Back in Mexico!

The title may be a little misleading.  I wasn't and am not actually back in Baja, Mexico but my husband was for the past week.  It  may now be more clear what inspired my "Sometimes when you're a mom" post.  Single parenting, homeschooling, 4 kids taking turns being sick may have been a factor.  It wasn't all that bad though and I am very happy that my husband had a chance to go visit our second home and family. 
I'm also happy that he is now home with me and the kids.    
I am posting these pictures as I eat dried pineapple coated in "chili" powder.  I am living vicariously through my husbands trip.

{Three faithful, selfless FFHM staff. }

A couple weeks ago we found a cheap flight ($300 from Calgary to San Diego!), booked it, and he made plans to catch a ride down to the mission with his good friend who drives the supply truck down from CA. each week.  
The above photo was taken at the Tijuana house (a place for college students to stay once they "age out" of the children's home).   I've never been there but I know quite a few of the kids from the orphanage who are now college students in Tijuana.

{Little tastes and sights of Mexico.}

 Nathanael only spent a few days at the children's home in Baja but he was able to spend some time with the kids who we already have built relationships with over the past 6 years.  He did some helping out with work, but this trip was much more relational than project oriented. 
I had hoped that this trip would be one of refreshment, fellowship, and encouragement for him.  It sounds like it was all of those things.  His goal was to in some small way be an encouragement to our friends/ staff at the mission and to reconnect with the kids there.  

Below is one of the orphanage staff who is a wonderful father figure to the children there.  
I don't know him all that well but I've seen him with the kids for a number of years now and you can see how much he loves what he does, and loves the kids he cares for.    I don't know what they were laughing at but this picture makes me want to laugh too.   On the video there were little boys wrestling all over the floor like puppies.  Maybe he was just enjoying watching them.   He looks like Jesus to me.  He will probably be embarrassed if he ever sees this blog but I think this pictures captures what joy and love look like.

My little "sobrina" Magai  and " sobrino" Alex at the children's home.  
As "Tia and Tio" (sponsors) we have the amazing privilege to play a small role in these kids life.   We pray for them, help support them, send (and receive) gifts and letters, and of course spoil them with attention anytime we visit.   You may recognize these two from many of last years posts.  

I miss them SO much!
Aili's little amiguita Nancy has grown so much and is no longer a "Cuna" (nursery) baby.

I miss ALL the kids.  They are  growing  and changing so fast, as kids tend to do. 

It happened to be a cool , rainy weekend when my husband arrived but I don't think it dampened his mood too much.

Color!  Flowers!  Oh how I miss nature that isn't either snow white or ca ca mud brown.  

Many of you who have been reading here for a while will remember "the kids who call me Tia".  For lack of a better description.
Quick history.   Kids that we used to sponsor at the children's home.   Went back to live with mom.  Found them again living in squalor, neglect and other heartbreaking conditions.
We prayed, cried, and implored God for guidance and help.
We started looking into options to build them a house.
A house was miraculously provided for and built by an IDT group.  
We spent the rest of our winter loving on, helping, encouraging, and checking on these kids.   
They are "our" kids in Mexico.

There are 6 of them total.  I miss them SO badly.  
The older ones raise and care for the younger ones and by all appearances are doing a very good job.
So encouraging. 
When you pour yourself into loving children sometimes you wonder , especially if it was only for a short time, what difference it could possibly make.   We are realists when it comes to this.  Giving, serving, and loving is complicated, tricky, and takes a lot of wisdom and perseverance.  It is also simple.  As simple as being available. 
Loving isn't a fairy tale always filled with happy endings.  We can't   help everybody.  We can't create perfect carefree lives for anyone.  No matter how hard we try we will never build a utopic world of prosperity and peace.  God doesn't promise any of us any of those things in this life..much less built  by our own hands. 
He does command us to be His hands, His feet, and His heart genuinely and lovingly poured out in this hurting world.   I can do for one, one child, one family, one situation, what I wish I could do for everybody.  Sometimes that effects a positive, spirit transforming, life altering change, sometimes it's nothing more than a pair of shoes on bare feet or a much needed kind word.
At the time it seems SO small and insignificant, like just a few loaves and fishes offered to the Lord to use and multiply for His glory.  

So often we don't get to witness how God uses what little we have to offer.  We obey, sacrifice, and step out in faith.
On occasion God does give us a glimpse of what He is doing.  I fall to my knees  in awe as the Spirit of God transforms, heals and makes new,  proving once again His glory in my weakness.   His sufficiency meets my simple trust and blooms into something only God could design.  

It is amazing to check back  a year later and see a 14 year old  still in school,  looking after the needs of her younger siblings, and  a marked up pink bible sitting open on her  kitchen table.  

The oldest two are still in school and working hard. 2 years ago Minerva (the oldest) had never been to school and now she is in 5th grade.  So many cycles being broken.  I pray that the chains of poverty, hopelessness, abuse, desperation, and spiritual bondage are being loosened in this family.   
 I told them last year that we would be their Aunt and Uncle forever.  We are family.   
I am praying preservation, protection and purpose for these kids in a world that wants to exploit, toss aside, trample, deceive, and lure them.   
Life is hard, it always will be.  

I am so completely humbled and filled with gratitude for what God is doing in these kids...and that He has let us witness that.
I pray that we can spend time with them again next winter.

They were so completely surprised when "Tio" (uncle) knocked on their door last weekend.  Little Carmela  in the brown skirt answered and started shrieking "TIO! TIO! TIO!".  My husband was a rockstar surrounded by children "loosing their minds". 

He took them out a couple bags of fruit and a small care package from Auntie Carla in Canada.

Little Louisa has grown so much and was loving her new little backpack.

My handsome boy with his gorgeous smile.  He looks so much older.
I am not the least bit jealous or resentful of my husband, in fact I am thrilled that he went, but it is hard to look at the pictures and not be able to squish and smooch these kids.  

 The beautiful backdrop of the Children's Home.  

The  little man below (our "nephew") at the Children's Home spent a lot of time hanging out with, and generally playing shadow to Tio Nathanael.  

It was so encouraging to hear how well this boy is doing.  He arrived at the children's home last year, with a past that was cloaked in mystery and sadness.  
We spent a lot of time with him last winter but quite honestly he was a challenge to have around.  Feral is the word that comes to mind.  His house parents are saints I tell you.  The many house parents who work  day in and day out here are the ones who deal with the brokenness, damage, training, teaching, and nurturing.  They are doing a wonderful job with this precious boy.  We are just the proud Aunt and Uncle.  


Nicole said...

Carla, the one picture of the two girls, one in a red sweater and the other in a red blanket...was that Reyna and Victoria?
I miss the mission...

Jobina said...

Even though I was only gone for a week, I feel like I have a better understanding now when it comes to the first part of your blog post. We can't fix it all, but we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. I met some workers in Ecuador that really showed me what that looks like and it was beautiful! So glad that at least one of you could go and see "your kids" again, I'm sure it was a big encouragement to them!