Jan 27, 2011

Outreach to Street kids

Did you know that here in the US everyday 13 kids die on the street everyday? Below is my experience with Stand Up for Kids. Follow the link if you'd like to donate hygiene products, food products, bus passes, First Aid products, phone cards, gift certificates, new or gently used clothing (you can make bags as a group or family) I'd like to keep food & hygiene bags in my van to pass out during the outreaches. Bless you, Alida w5 http://www.standupforkids.org/news/videos.aspx?video=4

http://www.standupforkids.org/about/default.aspx Watch this

Tonight I went to my first street outreach with SUFK (Stand Up For Kids, a nationwide organization) to help homeless street kids. If interested, Go to http://www.standupforkids.org/ to find a group in your area to volunteer (or donate).
"Volunteers go to the streets in order to find, stabilize and otherwise help homeless and street kids improve their lives. Our focus goes beyond street outreach and extends to deterrence and resource programs that we provide in schools and via the internet. But all facets of our mission are guided by the mandate that our volunteers shall tell kids they care about them and then, at every point, prove it."

These kids are incredible. It's heart breaking listening their stories. The volunteers are some of the most compassionate people I've ever met. I'm so impressed by them. I hope to learn from the knowledge they've gained. It takes a special person to do what they do. These kids are sweet but can be a little rough around the edges. I was feeling pretty nervous about attending. A really neat thing for me is that we met at a coffee shop right in front of the same apartments I lived at after my mom kicked me out on the street at 17. The coffee shop used to be an Irish bar. Now it's a coffee shop we met at to bless homeless youth! The way the Lord wove all the details together is so amazing. I can tell you that at 17 on my own trying to hold on to what little hope I had, I never imagined that 13 years later I'd be OK and helping out kids in my same situation. The main kid I spoke with uses the same bus I used to. I knew EACTLY how he feels knowing that you are responsible for every single thing in life. There's NO ONE to help or to catch you if you fall. NO ONE to lean on, NO ONE TO HELP, NO ONE TO CARE if you end up a doctor or an addict, a criminal or a scientist. I've been there. I remember how it felt being rejected and abandoned. I'd work 50 or more hours a week and go to school full time and at times wondered what the point of it all was.

S shared his story with me. He was in foster care and adopted by a family at age 6. His mother went to jail for being on drugs when she had him and he remembers visiting his father in jail. Unfortunately when he turned 18 he was kicked out onto the streets. He hasn't yet even graduated. ( my husband later shared that he had many friends that were adopted or fostered but were kicked out on the streets right when they turned 18 too!) I wonder what these parents think that says to these children. The sad thing is that many of these kids are 18 physically, overly mature in other ways, but they are often years behind academically from being moved from home to home, school to school. They tend to be behind emotionally and often cognitively as well. Its' hard enough for children in a loving home to go out into the world without falling back on their parents a few times before they can finally stand on their own two feet. Imagine how hard it is, the immense difficulty it takes to make a life for yourself with being behind, having nothing to fall back on, having no support whatsoever. Add to that many of these kids get tickets for BEING HOMELESS! ( can you believe it)? They call it loitering, a crime.

The counselor asked me to share a bit since our upbringing was similar. I told S that it dawned on me one day that "I DIDNT HAVE TO DO THE SAME THINGS MY PARENTS DID. Just because my parents were criminals didn't mean I was going to be. Just because they did drugs didn't mean I had too." S admitted that he did try drugs occasionally. We encouraged him to consider the future and to ask himself before he did anything if it would help him accomplish his goals. I told him about not letting the past or a bad mistake cause him to get off track but to do the "Next Right thing." He agreed he would try though he said that is difficult in his situation. There are 3 main ways a person survives on the streets. 1) selling drugs, 2) stealing, 3) prostitution, begging as well. That doesn't help you meet whatever goals you may have. The consequences of such actions often times puts you at odds with the life you hope to make for yourself. This dashes any chance you may have of a future when you are in survival mode and just struggling to make it day to day. S is a hero to me because even though he lives ON THE STREETS he stays in school. In HIGH SCHOOL. His parents didn't even wait until he graduated before they kicked him out. Do you remember how high school was? How mean kids could be? How hard it was to fit in and figure out who you were? Imagine doing this all while not ever having enough food to eat and sleeping in a park! Picture it being cold, rainy, frightening sleeping out in the elements. Anyone can attack you as you sleep. Do you think you'd go to school well rested and ready to do your best all while having a grumbling belly? Folks, this isn't Africa or South America, or some street kids in Russia, this is here in the USA.

As "S" began sharing with me his struggles and his dreams for the future ( to join the army) and how he really needed to pass each and every final he had this week I can't help but be proud of him. Many kids would have given up. I also worry for him. He has a daunting task ahead of him. There are the life goals, his dreams, then there is the stark reality of all that is needed to accomplish this dream. He HAS to pass every single class and he hates his school, kids can be cruel. He lives outside, at times he gets in trouble as he runs with the wrong crowd. That wrong crowd does drugs. Everything is hard for him as he lives day to day without basic necessities. He's birth certificate is at one place, his clothing and school books are at another persons home. He has a job. He holds up signs to attract business to his store. To even pick up the check is an hour walk or so. SUFK will provide him with a bus pass from the donations he receives. They also give him a couple fast food cards, a hygiene bag and food bag. The one he got before had soup that needed to be microwaved. He shared he was unable to eat it as he doesn't have access to a microwave. He has a court date tomorrow at the same time as his finals for a ticket he couldn't pay. If he doesn't go to court he'll have a warrant, if he misses class he'll fail the final. It's January now. "S" will have to have incredible discipline and not make any mistakes to make it until June to graduate. He'll have to work exceptionally hard. Harder than most. I admit it seems impossible and even unfair. But something tells me not to count him out just yet. God worked wonders for a broken little 17 year old girl 13 years ago, He can do it again... with a little help.

Jan 22, 2011

Should I have been aborted?

Today, January 22, America will memorialize the 38th anniversary of the unjust Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that imposed abortion on all 50 states — opening the way for the deaths of more than 53 million babies and the wounding of millions of women and men. I'm sharing my story because it is my hope that the church would wake from it's indifference to this holocaust and actively try to end abortion. I think some "Christians " overlook this tragedy because they figure maybe its better for babies to die than to "suffer a difficult upbringing." I hope to encourage women in difficult situations to "chose life". You have NO IDEA how your child might be used to bless the world. Please look past your circumstances and allow your child to experience the gift of life. All the joys and the pain. Life is precious. I want to give HOPE to those that assume all children born in poverty will be only a burden or criminal.

Our Story
My name is Alida. I've heard every excuse in the world for why abortion is a right and should remain legal. I know many situations women find themselves in that can warrant the "need" for an abortion. I am also a living example of the blessing of "choosing life" despite all of them. I was born prematurely I'm told, to an unwed teenage mother. My mother ran away from a group home, aged out of foster care. She eventually ended up homeless and with my violent drug addict father who severely abused her and beat her so badly that hat he broke her ribs, and various other body parts. I was raised among prostitution and women exploitation. I have been told in the past that I was a product of rape and would have been aborted if a clinic would have been closer. Both of my parents were criminals and addicts. I was abandoned most of my childhood and spent portions of my childhood in foster care, in a domestic violence shelter with my abused grandmother and in various group homes. I was kicked out of the my mothers home at 17. For all practical purposes I was abused, unwanted, unloved and had no future apart from repeating the generational cycle of substance abuse, sin and violence. Many would say that I should have been aborted as I likely would have become a drain on society. Many might say that it would have been kinder to kill me than to allow me to suffer through my difficult upbringing. I say we need to stop trying to play God. Who can say what amount of pain and discomfort predicted warrants the ending of a human life. My husband was also born to a heroine addict, abandoned by his father and raised by his grandmother.

God has a funny way of making good things come out of even the most hopeless of situations. NO, life hasn't been all roses and neither my husband or I were born with a silver spoon in our mouths but our lives have VALUE. Our lives are PRECIOUS and have been REDEEMED! I am not perfect and I make mistakes as much as the next person. But, my husband and I are the first generation in our families to have a loving, stable, healthy marriage. I'm a great mother. I don't use drugs or alcohol. I'm not a criminal. My children are not in foster care. Our home is a haven. My motto is to "leave the world better than when you found it" and I live my life with the goal of Job 29:11-17, Isaiah 58:6-11, and James 1:27. My Family and I serve the community in many ways. We've visited convalescent homes, pack food for and feed the homeless, volunteered at the local birth center. We as a family participate in numerous pro-life outreach activities. I recently became trained in an organization that helps local homeless youths get off the street called Stand up for Kids. I have been a "big sister/mentor." I volunteer at the local children's home. I've been a speaker for foster youth empowering them to make positive life choices. I was recently invited with other foster alumni to speak with those working in the Foster care system on ways to reform the system and how to help youth! Beauty For Ashes! Only God can do that. I was able to volunteer on the same hospital floor my son received treatment on(oncology). We've volunteered at the Ronald Mc Donald house, frequently do our own little neighborhood cleanup. We sponsor children, serve as a family. We are in the process of adopting. I'm currently fundraising to go on my first mission trip to East Africa in April with Project Hopeful and Visiting Orphans to bless HIV orphans to show them the love of Christ. Huatzin is an amazing father, husband and friend. He's coached Special Olympics for over 10+ years, along with www.S4EA.org (similar to S.O) He now coaches for a Christian High School varsity Team. He has done Civil War and Spanish American Reenactments, loves Jesus and blessing others. We are not boasting in ourselves, only in the GOODNESS and REDEEMING POWER of JESUS. We only wish to show how good can come from the most difficult situations. You will never know your childs potential if you destroy him or her through abortion. Life isn't always easy but like Maya Angelou, "I wouldn't trade nothing for my journey now!"

We pray daily that we will be called into full time ministry internationally to serve in or start an orphanage. I'd like to start a non profit "sets the solitary into families" (according to Psalm 68:6) connecting " the solitary" (young adults without family, pregnant teens, homeless youth and former foster alumni ) with adults and families to mentor them. (teaching life skills, cooking, homemaking, budgeting, homemaking, career planning, interacting, inviting them to dinner, having them over for holidays, attending graduations, baby showers, being available to call about parenting questions, modeling and allowing them to experience a FAMILY!) I am so blessed by those who took me in (and still do) for the holidays and encourage me. I'd LOVE to match pregnant teens with mentoring Titus 2 moms to show them how to tenderly care for their children. I'd love to focus on the benefits of attachment parenting, breast-feeding, baby wearing and positive discipline. All in His timing.

Every child is wanted by SOMEONE! I have so many friends who wish to be the ones that raise a child about to be aborted. We would be overjoyed and love any child any color and would be blessed to give a child a good home. I have many friends who would love to adopt special needs children. They say as many as 90% of special needs children are aborted in this country EVERY SINGLE YEAR!!! Organizations like CHASK www.chask.org/ can easily match pregnant mothers with families that will adopt their special needs child. One thing to consider, I have known many many women who've had abortions that regret them. I have yet to meet anyone who regretted their decision to give birth to their baby. Yes this includes even in the act of rape. A best friend in high school was raped and considered abortion. She gave birth to an amazing little boy who is on the honor roll today. I became his godmother. Once you get an abortion THERE IS NO TURNING BACK! It is UNCHANGEABLE!! You can not bring a life back that has already been destroyed. I speak from experience. Not only does abortion extinguish life which is sacred, it increases your chances of breast cancer, depression, suicidal thoughts and can have multiple adverse health consequences including sterilization and death. You can google for the many stories of women harmed from complications from abortions and clinics shut down due to patient death. Choose Life for your baby! You'll be glad you did! Should I have been aborted? Should ANYONE? Of course not. Check out www.40daysforlife.com/

The Facts-
* If you were born after 1972, one-third of your generation, ONE THIRD - has been brutally murdered.
* That’s over 3,600 babies killed EVERY SINGLE DAY... in the United States alone.
* Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population (age 15-44) in the US, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.
* In America alone, a nation that was founded on an unalienable right to life, endowed by our Creator, more than 1,200,000 innocent children are killed by abortion each year.

Quick Test
A. There's a preacher and wife who are very, very, poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she's pregnant with her 15th. They're living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending she get an abortion?
B. The mother is pregnant again. Her first child died in infancy, her husband — has a history of alcohol abuse and mental disorders which frequently causes him to abuse his other children. She has tuberculosis. Should abort?
C. A poor black family in the South is expecting a child. This family, because of its skin color, already has difficulty receiving help and are already at the bare minimum poverty level. Should she get an abortion?
D. A teenage girl is pregnant. She's not married. Here fiancee is not the father of the baby, and he's very upset. He is worried for her sake and for their repution in their community. This child could put a serious strain on their relationship and on any future children. Abortion?
E. A white man raped a 13 year old black girl and she got pregnant. If you were her parents, would you recommend abortion?
F. You are a bright 18 year old girl unmarried college student, you discover the father of your child has wife and child in another country. Abort?
G. A runaway foster youth teen is pregnant by an abusive drug addict pimp. She has no family support or education and no way of supporting herself. Should she abort?
H. You are an addict, you are pregnant, your boyfriend will probably bail on you. Should you abort?

Okay, everybody finished? Here are the results:
A. In the first case, you have just killed John Wesley. One of the great evangelists of the 19th century.
B. In the second case, you just aborted Ludwig Van Beethoven!
C. If you answered Abortion for C, You just aborted Martin Luther King, Jr.
D. If you answered Abortion for D, You, my friend, have just aborted Jesus of Nazareth.
E. If you answered Abortion for you have killed Ethel Waters, the great black gospel singer.
F. If you answered Abortion for you F, you have killed Barack Obama First Black President!
G. If you said yes my friends, You KILLED me. Alida Blessed mother of 5, Adoption advocate, community servant, homeschooling volunteering mother of 5!
H. If you said yes, you aborted Huaztin Rodriguez. Loving father of 5, civil war re-enactor, Special needs coach and lover of orphans and JESUS!

Jan 19, 2011

His little Feet Concert!

The family and I went to see His Little Feet perform. His Little Feet’s Children’s Choir travels the United States, being the voice for orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide. The purpose of the tour is to bring the awareness to the millions of children around the world in need of care, as well as facilitate opportunities for Americans to respond to the needs of children through giving, sponsoring, going and adopting. Oddly enough, the missions group they promote is the same organization I hope to go to Africa with in April!~ www.visitingorphans.org

We had a lovely time seeing all those gorgeous Haitian children sing with their beautiful proud voices. It was hard for my children to learn that each and every one of the children were orphans. Real life orphans. It was harder yet to see that the 9 year olds were the size of my sized 6 year old. These kids were TINY compared to my kiddos. I explained to my children that it often is the case with orphans that may not have had healthy amounts of fresh food to be smaller in appearance than those that are well taken care of from birth. My children could hardly believe their eyes! It was moving to hear accounts on how even teenagers can help change the world for 1! The most uplifting moment for me was listening to these precious Haitian children sing "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord." I'm sure all of us know the hardship affecting so many Haitians right now. These JOYFUL children sing of God's goodness even though they are without parents. I'm sure they get asked all the time if they are available for adoption! Huatzin wanted to take the two 9 year old's Falencia and Johnson home. ;-) Please consider going to a His Little Feet event, or booking a HLF event in your area or at your church.

Sunday, January 23, 2011
9:00 a.m. & 10:45 a.m.
Coastline Church
2215 Calle Barcelona
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
10:00 a.m.
Faith Christian Academy - School Chapel
450 W. Elm St.
Coalinga, CA 93210

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Faith Fellowship Church
450 W. Elm St.
Coalinga, CA 93210

Saturday, January 29, 2011
5:00 p.m.
South Hills Community Church
2585 S. Main Street
Corona, CA 92882

Sunday, January 30, 2011
9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
South Hills Community Church
2585 S. Main Street
Corona, CA 92882

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
8:20 a.m. & 9:45 a.m.
Capistrano Valley Christian School - Chapel
32032 Del Obispo Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Thursday, February 3, 2011
6:00 p.m.
Capistrano Valley Christian School - Family Night
32032 Del Obispo Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Sunday, February 20, 2011
6:00 p.m.
Calvary Church
2101 Gay Street
Longmont, CO 80501

Sunday, February 27, 2011
10:00 a.m.
The Life Connection Church
1015 West Main Street
Jenks, OK 74037

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Victory Church
4300 N MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK 73122

Sunday, April 10, 2011
9:00 a.m. & 11:15 a.m.
Tower Hill First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank
255 Harding Road
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Word of Faith Fellowship
3871 Heritage Parkway
Dearborn, MI 48124

Sunday, April 17, 2011
5:30 p.m.
Canaan Baptist Church
5409 Baumgartner Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63129 tiny.

Jan 6, 2011

Don’t just pretend to love others..

Romans 12:9-13 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Jan 2, 2011

Graham Cooke expresses my heart (and the heart of so many I minister with).

Decisions that Define Us

We've decided that teaching the Gospel without demonstrating the gospel in not enough. Good preaching, good doctrine, being good people is not enough.
We've decided that having a good church club is not enough. Good fellowship is not enough. And just being a member of that club is not enough.

We've decided that having good Bible studies is good, but not good enough. That just making it to heaven is not our goal, and that knowing about God without truly knowing and experiencing God is meaningless.

We've decided that having good programs is not enough; that change without transformation is intolerable. And that staying the same is not an option.

We've decided that gifting without character is futile.

We've decided that singing songs without worshiping is hollow and having meetings without God showing up is pointless.

We've decided that having faith without works is not enough and having works without love is not acceptable - that our function comes out of our relationship first with the Father and second with each other.

We've decided that reading about the book of Acts without living the book of Acts is unthinkable.

We've decided that confident faith is good.....bold faith is better.

We've decided that hearing about the Holy Spirit without experiencing Him..... is silly. That believing in His presence without seeing it manifested in signs and wonders......is hypocrisy. That believing in healing without seeing people healed......is absurd. And that believing in deliverance without people being delivered.........is absolutely ridiculous.

We've decided to be Holy Spirit filled, Holy Spirit led, and Holy Spirit empowered - anything less doesn't work for us.

We've decided to be the ones telling the stories of God's power - not the ones hearing about them.

We've decided that living saved, but not supernatural is living below our privilege and short of what Christ died for.

We've decided we're a battleship not a cruise-ship! An Army not an audience! Special Forces not spectators! Missionaries not club members!

We've decided to value both pioneers and settlers - pioneers to expand our territory and settlers to build on those territories - but we are not people who take up space others have fought for without improving it ... we are not squatters.

We've decided to be infectious instead of innocuous. Contagious instead of quarantined! Deadly instead of benign!

We've decided to be radical lovers and outrageous givers.

We've decided that we are a mission station not a museum.


We honor the past but we don't live in it.

We live in the present with our eyes on the future.

We see past events - the successes and failures - as stepping stones not stop signs.

We pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know.

We are people of engagement not observation.

We focus on what could be - not on what is or has been.

We are not limited to the four walls of this building - our influence is not restricted by location. Not even the nations are out of bounds.

We are more concerned about how many we send out into the world then how many we convince to come into the building. This building is meant to be filled and it will be - but it will NOT be the measure of who we are or the measure of our effectiveness.

We raise-up world changers, not tour guides. We train commandos, not committees.

We are a people of our destiny, not our history.

We've decided that it is better to fail while reaching for the impossible that God has planned for us than succeed in settling for less.

We've decided that nothing short of His Kingdom come and His will be done, in our world as it is in Heaven, will satisfy.

We've decided that we will not be satisfied until our world freaks out and cries out, "Those who have turned the world upside down have come here too."

These are some of the decisions that define who we are as a community and how we live our lives.

These decisions are not destinations - but rather a journey - a journey along an ancient path - we've not found some new way - but rather rediscovered the path as old as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The same path followed by Moses, Joshua and Caleb - Paul, John and Peter.

The path followed by the first century church - a church that revolutionized the culture of the first century and beyond.

It's a path that will impact the world we live in today. It's a path of Bold Faith - believing that what God says is really true and acting on it.

It's a path of Outrageous Generosity - giving our life away in order to demonstrate His Kingdom.

It's a path of Radical Love - loving God with EVERYTHING in us and our neighbor as ourselves.

This is a path of liberty, freedom and healing.

On this path - you will find significance, purpose, and destiny.

It is a path less traveled however - it's not a path only available to a select few - but to whosoever will ... they may come.

It's for people of EVERY nation, tribe and tongue - for those in any occupation or vocation.

No matter where you are in your journey - there's room on this path for you.

Atheism-Pull the Plug

Unless someone care's

Unless someone care's

Compassion Verse

"Lifehouse Anything Skit"

Our Mighty Arrows

Our Mighty Arrows