Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Soccer Field Update

Dear Praying Friends,

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

Answered Prayer

Hello Dear Friends,

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

God's Higher Ways

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,"

declares the Lord.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55:8-9

Can anyone else say a big, "PRAISE THE LORD!" with me? Too often, my thoughts are too small and my ways are all wrong. I'm so thankful I serve a Lord who is all wise and sees the big picture in all things.

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

Rummage With a Cause

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

Free, Indeed!

As we Americans celebrate Independence Day, it is natural to think of our soldiers, both past and present. We honor and thank them for the sacrifices they have made to defend our country. We recognize that our freedoms came with a price --- the shedding of blood and oftentimes, death.

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

Help From Pennsylvania

In March we had the privelege of hosting a work team from Pennsylvania. They were a tremendous joy and help to us! They came ready to work, serve, and be a blessing.

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.