Will This Be You Next Time?
Team En Fuego
Rancho Des Sus Ninos, Tecate
There was a lot to prove, tons to hope for, and a dream that was finallyunfolding. All we knew was that we had the green light to go and go we went! On June 21st, an eclectic group of fascinating and fearless people said “yes” to Lifestreams Missions Trip to Rancho De Sus Ninos in Tecate, Mexico. See if you can match the team with their superpower skill set!
1. Amy Stoehr A. Man With a Mission
2. Lisa Neil B. Brain and Brawn
3. Cheryl Miller C. Watchman and Cement Boss
4. Kelli McLaughlin D. Leader of His Generation
5. Abraham Garcia E. Evangelist to the World
6. Michelle Harris F. Jenn Johnson in a 3-year-old body
7. Michael Dotts G. Holy Spirit’s Eyes and Ears
8. Lauren Hasson H. Storyteller with a Lens
9. Madison Dotts I. El Jeffe
10 Ivett Garcia J. Mexican Twin
11 Jon Stoehr K. Queen of TJ, Tecate, Playas
12 Karlet Muster L. (Hilarious) Pastor of the People
13 Chris Stein M. Voice of Santa Barbara y Pueblo y SD
14 Bob Hasson N. Fearless Get-It-Done-Girl!
15 Craig Muster O. Powerful Voice for Justice
16 Jack Kehoe P. King of Tacos and Culture
17 Danielle Dotts Q. Tenacious Well of Hope and Joy
We left, a somewhat disjointed group of people, and returned transformed in more ways than one. Something extraordinary happened when we each stepped out of our comfort zone. It was a team sport that we had never played together, yet somehow, we started to find our places. And then we began to thrive!
Each morning and evening, was filled with extraordinary worship from Jesus Culture, speakers, and a call to action, “Will you listen and respond to My call to change the world through you?” It was divinely orchestrated with each message building upon the next with vulnerability, power, story and a vision of what is possible.
One such morning, Chris Quilala, Jesus Culture’s recording artist, shared the story of his father’s brokenness, alcoholism and history of being in and out of jail. As a teenager, his father fled one small town and ended up in Redding, California, a divine move that would change everything. Feeling hopeless himself, one day a friend gave Chris a worship CD that started an encounter with the living God. Years later, he shared how at an intervention with his dad, he pulled out his guitar and played the same song, releasing the heart of God and His love to set his own father free. To see how music and worship is woven into Chris’ life illuminated the anointing to release those encounters to others, it’s who he was created to be.
Connecting to the people, connecting to ourselves.
Time with the beautiful children at the orphanage left an imprint on our hearts. Our first connections with them through arts and crafts, allowed us both to find the simple joy of common ground. Slowing down to make a necklace, paint a face, play soccer, brought our hearts into their world. Their beautiful brown eyes held hope, curiosity, wonder, strength. Jimmie and Genea Horner, Directors of Rancho De Sus Ninos, have a vision to create a family of world-changing revivalists who are greatly loved by the true Father. Meeting staff who had grown up as orphans, gotten degrees, and returned to pour out their strength to the next generation was so deeply inspiring. What could we receive that we then pour out to others? Possibilities literally spoke to us that seemed endless.
Group bonding was hilarious as Bob helped us figure out how to hand mix three huge bunches of cement with shovels, rocks, cement, and sand. Never ending water and an odd, but wildly effective method of “kneading” the cement with shovels and grit until it was ready to pour for the foundations of new homes made us all feel like absolute studs!
Will we fall off the high ropes course? Will we make it across the tight rope without losing our lunch? The zip-line became a welcomed relief off the high tower, all fear was conquered!
My own curious fear came in the form of “treasure hunting” in the impoverished hills of El Torche. Our guide told us to simply write down whatever came to your mind on a piece of paper. OK, so here’s my skeptic. “I think I’m making this up.... I don’t know.... baseball hat? That seems pretty normal.” Many thoughts were running rampant in my head until I just chose to follow this concept that God is bigger and He will show you who to look for by these clues we were writing down. Putting all our team’s clues on a single sheet of paper was going to be our “supposed’ guide. Jon and I laughed when he told me he had a red balloon and an ice cream stand. Cheryl had received a new anointing from Jesus to see visions for our trip, so she literally had a long list of incredible clues, including an older man without teeth.
Driving in our bus to El Torche, we literally came upon a red balloon briefly before us as it floated into the sky..... right next to an ice cream stand! Wow, our faith level had a huge boost! One of our amazing interpreters, Dalia, had a vision of a double roof. Walking up our hill, we found a literal double roof with a woman selling drinks and used clothing out front. From that moment on, it was our hotspot. Praying for the vendor about her life and marriage, her husband came out wearing a baseball hat and upon smiling, I saw that he had almost no teeth! “Yes, it’s him!”,I heard the Spirit nudge. This followed by the beautiful connection Dalia and I were able to share with them, resulting in them both coming to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Michael Dotts received clues that took him to an entire family that got prayer and he was not about to leave until they all were radically touched by Jesus and saved!
One by one, we started finding people on our list and reaching out to them with the deep love of Christ. As we were getting ready to go, a new woman appeared under the double roof. She was strikingly beautiful with very pale skin. “Gorgeous woman with pale skin”, was right there on the paper. Through an incredible encounter I had with her, I saw her opening more and more. I finished by asking her what specifically I could pray for, what did she want from Jesus? Retreating, I saw her heart quickly shutting. She then reluctantly told me she had been away, far away, from Jesus for a long time. Three times I was able to show her the paper, encouraging her with the truth that He knows that she is far away, but sent us specifically to fine her on this particular street to let her know He loves her and wants to care for her heart. By the third time I showed her the paper, the reality set in, and we could see her eyes soften and receive her own love encounter with Jesus.
The stories go on and on....
Watching our team radically minister at the conference, meeting needs, imparting freedom. Having Craig and Karlet Muster join us for the evening service as Karlet passionately translated the word the Lord gave me for the conference. (surreal to hear the word God gave you preached by one of your closest friends with her anointing was such an honor... just sayin’). Enjoying late night tacos after ministering. Sharing people’s life stories on the long border crossing that made us marvel at them even more. Attending Bethel Playas on Sunday where our very own Leonor pastors with her husband Senor Lopez was the final gift. Did you know they pray for Lifestreams each and every day?
On our last night, we sang worship and huddled as a team by the bonfires of Rancho, and listened to our team share how they were impacted by this amazing experience was one of those moments that was sheer magic. Four incredible days. Seventeen incredible people. Imprinted by Him because of our “yes”. Remarkable!
How does He do beyond what we dared ask or imagine. How did this group of wildly different personalities, gifts, and cultures, all blend into one beautiful and seamless tribe?
I am so thankful for this beautiful gift. I am so expectant of what our future missions trips will inspire. As I write this, I’m still shaking my head in awe and wonder at the goodness of My great God to answer my prayers in such a powerful, yet tender way.
Thank you beautiful team. Thank you my remarkable husband Bob for being a part of this was inaugural experience that has left me undone!
Next year, let it be you too!
Answers to Team En Fuego below:
1L, 2O, 3G, 4N, 5I, 6 Q, 7E, 8J, 9F, 10K, 11B, 12M, 13D, 14C, 15P, 16A, 17H