Feb 28, 2011

The Jenzen Group

Satan works against all that God desires for His children. Lately he has almost completely halted the normal flow of christians being blessed by coming to Baja California to minister by convincing them that it is too dangerous.

There is a remnant, however, that continues to come and one such example is the Janzen family. They are an especially good example of obedience despite fears because Mrs. Janzen is a widow with four young daughters. Mr. Janzen was killed in a car accident just miles from his home last year. He had been planning and organizing their first short term missions trip to Mexico. Three other families had signed up to join the Janzens. Everyone expected the trip to be cancelled but Mrs. Janzen and her girls decided to go ahead with it in honor of Mr. Janzen.

This year God was directing them to come back but they could not find anyone to come with them. Everyone was too busy or too afraid. Some even told her she was being irresponsible by taking her girls to that dangerous place. God's direction was clear, though, so she stayed the coarse. She continued to pray that God would provide someone to come with them. At the last minute a young woman who had grown up in Paraguay and spoke Spanish joined them. She was an encouraging answer to prayer and turned out to be an invaluable part of their team.

For two weeks they went daily to serve at the Torre Fuerte children's feeding program. They remembered most of the kid's names from the year before. They put on a vacation bible school most every day. The children from the area were truly impacted and blessed by their love and service.

During the first week they also managed to replace a roof on a poor family's home/shack. The structure was so poor that we had to do some reenforcement before it would hold a normal roof. When it was finished this small family had a dry house for the first time. No more sleeping on soaking wet mattresses!

During the second week we were able to bless a man with arthritis so severe that he cannot get around in his wheel chair. He also lived in a shack but his had an unlevel dirt floor, no door, and his roof wasn't only not water proof; it let some sunshine in too! They decided to expand his shack to twice it's original size, put a front door on it, and build a new roof over the whole thing. It was the most touching and meaningful construction project we have done in a long time.

When people gave her a hard time about “endangering” her children she would remind them that her husband had died just miles from home. As it turned out no one died but everyone had a very blessed time and God used them to impact many lives. It is beautiful when we obey even when it is frightening. After all, what do children of God have to be afraid of?

Feb 18, 2011

Greetings from Chihuahua, by Joseph Fruin

Hello all, I hope all of you have had a very wonderful vacation, full of fun and rest.

I wanted to share some of the things that I’ve been doing recently. Lately I have been having a time of trials, but also of much growth; of battles, but much learning. Here is the story one of my latest struggles, to keep you informed and to ask you to pray for me.

A few days ago I was out walking in a park near my church, when I saw a man lying half on the road, half on the sidewalk. I didn’t know if he was dead or just passed out drunk. It was a Saturday after all. As I passed him I felt like God was telling me to help him, but in my selfishness I told myself that I didn’t even know what to do. Stealing myself against the sting of my conscience, I walked on. So strong was the feeling, however, that as I walked I prayed, “Father if you want me to do something, please don’t let me walk away.” About a block and a half later, still praying, I finally stopped and just stood there, praying. Oh, how I REALLY did not want to help him. I did not want to do anything. I just wanted to go home.

Looking back now I am very thankful that God didn’t let me go home just yet. I turned around and started walking back towards the man. Almost as soon as I did it began to rain. I was only wearing a T-shirt and it was very cold that day. It was only by the grace of God that I didn’t turn back.

As I turned the corner to where I could see him, I saw that he had sat up. I quickly thanked God that at least he wasn’t dead, and for the confirmation that I was doing the right thing.

During the next three hours we talked, even though he was still very drunk. We laughed. He cried. I bought him some food, he ate it. We walked and talked some more (even though in order to walk I had to hold him up). All through this time I was asking God what to do, how to help this man. Homeless, at least that’s what he said, drunk, with vomit on his clothing.

After a while a lady came by, told me that it wasn’t worth it, that I should just leave him alone, even that I was going to get in to trouble just being with him. I kind of shrugged it off, but began to pray even more. Later she came by again, trying to help, I’m sure, and tried to persuade me to leave him. She said, “There’s social services, but not for people like him.” “Just put him in a taxi and leave”. Well I thought, “What good does it do to put a drunk in a taxi?”, but he actually gave me an address when I asked him where he lived, even though before he had told me he was homeless (after all, he was very drunk), but after trying a while I still couldn’t get him into one.

All said and done, I really did almost nothing. I bought him some food and some water.
But looking back I’m very thankful that my Father didn’t let me leave him there that day. I left him with a smile, a written phone number and the knowledge that some people really do care.

This all made me realize that if we don’t help, who will? I almost left him lying there. We can be the good Samaritan, we MUST be the good Samaritan, or who will?

I ask that you would pray for me, that I will always do what is loving, and never leave someone lying there that God wants me to lift up. Whether they are lying there physically or spiritually.

Jan 31, 2011

God at work

     It's been so long since our last letter that now there is too much to tell. We can't cover all of the news so we have decided to highlight some of the ways that God has been providing and working in our lives.

     God has been, of course, faithfully supplying all of our real needs but we had wanted to continue working in the poorest part of town and we didn't have the gas money to get there and back very often. With the tool trailer in tow the cost runs about $35 per trip. In November, we decided to sell our gun collection and safe to raise money in order to continue to minister in Tijuana. Our first thought was to sell them on consignment through a San Diego gun shop. That idea did not go very well. We would only be able to get half of what they were worth. While driving around talking to various shops my cousin's car was impounded (delinquent registration). The police found it necessary to run a check on every serial number and give us a generally hard time. It was a low time and we were really questioning and crying out to God. We sensed that God was leading us to try selling them ourselves. We made up a page to show them off and sent out an email to see if any of our friends were interested in purchasing one of them. The response was incredible. We had immediate offers one of which was from a friend that wanted to buy the whole collection and safe so that we could, if ever we wanted to, buy them back. Thank you God!

     Since before we came to Mexico Andrew had hoped that the family could do some musical entertainment and training for the orphanages and for some time our Pastor had been giving our family the opportunities to serve by playing or singing for the church. Each time, though, the children were too shy. In December God gave Sandra, Sarah, Mary, and Anna an opportunity to be in the Christmas musical. They did famously and had a fantastic time. Now that the ice is broken the family is finally ready to stop being nervous and help out.
     We hadn't been able to care for our van very well in some time. It lacked registration and insurance and was no longer legal to drive in California. It had several problems and we did not expect that it would pass a smog inspection. We wanted to be able to visit friends in California but did not see how we could. We had been asking God to fix our transportation issues and if we could go see our friends. The answer came in the form of an old friend and customer of Fruin Communications who asked Andrew to come up and do a job for his company. He said he would be willing to pay for the whole family to come up. It turned out the cheapest way to accomplish that was to have our van fixed, re-registered, and insured. Additionally we were able to spend the last week of December and the beginning of January there. Not only were we able to visit with many friends but we actually got to stay with friends as well! It was a very blessed and refreshing time.