Monday, October 19, 2009

Door of Faith Orphanage

This past weekend I went on a mission trip with Bethany Baptist Church in Montclair down south to Baja, Mexico to do some work at the Door of Faith Orphanage. We left Friday afternoon, and made our way down across the border.We crossed into Mexico as the sun was setting, it was a beautiful drive by the coast of Baja. When we arrived at the orphanage, we unloaded all our stuff and then headed across the street for some authentic Mexican food. Boy was it tasty...and what huge portions we had! The burritos were ginormous, and the carnitas melted in your mouth! I wish all Mexican food tasted that good! Since it was late once we were done with dinner, we headed back to the orphanage and got settled in for the night. Girls in one casita, boys in the other.

Casitas...ChicasCasita...ChicosWe had great accomodations! I was surprised how nice it was! The casita was a bit disorganized with bunkbeds all scattered throughout, but we got it organized before we hit the hay, spiders killed, moths shooed, beds moved, airmattresses blown up, sleepings bags out, and our heads hit the pillow. Ahhhh, sleepy time!

Morning arrived and it was time to get moving. We quickly got up, got ready for the day ahead, had some yummy breakfast cooked by the Prostlers...and then we were on our way to start working. We had two jobs while there: [1] to lay a sidewalk so there was clear wheelchair access for Marco and [2] to paint a room in the guest house from green to white. The boys started measuring things out and framing, while Thiam and I headed up to the guest house to start the painting project. We cleared the room, cleaned the walls, mixed the primer, and were ready to start...when two of the boys walked in ready to help. Very nice! Josh and Mike stepped in and we got things done. However, Mister Joshua suggested not priming and I don't know if I can let him live it down that it was a mistake! LOL :) Three coats later and it still wasn't the best job we could've done. But it was that was good!The boys worked hard on the sidewalk and did a great job. They slaved away lifting heavy bags of concrete, they lugged wood for framing, they dug out some old concrete and the area to be framed, heavy barrels with the mixed concrete to the worksite, and more. They worked their booties off! They actually let Thiam and I help out too...and I loved it! We helped move the concrete around when they poured it in the framing, and then we got to smooth it out for the finish.All the hard work paid off and we had a very nice finished product. I was impressed with the teamwork and support everyone showed. When all the work was done, we were able to have an ice cream social for the kids there. It was sad though, because quite a few of the kids had the Swine Flu and were confined to their dorms. So a handful of kids came and we enjoyed serving them, and watching them enjoy this special treat. They had a ton of fun having the whipped cream sprayed in their mouth...that made them giggle and laugh so hard, it was great!We also played some volleyball with them...Here is an aerial view of the orphanage...View of our lil casitas that we stayed in...I had a great time on this trip! It had been years since I've been on a mission trip down to Mexico. I went on a few while I was in High School, but nothing after that. So this was nice. I have always wanted to go on one where we use our hands, building something. I was happy the boys let us ladies do some of the concrete work. I also enjoyed the little time we had with the kids, watching those sweet smiles on their faces while eating ice cream! Even though there was a language barrier, you could see the joy they felt! I feel so blessed to have been able to go on this trip. Great teamwork, hard work and dedication, compassion for those in need, and able to serve our awesome God! A job well done in deed.

The team, atop our finished sidewalkNINJA!!! lol :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

are you a vine-grower?

Pastor Josh Matlock's sermon this week was titled
Stewards of the Kingdom
Mark 12:1-12

This passage of scripture discusses the Parable of the Vine-growers. The Vineyard represents the Kingdom of God, and those who have put themselves under God's rule are the Vine-growers.

God Entrusted His Kingdom to Israel
* What is their future?
Romans 11:25-29[25] For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; [26] and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. [27] and this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." [28] From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; [29] for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Matthew 21:43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.

The Vine-growers are those that are under God's rule and:
- Follow Him
- Obey His commandments
- Are a priesthood, a blessing to all nations

The Kingdom is Now Entrusted to Us
* What kind of tenants are we being?
Honestly, statistics are showing that we [protestants] are doing a bad job. For the first time, Protestants will be the minority by the end of the year!!!
50% Rarely or never attend worship services
59% Say all religions are equally valid
The number of Christians has declined 12% since 1990, and is not 76%
Nearly a quarter of Americans in their 20's profess no organized religion
Athiests and Agnostics are at less than 1% each
Young people raised in the church...
64% Believe Christ came to earth to teach bad people to live better
63% Do not believe Jesus is the Son of God
58% Believe all faiths teach equally valid truths
57% Do not believe Jesus rose from the dead
70% Believe there is no absolute moral truth
74% Say they do not have life figured out (There's Hope!!!)

Jesus is the Cornerstone of the Kingdom
* Are you a Christ-follower?
* Does your heart break for what His did?

If we hang with Jesus will we have His passion? And will our passion rub off on others?

What are you doing to make a difference in the lives of others? Your life is a witness to those around you...are you living righteously? Are you striving to live Christ-like? I know that I fail constantly, and don't always live like I should. Its hard sometimes. But I do realize that my life is an example to those around me, and if I make bad choices and unbelievers see that, how will that look? Will they see Jesus living through me, or will they see the world? We need to be reminded daily, when we wake up in the morning, to live each day to glorify God! Let His light shine through you!! Make wise choices, follow Him, obey His commandments, and be a blessing to those around you!

We will grow and see great things in America if we find that passion and share it with others!!!

This reminds me of a song I sang as a child (shortened version)...
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushal, NO! I'm gonna let it shine
Won't let satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Psalms 103:19The Lord has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all.

Friday, October 9, 2009

disneyland CLOSED???

So the girls and I were excited for a fun night at Disneyland. On our way out there, we hit lots of traffic! That was a bummer! But nothing compared to when we got there and found out that DISNEYLAND WAS CLOSED!!! So crazy! It was THAT crowded that they had to CLOSE DISNEYLAND! I guess its a good thing we didn't get in, cuz that really would've been a bummer having to deal with the major crowds in the park. So instead, we decided to hang out around Downtown Disney for the evening...and we had a GREAT time! :) We started off taking some pictures...trying to be scary....since its Halloween and all at Dland.Do I look scary?Then we went through the Disney store and had some fun taking more pics...Thiam - Holly - Ashley - MeWhere's Ashley???
[remind you of ET?]Oh my word...I just LOVED this beanie! It's a Christmas Tree!!! I wish I could have it, but it was $28 and I just thought that was an unreasonable price. But if anyone out there's an idea of what you can make me for Christmas! :)Thanks girlies for a very fun evening!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Full House....

The past two weeks have been so much fun!
I have had a FULL house with family visiting from out of state!!
My brother and his family
(Danny, Jessie, Townes, and Finch)
flew in from Iowa for a week-long visit.
My mom also flew in from Washington to visit at the same time!
We had a great time hanging out, visiting extended family, going to Disneyland, etc. Here's a recap of our time together...

[Random] Family Pics...

Visiting Gramma Vasquez

Vasquez Family dinner at Taste of Texas

Hyde Family Get-Together

Remembering Loved-OnesDanny sang the song he wrote while visiting Grandpa Vasquez's grave (it was played at his funeral), we spent some time there...and then visited our dad's grave too. Little Townes and Finch hung with Papa for a bit...

Dinner with Gramma Vasquez, Auntie Lin, Mom, and Uncle Allin (who is taking the picture) at Bob's Big Boy. It was super yummy!!! I LOVE their chili spaghetti!

DisneylandDanny and his family left the next day after Disneyland, but mom stayed for a couple more days. Here's some more of what we did while she was here...

Vasquez Ladies' Night
We started with dinner at Vince's Spaghetti...Mmmm, look at the yummy spaghetti!!!HEY, that's mine!!Then all the girls came back to my house for some shaved ice/snow cones and a long, but fun, game of UNO

Fun with Mom
Lunch with Judi Matlock and Mom at Johnny Carinos

Mommy-Jody Day
We spent the day thrift shopping, reminiscing around Biola, eating lunch at the Spaghetti Factory, doing more thrift shopping, and ending up at Huntington Beach to watch the sunset. We had a lot of fun that day!

Girlie Lunch
(Mom - Me - Connie - Judi - Kristy)

Night @ Straw Hat with Judi Matlock

Mom's last meal in CA...IN-N-OUT!!! :)It was great having my family here visiting...and it was cozy having them all staying at my house. I was sad to see them all go, but happy to get my bed back! haha :) Thanks for visiting guys!! Love ya!