I am just back from a short trip to Mazatlán, Mexico where I had an opportunity to see and serve the orphan care work that our church, here in Michigan, supports. I was privileged to preach a message at the Christmas service at Vida Nueva Church with the help of a translator. My Spanish is very limited and not relevant in any church service; “Una cerveza fría por favor”.
Through the week I got to work at various orphan homes with the team from our church and alongside the Back2Back missionaries and nationals whom are there in the trenches caring for these precious orphan kids 24/7. It was neat participating in my first Las Posada and we got into the Christmas spirit Mexican style. The food was great, the team was great and the work was inspiring. Check out my FaceBook Album 2014 for more pics or the Back2Back FB page here that have some great pics of the whole trip.
The big take away from the trip, struck me one day as I was at a home for handicapped orphan kids, Rancho De Los Ninos, on the outskirts of Mazatlán. There was a kid, who appeared to me, to be around 11-12yrs old. He was blind, physically handicapped and cognitively disabled. The only way he could communicate with me, was to grab my hand and have me rub his head, neck and shoulders over and over. A care giver told us that he gets constant, intense migraines daily and the massaging calms the pain he feels. She also corrected me by informing me that he was actually 21yrs old. It really struck me as I sat there that he will always need to be cared for. Unlike many orphan kids, whom it’s easy to dream boldly for no matter what their past, this guy would always need 24/7 care. Therein lay the lesson. We are called to love regardless, never-ending, unstopping, restlessly, unconditionally. There are kids and adults who will always need our love, in words and deeds. And the only way we can do that is to be fed ourselves from an unending stream of love. Even in those moments as I prayed over this young man I could feel God loving Him through me. As I saw the care givers feeding, carrying, cleaning after all these children and I knew they were being fed by the same love. This is how God chooses to be a Father to the Fatherless, a defender of Widows. Psalm 68:5. He chooses to love through us. His unending, unstoppable, unconditional love; that took Him to the cross for us. And now He offers it to a broken world through us. 1John3:16
So yes, Mexico was good. Good for me, good for my heart. God continues to redeem these precious little kids in every corner of His world though His people and it was a joy to be there to see Him busy at it in Mazatlán, Mexico.
End of the year again? I know, I feel like I say that every year. Have you ever been on a long road trip, by yourself, to pick up a friend and then return home with them? The road going just feels so long and yet the journey back so short. As our little family grows it seems like the years are feeling more and more like the road back. And we all know that time flies when you are having fun. Haha, I think there is a lot of truth to that. The friendship and companionship of our marriage has deepened. Our kids leaking has slowed down and they are stringing together half intelligible words. We are having fun. As life demands our full attention and as we fall into bed exhausted at the end of every day we are more determined than ever to live deeper and slower rather than quick and shallow.
As we go about our days and as we do ministry, we ask that you continue to pray that Christ be shaped in us more and that we become people of substance and character. This is the only way to really serve, to really be present, and to really have anything of value to offer.
Pray for us as we continue to lead this ministry despite the many challenges we have had this year. Visa problems seem to have marked our struggle this year with our staff in Africa. It seems we are finally on to a better road where they are making progress in serving orphans and the urban poor in Zambia and South Africa too. Our registration in Zambia took a loooong time but our Zambian board is excited about the road ahead. We are learning how to better serve our ministry partners on the ground. Yet we realize that our prayer must be that God would send us more workers (staff and interns) as we are all feeling stretched thin. We all wear multiple hats and the things we desire to do require a great team effort. So pray for more harvesters for the fields!
Also pray for financial support for us and the ministry. As we end out this year we realize we (staff) are all somewhat underfunded. Our staff support in Africa, the running of our home office here and our family support are not where they need to be. As I fundraiser I am not an arm twister but I do need to make a bold ask. If you are already supporting us, would you consider increasing your support in 2015? And if you are not a monthly supporter, would you consider becoming one or giving an occasional financial gift as you are able? The end of year is a great time to give a generous one time gift. (And yes, as we are a 501(c)(3), all giving is tax deductible.)
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for making this ministry possible.
-the Greig family,
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2Cor 4:16-18