Staff Housing Dedication

For years many of our staff at the Baja Mission lived in trailers that had been lovingly donated by friends of the ministry. While these were great for short term staff they weren’t adequate for those giving years of their lives to this place. The trailers were saunas in the summer and ice boxes in the winter. A plan was developed to tear down a motel that was on the property in 1966 when Chuck and Charla made their first trip to Vicente Guerrero and replace it with two story housing with 16 apartments.

The Old Motel

The Old Motel

After years of fundraising for this project and hard work from the construction team and many volunteers, this project is finally complete!

New staff housing

New staff housing

In January, the staff and a few donors gathered to dedicate this building to God and give Him thanks for all the ways He provided.

Janelle Keller, Executive Director

Hans Visser writes: At the dedication there were words of appreciation to many people who were all involved in different ways to make this building a reality.

There were words by Jill the Baja Mission Administrator, and Janelle, the Executive Director of the organization. Then I had the privilege of cutting the ribbon. But first I was led to present a short message based on Psalm 127. Unless the Lord builds the house it’s builders labor in vain which is a biblical truth and is very familiar.

In our case it was our Bible wedding text. In all our years we have learned it takes a lot of prayer and listening to His voice to get the Lord involved in building the house. In the building process of our lives, we too often want to take charge ourselves. And it is by God’s amazing grace that this staff housing is now a reality.

Hans Visser and Mario Cordoba

Hans Visser and Mario Cordoba

It is here because of His building skills. In the building process He was molding and guiding all those involved. It is not so much the actual bricks and mortar, but the heart and lives it touches in the process. Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain.

Now, I was privileged to cut the ribbon followed by prayer and thanksgiving by Pastor Mario. The service was concluded by refreshments and a time of reflection.

Education

What a great start to the year!! Two main themes that have guided this school year are that God is creative and that the word of God is living and active. We want our children to enjoy using their God-given creativity, so we are working hard to make education fun and exciting in order that they will pursue life-long learning.

We also desire that each child will walk with God throughout their lives. The children are learning large chunks of scripture and every morning they jump and sing which is then followed by a story reinforcing biblical truths.

We have expanded the English portion of our program because our kids love speaking in English! We are also making sure that each child not only learns how to read, but that they become confident readers. It’s encouraging to see their excitement for reading and many come regularly to ask for more books from the library!

A student in the classroom

A student in the classroom

I enjoy seeing advances in our children. One little girl has even successfully learned how to read on her own. At the beginning of the year, when the children were asked to do daily reading, they groaned and complained. Now the children are competing to see who can read the most!

We’re reading

We’re reading

We also had a little girl start the year who had lived on the street her whole life. She had never been to school and did not understand structure at all. The beginning of the school year was very complicated for her! And now she has very clear handwriting and has learned all her letters up until the letter P!

We are excited about what this next semester holds and hopeful about the advances our children are going to make! Thank you for praying for us as we invest in these children´s lives!

Cheryl Trevor, Baja School Principal

Medical Ministry

The medical, surgical, dental, and optical needs of hundreds were met in our Baja Medical Center. The team from “Heaven in Sight” led by Dr. Mark Eanes and Dr. Lance Haluka of Valdosta, GA, joined us again this year. The services they provided ranged from cornea transplants to cataract removal. Physical and spiritual eyes were opened! 

Our volunteer emergency fire and rescue team continue to provide life-saving services. Three of our firemen were given extensive training by John White and his team. 
  
Joni and Friends through the Angel Ministry, continues to provide wheelchairs. The ministry specializes in mobility devices to those who otherwise would be confined to their homes. Angelina Garcia and Jessica Brown provide loving home care and adult diapers for those with disabilities who are bed-ridden.

Dr. Fred Timm, pediatrician, working in our Baja Mission clinic

Dr. Fred Timm, pediatrician, working in our Baja Mission clinic

Firefighters receiving a reward

Firefighters receiving a reward

Benjamin, Angel Ministry

Benjamin, Angel Ministry

Evangelism and Discipleship

An average of two thousand children attend our child evangelism classes. Children receive a cup of milk and a scoop of peanut butter. 

Our soup kitchen is another place where the love of God is manifested. The hungry are fed and given a portion to take home. 

Dispensas (care packages) for single mothers and their children are distributed. 

We have a weekly ministry to those who live in the garbage dump. Charles Spurgeon once said, “If you want to give a tract to a hungry man, wrap it in a sandwich.” 

Over 4,000 attend the Baja Mission’s “Night in Bethlehem” Christmas Pageant. All who attend receive hot chocolate, Mexican sweetbread, and the Word of God. We have another outreach to the community on Mexican Independence Day, where the Gospel is presented. 

Rancho de Cristo, our rehabilitation center, offers a one-year program which includes literacy and vocational training under the watchful eye of Hans Benning. Nancy Benning and Tito Quiroz are vitally involved in the Benning Music Academy in Ensenada, where over 700 students, including prisoners, are given the opportunity to study music. 

Rancho de Cristo (group photo) Director, Hans Benning (upper right hand corner)

Rancho de Cristo (group photo) Director, Hans Benning (upper right hand corner)

There are 250,000 migrant field workers in Sinaloa from all over Mexico. Our ministry teams help provide for their spiritual and physical needs. Sinaloa will be the next area of expansion for His Ministry. 

Enrique Perez supervises the expanding prison ministry in Oaxaca. Thousands of inmates are now housed directly across the street from the Mission. Enrique hosts a weekly radio broadcast to the Mixteca region. 

We support missionary Maria Villa Pablo and the radio station transmitting Christian programming to remote areas. Modesto Velasco, although blind, serves courageously in a hostile region.
 

Maria Villa Pablo (left) with a family in Oaxaca

Maria Villa Pablo (left) with a family in Oaxaca

Ministry to Children

Three beautiful homes provide love, shelter, food, clothing, education, and Christian discipleship to over 100 orphaned, at risk children. 
 
Our Oasis schools, K-6, now use the ACE and AMO programs. 
 
Specialized ministries at the Baja Mission include Disabled Children’s Learning Center. They are transported daily and are trained in life skills. Some are going on to higher education. 

Daycare Center

Daycare Center

The Baja Mission’s daycare serves 30 preschool-aged children of migrant workers (children who would otherwise be left unattended). The program provides a bath, food, education, and transportation five days
a week. 

The Breakfast Club in Zapata serves over 100 children who would otherwise have no breakfast prior to going to school. It also serves as a daycare center for those who would be left unattended. 

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club

Students attend university technical schools for careers in mechanical engineering, linguistics, business administration, nursing, and medicine. 
 
Generous donations allow for over 100 of our children to attend either summer camp or conferences.

Awesome Christmas Stockings

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We stood amazed; Vicki Gravell shopped all year to purchase age appropriate gifts for over 100 children. 

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The women of the Village Church in Laguna Woods, CA, went to Vicki’s home to fill the stockings, (really Christmas cloth bags). 

There were “American Girl Dolls” dressed by Vicki. Cuddly dolls, Legos, arts and craft material and soccer balls. It was like a giant toy store. The event was extraordinarily well organized. We were in awe of Vicki’s out pouring of love for the least of these. 
And for our children in Oaxaca, Ranell Conine from Winnetka, IL raised money with her friends so the staff there could purchase gifts to go in their stockings. 

This was the fourth year Ranell blessed our children in this way.

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Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

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It was a Christmas tradition for Harry and Betty Sherda to attend Midnight service at the Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, CA. 


The words of “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” are poignant with meaning. “Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” Betty prayed, “Oh Holy Child of Bethlehem be born in us (me) today.” Betty, an agnostic, was born again. 

The Sherdas served on our board for over 20 years. Harry, a C.P.A. served as Treasurer. Betty, a court translator, traveled with Charla in Mexico. 

The Sherdas hosted us on a number of trips, including a trip to the Holy Land, led by Dr. George Wood. 
A trip to Bethlehem was number one on Betty’s agenda…but we were so disillusioned by the Church of the Nativity.

Then Dr. Wood led us to a nearby shepherd’s cave, much like the one that could have been used by the innkeeper. It was musty and a dark, dank place. No place to give birth. We wept. No little drummer boy, or soft lights or poinsettias. No place for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Early the next morning, after the birth, we could hear the innkeeper’s wife saying, “If I had only known, I would have given Him the best room in the inn!” 

But most important; is there room in your heart for the Lord Jesus? “Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” 

The Mission Exists Because of This

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Graciela Cordoba, Baja outreach supervisor, writes: I received a call from a brother asking for help for a family in great need. When I had time at the end of the day I went to look for the family. They were in a sad situation. They literally had nothing. That day they had to leave the house that had been loaned to them for a year. Now their aunt loaned them some land, but there was nothing on it. It was only a piece of land.
   
The 12 year old daughter, Beatriz, went out to look for work and arrived at Roberto Rojas’ camp. She told him she was 18 years old so they would give her work, however Roberto saw how young she looked. 

He still wanted to help the family, so he took them pasteboards to make a small house. He gave them laminate sheets for the roof, a nice stove, a gas tank and a lot of food. They now had a house with eight children, the oldest was Ricardo who is 17 and the youngest was Milagros who was three years old. 

Their beds were wooden racks with cardboard on top and they had four blankets for 10 people. They had no glasses, so they used cut plastic bottles.   


I brought Ricardo and the three oldest girls to the clothing room in outreach at the Mission. 

The siblings

The siblings

Beatriz said, ‘Wow, my mom has never brought us to such a big clothing store!’ They were overwhelmed to find clothing and shoes for the whole family and a blanket and pillows for each of them. It is our privilege to serve the poorest of the poor.


The mother is 34 years old, from Guerrero and is sick in bed. The father is Triqui from Oaxaca. He is the only one who works in the family. Their situation is very difficult, but God is faithful. Beatriz said to me, ‘Isn’t it true sister that our house is beautiful?’ ‘Of course it is,’ I said, ‘it shows your effort and work.’ 


The Word says that when we give to the poor, we are loaning it to Jehovah.

The Little Lost Pup

Al Cunningham, San Quintin State Prison, is one of many inmates who have received a copy of The Little Lost Pup. Hundreds have been sent to prisoners, in both English and Spanish in the U.S. and Mexico. 
 
Another prisoner found a copy of The Little Lost Pup that was left behind and thought it was a kid’s book. He began to read it and was captivated. The lights went out in his cell, but the halls were illuminated. He moved over to the bars and continued to read. He was shocked; he was in the book on page 26! He was the inmate with the tattoo “Pup” on his arm! Craig had led this white supremacist to a saving knowledge of Jesus while he was incarcerated in Norco State Prison years before. A compilation of these stories is included in The Little Lost Pup, a must read.
  
Terry Meeuwsen, Co-Host of 700 Club said, “Sometimes a story is written that is so poignant in its simplicity and truth that it is powerfully effective! I highly recommend this book.” 
“Craig Pereau’s story reminds me of Isaiah 61:4, that the Lord bestowed on him beauty for ashes and the oil of gladness instead of mourning. His story deeply moved me, as it will you also. Craig’s saga is a gripping parable of his own life. I encourage you to read it and share it with your family and friends.” – George O. Wood, Former Assemblies of God General Superintendent.  

Many of you have read an Angel Award-winning book, Charla’s Children; “A wonderful twenty- first century missionary story with accounts of God’s miraculous power.” God Among Us compiles many more stories of God at work, using ordinary people to accomplish what no one thought possible.  

All three books can be had for your $30 donation to Foundation for His Ministry, or in Canada, Maranatha Evangelistic Association. Separately they can be mailed for $13/each shipping included; a precious gift for your Christmas giving. Order online
www.ffhm.org or use the pink envelope. 

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Count Your Many Blessings,  See What God Has Done! 

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 Thanksgiving is an autumn day
And a tree of scarlet hue, 
A special time we set aside
When thanks alone are due. 
 
Thanksgiving is a quiet place
Where we may kneel in prayer, 
And there converse
alone with God, 
Enfolded in His care. 
 
Thanksgiving is a table spread
With bounties from the land, 
A special time to share with all
God’s wealth in every hand. 
 Thanksgiving is a sacred time
To praise our Lord above, 
For guidance through
our earthly day, 
His comfort, care, and love. 
 Thanksgiving culminates a year
Of blessings from God’s store. 
He pours them forth to all on earth
Then offers more and more. 
 
We give our thanks and
praise to Him, 
For He has blessed our days
With life and health
and blessings
In many uncounted ways. 

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING
By Al Cunningham, San Quintin State Prison

 

No words better express the spirit of this season, than these from a great old hymn: “count your many blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” I hope your heart, as mine, is singing them today. Despite the tribulation and trials that come our way, God is good and gracious. He has seen us through another year and produced another harvest. It’s a joy to partner
with you. A blessed Thanksgiving.

We have a Story to tell the Nations

Maria Villa Pablo

Did you know we have a radio station in Juxtlahauca, Oaxaca? Recently we were able to upgrade the transmitter from 600 to 1000 watts, thanks to a very generous friend. We broadcast from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. and reach the Spanish, Mixteco, and Triqui speaking people in Oaxaca. The following are four testimonies Maria Villa Pablo received from listeners: 

Emilia is a young single mother living with her Catholic parents and six year old daughter. In the past, her family wanted nothing to do with Evangelical Christians, but now Emilia and her mother love to listen to our Christian radio station. “In moments of affliction it gives us peace. It has been a great help for my mother who was quick to judge people, but now she thinks before judging.” Emilia is faithfully taking her daughter to Maria’s church because she has understood the value of God’s Word.
 
Cristina is a member of Maria’s church and teaches Sunday school. Our radio station has a special place in her family. “The broadcast has been a great blessing in the life of my husband, Alberto, who listens to the preaching. When his customers ask questions about the Bible, he answers according to what he has learned on the radio. 

Now Alberto has started coming to church. When I tended the store, one of our suppliers listened to the station and now he comes from out of the area especially to hear the broadcast.” 

Gudelia and her husband came to Christ four years ago, broken, because of infidelity in their daughter’s marriage.  God not only strengthened their own marriage, but restored their daughter’s marriage. “Through listening to the station’s counseling programs, I have learned how to love and honor my husband and how to give counsel to my own family.  I take care of my grandchildren and apply the advice I received from the broadcast.  I thank God for the radio program because life principles are taught from a Biblical perspective.”  

Gabriela is married and has a three year old son and a three month old baby girl. She and her husband serve as teachers in Maria’s church. “We have heard advice on the radio broadcast on marriage and health remedies. We don’t have money to buy medicine for our children so we use the home health aides. God has used the station to help our marriage and bring us closer to Him.” 
 

Adventures in Canada

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The late Rev. Harald Bredesen, a noted Christian statesman, moved to Van Nuys, CA. We became the best of friends. 

Harold Bredesen

Harold Bredesen

Later, he was called to pastor at Trinity Christian Fellowship, Victoria, B.C. Harald said, “When we get settled in our new church, we must have reports of Baja Adventures.” Thus I was invited to British Columbia. 

Following the service, I was invited to High Tea at Colonel Bill Riddell’s lovely home. He asked me if I would be willing to share this incredible story with Rev. John Lucas, his friend in Calgary, AB. 

Minutes later he was on the phone with John saying,  “John, a Lutheran lady spoke at our Sunday morning service. She has an amazing story of how she and her husband adopted a Zapotec Indian baby which opened the door to their current ministry in Mexico.” 

I overheard John’s reply, “Why would I be interested in the testimony of a Lutheran lady? I’ll call you back after I’ve prayed about it.” Twenty minutes later, John called, “Fly her to Calgary and I’ll have her speak at the mid-week service.” 

Pastor John Lucas

Pastor John Lucas

It was a short flight from Victoria to Calgary, AB. As I stood at the airport waiting to be picked up, a young man inquired, “are you Charla?” I replied, “Yes.” Then he said,  “Missionaries don’t usually wear hoop earrings.”

I was puzzled by his statement, but then was driven downtown to the Immanuel Assemblies of God church where I was received with the warmest of welcomes. This invitation opened the doors to ministry across Canada. 

Our Baja adventures were shared in small and large congregations from Ft. McMurray, AB
to L’Assomption, Quebec. I was invited to be the plenary speaker to 10,000 attendants at Mission Fest, B.C. in Vancouver. 

Our dear friend, the late Rev. Percy Gutteridge recommended that I share the amazing story at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Churh in Mission, B.C.  

While speaking there, I met Olive Kieler, who was the church secretary and
 cook at Camp Luther. 

She caught the vision of bringing work groups to  the Baja Mission. Her husband, Larry, was the bus driver and they gathered up young people from all over Canada who would have their lives changed forever by the trip to Mexico. 

Pictorial journeys with Larry and Olive were amazing adventures of joy and yes, a few tears. 

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Larry Kieler was a master mechanic/bus driver. He provided the transportation to Mexico. Olive made all arrangements for their sojourn. When the Kielers and their crew arrived he was sent to the auto shop. There were vehicles waiting, including our back hoe, which was always in need of repair. Olive was met with a truck load of tomatoes. She knew how to can. Olive and her crew canned thousands of quarts of tomatoes.

Often Pastor John Lucas drove me hundreds of miles to speaking engagements that he had arranged on my behalf and Olive did the same. There were times when I scheduled my own itinerary and ended up hitch hiking.

I was guest speaker at Burnaby Christian Fellowship in British Columbia and had an evening service in Anacortes, WA. There was no bus transportation. What could I do? I walked a few blocks away from the church carrying a suitcase, a slide projector and put up my thumb. Sid Fluvog picked me up and drove me all the way to the church. I will forever be grateful.

Nick and Zoya

Nick and Zoya

From Anaimo, B.C. I met Nick and Zoya Andruff. They were certainly heroes of the faith. He was a master maintenance man.  She, a gourmet cook and a healer of the broken hearted. 

The Andruffs used their van to do procurement and made a weekly trip from Osborne Neighborhood Church in Arleta, CA to the Baja Mission. For 14 years they picked up everything from nuts and bolts to restaurant supplies. 

If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you must be servants of all. Nick and Zoya Andruff were certainly servants of all. 

More than a Carpenter

Elaine's painting

Elaine's painting

WhiIe in Wetaskiwin, AB, on one of my sojourns in Canada, I met Ian and Elaine Croft. I was invited by them to coffee at Tim Horton’s. Ian asked, “Could you use us in Mexico? I am just a carpenter.” 

I immediately thought, “He was just a carpenter.” He added, “My wife is deaf.”
Ian was more than a carpenter and she far more than an artist.  

With Elaine’s creative touch, things became works of art.

We have several of Elaine’s paintings in the San Clemente office. 

When children arrived at the home in Oaxaca, they were given a beautiful quilt lovingly made by Elaine. She taught quilting to indigenous neighbors and in the prisons. 

The Crofts have faithfully served in Oaxaca
for 17 years.

Has Kristi Called You Yet?

Everett Wilson, former President of Bethany College in Santa Cruz, CA, earned his doctorate in Latin American Studies with extensive focus on the Pentecostal movement in Latin America.

Dr. Wilson recommended his daughter, Kristi Garcia, to fill a vacancy in our U.S. office. We are so glad he did. This very talented young woman has been a great asset to the ministry.

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Kristi is focusing her efforts on calls to our FFHM family to thank them for their gifts and of course, she offers to pray for them. This is a way for FFHM to give back to the many wonderful donors who have supported His Ministry with their resources and time.

Recent calls Kristi made generated a lot of stories of time spent at our Missions, of lives changed, and of personal need:

“Charla’s vision for the work in Mexico has been so inspiring and has encouraged me to pray and persevere in my own life as I face many health challenges. I’m praying that the ministry gains recognition around the world and, in addition to being encouraged like I have been, that great resources would be available to FFHM as they continue to help homeless children and those in need in the communities FFHM serves.” 

“I wasn’t planning to take the call since marketers call often, but when my teen told me to take the call because it was FFHM and he knew I would want to talk with you, I was encouraged. My trip to the Baja Mission in my youth impacted me greatly and I still think about how I can use my resources to support the ministry. It obviously made an impact on my teen too!”

“I traveled to the mission several years ago and was so touched by the children and their joy experiencing the love of a family. Even after many years I still get emotional when I think of my experience and the impact of His Ministry on those children’s lives and my life. As I look to God for next steps in my life, I am thankful for the resources I have and the opportunity I have to bless FFHM.”

Let us know if there is a need in your life that we can pray with you about!

FFHM is now using a new management system called Kindful to make online giving easier than ever.

Visit ffhm.kindful.com and create a user account using your email address and a password.

Creating an account with Kindful allows you to manage your giving, information, print receipts and update addresses. We are here to help if you have any questions. Please call us at (949) 492-2200 and we will walk you through setting up an account to give online

Change a Life Forever

Because you sent a child to camp: They had life changing experiences and many accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. There were games, crafts, music, drama, and most important, a Bible based Curriculum. Children were given the opportunity for fun, creative expression, praise and worship. We so appreciate your faithful prayers and support.

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“To Open Their Eyes and to Turn Them From Darkness to Light” Acts 26:18

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Heaven In Sight Missions visited the Baja Mission for the 17th consecutive year since June 2001. As always, the blessings received were far more than any services provided. Each experience takes on a unique personality, and this trip was especially sweet. Not only was the gospel shared, but the team was able to minister to many faithful believers in the area. One gentleman who had unsuccessful surgery elsewhere that damaged his cornea stated that he had prayed for almost two years that God would provide someone to help him. We were able to perform a corneal transplant as a first step toward rehabilitating his eye. Another elderly man who walked in blind was able to walk out on his own after cataract surgery. He was somewhat stoic after his patch was removed and the gospel was shared. Dr. Eanes helping a patient He initially took several steps toward the door and then turned around and broke down in tears of gratitude to our Lord, so broken that he had to hang onto the nurses and doctors as everyone joined him in tears. Both of these men are a blessed reflection of our salvation and sanctification. When things are not always as we hope, God will provide “procedures” that begin the process toward healing and correction. As the second gentleman did, we often initially take for granted what God is doing to reveal light and clarity to our walk until we stop and realize what a huge blessing we have received,. Then we are broken in tears of gratitude. The Heaven In Sight team is grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside of this beautiful ministry at FFHM. Dr Mark Eanes

They’ll Know We’re Christians by our Love

Teresa Tello, one of our FFHM missionaries and a Bible Institute graduate, is serving in the mountains of Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca. Tere is making disciples of others. 

She found Francisca, a woman, alone and blind. Tere prayed for laborers to help Francisca plant corn and beans so she could eat. They also fixed railings to help guide her to the outhouse. Thank you for supporting Teresa and our other missionaries in Oaxaca

I Wanted to be a Teacher

Paola Sandoval’s heart’s desire was to be a social worker, especially helping children. But her mother died and that was the end of her pursuit of higher education. She returned to Vicente Guerrero to support her family…there was an opening in the Disabled Children’s Learning Center. She applied and was accepted.   

Marisol Carino really wanted to be a teacher but her education ended at high school with the death of her father. She studied at any and every opportunity. Then the door opened to teach at the Mission D.C.L.C.  
Teresa Guevara also wanted to be a teacher, but to receive higher education you needed money or influence. Teresa had neither. She didn’t even have bus fare to get to and from high school. Then she had a true conversion experience, surrendered her life to Christ, and wanted to serve Him as a teacher. 

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After spending a year in the third grade, wearing a dunce cap, the little girl could neither read, write nor spell. Her father told her, “You had better learn to work hard because you are not very smart.” 

A fifth grade teacher took an interest in this child, disregarding her grade point average and taught her to read. 

Twenty years later, Dr. Henrietta Mears from Hollywood Presbyterian Church, spoke into her life and Charla became a Sunday school teacher.

We Can't Always Tell by looking

The beautiful children’s home in Tlacolula, Oaxaca, is located on the Pan American Highway about 50 miles south of Oaxaca, Oaxaca.  When it was completed a huge prison was built on the other side of the highway. 

It is not uncommon in Mexico to have a child or children accompany their parents into the prison. Recently, there has been an effort to find a relative or a children’s home to take custody of the children.


Laura Rodriguez, administrator of the Oaxaca Mission, shared this story: “An older man caring for three inmates’ children brought them to the home. As the boys tried on school uniforms (required in Mexico) in the adjoining room, I asked the man if I had their names written correctly. He glanced at the paper and made a non-committal noise. I realized he couldn’t read. 
I tried to overcome our mutual embarrassment with busy work. The man left… but the children remained.
 
It is so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day and forget from where these children come. The girl who is never quiet in class has a mother with cancer. The 14 year old fifth grader used to live at the dump. The boy who cries before taking the test has a mother in prison. I would like to be better at keeping these things in mind when I work with ‘His little ones’. 

But it’s not just these children who have a challenging history. Everyone who has ever shared their story with me has shown me how little I can tell by just looking at someone. The quiet man who was punished as a child because he was dyslexic in a time when that wasn’t recognized. The boisterous young woman who carries the burden of knowing her dad has suicidal thoughts.   

Experience teaches me that human nature causes me to judge by what I see.  I hope I can learn to look at others as God sees them.”