Sunday, September 27, 2009

House Building

Our home church Sparks Christian Fellowship came and built a house for a mom and her daughter: Ima and Wendi Torrez Venegas.  We all had a good time working together, chasing kids, meeting the family and other children from nearby,   and spending a weekend together in a very meaningful way. I am always impressed with the job SCF does when they come to build, and it is such a blessing to us as a family to have our church participating in what is going on here in Ensenada over and over and over! I,(Bill the author) am a cook by trade, I can put together a solid paragraph when I need to, and I can also play guitar and play Bass if I need to. I am not a carpenter though so I am not a lot of help on the building site.  So I try to help out a little, chase my kids around and keep them from falling into a hole or something else dangerous, and pick up trash; My real part in all of this is really a support role, I make sure the food is cooked for the teams and that the lunches are packed properly.
A good, injury free, safe time was had by all. The only tears I witnessed were ones of gratitude and joy. 
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Road Construction

 We are getting the road next door paved and it is quite a project. Graders, bulldozers, hydraulic shovels, and dumptrucks are working together to put a nice road next to the YWAM Base....  Actually they are doing this for the new government office that is being constructed up the street.  Whatever it takes, I am excited for the upcoming lack of dust that will accompany the new road. Also drainage is being installed so now when it rains we will not have a giant mud lake lingering for a few weeks. 
Posted by Picasa

One of our Staffers, Esther Gastelum

This is Esther, she has been part of YWAM San Diego Baja for 9 years, she is in charge of selecting families to receive houses. She lives in town with her husband Salomon and their 2 children Iliana 2 and Saul 4 months.   Esther is a very sweet woman and she does a really important job that carries a lot of responsibility, she selects the families and also makes sure that the ones selected are truly eligible to get the house and not cheating the system. So I wanted to get her picture up on our blog so more people can get to know her.   Since she is usually interacting with the families she doesn't get to meet teams that are here to build. here is a link to Esthers staff page if you want to make a donation to help out with what she is doing here Gastelum Family&menu=staffstu&type=Staff
Posted by Picasa

House Building we will go!!!

 The team from Sparks Christian Fellowship will be arriving tomorrow afternoon and we will be swinging hammers, painting, lifting wood,and getting blessed as we get to bless a family. There will be a lot of joy, and maybe a bit too much joy...  I dont know. we will be posting more photos from this actual build next Monday, these photos are from a project that happened earlier this year.  If you have never done this SCF'rs, take the opportunity, another build will be going on in October. Talk to Rich Shannon, Or if you are reading this and not somehow connected with Sparks Christian Fellowship, then go online at; there you can find  out about Homes of Hope and how to get involved and who to call or email and get started. Come on down, its a tremendous experience, it could change your life.
Posted by Picasa

Emily's Party

 We had party for Emily here on the Base last 17th of September: Cake, Pinata presents.   The kids all had a great time, they NEVER get tired of Pinata. The next birthday is for Bill, he will be 48 years old. 
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


As we get into the coming season of building houses with teams and getting ready for our Schools on the Base it has been an exciting 10 days. We continue to reach out to our nearby neighbors that come to the side of the building where the kitchen is, we have hosted a team from Indiana, and also at home we are getting ready for another Birthday for Emily. On Sunday in the early afternoon my kitchen partner and amazing helper Salvador saw a guy who was about 42 years old sitting on the sidewalk outside the building. He watched him for a while and eventually went out to talk to him and give him some water. As this guy shared his story of no home, no job, alcoholism, no family, no nothing. Salvador listened and asked if he wanted to go to a rehab center he knew of and the guy said sure and so he is now off the streets and right now is probably detoxed. I am sharing this because I am so proud of Salvador, and how he is helping out and also encouraging us here on the base and and reaching out to people in an amazing way. I really try to speak Spanish and I am always trying to learn more but I probably sound like OOH OOH YOU WATER HERE… TAKE EAT……YOU YOU GO REHAB. Yeah, so I am excited to see what happens here with our neighbors and how many people actually get off the streets, come to the Lord and actually have the life that He wants us to have. Last Thursday afternoon we had a Team arrive from Indiana they were from a company called Defender Direct they sell Home security systems and Dish Network packages. While here for the weekend they built four houses together with our Staff, and people from local Mexican churches, it was a great weekend. It was also a hard weekend because of the heat out at the job site, I heard that just about everyone was really feeling the heat. The houses were completed and four more families have had their lives improved in an amazing practical way. I had an awesome time in the kitchen cooking the meals with the other staffers together, I am very blessed with all the enthusiastic people that are here right now working together.

In a couple of days on Thursday it will be Emily’s 5th birthday, I can hardly believe it, it has been a fast 5 years. I was holding her the other day saying that I won’t be able to hold here when she is 4 anymore.The theme for this birthday is going to be Tinkerbell and we will have the usual: Cake, presents, PiƱata, and Bounce house. Last year we had a guest on base that was speaking to the staff and Discipleship Training School leaders and he got to enjoy the party too. (he couldn’t help it there were about 15 kids screaming outside his room) So he is here again, one year later and hopefully will have fun with us some more. Emily is an amazing child by the way, is totally fluent in Spanish for a 5 year old and is a blessing to me, the family, people we meet when we go places. She is the one who is friendly to strangers and starts conversations with random people everywhere. She is also a blessing in the kitchen when it is a weekend and we have helpers with us and she will go up and start visiting and making everyone feel welcome. Can you tell how much we all love Emily!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Getting help and off the streets

Here in the kitchen at YWAM Ensenada we have a few rehab centers that send guys to do some work during the mornings and in return we give them leftover food from the previous day. Today we had a few guys that are from a center that is based out of a local church here. Accion Christiana (Christian Action) So they have been coming here for the past 6 months or so on Saturdays. I know it’s a big help for them when we give them food, because all guys in these rehab centers are not paying for the rehab, there is no charge they just have to participate in the program, and help out with the work projects. And it’s a big help to me, I get a lot of cleaning done for the kitchen and also outside in our patio as well. I had some cabinets made by very skilled carpenter, and today one of the guys offered to paint a mural for us if we wanted one. I am really happy for them as well that they are getting help and off the streets. I always have people that are living on the beach and streets coming to the side door asking for food. I have seen some people a lot over the past couple of years that live somewhere nearby; I can see them deteriorating before my very eyes that to me is heartbreaking. I have known a couple people that just disappeared one day and I have never seen them again. I can only hope they are maybe in jail or moved to another state within Mexico.

We have a new staffer on the base, his name is Salvador Vallardes; he came here a couple years ago needing to work so I was allowed to let him come into the kitchen and help out, and we actually started to pay him, then he took off at the beginning of last summer. I didn’t know what happened to him, finally after 9 months he showed up. He had a dream that I was saying to him “Hey Where have you been?” I am not like that really, but whatever works. So after about one week a couple from Canada named Gene and Patti Unrau paid his way to do a Discipleship Training School in Tecate Mexico. So now 5 months later here’s Salvador. By the way Salvador is Spanish for Savior so his name reminds me of Jesus and also Salvador has been a “savior” to me as he helps me get a lot of stuff done I do not have time for, He is also going to help run the kitchen, and help me interact with the rehab center guys.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Summer Memories

This is Kayla,Emily,Erin, and Bethany right before a performance of the Passion Play.

We are getting done with summer here and heading into the fall, we will be having 2 schools going on here at the Ensenada Campus, a Discipleship Training School, and a School of Biblical Studies Core Course. The first DTS is the first school you go to in YWAM and is a great way to become a full time missionary. Of course you don’t learn everything at a DTS but it is a great program to learn to hear from God, learn about His Father Heart and what that means to you as well as Worship, Prayer, lots of serving the local community, being very involved in the daily activity on the base. The leaders of the DTS spend the 5 months of the school doing everything they can to make sure the students are challenged and in a safe growing environment during the 5 months of the school. The School of Biblical Studies Core Course is also very challenging because of the many hours spent everyday studying the bible and outlining the various chapters and learning the bible upside down,
backwards and sideways

Joey and Emily are back in school and have been involved in another season of Gymnastics. Emily learned to ride her bike with out the training wheels and is having a blast riding all over the courtyard.

I also want to make sure and mention again how great it is when we have a team here from Sparks Christian Fellowship. Whether it is Homes of Hope, Mission Adventures, or having Erin Emerson here serving with us and on the way to her DTS its so encouraging that you love what we are a part of so much that you are the church that is here the most this year. THANKS!!!