Our trip to El Salvador in June with the Young Women of Vision was amazing. We arrived at the Sus Hijos Mission House with 32 duffle bags each weighing 50 pounds that were full of dresses, shoes, and make-up and hygiene kits.
Our first two full days were spent visiting three orphanages and telling the girls about the Quinceneara and fitting them for dresses. They were very excited as many of them have never even celebrated one birthday let alone ever thought they would celebrate their Quinceneara. While at each orphanage we were able to pray with the girls and share the love of Christ. For some this was difficult because they have been through horrendous situations of abuse, teen pregnancy or abandonment. Many wept as they prayed while others laughed as they picked out their dresses and shoes and each of the 80+ girls found the perfect pair.
The day of the Quinceneara, was so very moving. We arrived early at the Holiday Inn to set up and the girls arrived and they were taken upstairs to change into their dresses. They came downstairs to have their hair and make-up done and get their nails polished. They were then ushered over to the 18 foot table that displayed all the donated jewelry that we brought and were able to pick 3 items each to wear and take home. To start the party off, each girl was personally escorted into the ballroom and announced as she entered. They looked and felt like princesses!
The dinner included a speech from the Vice-President’s wife, who attended with the First Lady of the country and a famous singing artist. Then dinner was served and the dancing began. We danced for a few hours and enjoyed the Samba Band and when the girls left, they were given World Vision Hygiene Kits and a hug from each of us. Kurt Ackermann, the missionary at Sus Hijos, was asked by the First Lady to begin to put together a Spiritual Development Plan for all of the government run orphanages in El Salvador. This was a surprise and a task he knows is from God. The next day we went back to one of the orphanages to show the girls the photos and they were so thrilled. It was really great to watch their faces as they relived the night.
We were also able to visit a Special Needs orphanage one day and play with the children, have a time of arts and crafts, and help with the lunchtime feeding. The group then went out to continue work on a kitchen and bath addition to a home that was built by the teams last summer for the Hernandez Family. They lost their oldest son to brain cancer late last year. Some of the team members had taken pictures and a video of him last summer and brought the pictures with them and gave them to the Hernandez’s. They quickly hung them up in their home.
Thank you for your generous donations. We really appreciate it.
Donna and Emily Toberty
Garrett and Lisa De Blauw are moving to Lyon, France. Brian and Ashlee Cowell are hosting an event at 2pm on August 24th so the De Blauw's can share their story, and we can learn about their mission to city of Lyon. Everyone at Grace in invited to join the Cowell and De Blauw families on the 24th.
Mulenga Chella, a Northrise University graduate, came to Grace three years ago and captured the hearts of all who met him his story of God’s protection, grace and redemption while falsely imprisoned for two years in Tanzania is amazing. Mulenga married Hellen and is now pursuing his Master’s degree in Divinity at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Mulenga and Hellen plan to return to their homeland of Zambia to plant a church in the capital city of Lusaka.
This will take place Sunday, July 6th at Grace Fellowship Church (3170 Redhill Avenue, Costa Mesa) at 9am & 11am, followed by an evening of sharing with Mulenga and Hellen at the home of Tom and Jean Humphrey.
Tom and Jean Humphrey:
10601 Hambletonian Place
Mulenga and Hellen will be available after each service and would love to meet you
If you are interested in hearing more about Mulenga and Hellen's future ministry plans, and his upcoming book about his prison experiences, join us on Sunday, July 6th at 6pm at the home of Tom and Jean Humphrey.
Standing Stone Ministry recognizes the need for safe and confidential mentoring relationships and are doing something about it. They are training Standing Stone Associates; retired, semi-retired, and bi-vocational pastors to come alongside those actively serving in the ministry to be a voice of encouragement, perspective, wisdom, and experience. Who better to shepherd the shepherds than one who has already walked in their shoes? Who better to ask the meaningful questions than one who has lived the life and faced the same struggles and temptations? Who better to pray for and with these young men and women than men and women who understand the high call of ministry and the high stress of ministry? Who better to educate church boards to the care of church leadership than a former pastor?
Will you help us get the word out? This training event is coming August 19-21 to Grace, we will need help with set-up and tear-down, feeding and housing the pastors. Please contact Phil Langford at email@example.com by July 15 if you would like to be involved.
As most of you know by now, this week we will be moving to two Sunday services.
Our services will begin at 9 and 11. We encourage you to arrive on time, and we have committed ourselves to beginning our services on time. When we had only one service, it was natural to start and end a bit late, but with two services we can no longer afford to do that.
If you are a parent of a child, pre-K through 5th grade, your child will now be joining you in the main sanctuary for the first 15 minutes of worship. Check-in Process: When you arrive, there will be a check-in table on the patio for you to sign your child in. Then you will go with your child into the sanctuary for worship. After a few songs, your child will be dismissed and will follow his or her teacher to their respective classroom. For those of you with babies and toddlers, the check-in process is unchanged. And the check-out process for all is unchanged.
As a reminder our Junior High and High School Overflow ministries will only be meeting at the 11am service. Our Overflow leadership will be encouraging students to attend or serve during the 9am service with the larger church body.