Sometimes, living in a city like Tijuana, it is difficult to look out into the world around us and not be filled with despair.We feel the pain and anguish of our brothers and sisters as they struggle with poverty, abuse, illnesses, and violence.
But as Christians we can find hope in the midst of hopelessness.We know that it was into a place like Tijuana where God chose to be born.Like Tijuana, Bethlehem was far from the centers of power, a seemingly unimportant crossroads.And like the many people who arrive here every day, his parents were newly arrived refugees searching for someplace, anyplace, to find shelter from the elements.Theirs is a story we see repeated again and again.
But it was in Bethlehem that God became flesh to live among us. It was as a defenseless human baby that God's power was made manifest on Earth, in order to bring salvation to us all.It was into the darkness of a stable that God's light began to shine so brightly and shines for us still.
We are here today, working with Deborah's House because of that light.It is the grace of God's salvation which compels us to share that grace however we can. It is Jesus born within our hearts who leads us to stand beside the women of Deborah's house as they serve "the least of these" in our world.
It may seem impossible for many who live here to see beyond the despair.But we as Christians have hope.We can see the light.This has been a big year for Deborah's House.
In addition to counseling and education ministries, Deborah's House has opened a shelter in a home lent to us by a member of our board.We have had the opportunity to help five women and their children to leave severely abusive homes and find refuge.
The construction of our permanent shelter in La Gloria has begun and, thanks to the dedication of volunteer teams from Baptist Churches in the US, and the generous offering from several American Baptist Women's Regions, we are very near completion.Soon the program will be able to move into the new facilities and help many more women with more space and services than we can provide now.
We want to thank all of you who made this possible, for sacrificing your vacations, your sweat and hard labor, and your contributions, in order to build a new home.
This project has been constructed on the foundation of your love and so we know that it will last a long time, for that base has been proven solid.We, along with the women of Deborah's House, will continue to build on that which you have left for us as we bring this ministry to fruition and offer new hope to those who live in a world of despair.
The women send their greetings and their gratitude, and ask us to remind you that "nuestra casa es su casa", our house is your house, and you are welcome here anytime.
¡Feliz Navidad!May your Christmas be joyous and blessed,
Ray and Adalia Schellinger-Gutiérrez