Giving Back and Paying it Forward

It’s time to give back… or pay it forward!

Since 1992 I’ve spent almost half of my life in Mexico.  It was back then that I felt God calling me to get to know Mexico and serve her people.

Most people would call me a missionary, but it so much more complicated than that.  I love God, I love Jesus and I love Mexico, and I am trying to do right by all of them.

I love fish tacos, beef tacos and pork tacos.  Molé changed my life, a good capriotada is God’s dessert and who can turn down a perfect café de pluma?  I travel throughout Mexico, I drink mezcal, an occasional beer, sometimes I smoke a cigar, and I eat way too much food.  Especially when I am in Oaxaca.

I also work with churches.

Baptist churches, Pentecostal churches, Nazarene churches, Catholic churches, big city churches and churches in the small pueblos. That’s what I will be doing next week when I get to Oaxaca.

One of our doctors treating a patient in the Amatlánes

I’ve recruited a team of 15 people to provide a series of medical clinics in a few pueblos where access to medical care is severely limited.  Read that again.  I did not say access to quality medical care was severely limited.  I said access to medical care.  In some of the areas where I serve, my team is the only medical care some people get all year.

A few men from my team. They came to Oaxaca from Buffalo to serve!

A few weeks ago I was working on a ranch near Zimatlán, outside of Oaxaca City.  We were making a few improvements there because in addition to our agricultural work there, each summer we give about 100 kids from the mountains around Oaxaca a week of camp.

Chef Rodolfo of Origen and a few of our young chefs

We teach the kids about God, about Jesus, and about life.  One of our goals is to show the kids who come that there is a big world out there.  To help them dream about what God might have for them.  Last year some of the kids in our camp got the chance to cook alongside Chef Rodolfo Castellanos at his restaurant Origen in Oaxaca.  Some of the others spent a week learning English.  A few others spent the week learning how to play the guitar and another group spent the week learning how to make desserts.

It’s our hope that at these camps, we can show kids that they really can have a family and a good job in Oaxaca, that they don’t have to leave their family behind and seek out work elsewhere.

One of our camp groups at the ranch… July 2013

I’ve learned in my time in Mexico, that while spiritual health is important, so are physical and economic health.

Panels going up for our growing solar system and water pump near Zimatlán

On the ranch where I work, hundreds of people come each year to learn how to improve crop yields, raise rabbits and tilapia for food and the benefits of solar power.  We’ve pioneered small high yield personal greenhouses [10’ x 20’] that produce almost a half a ton of tomatoes with each planting.  We’ve shown that you can grown corn, the life blood of Mexico, with targeted drip line irrigation.

Inside one of the greenhouse that we built… at Felix’ house

And we’ve helped provide clean pure water to families in some of the poorest areas of Mexico.  Hear how a simple water filter can change a life in this video.

Each year, Mexico gives me more than I will ever be able to understand.  Friends, family, relationships and most of all, a place to serve and call my adopted home.

Next week it is time to pay back a little of that debt.  If you are the praying type, ask God to bless our time in the mountains and for his favor during our medical work.  Also, if you want to get involved, or see first hand what we are doing and where we are working, get in touch.

It would be great to have you on our team!

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