Wednesday, April 29, 2009

CHILDREN´S DAY FUN

SAN LUIS UPDATE:
NUMBER OF SWINE FLU CASES REPORTED: O


This past Saturday we were able to take the Bethel and Oasis kids to a Christian Circus put on every year by the Assemblies of God. The kids enjoyed the chance to get out and have fun all together. They were privileged to see Coco and His Gang, a famous Christian ventriloquist in Mexico. Our daughter Kendi got to go on stage and be a part of the show! It was a special blessing as now because of the swine flu scare, all other Children´s days activities have been canceled. April 30 is Children´s day here in Mexico, and it is usually a big deal, but this year most children will be in their homes, missing out on the usual parties, circuses, carnivals and other events common at this time. Pray for Mexico´s children, and for all the needy people who make a living working at public events, most of which have been canceled all over the country.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

SWINE FLU

First it was the narcos, now it is the swine flu. I am getting many concerned inquiries about what is happening in San Luis with this new outbreak. Believe you me, it has many of us a little nervous, but at this time, there has not been any confirmed cases here in San Luis nor in the entire state of Sonora. The federal government, in an attempt to get the spread of the disease under control, has ordered all schools, public and private, to be closed till May 6. They have also made many recomendations to help avoid receiving the virus, including frequent hand washings, avoidance of any physical contact (hand shakes, hugs and kisses) and staying away from crowds. Our city and state government has complied with the federal orders as a preventitive measure, though there are no cases here. Right now we are all doing fine, but wondering what are we going to do with 45 kids on a 9 day vacation, without a group!

My opinon on this is they are making a major mountain out of what will probably end up to be a molehill. There have been deaths in Mexico, but most of those have been attributed to people who neglected to get treatment, thinking they could tough it out on their own. Because of pride, ignorance or lack of decent care, some have succombed to the disease. For the most part, those that have sought treatment are doing fine as if they were going through any other common flu. Frankly, I am more worried about what this nationwide shutdown will do to the already unstable economy here. Please pray for Mexico, San Luis and Caring Hearts. We are trusting God for his protection and wisdom during this time, and know that His best will come through for us.

If you are planning to come down to Mexico in the near future, again, as I said with the narco problem, ask yourself if you are called. Let God guide you as you decide. A virus is much more unpredictable than the drug war, so I can´t tell you what it will be like tomorrow, let alone two or three weeks from now. One day there were a few cases in Mexico, the next day there were cases in 5 American states, Canada, Spain, even Israel! While here in San Luis, there is nothing reported. That could change tomorrow. I will be following the San Luis news to let you know of any new developments. If God has called you to come, trust Him and come, He will protect you or bring you through the storm, whatever is best for you. Trust Him!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SANTA VISITS SAN LUIS


Our good friend Santa Claus vacationed this spring in San Luis. He heard it was real hot here, so he wanted to REALLY get away from the frigid temps at the North Pole. He agreed to take pictures with all of Caring Hearts and the groups that were visiting us. You can see them at this address:




Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ROSITA IN ACTION

I found this video on my camera and thought some of you would enjoy it. It is Rosita at the olympics her new school held, participating in a race.
video

OASIS GRADUATE







We were proud to proclaim our first Oasis Graduate a couple of Sundays ago. Baudilio had been at the boy's home since he was 14, and though he struggled in school, he did well with the votech training. The best of all is that he received Jesus Christ in his heart and was involved in ministry with the young people. He is almost 18, but he decided it was time to go and help his single mother in Mexicali. Please pray that he will continue down the path of the Lord and that he will live what he has learned at Oasis.

NEW BASS PLAYER


Luis from the boy's home has been learning to play the bass guitar with Eleazar. They played together in public for the first time at last Sunday's church service. We praise the Lord that our young people are tapping into their talents and letting God use them for his glory.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SOME OF OUR SHUT INS


Sister Ines Ibarra - Shut In Ministry

The Sonlight Church group did two days of ministry with Ines and our shut ins. This ministry always moves me. These are the poorest of the poor, of any country. They have no social security, welfare or anything. Tim Burgan from CTV came with us one day and said every group should participate. I am praying we can find a sponsor for Ines so she can do the work she does full time, she is a real saint. Here we see Jose, who was severely burned and now lives as a recluse in a vacant lot. Is appearance is unusual, and he has be ostracized by his neighbors. Ines and Caring Hearts are the only ones who show him the love of Christ. The other pictures are of Alfonso and his daughter who is severely handicapped mentally. In all her life the only thing she has said is "Ta Ta Ta". He is in his late 80s, she is in her 60s. They too have little or no means of support. They live on the groceries Inez can get from the government and catholic charities. Pray for Inez and our shut in ministry, pray that we can play a bigger role in helping these desparate people.


APRIL REPORT 3


While we were hosting the Sonlight Church, my good friend Tim Burgan and his son Chris came to town to produce an episode of the Rescuers Program. Rescuers is a look at what God is doing through missions all over the world. Tim is working on a new series of 13 which will start airing in the fall. We will let you know when our program is going to air on CTV. While here Tim and Chris took some good still shots, here are some of our kids.

APRIL REPORT 2

After our dual group, a small group of 5 from Sonlight Church from Chesapeake Virginia came in to bless Caring Hearts. We had our first ever mechanic work shop with the boys of Oasis, and it went great. The ladies baked and did crafts with the Bethel kids. They also visited shut ins, the nursing home and dump. Pastor Hershel Adams preached in three churches. Here are a couple of testimonies and some photos.

It has been amazing to see how strong and beautiful the love of Jesus is here in San Luis. I learned so much on how to minister to my own community and neighbors back home. Thank you for opeing my eyes Jesus. The shut in ministry and the nursing home both touched my heart. I pray my eyes will be opened wider than ever for every opportunity to love like Jesus loves and serve my neighbors in any way possible. God bless you all. - Kathy

I am leaving a big piece of my heart here in San Luis, and it can be found at Caring Hearts. I cannot put into words what I have experienced here other than to say that the children are precious, and the staff works harder than anyone I have ever seen to insure they are taken care of. My thanks to the staff of Caring Hearts for the love you show every one of these kids. - Brenda

APRIL REPORT PART ONE

Are you ready for a Blogathon? I am finally getting all my stuff together to bombard the CHM blog with info and pictures that will bless your socks off. Enjoy the next few reports, tell your friends and let us know what you think.

First off, I want to tell you about our week with Grove City College and Belle Vernon Christian Center. These two groups worked together to bring the gospel to young and old in San Luis. Grove City did an Easter Vacation VBS at the soup kitchen and Bethel. They had a nice program which used Dora the Explorer - Hey, Dora Diego and Swiper all get saved! You can't beat that! Belle Vernon did a wonderful YWAM drama "Doors" throughout the city, reaching hundreds with a powerful presentation of the Gospel. Both groups worked together to paint the Eden School and church and also ministered in Rehab Centers. It was a busy week full of blessings. Here are some testimonies for you:

This is my third trip to San Luis. Every experience is more amazing than the last. I am a shy person, and it took three trips for me to finally share my testimony. I did it at the prison. I spoke of Exodus 4:10-12. God told Moses to go to Pharaoh. He said he wasn't eloquent of speech, but God said he had a message for him. I had a message to share about how much God loves each and every one of them. When Ken gave his testimony, it was like he was speaking my life story. I wished I was more outgoing...but never really prayed for it. Now I will pray for boldness. I will let God work through me. Ken's testimony surely pierced my heart! - Amy, Belle Vernon

This was my first mission trip and it definitely will not be the last! Caring Hearts is so welcoming and loving. Even San Luis. The people are so open and willing to allow you to help them come closer to God. Hundreds of people's lives were changed just from one week and one group. One of those lives is mine. I will never be able to wake up one day without thinking about the children of San Luis. - Sarah, Belle Vernon

It never ceases to amaze me how alive the people in San Luis are. The presence of the Lord is so ever present here. As much as we minister to the Mexican people while we are here, they influence us just as much. We met the needs of many adults and children especially their needs for salvation. San Luis has a special place in my heart! - Bob, Grove City

This was my second time on a trip to Bethel and I have felt so blessed to be a part of the ministry here. I have grown (very quickly!) to love each and everyone of the amazing kids of San Luis. The Lord is in this place. The brothers and sisters who make Caring Hearts possible are truly following the call to be His hands and feet; to be a light in a dark place. As a young believer, the men and woman here have been amazing role models for the faith and I am forever thankful for their example to me. Caring Hearts touches the lives of many people in San Luis - children and adults - but they also touch the lives of other believers who see the love of God through their work. I only hope I have blessed people here half as much as the people of San Luis and Caring Hearts have blessed me. - Alicia, Grove City

Being here at Bethel has without a doubt been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The children here have such joy that is contagious, and there is something so special about this place. I felt so close to God whil I was here, and he is definitely present in San Luis and at Bethel. You can see His love in these precious children. I feel so blessed to have been here and it is breaking my heart to leave. I will definitely be back! - Kaity, Grove City

This is my second year at Bethel Orphanage with Grove City College, and it has been amazing to see what God has done since I have been here last. Once again the people of San Luis have taught and impacted me in wayt that I never thought possible. I have learned so much about self-sacrifice,sincerity and true joy in the Lord from interaction with the people here. The thing that impacted me most is the difference between the children here and in the U.S. The children at that orphanage and the boy's home seem so sincere in their faith. They are so joyful and grateful for everything they have, in spite of their circumstances. Watching the joy on their faces as they sing song and play games is absolutely amazing. I have never seen anything comparable in the States! Overall this trip was a truly wonderful experience and I truly hopee to return again. - Katie, Grove City

This week has been an amazing journey. I loved all the kids and everyone works here. I barely slapt at all but the joy from the kids kept me going. Everyone was so receptive here. The people here are much more open than in the United States. They welcome you with open arms and sincerely care about you. Everyone in the drug rehab centers and the prison were so thankful that we came. They wanted to pray for us rather than we pray for them. The boys at Oasis are great kids and good at soccer (even though we beat them). I felt God working in my life during this trip, it made me realize how commercialized America is. People here are so content they have nothing. this has been an awesome experience for me and I thank the people of Caring Hearts for everything. - Matthew, Grove City

I learned how materialistic and selfish I was even though I never thought I was before. The kids and the boys at Oasis are so giving and selfless even though they have much less. So often we take what we have for granted, but I will try not to do this anymore. This week inspired me to try to live more for Jesus, to set and establish meaningful goals for my life and follow through on them. - Daniel, Grove City

This is my third year coming to San Luis with Caring Hearts. I am never disappointed when I come here. Everytime is different and always changes my life. I wait all year to come back. I am always overwhelmed by the love these kids have to share. The boys at Oasis especially overwhelm me because they may look tough but many are softies and just long to be loved. It's so amazing to watch and see the difference we make in these kids lives. I hope that I have made their life better and I know they have made mine better! I love this place so much and can't wait to come back! - Brittany, Grove City

My trip to Caring Hearts was wonderful. Spending time with the children was such a blessing. Time at the rehab centers was also amazing, one of the best parts of the trip and most stretching. Watching one of my trip companions form a special bond with one of the children was the highlight of the trip. I pray the children and staff were both blessed along with the community - Erica, Grove City

Enjoy some pictures from this week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

WE'RE STILL HERE!

Hey Everybody!

Sorry I haven't reported for a while, been busy with groups the last two weeks. Lots of fun, but lots of work too. I am now catching up, and will post a slew of reports in the coming days, so keep on checking into YOUR source for Caring Hearts news.

Ken

Thursday, April 9, 2009

MESSAGE FROM PASTOR GARY


As the Pastor leading a trip I was concerned about the reports of violence with the
drug cartels etc. I came very close to canceling, but I read Ken’s Blog explaining that there were no problems in San Luis.

Our week here was as safe and enjoyable as any I’ve ever had. As I was preaching one evening I spoke of God’s authority over the devil and his forces. I was immediately convicted as I realized I hadn’t practiced what I was now preaching.

Of course we have to use wisdom; there are sections of Mexico too hot to travel to right now. But I’m reminded of the story of Elijah and his servant. An army was chasing the Prophet and trapped him in Dothan. In the morning the servant went out and saw a vast army surrounding the city and he cried out to his master. Elijah
said, “Don’t be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elijah prayed for his servant to see with spiritual eyes and when he looked he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elijah. Needless to say they won the battle.

I think about this, “What if we had cancelled?” Hungry people would have gone without the hundreds of pounds of beans & rice we distributed. The 5 church services where people were encouraged and saved would have been diminished. Sick and hurting people in the rehab center, nursing homes and prison would have gone without our music, preaching, love and gifts. Most of all 33 little boys and
girls would have missed out on puppet shows, balloons, stick-on tattoos, face painting, a pizza/birthday party and the hugs, kisses and affection they so desperately need.

I’m no hero and I’ve never been adventurous but, Jesus, Peter, Paul and thousands of other disciples were. Either we serve the God of “Horses and chariots of Fire” or we don’t. After a fruitful week of ministry in San Luis I’ve reached this conclusion: The drug cartels, kidnappers, murderers and thieves should fear US and the God we serve because we come in His name and His power not our own.

Be Blessed

Pastor Gary

SPECIAL NEED

Many of you are friends of our Bible School Director and my right hand man Adalberto. His wife Maria is going through a difficult time, as her father is passing away. She has asked for help with travelling expense so she and her daughter can go to say their final farewell and be with the family during this time. They live in another state and need $400.00 to get there and back. If you want to help us help her during this needy time, please drop us a line. They have been such a blessing for us, it is time we bless them. Please be praying.

POLL RESULTS

Well our poll on the economic crisis is over, and here are the results. 5 people are doing fine despite the crisis and are not too worried about it at this time. The majority, 21, are fine for now but are concerned. The last 5 have been hit hard and are struggling right now. Let us be praying for them, and all those who have lost their jobs or are otherwise going through difficult times. Here in Mexico, everything seems normal, but there are signs of difficult times. More than ever, we are seeing men coming out to our gospel programs to receive rice and beans, men who are probably out of work. Also, the value of the Mexican peso has been going up and down like a yo yo, and that always causes turmoil, especially on the border where dollars and pesos are traded freely. Right now in Caring Hearts we are doing OK, but are mentally preparing for a cut back if things don't get better in the world economy. Please be praying for us and all ministries that rely on free will offerings to do their work.

In our next poll, I want to know WHEN you check out the blog. Is it everyday? Once a week? When I tell you by Facebook? When I tell you by Email? Please take a second and fill out the poll, we want to know more about YOU, because you are Caring Hearts!

NEWS AND NOTES

We are in the midst of a busy week with two group simultaneously working together with us. We have a group from Grove City who are doing VBS programs at the soup kitchen and Bethel. A group from Belle Vernon Christian Center is busy evangelizing in the streets. Together they are painting the Eden school, visiting Rehab Centers, and spending time with the boys and girls of Bethel and Oasis who are on vacation. Pray for us as we trust in God for strength to continue on. We will have testimonies and photos soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

ARIZONA STATE TESTIMONY


Here is a testimony from Maggie who visited us with a group of college students from Arizona State:

One memory that really impacted my life was the garbage dump in Mexico. You could just feel God's presence when we stepped off the van. He was there with us and the people that lived and worked there. People got to give testimonies and pray for the people there. Rachel, Renee, and I got to pray for one girl who was probably about 12 or so. She didn't understand very much English and we didn't speak much Spanish. I asked her in Spanish if I could pray for her and she said yes. We prayed in English and when we were done, she was crying. I know that she felt God's presence and even though she had no idea what we said, I know she knew God was real. With this prayer, God showed me and i think this young girl that He is our father and will forever be our father. Even in awful situations in life where things aren't perfect, He is still proud and supportive of us. I don't know if this girl was a Christian, believed in God, or even had an earthly father present in her life, but I think God was with us in that prayer to tell us He is our Daddy and He always will be.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

WILLAMETTE COMMUNITY CHURCH

We had a first time group from Albany Oregon last month who came hoping to bring a bigger group in the future. They had a great time of ministry at the orphanage, boys home and around town. They sent me this video slide show of their activities. Enjoy!
videoHere is a testimony from their leader Ben Lyon. Wow, we had a tremendous time at Caring Hearts. They did such a great job at providing ministry opportunities and guiding us that in spite of our short time I have a hard time processing everything that happened. We went to the brickyards and did street ministry, the women’s drug rehab center and shared the gospel, the dump to hand out food and more. That on top of the joy of staying right at the Bethel Orphanage in the midst of the kids. The facilities were first class and the ministry was blessed. We have just been home a few days following the first mission’s trip our church has taken in many years. For a church that has done this so few times we are getting very excited by the interest in the good report we have brought back. We appreciate caring hearts work to help us get a heart for missions. It is too soon to say for sure but I believe the good experience we had will lead to a future trip. There was much fear and talk of the dangers of Mexico before we left. We had no problems and felt safer there, largely due to the care of caring hearts, than we did stopping at Venice Beach CA on our way home. Don’t let fear hold you back from going; God is big and goes before us. We will never be the same for having been on this trip. My wife was able to share her testimony at the Drug Rehab center. It was a powerful moment where a lot of hard women got quiet and listened. Afterward I was able to share the Gospel and then talk with one girl in particular named Reyna. She had wandered from the Lord and was obviously moved to return. She talked of losing her joy to drugs. I believe God broke through and touched her heart during that couple of hours. Our teen girls that were with us also got a chance to be stretched and grow in their relationship with God. They did clowns at our street ministry times even the last time when they felt tired. There is something special about seeing God use you when you feel empty. They did a great job and have come home with an excitement to minister. God is good and blessed us deeply through a wonderful mission’s experience. Thanks to Ken, Adalberto, and the rest of caring hearts staff,

ROSITA'S OLYMPIC GAMES


Here is a picture of Rosita with her brother Luis at the St. Joseph Games of the Kino Institute, her junior high school. She participated on the red team, who won first prize as a team. Saturday they ran a marathon for 30 blocks, Luis came in first. We are happy with the progress Rosita is making in her new school. It has been a challenge, but she is rising up to face it.

SONLIGHT MISSIONS

We were blessed once again with a small and hard working group from Sonlight Missions from Uniontown PA. Led by Bill and Sharon Layhue, this group built an extension to the Soup Kitchen, painted and put new curtains at Jesse's church, and ministered at the orphanage and around town. It was a blessing to have them. Here are some testimonies and pictures:

I came here with intentions of working because the group needed a mason. I have been brought up in a Christian family all my life. But I can not say that I have always lived my life for Christ. I have strayed from the path of God many times, and some times been so far in the dark I thought the light of day would never be seen again. When we sat in the kitchen and listened to one of the most compelling testimonies I have ever hearde by Adalberto, it spoke to me in ways I can't write on this paper. God has really worked on me these few days. He has broken me down piece by piece from the inside out. This would not have happened so soon if I had not come. I am returning to the states a changed person. - Josh

My parents have been coming to San Luis for quite some time. I finally made it here and I feel so fortunate. The people of San Luis have blessed me more than I could have envisioned. I can't wait to come back. - Josh

I came to try to be a blessing and God healed my heart while I was here. I know I will be back! this orphanage is a beautiful and blessed place! - Cora

This was my second time here, and again my heart was moved to help the people. To get a closer look at how others live, my eyes are opened to the need around the world for food, Jesus Christ and love. Whether it be the children at the orphanage or the people working at the dump they all need love from us and love from the Lord. It is a privileged to be able to help them as much as we did. I was overjoyed to spend the week with people who love the Lord and have a heart to serve but I was especially thrilled to have my oldest son join us on this trip. I'll see you again next year if not sooner to help any way I can. - Janet

It was a great trip. Our son came with us this time and he loved it. We have been hoping he would get a chance to come. Everything here runs so smoothly you guys are doing a great job here and the Oasis kids all seem so happy and the boys do also. You are such a blessing. - Sharon



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