Posts Tagged ‘provision’

Children of God, by Theresa Reed, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

February 3, 2012

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The other day one of my students, Jeremiah, asked if I would give him a red pen. I knew he needed it for school, so I gave him one of the many pens that have been donated to the Education Center. He smiled really big and said, “Auntie, thank you!! You always give me the things that I ask for”. I don’t really know what I asked this, but immediately I asked him, “Why do you think I give you those things?”. Without flinching he answered, “Because you are my Auntie.”

His response got me thinking. He claimed his relationship to me to be the reason why I give him things. I started to think about how much more a father desires to provide for his children and give them good things when they ask. A father longs to provide for the needs of his children. If we believe in God and have proclaimed him to be Lord of our lives, we are His sons (and daughters). Romans 8:15 says, “But you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.””

I just finished reading a book called, “The Birthright” by John Sheasby. The book discusses the concept of being a child of God and what that allows us access to in Him. In the book, John Sheasby discusses the story of the prodigal son, but talks about it from the viewpoint of the older brother. He quotes Luke 15:29, which says, “But he answered his father, “All these years I’ve worked like a slave for you. I’ve never disobeyed one of your commands. Yet, you’ve never given me so much as a little goat for a celebration with my friends.”” The author goes on to explain how sad it is that the older son never knew the power of what he had access to through his father. All he had to do over all the years was ask his father- and whatever he wanted would have been his. He had total access to his father’s riches, but never thought to ask for it- he just did his work and went on with this daily life.

Think about this for a second- we are children of God. We have access to everything that is His. All that we have to do is ask. Just as I gave Jeremiah a red pen because I am his Auntie, God wants to give us good things because we are His children. My point in all of this is that I desire for us as Christians to see the power that we have as children of God. We have total access God’s abundance. He desires to provide for us because we are His children. The best part of all of this is that He knows what we need. It is a good thing that I do not have to figure out what I need and don’t need because I don’t know the whole picture – but God does and He gives what He knows that we need. Praise the Lord for our closeness in relationship with Him!

Back2Back Nigeria provides academic assistance and tutoring to children in the Kisayhip Village outside Jos. Last fall, we opened our doors to the Oasis Education Center to expand educational opportunities for the local orphans and impoverished children.  By improving education and providing sponsorship, the children of Jos will have a brighter future.

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Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Back2Back Ministries!

November 23, 2011

Two orphaned children in Mexico benefit from a nutritious snack thanks to the support of friends of the ministry.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Back2Back Ministries!

We truly cannot praise God enough for the ways in which He has blessed and provided for our ministry this year. These successes would not be possible without your commitment to partner with us. As we look toward the future, we are excited about how God is working through Back2Back Ministries and thankful for your willingness to come alongside our work.  Please know that you are a part of our Back2Back family and we truly appreciate your love and support of the orphan child. Please keep the children we serve in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

God’s Provision for Manantial de Amor, by Cathy Huffer, Back2Back Mexico Staff

April 7, 2011

Manantial de Amor (MDA) has three different locations. With three light bills, water bills, and three of everything else, they have often found themselves in need. This children’s home has been based on trusting the Lord on a day-to-day basis and as a result of their trust in God and not man we don’t always know of their need.

Last week, the directors, Edgar and Cony, knew that two of the three locations were in need of food, so they led the children in prayer. On the day where it seemed that they would have nothing to eat, Cony went to get a bag of carrots to try and make a soup out of them. Upon her return, she came home to a kitchen full of food (you can see the photos above). Because of a prompting from the Lord, a Back2Back donor contributed money specifically requesting that it be used to feed children in our children’s homes. My husband, Greg, had gone to the store and stocked MDA’s shelves and refrigerator with food. Back2Back along with Manantial de Amor were able to give God the glory as we did not know the need only God did. And He orchestrated the timing perfectly to fill the need of the kids.

I love that God could do this by Himself – He is big enough. But He put it on the hearts of someone in the US to donate money.  And He chose to use Back2Back to be the hands to give, so that in the very time of a great need He could come in to provide for these kids. God cares for these kids. He can prove for you too. Are you struggling to trust Him to provide for you? I pray this encourages you.

The Gift of Comfort, by Kathy Couch, Back2Back Mexico Staff

December 15, 2010

When I think of putting a child to bed, I think soft and cuddly thoughts. These thoughts consist of squishy pillows, soft blankets, soft kisses, generally anything soft.

Last summer, my daughter and I spent several weeks in Hyderabad, India serving at Back2Back’s India campus. When we visited a children’s home that Back2Back India serves, one of the first things the kids did was excitedly show us their rooms.  Their rooms consisted of beds, pushed together in one platform, made of plywood, set up off the ground.  When the mission trip group members saw this, they were moved to act.  They started asking if there was any way they could purchase mattresses for the children in this home.  A national that works with Back2Back got right on the task.

When we went back out to the same home for the second day, a load of small mattresses arrived.  The kids were ecstatic.  As the group members carried those little mattresses upstairs, the kids could hardly wait to see.  We laid the mattresses on the boards and the kids promptly started lying and jumping on them.  It was a joyous moment.

What a great way to see a need and meet a need! We walked away knowing that maybe this would be the first time that these kids associated sleep with softness.  It gave us all sweet dreams.

Pursuit of Independence, by Cathy Huffer, Back2Back Mexico Staff

December 9, 2010

What if there were few expectations placed on you? Do you think you’d rise up to something better?

Milagros has had hearing disabilities since around the time she was born. The plans from her parents were to take care of her until she was eighteen years old and then pray that some boy wanted to marry her to care for her.

But, God had other plans.

God put in Milagros’ heart a love for Him, a love for children, and a desire to want more out of life. Through connections ordained by God, Milagros has had the opportunity to study sign language and is planning on finishing beauty school this spring.

Will you join me in praying for her?

She needs independence training in order to live alone or with others for assistance. There aren’t many opportunities for her here. Pray that we are able to find a place where she can learn what she needs to become independent and be safe within her environment. The picture below is of her coloring my hair. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have never colored my hair. Only for Milagros would I do such a thing. She indeed is inspiring.

Thankfulness, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

November 23, 2010

I remember as a child sitting around the Thanksgiving table with my family and all of us taking a turn to say what we were thankful for. The common things mentioned were family, friends, warm house, clothes, and it never failed that someone was thankful for turkey! We always mentioned the things that we had and gave thanks for those things. In my mind I would compare myself with someone who didn’t have the possessions or positions I did, and sincerely thank God that He had chosen to give those things to me.

After working closely with the people in the Rio, an impoverished community that Back2Back serves, my thoughts on giving thanks have changed a bit. It is easy to look at poverty and feel sympathy, pity, and guilt about what we have and what they don’t.  However, have we ever thought that poverty could be a thing to give thanks for in and of itself?

Poverty is defined as “the state of one with insufficient resources” (Merriam-Webster). It is the knowledge that you can’t take care of yourself and your family on your own. With poverty come dependence and humility and the deep realization that you need help, that you can’t satisfy your own needs. Many times we look on poverty through our self-sufficient lenses and are disgusted by it. However isn’t humility and dependence on God to satisfy our needs exactly what our Father in Heaven desires of us?

Often, when we have all the material possessions we need the thing we lack is dependence on God. We are able in many ways to provide for our own needs. We don’t really need Him. When we have too much we are tempted to disown the Lord, forget about Him and say “Who is the Lord?” (Proverbs 30:9).

In Matthew 5,  Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ‘Blessed’ is a word that means so much more than happiness. It means a spiritual joy and well-being.  Oh how much eternal joy a person has whose spirit is dependent on God and humbled before Him!

Recently, I was talking to a Mexican friend who experienced a severe time of financial need before coming to serve with Back2Back. His told me stories of walking four miles to get to school because he couldn’t pay for a bus ticket and about how he and his sisters would go to bed early at night because it helped them forget about the pain in their gnawing stomachs.

“That time was hard,” he said, “But I wouldn’t trade what I learned for anything. During those years I saw the Lord’s provision for me in ways I never could have dreamed.”

He then went on to tell story after story of the miraculous ways his Father in heaven provided him with food, clothing, school supplies, etc. Stories of people calling and inviting him and his sisters to eat the day they ran out of food, others dropping by with bags of groceries right when they weren’t sure what they would have for dinner, stories of finding the materials he needed for school laying on the side of the road. As a result of his poverty, the man’s faith in God is unlike any I have seen.

The Kingdom of God is about the least being the greatest, the last being first, and the weak being strong so that ultimately the Lord is glorified. We can praise God for weakness, humility, and poverty when it causes us to be dependent on Him and when it builds in us a testimony of His faithfulness.

Are there ways in which you can thank God for poverty this Thanksgiving?

Seventh Grade Girls to the Rescue, by Corrie Guckenberger, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

May 7, 2010

I have been praying to the Lord as to how ministry will be accomplished this summer since Back2Back made the decision to postpone summer internships/short-term groups.  How will His promises be fulfilled without the hands and feet of His body?  How will we as Back2Back Nigeria staff be able to meet all the needs of the Fatherless around us?  Well, I want you to meet the seventh grade girls discipleship group at Hillcrest school.  There are about fourteen of them who have chosen to use their Tuesday afternoons to help us care for the orphans that Back2Back Nigeria serves!

They are full of spunk, energy, excitement and desire!  Their leader is a good friend of mine and she asked if she could take her bible study to Our Ladies of Apostles (OLA) orphanage one Tuesday afternoon.  She went on to further explain that she was having some trouble with them: they were bickering between themselves and not interested in things of God.  If there is one thing I have learned being on the mission field is that the moment you take your eyes off of yourselves and pour out, your own vision starts to become a bit more focused and that is when God starts to take over.  Which is of course the answer to my own questions above.

By the end of the day, the children were loved on, protected, held up and played with, and there seemed to be a spirit of hope that filled the room.  A hope for these orphans as each and every one of them, no matter how challenging they might have been physically or emotionally were picked up and loved on.  A hope also for these seventh grade girls who were laughing, finding refuge in each other and asking when they could come again.  And there was a hope in my own heart as well as I realized that God in His providence is answering my prayer by bringing an unlikely group of girls here to serve and that He will fulfill His promises in His own way. I need not fix my eyes on me, but I need to fix my eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of my faith who just wants me to see Him at work.  I guess it is what I said about the seventh grade girls, the moment I stop taking my eyes off of myself and pour out is the moment God starts to take over and work out my vision.

Giving Thanks, by Todd Guckenberger, Back2Back Executive Director

March 19, 2010

I have been bombarded with questions of safety for the sites we serve.  Many know that it has not been smooth sailing in India, Nigeria, and Mexico and the press does not make it any easier.   I do not have all the answers and the older I get the more and more I realize that there are no guarantees, so I can not promise safety. I can only promise that Back2Back stands by the orphan whether it is easy or difficult. In my lack of having the answers, I am certain that we must pray.  I am not ready to walk away.  I am not ready to let fear win.  I believe in the impact that we have on the orphan around the world, and Back2Back will be relentless no matter how we choose to serve.

Beth and I have been talking about an article by Steward Brisco that encourages people to give thanks in the midst of fear.  This practice works for my 11-year old daughter who can sometimes work herself up with worry.

Join with me in giving thanks for what God has done in the ministry areas in which He has lead us to serve.

Mexico:

Jesus, I give thanks for Your provision for the 500 orphans we serve in Mexico.  I give thanks that regardless of whether or not people go and serve that they will not be forgotten.  You know each of them and that You have counted each and every hair on their beautiful brown heads.  I give thanks that You will “defend their cause”.   I give thanks for restoration of the hearts of the children that we have ministered to over years.  I give thanks that there are men and women on our staff who build into the teens and children we serve.  We are seeing fruit after years of investment.  It is not overnight, but rather through thousands of hours of friction against what the enemy has stolen from them.  I give thanks that some of those teens are now leading Bible studies, raising the bar spiritually for their “brothers and sisters” in the Hope Houses in which they live.  I give thanks for how You have used individuals to support the ministry as child sponsors, offer physical labor, and financially sustain entire orphanages, projects, provide birthday and Christmas gifts.   I give thanks that we have hosted thousands of servants, who have always been safe.  I give thanks that You have always protected our staff, both nationals and Americans.  I give thanks that our staff would only want to be where God has called them.  I give thanks that You have raised them up.  I give thanks to You, Jesus, that You have led us to understand that “sustainability” is what we are about.  I give thanks that we are able to be a part of seeing children get an education and stand on their own, breaking the cycle of poverty.

Nigeria:

I give thanks that in Nigeria You have raised up great nationals and Americans to serve in Nigeria.  I give thanks that You have quadrupled our staff team in less than three years. I give thanks that You have called our team to be there to serve the community of the Rekuba tribe.  I give thanks that You will provide for the neglected abandoned and abused in Nigeria.   I give thanks for the friction we have encountered in our commitment to go “deep not wide”.  I give thanks that You have brought us to serve in the most densely populated nation in Africa. I give thanks that You have led us to be about community development.  I give thanks that You have clarified that there are times when we need to say “no”.  I give thanks that You have provided a large boost of capital to get started.  I give thanks that You are in control and that we do not have to live in fear.

India:

In India, I give thanks that You relentlessly love the orphan child. I give thanks that even in a society that labels the orphan as the least of these that the least of these will come to You and be protected by You.  I give thanks that You are providing free private education for the orphans at EJH hostel (children’s home).  I give thanks that You are not dependent on us to provide for the orphan in India, but still choose to use us.  I give thanks that You have provided money for food from donors who have never even been to India.  I give thanks to You for great stewardship of Your resources. I give thanks for Brent and Lisa who have stepped out to serve You.  I give thanks that You have brought us to a country that has more than 35 million orphans that You call by name.

In India at one of the children's homes Back2Back serves

He Loves them More, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff

January 27, 2010

This past week I had a conversation that entirely blessed me. Lalo is a pastor and the director of a children’s home we work with called Imperio de Amor (IDA). I was at IDA with a group of Americans playing with the near fifty kids who were at the home that day. In the midst of the play I got a moment to talk to Lalo and to hear some of his story. IDA got a call and is expecting to receive five more kids within the next two weeks. Already IDA has an average of eighty kids. I couldn’t even imagine the weight of responsibility Lalo must feel for these kids. I asked him how he was doing and if he ever felt the pressure or burden of caring for so many hurting children. He said that the only time it really becomes hard is when there is not enough food nor money to pay bills.  Then, he said, he feels the pressure. Lalo continued to tell me about a time he felt that pressure in the first few months that he started IDA and the amazing way the Lord came through for them. This is his story:

“Two years ago, when IDA was just a few months old, we ran into a bit of a crisis. There was one day when the money just ran out. The kids were hungry and asking me for food but there was none to give them. We had already borrowed $2000.00 pesos to pay bills and more bills were due. I was scared and not sure where the money or food was going to come from. I prayed and prayed. ‘This isn’t the character of God to abandon His children’, I thought to myself. That night I went to sleep praying and troubled. During the night I had a dream. In my dream I saw a Back2Back staff member come to the kitchen in the casa hogar (children’s home) with a carpenter. He said that the carpenter was there to fix something in the kitchen. I watched as the men went into the kitchen to work. Slowly the carpenter turned and I saw His face… it was Jesus! I woke up and went to the kitchen in the morning to see if there was food. There was none there. Just then one of the boys ran in saying “Hermano! hermano! There is a man out on the road with a truck full of bread and milk.” I went outside to find this to be true. This man had no idea we were in need of food and he was there to provide breakfast for the children. Later that day an American man came to visit the children’s home. He brought with him a gift of $700.00 dollars! Enough to pay our debts, the bills, and to buy more food! God was so faithful to provide for his children.”

I was in amazement of our wonderful Savior as I heard this story! I asked Lalo if the kids at the home knew this story. He said that they all knew it! He wants the Children to know how their Father in Heaven takes care of them on a personal level! He shares with them every time God provides.

I love that our God loves these children so much more than we ever could. He provides for them even when we can’t. Jesus is the one who is watching out for them, loving them, feeding them… thank you Jesus for your mercy! Thank you, Lord, for surrounding these kids with caretakers who love you and reflect your presence. Thank you for being our good Abba Father…

Well Worth the Investment, by Matt Cooper

August 17, 2009

An Afternoon with Edgar

I know what people are thinking.  Starbucks? What a waste of money.  Ok, not everyone.  Those who love cold coffee drinks would argue that it’s worth it.  The truth is a trip to Starbucks is not something that I make a habit of.  An opportunity to connect with one of our Hope Program students, however, is something that’s worth the investment.

A couple of weeks ago Edgar moved into our home.  He is seventeen and just two weeks into his college career.  He’s new to our program and is filled with questions.  The thing about most seventeen-year-old boys though is that it can be like pulling teeth to get them to verbalize their questions, and much more so their thoughts.

We’ve just come out of a very busy season here in Monterrey, and Edgar unfortunately moved in during the last couple weeks of that season.  The great news is that today Edgar and I had the chance to hang out together one-on-one.  I needed to drop off a student at school so that they could turn-in a summer project.  As I was about to run out the door, I shouted to Edgar, “Come on, I’m taking you out!”  He quickly grabbed his shoes and we were off.

After we dropped the other student at school, my only intention was to find some place for Edgar and I to sit and chat.  It had crossed my mind to find a café to grab a coke, or an ice cream shop, but we just happened across a quaint little Starbucks.  It was Edgar’s first visit and of course his first Venti Caramel Frappucino.  More importantly it was ninety minutes to connect on a personal level.  It was a chance to have a great conversation.  We talked about school and personal growth; we talked about my expectations for Edgar and about his aspirations; we talked about his adjustment to someplace new; and in the end we talked about God’s provision, God’s plan, and Edgar’s understanding of who God is.  I could not have been more pleased with the time.

The money spent at Starbucks was well worth the investment.  The fruit from that hour and a half invested in Edgar may not be fully realized this side of eternity, but I have a feeling that our conversation was a start to a great relationship.  I have a feeling it was a conversation and investment that is going to bring many great returns.

Edgar, the newest addition to the Hope Program's James House

Edgar, the newest addition to the Hope Program's James House