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from tijuana to rio

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Last Saturday, I had the privilege of going with Nick & Tess Mendoza and several other incredible people to visit the Casa Hogar orphanage in Tijuana.  Members from the Turning Point have been visiting and supporting the work there for the last couple of years.  The Mendozas lead a team of people to go down every four to six weeks. 

It was so good for my heart to see spend time with the kids there.  Even though my Spanish is horrible, they really don’t care.  I spent a long time with two of the boys letting them teach me to count to 100 in Spanish, and then helping them count in English.  I find it so interesting to watch how the different kids respond in such different ways.  Some of the kids are warm, affectionate, joyful.  Others are reserved, withdrawn, cautious.  But even the cautious ones are watching carefully to see when it is safe to reach out, to love and be loved. 

Freddy & Eva, the people who take care of the orphanage, are doing such an amazing job there.  They recently had their van stolen, but God connected them with someone in Downey who sold them a great 15 passenger van for a fraction of what it was worth.  What a great story. 

On behalf of the Mendozas, thank you to everyone who donated money for this trip.  After buying the food and supplies that they normally buy, the Mendozas were able to use the rest of the money to take all of the kids to see a movie, which only happens once or twice a year for these kids.  We went to see Rio.  Even though it was in Spanish, I think I figured out the story. 

One twelve year old girl named Rosa was so sweet and affectionate.  She hung on to Ana Lopez on one side and me on the other and wouldn’t let us go as we were going into the theater.  I thought about how much love she had to give and how much she just wanted to be close to someone.  It broke my heart to think about my own daughter and how we are together all the time. We have such a great relationship, but I know we take it for granted without realizing it. 

On the drive home, I felt so refreshed and re-inspired by the love and sacrifice of Freddy & Eva.  I am so grateful for people like them who will stretch themselves on behalf of children who have no one to look out for them.  It reminds me of Ephesians 1:4-6…

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.  Eph 1:4-6 (MSG)

God was the first adoptive parent and he wants us to follow his lead in standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.  Thank you Nick & Tess for continuing to pour out your hearts for these kids.  You are such a great example to our entire church. 

Great news…Robby & Robin Noll, who have been going through the adoptive process for the last eight years, got an emergency call last night, and now they have a two year old daughter and six month old son who have been placed in their home!  Lots more on that to come.  We’re headed over there in a few hours to take them dinner and meet the new family members! 

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