A letter from our dear friend pastor Dale Barnes

Written By: admin - Sep• 14•13

Pastor Dale & Thresa Barnes with Bill & Tammy

 

A MINISTRY FROM AND FOR GOD!

   As our airplane drops towards Tuxtla Gutierrez, Thresa (my wife) and I have a growing anticipation of experiencing in a fresh way the work God is doing two hours west of this city, in and near the city of Arriaga.  A number of years ago,  Bill and Tammy Woods and I spent a few days in Arriaga. We had all sensed that God wanted a new work to spring up there. We searched for a number of day looking for a house where things could begin; there seem to be nothing. After I left, and the Woods were near giving up, Bill happened by a store and saw a small sign: “house for rent.”  When they looked at it, they knew it was the place.

Bill and Tammy started an all day Saturday, Bible school.  I believe near 50 people were the original count.  God blessed wonderfully. Many were saved, with the reality of God presence. Bible studies sprang up and eventually a church was born in the community.  There are always challenges; sleeping on the floor until able to purchase beds. Tammy was sore as she experienced the arobic class, but with it came opportunities to share Christ with the other ladies. Once when I was there, Bill and I had taken the van to run some errands up in the surrounding hills. As we return and pulled in front of the mission house, Bill’s foot went to the floor as he pushed on the brake.  The Lord kept the brakes in working condition until we were out the hills and home.

Many times, while driving back and forth to Tuxtla for supplies, the Woods passed a parcel of land that seem to be a wonderful place to expand the children’s work. By this time they had taken in a number of children to care for. As they prayed, the land (106 acres) came up for sale, and the money came as well. That began the “ranch” project, and it has developed to the place where soon many more children will be running, playing, studying and growing. They will be loved and become men and women of God.

Meanwhile, back in the city of Arriaga, the church is flourishing. A rented building that initially held about 200 was full and running over. The last time I was there, over two Sundays, four came to Christ each meeting.  God has continued to bless. Though they were able to get extended space to rent, the place is still full.

The Lord made real to many of us that this whole area of the state of Chiapas in ripe for a great awakening. Other churches will begin to experience a visitation from God.  There will be seminars and conferences at this church in Arriaga to help feed the revival of hungry people.  It is God’s gracious working that will bring this to pass for his glory and people’s good.  Plans are  developed for a new building that will hold 600 people with a provision to expand. Oh! The wonders of God!

Over the years Bill and Tammy have been faithful to stick with the work through many obstacles.  They have proved their commitment to Christ and his work.  Having been involved from the beginning, I can say with great confidence, this is a solid work to get behind!  If you are looking for a good place to invest for the kingdom of Christ, this ministry in Chiapas, with Bill and Tammy Woods, qualifies.

 

Dale Barnes

Missions Director

New Covenant Fellowship

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Bridge Building

Written By: admin - Sep• 12•13

Bridge Model

Praise the Lord. We are making great advances toward seeing the completion of the children’s ranch. The production part of the ranch is almost complete. We currently are producing eggs, milk, meat, fruit and some vegetables for the use in the work with the children and also the goal of being a self-sustaining ranch. Our next step is the building of a small bridge that will allow us to start building the first homes for the children. Please pray and consider being a partner in the construction of the bridge or one of the 20 homes, that will aid in the completion of the vision of rescuing and raising up a generation for God.

We have had a great revelation that caring for children is not an income producing proposition. With all the expenses that go into the basic care of a child i.e. cloths, food and housing not to mention dental, medical , etc. There is an almost audible sucking sound coming out of our bank account. Our monthly budget is about $8,000 which is the operation of the orphanage, the children’s ranch, and the church. We currently have a solid monthly commitment of $3,000 which begs the question, how have we continued to operate for so many years. GOD is faithful. There have been times that we have gotten right down to the wire with our finances and the Lord will move on someone to give. We have had people tell us that they actually had a check written and had forgotten to send it, yet somehow the Lord orchestrates it to arrive right on time. God is such a great employer.

We have never felt the freedom to ask for funds but we do feel it’s Important to let you know the state of things here in Chiapas. Please prayerfully consider being a part of what God is doing through Lost & Found Int. in Chiapas. I you would like to begin right away just click the Partner button below.

 

FULL CIRCLE

Written By: admin - Sep• 11•13

Tania and Marina the first day they came to our house in Arriaga

I couldn’t believe I was being put into this situation. It was playing on all my fears and I felt like everyone in our church was watching me to see how I would handle this publicly. Why was God asking me to do this in front of everyone?  Arghhhhhhh.

Tania and Marina arrived in our house ten years ago. They had been abandoned by their mother who was an alcoholic and prostitute. I think they were four and five when they were taken to local authorities after being left with and older woman who made her living practicing witchcraft. From there they were shuffled back and forth from two different orphanages until authorities closed down the final orphanage where they lived. When Bill and I received them they were 8 and 9 years old. The girls would grow up with so much inner turmoil, anger, and unforgiveness .  Through the years, we had “God moments” with them as we worked through their fears of abandonment, unforgiveness and anger issues. They would recount the horror of their childhood memories.  We would cry with them and pray with them until they found a place of peace and healing. They began to blossom under the tender love of the Lord and we began to see their lives take on the fragrance of Jesus Christ. Talents began to spring fourth and both girls are highly musical and artistic. They have turned into amazing beautiful, young women. Bill and I have felt so privileged that they have chosen to call us Mom and Dad.

Tania now 18

Marina now 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now this…  I am sitting in church while their birth mother, Blanca, is sitting somewhere behind me.  After fourteen years she was making an appearance.  She had shown up the week before when Bill and I were out of town. Well meaning but immature sisters in the church had engineered this little surprise for the girls without any preparation. The woman, Blanca, was devastated when her daughters didn’t even recognize her and when the girls were told who she was; it was as if a grenade went off in their hearts and emotions. When Bill and I returned the girls were still trying to process everything. Tania was angry and Marina fearful.

So here I was in the middle of worship trying to focus on the Lord and asking for His grace and strength.  Bill preached and made the altar call. The girl’s mother came forward with the man she is currently living with. Bill prayed with them to receive Christ and Blanca began to cry. I moved forward and before I knew what was happening the woman was sobbing in my arms.  I asked Tania and Marina to join us and pray for their mother. Then I asked Blanca to look her girls in the face and ask them to forgive her.  With tears streaming down her face she repented and asked them to forgive her.  It was a “God moment”.

I don’t know how this is really going to end. Every Sunday since has been hard on the girls. They vacillate between fear, anger and pity. Blanca is manipulative and expects to step in and be mother to the girls. We are have to set boundaries for her and although we keep encouraging her to be patient with the girls, she is such a broken soul and unable to make rational decisions.

The girls are seventeen and eighteen now and in reality far more mature than Blanca. We are very proud of how they are seeking God for His will in all of this. Personally, this has been a roller coaster for me as well.  Other birth parents have shown up off and on through the years but not as a part of our church family. God is asking me to pastor the mother off my daughters. This is the woman who has caused them so much pain.  But without her I would have never known the joy of being their Mom.

What a great opportunity to glorify the Lord.

                             

                                                                     www.lostandfound-mexico.com

ART in our DNA

Written By: admin - Aug• 28•13

Traditional Bread Oven Made of Adobe

God is and artist. WOW and what an artist He is, and we are children of our father the artist, which means that we have art in our DNA.  The Creator who has children who create has got to bring great joy to His heart. We feel that great joy whenever are able to create something beautiful on the Ranch.  For example in Mexico we couldn’t use Lost and Found International because the translation does work so we chose to use El Faro de Esperanza which means Beacon of Hope. With that thought in mind we designed the water tank on the ranch in the form of a lighthouse it has become a point of reference for many as they travel from Tuxtla to Arriaga. Another work of practical art was something that is common in ever indigenous home Mexico, an adobe bread oven we will be using it for pizzas as well as bread.

 

Lighthouse on the Potter's Ranch

 

Rebeca’s new Prosthetic Leg

Written By: admin - May• 01•13

Rebeca was abandoned in a store when she was nine days old and placed in a state run orphanage. When she was three months old , that orphanage called us asking us to take her.  Because she had been born with a physical handicap, they felt like she needed more attention than they could give her.  We felt the peace of the Lord to take this precious little girl although it was a little intimidating to take on the responsibility for her care.

Rebeca was born without a femur in her right leg which makes her leg half the length of her left leg. Later we found out that what seemed to be a normal left leg was actually also in need of surgery. So last year we took her to Mexico City and Shriners Children’s Hospital accepted her as a patient and proceeded with her first surgery. She was in a body cast for three months but this surgery corrected her hip displacement and strengthened her good leg.

The next procedure for Becky is to have an amputation of her right foot so that she can be fitted with a prosthetic leg. The doctors made the decision to first create a boot type prosthetic that Becky could use to begin to learn to walk without the amputation of her foot.  Eventually, they feel it would be much better for her to have the amputation but for the mean time she is so happy with her new leg.

BEACON OF HOPE IN MEXICO

Written By: admin - Apr• 25•13

THE BEACON OF HOPE

Just a quick update for some of you who might be confused about the lighthouse on the Potters Ranch. In the US Lost and Found International is the name of the ministry. Well when we came to Mexico we thought we could use the same name for our Mexican non-profit, well it just didn’t work very well, so we chose the name “Beacon of Hope” or in Spanish “El Faro de Esperanza” and for that reason you will occasionally see the lighthouse in photos of the ranch. We built our water tower in the shape of a lighthouse not only because it’s the name of our non-profit but we wanted people to see it as a point of reference along the highway. It has worked. Often when people are giving directions they will say ” you know you go by the lighthouse or it’s on the road where the lighthouse is” . It has been fun to see the response. Jesus is the true lighthouse of hope and we want to reflect His light, even in the middle of ranch.

Praising on the Property

Written By: admin - Apr• 21•13

Iglesia "El Rebaño del Señor" or in English "The Lord's Flock"

We have a very good problem. Our church is growing and we have once again outgrown our location. Sunday services are jam packed and even though it is often hot and uncomfortable, we are seeing people come to Christ every week.

Last year we began to speak to our church body that we were going to have to build a church building but that it was our church body who had the responsibility to work for and pray in our funds for the purchase of the land. The Lord had shown us where we were to build but we didn’t have the funds to purchase the property.

Wow! We never expected the joy and determination of our congregation to raise such a large amount of money in such a short amount of time. The women got permission to operate a kitchen at the fair and raised so much money that the men of the church were embarrassed and challenged to do something of their own. They made an agreement with the mayor to set up a movie night in the town square showing Christian movies on Saturday nights.  They sold refreshments and had a type of garage sale at the same time. The result of all of this is that we have paid cash for a beautiful two acre piece of property with the hopes of staring construction soon.

MILK MONEY!

Written By: admin - Apr• 21•13

Milk Cow

 

Dear Partners

With all of the uncertainty in the financial world these days and the desire that the work we are raising up in Chiapas continues for many years we feel the Lord gave us a goal of making the Children’s village self-sustaining and thanks to you we are making great advances. We currently are processing pre-cooked rabbit meat that we are selling locally and we are well on our way to packaging for sale in supermarkets. We have over 70 sheep, 120 laying hens, 52 calves that we are fattening for sale. We are now shopping for milk cows so we can produce our own dairy products (cheese, cream etc) for consumption by the children and for sale as an income producer. If you would be interested in sponsoring the purchase of a Heifer or two, it would be a huge blessing and benefit to the work here in Chiapas. The average price of a milk cow is between $500-$600.
You can partner with us in this project by logging onto our website at

www.lostandfound-mexico.com and click on the link that says “partner with us” and in the section that says “note” you can designate your gift. Thank you for your love and concern for the children of Chiapas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potter’s Ranch News

Written By: admin - Apr• 15•13

 

ADOBE BREAD OVEN

We wanted to share with you a few of the wonderful things that the Lord has enabled us to accomplish in the last few months. We were also able to drill a much needed fresh water well. We then built a large water storage tank that is constantly being filled with the aid of a windmill pump this helps us reduce expenses and gives us a good amount of water during the rainy season. The kids have adopted tank as their own personal swimming hole, so we got a bigger bang for the buck, clean kids and watered trees. The picture above is a traditional adobe oven that we will use to make some really yummy dishes when you come to visit. Our desire and dream is that this year we will be able to build a small bridge so that we can begin building on the children’s village itself. Yes that means the first of many small homes for orphaned and abandoned children. Yippppeee!

WATER TANK DIVING!

Watching God Work

Written By: admin - Apr• 09•13

Bro. Duane Kershner Praying for Heberto

As some of our children are moving into adolescence, we find that they are beginning to have terrible inner struggles with anger over their abuse and abandonment. For Bill and I this has not only been heartbreaking but it has been emotionally and mentally draining for the reason that often these feelings are directed at us or our staff.

Heberto has been one of those children who for the past year has had some major ups and downs. Although he has always been tender and respectful with Bill and I, he was letting his anger boil over with his teachers and classmates.  His past was filled with terrible abuse and neglect and we could see that he was becoming angry with God and gravitating towards darker things. He has a wonderful artistic gift and his drawings were becoming more and more dark and demonic. We have been crying out to the Lord for him and the Lord has answered us.

We were invited to speak at a youth event last week and we took fourteen of our older children and around 50 youth from our church. It was a powerful time as various speakers shared and prayed for hundreds of youth. Almost all of our youth were impacted and our precious Heberto was one of them. Someone took the above pictures knowing we were in faith for a miracle for our adopted son and as always…God answers prayer!

Heberto the night he came.

www.lostandfound-mexico.com

for information you can email us at:

info@lostandfound-mexico.com