If you would like to help financially support my work here in Mexico, please contact me, or make a secure donation via paypal! Thanks!

Monday, January 26, 2015

... a closing door ... a new chapter ...

After over 6 years living and working at Door of Faith Orphanage, it is time for me to go... 

This may not be news to all who are reading this, as it has been a decision in the making for the last six months or so, but as of January of 2015, I am leaving Door of Faith. 

'But wait...", you say. "That is now!"

Yes. It is. And I've only avoided officially announcing this decision because I haven't had an answer to the question that will naturally follow it: "What's next...?" 

And I still don't have an answer. But let me assure you - God does. :) His timing and plan are perfect and I believe that with all that I am. He has not let me down yet, and I don't expect Him to this time either. 

That said - January has been the timing I've somehow known was right for this transition for a long while. My hope is to relocate to San Diego. To find a job there and a place to live that is not too far from the Mexican border, because let's face it - my heart is here. This place has become my home and the people I've lived among and served alongside have become my family. And I hope to be living someplace that will make frequent visiting possible. I have had a few job interviews and have my resume submitted all over the place, but nothing has yet panned out... 

In part, I am relieved that I am not leaving the orphanage and headed straight into a new job. I've been praying for a smooth transition, both for myself and for the kids here that I've become very close to. Some good friends of mine have a home on the coast, about a 15 minute drive from the orphanage and they have generously offered me a room, rent-free until I figure out what is next. I am honestly looking forward to having time to adjust, time to process, and time to REST before heading to whatever 'next' may be (& the fact that it's on the ocean doesn't hurt either...). I will also still be serving at the orphanage, though living off-site, to help avoid making this a ripping-off-the-bandaid kind of transition. Plus - I still love it here!

Many people have asked what has prompted this decision. Some of you may know that this past year has been very tough - in my personal life, at the orphanage, and seemingly for every other ministry and missionary in Baja... But honestly, all of the trials and the tears and the exhaustion have only served to ready me for a transition that I'd already felt was coming for a long while. When I first came to volunteer at DOFO, I thought I'd be here for 3 months, 6 max. and then go home to continue living my life. Obviously, God had other plans and I'm so glad that He did. 

I wouldn't trade the time and experiences I've had, the relationships I've built, or the things I've learned here for anything. I will forever be grateful to all who have supported me - through prayer, financially, listening to my vent-sessions, emotionally, opening up their homes to me, etc. - and pray that those relationships, both with my family here in Mexico and the one built of kind, generous and loving people from alllllllllll over the US I've met through working here, will be blessed and life-long.

Please feel free to email me with any messages or questions or ideas or job-leads ( :) ) or ANYTHING! I love each & every one of you & would love to hear from you! (Jarilyn.wilson@gmail.com)

Lastly - Moving is expensive. And even though I don't have a job yet, bills continue to be due and expenses from driving to interviews and food, etc. pile up, I know that God will provide, as He has faithfully done for the last 6+ years. If you feel that He may want to use you to do that, there is a "DONATE" button on the top of this blog page that leads to my paypal. I can also accept checks to:
Jarilyn Wilson
PO Box 6434
Chula Vista, CA 91909

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

... de un corazón roto ...

It has been a long time since I last posted anything on this blog. I tend to get super overwhelmed with updating everyone, via blog, on everything & anything that has happened since my last post - & the more time that passes, the more overwhelming it becomes. Therefore, I just avoid it. :) 

However- I don’t want to do that anymore. Avoidance is not healthy & honestly – if you & I are friends, you probably have a decent idea of what’s been going on in my life of late. 

I would, though, love to have this blog as a creative outlet in my work down here – using it less as a constant, detailed update & more for highlighting certain situations, people & things that grab hold of my heart. Because my heart is tugged at often in my work here & I’d love to share with anyone who cares to read how God is working in our community - & in me – as I continue to serve at Door of Faith Orphanage & in the surrounding community of La Mision. 

One such experience occurred within the last couple of weeks & has been heavily on my heart ever since. I was able to accompany a visiting church group to a community situated in the retired trash dumps of Tijuana – about an hour North of La Mision. Over the years, I’ve spent a good deal of time in this community, as there are some ministries functioning there that we work very closely with. However – this was the first time I had the opportunity to walk throughout the surrounding canyon, visiting various families along the way. 

I already knew, on different levels, many of the families we came into contact with – some from Baja Family Outreach & even a few that I have gone on missions trips with into Mainland Mexico in the past few years. It was such a joy to be able to visit with them & be humbly received into their own homes & to see them in the context of their everyday lives – truly a beautiful experience. 

One such family that God had divinely appointed for us to encounter was Ana & her baby boy. I’ve known Ana & her family for 3+ years & at one time we would chat every once in a while via text messages. Though she & I had been out of contact for a while, I had heard that before the birth of this baby boy, she had another very young baby who had died. This day in the dumps, Ana happened to be accompanied by a friend of hers, Sarai, who had also lost a 3 month old baby in the past year. The grief that was emanating from both of these young women as we talked & prayed together was so thick & tangible & heavy that I couldn’t help but just weep right there with them – not being able to imagine the pain they felt at loosing their precious children, but being able live in that pain with them, if only for a brief time, laying it down at the feet of Jesus. 

Living & working in a place that exists to take care of children who can’t be with their parents - & even many of whom were just not wanted by their parents – is often heartbreaking work on many different levels. But we rarely have contact with the parents of the children we take care of (& from the things I hear about some of these families & the ways they have treated many of our kids, it's probably best that I don't have contact with them, because I'd be tempted to do them physical harm :/). And so - the aftermath of our kids' parents losing custody of their children is not something that I've witnessed. 

That said - this grief I was seeing in the lives of Ana & Sarai was new for me - one I can't even imagine & pray that I'll never have to experience. And even as I stood on the dusty streets of TJ praying with these two young women, my mind couldn't help but think of some of our babies at DOFO, & how their parents abandoned them at the hospital at birth, & then return again to these women who would give anything to have their babies back with them. 

As the 'life-is-unfair' theme began to take over my thoughts, I heard Ana whisper "Pero mi esperanza esta en el Señor..." ("My hope is in the Lord") & I realized instantly that she, the one I came to minister to, had just given me the sermon of my lifetime... It is the Lord who gives and the Lord who takes away - & blessed be His name. In whatever circumstance or situation we find ourselves in, however broken are our hearts, we can hope in the Lord because our time on this earth is short & it's what comes next that we are living & struggling here for. And as I continue to lift up Ana & Sarai & pray for restoration & healing for both of their lives & hearts, I thank God for His light in the darkness & the amazing example of faith & hope I was given that day from a broken heart.....

Aún así - Te adoro ~~~~ Even still, I will praise You

Monday, May 30, 2011

...La Vida Bendecida...

Hello! I realize that it has been almost an entire YEAR since my last blog post. where on earth have I been?!?!?

Well, here is a little bit of an update on the goings-on in the life of Jarilyn in Mexico...

**I am still serving at Door of Faith Orphanage, and LOVING it. This coming October will mark 3 years since I moved down here, originally committing to serve at DOFO for 3 months, and NEVER in a million years thinking that it would be possible to stay any longer than that.

But God has not only allowed me stay and continue and grow in the ministries going on here, but has provided for every need along the way, as He does. I am in His hands, and know that at any given time, He may call me to leave this place and serve elsewhere... but as of right now, I am ridiculously blessed to be able to call La Mision my home and I LOVE being here and serving here.

It's crazy to see how my role and responsibilities here at DOFO have continuously been changing and shifting, however slightly. Some of my responsibilities at the orphanage currently include the following...

** House Building Ministry: I am still heading up this aspect of ministry here at DOFO. There are many groups who come down to work with us and stay at the orphanage who focus mainly on building a home (or homeS) for families in our area. This coming summer alone will bring 4 different groups building a total of 8 houses! As I've shared before, my favorite part about this ministry is that through the application process and the screening/approval process with each family, I have the opportunity to really get to KNOW families in our town that I may not otherwise have the chance to know. Even before the groups come, we have the amazing opportunity to explain to these families, many of whom do not know Christ or His love, why a group of Americans would use their vacation time to drive or fly to this tiny obscure valley in Mexico just to build them a house. It is an incredible opportunity not only to tell people about the love of Jesus, but also to demonstrate God's provision and love for them. With every home built and family touched, I am humbled and awed that I get to be even a tiny part of God blessing, providing, moving & loving here in our valley.

This is one of the eight families who will be receiving a new house this summer. The 5 of them have been living in a tiny one room camping trailer.

** Weekly Grocery Giveaway: We are not only still giving away bags or grocery items to families in our town every Thursday, but we have increased the number of bags (to approx. 150 bags a week) and have also expanded the ministry to partner with another local ministry who help out the elderly in our valley. This ministry includes buying food in bulk once a week and bagging the items. It is something that DOFO children love to participate in, helping to bag the food each week, and then getting to see what their efforts are going towards when over 100 families line up outside our gates each Thursday morning tor their "despensa".

** Hosting visiting groups: The next couple of weeks will be the start of our summer rush here at DOFO. We are double and sometimes triple booked throughout all of summer with family groups, church groups, rotary clubs, etc... coming to serve here at DOFO and in the surrounding community. It is a time when we get little rest but the blessings are great as every week we have the opportunity to partner up with groups from all over the US, serving alongside new friends and brothers & sisters in Christ in and around our community of La Mision. I'm looking forward to a GREAT summer season!

I am incredibly thankful that as volunteers here, we have the liberty to pursue our own individual passions and callings... and while orphanage responsibilities are the priority and come first, I've been able to feel out, over the last 2.5 years and step into other various ministry opportunities in our area as well. I still work very closely with the Women's Rehab Center in Tijuana and try to get up there every couple of weeks at least, as time allows. I've been trying to get up to the Breakfast Club in the dump area of Tijuana more and more regularly as well. That ministry, where they serve now up to 300 hot meals a day, has continued to grow and flourish and I love going to see how God is moving and working up there in that community! I've also stayed busy with the worship group, prayer teams, etc at our local church. My church family here in La Mision is such a blessing and they make me feel at home.

Lastly, I have been working with some other missionary friends in our valley, Chad & Erin Fransen, to develop and prepare a new ministry here in La Mision... It is something very exciting and dear to my heart, which after months and months of preparing and praying and working should be up and running in the next few weeks, when I will dedicate an entire post to presenting it to everyone!

Thanks again for all of the prayers and support! As always, I welcome feedback, questions, comments, "HELLO!"s, etc... LOVE to all!

Monday, August 23, 2010

...aqui estoy...todavia... :)


I realize that another 4 months has gone by since I last updated. I tend to get overwhelmed with everything that I'd like to share - about experiences and all I've been up to since my last update - that eventually I just give up trying. haha....

But I've received some reminders that people actually do WANT to know what's going on down here and in my life, and I am ridiculously thankful for all of the love and support and am going to just give a bit of a photo-update on some of the things that have been keeping me busy lately! :)

HOUSE BUILDING PROGRAM: As you may already know, we have a really rad program down here where visiting groups can come down, stay on site and build houses for families in our community. Since DJ & Lynette have been passing through various trials in their lives (keep them in your prayers!) I have been helping run this program, and since January of this year, we've had 7 houses built for families in our town!

While this is a huge responsibility, it has been an enormous blessing - Not only in watching the lives of these local families be blessed and touched in an incredible way, but also watching the visitors be transformed as they come down and live out the love of Christ in serving others. It's awesome to see relationships develop between the visiting groups and the families, and as a result, many of the local families have become Christians. I have made quite a few new friends in our community as well!

A group from Ohio/Kentucky building a house for a local family out of block

Jorge, Maricela and their 2 daughters received a new home this summer!

A DOFO group in front of a freshly-built house for a family in town. This group comes down for 2 weeks every summer and builds TWO homes while here!

ENGLISH CLASSES: In the beginning of this year, I began teaching free English classes twice a week for anyone wanting to learn in our community. They were originally meant for adults only, but I couldn't say no to the children who also wanted to learn English! We ended the first "semester" at the beginning of summer with about 15 students regularly attending, and I will soon be picking up with the classes again come September.
(If anyone has any pointers/resources for ESL classes, I could really use it! I've never done anything like this before and am just kinda feeling my way through. It's tough!)

Here I am teaching a class... We have them in our local church, an hour at a time, twice a week.

With 2 regular class attendees, Armando & Fernando

REHAB CENTER: As I've talked about before, I've always really had a heart for the Christian drug & alcohol rehabilitation centers in our community (we have 2 for men in our town) and try to help them out however/whenever possible. Last year, God lead me to a woman's rehab center in Tijuana, where I've been developing a relationship with the director, Maria, as well as consistently taking food, supplies and most importantly - the Word of God. I try to go once a week to give a Bible study, pray with the women, and just spend time talking with Maria. God has really challenged and blessed me through this ministry and I LOVE being able to be a small part of what He is doing in these homes!

Here's me with the director, Maria! I love her!

This is the outside of the home, in Tijuana. There are currently about 20 women living here.

VARIOUS OTHER MINISTRIES: Besides these regular things I've been involved with, we have a very busy schedule at the orphanage. As American volunteers, our primary responsibility is hosting visitors -both people just dropping by to see the place, and full on short-term missions trips, which are usually anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks in length. We love having visitors, so I, as always, just want to throw out there that you all are more than welcome to come see us - just let me know!

I've also been keeping busy with our local church! It is my second family and from baby showers to birthday parties to weddings to youth group to regular services, there is always something going on at church, and I can usually be found there if I'm not here at DOFO. :)

Here's my roommate, Lauren and I with out Mexican parents, and the local Pastors, Gustavo & Elizabeth Pacheco!

I am also currently in the process of planning a quincenera (HUGE traditional birthday party for a young girl on her 15th b-day) and helping to plan and set up a really great youth event that will be happening at a church in Ensenada on October 2nd! Youth from churches from Tijuana all the way to Ensenada and beyond will be invited and Lauren and I have been asked to teach as well as help advertise the event! Please join us in prayer for that!

SO - there is a taste of what's been keeping me busy lately. I promise to try and update more frequently from here on out. :) I love you all and would LOVE to hear from each of you! (jarilyn.wilson@gmail.com) Thanks again for all of the continued prayers and support!

Monday, April 19, 2010

... Sigo adelante ...

6 Months have gone by since my last post!!!!

I can't believe it has been so long, and yet I can. :)

This HUGE gap is partially due to the busy non-stop roller-coaster that has been my life for the past 6 months, and partially because I just feel like a gap this long deserves some major explaining and catching-up, and I've maybe been putting it off. :)

So - those being my only explanations, some updates:

* I moved back to Orange County from Mexico in December 2009 into my old apartment. I was really praying over whether this move would be permanent or not, due to my financial situation in Mexico (I'd saved enough $ to get through my initial 6 months at the orphanage, and the last half of the year, God miraculously had been providing for those needs each month, but the funds had run dry at that point) But a series of circumstances lead me back to the OC and God hadn't yet revelaed to me whether or not it was a permanent move.
BUT - over the course of that month, doors just kept opening for me to return to Mexico, which was SWEET cuz I knew my heart was still there, and that's where I wanted to be. So - I worked for a couple weeks, spent some quality time with friends and family then officially moved all my stuff down to Mexico Christmas day 2009.

* January brought us intense flooding in our tiny town of La Mision. It rained for what seemed like weeks on end and our little river valley was overwhelmed by all that water!
The orphanage itself was not affected, besides transportation becoming a bit difficult, but our local church and many local families were under water for some time.
It was a difficult time for many, but it was amazing to see the response of our community in coming together to help friends and neighbors in a crisis!

The La Mision valley, covered in water

Our church, Templo Elim. At one point it had 3 feet of water running through it.

The church dining hall literally all filled up.

Erin and I working to clean all the mud out of the medical clinic at the church.

* Easter weekend was, as always, full of church services and celebration over the life, death and RESURRECTION of Jesus! We had special services where some of our children performed an amazing, heart-wrenching drama over the death and resurrection of Christ (which I was blessed by being able to sing in!) and then had a 5AM sunrise service on Sunday morning. Sunday Afternoon we packed up our kids and staff and joined our church family along with 3 other local churches at a nearby swimming pool for baptisms and a picnic!
2 of our older girls were baptised, along with many other people from our community and afterwards, we had an amazing time of swimming, eating and hanging out in a GREAT community of people.
Most of us were still at the pool when the 7.2 earthquake struck Mexicali, and we all were stunned to feel and SEE the ground move so strongly and for so long! Thankfully, there was no damage or major freaking out (besides that of myself - because we all know I am deathly afraid of earthquakes) and our kids had a blast when the water started waving about because of the shaking!

The only picture I have of the kids in their drama at church. The costumes and set were amazing!

My boss DJ and our pastor Gustavo baptizing someone in our church family.

Having fun swimming after baptisms!

Besides all the natural disasters, we have been super busy with hosting visiting groups, working alongside other local ministries, and day to day life in the orphanage.

The next few posts will update you on things that I personally have been involved with since returning to Mexico and I promise that they will come sooner than in another 6 months!

As always, thank you all for your love and support and I'd love to hear from you: Jarilyn.wilson@gmail.com
Financial support or packages (:)) can be sent to me at:
P.O. Box 6434, Chula Vista, CA 91909 OR at the paypal link to the left.

Paz y Amor!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

... ... ...

love is not a victory march - its a cold and its a broken hallelujah

Thursday, October 1, 2009

...buena vida...

It has been a long time. I want to try to put up a few smaller blogs that might encompass a large part of the last couple months.

So - one thing that has kept me pretty busy of late is helping to get the new dorm building at Buena Vida (the other orphanage in our town) ready for the kids to move in.

I've been talking things over with Norma, the new AWESOME American volunteer at Buena Vida, about all her decorating/fund raising/activity planning ideas for the orphanage and it has been exciting to be able to brain-storm with her. Multiple visiting groups have had a part in getting this dorm built and painted and tiled, etc. and it has been fun to see it come together. It is cool because with this new dorm, the orphanage will be able to care for more children, both boys and girls, and of all ages.

Well, last weekend I spent 2 entire days painting Bible Verses and decorative things on the freshly painted walls, as well as helping the girls get all their stuff moved over. The girls spent their first night in the new dorm Friday night and then Saturday we had a dedication service to pray over the new dorm building with some of our church family.

Pray for these kids and that their lives would be blessed by Norma and the new dorm building and that God would protect them all and provide for this orphanage always.

Here are some photos of the new dorm and also some of my painting project.

Hallway in the entrance to the dorm:

Me, in action:

My finished "textos":

Finished dorm:

Everyone who attended the dedication service: