Greetings to our Family and Friends!
We wanted to share with you some recent amazing changes in our life. God has been working at growing us to move us in a new direction and, although it is difficult at times, we can see His hand of guidance in our lives. We feel so blessed! We are so thankful for His continued grace and strength as we move forward.
In July, Beky went to an art sale to support our friends who are moving to Germany (please pray for them on their amazing journey). As she was looking around an idea popped in her head. It contained so many moving parts, involved so many people and happened so quickly that we both know it was from God! Through much thought, prayer and wise counsel… Balboa Photography moved out of our house and is now a boutique studio!
In August, we signed a three year lease and have occupied a cute house with gardens and wonderful outside locations to photograph in!
You are invited to the
Balboa Photography Studio
October 8, 2011
4011 Merrill Ave, Riverside 92506
We would love for you to visit us, take advantage of our fall specials and book your session!
A Special Thanks to Don and Evelyn Lee (Beky’s Parents), Rick Balboa (Daniel’s Dad), Kim Lukens, Clint DeGifford, Jason Bourbonnais (our contractor), Kendra Peterson (designer), Christine Miller (our amazing event planner), Rose Granbacka (artist), Davis Hake, and Todd Dreyer for their help in moving, fixing, designing and helping us create a beautiful, functioning studio!
Here is the Before… Come see what it looks like now!! :)
- Balboa Studio Before
This is the last day for us. We are nearing the end and we don’t have any building projects but the day is still huge. We have gone to Magdiel Bible School. Here there are students that are following the path that God has set before them in faith. Many have no funds or ways to pay for their education. Many rely on scholarships. They believe it will happen that they will be supported in some way some how. Well today for many that time has come.
Not only did we spend time learning about many of the students, praying for them and them praying for us but we also have had opportunities to give to them. Thru finances of fund raisings, thru computers that were donated and many of the men in our group have stepped up and have pledged financial support to students. It has been an amazing day.
And though I really wish I could say more. I am spent. Its 5:00 our time and I want to share more about the trip. But this is where I sign off on the trip. Tomorrow we have a debriefing and a sharing time.
For those of you who have watched this site during this week I thank you for your support. To the men that will later watch these as you return home, I have enjoyed the time with you and I am excited about next year. However I need to recharge. I don’t know how these other guys do it for one more week. Well my prayers and thoughts are with them.
As they say in Texas. Good night Yall and God Bless.
Oh and P.S. To find out more about going on a trip next year or to financially support Power please them on www.PowerMinistry.com
It’s a hard push to the end as we are all starting to get grumpy and tired. Still today was a good day. We had one of the hardest projects today building close to 52 gigantic trusses and then putting them up on the existing building. It took several crews to make this happen, 5 to be exact. So today was pretty strait forward. Work, Lunch, hear from Ray Hansen the missionary and then back to work.
What was also cool about the day was how other organizational teams were converging at the same place and time. Hero Makers and another team that had several “season” veterans working on the pluming. Together we accomplished a lot.
The big story of today didn’t take place until we were going to the hotel after dinner.
On the way back the van number 6 went thru a yellow light. We thought nothing of it until the Mexican police pulled us over. We quickly found ourselves a bit worried. He asked for the drivers license. He shortly there after asked for us to go down to the police station. OMG we all about flipped. The shotgun of the van was thinking “TEAM” when he asked the officer if we could all get out and he just take the driver by himself. Cody you’re a champ. It was all fun and games until we realized how serious this was becoming. One of the guys shared with him in Spanish what we were doing and how we were going to missions around town. He asked the officer if he knew the Lord. He said yes. Took a moment to look at the faces of all us men and then said not to worry. He then asked if he could pray for us.
Yes, yes. Please do.
So to say the least it was an amazing day. Completing a HUGE project in one day and then this.
Its Sunday. A day of rest. Well kind of……
The dome church is always were we are at on Sunday morning. To bring blessings and to receive blessings. An amazing day for all of us, but we never know what to expect when God works.
We started off the day in a private classroom were we could spend together as a team and worship God. After we joined pastor Willie in the dome church were we the puppet team put on a brief show for the children. After we joined the band and Willie on stage were Doug spoke to the crowd. We sang a song in Spanish we had practiced, but this time it seemed so much more powerful as 2000 true Mexican voices (who knew what they were singing) sang to help us out. It was powerful. Even though I didn’t know what the words meant I could feel what they meant. After we had a brief message from Charlie Brown, Bogar Aguilar, and Dave Johnson.
Dave Johnson’s message seems to really stick with me. He talked about how on his first trip he spoke to one of the missionaries. Dave was touched and wanted to serve but couldn’t find were he felt he was the right fit. After he expressed this, the missionary explained to him that he already had a mission sent from God, a responsibility that was already set before him. He said that he needed to start serving at home. God had given him a responsibility to take care of his family. If he were to start there then God would give him more responsibilities. How can we serve out in the field if we neglect what we have already been given?
After church we were served food by the church and then broke into groups to prepare for the church festival. Bounce houses, soccer balls, candy, popcorn and the list goes on and on. The festival was a hit. Not only did it bring in local kids for some free stuff but it also served as an opportunity to share with the community about Christ.
I met few people that were visiting and others told stories of meeting people. I spoke to a man who was kicked out of prison in the US to return to Mexico. He happily came back after 10 years to be back with his family only to change his life. The most impactful story I heard was from my father who speaks Spanish. He met a young man about 22 years old named Jesus. When he was about 6 years old his parents abandoned him to the streets rummaging thru garbage cans fighting for food to survive. He said it made him strong and appreciative for what he now has. He now knows the Lord and has a loving relationship with Him. He is also a successful mechanic in the local community at his young age and gives God the glory. It’s not the story that I feel is the most strong point. It’s that fact that I see my father being a role model for the young adult men. This trip can be powerful for men if they just let it happen.
Found an Internet connection!
After leaving Laredo Stepping Stones early in the morning we headed out to Nuevo Laredo. There we ended up in Blanca Navidad. With 4 houses to construct, 1 demolition, and trusses to build we had another full day. Luckily 3 of the houses that were being built were all on the same street. Which made for a great experience. Its always hard for the first week crew to start the projects and then leave not seeing them finished. We try so had to have them complete but then it comes time to move on. And as a photographer I feel like I’m missing the final shots. But that’s part of the trip short of going 2 trips back to back. Oh well… We can rest in knowing that next week someone will finish the job on week 2 of the trip.
Again my father was on one of the job sites, which allowed for some insight into the story of the people. He grew up in a home that was similar to one of these “colonies” as a child, so to see his childhood first hand was an eye opener for me and an emotional time for him. It was like coming home for him. He says, “We grew up as children and never knew we were poor. There was always food on the table and all our basic needs were met. I didn’t know any different.” He continued on telling me that when he moved to California that “it was like moving into a mansion” even though in today’s standards his house was very small. He spent time speaking Spanish with the lady of the house. As we showed up you could see the excitement on her face. Even though these are the poorest of the poor she took time to clean her home and sweep the dirt out her doorless entryways. She got her best clothes on and put on her make up to be presentable for the men that would soon be building her a new home in one day. In Nuevo Laredo, The Power Ministry is a big deal.
Later after lunch we again separated into new groups. In addition to the continuing projects there were 2 new additions. A puppet show/ mini festival & a group of kids would be going to the zoo. I ended up doing the latter with 14 kids. I should specify that they were the colony kids. They were ages 6-15 and even though the cost to enter the zoo is equivalent to $1 US the have never been to the zoo. When we entered their faces lit up at the shear aw of the animals. Was the zoo big… well let’s just say it was like walking into the entryway of the San Diego zoo. Small in comparison but to someone who has never seen these animals up close this place was huge and amazing. It was well worth every effort to see them be kids in this world where they didn’t know what poor meant and have joy.