offered was to volunteer at the Salvation Army (Ejercito de Salvacion) back in 1997-98..."El Hogar de Los Niños" (Children's Home)...on the outskirts of Mazatlan, in a small town, Venadillo. These children, however, were not orphans, but lived there throughout the week, and left on weekends.
The other Orphanage was "Ciudad de los Niños", a Catholic Orphanage, taken care of by nuns.
I should have felt right at home there but I only visited there once. Actually my very first opportunity was teaching one month of Sunday School in La Zona Dorada (Golden Zone where tourists come) to street children and a few church kids of "Palabra Viva" (Living Word) that were renting space above some stores there and I heard them praising the Lord & praying. When I returned to stay longer, they had moved, because of the high rent and needing more space, and I could not find their new location and that's what happens with many of the churches using rental space here.
To read more about the Orphanages that Tres Islas supports please go here
- Salvation Army Orphanage [El Hogar de los Niños] This one & the next do not have a site
- Alburgue Infantil
I was fascinated about how the history of Tres Islas Orphanage Fund was started but will share at another time since this is so long already. Be sure to visit the other participants and see the variety of "missions" that God instills in us to be used to further His Kingdom.
When I visit different blogs, especially new blogs, I try to encourage and invite people to link to Mission4Monday because of what I've read. I hope that if you see a post that should link, you would do the same. It does not have to be rewritten just linked here.
I pray that all of you will take the time to visit this very special one that calls for our action for a special hero that needs support & prayer as Christians and American citizens we should do:
with Tracy Keck
[the 1st link of Mission4Monday]
PLEASE TELL OTHERS!
THANKS FOR JOINING MISSION4MONDAY!
I pray that one day I can say( for my husband, my kids, or my friends):
I could maybe impress you
With tender words and a harmony
A clever rhyme or two
But if all I've done in the time we've shared
Is turn your eyes on me
Then I've failed at what I've been called to do
There's someone else I want you to see
Will you love Jesus more
When we go our different ways
When this moment is a memory
Will you remember His face
Will you look back and realize
You sensed His love more than you did before
I'd pray for nothing less
Than for you to love Jesus more
I'd like to keep these memories
In frames of gold and silver
And reminisce a year from now
About the smiles we've shared
But above all else I hope you will come
To know the Father's love
When you see the Lord face to face
You'll hear Him say "well done"
[REPEAT CHORUS TWICE]
I'd pray for nothing less
Than for you to love Jesus more