December 27-30, 2016
We were able to go down again to Pequenos Gigantes this December to continue to work on the needed security cinder block wall. The wall is bein mandated by the government and time is of the essence. Marcos and Rebecca, the pastors and founders of the orphanage have been wanting the wall for the orphanage for the past ten years as a means of protection for the children from animals and people that may enter their property. Currently they never leave the property unattended and one person must remain behind at all times to protect the property. When Dave Sizemore and his family volunteered their masonry skills and teamed up with EFFORT225 it was an answered prayer. Dave said it was humbling to be used by God in such a manner to be an answer to a long standing prayer.
The entire Sizemore crew worked diligently to get as much work done on the wall as possible. There were many snags that occurred, primarily landfalls. There had been a significant amount of rain and we were working on a decent slope with very rocky soil, add a splash of gravity and the dirt kept sliding in the wrong direction. However, Dave had the skills and know-how to fix the problem. Everyone worked together as a wonderful team each doing their part. It was a terrific trip and a great success. Notice in the dinner picture Dave is using a trowel to flip the hamburgers, and yes I am pretty sure we used it earlier that day for cement work.
December 25, 2016
This year for Christmas we were able to join CALM - Church at Lake Mead for their Christmas tradition of handing out tents and sleeping bags to the homeless of Las Vegas. This was a wonderful ministry and CALM has year round outreach programs and is a church that is actively involved in reaching the community and serving everyone.
October 22-25, 2016
Our trip to Mexico included 30 people, all excited to serve God. There were roughly 15 adults, 9 teenagers and 6 children. Although the group stayed at Door of Faith Orphanage the majority of our work was done in three separate locations; The breakfast club in Tijuana, Pequenos Gigantes in Maneadero outside of Ensanada, and the town of La Mision. We arrived Saturday and began serving that evening by distributing dispensas in the town of La Mision. It was a blessed experience as some of the group members were able to lead two men to the Lord, other group members were able to provide practical service to those in need and to provide prayer for those earnestly desiring prayer and spiritual support. Probably the most amazing part to some of the group members was the consistent request for the group to go to help someone in more need and the prayer requests for help for friends and family with no requests for personal needs. We were impressed by how many homes we were immediately invited into, regardless of the dilapidated conditions or size of the homes, and the extreme hospitality shown to us all. We finished the night with worship and sharing.
The next morning the entire group went to Pequenos Gigantes, an orphanage about two hours away that does not have the funding of DOFO. They lack water on a regular basis and struggle at times for food, yet the love from this orphanage is always overpouring. Everyone in the group worked at painting, putting up stucco on an outside wall and laying the foundation for a cinder block fence required by the government. A funny incident occurred when we were rushing to leave. The pastor and his wife, along with all of the folks at that orphanage told us we did not need to rush because the clocks changed that day for Mexican daylight savings. All their clocks said it was 1130 and we needed to be gone by 1230, so we slowed our pace a little bit. When we arrived at DOFO, it turns out the time change had not occurred and we were late for the carnival we were to be hosting. We rushed around and everyone jumped into super speed action, each person assuming a role and doing a great job. The carnival went off without a hitch, the pizza party was great and the night was a success. Another great evening of worship and a reflection on what an amazing team this was.
August 8, 2016
The trip to Latvia was a true blessing. First, meeting and getting to know the BeBe's was a joy that is nearly indescribable. They are the embodiment of love and hospitality. We were invited to stay in their home the entire trip. Their teenage daughter graciously gave up her room for us and the family opened the home (and kitchen) to us. We have never felt so comfortable and welcomed. We enjoyed the company, great meals and friendship that grew during our trip. God built a relationship that nourished, restored and provided inspiration.
The BeBe's have a passion for building strong families and this is reflected in their family. They are a cohesive family unit passing on their hospitality and genorsity to their four children. We were invited to go to Liepaja, Latvia to serve in a practical manner at the Family Camp property that the BeBe's have created in conjunction with YWAM. Their goal is to provide camps that keep families strong and on track as well as offer skills to keep families growing together and preventing a decline in family functioning. They have developed a powerful program to meet this need. They provide camps, training and education to the families and other leaders to assist in this mission. In addition to this, the family camp property is utilized for other camps and conferences.
The buildings are in need of great repairs and practical work. The buildings were built during the time of Soviet Occupation and are in disrepair. During this trip we worked to repair the top floor of one building by working on wood siding, flooring, painting, lighting and other like projects. The BeBe's are constantly working to repair the property as well as running camps. There are eight buildings in total, all in dire need of additional repairs including roofs, electricity, water etc. We were able to purchase a lawn mower on this trip as the property is large and they were using a weed trimmer for the entire property. Juris is extremely handy in wood working and is working on a children's playground on the property as well.