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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

...Highlights from the last few weeks...

So Christmas at an orphanage is INSANE, let me tell you. Weeks of non stop preparation and decorating and organizing groups and events and numerous Santa Claus visits. (I think we had 4 Santas come down this year).

Various groups will buy gifts for all of our kids and come to down to distribute them. So it's pretty cool that on top of the gifts that come rolling in for Christmas day, our kids get to open presents for weeks before too.

And then there are various church services, school events and what-not. But it was all worth it, and consensus says that our kids had a GREAT Christmas.

On the night before Christmas Eve, everyone at the orphanage gathers for a Christmas service (ie: Talent Competition) here on site. It was so cute! All of the kids dressed up and sang and danced and performed dramas.

This was my favorite. All the littlest boys danced around with antlers and red noses to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - amazing.

After the services, we had a feast of tamales and buñuelos and more amazing things. We had decorated the kitchen beforehand and it was such a fun environment with everyone still dressed up from the service!

Making tamales:

Then for New Years Eve, we took our oldest kids to a service at our church in town, where we all gathered together and prayed in the New Year as a church. After that, we ate food, drank champurrado and had piñatas til 2AM! It was a fun way to celebrate the coming of the New Year! I LOVE celebrating with our kids!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/17: Tenemos Un Rio Grande

There is a riverbed that runs through the orphanage property and out through the La Mision valley. It is usually full of rocks and trash, but little else, especially not water. Some of the staff here refer to it as "El Rio Grande", which I would laugh at as it seemed impossible for it to ever contain any water, let alone enough to actually flow. I was definitely proved wrong last week as we had three straight days of rain. The rain created problems and became quite annoying, but I must say that a river across the road from my house is pretty nice to have.

What's really cool is that if the river is flowing, it is coming from an awesome waterfall in the back of our valley. Of course, a few of us couldn't resist hiking up to see it, even in the rain. It was BEAUTIFUL up there!

(that little white dot to the left of the waterfall is one of our older boys who hiked all the way up there!!)

Meanwhile, the rain was doing a number on some of the buildings on our property, including the house that Lauren and I live in. We first noticed that one of our walls contained big pockets full of water underneath the paint, which was odd enough. But then we realized that the water was coming from INSIDE of our electrical wall box. Water was leaking and dripping through all of the electric wiring for our house. fortunately someone was able to lay a tarp across our entire roof to stop the leak temporarily before our house caught on fire.

We also have a LARGE sheer cliff rising up about a foot away from the back of our house. Rain + cliffs = no bueno. Lauren and I would not be defeated - we busted out a bottle of sparkling cider and toasted the adventure of living in Mexico, over the uneven rhythm of rocks and mud and dirt falling down against our house.

Supposedly the "biggest storm of the year" is still headed our way. Pray for God's protection over this place, as I'm not sure that we can handle much more water. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

11/25 - 12/1: P-TOWN!!!

So the trip to Portland was AMAZINGly awesome. (Thanks V&R for everything!)
It was coooooold as always, but while it poured here in Mexico, we had clear blue skies in P-town almost the entire time! It was absolutely beautiful up there!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Val's fam, complete with some of the BEST food ever! (Thanks Ken & Karen!!)

We even got to meet up with Lay & Chen for a day and trek around the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen! And you could walk on top, around and in BACK of them! It was such a fun day! (Especially meeting Lay's family - who are perfect and better than I could've ever imagined :))

It was great to see, and just get to hang out with, VAL! I love and miss her MUCHO!

It was a great trip - complete with Powell's, Haunted Pizza, East Portland, Mt. Hood in the distance, Chloe & Mia - and I can't wait for the next one! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


...At least for a little while...

As my boss says, it's not like he can fire me for taking time off after only being here a month... haha

Tomorrow morning I am leaving DOFO super early and heading to the 951 to see mi amigos y mi familia for a couple days. Then I head to the OC to see mi otro familia. Then Tuesday I FINALLY get to fly to Portland to see VAL-erina y su familia! (i have been waiting for this trip forever!)

So - all that to say - there will be no blogging for a week or so, but fear not for I shall return! And I know I will miss my ninos very VERY much!

Happy Thanksgiving-time! I am thankful for you all!

Friday, November 21, 2008


This past week homesickness has been hitting me especially hard. maybe because i've been sick and had no one to take care of me. maybe because much has been going on in my head and in my heart. MAYBE because i will be there soon and can not WAIT! This is home to me..........

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

...El Otro Lado...

On Monday Lauren and I went up to "The Other Side", as they call the United States around these parts. :)

The line at the border crossing was the worst I've seen yet, and took us almost 3 hours! Mexico was celebrating a holiday that day (The 20th of November = some type of Independence Day) so we anticipated that the line would be longer but still.... it was brutal....

We started out getting re-routed through Tijuana 4 times before actually making it to the line...

we were still in good spirits at that point...

3 hours later, however.......

But it was a good day. I like having cell phone reception every once in a while and being able to text and call people. And of course, after running orphanage errands we are able to stop for all of the necessities....

(yes - we did them both in one day. in one HOUR in fact.)

We were actually able to get back across the border before dark this time, and stopped at our local beach in time to see the sunset...

Friday, November 14, 2008

...ocupado ocupado ocupado...

A lot has happened in the past week or so that I've been meaning to post. but it's been a crazy week, and it has kicked my butt.
so i will attempt to catch up now. :)

First, last Friday, Lauren and I hosted a movie night at our house for one of the childrens' dorms. We want to eventually have one for each dorm, but this first one was with the 3 - 8 year old girls. We watched Mary Poppins in español. We had popcorn and cookies and went and personally picked the girls up in our pajamas (they were all wearing theirs too!) It was a big to-do! We had so much fun, although everyone was sleeping by the middle of the movie. :)

Also on Friday night, 2 of our 4 groups of the weekend showed up. One of which we were not expecting, so we had to quickly get the campground ready for them (which involves getting them water and propane), which turned out fine.

On Saturday, 3 different groups covered all 3 meals for the staff and kids, which was AWESOME. We had eggs, bacon and sausage, we had carne asada BBQ and then pizza! (the kids LOVE pizza. and there is a local man in town who brings his own oven to the orphanage to make them on-site. different people sponsor this activity and it is the kids' favorite meal!) Saturday and Sunday was full of group activities and projects, and then Sunday the groups left just before we loaded up the kids for church.

Sunday to Monday we had another group of a little over 100 people on site from Las Vegas. It was a High School Youth Group and they provided funds for our Pastor's wife to come cook a carne asada dinner (which was amazing).

Lauren, Brendan, Sarah, Grace (Brendan & Sarah's awesome 2 year old) and I also took a shopping trip to Ensenada on Monday. It was my first time in Ensenada, and I pretty much love it there.

Then Wednesday, I made 6 birthday cakes! 6! haha Thankfully we didn't have to make all of the cupcakes as well this time, since a visiting group had brought a HUGE cake that we were able to hand out to everyone else! I love birthdays! It is a Mexican tradition that you get to take the first bite out of your cake, while everyone else around you tries to push your face in the cake. Some of the 6 birthday-kids weren't strong enough to hold off everyone else this time! haha
(I thought I had a picture, but i can't find it) :(

Today, the first of 3 weekend groups are coming in. Sarah and Lauren and I are taking a quick trip to Puerto Nuevo to get some Christmas shopping done before they get here. The Vineyard church of Anaheim is bringing a large group this weekend - and since that is DJ's home church, it will be a special weekend for him to have many friends on site. We also have a college softball team providing dinner tonight! (I love when groups bring food!) and then 2 more groups roll in tomorrow morning!

All that to say, it should be another eventful weekend and I am excited! I still love it here, and hope you all are WELL!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


so today sucks. and it's only 1 o'clock.
This morning there were tensions and major control issues going on at our staff meeting.
but i've been trying to convince myself that it's not that big of a deal and not to get upset. UNTIL.....

My dog died. about 15 minutes ago. they think he drank water with some antifreeze in it and some kids found him in a restroom barking and foaming at the mouth. then he started seizing and they sent someone in to "put him down". I couldn't stick around after that.

pray for today. for my attitude and energy. and my heart after my doggy died. he's been my constant, loyal companion for 3 weeks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

...love in a bracelet...

when i first got here, I commented on how many colorful bracelets my roommate Lauren had crammed onto both of her wrists... she replied with something like "when the kids start making you bracelets, you know that they really love and accept you...."

i got my first bracelet on saturday! haha i was Stoked! i mean - i have a good time with the kids... and they've even been having a better time with saying my name lately... but this was a bracelet! This was the dropping of walls and accepting me with open arms! i may be over analyzing this a tad, but still - it was a pretty big event. :)

my internet has been pretty spotty all day, so it's taking forever - i will attempt to write more later!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

there’s still a little bit of your taste in my mouth

there’s still a little bit of you laced with my doubt

it’s still a little hard to say what's going on

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

learning spanish and making cupcakes


I spent a huge part of yesterday helping one of the older girls with her English homework... Ana is 14, and I'm pretty sure she was attempting to coerce me into DOING the homework FOR her, but she quickly realized that wouldn't work. which meant that both of us had to use an online translator to communicate with each other and to figure out what exactly the directions were telling us to do. needless to say, this involved much time and maybe a little frustration, but we got it all done, and it ended up being just as much of a Spanish lesson for me as an English lesson for Ana. :)

Door of Faith has a tradition where each child's birthday is celebrated with their own homemade cake! All of the other kids also get cupcakes on each birthday. Today we had 2 birthdays, so Lauren and I spent the entire afternoon baking birthday cakes and cupcakes. It's a lot of work, but the kids LOVE it!

This morning, I also woke up early to see some of the kids off to school! Each day, our school age children make up a large part of the population of the 6 different public schools in the area. I can't begin to tell you how precious all the kids are lined up in their school uniforms and with their oversized, colorful backpacks! I hope to take better pictures of this soon!

This weekend we are hosting 4 groups on site, and providing projects for them all, so the next few days will be insane as we prepare for their arrival! But I am excited as this will be my first "weekend of insanity", as one of the other staff members calls it. :) I will post more SOON!!! :)

Here is a fun picture with some of the kids who frequent our living room... Jesus, Cinthia and Angelina. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hola Mi Amigos!!

Hello Everyone! I'd like to first apologize for being in Mexico for almost an entire week already and not updating the blog until now! I quickly learned that life here is pretty non-stop and that this will be like no work I have done before.

I have gotten all settled into my new house and I absolutely love my new roommate, Lauren. I have also already adopted a dog! :)

So far we have had no visiting groups since I've been here, but have a good deal of people scheduled to come down in the next few weeks. For now, I am thankful that I've gotten to spend the days getting to know the 120+ children living here, the Mexican staff and my co-missionaries. (There are 6 of us Americans working for DOFO in all)

It has been tough not knowing Spanish, but the kids are GREAT and patient teachers, so hopefully I'll be able to verbally communicate in no time!

I am committed to making blogging a regular part of my days (as often as possible at least) and am excited to share with you all the day-to-day happenings here at the orphanage.

I sincerely and GREATLY appreciate all of the encouragement and support, both financial and through prayer. I am happy to share that I have almost raised enough to stay an entire 6 months, and I could not have done it without you!! The plan is to stay indefinitely - as long as God provides for me to - and I am stoked that so many of you have decided to share in the journey with me!

I will post more very soon, and as always, feel free to email me! I'd love to hear from you (Jarilyn.wilson@gmail.com) I love and miss you all so much!

Here are some pictures of my new home!!

My house:

My dog, Che:

My new, LOUD neighbors - haha!!:

p.S. - I miss Office Thursdays already.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dearest Loved Ones :),

I pray that this letter finds you healthy and happy. It has been far too long since I have spoken to many of you, and I know that rumors have been spreading about me and my whereabouts. “Jare is moving to New York! She is going back to Africa! She is staying home and going to grad school!” These rumors have all been spread by my own tongue, as all of these options have been recently on my mind at one point or another.

But I wanted to let you all in on the final decision as to where my life will be taking me next! I am going to live and work at Door of Faith Orphanage in Baja, Mexico (www.dofo.org). I plan on relocating as soon as Mid-October and am very excited about the opportunity.

For the past couple of years, I have been visiting, volunteering at, and transporting supplies to Door of Faith in La Mision, Mexico, which is a rural town right in between Rosarito and Ensenada in Baja. Over my frequent day trips to the orphanage, I have gotten to know the directors and staff well, and during my last visit, we all talked about what it might look like for me to move down there and help out with some existing, and some new parts of their organization. At first, I thought “There’s no way! It’s not the right timing! I just CAN’T!” But as time goes on, and my prayers seek more and more what GOD wants for my life, regardless of whether or not I think it is correct or ideal, it has become clear to me that this opportunity is not to be passed up.

Hundreds of visitors a year go to volunteer their time and resources to DOFO’s existing ministries, and I will be helping to make their time comfortable, organized and fulfilling. It will be challenging and stretching work, but I am confident that God provides us with all we need when we follow His leading; and I truly believe that He is leading me to Door of Faith.

I invite you to share this journey with me. While I can provide accommodations for visitors and will GLADLY welcome anyone wishing to visit, I also need support – both financially and prayerfully.

Whether you can make a one-time monetary donation, or can commit to providing monthly support (for however long and for however much you feel comfortable), I would greatly appreciate it. I have committed to staying for at least 3 months, but anticipate staying as long as is financially possible. I have calculated my monthly expenses (including insurance, car payment, and student loans) to be approximately $500 a month.

I will also need much prayer: That God will lead me towards projects and relationships that HE has ordained; That visitors coming to volunteer their time and resources will leave with transformed lives and hearts; That God will reveal to me his long-term plan for my involvement with DOFO, but that I will be patient for HIS timing.

And I will also commit to provide you with frequent updates surrounding my work in Baja, complete with pictures and adventure details! I will also be maintaining a this blog of my time in Mexico, so be sure to check it regularly!

If you have ANY questions or just wanna chat, PLEASE call or email me. (951) 323-2330; Jarilyn.wilson@gmail.com Should you wish to mail me a monetary donation, my mailing address is (and will remain) 524 Clubhouse Ave., Apt. C, Newport Beach, CA 92663. You can also click on the "Donate Now" link below to make a donation directly to my Paypal account from yours!

I love you and appreciate your prayer and love and support more than you could know!