Tuesday, December 13, 2011
On the short trip over I prayed a simple prayer, "Lord, hold off the rain for one hour!" We've been in a drought, so McAllen needs all the rain it can get. I WANTED it to rain ---just not for an hour!
All the way over to TCC I had to use my windshield wipers due to the rain falling against my windshield. However, as I got closer, the rain got less and less. By the time I pulled into the guest house parking lot, it was barely sprinkling!
I got the boys in the double stroller and Debbie, the boys and I headed out. We stopped to pray, and before we had even gotten a block the sun broke out from behind the clouds. We looked up and saw BLUE sky with white clouds. Then we looked in all other directions. What did we see? Black clouds surrounded us in all directions!
The Lord gave us a beautiful afternoon to canvass the neighborhood! Would you believe a cool breeze blew in and many had their doors open with just a screen door separating them from us. We could call out, "Hello!" and they would come to the door so we could hand the ladies a invitation. It was an incredible time!
An hour later, the sky above us darkened and we headed quickly back to the guest house. What an amazing reminder that God HEARS our prayers and even the weather obeys Him! Isn't it great that God cares about DETAILS! I asked for an hour --- He gave us an hour where important contacts were made. (Of course, I turned to Debbie after the hour and said, "I should have asked for an hour and a half! :) ) I do believe God gave us that hour and that divine appointments were made.
Praise the Lord! We serve an awesome God!
Monday, December 12, 2011
As we enter this busy season, we have been looking for ways to reach the community with the real reason we celebrate Christmas. After talking over the possiblity with Debbie McKelvey, we have decided to host a women's tea on Tuesday, December 20 in the evening. Our desire is to give the ladies in the community a lovely break from the day to day busyness of life, to have fun, to feel loved, to be served, and to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel.
We have planned, shopped, and prayed. Will you join us in praying that the Lord will bring the women He wants to attend? Debbie and I plan to go door to door handing out inviations over the next few evenings. Please pray for us --- that we can make connections and show Christ's love to everyone who comes to the door to greet us. Pray for us as we finalize the menu, the games, the decorations, and all the details so that it will be a night the ladies remember. Pray for the women who attend, that they will have sensitive hearts to hear all God has for them.
We are excited! Thanks for joining us in prayer! We look forward to what God is going to do! We can't wait to introduce these special ladies to the precious Baby Jesus who desires to be their Savior!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
John and Gianetta Wright, a retired couple who is teaching at Taylor Christian School, had the idea several months ago to show a movie based on the life of Noah to the community. They did a lot the preparation to make it happen -----getting permission to show the movie in public, making posters and fliers for publicity, and praying that the Lord would bless their efforts. We were excited that they asked to use the gym of TCC.
They asked Debbie McKelvey if she would be willing to do a Bible Club for the children while the adults watched the movie. Debbie graciously agreed, and then she asked me if I would help! Of course, I was excited to do so! About 100 free tickets were picked up for people interested in watching the movie.
So, last night was the night of the movie! Debbie and I had about 15 kids in our Bible Club during the movie. Debbie shared a Christmas story with the kids, emphasizing the REAL reason we celebrate Christmas. Then we played games with the kids. After that, we helped the kids do 2 crafts ---- one was a snowman ornament, and Debbie shared with them how when we ask Jesus to be our Savior, he cleans us so we are as white as snow. Then the kids had the option of also doing a cross ornament, as well.
Cynthia showing her snowman and cross
ornaments at the end of the evening.
While we shared the Gospel with the kids, about 75 adults were hearing the Gospel clearly through the life of Noah that they were witnessing on the big screen. When the movie was over, John Wright shared briefly and gave an invitation. About 14 people stood up to receive Christ as their Savior! Praise the Lord!
God is doing great things! Praise Him with us as we celebrate the new names written in the Book of Life!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Although many may not believe it, following God is not always easy. Since He desires a very intimate, personal relationship with us, He often calls us to do things which are beyond ourselves, beyond our comfort, and beyond our means. That way, we learn to depend on Him and grow deeper in our relationship with Him as we trust Him.
In many ways, coming to McAllen has been challenging for me (Betsy). I know God called us here; I know He opened the doors for us to be here. However, it has been harder than I had anticipated.
When I was a single missionary (and even when I was a newlywed), I had many opportunities to minister. I was a teacher, so all day long I was used to being busy, investing in students' lives. During part of my time as a single missionary, I led a women's Bible study as well as a youth Sunday School class. I was busy, busy, busy . . . working for the Lord.
Now, however, I have children and things have changed drastically! Instead of finding myself busy, busy, busy with other people, I find myself busy, busy, busy with my kids and in supporting my husband in HIS ministry. For a long time I struggled with my identity. Could I still be a missionary AND be a mommy?
The Lord really challenged me last week with my way of thinking. The one ministry (outside my home and besides Bible Club) in which I am involved is a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. I requested to be on leadership and I have the privilege of leading a small group of amazing women. Although I saw this as a ministry, I was still frustrated, feeling I wasn't really making a difference. I was also having a pity party, although I hate to admit it. I wanted to be connected and develop deep Christian friendships. I wanted to have a local support group. But, I realized that it takes time to connect and build those deeper relationships.
One morning, as I was sad about all my life WASN'T, the Lord reminded me of all my blessings! He also reminded me that I could be a blessing to others who have it much worse off than I. He challenged me to look beyond myself and my needs and look for the needs all around me.
Now, you know the Lord. When He challenges us, He provides a way for us to ACT! That same afternoon I got a call from one of my mom's in MOPS. She said she was going to look for a babysitter because something had come up and she was needed at her son's school for a couple of hours. (She is a mother who is has no family nearby --- just like I am. I understand how hard it can be to find a babysitter at the last minute when you have no family to turn to!) The Lord convicted me and said, "See ---- be a blessing to her. Be the friend you so desire." I said, "Why don't you bring them over here? I'll watch them!" She was thrilled I had offered, and before too long I had 2 toddlers and 2 babies in my care. What a joy the afternoon turned out to be!
The Lord gave me another opportunity to act at the end of the week. A local Christian school had "Colonial Days," which is a great family outing and similar to a carnival. I wanted to take Jayden, but Gerson was tired from a long day on the soccer field, so he decided not to go. The Lord reminded me of a Facebook post I had read about another mom from MOPS, whom I didn't well. She had had a hard a week and was feeling lonely and depressed. I promptly called her and invited her and her son to go to the carnival with Jayden and me. She was THRILLED! Again, I had a wonderful time BEING a friend to someone in need.
If you know anything about MOPS, it's an amazing way to reach out to young moms. Some of the mothers are Christians, but some are not. Pray for me as I continue to open my heart to the changes and challenges of ministry with small kids. The Lord will continue to provide opportunities to reach out, if only I will be open to them. Pray for the moms in our group. Some have husbands who work far away and the ladies are like single moms. Some are having financial problems and are under a lot of stress. Some don't understand who Jesus is and how much HE loves them. Those of us who know Christ have the opportunity to share His love with them.
Is it easy? No. It would be much easier to surround myself with people who know Christ, who have the same background and philosophy of life as I have. It would be easier to surround myself with Christians and not reach out to the lonely, the distraught, the hurting. Too often we Christians become our own clique. We are so happy keeping the joy of the Lord to ourselves, not wanting to reach beyond ourselves and our sphere of comfort to share the love of Christ with some who hasn't heard the Good News.
But, that's not what Jesus did, is it? He loved the sick, the lonely, those unloved by society. He didn't stay where it was comfortable and easy. He chose, instead, to follow His Father ---- all the way to the cross and death.
That's my desire, too. Although the type of ministry changes, the needs are all around me. Pray for Gerson and me ---- that God will give us eyes to see and hearts that are open to see as Christ sees. Even when it's not easy, may God help us to continue to follow His heart.
Friday, November 4, 2011
As you can see, he used florescent colors as well as balloons to draw attention. It worked, too! One man was just driving by and stopped to ask us what we were doing. By this time Gerson was already on the field with the kids, so I talked to the man and explained that Gerson was doing a soccer school each Saturday AM at 8:00. The man was excited because he wife left him and he has 3 children to take care of. They are all going through a rough time, and he is looking for positive things for his children to do. Only one of his boys falls into the age range for the soccer school, but we signed him up right away and his little boy's face just perked right up at having something to do. Pray for this family who is going through a rough time. What a joy it is to be able to offer something positive for the kids to do on Saturday mornings, where they not only get to have fun but also hear the Word of God!
The reason I went along with Gerson was because he needed someone to be in charge of signing up the kids, getting the parents' signatures on permission forms, and answering questions families might have had. I was happy to assist! That way, as kids arrived, they went right out to play soccer with Gerson while I did the paperwork with the parents!
Because both Gerson and I went, our kids went with us! What a joy it was to have Berta's help! She is the secretary at Taylor Christian School, and her son loves soccer! He wanted to play soccer, so Berta brought him on Saturday. She was able to stay and keep me company all morning. She loves babies and was happy to give Edson some TLC that allowed me to have my hands free to sign up kids and talk with parents as they arrived. What an unexpected blessing!
And our dear Jayden is happy as long as he has a soccer ball. We gave him a ball and he went to the soccer field and kicked, kicked, kicked and kicked the ball! He had a hard time understanding at first why Daddy wasn't playing with him, but he adjusted.
Thanks for your prayers. Tomorrow morning Gerson will be out on the field again. We had 7 children last week, but only 4 of them signed up with parental permission. Pray for the three whose parents' weren't involved. (Gerson knows where the live and plans to visit them.)
Friday, October 28, 2011
It's with much excitement that I tell you that TOMORROW Gerson will have his first practice on the new soccer field! He has put in weeks, days, and many hours into getting this field built. Today he has put in a 15 hour day tying up loose ends in preparation for tomorrow morning. I will be helping him with signing up kids and talking with parents. Please pray for us! We are thrilled the time has finally arrived! We couldn't have done it without the many of you who have given financially to this special project and prayed for us. Thank you!
We'll let you know how it goes --- hopefully with pictures! :)
With a Thankful Heart,
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
In the fall of 2003, I left for Bolivia, South America as a single missionary. I had no idea what the Lord had in store for me! I asked my family members (specifically my sister) to print off my emails so I would have a record of my early missionary days. How thankful I am that now I have those memories in notebooks to help me remember God's faithfulness!
I've been reading over some of those emails recently. I'm amazed at how much I've forgotten! I'm also amazed at how much those emails have encouraged me as we serve in a different place in a different ministry.
Gerson and I have been in McAllen just over a year. I remember before we came we had talked about the reality of "starting over" in a new place. I had told Gerson that it had taken me a good year to build relationships in the city of Trinidad, Bolivia after arriving there. It just takes time to build relationships and earn people's trust. The same has been true here in McAllen. Now that we've been here a year, we are just beginning to feel like we have begun to form lasting relationships and have the community connections to do what we feel God has called us to do.
However, there are still many discouraging days ---- those days that don't go as planned. On those days, what is my reaction? To be honest, some days I cry and allow the frustration to ruin my day. Other days, I take it to the Lord and allow Him to take away the frustration and carry my load.
I want to quote something from the email I wrote after one year in Bolivia. What I wrote was true then . . . and its truth encourages me today! I won't write the whole story (for it was 4 typed pages long!), but only what my conculsion was.
Sept. 4, 2004
So, what seemed to be a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day, ended on a wonderful note, with me realizing that the Lord has blessed me with some incredible friendships here in Trinidad and Bolivia. He IS faithful, and He DOES care. Right when I get to the point of wondering why I am here, He brings a blessing and confirms this is where I need to be.
In all of this, a BIG prayer was answered. Remember when I mentioned earlier . . . that I PRAYED? What I DIDN'T tell you was WHAT I prayerd. I prayed that God would bring something good out of the whole mess. And why am I surprised that that is EXACTLY what He did? He used the whole thing to bring me much-needed encouragement, both from a fellow missionary and the youth from my church. Praise the Lord!
I share this with you as testimony of God's love and faithfulness. Many times (especially on the mission field), things don't turn out as we have planned them. In those changes, God can work and bring blessings even bigger than we could have imagined. I thank the Lord that He is bigger than anything I face. I trust He will continue to give me widsom and encouragement and remind me of His love in the days to come. . . There will be challenging days ahead, and I need special wisdom and guidance that can only come from Him."
That ---- from a rookie missionary! I never knew that God would use those words (and the whole story!) 7 years later to encourage me in the new place and new ministry to which He has called me. I'm so thankful we serve a BIG God who knows WHAT we need right when we need it the most!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I'd like to introduce Debbie McKelvey to you. She recently transferred from the American Indiana Field in Arizona to work here with us in McAllen, Texas. Gerson and I had been wanting to get a Bible Club going in TCC, but we knew we needed help to get it started. Shortly after she arrived, Debbie mentioned to me that she had been involved in Bible Club on the American Indian Reservations. That was music to my ears! Before to much time passed, we began planning a Bible Club for TCC. I am so glad God brought Debbie to us and for her willingness to step right into ministry alongside of us!
I am learning a lot from Debbie about Bible Club, since it is a new ministry for me. We start the afternoon with a Bible story. So far, Debbie has shared the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood with the kids. She does a great job, allowing the kids to interact with her as she tells the story.
For the story of the Fall, she took us on an imaginary train ride through the Garden of Eden. The kids had a blast with that!
At this point, we have about 8 children who have been coming every week. These 8 kids are from Taylor Christian School, and although they have already heard the Bible stories, they are anxious to participate and it is a great time to reinforce the truths they have already heard.
We are currently holding Bible Club from 3:30-4:40, but having talked with some of the neighbors we now realize most of the neighborhood kids don't even get home from school until 4:00 or 4:15. We will taking that into consideration as we plan for the next Bible Club. We believe that is one of the reasons we've had such low attendance from the community kids. We have had 5 local children attend during two of the weeks, but they arrived late and missed the Bible story time.
After the Bible story, Debbie works with the kids on memorizing Scripture.
Then we sing songs! Since most of the kids are from TCS, they already know the songs and motions.
The Bible story, Bible verse, and song time are all held in the TCC chapel.
Then we head to the cafeteria for art and snacks. Martha, pictured to the right, works at TCS and has graciously volunteered to help with art and snacks. We're thankful for her help!
We have 4 more weeks of Bible Club --- 3 weeks with the kids and 1 week that is for the parents to hear what their kids have been learning. Please continue to pray the TCS students who are participating, for us as we plan and share with them, and for our neighbors who need to hear about God's love. We will continue to reach out to the neighborhood, planting seeds and praying for God to help those seeds sprout and grow.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
It's a beautiful morning here in McAllen! Maybe fall has decided to arrive? We can hope!
It is Wednesday again ---- time for Bible Club! Yesterday Debbie and walked through the neighborhood around TCC and reminded families to bring their children to TCC at 3:30 today to participate. It was a joy to go back and revisit the families Gerson and I had met three weeks ago. One family said they couldn't find us and drove around last Wednesday looking for us. I reminded her of the address (a short 2 blocks away from her home!) and described the building to her. She said she'd bring her kids today. Pray that the Lord reminds her and that her kids will join us this afternoon.
Another family came last Wednesday, but said they walked into gym and there was no one there. Once I talked with the mother a little bit more, I realized that the kids get off the bus around 3:30 and if the bus is late at all, the kids will show up a few minutes tardy. So, I told the mom I would wait outside the building until 3:45 or so, just to make sure her kids knew where to go.
A third family had simply forgotten. They still had the flier we had handed out, but like many of us do, the mom had forgotten the date/time of Bible Club because of the craziness of life. She said she would send her kids today.
Please pray for each of these families. Pray we can connect with them today --- that they will remember and there will not be confusion about where/when Bible Club is. Pray for the kids as they hear about Adam and Eve's decision to disobey God. Pray they can understand and see how disobedience has immense consequences -- especially when we disobey God. Pray for Debbie as she will be sharing the story in a super creative way. Pray for good attention spans for the kids during the story. And pray that we can show the love of Christ in all we do and say.
As always, we so appreciate each of you. Thanks for your prayers!
Love, Betsy for the Tejedas
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
It has been blistering hot here in Texas! I can't believe it is almost October. I'm missing the colored leaves that fall brings in Indiana. I'm also missing the cooler temperatures! Today our high was supposed to be 100 degrees! To me, this just does NOT feel like autumn.
In spite of the heat, we remain busy. Gerson continues working on the soccer field. He has the poles ready to put in the ground and will be picking up the net (hopefully) tomorrow. I need to remind him to take pictures of the progress as he finishes up the final touches.
Today Debbie and I had our first Bible Club in TCC! Although Gerson and I had canvassed the nieghborhood with fliers (going door to door), we had no children show up from the local community. However, seven students from TCS did attend, and we were thrilled to teach them. I will be trying to go door to door again sometime in the next week to try to reconnect with some of the local families who had expressed interest and who perhaps simply forgot the starting date. Please pray for us as we continue to make connections within the neighborhood.
I am also stuffing a prayer letter this week and hope to send it out by the end of the week. Be looking for it in your mailbox in the days to come!
Thanks for your continued prayer. We appreciate each of y0u!
Love, Betsy for the Tejedas
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
It's hard to believe it is almost October! It's been a busy month for us, hence I haven't updated the blog in several weeks. The time has just flown by as we've been juggling ministry and family life. For some reason, our family has had quite a few doctors'/dentists' appointments this month. So, we've been fitting those in here and there as needed.
We have also been very busy in ministry. I (Betsy) have become very involved in our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. The group started back up in September after a summer break. I am enjoying being a small group leader. It's a joy to minister alongside some amazing women! We are not a large group (around 20 or so) but are trying to grow it, reaching out to other young mothers who desire a fellowship and support from other mothers of young children. Please pray that the Lord will give me wisdom as I love the women the Lord brings into my small group. I see one of my main ministries as an intercessor on their behalf, and some of the women are heavily burdened with hard situations. We officially meet twice a month, but we also have many other activities (Mommy time, play days, etc.) throughout each month. It's a joy, but I need the Lord's annointing and strength!
Gerson has been busy with the soccer field. As you can tell by the photos, it is just beautiful! Gerson is hoping to begin practices with the youth and children of the community around the middle of October. We now have the money in hand to put up the netting around the field to keep stray balls on our property. It will take a few weeks to get that finished.
As many of you have probably heard, Texas is in the midst of a horrible drought. We praise the Lord that the city of McAllen has worked with us to get adaquate irrigation on the soccer field. As you can tell from the pictures, the grass is doing well, although some patches are drier than others. Gerson irrigates the grass almost every night to keep it looking so nice. He's had to mow the field 2 times so far!
Please be in prayer for the final details to come together to finish the outskirts of the field. Then pray that God will use this field to bring many families to Him!
Last Saturday, as a family we walked around the community to pass out fliers announcing Bible Club. WGM missionary Debbie McKelvey and I will be doing a Bible Club at TCC starting next Wednesday, September 28. It will be every Wednesday for 7 weeks. Please pray for us as we finish up the planning stages for the Bible Club. Pray for the kids who will be coming and for a special annointing on us as teach them about the love of Christ!
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I'm sorry I didn't get a posting up last week. Both kids have been under the weather with colds and allergies. Thankfully, although they are still coughing and sniffling, they are getting better. It's been a busy week of doctor appointments and taking care of my boys.
Gerson was able to preach on Sunday. We praise the Lord for helping Gerson perpare and share a message about God's healing power! The Holy Spirit moved among the congregation and many people came forward for prayer. I'm so thankful we serve a God who heals, both emotionally and physically!
I had my first MOPS meeting last Thursday. I am excited and honored to be part of the MOPS leadership in our local group this year. What a privilege it is to reach out to mothers of preschoolers. We share our challenges, our joys, and our heartaches together, all the while growing in our walk with our Savior. I am a small group leader. Please pray for me as I minister to the moms in my group. I desire to be available to help them, pray with them, encourage them, and be there for them as we take this journey of motherhood together. We will have two official meetings per month --- the first and third Thursdays. I'd appreciate your prayers for those meetings.
In addition to MOPS, I am also working with another WGM missionary, Debbie McKelvey, to prepare a Bible Club after school for the kids in the community near the TCC. Pray for us as we are in the planning stages of this new ministry. I am excited that Debbie arrived at the end of July, having transferred from another WGM field. She has a huge heart for children's minsitries, and I'm so thankful she is offering her help to get a Bible Club up and running at TCC.
Once again, THANK YOU for your love, support and prayers. Our hope is to get another prayer letter written and mailed out this month. Pray for us as we write it and get it ready to mail. It is time-consuming, yet we know the importance of keeping everyone updated on what God is doing here. We really need the Lord's help as we balance ministry and family.
Love, Betsy for the Tejedas
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thank you so much for your prayers for the Saturday luncheon! Gerson kept the boys all day for me, so in the morning I was able to go to a local Barnes and Nobles bookstore, drink some coffee, and spend some much-needed time in prayer and preparation. The Lord helped me as I shared with the group about Him being our I AM. It was a wonderful reminder to me, as well. He IS all I need. He IS the same yesterday, today, and forever. Praise His Name! Thank you for praying. It was a blessed time.
Gerson will be preaching (in the same church where I spoke on Saturday) on September 4th. Please be in prayer for him as he prepares the message.
These are super exciting times as we see the Lord opening doors for ministry. In another week or so, Gerson will begin teaching PE once again at Taylor Christian School. He is also finishing up the soccer field. We are thankful the Lord has provided the last amount of money needed to put up the poles and netting around the field to keep stray soccer balls from leaving the property. Praise the Lord for HIS provision! Gerson hopes to finish up the soccer field project in the next few weeks. One the sod is healthy and has deep roots, he will be able to begin using the soccer field for ministry. Please continue to pray for rain. The sod needs lots of water at this time and it is time-consuming and costly to maintain the irrigation needed to keep the sod from dying. Many of the neighbors have stopped by to talk to Gerson about the soccer field. They are anxious to use it to play soccer! We are anxious to tell them about the Lord.
There are other things "in the works," but I'll leave those for another post as we finalize the details. We are thrilled the Lord is working and opening doors for us to reach the community. Thanks for being a part of our team and for keeping us before the throne through your prayers.
In His Grip,
The Tejeda Family
Saturday, August 20, 2011
This morning I'm requesting prayer. Today I am scheduled to speak at a ladies' luncheon at a local church. Although I've prepared and, in theory, am ready, I haven't had the time I would've like to have had to prepare my heart. Between a baby and toddler, little sleep, and disruptions throughout my times of preparation, I am feeling weary and a tad overwhelmed.
The enemy has been diligent in trying to discourage me and keep me busy with earthly things so I can't concentrate on what really matters. I know when this happens it's because the Lord has something big in store. I also know that in my weakness, HE is strong.
From past experiences I know that when I haven't had time to heart prepare as I'd like, I have to depend on the Lord more than ever. He is my Rock, my Fortress, my Help. Pray HE will be glorified today as I speak to these precious ladies. Pray they will be encouraged by the Truth that we serve the Great I Am.
Thank you, my friends. How thankful I am for the Body of Christ.
In His Everlasting Grip,
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
We have exciting new. Gerson has spend the last week working on getting the soccer field completed. This panoramic shot shows most of the field as well as part of the neighborhood we are reaching for Christ THROUGH the soccer ministry!
The PA team helped prepare the field in March, but then we had to wait for the needed city paperwork to come through. One of the first things that needed to be done last week was the weeds needed to be killed. Gerson decided to hire a company to kill the weeds, till the soil, level the ground, AND lay the sod.
The tilled field looked GREAT after the men used a tractor to move the soil. It only took a couple of hours. If Gerson had done it with the limited equipment we have, it would have taken him several days.
Then they laid the sod square by square. I must say, they must have a lot of patience!
Now it's done and is simply a fabulous sight! We are so thankful that the Lord provided this soccer field for our ministry. Please pray the Lord will use it to bring many children, youth, and faimies to HIM.
Also, pray for rain. It is super dry here in the Valley and Gerson is having to use sprinklers to irrigate the sod. We need MORE water than we can get out of the sprinklers. We prayed for rain yesterday, and the Lord sent a few showers even though the weatherman said there was NO chance for rain this week! The God who sent rain from a small cloud in I Kings after Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal is the same God we serve. He can send the rain, no matter what the weatherman says! Pray the skys will open up and God will send showers our way.
Friday, August 5, 2011
(Left - Right)
On the far left of the picture is Marsha Hartley. She is the 3-4 grade teacher at Taylor Christian School (TCS) here in McAllen.
Next to her is the Allhouse family. Ariel will be attending Indiana Wesleyan University in the fall. Her parents, Bill and Lydia, are our field directors and live and work in Irapuato, Mexico. They have many responsibilities, includ Lydia being our field treasurer.
On the back row beside the Allhouse family are the Tarrs. Bill and Betsy Tarr (yes, have 2 Bills and 2 Betsys on this field. It can be quite confusing!) have been missionaries on several fields. God sent them to us just at the right time for Bill to be the Director of Taylor Christian School and for Betsy to help Lydia with field bookkeeping. Betsy will also be helping with the bookkeeping at TCS. In addition, they are the hosts of the WGM guest house.
Our family is next --- Gerson is holding Jayden and I am holding Edson in his carseat.
Behind us is Tom Atkins, who was our speaker for our field retreat in June. He can be an honorary member of our team! ;)
And next to me is Chrissy Greenwell. She lives and ministers in Saltillo, Mexico with a variety of ministries including teaching English and Theology by Extension.
In addition to all of these wonderful people, the Lord has brought us some new missionaries in the last 2 weeks. I'll have to introduce them to you in another post as I haven't taken any pictures of them yet.
Please pray for each of us, that the Lord will use in our various ministries to bring glory to HIS name. Pray for unity among us. Pray for protection. Pray for strength and wisdom.
Thanks for all your prayers, support, and encouragement. YOU are also a part of this team. We couldn't do it without you!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Praise the Lord! Last night's meeting went well and the city of McAllen approved our request to put in the soccer field on mission property! Thanks for praying. Now Gerson has a LOT of work to accomplish. We will be posting pictures as the soccer field gets completed. Thanks for your prayers.
With Grateful Hearts,
The Tejeda Family
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This afternoon Gerson had a meeting at City Hall about the soccer field we are putting in on the guest house property. Thanks to all who prayed for this meeting. We are thankful that the Lord worked and we got the first approval needed. Gerson has one more meeting on Monday, July 25th. Please be in prayer for this last meeting. If it is approved on that day, we will be able to finish the soccer field. We'll keep you posted!
Please pray for us tomorrow (Wednesday, July 20) as we travel to Houston. We will be traveling back on Monday in time for Gerson to make it to the meeting.
Thank you! We appreciate you!
In His Grip,
The Tejeda Family
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Last weekend the board of Taylor Christian School (TCS) held a rummage sale to raise funds. In my human thinking, I was expecting a huge crowd to be at the door of the Taylor Community Center (TCC) gym at 7:00 AM Friday, with people pushing and shoving to buy our wares. After all, we had prayed about the sale, committed it to the Lord, and funds were to be used to further Kindgom work. Wasn't God going to compel the multitudes to come and BUY, BUY, BUY???
Nope. Didn't happen.
We opened the doors at 8:00 AM; there was no crowd. There were no people, minus the man who was working construction on the road outside TCC who we let in at 7:30 because he wanted to buy a lawn mower and had to be working by 7:30. So, there I was, waiting for the crowds. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
Oh, there were people. The came like the animals into the ark ---- mostly 2 by 2. I began getting discouraged. Where where the people? Why was God not blessing the work of our hands? What was wrong?
Our day ended on Friday with no major crowd pouring through, although we did have a slight rush at lunch hour. To say I was discouraged would be an understatement. We did do a quick a count of the money and figured we had made about $500. I was glad, I must confess, that we had made THAT much based on the amount of people who had passed through. But, in my mind, we should have made much more.
Saturday morning began much the same way. However, somewhere between Friday night and Saturday morning, the Lord had been working on my heart. I was convicted of my rotten attidude and asked the Lord's forgiveness and help to see things through His eyes. When the people began coming 2 by 2, instead of feeling frustrated and upset, the Lord opened my eyes to SEE the individuals passing through our doors, rather than just waiting for the multitude.
Who did I see?
Mary, a dear sweet lady who came several times on Friday. According to her, she was on her way to buy breakfast tacos for her husband. She just happened to drop in on her way ----- and she bought more items. She returned again on Saturday, this time on her way somewhere else, but was compelled to stop in again --- and buy more things. The third time she entered the gym on Saturday, she brought each of us ladies who were working the sale a "Thank You" card, expressing her gratitude that we had taken time to help her shop. As she left the last time, she noticed the free Bibles we had on the table. She asked, "Is this a Bible? I've been wanting one. May I take this one?" How thrilling it was to tell her it was gift and that it was hers! She went away all smiles, and our hearts had been encouraged.
Saul, a young teenager who was looking at 8 very old copies National Geographic, debating whether or not he could buy them. He was thirsty for knowledge of other places and desired to learn. However, he didn't have $3.00 to pay for them. He asked me to save them for Saturday, when he could come back with his dad, who maybe would have enough money to splurge on those educational magazines. What a joy to see him return on Saturday with his dad and purchase those magazines, eager to be a learner.
The man, whose name I don't know, who entered and asked, "Is this a bodega (warehouse)?" I was shocked he didn't realize it was a community center and Christian school. I explained to him that we were in a gym that was going to be used to reach out to the community and that my husband and I would soon be walking around the neighborhood to let them know about what activities we would be having. He was amazed and is looking forward to hearing from us.
I could go on and on, because I began to see each person as a divine appointment rather than just somebody buying something. How the Lord humbled me and reminded me of the reason I am here in McAllen!
For what do these people have in common?
They may not be the richest people in this area. They may not have brought the multitudes with them. BUT, the majority of the people who walked through those doors were our neighbors. They were from the community and the very people we are wanting to reach with the Gospel of Christ! What a joy it was to meet them face to face, help them "shop," talk to them about their families and occupations, and learn about their interests and needs.
God's ways. So much higher than mine. I was focused on the financial need; He was focused on the spiritual need. I was desiring a multitude; He desired the individual.
How thankful I am that He is a God who focuses on the individual, and that He worked in MY heart to see my spiritual need for repentance, refocus and true surrender for what His purpose was for this rummage. For through this rummage, He has opened the door into the very community we've been called to reach.
Pray for us as we foster these relationships. This is only the beginning. Pray that we will stay focused on what God's purposes are and not get distracted by the things of this world. Pray that TCC will continue to be a light for Jesus in the neighborhood, a safe place where both young and old can come to learn about Jesus, but also to see Him as we serve them in love --- in whatever capacity God allows.
Praise God with us that His ways are indeed higher than ours!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
July 8-9, Taylor Christian School (TCS) had a rummage sale to raise money for the school. We used the gym of the Taylor Community Center (TCC) to set up the items for sale.
This was a TCS Board sponsored event to help with the school finances. Since I (Betsy) am on the TCS board, I was honored to be involved with this event. Those of you who know me well KNOW that enjoy a good garage sale, especially when it's for a good cause!
I spent several days last week pricing items. We had a lot of dontations from different people who had heard we were trying to raise money for TCS. We made signs to put up, one letting people know that the money earned would be given to the school. We also let people know that monetary donations were appreciated. The Lord was good (as always!) and several people donated money out of the generosity of their heart. Praise the Lord!
To be honest, I was discouraged on Friday. We had placed an ad in one paper for the rummage, but in the planning of the event, I had planned on using signs as the MAIN way of letting people know we were having a rummage. However, as we were setting up on Thursday evening, I was told that the city of McAllen has a city ordinance that bans garage sale signs anywhere but on your own property where the garage sale is being held.
As you can see, we did the best we could with what we had! Linda's (board member) husband put up signs on our properties (the school and the guest house that is located catty-corner from the school). Then, Brenda, another board member, put up this sign on the school's dumpster!
Due to the lack of advertising and signs, we mostly had local people stop in at the garage sale. The Lord completely surprised us by how many people from own neighborhood, the very people we are trying to reach with the Gospel of Christ, came to the sale. Several of them came more than one time!
Linda and her husband Larry did a lot of the set up. They came up with this ingenious way of hanging clothes! Aren't they clever?
Here is the lovely Linda! She put in countless hours in perparation for the rummage, as well as worked both days during the actual sale. She is a hard worker!
Here are three of the women who worked tirelessly to make this a success. Left - Right: Linda (TCS Board Member), Brenda (TCS Board Member and Wycliff missionary), Marsha (TCS Teacher and WGM missionary).
We enjoyed working together, and for me it was a joy to get to know these wonderful ladies better.
Kim has blessed us as the president of the TCS board. However, next school year she will be teaching at TCS, so she will no longer be on the board. We are thankful she will continue to be a part of our Taylor family, just in another capacity.
She also came and worked both days, and even brought her husband along on Saturday to give a helping hand!
As we worked in the heat (it was 98 degrees outside at 4:00 PM today), we laughed, talked, served, learned about our neighbors, joked, and basically enjoyed ourselves!
Notice the bandanas the two ladies are using to keep the sweat off their face!
At the end of the day, we entered the air conditioned cafeteria and counted the proceeds. We thank the Lord for HIS provision. When all was said and done, including the generous donations of some dear people, we were able to raise just over $1,800 for TCS. Praise the Lord!
The Lord not only surprised us in the manner He provided extra finances for the school through the garage sale, but He also surprised us by the relationships that were built through the garage sale.
I will write another post soon about the wonderful relationships that have begun and how the Lord used a simple rummage to encourage my heart and remind me He has a purpose for TCC! Stay tuned!
Monday, July 4, 2011
I remember one time shortly after Gerson and I moved from Bolivia to the United States. For some reason we were at the Indianapolis International Airport eating in the food court. I can't remember who we were dropping off or picking up, but I do remember that a whole group of soldiers had deplaned and were walking by the food court. We watched as men and women all over the food court stood to their feet and began applauding. I found myself standing to my feel with tears in my eyes, clapping as a way of saying "thank you" to those unknown soldiers walking by.
The other thing I remember quite clearly was how surprised Gerson was by the gesture of us strangers, in complete unity, standing and applauding those soldiers. He looked around incredulously, amazed by the support and genuine honor we were giving to a group of people we had never met, but obviously cherished. He asked me about it, and I was proud to tell him, "We Americans love our soldiers. We are patriotic and are thankful for our freedoms, but recognize they came with a price."
As I reflect on our freedoms as American citizens, my mind goes to another type of freedom --- spiritual freedom. Just as many countries have never expierenced the liberties we enjoy here in the United States, many people have never lived with spiritual freedom. Spiritual freedom also comes with a price ---- the ultimate sacrifice of the shed blood and death of a blameless man named Jesus.
Not only do I live in this free nation, but I also have been liberated from my sin. Yet, how often to I honor Jesus? Do I honor him in my daily life as quickly as I stood and honored those soldiers walking through the airport? Do I stand and praise Him in public when I'm surrounded by strangers? Am I quick to get teary-eyed when I think of His sacrifice for me? Do I find ways to thank Him for dying so I can be free?
On this July 4th, I do honor the soldiers who serve this country. In fact, my brother is one of them, and I am super proud of him. But, more importantly, I want to recognize and honor the One gave me REAL freedom. Spiritual freedom is not based upon race, citizenship, or type of government. Rather, Jesus brings true freedom to the incarcerated, the beaten, the down-trodden, the forgotten, the mistreated, the lords, the ladies, the lovely, and the unlovely.
As we serve the Lord here in McAllen, we desire to share what true freedom really means. May
we honor Jesus every day of our lives. May we live in real freedom with gratitude, never forgetting the blood that was spilt so we could be free. And may we never grow weary of sharing the Good News that all men can be free, indeed!
Saturday, July 2, 2011
The team was made of both adults and youth. There were also 3 pastors on the team.
They did many jobs while they were here. Their main project was helping us prepare some of the ground on our guest house property for a soccer field. This included taking out trees and turning up the soil. They worked without complaining in the hot sun!
They also did some trimming of the guest house trees, painting, maintence on equipment, and other odd jobs.
They even helped move a lot of bricks and tidy the place the place up!
They were a tremendous blessing to us! Not only did they work without complaining, but they also laughed and had joyful spirits throughout the week. A huge thanks to the Spearly team for all your hard work! We love and appreciate you, and your work is not in vain!
Please pray for Gerson as he gets the final permit for the soccer field. He has 2 meetings with City Hall coming up. Be in prayer for both of them --- July 5th and July 25th. Once we get the paperwork in order, we are ready to put in the soccer field sod and begin the soccer ministry in earnest. Thanks for praying and partnering with us.