Keep Climbing

Philippians 3:12-14 has this to say:  “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

I remember a number of Blues’ Singers repeating this line: “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”  That’s pretty sad.  But sometimes life seems to be that way. We’ve all lost friends to the wages of sin: Death. Kids with cancer, old people with dementia, life just seems, or maybe it is, more challenging.

 

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We all start somewhere

There’s a story of a young boy living in a slum who was out in the marketplace where all the vendors had their carts out with food and other wares to sell. Typically, it was hot, dusty, and dirty.  He was sitting in the dirt playing some made-up game and noticed people would stop, look over his head and just kind of moan and walk away.

He heard one man mumble, “I just wish I could get there.”  So he looked behind him and there were the mountains, with the highest ones still having snow at the top. He had heard the stories of the “place” in the mountains where life was beautiful, bountiful and brimming with blessings. He stared at it for a minute or so and thought, “I can never get up there, out of this dirt and dust.” And at the end of that thought was another one, “Why not? If I stay here in the dirt for 3 days and don’t go, in 3 days I’ll still be in the dirt. If I start walking now, in 3 days I will be safely up to that place in the mountains.

So the boy started walking and thought, “Even to fail in the attempt would be infinitely

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The path might be scary

more preferable than this existence in the dirt and misery.” He only had a little bit of food to bring, but water was abundant so he wasn’t worried.  After a few days he realized that this place in the mountains was much further than it looked from the dusty village, but all along the way he had found berries to eat and other plants that he knew were safe to consume. There were steep cliffs with deep dropoffs, boulders, wild animals and the things that he imagined were even worse. But he continued.

After many years had passed, he had grown into a young man, strong, knowledgeable and wise about the way to the bountiful place ahead. Every day he had what he needed to live upon–food and water to meet his needs, shelter to sleep in at night and even those things that he had imagined and scared him in the beginning had now become tame and his friends.

The young man grew older and feebler until at last he was barely able to put one foot in front of the other. He would never go back–he’d rather die climbing to the place than to roll down the mountain and back into the dirt.  Early that morning he was certain that this would be his last sunrise, but then saw another traveler coming down the path and asked, “Sir, where are you going.” Much to his surprise, the man called him by his name and said, “I’ve come down to carry you the rest of the way.” Falling into the kind man’s arms, he was carried to the place, the place that was beautiful, bountiful and brimming with blessings.

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The path might be steep

What seemed like but a few seconds, he was there, and there in front of him were people for as far as he could see, all bowing down to the man carrying him. The kind man sat him down, and his strength, health and youth were instantly restored and all the people came around to welcome him. He asked, “Who is this man who has carried me,” and they told him, “He is our King.”

We who follow Christ Jesus were all like this young boy, sitting in the dirt playing made-up games. Then one day, like the boy, we realized there was a better place, a better way to live, so we started climbing up our own mountains.  Along the way the foothills grew steeper, the valleys much deeper, the boulders blocking our way abundant, and we noticed that many who had begun the journey with us were nowhere to be found. But we still carry with us our desire to be free, free from violence and hatred, free from our fears, free from rejection, betrayal and free to be with the One Who truly loves and cares for us. We will get there, but it will require that we put one foot in front of the other

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day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, always keeping our eyes on the King Who will one day scoop us up into His arms and carry us home.

I began my climb to the bountiful place in an Eastern Temple where Paramahansa Yogananda was the founder. It’s just up the road from where I now live.

I found these cuties on my path

He was not a Christian, but he did say this and I think it’s worth repeating:

  “Those who take up the path for its glamor, expecting only blissful visions and a

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They come with thorns

comfortable, mossy trail strewn with rose blossoms of divine consolation, become discouraged when they find how often God neglects the moss and roses in favor of thorns.

                 

          For those, however, who cling to their purpose with devotion, taking the path calmly one day at a time, no test is ever too great. Obstructions are seen, then, as blessings, for they provide the strength one needs to reach the heights.”

Many of my long-ago friends gave up and no longer climb. I pray you won’t. I pray you will see that the trials of the trip are far outweighed by the beautiful, bountiful and brimming blessings that come from our Father in heaven. If you are feeling beaten down, you know how to find us–let’s talk, or better yet, let’s pray.  He’s waiting for you…  wave

 

 

 

 

Got Wounds?

 

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”We’ve probably all heard that either in a song or conversation, right?

heaven.jpgAs I continue to climb up the age tree, I’m finding more and more about life.  Many of my friends have died climbing this tree and there are many that have forgotten they are even climbing because their minds are shutting down before their bodies do.  It might be funny to say those folks make new friends every day because everyone they meet is new to them, but the truth is—it’s not funny at all.IMG_9757.jpg

So am I trying to depress you?  Nope.  What I’m going to do is share with you some things that are going on in my life you may be able to relate to.  For example, there is a huge bruise on my right forearm from showing a kid how to receive a serve in volleyball.  My wrist is swollen and really hurts.  I didn’t even do anything but let the ball come into my arms and pop it up!  I did this for hours when I used to play a few years back and didn’t even get sore.  I went for a 3-mile walk yesterday and my knees felt like they were sliding around in circles inside my leg, threatening to give out.  I walk or ride or surf a lot—that knee thing is just a new reality my body is talking to me about.  I even run now and then and, yes, I can.  But when I’m finished the pain is so real it can’t be ignored.  I’ve even created a new rub I call “Bobathol,” which is a rich mixture of menthol crystals and essential oils. Jackie uses it every day on her back and hips.  Desperation has driven me to become an inventor!  No, I don’t sell it.  But you have pains, too, and you don’t even have Bobathol.  But enough about my pain.

Last Sunday our Priest shared from Isaiah 53 where it says, “By His wounds we are healed.”  In the olden days when I would hear that verse quoted it was usually mentioned to precede a healing service or showcase some “evangelist’s” power to perform miracles.  In the context we heard from our Priest, it was about the martyrs in Egypt in the Coptic church.  They are being wounded and martyred and the healing that is coming out of their persecution, through their wounds, is the miracle of forgiveness they are showing their persecutors and the effect it is making on the Islamic majority that has been doing the persecuting.  It is culturally correct that in Egypt if you are hurt you hurt back. But the Copts are offering forgiveness and it’s having an impact for good. Their churches are filling up more than ever before; the Islamic majority is looking on with wonder.  Who knows, they may even put down their swords.

“By His wounds” is powerful medicine, but have you ever thought what those wounds did to Jesus?  He allowed men to torture and crucify Him in order to get them.  His body hurt just like mine—it hurt when the nails were driven into His hands and feet or the whip ripped His back apart—a lot.  Those wounds killed Him.  Should we expect less from the wounds we pick up from time to time?

My Coptic brothers and sisters, along with their children, suffered a lot more wounding than I can ever imagine and they, in turn, extended forgiveness and love so that their persecutors might come to know Christ.  You have been beaten up a time or two, I’m sure. Are you letting your wounds bring healing or hurt? Unforgiveness brings anger, depression, sickness, gossip and can even sap what energy you have right out of you, so go ahead, forgive that person or even church who hurt you.  Let your wounds bring healing to even those who would do you harm.

My scratches don’t compare to what the Copts are going through and they are forgiving.  I’d rather they not be persecuted, so I pray for them and the rest of the Church that is being persecuted in other parts of the world, and for the children who are being made into soldiers by mad men.  The atrocities and evil that exist around our planet scream for Christians to intercede and bring healing.  One day, I think/hope/and pray, our wounds will bring about the return of Christ and we’ll see the salvation and redemption we all long for. And, if you are wondering, of course I pray for physical healing and good health. If you are hurting and ask me to pray, I will pray for you until you get better or die and even then I’ll pray for a safe journey into eternity! I pray for many of you daily and I pray for my wife and I simply pray for what God brings to my mind.  Please join me.

So, my friends, whatever stage of life you are in, serve God, love your neighbor and when you get that last wound you go to heaven.  If your life is pain-free, great.  If it hurts–you get wounded–that’ OK, too.  Your wounds might come through someone’s verbal abuse or they might come by some nutcase with a gun and his agenda to change the world through violence. No matter how they come, allow the wounds you suffer to bring healing to your neighbor.  It worked for Jesus.  

 

What Are You Doing?

My Life in the Cave

Have you ever wondered why Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians to the church in Corinth about the importance of each person in the Body of Christ?   Here’s what he said:  But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be (1Cor 12:18) We are where we are, doing what we are doing because God placed us right where He wanted us most.  We all have roles to act out and they are all essential. 

Along My Walking/Biking/Running Path

As one who is getting closer and closer to the state of not living on earth, I’ve noticed that my life has gone through different stages.  Let me go back in time a bit.  I worked at my dad’s tire store from the time I could get there under my own power (motorcycle at 14 years of age) until I left for the last time at age 37.  I started by cleaning bathrooms and sweeping up.  As I got older I learned all about that business and how to do most anything needed tire related.  I did those tasks without giving any of them much thought—I could just do the stuff I needed to do.

When I came into Youth With A Mission in 1987 (37 years of age), I started all over again.  After the 1st year, I could lead schools and take teams into foreign countries like I had been doing it forever.  I could keep up with 40 passports, kids, staff and my own family of four without too much thinking. I lived in Hong Kong and it was no big deal—I could just do stuff and it came intuitively.  Those were the years before we used the word “multi-tasking,” and when I did it well.

Jackie Inside Her Cage

Today, not too much multi-tasking going on.  I’m working in the office at YWAM doing logistical work so that those who are younger, more energetic and able to keep a number of tasks (multi-tasking) flowing along at the same time—like building a 400 Sq ft house in a day and a half with teams coming from all over the world to work—can do what they are able to do.  Sure, I miss all that excitement and at times wondered why I’m sitting on the sidelines observing.  Then I noticed that the word “observing” has a very important part of it:  “Serving.” 

“Let Me Out”

We who work in Chula Vista—just south of San Diego near the border—are serving those builders and other workers in Mexico so that they can do what they need to be doing.  And what did Jesus have to say:  “Be like the Son of Man. He did not come to be served. Instead, He came to serve others.”  That is so easy to say, right?  Now try and do it!  In the middle of what I do, that’s the new lesson I’m learning and the new stage of my life I’m in.  It’s slower for sure, but God places us in His body, no matter what stage we may be living in, and He does it to accomplish the good work of caring for the people on earth.  So I am stoked that I don’t have to measure if I’m doing enough—I only have to look at our Lord Jesus and say, “Your will being done in my life is what I want.” 

So how is the work we serve doing?  Pretty good.  Last year we had a few over 5,000   people come through here to build houses for the poor in Mexico and another 1000 or so kids, (entire youth groups), go on Mission Adventures and even a few of them built houses.  We also take care of refugees

and red light district kids at risk and their moms and skaters and surfers and had 200 and something come through our schools and built a bit more than 400 houses in 10 countries–most in Mexico.  So, yes, it’s one of the craziest and busiest places I’ve ever worked in YWAM, but we are putt-putting along and serving as we can. 

 There’s a bonus gift we received coming out here to YWAM/San Diego/Baja: Jackie and I are part of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, St. Anthony’s, and blessed way beyond what we deserve by the life of Christ we receive every time we walk through the doors.  It is an amazing place for us to be.  What’s an Antiochian, you wonder?  You can read about it here: Acts 13:1  In the church at Antioch…While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke. “Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me,” He said.  Yep, it’s that church, the one you read about in Acts.  They have ’em all over the world.  Check one out. 

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Broken Heart

I was talking to a friend the other day and he/she was telling me of the joys of his/her life. The irony of the conversation was that me and said person once walked in complete agreement that Jesus was the true source of joy–we shared the same faith and beliefs that Jesus is the Truth, Way and Life. Today, said person denies the role of Christ Christians have assigned to Him, the Biblical one identifying Him as the “only begotten Son of God.”  Said person tossed in his/her belief in Christianity and Christ.


That broke my heart.  It’s an old wound, a recurring one that comes and goes. In 1971, when my best friends that I lived with denied the reality of my salvation and deemed me as a crazy and went their own way, one dying of a drug overdose and the other one nearly killing himself the same way, I didn’t know what to do.  I’d been a Christian at that time for…a day.  I began praying for them.  Like I said, one died and the other is my brother today–he came to Christ and lives to tell others of His love–leading three or four people to Christ a week.  It boggles my mind to hear his stories and blesses my heart.


Peter said, “And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb: A dog returns to its vomit. (2 Peter 2:20 – 21).  

Now you know why my heart is broken.  My said person is eating vomit and proclaiming how great it is and what joy it brings. One day he/she will stand before the Lord and try and explain why eating vomit is such a great idea.  For my heart to be healed, said person needs to turn back to Jesus, so until he/she does I will pray daily for his/her life and soul to be saved.  

How many of you have or have had the same circumstance:  Friends or family who started off and did great until a bump in the road sent them head-on into a tree?  If you do, let’s join together and pray for them.  You pray for mine and I’ll pray for yours–no names needed.  God knows their names and what it will take to see them restored. If you read this you probably know how to contact me by email or my FB location–or you can just comment on this and tell me you want to join in this praying vigil.  We want your help and you might even need ours.

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DO WHAT!?!

Christmas is drawing near and drawing us nearer to the One who came to live and die so that we can die and keep on living.  Those who don’t share our faith are trapped in the chaos that challenges our advent season, but we who believe have faith that is firm and filled with joy.

Over two thousand years ago, God the Father looked across the land of Israel for a sacrifice.  He was not looking for a ram or a bull or an unblemished lamb–He was looking for the right woman, the one who would contain His son in her womb–who could not be contained by the entire universe.  He was looking for the woman who would give up her life that the life of His son could be born, who was already existing before all ages and time.

gabriel.jpg“Today Christ is born in Bethlehem of the Virgin.
Today He who is without a beginning begins,
And the Word is made flesh.
The powers of Heaven rejoice,
The earth and her people are jubilant;
The Wise Men bring gifts to the Lord,
The shepherds marvel at the One who is born;
And we sing without ceasing:
“Glory to God in the Highest, And on earth peace, (God’s)            good will toward men” (a hymn from the Orthodox church).

Mary said, “Yes,” and Christ was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and her willingness.  She would be branded a harlot.  Scorned by her neighbors and ridiculed by her peers. Engaged to Joseph, she didn’t even know if he would stand by her.  But he did.  What an amazing story Christmas is, and what a time of new beginnings for us.  We need only to look at Mary for a bit of inspiration.

This morning as I read Luke, Jesus had this to say:  “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”  (Luke 9:25)  I wonder what Mary thought when she heard Him say things like that?   There she was, the “Mother of God,” and He’s teaching people, some older and some younger, how to live lives that have value and meaning.  Maybe she thought, “Wow!  That’s my son.”

She gave up everything–reputation, her marriage, her family, her friends and I don’t know how much more–to say, “I am the Lord’s servant, … May it happen to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).  Her answer was costly.  She didn’t get Amazon gift cards for that one. She didn’t make friends and influence people (right away)–she got rejection and scorn, but her response to Gabriel changed the world.

That answer she made to Gabriel changed the entire course of her life, too.  One. Simple. Answer.  How will I answer when Jesus asks me the question we read in Luke 9?  How about you?  What have you got to say?  What you say–decide–right now, can change the rest of your life.  This Christmas we can choose to pursue goodies or to pursue God.  Goodies make you fat.  God makes you full–full of life, love, joy, peace and suffering.

When you get up tomorrow morning and you pray, ask God what to choose in regard to goodies or God.  I’m almost positive that He will simply say, “Come, follow me.”  Jesus said it to the apostles and they changed the world.  When we follow Him, we certainly change our own world, but we also bring grace and love to others, changing theirs. That’s quite a Christmas gift to give.

Merry Christmas to all…wave

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Never Done That Before

In 53 years of surfing, I’ve never had this happen to me.  When I came to the surface I could hear that famous Saturday Night Live character, Mr. Bill, screaming, “Oh noooooooo, what’s happening?”

The day was another one of those perfect days we seem to get in Southern California:  Bright sunshine, no wind, ocean like a sheet of glass with five to eight-foot waves rolling in and only a few people out surfing.  The only problem was the tide–it was too low and the waves were collapsing over the sand bar all at once, leaving few opportunities for a clean take-off and ride.  But Jackie and I were there and I had my board and I needed the exercise…so I paddled out anyway.  Of course my beloved wife said, “Be careful.”  Am I ever not careful?

Paddling out was short of miraculous because I nearly got to the outside without even getting my hair wet.  I had to dive under one wave and then I was out.  As I sat awaiting the right wave to come, I could see that the smaller waves inside provided a much better chance of getting a ride without getting pounded into the sand.  But when you want to ride the smaller waves you must sit closer to shore, which means the bigger waves that come are going to have a wonderful chance of swatting you like a fly.  So I sat outside waiting for a wave to take off on.  A few came by and as I paddled to take off I could see that no matter which direction I would have gone, the ride would have been over in less than a second and I’d be spitting sand.  So I waited and waited and waited.

I let myself drift in a bit, hoping for a smaller wave when I saw a large set of waves humping up and moving in.  So I started paddling back out and it was all going well.  First wave, paddled over it and felt like I was on an elevator being gently lifted to the next floor.  Next wave, not so good.  It was about a six-foot wave and I was almost out when it  started to throw over (top to bottom for you who know the surf jargon), so I duck dived my little board and we got deep enough under that I was only pulled back a few feet and barely disturbed.  But the third wave, not the charm or charmer, reared up and it looked really big from my prone position on my board, paddling like a crazy man on meth.

I knew I wasn’t going to get out without paying, though still filled with hope I paddled.  Then I saw what that lip was going to do when it started to pitch out so I slid off the front of the board and began swimming to the bottom.  Only that wave was sucking up all  the water from the bottom and grabbed hold of me and it started twirling, flipping, yanking and pulling me in 5 different directions.  I’d forgotten how much power a Pacific wave carries with it as it glassily glides along in the serene-looking water.  But I’ve been tossed about plenty of times so I simply said, “Relax, this will stop in a matter of seconds.”  And it did.  I opened my eyes and alarmingly was aware that it was pitch black and I had no idea which way was up.  So this time I said, “Relax, your leash will show you the way up.”  And it did!  I was pointed to the bottom so I turned around and swam to the top, and though this had only taken 15 to 20 seconds to unveil, I needed a breath of air so I was thrilled when I felt my head pop out of the water and feel my board there waiting on me.  I took a deep breath but there was no air.  “That’s weird, I thought–maybe I’m still underwater and just thinking I’m above.”   But I was above water.  I’ve heard of guys in really big waves coming up for air only to find foam, but that’s what happened to me.  Foam.  Yuck.  Again, “Relax, it’ll settle down.”  And it did and I breathed and I got on my board and again started paddling out like that mad man on meth (no, I’m not a druggie) for the outside.  When I  got beyond the break I decided I was gonna catch a wave regardless of its form and get in.  A smaller one than the monster that tried to dismember me came in, though when I caught it and looked up it was well above my head.  I had my back  to the wave and was flying right when the wave hit the sandbar and began to throw the top to the bottom.  Being smarter than a wave, I straightened out, dove for the deck of the board and hung on as it exploded behind me and shot me forward like David’s smooth stone headed for Goliath’s hard head.  My surf session was ending fine and I simply lay on the board, held on and was propelled toward the beach.  Maybe 30 feet from the beach I saw another  wave was coming straight at me from shore (backwash), headed out to sea.  “Really, that’s a rather large wave to be heading out and breaking.”  So I hung on, hit the oncoming wave, but kept the nose up, got launched into the air and the two waves crashed together and I resumed my escape to safety.  All in all, it wasn’t a good surf day, but I got to experience new things. It did scare the bejeebers out of Jackie because she was watching me out there and freaking out at the size of the waves I was floating over, and she blames me for a migraine she had that night and Sunday.  “You made me tense.” So much for relaxing days on the sunny beach.

Every day there’s something new coming your way.  Sometimes it might hit you square in the face and tolambss you in five different directions and convince you that circumstances are going to mess you up. Other times it looks like a beautiful, sunny day with unicorns running up and down the street when one of them gores you.  But for us who call on God as Father and know what it means to abide in Him, the word that kept coming to my mind, “Relax,” means so much more.  Relaxing in Christ means we can sit back and know that life is going to be OK, perhaps even great!  We can relax in any circumstance, hang on tightly to our Lord Jesus and ride Him to shore.  I have no idea what kind of wave you are riding right now,
but I do know that as my brother or sister in Christ, or my friend (or even if you don’t like me), we can pray for one another.  And that’s the purpose of this little blog entry:  We  want your prayers as we live out here in California, working in missions once again in our “golden” years.  What do we need:  It’s simple:  to do the will of God. To watch and pray.  To become like Him Who became like us so we could all be rescued. What do you want? Need? Can we pray with you, for you, for someone you love?  All you gotta do is send us a comment via this blog and we will see it.    If you would like to see what we are doing here in Chula Vista, CA, go here:  YWAMsandiegobaja.org    Copy, paste in your browser and have a look.  Praying God’s mercy abounds to you.

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Starting Over

Life could not have been going much better:  Jackie had been told she was no longer needed at her job, which she had had since 1996.  I was working but knew it was a job with an ending on the way—working on a grant.  So what to do?  elantra


Pray of course.  Pray some more.  Really, God?  Pray some more, and more and more…times infinity.

With our 1998 Buick serviced and ready to go, we hooked up the 5’x8’ trailer and headed to YWAM San Diego/Baja with a 2-year commitment made and the excitement level of Bob and Bruce as 15-year-olds seeing a north swell filling in at 2nd street in Pompano.  You’d have to have known Bruce to really grasp the level of adrenaline and hooting that went on.

The car died on the way.  We were given another one by one of my oldest and bestest friends, Jackie (the other Jackie), left the trailer in South Carolina for Leah to use and 

JackCondo.jpgrented a truck with a tow dolly.  We got here, moved into our YWAM-provided condo and were blown away by its size and beauty.  Jake (grandson living in our house) sold our couch for $250.  For about $225 we furnished this condo.  $25 to the good!  That condo doesn’t look like any YWAM housing I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a bunch! It came with that cute girl too!

We took a week to settle in and find our way around Chula Vista. Chula Vista is a suburb of San Diego, about 15 minutes south, unless of course the traffic is backed up to eternity, which happens. Our new town is a cute one with a majority of the population being Mexican descent.  To the south of us another 10 minutes is the border to Mexico.  We  can see it from our condo.

 Image-1.jpgWe are both doing new jobs for us so we took a week at the office to begin learning what we are here to do (might be true, that saying about teaching old dogs!). Jackie is working in the office and running all over the place doing the logistical things that need to be done to support our 100+ staff  working in Mexico.  I’m learning spreadsheets and raising support for the mission, which I can kind of do.  

My trainer, Andrea, is a girl with great patience and a new friend–I gotta keep her close or I get swallowed up by the 10,000 details I’m supposed to learn in two weeks.

We made it through the first week of training and were taken to a smmexpoorall town just south of Tijuana to spend 4 incredibly glorious days learning more about the ministry we have joined and the people who work at it with such zeal.  

What’s it like in Mexico?  Once you get from the U.S. to Mexico, which is quickly done on most days, it’s a bit of a sensory overload.  You immediately get into wild and crazy traffic with dilapidated buihohldings and houses standing next to not-so-dilapidated buildings and house.  The above photo is quite normal for people’s homes in this part of Mexico.  The one to the left is one of the 5700 Homes of Hope YWAM has built.  The front room was added on by the folks living there.  When we came home from Mexico we stopped by here to pick up the mom and her daughter, who was being treated for her allergy to the sun, to drop them off at a clinic where she would receive care.  Her story is so sad, but that’s not a story to be shared today.  She is doing well because one of the builders saw the need and followed up and found the health care needed–for free.

We are thrilled to be here and thankful that God took a look at our circumstances a few months ago and must have thought, “These guys need a change.  I have an idea that might just work to get them moved to where I want them.”  It doesn’t take much for Jackie and I to “Go,” because it’s been something dear to our hearts for many, many years.  To go again ourselves was a wonderful surprise gift from our Father and one we were thrilled to open up and see what all was inside for us. Is it all goose bumps and fun?  No, of course not–this is life on earth after all.  

We get to “face time” with our grandson, Cadence, but we don’t get to squeeze and tickle natefamilyhim.  We still haven’t gotten to see Wayla (Glynn and Bum’s little girl) and she is already two.  We miss our kids, grandkids, son and daughter, friends, home church and probably more.  The admonition to “Go” by God never implied your family would go with you.  They did in our early years, but now we are doing our going on our own again, like our Thailand days bumfamilyonly with more kids to miss!                                    family2

Think we will make it for 2 years?  Yep, me too.  God got us through some challenges just to arrive on time, which we did.  He  provided extra finances before we left, which we sure needed, through friends.  Are we wrapped up tightly and prepared to keep on going in San Diego?  OK, here’s where we really need your help.  San Diego is in the top 10 most expensive places to live in America.  To give you an idea of what it costs out here, our friends live in a 1928 home with about 1000 square feet that would sell for $450,000.  The neighborhood, kind of ok.  We are bringing with us our Social Security check to live on and that won’t propel this ministry too far.  YWAM staff raises their own support to live on and we are needing to do that–soon.  If you are one of those people who can give us $5000 a month, or maybe $50, that would be awesome.  If we don’t fit into your budget, no worries.  Psalms 37:25 says:  Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. We are confident that God will take care of us.  He stirred up our nest and we are out here flying as He planned…so I’m thinking we’ll get the funds we need to pay our way for the next couple of years.  If you want to pray for us that would be great.  And if you need some prayer, let us know.  We both keep lists and we both pray for our friends.  Jackie is about to blow her mind now because with this move she has to get new California health care and one thing you can count on in CA is that what could be simple is not.  Finding a plan here is much different than it was in FL.  Like I said, God brought us here so He’ll keep us.  Thanks for listening (reading).  With much love and a hug. Oh, this is important, if you can support us, we are tax-deductible!  Send us an email at 071449@gmail.com and I’ll give you the how-to info.  Thanks again.

Bob & Jackie

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