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Greetings to you from Tapestries of Life!  Welcome to our new testimony page!  We know that you are hearing much crazy news from down here, much of which is true, none of which is stopping us from doing the Lord’s work.  We know that we are in it on a daily basis and so our view is different from yours.  We do not believe in, nor walk in fear of, the BAD NEWS of our area, or of the economic status of the world. We DO believe in the GOOD NEWS of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and what He thinks of our work in Mexico.   We understand that you might be nervous to come work with us right now and others have been in your shoes.  Many have already felt the fear and have done it any way and were so very glad that they did!  Please listen to what people are saying that have been here and done it themselves!  Not sure if they bought the t-shirt, but they should have!  Also please read “Coffee with Cathy” a very encouraging newsletter asking us to rid ourselves of our giants!  To those of you who were nervous to come and did it any way and don’t mind us publishing your thoughts here– feel free to email us at:  testimonies@tapestriesoflife.com

TESTIMONIES

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NEW ADDED JANUARY 2011

My name is Savannah, I’m 12 years old.  I came with my Mom.  I thought it was going to be a group of old people who are talented at building or painting or other stuff.  But, I got down here and it wasn’t just old people, but they were nice, fun people.  When we crossed the border, it was easy, and it feels safe.  It felt safe because everyone knows the vans you ride in so the Mexican people’s faces light up and they wave and stop us to talk to us.  When you get to the orphanage, you could not feel more welcomed. I will be coming back for sure.

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This was my first time going to Mexico.  I brought my 12 year old daughter Savannah.  I felt no fear going to or from Mexico.  I even let Savannah cross without me, but she was with the group.  I knew she was safe.  We went shopping in Mexico and visited a Mexican church when it was being cleaned.  The trip was a lot of fun.  I will bring my whole family next time.  Janet

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My name is Fallon Orde and I had the opportunity to spend an amazing, unforgettable, spirit-filled week in Mexico with the organization “Tapestries of Life Ministries” during the week of January 8th-15th, 2011.  Although it was not my first time going to TLM, it was one of my most favorite times and memorable. I have been down to Tapestries four times.  Three of those times were for only  a week in January, one in which  I accepted Christ, and the fourth trip was for a few months in the summer time while I was on staff leading other small missionary groups.

One of the reasons why this past trip was one of my most favorite and memorable times down at Tapestries was because I truly felt God’s presence, protection, grace, strength, favor, and guidance upon the group. Although we were small in number we were mighty in faith and the spirit of the Lord was upon us everywhere we went. It kind of reminded me of the David and the Philistine’s how the Lord fought for them and everywhere that David went he had great success and favor because the Lord was with him. (1 Samuel 17-18).

Usually the Minnesota group has around 60 to 80 people per week but this past trip we had a totally of around 26 warriors (people) and not all were from Minnesota.  As we all know the number of people was low because the increase of violence in Mexico has drastically sky-rocked over the past year or so. I am aware that most and many people fear the violence in Mexico and do not want to get involved, I understand, have empathy, and get relate to their fears.  However, my spirit has led me to know and believe that the orphanage is coming to completion and will SAVE THOUSANDS of CHILDREN. IT WILL BE A LIGHT IN THE MIST OF A DARK, desolated CITY, AND HOPE FOR EVERY BELIEVER AND NON-BELIEVER  that see’s the orphanage AND THE ENEMY DOES NOT WANT THAT. In fact he fears that and because of that he has caused the violence in Mexico to increase. In addition, the enemy desires that WE THE CHURCH WILL SHUN AWAY FROM DOING GOD’S WILL BY NOT PROTECTING THE ORPHANS, TURNING OUR EYES FROM THE REALITY THAT IS HAPPENING IN MEXICO, AND PUTTING FEAR IN THE CHURCH OF POSSIBLE DEATH.  If we remember what scripture says, Jesus warns us that in the end violence will increase but this is only a sign that he is returning soon so fight the good fight, pick up your cross, and count it a blessing if your life is at risk for the sake of Christ, (Luke 14:25-34). Satan love’s when Christian call themselves “Christians” but when they start baring the characteristics of Christ and truly act like a Christian, it’s then he finds them a treat, something to fear, and one to attack.

My heart breaks for the church, especially the church of America.  We give him lip praise, but not our hands. We give him what feels comfortable for us, but not a true sacrifice. We declare that we would “die for Christ” when we won’t even step out of our comfort zone. We were created by him and for him, our lives are not our own and we the church should make it our main desire to make his name known, at all cost. My biggest fear for the church is this; will we really be found faithful and watchful on the day of his return? And will we hear well done good and faithful servant?

I felt no fear while at Tapestries, or while in Mexico. My faith was increased by my going. Orphans, widows, and outcast people were blessed because I went. Most of all, Satan was shaking in his boots because the Kingdom of heaven became more nearer and 26 bold, warriors stepped forward picked up their cross and fought the good fight all in the name of Jesus!

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My name is Josh Berger I went down to Tapestries of Life Ministries January 8th through the 15th. I must admit before I went I was very torn on if I should even go because of the violence in Mexico and other flesh filled fear that the enemy was putting into my head. Like the fact that I didn’t want to have to watch anything bad happen to my dearest girlfriend or any of Gods children. Until I got down there and was spoke to by God through sermon and other people I was fear full the whole way down. But like Psalms 37 says “2, Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb, 3, Trust in the Lord, and do good: Dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness. And also 7, Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass, Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret it only causes harm.” Basically this spoke to me to trust in the Lord for our situation and good deeds and he would protect us and don not lean on my own understanding but to lean on Gods promises and Word (truth).

So I put on my armor and went to war with the enemy with my Savior at my side. We didn’t have a single problem or see anything violent or unholy things at all. It was very touching for me to work side by side with Mexicans who were earning a wage (salary) for the week at the Ranch (orphanage) they were so full of laughter and spirit, positive attitudes all day everyday from them all. They were happy that people sent down money to sponsor them to help be the hands and feet of God on their behalf and be part of something much much greater than us all or any of our churches. Not to mention they knew they could provide for their families for that week with the money they earned. I saw the manhood in there work and eyes being a man myself I know how important it is to protect and provide with my own labors and skills for my two sons it gives a man a greater sense of value. I saw that in the men that were a part of our army working on the ranch with us even though much of us could not communicate very well and were of different decent or color we were one. At the end of the week (Friday) we all donated money to the ministry and purchased denim work shirts for our Mexican counter parts. We each took a shirt after lunch and physically handed it to one of our Brothers in Christ as the translator (Pkastor Steve) told them that we were one and wanted and were honored to be in the same attire (armor) as our Brothers and Sisters.

Speaking of Pastor Steve wow what a warrior of God his every word and sermons were all beyond a doubt in my faith and belief straight from God for someone or us all as a group to hear. He is a very humble and respectable Man of God to represent such a movement of the Holy Spirit.

Mercy Ministry day was on Wednesday when we worked at the Ranch half of the day then met the rest of the group that stayed behind to prepare Gods work at the Plaza in the city we drove through daily. We got to see God working through us to show the people of the town that there was hope or light in such a dark season. The looks on there face and how orderly, polite and thankful they were to see us almost brought me to tears, but remembered that people said if we cried they would not understand. After this experience I knew I was to come back at least once a year because it was more of a blessing to me to be able to experience that, and I wanted to be a part even if small of something so inspiring and great. I tried to change my flight and stay for another week but the airport wanted almost as much as it would cost me to fly round trip to do so. So in conclusion I am not planning on waiting a year to go back and plan on staying for more than a week next time. I got a lot going on in the next few months online school, two boys, school in person one day every other week ect but I will carve out time and money even though I am unemployed to be a warrior for God and such a noble and great cause.  Thank You for you time
Josh Berger
If you have any questions
feel free to call me:
(651)-329-4767

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*A local church assisted a team in coming to serve us in January.  The following letters were written to the church, but also shared with us to post here.*

Thank you so much for contributing to the cost of so many people.  It has been life changing for all of them.  We were all shocked at how safe we felt and thanked God for all the prayers.  Your faithfulness is so appreciated.  Thank you so much for all you have done.  Connie

I would first like to send my deepest gratitudes to your church and mission board.  My trip to Guadalupe, Mexico has been the hugest miracle in my life for a long while.  Spending a week in God’s presence and labor has been amazing.  The number one thing that stands out is our community service day in Guadalupe plaza square.  We passed out food and supplies to over 300 families!!  🙂  But that was AFTER they had first heard The Gospel and had an altar call.  Fifteen people went forward to receive Christ and many others were in the crowd with tear filled eyes.    People from all walks of life heard the message of hope and forgiveness and that was as glorious as the starving people receiving food.  God is AWESOME and your church helped make it possible.  Thank you and bless you and much love~Tabatha

I just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful gift you have blessed us with.  It was a great experience and had a really good time serving for the Lord!  Crossing the border and coming down here I had absolutely no fear at all, cause I knew in my heart that if this path was showed to me by God that he would be right there with me.  It is really sad to see how much things we take for granted from our hair, to our shoes, our clothes, to brand of toothpastes.  And they are just so blessed to get beans and rice, bananas, eggs bread and it was such a joy to see the faces of the children as I handed them a stuffed animal.  Again, I just want to thank you for giving me this opportunity.  God Bless You.  Jessica

By Terry Kohlmyer

This was my 3rd trip down to Mexico working on the Orphanage and every trip has been more rewarding to my spiritual condition. Even though the violence seems to be escalating I believe God will prevail in the end. Mercy Day seemed to have a peaceful and joy filled atmosphere about it and 350 families were fed.  I pray all of the people going down to work on Orphanage will stay strong in their support of Pastor Steve, Tapestries of Life staff, the people of Caseta, Guadalupe and wherever the violence is happening.  In the name of JESUS and GODS LOVE  – Terry

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My Tapestries of Life Ministries Trip. October 30 – November 6, 2010. By Melanie Bedner

This was my second trip to Fabens, TX and Guadalupe Distrito Bravo, Chihuahua, Mexico. Was it a worthwhile and productive trip? Absolutely, 100%–YES! Was I afraid to go? Honestly—yes. To tell you the whole truth, I had second thoughts all summer long about whether I was being led to go or not. It was a back and forth struggle; a roller coaster ride that made me crazy, and angry. I’d be totally psyched for the trip as I worked alongside my friends at the Soup N Sandwich Fundraisers, or when I heard a song on K-Love that we sang every morning during worship on the trip last year. Then someone or something would suck the joy right out of me, like a dementor in Harry Potter’s world, like someone saying, “Why don’t you just help people right here in our country; there are plenty that need help,” or seeing a skit on Saturday Night Live that mocked the violence in Mexico. I struggled with basing my decision to go on my own desire vs. God’s will for me. I’m embarrassed to admit that the thought ran through my mind that I almost preferred staying home so I could hang the curtains in my new house and start packing to move. How ridiculous is that? How selfish can I be? How would that bring honor and glory to my God?

So it wasn’t just occasional fear that almost derailed my plans to go, but also my own selfish desires. What I did next helped me get back on track. I decided to fast from the busyness, food, drink and other vices that distanced me from God. I attempted a twenty-one day fast of just four things of what I saw to be huge distractions from my communication with God. I lasted a whole eleven days, but it was definitely worthwhile and I will definitely attempt it again.

I also started the six-week Bible study, led by Melany Hamilton, called “Stepping Up” by Beth Moore, (if you’re a woman and have never done one of Beth’s studies I highly recommend it). It was amazing how the daily homework lessons spoke to me about my spiritual life in general, but also about the TLM trip. The study is on the Psalms of Ascent, or 120-134. For lack of space and time, and to not lose you with too much detail, the Psalms were telling me how on this journey of life on earth, on our “ascent” to a closer relationship with God: that I have to let go of self pity for my hardships and pray for those in my life that I see as bringing on much of that hardship; to stay at the Lord’s feet, on my knees, and with my eyes on Him; to live in His peace; to take rest under His wing; that He puts an invisible fence of protection around me; that to be fruitful and multiply is to shine His light so bright that those of His children in darkness will be drawn into it. There are many more wonderful things He’s said to me through the Psalms of Ascent, but these few I’ve mentioned definitely helped to confirm for me that I was being led to go on the TLM trip.

I can give you some specifics of things I did on the trip, like struggle with the others about whether or not we still wanted to risk our lives to go to the orphanage. Pastor Steve Brewer told us shortly after our arrival that he almost canceled our trip, that the violence has escalated immensely since our trip last year, and even more so in the past month. He explained that many innocent people were now being murdered, and a man from a work group had been shot during a robbery at the Mexican market, just a couple of weeks before our trip. My heart was heavy as I, once again, was flying down the hill on my roller coaster of determining God’s will for me. The decisions we made would be very individual and personal for each one of us.

Other things we did on the trip—laughed! How awesome the feeling was of joyful belly laughs after such serious and tense prayerful moments. I laughed so hard that I was almost afraid the others in our group would think I’d lost it, as I laughed like a hyena while playing foosball with Terry. Who knew that a measly foosball table could erupt the sleeping volcano deep inside of me that just yearned to explode. My body decided it was not holding back one ounce of joy that week—no way! Especially with two remarkable wins in our dart competition of “boys against girls” that both ended with Cathy hitting the mark right on for the win! They were sweet victories, and resulted most likely from a little supernatural help, (not that you aren’t a great dart player, Cathy).

We had the privilege of giving out food and clothes to over 300 people, probably more than 400 people, and not having to turn any away! I knew it was a good day when I saw how pleased Pastor Steve was, how he said that they almost never have enough for everyone that lines up, but that day we did!

That same day I made a new little friend, Maria. She’s about 12 years old and speaks great English. She gave me a gift of a plastic, green bracelet, (better than gold or diamonds in my opinion), and asked me if I would take her with me when we left. She was proud of her English and asked us for a Bible in English, and also asked repeatedly, “When are they coming again with food?”

Another highlight of the trip for me was Friday. The day started out horrible—we didn’t get to go into Mexico and Pastor Steve was in horrible pain from passing kidney stones. We spent much of the solemn morning in prayer and tears. After awhile, I wandered into the kitchen, where sisters Myriam and Amelia were starting lunch—chile rellenos. I really wanted to learn to make them, so they kindly included me, and I got to help them as I learned. While we peeled skins off of roasted peppers, stirred sauce, and chopped veggies for a salad, I got to practice the Spanish I learned in college and got to know my Mexican sisters.

When it came time to say goodbye later that night, you could tell it was as hard for them as it was for us. Another work group was heading home, and who knows when the next will come. January’s groups were canceling, and no work groups coming means no one to cook for, no work on the orphanage would get done, no “Mercy Ministry Days” would take place where food is distributed to the unemployed and hungry families, no fellow brothers and sisters in Christ from the U.S. coming to share love with. I told Miriam and Amelia that I want them to come visit me someday, and I’m going to have a fiesta and cook them chile rellenos! How cool would that be!

Our work at the orphanage was rewarding. I was so proud of myself for finally getting good at hammering in nails straight. I wasn’t doing so great in the morning, but after a full day of nailing metal mesh onto bathroom vanities, I had finally straightened out! Sure, Paco, (who lives in Guadalupe and who we were able to pay to help us), he could get the mesh onto probably six vanities to my one, but it still boosted my confidence. With each nail I pounded in, I prayed that the children of Mexico would soon be using those vanities. That the teenage boys who will be in our Black and Gold room will feel and know that a group of people loves them and our Lord enough that they came from another country to paint their room with a pitcher for the Pirates pitching to a batter; the Steelers busting through the wall in a tackle with the Browns, and Sidney Crosby facing off with another hockey player.

To summarize the trip, I think of the word LOVE. That is what the TLM trip is to me, the Love of Jesus—knowing it, seeing it, hearing it, laughing it, and spreading it.  While in Fabens, I came to Psalm 132 in my “Stepping Up” study workbook. This Psalm came at a perfect time in the study. It reads:

“Lord, remember David and all the hardships he endured, and how he swore an oath to the Lord, making a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob; I will not enter my house or get into my bed, I will not allow my eyes to sleep or my eyelids to slumber Until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.’ We heard of the ark in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar. Let us go to His dwelling place; let us worship at His footstool. Arise, LORD come to Your resting place, You and the ark that shows Your strength. May Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and may Your Godly people shout for joy. Because of Your servant David, do not reject Your anointed one.”

I think of Pastor Steve and his love for God and His people. I think of la Casa de las Gemas, or “House of Gems”, as he has named the orphanage and that all of the men, women and youth over the years who have gave their service and/or money offering, who gathered at this footstool of God’s, “solamente por la Gloria de Dios”, only for the glory of God. I think of how many have sacrificed themselves and their money to join Steve and TLM, and by doing so have gained so much. Blessings like: witnessing Steve and Cathy Brewer’s missionary life and the blessings that flow from such devotion to God; working alongside and fellowship with other TLM missionaries and the people of Mexico; daily sermon messages and worship; experiencing the culture of our neighbor country of Mexico and having the opportunity to love them as we love ourselves; and to see the face of Jesus in your brothers, sisters, and children in Christ, through their love, laughter, and tears.

My personal experience of spiritual growth has surpassed all of my expectations from both years of going on the trip. I know that I’ve carried that growth with me when I’ve returned home to my comfortable life, and I can see how it helps me be a better Christian right in my hometown—serving with a deeper and stronger love, making spiritual connections in my soul as I begin to understand new things my God has been trying to get through to me, because I’ve opened myself to see and hear Him by stretching myself in faith and love. These are just a few of the blessings that I’m able to express in our limited language. So much of it feels inexpressible, but immensely alive in my soul. I’ve had the blessing of eating some precious “pan de vida”, or bread of life, and I’ve returned with a belly full of the empowering Holy Spirit, thanks be to God.

Most likely, many at Bethany don’t completely know what Tapestries of Life Ministries is all about. Perhaps a few that do know TLM think that we shouldn’t have gone, knowing of the many problems in our neighbor country. There is a likely chance that we will not have a trip to TLM next year. Cathy asked us if we will still support them, even if we are not physically going on the trip. My answer is a definite YES! There are SO many causes and groups that need support in our world. The amount of people that suffer is overwhelming to think about. But TLM is one group that I’ve been led to support with my time, money, and love. I can’t save the world, but maybe, just maybe, I made that little girl Maria’s day with my hugs, prayers, and measly $5 that I gave her. Maybe our group represented hope to our Mexican family next door. There are a lot of questions that I have about the situation in Mexico and how and when La Casa de las Gemas will open it’s doors to the scared, lonely children. But I do know one thing for sure—I can think back to many a times when the Lord touched me and loved me as His child through the work of the adults around me. My childhood was often scary, unstable, and ugly. But my Father gave me rest under His wing and protected me, even though I didn’t realize it all of the time. I can only pray that He will use me to be a blessing to others today.

Is God asking you to work for Him? Have you answered Him yet? Maybe He’s calling you to help out internationally, like with TLM, Malawi, or Haiti. Maybe some work for the Presbyterian Women is in your future, or maybe serving meals at a homeless shelter. He could be calling you to focus your service at Bethany, by helping with the youth group or volunteering to be a receptionist. Whenever and wherever He calls you to be a blessing, be sure to give of your time, money and talents “solamente por la Gloria de Dios”.

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I just returned from a most memorable and spiritually fulfilling week working at the orphanage this past week (March 2010).  Pastor Steve is such a warrior for these children of Mexico.  I feel so small compared to him.  He talked of his experiences the past few years and how God has seen him through some pretty tough things.  I felt the warmth of angels all around me this week as I was working knowing that God was walking right beside me all the way.

I was given the chance to walk the wall this week around the orphanage and was looking  over the wall visualizing all the gems running around on the property.  WOW!  As I was walking the wall I heard a lot of music in the desert along the back side of the bodega and it was not the music from inside the building.  I continued on my walk around the wall and met up with 2 very special friends in the same spot that I shared a special moment with my dear brother Keith  just a few months before God took him home to be with him.  I then continued on my walk and came up to the big water tank where I heard running water like that of someone about to take a bath.  It is so amazing what happens in the quietness of the desert when it is just you and God talking to one another.

We were protected on Mercy Mission Day by angels as we were traveling from the S mart store to our dispensa location.  I had a little boy come up to me and wrap his arms around me and he was smiling from ear to ear.  He was just looking for some love, coming from a very rough background.  The smiles on all of the faces as items were passed out brought me to tears,  these people have so very little and yet are so content.
God granted me health and safety after an accident and I was still able to get work done on the Casa de los Gemas.  When I was stuck in the El Paso ER, my doctor said to me that you couldn’t pay him a million bucks to do what I was doing at the orphanage and I said back to him that no one paid me a million bucks either I paid Tapestries for the honor of working with them.  He wanted to know what was going on and I told him about the orphanage and he thought that I was crazy.  I told him that I was being protected by the prayers of many friends and family and one amazing FATHER.  The power of prayer became so evident to me this past week in ways that I cannot explain.  I have made some of the most amazing friendships the past eight years that God has allowed me to be a part of the Tapestries Project.
Thank you Pastor Steve for your amazing dream and vision and for allowing me to be a part of this dream and vision.  People please pray hard and help to bring the children home now.  Solamente por la gloria de Dios!!!!
AMEN and AMEN!!!!

Submitted by a Tapestries friend in Massachusetts.

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Just back home in PA from my second trip to Mexico and what an awesome
time I had, it was far better and more rewarding than first time. Monday morning devotions had me in tears
but that is not unusual for me.  Pastor Steve talked about the Bible being his story from GOD
later in the week, but Mon. morning was special for me. I’ve believed for some years now
but that morning I experienced a feeling of ease and comfort about Jesus in my
heart and want to always be more Christ like in all my days. Walking the wall was powerful
as before but 3 crosses had been added in back corner and kneeling, crying, hugging and
unloading garbage was an experience I will never forget.  PLEASE come down to the
Orphanage and help bring the children home.

In GOD’S NAME and JESUS’ LOVE    Terry Kohlmyer Zelienople,PA

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One thing I wanted to share with you.  We had a sixteen year old girl come and sing with us last night and boy can she sing praises to the Lord!  Well she shared with us last night her reason for coming to help.  When she was a baby she spent her first 9 months in an orphanage in Peru.  At the age of 9 months her parents had heard about her from some missionaries and two weeks later they went down to pick her up.  She said if it hadn’t been for the Lord she wouldn’t have the awesome life she has.  If it wasn’t for the Lord, she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to sing in front of so many people about Him.  If it wasn’t for the Lord and missionaries who cared about the orphans, she wouldn’t have even survived.

I believe the Lord had her come last night so we could have a glimpse into what our sacrifices will produce.  It was the final confirmation for me that the Lord is calling me to come to Fabens, TX and work as hard as I can to help bring the children home. (Editor note:  This despite people saying that they should not go due to the violence and they were having a tough time fund raising.  God provided ALL that they needed and kept the entire group safe while they were here)

Thank you all for what you are doing.  I know the children will be coming home SOON!  Hang in there.  The time is growing closer.  If you would like to use this example in your next newsletter, go right ahead.  We don’t mind because it’s Solomente por la gloria de Dios.

We love you all and can hardly wait to see you in a month.

Bendiciones,
Michelle R

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From Kendal S. of Grayling, MI

This mission trip was the best thing I have ever done.  If I would have listened to the news about Mexico and did not go I would have missed God!

I felt safer in Juarez than I have ever felt in Detroit or Flint, Michigan.

Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Mexico need us.  They are really suffering more now because too many of us believe what we hear on the news.  As Christians we are to walk and live by Faith and not by sight.  Some of us are missing the mark and not running to race because of fear and canceling missions trips to Mexico.  Fear is not from my Father God.  There was 20 in the group I went with and 6 were children from April 4th to April 11, 2009.  None of us seen any violence in Mexico or in Texas:  no car accidents, gun fire, or hear a car backfire!

We are already planning another trip this year.

I encourage the groups that canceled to put Faith to work and go!

In My Lord’s Service, Kendal

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From DONNA W. of Whitinsville, Massachusetts

Steve, you are an inspiration to all of us.  You are going through so much more than all of us put together.  I was at the orphanage in early March of this year.  There was a lot mentioned in our news media about all the drug problems and  similar problems going on in Mexico.  I was just a tad nervous at first, but as I was in the airplane on my way to El Paso I prayed extra hard that God would be with us all and protect us.  I knew back at home that many were also praying for us, also.

As the week went on I knew that God had been with us.  The day we traveled to our Mercy Mission destination, God was especially close to all of us!  We got pulled over in a roadblock so the soldiers could see what we had in our vans.  They looked inside and saw what they wanted to see or what God wanted them to see!  They let us on our way.  I compared that incident to God parting the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites to get across.  If anyone was to ask me if I believed in the power of prayer I would answer them with an ABSOLUTE YES!!  Just read James5:13-18 and see what it says about prayer.  I am so blessed that I have the opportunity to work on the orphanage and I will continue to do so until it is done or I physically cannot do it any longer.

Thank you Steve and all others associated with Tapestries of Life for all that you do!  I  praise God for all of you.  Let’s all do what needs to be done to bring home these precious little GEMS!!!

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From Denise L. from Grayling, Michigan

Just wanted to add that I agree totally with the others that have sent testimonies.  I felt very safe there…. I actually worried more about Chicago and Detroit to be honest!  Satan doesn’t want us to complete God’s work.  So come on people— let’s show Satan who’s boss.  After all, we read the book– and we know who wins, right!!  I pray everyday that we can bring those children home, feed more and more people and spread The Word.
Denise L.-One of the Grayling Team!!!

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PUBLISHED APRIL 16, 2009

From Cindy D of North Carolina:
It broke my heart to see the newsletter this month and that several work groups have canceled their trips.  I know when Justin first asked us to come, the first thing my mother did was send me articles about Juarez and all the fighting and killing.  My parents were scared to death to have us go (which, of course makes one a little timid.)  Jim and Justin were so amazing.  They assured me with all the “military” men we would have around us, how could we not be safe?  Strange though, once we got there I never thought for one minute that I was in any kind of danger.  I wish I could express that feeling to those who are fearful to come and help because of what they hear and see on TV.  What they forget is that the media does sensationalize most everything!

I pray (and will continue to pray), send donations and attempt to gather people to come again.

Love you-God Bless -Cindy

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From Bill S of Whitinsville:
You’ll recall the Whitinsville workteam reading the El Paso Times online a few weeks before we were to come down, and seeing the increasingly bad news of the time, calling you on the phone and asking “Is it still safe to come down?”.

Well, Quinn told us Tapestries teams had seen no problems, and that he felt we would be safe, so we made our decision to continue to come, and to pray.

Little did we know that our prayers would be answered so thoroughly, and so directly!
On the Friday before our team was to arrive in El Paso, the Lord our God sent 3000 Mexican military into Juarez!  This immediately quieted the entire area, and the headlines showed “Juarez killings plummet after 3200 troops arrive.”

Now I don’t pretend to think that our little 12 person team accomplished this, but it’s certainly possible that the team praying at home for their work and their safety may have found the Lord’s favor. James 5:16 says “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Imagine what might happen if each Tapestries team continued to arrive through the summer, and their families at home continued to pray!  We might just bring the children home sooner, and find that the Lord heals the land at the same time!

In His service,
Bill, for the Whitinsville team

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From Greg L., Chicago, IL:

Hey Team,

Let’s show the folks down at Tapestries our support by bringing down a bigger group than ever in light of their tremendous need!  I’m convinced the safety issues you see on T.V and hear in the news are real, but I also believe that most of the crime you are hearing about is directly related to drug traffic. I personally don’t believe those people are seeing Tapestries of Life Ministries as a threat to their drug economy.

Actually,  I see the news about Mexico as a strong message to us as Christians to help out and get this thing done so we can get the kids off the streets of Juarez, away from the drug dealers, and into a safe home where they can meet Jesus the King!  That’s our calling…..let’s show everyone the Chicago group is there to the Finish!!!

Thanks everyone!  Please click me back as soon as possible!
Greg and Lynda

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Denise L.  from Grayling MI

(she was here April 4-11, 2009)

Hi,

I wanted to say thank you to all of you that made our time in Mexico so very special.  I am full to overflowing with the blessings received during our week.
What a privilege it was to meet everyone and do God’s work side by side.  To anyone considering a mission trip, please stop thinking about it and JUST DO IT!!!!  You will be a blessing and be blessed beyond your wildest imagination.

You will never feel so good about being so tired and sore!!!

Pastor Steve, you were awesome in the play.  It felt so real, I will never be the same again.  Thank God!!
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Pastor Brad of Willowbrook Community Church in Minnesota has been preaching on “The Good Samaritan Challenge” and has allowed us to post some of the key statements from his sermon.  They are very meaningful to us down here in Mexico and we thank Pastor Brad for allowing us to post them here.

The Good Samaritan Challenge-key statements made:

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive at death safely.

To the extent that you love your neighbor is really the extent in which you can love and worship God.

Go after a dream that is destined to fail without God’s intervention.

Don’t let fear dicate your decisions.

Stop pointing out problems and start being part of the solution.

Find every excuse to celebrate everything you can.

Don’t make a living, make a life.

Live today like it is your first and last day–because, it is.

Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.

A homework assignement for all of us:

If you were to give yourself a letter grade (A-F) on each of the nine mentioned above, which ones are you doing well on?  Which ones need some more work?

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