I just want to thank everyone for making it possible for me to serve in Guadalajara, Mexico for 6 months! It was a beautiful time, and I believe in my heart God will continue to use this experience to change me and others. Due to COVID-19 I thought it was best that I come back to Maryland indefinitely. I've also decided that I'm not planning to return to Mexico as a missionary. It's been a difficult decision, but at this time, I believe I'm ready to pursue other things that are on my heart. I will always maintain the spirit of being a missionary everywhere I live; striving to serve others and share the Gospel.
I love you all, I am so grateful for you and all of the friends I've made in Mexico through The House Church, La Ola, and the communities in Chapala. God Bless you and keep you safe!
Friends and Family,
I’m overjoyed to write to you today! Is it just me, or does this time of year just completely transform some of us? I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I feel like my heart becomes so sensitive right before Christmas and then I just get wrecked by the emotional rollercoaster of it all… in the best way. Despite the year we’ve had or reflecting even bigger, the decade we’ve had, I’m believing for incredible blessings for all of us this 2020! If you’ve been dealing with the pain of unhealed wounds, sorrow of broken dreams, fatigue, fear, loneliness or if you’re feeling empty, I’m praying to God that you are rescued with unhindered joy, that you are gifted unshakable hope, and you are whispered intimate words of adoration, and that you’d be so full your heart can’t help but SING OUT!
“My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed” -Psalms 71:23 ESV
It’s an amazing life we’re gifted. Whatever happens through the highs and lows of it all, I’m reminded that during Christmas we can celebrate with Heaven. Good news, better than I could ever imagine, was given to the world: Jesus Christ came to redeem mankind. I know that the Nativity story has been told so many times to us throughout our lives, whether we believe in Jesus or not, but can I share something that blessed me? When Jesus was about to be born, angels from Heaven came proclaiming the good news to humans. In Luke chapter 2, one came to a group of shepherds out in the field watching their flock overnight.
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” -Luke 2:10
Angels, who’ve witnessed the glory of God and have seen Heaven are excited for what the world is about to receive! They could have cared less about humans, we’re just dust! But they themselves were overwhelmed with joy to share with us this news, insomuch as to leave the perfection of Heaven to visit a group of men watching sheep, and tell them about Jesus. That gets me excited that this news about Jesus, is really, really, reallyyyyy good.
Okay so with that said, if you’re still reading, thank you! You either love Jesus or love me, or perhaps both, and no matter what I love you! I only have a few things to share with you and then the next time you will receive an update will come around the end of January. This weekend I’m heading back to Maryland, to spend Christmas with my family. I will be back in Mexico shortly thereafter.
This past month was difficult for me and unfortunately I missed one of our bi-weekly trips to Agua Caliente and Chalpicote. I was sick with a salmonella infection that put me in the hospital for 4 days. Good news:
-I’m 99% recovered after almost 3 weeks. Just taking medication for my stomach/intestines to heal properly.
-I was able to go back to Agua Caliente this past weekend and preach for the first time!
-The support I’ve received from the church here has been miraculous: people spent the night with me in the hospital, gave financial gifts, a home was opened for me to recover in after being in the hospital, and people have even prepared food for me.
I’m getting to know the people of Agua Caliente so much more. The language barrier is slowly starting to diminish, and I’m inspired to keep adding to what we can offer to these towns. This past week, we had over 40 kids come to play games with us and listen to a message. We made piñatas, and gave out treats! Next week, although I’ll be gone, our team will be throwing a Christmas Party for the people in Agua Caliente and bring gifts for the children in both towns. We are so grateful for all the support to these towns, and thrilled for what’s going to happen in the future.
**I want to invite you into an opportunity to give if it’s at all possible for you. I’m going to go out and buy toys for the kids, and I could use your help. We are buying toys in the price range of 100-150 pesos which comes out to $5-8 bucks a toy. Even if you give 5 bucks, that’s a huge help! If you give on my donation page, I get the funds the next day, or you can Venmo me!**
**I’ve been given the responsibility to draft a curriculum/schedule for 2020, so that in presenting it will determine the funds allocated to us for the year. I would appreciate prayers in this area!**
That’s all I have to share for now, but of course I would love to hear from you! If you have questions, have prayer requests, or anything at all, please feel free to reach out, or catch up with me over the Holidays! I’m looking forward to recharging, and coming back to the mission field stronger than ever! Thank you for your support, thank you for your prayers, thank you for helping me have the opportunity to serve others in ways I never thought possible for my life. Merry Christmas, and have an amazing New Year :)
Dear friends and family,
I hope each and every one of you has had a lovely fall so far; for some of you it’s starting to feel like winter, and I’m absolutely thrilled I don’t have to worry about that in Mexico! (Kidding!) I didn’t get around to sending an update for the month of October and for that I apologize! Much has transpired since my initial update, so I’m excited to fill y’all in. It’s been 2 months since my arrival to Guadalajara and here are some of the highlights:Outreach
Since September, we as a team have traveled to the pueblitos (Little towns) Agua Caliente and Chalpicote 5 times.
The usual structure of our outreach is:
- Thursday- Cook & prepare food to bring to Chalpicote.
- Friday (Travel)- Bring the food to the elementary school feeding 100 kids and their teachers. Come back home.
- Saturday (Travel)- Spend the day in Agua Caliente. Games and Bible class for the children and a Bible study + Fun craft for adults (Mostly elderly). We also bring clothes to give to a little store so they can sell them among the village, giving them income.
We bring food specifically to Chalpicote because these kids do not eat well at all. Chalpicote and Agua Caliente are neighboring pueblos, about a kilometer apart, but Chalpicote has quite more need with basic essentials. We purposely create meals that are super nutritious as well as delicious, because that might be the only meal some of those children eat all day. One of the weekends our team partnered with 15 medical school students and doctors from Guadalajara. These doctors (and soon-to-be doctors) brought all the essentials including vitamin injections, antibiotics, and common medications, and tirelessly gave full examinations all day without even taking a break to eat.
I’m obviously not a doctor, so that day 3 of us were given the job to go around to all the houses in the village and let people know they could get a free check up. Every mom we told in Chalpicote wrangled their children together to get them seen by doctors. Elderly women were the quickest to drop what they were doing and seize the chance. We walked with one elderly woman nearly a mile over the rocky mountain-side roads to get back to the doctors. They are incredibly strong people! We made house visits to some that couldn’t get out of their homes, gave care to young pregnant mommies, and treated all of the children for common things like colds. Agua Caliente
Most recently we spent all of Saturday in Agua Caliente. The village here has a slightly better infrastructure than Chalpicote when it comes to homes, and I think that dramatically uplifts the overall attitude of the people there. The children are so smart you guys, I mean I was blown away at some of the kids desire to learn and help each other learn. We taught a short message to the kids from Exodus, and after had arts and crafts so they could visualize what they just learned; their drawings were amazing! One boy, Carlitos, was going around and helping all the others write their names on their pictures, and helped me get some of the more shy children to join in.
I feel inspired to help these kids a lot and plan to buy toys and games to bring with us every trip; also one of the children Omar can’t walk and uses an old busted up skateboard to get around on so I plan to buy him something better. ***If anyone has creative ideas or can offer help in any capacity in this area, that’d be greatly appreciated!***La Ola
I see the girls from La Ola Children’s Home almost every week at church! It’s been difficult to make it out to them because they’re pretty far from where I live and I don’t have a car, but I just connected with Mr. Bob who runs the home and I’m hoping to help them much more over the next two years. They just bought 4 acres of new property to build brand new facilities, so I know there’s going to be tons of opportunity to help in the near future. If you could, please continue to pray for these girls and boys who make it to La Ola. A lot of these kids are saved from really awful situations, but we have a chance to give them a better future.New News
I finished a one month Spanish intensive. My understanding of Spanish is growing day by day, and I plan on continuing studies in Spanish.
I found a really affordable living situation for the current month, and am continuing to search for something long term.
I’m beginning new outreach work. My good friend and I want to start an outreach to prison inmates. We’ve also already begun visiting communities of migrants living in Mexico coming up on the train from other countries. These projects are in the infant stages so prayers in this area are greatly appreciated.Financially
Thank you so much to everyone who has given towards my mission. Through your generosity I’ve currently raised $4,915! This money goes well beyond just helping me live, it’s being used to transform the lives of people around me. Final Thoughts
I think it’s fitting that in addition to letting you know what’s going on around me, to also share what’s been changing in me, mentally and spiritually. I’ll keep it brief and if you want to reach out personally we can talk more, but I’m not sure anything could’ve fully prepared me for this journey. It’s been two months, but in that short amount of time I’ve been tested beyond anything I’ve ever gone through. It’s not always what you see that impacts you the most, but the things you don’t see. I've had plenty of fears, doubts, and irrational thoughts, and many days where I’ve been discouraged. BUT, I’ve also felt like God has been so close to me in it all. When I go through a difficult day or week (or longer) I’m humbled and broken, but simultaneously I see God’s strength, patience, and saving grace over and over again. I’m grateful because I feel like I’m being given words of hope each day to share with so many suffering people.
Thank you all for being apart of this journey with me, thank you for prayers, for gifts, for random phone calls. I couldn’t do any of this without you, and I don’t even want to try! You’re participation in this journey does not go to waste! Let’s get excited to see greater things because this is only the beginning!
Much love and many blessings,
I arrived in Guadalajara this past Sunday, 9/22/19! Thank you to all who've prayed and given generously!
- This week we are cooking food to bring to the villages of Agua Caliente and Chalpicote; both about an hours drive from downtown Guadalajara. The House has served these communities over the last 5 years, and I was blessed to join them there back in February when I first came.
- Currently I’m looking to find a place to live. Justin and Angela Jaquith, Lead Pastors of The House Church, are kindly allowing me to stay with them as I find a place, but I would appreciate prayers in that regard! I would love to be within walking distance of our church so that I can be there at any given time of the day.
- Financially, I’ve raised a total of $3,315 to date! Which is beyond what I expected to start out with so I’m extremely grateful. My hope is to raise $10,000 for the first year here, and then continue to raise funds for one more year of living.
Outreach to these villages is funded by The House Church which is also a Cafe Restaurant during the week. They roast their own beans, and every kilo of coffee pays for one meal served to children. Part of why I saw myself as a fit for coming here is because I have worked in restaurants and cafes for over 5 years, so my service industry and coffee knowledge is directly being used to help fund the projects I’m working. We’re praying that as business grows, we can greater provide resources that help end the cycle of poverty for many families.
This journey is really teaching me to trust God. You, the community God has placed in my life, have listened, prayed, given generously, and made it clear to me that I am supposed to be here in Mexico. So thank you again! I can’t wait to share with you all that I see over the next 2 years. Stay tuned for monthly updates! God Bless you!