Mar 27, 2018



April Fool’s! - by Cassie - 

I am married to a man who loves someone else more than me. . . 

and it’s a dude!


Yup, you heard it here first, folks. My husband loves Jesus more than he loves me. 

Did I get ya?!?

But I guess all’s fair in love and war, because I love Jesus more than I love my husband, too.

I am the wife of a missionary. 

If you are new to this blog, you might not know my family’s story of undeniable salvation, so here’s the gist: 

We were drowning in the slimy pit of addiction, co-dependence, self-pity, hate, anger, and mostly fear. (Although no one knew it, because we were excellent at looking “normal” during those horrid years. I’m still amazed by that.)

Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (KJV)

We cried out to God, knowing that left to ourselves self-destruction was imminent.

He reached His mighty hand into our slimy pit, tenderly scooped up a sorry lot of lost and scared little humans, and relocated us into the shining light of his understanding, love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace.

Psalms 40:2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. (NLT)

Today, April Fool’s Day 2018, is the 5 year anniversary of the day that my husband fell hard and fast for Jesus. The day that all that ‘church stuff’ melted away, and the actual Son of the Almighty God whispered in his ear, and I lost my husband to Jesus for real! 

Not long after that, my husband sold out completely. When I say sold out, that’s exactly what I  mean. Sold the car. Sold the business. Sold the stuff. 

That’s when we packed up the ‘necessities’ that were left, and not unlike the Clampetts, drove down to  Mexico to learn and live the missionary life. 


It was a wonderful adventure, and I’m so grateful for that time. I’m going to save those stories for another day, because I could go on and on. 

Despite the joy and the fun of serving as full time missionaries in Mexico, there was a really hard side for this homeschooling mama. I had four students, a toddler, and a new baby. We lived on a community missionary base that didn’t leave a lot of room for autonomy. I was limited in my ability to provide our family’s schedule and meals. My Spanish was lacking, and although I could go to the grocery store and do some things with confidence, I relied heavily on my husband who is fluent in Spanish. It was tough. So when the time came to decide whether or not to stay in Mexico or return to the states, I asked my husband to come back stateside and carry out his mission via multiple short term trips throughout the year, instead of living there full time.  








So even more like the Clampetts, we packed up our stuff again with the addition of our brand new baby, and our little Mexican puppy and headed back. This time, we landed in New Mexico. The Lord provided a place for us to live, and work to sustain us. Praise Him for these things!







What is Part Time Missionary Life Like?


Our situation today is a testimony to God’s provision and faithfulness. We have a home, some land, and a wonderful homeschool community. I am so grateful for all three. My hubs has been to Mexico twice this year, and has several more trips planned. The post before this one describes some of those adventures. 

I have been reinstated as the manager of my home. I plan our schedule, our meals, and I’m not dependent on my husband’s vocabulary to leave the house. Meal planning may not be important to some of you, but I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I require a special diet, so this was big for me. Another HUGE benefit to the situation we have now, is that all of our school supplies are at our house all of the time. In Mexico, I had books and supplies in three different houses, and two different countries. I was often without what I needed in my endeavor to homeschool. Also, being stateside, my husband can work. We are able to support ourselves, thank you, Lord! Some of the other joys of being here: a public library, our church home, the roads are nice, the internet is more dependable, and the grocery stores are truly a dream come true. 

But hands down, without a doubt, no question about it, the BEST thing about being here . . . 

is that God is just as much here as He was down there. 

He’s still with us. He still loves us. We still love Him. We remember who He is and what He’s done. The flame still burns between us and Jesus, wherever we go. 

Knowing this brings me so much comfort and reassurance.  



The one thing I really had to get used to, and I am still getting used to was my husband leaving for 10-14 days at a time to do his mission work. But even that has it’s blessings, although I sure do miss him at night! 

Playing the Fool

Because of the path God has walked us through, I have a lot of reflecting to do about April Fool’s Day. 

I think about how the Lord uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, and the poor to shame the rich. 

I think about the fun, the joy, and the adventure there is when we humble ourselves and choose to be fools for Christ. It’s such a different life than the proud life we lived before, a life in which we were fooling ourselves. 

I think about the irony of ‘April Fool’s Day’ to be on Easter Sunday. The Lord sent a King to the earth that no one would recognize or understand. They killed him, and he yet he overcame! He saved and forgave the very ones who killed and accused. 

I think of how worthy Jesus is. He deserves all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise . . . 
I’d be a fool not to give it to Him.


For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1Cor. 1:18)




Jan 9, 2018

Optometry Mission to Mexico 2017-2018

In December of 2015, I was invited on a mission trip to San Carlos, Sonora with a group of fellow Christians from Indiana.  That trip was life-changing for me and awoke in me a desire to do more for God in my life.  That trip prompted my family and I to sell off all we owned and head down to Mexico.  Wanting to be 'tent-makers' like the apostle Paul, we happily accepted any help anyone offered, but wanted to also work for ourselves too.

The Lord carried our family faithfully through the 2 years of full-time ministry and we had much help from our parents, friends and family.  Knowing we would have to return to the States for our 'home base' was a bit bittersweet for me, but it has worked out wonderfully for the past few months.  In October, I was able to travel to the YWAM base in Mazatlan, Sinaloa to help work on the construction of new dorms and classrooms.  Brent, the base director, has a vision to train 1,000 missionaries in 2018...now that's a mission I can get behind!

When the opportunity rose again to rejoin my friends back in San Carlos, I jumped at the opportunity.  The plan was to continue our main eye clinic in the nearby town of Guaymas, and to get a few docs together to reach out to a small indian village nearby, Potam.  Having experienced the clinic Guaymas 2 years earlier, I was asked to set up a matching clinic in Potam.  I went with Brittany, an optometrist currently in residency and we took a crew to Potam.

What a joy it was to be a part of a team bringing the Good News to those that need it!  We saw so many people in need, and were able to help most of them.  Those that needed eye surgery or special order lenses were placed on a list, and the Village Church of Dyer, Indiana (http://www.villagechurchdyer.com/) have pledged to raise the money to provide ongoing care for them.  It was also such an honor to work alongside such men and women of Christ.

We had the wonderful opportunity to stay at Art and Brenda Koenes' place: Casa De Esperanza again.  http://www.koenesministries.com/

We would leave each morning about 7:30 a.m. and drive about an hour and a half to Potam, and would see around 60 patients per day.  The Guaymas clinic would see around 100 per day, making a total of 160 people per day that were hearing the Good News of hope in our Savior Jesus Christ!

Lord willing, I'll be headed back with a group of Amish builders to Mazatlan in mid-February.  Until then, I have found plenty of fill-in work here in the States.  God is so very faithful.

"Father, thank you for the richness and the blessings that you offer to your children.  Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to serve in places where the people need to hear your Word.  Thank you for your faithfulness, your grace, your mercy, and your forgiveness.  May we continue to fight the Good Fight, and win as many as possible."

-Luke

Checking the health inside a woman's eyes
Informing a man that he needed surgery to see again, and that we would be honored to show him the love of Jesus by paying his bill.


People waiting in school desks to see the doctors...some for 6 hours.


Checking the pupils on a patient.  I'd ask them to look at my 'big beautiful nose'!
The Doctors!  We had such a wonderful time, and so much help.  There were around 45 others from the USA church and 60 from the local church.  What a blessing to be part of the Body at Work!

Patients waiting to be seen at the church. 

They were lines up outside the church as well.

The beautiful Tetakawi outside San Carlos.








Oct 8, 2017

What's Next!?
-By Dr. Luke-


What have we been up to? Well, let's see!
Since August, we've had King's Kids camp with about 60 kids from all over the Guadalajara area. They come to learn, to form friendships, and to become the godly leaders of tomorrow. Our good friend, Dennis Mixer, migrated to the YWAM base in Mazatlan and has started his Bible School for the Nations class. You can read more about his journey on his Facebook site.

Mandie was super excited to start wearing braces...that is...until the painful first few days hit! She's doing well with her 'expanser' now, and will be tightening it up every 2 weeks for the first year. The rest of the kids are doing well too and happy to be 'state-side' for now.

We left YWAM Guadalajara at the end of August. We left for a few different reasons, but mainly for work. I was able to work in Hobbs and Las Cruces, New Mexico through the end of September. During that time, Cassie and I have found a place south of Albuquerque to 'homebase' our future ministry and mission work from. We found a country home with lots of room for the kids to run. We'll be, hopefully, closing on the home very soon so we can move the family in.

The mission work continues:
In a week, Lord willing, I'm headed back to Mexico! I have to finish the process of getting my Residente Permanante (Mexican green card) as this will make it much easier to travel back and forth from the U.S. to Mexico. Then I'm off to Mazatlan to work with the YWAM base located there. The base director, Brent, has a massive new building plan for their base and I'm happy to help. We will be serving the community there through many ministry opportunities and doing tons of construction on the base as well. The base there is an old hotel, and he's gotten it approved to add 3 more floors. When I last spoke with Brent, he shared his vision of having 1,000 missionary students trained at that school next year! Wow...what a goal! I'm happy to help.


In November, we will head back to the States to work a bit more and spend the holidays with our families. December brings another mission...an Optometry mission! In December I'll head down to San Carlos, Mexico to see patients and share the good news. The bulk of the help will be coming from Village Evangelical Free Church in Indiana. We should have 3-4 eye docs and over 30 other folks to help with a youth program and sharing the Good News with the people of San Carlos and Guymas, Mexico.

There are plenty more plans after the first of the year that we are prayerfully considering and I'll let you know about in the next entry!





God Bless and let's get to sharing the Good News!

-Luke

Jul 5, 2017

Daddy loves his work!


It's true!  I love to do good hard work...especially when it can help to further the Kingdom.  I want to take a bit of time and let you know what all kinds of work we are involved with down here in Mexico.

We have been here for 15 months now and have had the extreme pleasure of getting to know some of the other workers around us.  Part of my desire down here is to work within the body of Christ and network with those that are doing Kingdom work too.

Some of our very good friends from the States are working with a local preacher in a small pueblo called Mescala.  They are building a church, doing outreach in the surrounding pueblos, and have also started a feeding program for the impoverished children that live in the church's neighborhood.

mixing concrete to build the church
sealing the roof from rain leaks

adding a floor for the Pastor
good ol' fashioned manual labor!











Here's a link to their page: The Hartup Family


Street evangelising 
Pastor Leonel sharing the Word with kids

Leading worship
A bearded gringo on guitar!




























I'm also working in a community center in the middle of the 'roughest' part of Chapala.  It's a barrio called Tepehua.  They have a medical clinic there on Friday's and they let me jump in where I can.  What a blessing it's been to work with these folks! http://www.tepehua.org


The Tepehua Community Center
Part of the clean water system

It is in need of repair
The boys enjoying the sand
Cassie and friends attending a Doula class























We are busy building a transition home at an orphanage north of the campus that is called Hope House.  Here's some pics of the work we are doing.  The Deutro's bring in teams from all over to help with the work there.  Hope House website


I repaired a 'broken hammer' by welding a pipe onto it.
We're making room for electrical conduit
Working at the Hope House
They've got an amazing aquaponics system...just needs a bit of work!











Somehow or another...the local church has talked me into playing piano for them on occasion.

There is also plenty of work here around campus:









We've also had plenty of fun as a family.  AND....We welcome precious baby Melodie to our tribe!




We are looking forward to an extended visit to the States to get the chance to do some fill-in Optometry work too.  The plan is to find a place for our family to stay in New Mexico too.  We are hoping that during our visit in August and September we can find a home and base our ministry from there.  I'm so very thankful to the Lord for all he's brought us through, and that we can work for Him wherever we are!  Please keep us in your prayers...we ask for God's strength, guidance, and that His will be done in our family as it is in heaven!

-Amen