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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!