Whited Update

We know one thing, “God is good, all the time.”  Everything else we are still in the

process of figuring out. A year ago we decided to take the verses in Mark 10 seriously and dramatically upped our commitment to Mexico. We sold everything we had in storage in the states and moved into a three acre fenced property with forty-five incredible, beautiful children that God had filled our hearts with love for.  We saw ourselves as a bridge between those in need and those with resources. We immediately got to work and found each child a sponsor in the United States with written letters of encouragement and belief as well as monthly support that provided better education, tutoring, medical care and proper nutrition. Our rich friends exceeded our wildest expectations of support in every way. (If you are reading this on a computer and you have a car then on a global scale you are rich.)

It was definitely time for a new washer :)

Our next item of business was to begin improving the property andliving conditions for both the kids and workers, from planting a garden with a fence around it to new fixtures and tile. The kids were both involved and appreciating each step of the process. Whatseemed like a list of projects that would take years to complete, were dramatically accelerated through the donations of a group headed by Teresa Carney called project “GIVE.”  This project raised money to build a new laundry room, buy a commercial washer, and remodel a dorm room with air conditioning and hot water. Those may seem like small things if you’ve never done laundry for forty-five children using a broken down washer and washboards!

In the midst of teaching flash cards and hand mixing concrete God moved us into a place of “hands on vocational training” of signs, wonders and miracles. While in the community and dealing with people with serious physical challenges and no HMO or Plan B we saw God’s miraculous healing power through the laying on of hands and prayer. We saw God heal an injured knee, restore sight to the blind and break through demonic strongholds.  In the moment, we would cry tears of

Luciano was bedridden for over a year due to a lack of vision and other ailments, he has now experienced restored vision and mobility! Praise God!!

thankfulness while in His presence and confidently stumble through our poor Spanish and behind closed doors we would tear open our bible and try to find out what had just happened. We’re not sure what your experience is or what you believe, but the God we “thought” we knew was primarily concerned with us not doing bad things. We have now lived in a reality that stands in a stark contrast to that, and have found out how true our opening sentence really is, “God is good… God is really, really good.” Life was cruising right along, changes in every area of the home were happening faster than we had ever dreamed. Our vision for the future and what our role might be was growing more grandiose by the day. One night everything changed and we felt, for the safety of our family, that we needed to leave this specific remote area. As we were leaving the country God told us that we would be returning to Mexico but not directly.  Through a series of amazing encounters and relationships, God led us to a school in Redding California that is run by Bethel Church.  The school specializes in equipping people to do what we had been stumbling through on the streets of Mexico for the past year.  We are willing to go anywhere and do anything that God has for us and we feel this two-year school of supernatural ministry will better prepare us for that.  We are still continuing to oversee the child sponsorship program at our children’s home in El Limon as well as lead groups back on one-week mission trips to serve in the home. This is a curve in the road that we did not anticipate when we sat out two years ago, but it is surrounded by peace and a confidence that this was God’s plan all along.

We have been blessed and fortunate along this entire process to be in a position to do missions work without the financial support of an organization or a church. People regularly ask us, how they can contribute to this work. For those of you that would have an interest or feel led to partner with us, Bethel Church has the ability to receive payments and apply them towards tuition and missions.  Click on the link and type in the last name Whited in the “Name of Student” box https://www.ibssm.org/a/donate/search .  This will allow you to choose David or Stacy and lead you to a page to add credit card information and even a box to write an “encouraging note to student”. Please remember us in your prayers as we navigate through an international move, into a new area that we have yet to even visit. For more regular updates we would love for you to stay in touch with us through: www.thewhiteds.com www.facebook.com/whitedsworld and www.twitter.com/davidmwhited

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What the Future Holds….

“What a difference a day makes…” I am not sure who said that the first time but if you could take that quote and multiply it times 365, you would have a small idea of what we are feeling as we begin this post. They say, “Life is what happens on your way to somewhere else” more then any other time in my life I understand that quote. We came to Mexico hoping to hop on the carousel of serving the orphaned children for one year, assuming we would be able to go back home with great stories of the lives we changed and then back to business as usual. The reality was the lives that were changed the most, were ours.

We have always been the type of people to have a 30 day plan, 6 month plan, 1 year plan, 5 year plan, etc. One thing we are learning is that when you say (and truly mean) God we want to serve you with all of our hearts, minds and souls, He does not look at your daytimer before giving you the next step.  In January, we were bombarded with many opportunities that made a lot of sense for us when our time serving in Monterrey was over.  At that time I, David, truly “sought God with all of my heart” through prayer and fasting. Late one night God’s voice came through as clear as a bell saying, “I will give you peace.”   While it is amazing to hear Gods voice I replied, “I would prefer the answers to the questions I was praying for.” And God replied, “If I gave you answers and no peace, would you have what you want?”  The obvious answer is “no.” and God clearly said, “David, you work on you and I’ll work on your world.” The next several months were truly the most peaceful days my heart has ever known. During that time as I continued to read, study and work with the children’s homes in Monterrey there were still no answers concerning the quickly approaching August 1st date.  So then there it sat through February, March, April, and May, in spite of my pleading, begging, and negotiating, the same dialogue remained. “ You work on you and I’ll work on your world.”

During this time I ended up on a bus loaded with American’s riding 6 hours from Monterrey to a town called El Limon to work in a children’s home that goes by the name Casa Hogar Mama Paulita’s (picture a small agricultural town in the United States with no English speakers J.) Within one day, it was obvious that this children’s home was night and day different then the 10 others we work with back in Monterrey. You could physically feel the change in spiritual climate when getting off the bus. The directors Fernando and Yadira have an incredible grasp on how to heal the broken heart of an abandoned child spiritually. As that week passed along and I saw the hearts of the 17 men that accompanied me begin to break and change I realized this home with 45 children was something special.

In April, many of you that saw our facebook request for assistance joined in as we took new brooms, paint, brushes, Tupperware and supplies to El Limon, in our mission trip within our mission trip. It was amazing to see the same thing that happened to the hearts of the men from Riverview Church in Michigan happen inside the hearts of our teenage children. It was an amazing week and there was nothing like the feeling of having 45 kids pray for our safety and blessings at the same time before we departed. It is like standing in the middle of a beehive filled with the Holy Spirit. Still we prayed for God to give us answers, “what do we do in August?” As we prayed every option other then joining forces with Casa Hogar Mama Paulita’s became as appealing as intentionaly trying to catch poison ivy.

We came to Mexico during our son’s junior year of high school so that we could serve together as a family and he could still have an opportunity to return for a “normal” senior year of high school. In June, Colton and Averee both spent 2 weeks, upon their own request, serving in Casa Hogar Mama Paulita’s.  Both during and after their time of serving they each individually made it clear to us their desire for our family to serve in this children’s home indefinitely. This only confirmed what God had already put in our hearts. In the same way that you hear a song and it reminds you of something you already know, without any doubt.
God’s ways are not our ways and his plans are not our plans, but like a dove flying in the middle of a hurricane we are glad to be in the middle of his will. While just like you at this time we have as many questions as answers, and all we know is that God is sovereign and has a perfect plan for all of our lives. We are excited to announce that for an undetermined amount of time our family will be serving the orphaned children in Casa Hogar Mama Paulita’s.

There will be many posts and updates about the specific needs and concerns of this home.  While many of you are not in a position to drop everything and serve the orphaned children, we are willing to be your hands and feet here in Mexico doing just that.  We will be covering our day to day living expenses for our family of five and all document fees and costs associated with working internationally. However we could use your help. The first item of business will be to build an addition to the existing home for our family to live in. Until the construction is finished we will all be sleeping in bunk beds in the dorms of the children’s home.  Early estimates come in with a materials cost of about $15, 000 US dollars. We will continue to be connected with Back 2 Back Ministries based in Cincinnati Ohio. This will allow any charitable contributions to this project to be 100% tax deductible.  If you have questions concerning the work we are doing or how you might possibly be involved directly please contact us.

David and Stacy Whited 615-500-8446 or whitedoffice@gmail.com

Back2Back Ministries
513-754-0300
PO Box 70
Mason, OH 45040
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A Mission Trip within a Mission Trip…

First off, we would like to say a big “Thank You” and shout out to so many friends that stepped up and helped us make a HUGE impact in the lives of some amazing kids.  This has been an unbelievable year working full time for Back2Back Ministries in Monterrey and the 7 Children’s Homes we serve. Due to a combination of the spiritual climate and level of excellence in which it is run, we have a special soft spot for Mama Paulita’s in El Limon Mexico. This home is over six hours away and receives little to no outside support.  We had a week of vacation to use up that had been allotted for our kids spring break and we decided to do an independent excursion to see how we could help this home out. After opening up the opportunity to friends that were eager to pitch in financially, we were able to do some pretty amazing things that week. Check out the pictures below to get an idea of what we did and the supplies we were able to buy. Thank you to those of you that have supported us in this ministry.  To us you have helped fulfill what is written in James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” May God Bless you, enjoy the photo’s, and thank you for being on our team.

Sebas shopped for hours trying to find the right supplies for El Limon!

The Whited's arriving in El Limon

The van was packed with all kinds of goodies for them.

We had everything from bibles and soccer balls to tools and measuring cups.

These kids not only work hard but they are great at it. Believe it or not they were really excited to have new tools to work with!

We grilled some steaks bigger than this little guy!

Sebas couldn't believe how much games cost! Being in charge of the budget gave him a new perspective on "value."

Sometimes my cosmetology training really comes in handy! I'm not sure how many haircuts I did that week but I had a ton of fun. :)

David was so patient while the girls made bracelets using the supplies we brought them. What a great sport!

A special time of praise and worship. Watching those kids worship the Lord will be an experience we will never forget!

The front porch and side porch were in need of power washing and painting so we bought sandpaper and paint and went to work.

The teenage boys at El Limon were amazing! They would finish their chores early every morning and then help us power wash, sand and paint. We could not have been more impressed!

Colton and Averee along with the boys are sandpapering the porch. They did such a great job and worked so hard.

The finished product! 3 days of work, buckets and buckets of paint, and tons of hours but lots and lots of fun.

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¿Who Wants In?

Over the past seven months we have seen God do some amazing things. Not just in the world around us, but in our hearts and minds as well. We want to thank all of you who have been on our team since the beginning in thoughts and prayer. In this post though, we would like to offer you guys, who have been asking, a chance to help in a tangible financial way.  We have seen the impact that giving has had on the heart of the giver. Since God is the creator of all things; resources are not what he is after, but rather the heart behind the giver. That is what this post is about. It is an opportunity to bless some awesome little kids in a huge way, but also an opportunity to let God do some huge things in your life as well.

Back in February I got to go work for a whole week in a children’s home about five hours away in a town called El Limon.  This home was un-like anything I had ever seen.  It has only three full time workers and over 45 kids’ ages 5-15, but it is as clean as a hospital!  The most amazing thing was the spiritual climate at the home; you could feel it the moment you walked in.  A home filled with hurt, abandoned and abused children is not usually the most cheerful place to be; let alone a place you could go to get re-charged. That’s exactly what happened though to the group we took in February!

I asked the directors of this home, Fernando and Yadira, how this came to be, and their explanation was simple, prayer.  When they took over the facility a few years ago it was a very dark environment, and while their work ethic and love for the kids was amazing, they knew it would require more.  They literally declared a spiritual war on the place and called to action, the help of every pastor and prayer warrior in town.  They arose early in the morning and prayed for God to soften the hearts of the children, and to allow them to be open to growth and healing.  As that process began to take hold, the next step was for the kids themselves to take on the role of “mini prayer warriors,” and that was what made the difference!  You can literally see it on the faces of the kids when walk on the property.  They work like machines and whistle while they do it.  They truly work as if every task is an act of worship to the Lord!  I have never seen or felt praise and worship like I did in El Limon, and someday you will have to come for yourself and see what it feels like to have 45 giants of prayer all pray for you at the same time!  (Sounds like a million bees buzzing!)

Here is the point.  Our family is going to take a week of “vacation” from our work here in Monterrey and use the kid’s spring break, to go down to El Limon and serve them on our own without an American group.  What we are asking for is assistance to be able to bless these kids with some things that they do not normally get the chance to experience.  In February we brought special meat called aracherra steak and the supplies to make tacos one night.  This cost less than $200 and many of them had never tasted steak.  Three days later they were still telling us thank you for the meat.  (Gracias, por la carne fue grandioso!)  To put their income in perspective, a soccer ball would cost a couple of day’s wages for someone in their town. We will use the money raised to bless the kids in the places they need it the most. If you were looking to directly impact a specific group of kids in a powerful way, this is your chance. We will just simply be stewards of your gift to them.

We are going down the week of April 15 -23.  All checks would need to be sent directly to the home office of Back2Back Ministries in Ohio, they are a 501c non-profit so that you can deduct the contribution you make. If you plan to contribute to this project please e-mail us with an amount, so we can begin making purchases and preparations for the trip. I will share both photos and stories with you of what we were able to accomplish with your gift.

Thank you in advance for joining us in His work!

Make all checks payable to:

Back2Back Ministries

Attn:  Whited El Limon Project

P.O. Box 70

Mason, OH 45040

Call or E-mail us directly with any questions.

David & Stacy Whited

615-500-8446

whitedoffice@gmail.com

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High, Low, Thankful

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  This Christmas was very interesting.  We had never realized how dependant we were on the mental stimulus for the holidays that comes from the weather, fireplaces, stores playing music (in English) and the constant reminder from the upcoming ABC Family Christmas shows.   But rest assured with all of those things gone we still had four amazing and very real reminders of exactly what time of year it was!

Most of the kids we work with have somewhere to go for Christmas:  mom or dad, aunt or uncle, grandparent, someone that will step in and at least help them avoid the pain of waking up alone in a children’s home on Christmas morning; but a few don’t.

We had the opportunity to have a family of four at our house for the Christmas Holiday.   In the midst of our very limited Spanish and their non existent English, these 14, 12, 11, and 10 year olds gave us a crash course on what Christmas was all about. We had such a great time.  We played Wii, fed them sugar cereal, and took them out for hamburgers. (All of which was a first for them) There was money donated from a few people that had been on mission trips to Back2Back for their Christmas gifts.  It was a real joy watching them open their gifts and have stockings with their names on them.  One of the boys loves music and playing the guitar.  A B2B supporter from the United States bought him a used acoustic guitar and sent it down, he was ecstatic when he saw it!

For those of you that know us well or have had dinner with us as a family, you have probably experienced the Whited mealtime tradition of “High, Low, and Thankful”.  The point is to create conversation, purposeful rabbit trails, and a structured format to share your day with the others around the table.  A day or two before Christmas a good friend of mine named Rodolfo was also a guest for dinner and since he is fluent in five languages I thought this would be the perfect night for high low and thankful.

As we went around the table I was completely shocked and caught off guard by what these kids had to say.  I thought for sure the rare break from beans and tortillas would be a big hit.  Maybe the Carmel corn and amazing line up of movies we picked out would be on the list. Based on the kind of “lows” I have some days, I was even a little nervous to include that part of the game knowing it could get ugly or negative pretty quick.  After all was said and done there was one common theme with each one of these kids.  Each and everyone, above all else, were thankful to have a family to be with for Christmas!  No gifts, no snacks, no movie, just time and attention…love.  The part that really threw me off was that in spite of being asked the same question in different ways not even one of the four could come up with a single “low”.

I have had a lot of Christmas’s, but even with no snow and no TV, I have never felt like I was more in the center of what the season is all about than at that table looking at four lonely kids loving being loved.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support, we miss you all!

The Whited Family

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The Perfect Father

We are settled in, we have our weekly schedules and the children’s homes that we frequent.  We have fallen in love with the children we work with and squeeze and hug them as much as possible.  Every Thursday I go to one of the children’s homes that has the youngest niños and the most babies.   It is a home that was started and is run by Mama Martha.  Martha is a retired nurse that after her husband died felt drawn to help people that needed mercy, orphans. This summer David and I watched these little children quote Romans 8:1-8.  As I watched these little ones,  I realized she is taking care of their needs today, food ,shelter and love, but she is also taking care of their needs for their future.  “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:11.   I am learning so much from her as well as the other missionaries I am working with.  When I am with these kids, I try and make them feel good, feel loved and feel important.  Those are all essential but at the end of the day I have to point them to their heavenly father.  He is the only one that will never leave them or disappoint them.  HE IS THE PERFECT FATHER! When I am long gone, he will be there.  As I have spent time in the Lords presence he has paralleled my care giving with these orphans to my care giving with my own children. God has entrusted them to me and my job is to make them feel good, feel loved and feel important but the “bull’s-eye” is to point them to their Heavenly Father. I do that by personally crying out to “Abba father” in the good and bad times as well as constantly turning them to their “Perfect Daddy.”   When they were little, I could pretty much solve all their problems and be their hero but as they have gotten older I have realized my control was just an illusion.  I cannot take care of all their problems and I have handicapped them with my human abilities.  They have direct access to the creator of this day to take their concerns to. He is their advocate and he fights for them.  He will never leave or forsake them.  I could be gone tomorrow because today is a gift.  And I am so thankful for that gift.  I am so thankful for the lessons I am learning and the people he has put in my life to teach me.  I am thankful for each one of the children I work with and the God I serve.

Mama Martha working on the bible verses with the kids.

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You never know…

We are in a new foreign world and the natural tendency is to compare it to, size it up and weigh it against the world we know.  For some things that is very easy, you learn how many liters of gas can go in your car, kilos of meat will feed a family, and that 30 degrees Celsius is not as cold as it sounds.  Sizing up the inner workings of the human heart through the filters of our own limited experience has proved to be both difficult and humbling.

As you’ve seen from the pictures we have posted that the orphanages we work with are filled with the most adorable, loving kids, you could ever imagine.  It is easy to judge and think, “How could someone ever leave them?”  We have learned that it is a complicated and diverse path that would lead a mother to make the decision to leave her child or children at a Christian Orphanage.  This option verses a state run facility allows them the opportunity to bring the child back home in the future and maintain visitation without sacrificing their parental rights.

This week while working at a children’s home we witnessed a mother that was there to visit her son. As they sat in a tree covered courtyard with the sound of traffic in the background and workers buzzing about she held what would otherwise be a four year old wiggle worm during every minute of her three hour visit.  As time went by in the heat of the afternoon the boy fell asleep in his mothers arms.  It was during this time that God showed us how wrong our judgments had been and how complex this situation truly is.  While the boy slept the mother held him closer than ever, sobbing and rocking her son. This was not the scene of a parent that did not care but one of a single mother in dire poverty. A mother making one of the hardest decisions imaginable and trusting God to do something that she can’t at this time, providing care and shelter for her child.

We may never know the final outcome of this situation. We do not know if the mother will be able to take the boy back home or if he will become the next doctor or attorney that graduates from the Back2Back HOPE program for teens.  All we do know is God is good and he has already taught us more lessons than we ever expected.  Day by day the calluses on our hands are getting harder and our hearts are getting softer.

Averee carried this little girl around until she fell asleep in her arms.

Colton and Averee have been tutoring the little kids everyday after school. The kids love them!

Haircut Day.... the boys were so excited that Stacy used scissors. Typically it is "buzz cuts."

The guys are working on a classroom for the ninos to study in after school.

We just can't get enough of them!

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Whited’s Settled in Mexico

We are all settled in and growing in confidence daily.  We now know how to get to a dozen different important locations in Monterrey, buy food, un-clog a drain, roughly communicate with our construction crew that are working on the wall around our property that was destroyed by Hurricane Alex, set up online school accounts, organize a trailor, operate a pick axe, refill gas tank for the house, set up cell phones with Colton translating, gain wireless access to the internet, spray for spiders, light a hot water heater in the rain, and survive freezing cold showers.

The Back2Back staff have been amazing and have welcomed us with open arms.  The kids are absolutely beautiful and for the next few months we will be visiting all of the seven locations Back2Back works with on a regular bases. This will allow us to find a job we are the most effective in as well as get to know all of the caregivers and children at each location.  One of our new missionary friends gave us a great quote to ponder that we would love to share. “Everywhere you go and whatever you do is an adventure as long as you’re in the center of Gods will.”

We are "officially" part of the Back2Back staff and we have t-shirts to prove it.

The kids love to ride on your shoulders. They said David is "mas forte!"

David was using the pick axe to get rid of old concrete at one of the churches. Once the old is gone they will pour new.

We handed out water to families that didn't have access to clean water.

Our goal is by Christmas to only be speaking Spanish in the Whited home.

Averee and Stacy loving on the beautiful little girls after church.

Feliz Cumpleanos, Colton!

Colton and David are working to convert our new friends to KC Chiefs fans!

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The boat’s are burned!!

The last of our belongings are loaded up for storage.

I made the comment last night on Facebook that “The boats are burning!  At 8 am the movers will be here to put my world into box so, i can step outside of it and see what else God has for us”.  Well…the boats are burned and the free fall into the unknown of testing out our “Reckless Faith” has begun.  I am so excited by the future, overwhelmed by my short comings, and full of faith that God will fill in the gap! We will be in Nashville a couple more days tying up some loose ends on the accounting side of our business.  I had no idea a month ago everything that would be involved in putting a hectic life on hold for year!  There is still a bit of a lag on the paperwork for our work visa’s to finish being processed with the Mexican consulate so when we are done here we will just start driving really slow toward Monterrey. If we come to mind over the next few days please take a moment and pray for our family.  God Bless.

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Photos From Our Back2Back Experience in July

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