Real life, broken dreams


“Oh, I wish we had a safe place to call home, with a loving mother and a caring father!”  


For the three sisters Josefina, Marta and Maria, were they to depend on the two people who gave them life, that wish has never been more than an illusive dream.


In fact, after having their dreams so consistently crushed, they would have settled for their parents just being present in their lives.


Their father is long gone.  Their mother succumbed to her personal demons by drowning them in alcohol or shooting up with drugs.  She developed diabetes several years ago.  With such a diagnosis come heightened demands for self-care, all of which she incessantly flouted by increasing her self-medication and escape. She was never able to care for her daughters.  That’s why they for several years they have been calling La Esperanza de los Niños (The Hope of the Children) their home.


The mother’s slurred words that she loved her children rang hollow whenever they got to see her on an occasional week-end visit.  Medicating herself always took precedent over any practical expression of love for the girls.


Two years ago the mother’s continued self-neglect lead to the amputation of one of her legs.  Earlier this year, not heeding such a dire warning, the other leg had to be amputated, as well.


Last week she had a heart attack which took her life.


La Esperanza de los Niños is one of the Children’s Homes YesWeServe partners with in Mexicali, Mexico. When you support our ministry, either by traveling with us or financially, you help to make sure that we can continue to provide a safe place where children – like these three sisters – can be loved & cared for in a safe environment.


This is happening in real time; unfortunately, details don’t need to be added to this post for dramatic effect.  Through no fault of their own, these three lovely sisters, the two youngest not yet out of single-digit ages, have just lost their mother.  It is hard enough for an adult to come to grips with something like that.


We who travel on our Missionary for a Day trips every month can love on them, but by supporting the Homes financially we are also helping the care-takers who are there with them every day.


Will you step up and help YesWeServe help these three sisters give their mother a dignified burial?  And pray for them at this time. Looking after these little ones in this manner is another way we can serve the Lord together.


God bless you as together we change the world one child at a time.


Logged On


The other day I was out for a walk with my hosts in their neighborhood on the Akwuapem Ridge in Ghana.  A brisk exercise along the undulating terrain, through the tall grasses, and up the blocked-off highway provided us with a good recharging of the batteries at the end of a demanding day.

At one point we shared the road with a mother and her two children.  The daughter who was trailing her was keeping pace even as she was carrying on her head a log which was as tall as she was.  I didn’t want to interrupt them, so I snapped a photo with my cell phone (Yes, I am aware that this contrast induces a cognitive dissonance: I am carrying in my pocket a marvel of modern technology, on which I have an app which records all the stats and wonderfulness of my physical exercise).  Because we were all moving, the picture is slightly out of focus and not the ideal composition.

Yet, there was a message here, something that wouldn’t let go.  I texted it to some friends, accompanied with only a descriptive caption.

A couple of the comments in return were of the humorous sort.  But a couple of other comments, both from people in the Western world, told of conviction, of sharing the picture with their own children, of pause to reflect, of a reminder to appreciate what we take for granted, of becoming more aware of people’s conditions in many other parts of the world.

The girl in the photo and her mother had been lucky enough to find this log in the thicket somewhere along the road.  It would soon be hacked into small pieces – probably with some sharpened stone instrument – and used as firewood to heat up their next few meager meals prepared in their dirt floor hut.


When was the last time you or I touched a real log out of necessity rather than simply for the pleasure of a cozy fire?

YesWeServe Update

Beacon Bible Camp!


BBC in Ghana, come in!


Sixty 1-3 graders are having a blast; they are out of school uniform and allowed to wear “home clothes”, they are with their friends, there is no homework, and they are at Beacon Bible Camp (BBC)!


The kids are divided into teams with names like “Invincible”, “Unbeatable”, and they have taken to their team identities with gusto.  The theme verse for the camp is Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”


When we talked about what we are set apart for, the suggestions were many: to be someone’s friend, to help others- and a couple of “wrong answer” ones, too 🙂 – and you can do those things through kindness, sharing, let others go first in line, etc.  There were certainly plenty of opportunities to put all of that into practice at camp:  The kids run, crawl and jump through the obstacle course, play football (we’re in Ghana, after all!), dance (see former comment!), do hula hoops, learn from interactive Bible lessons, join in lots of energetic singing (Indeed making a joyful noise to the Lord!), crafts (why can’t Goliath’s armor be green – or yellow?), praise and worship (did I mention Praise and Worship?!), not to forget the snack and meal times!


The mother of one of the boys has distinguished herself in communication with the school as really adept at pointing out the things about the school she didn’t like.  That’s why her long text, after her son returned with glorious reports the first night, was such a big surprise!  She was telling us how much her son had enjoyed the day at BBC and how he couldn’t wait to come back tomorrow!  It’s such an inspiration to receive happy feedback – and particularly when it’s from normally “whiny” sources.  In addition to a child’s general, unbridled enthusiasm, I like to think that he shared with her something he learned in Bible Camp, too.


Many years ago I remember a young girl who was part of a huge outdoor gathering of “Teens for Jesus” being interviewed by a newspaper reporter. 

“So, what do you believe?” asked the journalist.  

Answered the girl: “I have no idea, but we are having a great time!” 

The kids at BBC will agree strongly with the second part of the answer, but as to the first part they know that the foundation for a Godly life is integral every day at Beacon School; the BBC only heightens the great times!

Prayer Requests

Pray for Alex!


For several years Alex has been a trusted driver of the Anchor Church van for our Missionary for a Day trips to Mexicali. So dependable, in fact, that, when he on extremely rare one-off occasions haven’t been able to make the trip, mild panic has set in as we were scrambling for enough seats in cars to accommodate our traveling volunteers.

But he is so much more than “just a driver”. In Mexicali the kids always ask about “El Gordo” (Fatman) (a term on endearment Alex readily responds to 😃). Last month the children wrote a note each that we brought back with us for him; “I love you”, “I miss you”, “Get well soon”, “God bless you”, written with crayons and expressing the colorful bunch that they are. And the colorful person Alex is! They miss their “personal jumping castle” – and that’s a tribute to a young man who so clearly loves and enjoys our niños in Mexicali.

For the past three consecutive months Alex haven’t been able to make the trip. Unidentified pain made driving impossible. The pain persisted and grew worse. Finally, a doctor’s diagnose revealed that Alex has Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of soft tissue cancer.. While it is good to know what is causing the pain, the remedy is brutal. Now into his third round of chemo treatment, Alex and all his friends and family are praying and hoping the treatment will eradicate the cancer from his body.

Please pray for Alex and the healing of his disease!