Monday, December 15, 2014

Tamara Ramirez's invitation is awaiting your response

Tamara Ramirez would like to connect on LinkedIn. How would you like to respond?
Tamara Ramirez
RN at Hope Hospice
Confirm you know Tamara
You received an invitation to connect. LinkedIn will use your email address to make suggestions to our members in features like People You May Know. Unsubscribe
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact LinkedIn Customer Service.
© 2014, LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct. Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tamara Ramirez's invitation is awaiting your response

Tamara Ramirez would like to connect on LinkedIn. How would you like to respond?
Tamara Ramirez
RN at Hope Hospice
Confirm you know Tamara
You received an invitation to connect. LinkedIn will use your email address to make suggestions to our members in features like People You May Know. Unsubscribe
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact LinkedIn Customer Service.
© 2014, LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct. Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn

Tamara Ramirez
RN at Hope Hospice
San Antonio, Texas Area
I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
- Tamara
Confirm that you know Tamara
You received an invitation to connect. LinkedIn will use your email address to make suggestions to our members in features like People You May Know. Unsubscribe
Learn why we included this.
If you need assistance or have questions, please contact LinkedIn Customer Service.
© 2014, LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct. Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How could we not know our neighbor? A Lesson From Iganga....

Today our day started at the Prison in Uganda. The same “warden” was there and this time he allowed no photographs! You can all imagine how difficult that was for me. The good news is that there were not many inmates that I recognized which means that many of the men have been released since we last visited in February. Because I had been there before I took the lead, started talking about how we have all made mistakes in our lives and how we are forgiven and allowed second, third and even fourth, fifth and six chances. After that I opened the floor up for questions and we got some really interesting ones. The first one was to explain the differences between the US and Uganda. I started to explain the differences in community. How in America we tend to stay in our houses and not know our neighbors. This concept was so foreign to them. The question kept getting more and more involved as to how this could happen. How could we not know our neighbor? How could we be ignorant if our neighbor needed help? I had nothing to offer because this is one of the things that has always touched my heart about Uganda. That the people are outside communing with their neighbors and though they don’t have much they would give the shirt off their back if needed. We spoke to the men for close to an hour before we moved to the women’s part of the prison.

Thirteen women were currently incarcerated. One of the women had an infant son with her. So his first months of life he’s been raised in a prison. The men had just asked us for help with one of the dorms that was rampant with bed bugs. So in the women’s dorm we were invited to sit on their beds (I have to say we were all privately thinking bugs). Each of the women (ranging in age from 16 to about 50) started sharing their stories. The stories were all heartbreaking. The crimes were such that had they occurred in the US these women wouldn’t even be held for trial. But here at the word of a man, they really didn’t stand a chance. And the terms of confinement are really based on the amount of money they can pay to get out. For some of these women getting any money at all is an impossible task! And most of them have several (more than 5) on the outside depending on them for care! One woman’s husband asked his wife to get a loan so he could start a business. He went away for a while to start the business, but left her pregnant. She sold their bed to pay the rent and the loan payment. While he was gone she had a miscarriage. Her husband returned and demanded that she either return the child (a little hard after a still birth) or he was turning her in to the authorities for theft. Now she is spending her days in prison! We left a pile of underwear for these women who had none of their own. They were really grateful. We will be doing some additional shopping for these women in an attempt to rebuild their dignity.

The day was really good but it was hard too. Seeing the women who have no say and then seeing the kids who are just struggling to stay alive makes you realize just how blessed we are. The women marry so young and really have no voice in what happens after that. They are at the mercy of their husbands who often leave them or bring new wives into the mix. They are always surprised to hear that most of us have only two or three children and that that decision is based on how well we can care for them and provide for them as they grow into adulthood. One of the mothers we visited today had all sorts of tattered clothing on the ground outside of her home. When we asked Agnes why they were there she commented that was where the children probably slept at night. I can’t imagine having my children sleep outside on the ground without any protection. I just love the children of this country and seeing them in these conditions just hurts me. I know I have said this for the past three days, but I believe all children deserve to be loved and cared for. I am so thankful for Wilson and his program. He may not be saving them all but he is saving some!

On a closing note, tonight is the second consecutive day we’ve been without water. Last night I didn’t take a shower and tonight it was no longer an option. Lynda kindly boiled me some water and I was able to mix it with water from the jerry can and honestly it was the first completely hot shower I’ve had. The only drawback was that I had to squat in a bucket!! But now being all clean and sweet smelling it was so worth the effort! So it is off to bed for me. Tomorrow Vicki is going to Idudi to train the Village Health Workers. Lynda and I will be going to Bulubandi to see the kids and work with Julie, then head into the market to buy some items for the women at the prison and then head back out to Kokombo. Our days are long and we often feel like we are on an emotional roller coaster, but in the end we feel we are going where God is leading. At the end of each day, we sit with Yvonne, Kristen and Amy (tonight Brin joined us; she is here with another ministry she has started) at dinner and spend some time talking and laughing! Laughing is always good!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Leaving Tel Aviv

Ok - so it's 3:45 am and our plane boards at 4:05 so I am going to put down a few thoughts until Amsterdam.  First of all let me say that the Israelis miss the Americans.  So many people are not coming because of the war and it has taken its toll on the people.  I think in many ways they feel quite alone and it is heartbreaking to see.  If we didn't accomplish anything else, our presence served as an encouragement in a very difficult time.  Some people were surprised, some taken aback, and some just appreciative - they need our prayers and presence - especially in these days.  The airport is so well run -security is tight but very capable and very efficient.  We went through all the security stops and did the counter check-in within 45 minutes - very strong.  Last night we had dinner at the beach in Tel Aviv - the people are out and doing all their normal things because they have learned to live in adversity. School will begin as always and everyone will continue moving forward in strength, courage, and tenacity.  Israelis do not back down and they do not cower in fear - I think I might be able to learn a little from them in this area.  They trust God with all their heart, soul, might and strength.  They do not seem to fear poverty, war, death, or destruction.  They just keep on moving forward.

When I wanted to pray for a cease fire and peace, they wanted to pray for the strength to finish what they started so that they are not fighting this war again in six months.  There are many prayers that go up from the land for the other nations - we prayed for ours.

Ok boarding soon - gotta go!  Love love you all, Linda

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Well we are nearing the end of our trip and it's difficult to put into words all that we have taken in over the last week and a half.  It has been challenging, strengthening, enriching, enlightening, and convicting.  These people have a resilience that is beyond words.  They know through the prophecies that they are called to come home and more importantly they know it in their hearts.  The faithfulness of these people is unbelievable.  We went on a tour today and were able to drive thru Jewish settlements that began in what is known as the disputed area.  This area has both Israeli soldiers and Arab soldiers guarding the area.  This is property whose boundary lines can very easily change and yet whole communities have put down roots, built homes, schools and synagogues.  These are not particularly safe areas since it is not in the undisputed area of Israel and yet they follow as the Lord leads - amazing. All of the buses in the area are armored and bulletproof.  They have also planted vineyards in some of the dryest most rocky places and they are producing wine out of the fruits of the vine.  There are so many different sects of Judaism - Orthodox, Religious Jews, Conservative and Reformed.  And then there are those who are Jewish who believe in Yeshua - Messianic.  We have been with different Messianic Jews since our arrival and they are all different but the same.  Some of them have made Alleya from the states and they are trying to figure out how much of the traditions they should embrace and how much to let go of.  It seems that where they all land is that they enjoy the freedom they have found in Yeshua so they don't follow specific laws or rituals but they do celebrate Shabbat and the Feasts and Festivals - especially rich since many of them foreshadow Yeshua.   We have been cared for well by everyone we have been in contact with and we have seen God move in some pretty startling ways.  There is a scripture in Isaiah that talks about the Gentile nations helping to bring the Jews back to their homeland.  I think if I had to name only one takeaway - this would be it.  What would God have me do to assist the people finding their way home ~  prayer, service, funds, political alliance?
Before, I would not have known that I had any responsibility but after being here I am convinced that I have a part.  We miss home :)  Heading your way very soon.  Love and blessings, Linda

Isaiah 49:22 Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations And set up My standard to the peoples; And they will bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Day 6

Monday we served at the soup kitchen in Netanya. Michelle and Matt shopped at the grocery for all of the ingredients - labels in Hebrew. I was impressed with their 1 hour trip! Linda and I stayed to start setting up tables, chairs, etc and found we also had an appointed time of praying for Brian, his family and the ministry. It was a privilege for him to share so transparently about the prayer needs. We prepared food that truly could have fed 100 people easily and about 20 showed up. We also helped set out kitchen items and clothing they could take from. Please pray that the Lord will help Brian to release his volunteers into their giftings. We believe there is fruit there that will multiply out when this happens.

Today Matt and Michelle took much needed down time. Linda and I started the day walking the ramparts around a portion of the current old city. You can't really walk the entire perimeter, but we walked at least half of it, praying over the city. A standout verse from Isaiah " there will be no more destruction in your borders....your walls will be called salvation and your gates praise". 

Then we headed to meet Lisa Miara with Springs of Hope a ministry to victims of terrorism. We learned about her ministry and what the Lord is doing, but more importantly we were called to minister to her. She shared that just a few days ago she cried out to the Lord for support/encouragement and here we were. We prayed for her and the Lord had some clear words for her. She said we were like a breath of fresh air. Several have likened our presence to fresh water or fresh air - It is the Living Water and Ruach Ha kadosh breath of God moving through us. We are so grateful. Please pray for Lisa to have intercessors and helpers come alongside her to help her birth out what the Lord has called her to.

We then scurried off to meet with a gentleman we met at Shabbat dinner who runs a ministry here training others how to pray for inner healing. He took us to a treasure of a museum - Ariel First Temple Museum. Then we went to a local ministry house where those who are rehabilitating from drug abuse run a "boarding house" of sorts - possibility for future trips. And Steve shared a little more about his ministry. He is so supportive of our being her and connecting with the people and the land that he offered to help connect us with others in any way possible. Please pray for encouragement for the inner healing ministry going on here.

Then we met Michelle, Matt and the Otts for dinner. John and Tikvah Ott are a couple who runs the Jerusalem Prayer Tower. They are beautiful people - a walking testimony of God's goodness to His people. Please pray for their provision and that they would be blessed for all they pour out for others.

We have see over and over that God has called us to comfort His people, but not necessarily in ways we expected. We have been called to minister to those who are here ministering. Some themes are emerging - lack of community, lack of help and in some case empowerment of people to come alongside and help, provision (they all raise their own funds), none of them have personal intercessors, ministries are not easily connected here in order to provide support to each other. Yet, interestingly most folks we have met actually know each other - truly amazing. Please pray for these things for all who are here in the land ministering. It is like an underground network that is disconnected and folks really inquire about our intent so they can determine whether to trust - we have heard a few times this is "normal" here. We are praying for unity in the body of Christ here in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.

May the Lord bless and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His peace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Good Morning Friends - Today is Tuesday and it is 10:30 am.  (losing track of what day :)
Wanted to take time to begin to put down a few testimonies ~
On the plane to Amsterdam sat next to a young man that wanted to chat.  He has been traveling all over the world to different countries and seemed like he needed to have a good conversation!  His name is Aaron and he has wandered away from the faith that he had as a child in his mother/father's house.  He and his father have not spoken in 4 years and they seem to have quite a lot of bitterness between them.  His mother is heartbroken but stands with the father so he feels that he can't really have a good/honest conversation with his mom.  It was funny the way all this came out - the Lord was leading the conversation and it became clear that God was calling him back.  I asked him if he could see how
God had been speaking to him as he traveled and he said "oh yes".  When he was in London, he lost his wallet so he had no i.d. and no money and he was wandering down a street and there was a prayer group there who he fell into conversation with.  They asked if they could pray with him and within a short time, he had provision.  The second thing that happened to him he was picked up from the airport by a shuttle and he was alone with the driver and the driver started prophesying to him that he was lost and that God was calling him back.  He told him the secrets of his heart and when he left the shuttle he thought how strange it was. (Ha!)  Then he gets on the airplane to be surrounded by our team.  Needless to say, all we could do was affirm/confirm that God was indeed extending his hand to provide love, peace and comfort to heal his broken heart.  It was precious to see how God pursues even when we are wandering away.  I suggested that perhaps the healing could begin with a phone call to his dad or a letter - he thought it was a good idea - pray that he will run to the Father to receive the embrace of his heavenly and earthly father - love you guys - will continue to send testimonies as the opportunities arise - there are many....

We miss our families and community but God has been so faithful and we have been so affirmed that our coming was good and right.  Blessings, Linda

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 4 -

We started the day at the Temple Mount.  Matt made an interesting observation that the place feels empty and lifeless, though in ancient days it was the center of community life teeming with people and activity.  The feeling in the atmosphere was emptiness.  We marvelled at the size of the original temple and sat and prayed for a bit.  At 11am, closing time, they promptly asked us to leave.  On the way out there were many women gathering at the gate to enter.  As we departed we heard one woman begin to yell and to our understanding "raise some cain".  Linda observed that the screaming to get in to pray was telling.  Though I didn't understand the woman's words, her tone sounded and felt harsh.  The Lord highlighted many women who were oppressed in different ways on our way out that I quietly prayed for as he revealed things.

There have been many times I know that each of us has been prompted quietly to pray for this man or that woman as we walk listening to what God is saying as we walk the city, explore ancient places and encounter people - an atheist, an addict, an alcoholic, the oppressed, those who need encouragement, those who need community.

At noon Linda and Matt ventured off to pick up the rental car and Michelle and I walked the Christian quarter and Mamila mall so she could do a little shopping.  Matt drove like a pro - he said he's driven in DC and New York - he's fine here!  We dropped Linda for a meeting with Josh (precious man) at the prayer house and the rest of us ate sushi - yes SUSHI in Jerusalem!  It rivaled Sushi Zushi and more affordable!!! We were very happy.

Linda met with the missions coordinator at King of Kings and then we all attended Sunday worship. Afterward, we all went to the prayer tower where we had prophetic prayer.  God spoke to each of us tonight through others.  And then we stuffed ourselves at Hatzot - thanks Scott and Cathi for the recommendation!

We are settled in and all trying to quiet down for a good night's sleep.  We have a full day tomorrow serving in Netanya at a soup kitchen, which is about an hour away from here.

We appreciate you all and the prayers you are offering up on our behalf.  Continued prayers please for: healing, restoration and encouragement where each of us needs it.  That we will hear, see and know divine appointments and respond. For God to reveal how/where/who we are to pray for.  That we will know clearly who and how we are to make and facilitate connections.

Love to our family and friends!!

Good Morning!  It is early on our fourth day here in Jerusalem - today is Sunday and we are excited because it is a full day.  We are preparing to go to Temple Mount where the dome of the rock is located and then to the Western Wall.

Yesterday was Sabbath and it was unbelievably quiet.  There were no cars on the street, the rail was not working, and things were very quiet.  People stay home and enjoy friends and family but as soon as the sun goes down, it's like someone flips a switch and the restaurants, stores, etc all open for business and life resumes in the way we have come to expect it.  I have to say that it was a little hard to be on the streets and not see anyone - literally, everything is shut down.  The other thing that is very different is that everything opens after the sun goes down which is about 8:30 or 9:00 pm and so people are out til midnight, 1, or 2:00 pm.  Even the mamilla mall was open til midnight.  That is a very different way.
During the middle of the day everyone takes a couple of hours to rest and then resume - kind of like a siesta.  I would say that on Friday night its as though everyone has permission to stop and be.  You don't have to worry about someone scheduling something because everybody is on the same page - very helpful.

There is something for us with the South African people that we met.  As soon as we left our apt last night we ran into them.  They are going to move here to plant a community that will be messianic.  These are extremely faithful people who feel the call to change their citizenship in order to connect with Jewish brothers and sisters.  During their time here, they were continually approached by Rabbi's who were interested in hearing more about their beliefs.  I think what made them attractive to the Rabbi's was that they could handle the scriptures with confidence.  They knew the bible backwards and forwards and the Lord was bringing the Jewish teachers to them - they were not seeking them out.
Probably by the time we come back, they will be settled and we will connect with them once again to find a thriving community of combined faith.  They are finding that Rabbi's eyes are being opened to the reality of Yeshua - these teachers are quiet about what they are discovering much like Nicodemus - it is such a beautiful thing to see how God is moving and bringing us all together.

I think one of the things for me this trip is a great appreciation for our Pastor, Scott Heare.  If it wasn't for his stepping out boldly in faith years ago - we would not have the benefit of what we are now experiencing.  God is faithful and true and we are indeed a blessed people.

(For Tamara - we are trying to get with your cousin today :)

Love you all, Linda

Friday, August 15, 2014

Day 2 - Shabbat Shalom!

We started the day having coffee with 3 of the 4 South Africans we met yesterday.  We listened to the stories of how each of them discovered their Jewish roots as followers of Jesus and how they are following Him passionately.  It was interesting to see the similarities of what God is doing in our two communities.  We are so blessed that God has drawn Pastor Scott to understand Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and wrestle with that in today's expression of church and walking out our faith.

We lunched at a place just outside Jaffa Gate where Matt inquired about the bacon on the menu, "Is it pig?" Well, something like that.  Yes, it was bacon!  Pork in Jerusalem - go figure.

We headed to the Western Wall where we each spent time in prayer.  After praying at the wall, I sat to read scripture.  Overhead, I could hear the noise of the Palestinian army moving about in the walkway that leads to the Temple Mount. It extends over the right side of the area where the women pray.  In the heat of the day the walkway casts a shadow that the women sit under to read and pray.  It's completely safe. Reflecting on the time, I can now see clearly that there are times in life where we are in the "shadow of the enemy"and we can hear the rumbling very near and it can be a distraction.  But then I remember that as a child of God I rest in the shelter of the most high God and in the shadow of His wings I rejoice.  The distraction falls away and I'm at rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  It's a sweet place of rest.

After hours in the sun and walking we headed back to the apartment to clean up and take a much needed nap.  Thank God for naps!

And now I get to testify to how amazingly good God is!  But I must go back to go forward.  Months ago as we were planning this trip I felt very strongly we were to have a Shabbat (Sabbath) experience and that it is something that we should organize for future prayer trips.  So, I began to ask everyone with connections in the land to see what they could come up with.  Nothing panned out.  I prayed.  I asked God to open an invitation for us to participate in Shabbat dinner - a truly Jewish experience - to help us understand how the Sabbath is truly a time that is set aside, sanctified unto the Lord.  Last night after we prayed for 4 complete strangers at the prayer house, one invited us to Shabbat dinner.  I almost unleashed a squeal of sheer delight as I tend to do, but I didn't want to frighten him.  So, I simply told him how he was an answer to prayer.

Tonight at 8:00pm we showed up with 2 bottles of wine and dessert and met a room full of gracious people - a few familiar faces from the prayer tower and some new faces. Then our host, Daniel, handed me his business card and explained that one of the things he does is host Shabbat experiences for groups.  (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) Yet again, God had answered my prayer.  Not only did he open the invitation for THIS Shabbat, but the invitation to bring others to share Shabbat on future trips.  I told Daniel and he blessed each of us with a book he has written, Practicing the Sabbath with Community: A Christian Guidebook for Restoring a Day of Rest from a Jewish Perspective.  It was a double portion of blessing.  God makes me smile.  It was beautiful - Jewish believers in Yeshua, one Orthodox Jew, and the four of us Gentiles.  There were 14 in all.  It was a tight fit around the table and a little hot, but it was like a family dinner.  Our host, Daniel, explained how the Sabbath is set apart.  We worshipped in Hebrew and English.  He blessed the bread and wine. We talked about the parshah (portion of scripture) for the week and enjoyed the meal, the discussion, the family environment.  We sat near a man who runs a ministry that teaches others how to pray for healing (physical and inner) - God appointment for sure.

The atmosphere is peaceful here, not heightened and tense as you might think.  We are tasting the fruit of all of the prayers for the peace of Jerusalem lifted up across the face of the earth - we feel the peace. I want to pass on a personal encouragement from an Israeli Jewish man I talked with tonight who thanked us for coming in this time.  He told me that many will walk away when there is a cost.  But he is so appreciative that we came.  He said we are like fresh water being poured out on the people and the land in this time.  I pray this encourages your hearts, as well.

It is late and all of us are having difficulty resetting our internal clocks.  So, prayers for that and really sweet restorative sleep are appreciated. And please continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, bless the covenant land and covenant people, Israel.

Love to our families!  We miss you but feel you holding us up in prayer.
Shabbat Shalom, y'all!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day 1 - Jerusalem Here We Are!

Day 1 was a hit!  We went to bed after 4am and therefore woke up late.  We all felt hungover when we woke...from the sleep deprivation - 36 hours of travel without an evening.  We got up around noon, and got out in time for a 2pm lunch out on the town, then headed to a prayer room.  King of Kings prayer room is about a 10 minute walk from our place - so that is great.
We ate lunch at their version of the Loft coffee house.  They have a cafe in the basement of an office building that their church owns and runs.  The people were fantastic and the food was even better.  Huge portions, high quality, we even managed to get some ice out of the service staff.  We then brought people eating at the cafe up to the prayer room and they were able to lead some worship.  They are a group from South Africa who feel called to pray for Israel.  We will meet them tomorrow for coffee to connect with them more.
The King of Kings has a prayer room on the 14th floor of the Klal building.  The building sits on a hill and so you feel as if you are at the highest part of the entire city.  We met several people during the worship time, arranged some meetings, got some prayer, and then went to dinner.
We enjoyed basically a small appetizer and drinks for dinner due to our late lunch and enjoyed chatting in the outdoor seating.  The weather is warm during the day - high of about 90 degrees today, but it cools down substantially in the evening (think how SA used to be).  After a lite snack, we headed back to the prayer room for more worship.  We enjoyed a long set of worship, then ended up praying for the worship team - 4 in all, we spent about 45 minutes praying for their team.  The time was good and encouraging, and they invited us to their place tomorrow for Shabbat.
All in all the day was good.  We recovered from our travel hangovers (we'll see how we feel tomorrow am).  Our time clocks are still off (Israel is 8 hours ahead of SA time) and our meals are still off time.  This should take a few days to adjust to, but being out in the city walking places, meeting people, and most of all, getting to pray for folks really helped us to feel normal again.
It seems that God has many people to connect us with on this trip and today was a fantastic start.  Tomorrow we start with coffee with the South Africans, then hopefully visit the Western Wall in the Old City, maybe a little Gethsemane Church, and likely some other prayer rooms, then Shabbat dinner tomorrow night.
A good day today and met some fun folks to meet with tomorrow.  We miss all y'all at home.  Thanks for the prayers and encouragements.  We have felt safe the whole time and the meetings with people have been great.  The prayer time tonight was powerful, and it was a good reminder how far God has brought our community in prayer.
We love you, and miss you lots,

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Good Evening Friends ~  Today we spent our time sightseeing around Amsterdam.  We had quite a long layover which gave us the perfect opportunity to really see the city.  We arrived around 7:30 am and headed straight to a coffee shop and then to Rijksmuseum.  Afterwards we took a canal tour around the city and really was able to see quite a lot.

One of the most popular spots in Amsterdam (tourist attraction) is the Red Light District.  This is where girls basically sell themselves for favors.  Prostitution is legal here and the girls get involved at a very young age.  We did not go but it weighed heavy on our hearts so today I think we need to focus our prayers on this issue that is accepted and even in some odd ways celebrated.  The other issue we noticed is that there seem to be no churches.  So I thought I would just type out a prayer for those of you who might like to join us on this journey.

Heavenly Father - We lift up to you all those involved in the sex trafficking industry and we ask you to break into the chaos and shine your light into the darkness.  We pray for a spiritual awakening in this city and we pray for rescue and restoration of the people who have become victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.  We pray for safe and secure shelters and for training and education to provide each person with meaningful and productive livelihoods and for the Gospel message to reach their ears and be received in their hearts.  We pray for encounters with Jesus that are transformational and life changing.  We pray for efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex, including the following:
--the defeat of attempts to legalize prostitution in countries around the world;
--the overturn of laws that legalized prostitution in the Netherlands, Germany,
New Zealand and certain districts of Australia.  We also pray that you would send missionaries and strategic intercessors into every area including the government.  We ask you to raise up Daniels and Josephs who will serve alongside the city leaders with Godly wisdom and insight.

We pray that tolerance, acceptance, and deception would be removed and replaced with discernment, conviction and Godly sorrow.

We ask all these things in the strong name of Jesus, Amen.

Love you friends - Linda

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Mission, Texas Construction Team Update

2014 Mission Construction Projects

Los Naranjos Mission Patio & Bathroom
The local church community meets under a patio deck of one of the parishioners.  The patio cover was flapping in the wind and sagging very badly.  It needed more support rafters and the metal roof to be fastened down better.  However, the only time we could work on it was in the afternoon as the kids played on the site during the morning VBS time.  So, the team worked extra hard each day to pound out as much work as possible in the few hours they had each afternoon.  By the end of the three days, the patio had more than a dozen new rafters, significantly less sagging, and the roof was secure and safe.  The team also prepped their church bathroom for painting by mudding and taping all the drywall.

Under Construction:

Los Naranjos Purple House
Last year our team had the privilege of helping one of the church families plumb and complete their bathroom, as well as complete one bedroom ceiling and texture/paint their walls.  We installed their toilet, bath/shower and sink/vanity for the bathroom.  This family is a single mother and her children who also support their grandmother and a disabled brother.  Apparently, this same house also had a 2nd bathroom (the brother’s) that had not yet been plumbed. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that at the time last year.  So this year we came back and finished off the 2nd bathroom for them.



Los Naranjos Room Addition
What started as a small add-on project to help a church family build a small bedroom for their precious daughters turned into a much more ambitious endeavor.  Originally slated to be a 12 foot by 12 foot room, once on site, the project expanded into a 12 foot by 24 foot addition.  Complete with a laundry area, large bedroom, and space for a future bathroom the addition was completed in record time and stretched the entire team to the limits.  In 3 long days, with a ton of God’s help, we constructed the project from the ground up, including siding, roofing, electrical and even plumbing for the washing machine.  We brought a dream team of experienced construction tradesmen on this trip, and this one job tested everyone of their limits.  What a joy it was to watch them all serving Him by serving others on this job.  We should also note that God was so faithful for this job.  Early on we were afraid we wouldn’t have enough funding to support it.  That we had such an incredible team, but not enough to do.  But God blessed us with some additional funding at the last minute, and His glory was on full display as a result of it.


End of Day 1:

Nearly Done:

The girl whose room we were building:

Praying with the family inside the new addition:

Los Naranjos Pedro’s House
This house was built by another missions team, but still needed a ton of drywall, texture and paint work.  It also needed a lot of work on the one bathroom servicing their family of 7.  The parents and younger children were all gone working and at daycare during the day, but their oldest son, Eleu, jumped in to help however he could.  Developing a relationship with Eleu was by far the most lasting and most impactful part of this job.  Yes, we gave that house a life-long paint job and a functioning bathroom, but it’s the eternal relationship with the young man of the house that God smiled brightest about.