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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!!