You don’t have to be brave on your own!

by montejosmemorials on February 24, 2017

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I pulled this book off of the shelf as I was cleaning this week and realized what a forgotten gem I had found! It’s out of print, but the author has written many more books.

The Psalms are an incredible tool for us to reset our worship! I know I teased you with this book that’s not available, but here’s the gist of it! Choose a Psalm and meditate on a specific attribute of God in that Psalm all day. Journal, post it on the mirror, however you like to keep things in front of you, to meditate on what you’ve learned from that Psalm.

Today I looked at Psalm 34, focusing on God as our Refuge.

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

As our children have gotten bigger, I have found myself more fearful in certain aspects of being a mom than I was when they were smaller. Even though I have always believed God has loaned them to me, when they were small and I was able to physically take care of them, it felt easier. The bigger they get, it’s more of a walk of faith, trusting God to take care of them. This Psalm says “He delivered me from all my fears.”

One of the things God has led me to do is recite back to him what he’s shown me in his word. The enemy loves to bring doubt, and if we keep positive affirmations coming out of our mouth, we strengthen our belief and cause the enemy to retreat. You don’t have to be brave on your own, but because of who you are through Jesus.

Do you struggle with fear? Speak out, “I have been delivered from all my fears!”

Is it shame? Remind the enemy, “I am radiant, not covered with shame.”

“I am saved, I am delivered, I am blessed!!!”

You will believe what you speak, so speak life!

If you are reading this and don’t have the security of knowing God, take that first step. He loves you and wants you to experience the benefits of his word here and now, as well as the security of eternal life. Ask him to take over your life, forgive you for your past mistakes and sin, and to set you on a new path. Connect with a local church, so you can learn and grow.

 

 

 

 

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Progress, not perfection!

by montejosmemorials on February 1, 2017

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It’s the end of January and many are already experiencing a let down, because they set high expectations of themselves or resolutions they were unable to keep. I am constantly setting expectations that are so high that I’d have to be superhuman to accomplish them. My goal this January, was to start reprioritizing and to get better about having realistic goals. I wanted to set up some self care steps that would be realistic, so I would feel a sense of accomplishment.

In thinking through this, I wanted to set myself up for success! What were some of the things I wanted to accomplish? I wanted to lost some weight, but not just for the pure reason of doing that, but also because it would improve other issues in my body. I wanted to add exercise, but not only to help me lose weight, but to stimulate the lymph system to release toxins, and to make a step in the right direction of being healthier. There was a list a mile long of things I wanted to accomplish. So, what did I do? I convinced myself to keep it simple!

I chose a few things to focus on and I started in December instead of January. My thought process was that even if I wasn’t completely faithful to stick to my plan in December, that by January, I’d already be a step ahead. I didn’t say to myself, “I’m going to walk every day, and not eat anything with sugar or flour, and I’ll take a detox bath every night, and I’ll take herbs, supplements, and essential oils for all of the things I want to address, etc.” This may sound crazy, but this is typically what I do and set myself up for huge failure! As I was making my plans, I kept reminding myself of my resolve to keep it simple.

In keeping with this goal, I started focusing on becoming more aware of what I was eating, when, and why.  I started reminding myself that I could make a choice of what to eat, when and how much. Some days with our crazy lifestyle, it just doesn’t work out to stay on a strict plan, so learning not to beat myself up and realize there’s always tomorrow, has been helpful. I’m in for the long term, not the short term. I implemented a 15 minute workout along with dry skin brushing and committed to consistently using a few of my favorite herbal blends and essential oils that I know are balancing and cover a wide range of issues.

It has worked wonderfully!!! I am happy to say that I just started my eight full week of exercise and skin brushing, that my eating, although not perfect, is going pretty well, and I have been consistent with the herbs and essential oils I chose. I feel like I am actually accomplishing something, rather than defeated because I have not kept up with the grandiose plan I set up for myself. For so many of us, there is a huge emotional tie to eating. Becoming aware of that and how it effects me, has been huge in the success I have had this month. I have convinced myself to grab an oil or drink some water when I feel that emotional eating looming over me.

We are all on a journey of healing in various facets and need to find what will work for our unique situation. Here are some of my choices for simple solutions to keep me on track for this busy season of life.

My favorite workout is the Basic Workout Plus by T-Tapp. I have always looked for ways to combine benefits and this workout is a great way to do that. Not only are you able to lose inches fairly quickly, but this workout is rehabilitative to back, shoulders, hips, and knees,  stimulating to the lymphatic system and helpful with hormone and emotional balancing. Being that it’s 15 minutes, I can talk myself into it, which isn’t as likely with other workouts. You can Try Before You Buy, to see how you like it.

After T-Tapping, I dry skin brush to further stimulate the lymph system. This also helps with encouraging skin tightening, which can be a big deal with weight loss.

For many, digging into essential oils can be overwhelming. I have shared more about simplifying this process, if that describes how you feel about them. Don’t miss out on the amazing benefits! They truly are life changing! Remember, this is your journey and it doesn’t have to look like your friends who has a bag with 25 oils in it, wink, wink, or anyone else’s for that matter. If you are the one who loves having a bag full of oils, don’t feel guilty, I totally understand!

My last givens are a few basic herbal blends. I have chosen herbs in place of fractionated supplements. From what I have learned and what my body has responded to, I do so much better with naturally occurring nutrients. My favorite blends, include adaptogens, which are balancing to the mind and body.

So, how are you doing? It’s not too late to simplify! If you set yourself up for failure and need to restart your new year journey, now’s the perfect time! If you’d like some encouragement, Facebook is a great place to connect with me.

 

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Collagen… When there’s just not enough time for bone broth!

by montejosmemorials on January 1, 2017

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Collagen… When there’s not enough time for bone broth!

by Joyce Montejo

In my perfect world, I would make everything from scratch. This has been one of my huge battles, because as perfectionistic as my personality is, I have had to accept that I don’t live in a perfect world!

We have a large family, side businesses, and lots of things that keep our family on the go. I try to make as much as I can from scratch and implement things like bone broth, but I have learned to take some shortcuts too! Collagen has been one of those shortcuts and the more I use it, the more I love it!!! I literally have been adding it to everything! Once you learn how easy it is to add the great benefits into your everyday lifestyle, I bet you’ll be adding it to everything too!

I am famous for getting up in the morning and doing a million things before I realize too many hours have passed and I haven’t taken in any protein. This is one of my favorite ways to use collagen, because I make sure I get some goodness in my first drink of the morning.

I usually start off with some warm lemon water and after that I have either a Cinnamate, an herbal vitamin and mineral blend, or coffee. Here’s how I incorporate the collagen. This is my version of Bulletproof coffee or Cinnamate.

1 cup of coffee or Cinnamate

1 to 2 scoops of  hydrolyzed collagen (Depending on whether or not I am eating with it.)

1 spoonful of coconut oil or MCT oil

Stevia or Preferred Sweetener

I then whiz this in the blender. The oil creates a foamy creaminess that allows me to skip any kind of creamer, or you can add some in.

Wondering about the benefits of collagen? Here are just a few taken from Perfect Supplements blog. There is a great series of articles, including benefits, differences between collagen and gelatin, and the science behind collagen.

Improve Skin Health

Promote Younger, Firmer Skin

Support Joint Health

Improve Gut Function and Digestion

Keep Excess Inflammation in Check

Build and Restore Muscle

Support a Healthy Metabolism

Keep Appetite In Check

Promote Healthy Brain Function

Promote Deeper Sleep

As I am looking for ways to improve my health, the goal is always to feed my body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. as well as repair. Not to just treat a problem, but to provide fuel to increase overall health. Since I can’t manage to have a big mug of bone broth with every meal, I use the collagen to fill in the gaps.

Some of my other favorite ways to use it are mixed in Vital, a cup of warm tea, or a smoothie.

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Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

by montejosmemorials on November 30, 2016

Spicy, Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

Spicy, Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

 

I don’t know about you, but when I am really busy, it’s a key trigger for inflammation to rear it’s ugly head!!! This month can be especially difficult for many, because we add so many activities on top of already full schedules. Inflammation is our bodies way of fighting foreign invaders, so can be good in one aspect, but we don’t want it to be out of control. This is one of the reasons I try to include this Spicy, Anti-inflammatory Lemonade in my day.

This lemonade is chock full of anti-inflammatory nutrients, and I love it hot or cold! It’s also so easy to change up, keeping the key ingredients the same. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you where I first learned of this recipe, because there are so many versions, so I can’t give credit.

So, what’s in it? Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-viral, and is said to be 5 x’s stronger than vitamin C to boost immunity. Ginger is another great anti-inflammatory spice and can help improve the absorption of nutrients it’s paired with. I have a few twists of fresh ground black pepper, which has also been known to help absorb and a myriad of other benefits, and a sprinkle of cayenne. It can be sweetened with your choice of sweeteners. I usually have a spoonful or so of maple syrup and sweeten to taste with stevia. I also alternate lemons and limes, with Apple Cider Vinegar. Many times, I’ll have a quart in the morning with lemon and in the afternoon with ACV. I have used different kinds of teas in place of water, to change the taste, but typically keep the main ingredients the same for the great benefits! I try to buy my spices in bulk and consider it a necessity to drink in a jar, wink, wink. If this seems like way too much work and you’d just rather take a capsule, here’s my favorite!

Here’s my loose recipe:

Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Lemonade

2 to 3 lemons and limes or 1 to 2 Tbsp. ACV

1 Tsp. of Turmeric

1 Tsp. of Ginger

Sprinkle of fresh ground Black Pepper

Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper

Sweetener of Choice

Have warm or cold, with water or tea. use your imagination to come up with your favorite flavors.

Do you use any of these spices and if so, how do you incorporate them into your lifestyle?

I am helping our oldest son Caleb and as many of the students as I can from his school raise funds for their missions trips coming up in a few months, so the commissions from any affiliate links will go to them. Please save these links and use them when you shop to help fund their trips. It adds up quickly if we’ll take the extra moment to use these links. Share these with your friends too. Thank ya’ll so much!!!

 

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What’s In Your Heart?

by montejosmemorials on November 19, 2016

What’s in your heart? Those things God places in your heart, from the time you are small, will never leave!

I love missions! I always have. I was the little girl, the teenager, the young adult, and now the woman that cries every time a missionary would visit church and share stories. Now I have the blessing of watching our children walking in those callings too.

I was talking with someone the other day and she was telling me that when she gets married and has children, she wants their family to take a missions trip every year together, so they learn about missions. It started me thinking after she said that about how we had planted seeds, even though at the time we weren’t trying to be intentional about it.

My husband and I met through a ministry to the local migrant camps in the summer. When our children were small, they learned to give out sodas, food, pass out clothes, etc. We’d go and he’d have one on his back, me in a carrier, and others in tow. This has carried on as they have grown and we have been blessed to be a part of lots of local missions. I have fed that fire in our children with books and tapes of missionaries and being a part of whatever kinds of outreach we were able to.

The first time we went to visit my husband’s family in Guatemala, we asked for donations and were able to buy school supplies for the school in my husband’s village. This sparked something in our children.

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These were the pizzas delivered to the orphanage on the back of motorcyles in Guatemala. It was a sight to see all of those pizzas piled up and how excited the kids were when they were being delivered.

 

Our next trip to Guatemala, we were able to do more things. We had a Pizza Party and music at the orphanage, More Than Compassion,  and we were able to do some things in the local church and village as well. Each time God has increased what we were able to accomplish with the funds we had. I can’t wait to see what happens next time. Maybe we’ll even buy the property for the church we’ve been praying for.

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This was a small group in my husband’s village, where Caleb, our oldest son and I led worship. We were blessed to see God move in incredible power!

 

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After the small group, everyone who had been there went to this house to pray for my sister in law who was very sick. It was incredible to see the room filled with people who came to her to pray over her.

 

Now we have the privilege of watching our older children walk in missions. Our oldest son goes to a school that is extremely missions minded. They have local things going on, school ministries, nursing homes, disaster help, etc.,  as well as foreign trips, internships, and intense discipleship. Last year he went to Alaska and this year is going to Ethiopia. Our older children at home have been able to be a part of a local after school program as volunteers. It’s been awesome to see God open doors and opportunities for them to be a part of that has been specific to their giftings. God’s so cool to do stuff like that!

You may be thinking, “OK, this is a nice story, but what’s the point?” I am sharing these things with you to encourage you not to let go of what’s in your heart, just because it doesn’t look the way you thought it would. There may be imperfect family situations, it may look like your children aren’t walking in the direction you felt like they would, or they may not even want to have anything to do with God at all. You may feel like too much time has passed, that those things in your heart weren’t really from God, finances will never come together, my husband will never catch the vision, or thousands of other doubts. Don’t let those doubts mold you and hang on to those dreams! They may be hidden away in your heart, but they are still there. In the meantime, plant seeds in those all around you. You never know how what you can’t see will turn out.

When I was young,  I could have seen myself as a missionary living in another country. God hasn’t worked  it out quite like that yet, but He reminds me that David didn’t build the temple, his son did. I am raising part of an army that God is using in incredible ways and if you have children, grandchildren, participate in a ministry to children you are too! That’s probably more important than being the missionary, we’ve multiplied and now we can do more, wink, wink. When this season is over, I anticipate and am excited about having a more supportive role in our children’s lives to be able to come alongside of them in what God calls them to do, whatever that may look like.

I’ll be honest, that desire and passion to “go out”  is still there, that’s why I said it will never leave, but I can’t wait to see what’s still to come!!!  God’s not finished yet! How about you? What is in your heart that may need to be stirred up again?

I want to help Caleb and as many of the students as I can from his school raise funds for their missions trips coming up in a few months, so I am donating my affiliate commissions from now through Nov. to them. Please save these links and use them when you shop to help fund their trips. If only 15 of us spend $100, they’ll earn $100 and the more of us who buy through these links, the higher commission they’ll pay. It adds up quickly if we’ll take the extra moment to use these links. Share these with your friends too. Thank ya’ll so much!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Older I Get, the More I Have to Learn

by montejosmemorials on November 10, 2016

Has this thought ever crossed your mind? “The older I get, the more I have to learn.” Not only am I realizing how much I have to learn, but how much my children have to teach me.

Recently I have been learning more about about my strengths. Years ago, I took the giftings test at church, but we didn’t go into much detail. Caleb, our oldest son, took a more in depth strengths test last year at school. Seeing how the knowledge has benefitted him, I took the plunge and bought the book. It’s crazy how accurate it is to me. Now I understand how excited he was when he got his results. It opens up so many more avenues of understanding ourselves and others. I have a better insight into myself and the world around me, especially our children.

My top strengths are restorative, empathy, belief, connectedness, and developer. All of these are relational and are focused on problem solving, feeling others feelings, wanting the best for others and believing they can have it, having an intense belief that nothing happens by mistake and every detail of life is connected, deriving satisfaction from seeing others grow and improve, constantly feeling the need to mediate. Learning this has opened my eyes to so many things about myself, how I relate to others, and why many times, I feel like I am in a constant struggle. It’s hard to rest when I am continuously trying to fix problems, speak into situations, intercede for others success, wink, wink.

Sunday evening, I was with our 11 year old son at Cookout in Columbia. We were waiting for his brother, so we had been wasting time before we could pick him up. I was charging my phone and Samuel was standing beside the door playing with a yoyo. He’s always been very intuitive to people and situations around him, probably due to some relational strengths in him.  He got in the car and asked me if I’d seen the girl by the door. Honestly, I answered a half-hearted no. I was tired, it was late, and I was ready to get home, not focusing much on the surroundings. He didn’t let up. Next he said, “The lady in the car beside us asked her if she needed anything, but she said she was waiting on her parents.” Now I was realizing I needed to pay more attention. Sam realized she had been there a while;  she had several large tattoos across her neck and chest (These made him realize she wasn’t a young girl.) He had also discerned she was too old to be waiting on her parents and he felt like she had a need. He then announced that he thought she was sleeping and that wasn’t ok on the curb of a restaurant. He encouraged me to get her something to eat, so we went in, bought some food and a cup for a drink, and took them out to her. She said thank you and God Bless us, went in to fill her drink, and sat down to eat. We went back to the car and Sam and I prayed for her together.

Why am I sharing this? Learning more about my strengths has helped me understand why Sam couldn’t rest until we bought her food, and why I haven’t been able to stop thinking about why I didn’t connect with her more. Sure, feeding her was a step, but I didn’t try to mesh with her on a relational level. Giving her food was the easy part. For someone else who doesn’t have the strengths I do, this could have been the hard part. We all have a different part to play in the big picture. I realized later that I felt disappointed in myself. God had given me such a cool opportunity, not to only be light to the girl, but to step out just like Sam had.

As we left Cookout, Samuel told me how they had talked about giving to others in children’s church that day. I thought about how we reaffirmed what he had learned that day, that he’d learned and actually put it into practice. His child-like faith, stepped out to do what he knew was the right thing.  Sam was an incredible example to me that night! My biggest lesson was that I want and need my faith to be more simplistic like his. I don’t want to be fearful of people or situations, but to step out in those relational strengths that God has molded into me.

This reminded of an incident with our oldest son last year. Here is what he wrote. (Shared with permission.) “This guys name is Harry. He’s my friend without a home, ever since coming to SCSL I have come in contact with more people who live on the streets then I have in my entire life and I’ve come to realize that my heart does break for people. Last night after work me and Harry talked for an hour, and it made me remember something that @garrett_sho told me and others, most people who live on the streets are not starving there are plenty of good trash cans to get food from, what they are starving for is someone to listen to them. For someone to show that they care. If nothing else send up a prayer for Harry and all the other friends without homes. #scsl1516 #bringingbackblackandwhite #friendswithouthomes

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Harry, Caleb’s Friend Without a Home

I am certain God reminded me of this post Caleb had written last year. The conviction felt like a scolding, reinforcing that yes, I need to step out in faith. Looking back, I wish I had gone back in, sat down with the girl, and listened a while. I won’t beat myself up, but I definitely choose to heed the lesson. We’re always growing, and in that growth, I have promised that next time I will do better! Lesson learned! In the meantime, I will continue to pray for her as God brings her to mind.

To learn more about your strengths, I highly recommend the book called StrengthsFinder 2.0. When you buy the book, there’s a code in the back to go online and take the test. As parents, leaders, bosses, friends, we can so benefit from understanding ourselves and others more.

(The links to Amazon are affiliate links and from Nov. through Feb., the commissions will go to support missions at SCSL.)

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite DIY Project of All Time Thanks to Hurricane Matthew

by montejosmemorials on October 29, 2016

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If you’ve gotten to know me at all, you’ll know I am not the best planner. I have a list of good intentions a mile long! It’s not that I don’t want to do all of these things I’ve been dreaming of, but stuff just seems to happen that prevents me from getting to them. I’m working on it and am definitely striving to do better. Sometimes a life event happens that forces me to get to one of those good intentions, and that’s what hurricane Matthew did.

We had a Berkey water filter, in fact we had two, but the hard plastic that’s not supposed to break easily, didn’t work out so well for us. As much as I loved having the filtered water, I couldn’t bring myself to buy another one of the plastic ones, and didn’t have the budget for the big stainless steel ones.

I have really had that filter on my mind for a while, which probably meant God was nudging me to do something about it before one of those “life events” came along. In preparation, I had been doing a little research to see what other options we had. I still had my filters, just not the container part of the Berkey, so I was super excited when I ran across this Instructable.

Since hurricane Matthew was on the way, the thought of trying to buy enough water for 7 of us wasn’t at the top of my list of things I wanted to do. I had done a lot of research on the Berkey years back before I bought it and was very pleased with what it filtered. I loved the idea that I could filter water from extremely dirty sources, like a pond, and still come up with clean water. I had to get this project done so I could fill a few buckets, bathtubs, and be set if we needed the extra water and not have to fill the van with bottled water.

Andrew, our oldest son at home, came to the rescue. We recycled two of the five gallon buckets I had left over from coconut oil, a faucet from a glass drink container that had broken, my left over Berkey filters, and the Instructable.

In less than 10 minutes, Andrew had everything put together and we were filtering water. One of the greatest things about it for me, is it is 2 1/2 times bigger than my old one, so we can filter a lot of water, which our big family goes through and we saved several hundred dollars. It also was easy enough to make that I could pack the filters and faucet on our next trip to Guatemala, and make one there to use as well.

The kids couldn’t believe how excited I was, but it really has been my favorite DIY project of all time! Not only did it turn out like it was supposed to, but even better!

You can get the filters, and even the faucet on Amazon, and recycle food grade buckets. If you don’t have them as I did, they can be picked up at grocery stores that have bakeries. I promise you’ll love it as much as I do. I am thinking I will get one of the guys to paint something on it to give it some character.

(The Amazon link is an affiliate link that I earn commissions from, and through February, I will be donating those commissions to missions. You can learn more here. )

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Don’t Compromise!

by montejosmemorials on October 27, 2016

I had a conversation with someone yesterday that somewhat baffled me! I know it shouldn’t have, because of the world we live in, but my top five strengths are restorative, empathy, belief, connectedness, and developer, which are all relational, these kind of conversations really get to me.

It started because he was badgering me about the election and who I would choose. I steered as far away as I could, until the subject of abortion came up. The questions began from him… what if your daughter was raped, what if you had a baby that “was special,” (my translation, not what he said), when do you really believe life begins… and so it went.

My intent is not to go in the direction of the election, because we each have to seek God for what we feel like is the choice he would have us make. I do want to touch on compromise for a moment. You see, this was a pastor I was talking to, someone who counsels others on how to make these choices. No wonder we’re so confused!

I know many say that you can’t know what you will do, if you haven’t been in a situation, but I disagree and said so to him! I believe life starts at conception, when the egg and sperm unite, I know if one of our daughters were raped, that we would not support abortion, and we did have a baby with Down Syndrome. We also lost babies that we look forward to meeting one day! We would not have traded a moment of Daniel’s life or what he brought to our family just because he wasn’t perfect and if we could take a baby to help someone who couldn’t keep it, to prevent them from aborting, we would. Some things we joust won’t compromise on.

Are these things hard? Absolutely!!! Is God still good? Without a doubt!!! Does He love you? More than you could ever imagine!

My prayer for this gentleman and all of those who are having to think about these topics is that we’ll go to God’s word for the foundation and let him speak to our hearts. Don’t compromise, God is faithful and will help you honor His Word!

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You Can Make The Difference

by montejosmemorials on October 20, 2016

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He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

I’ve always held fast to the verse about training up our children in the way they should go and when they are old, they won’t depart from it. I especially love The Amplified version that talks about pointing them in the direction of their individual gifts and bent. Although it hasn’t always been the easiest path, we are deeply committed to schooling in a way that focuses on the giftings of each individual.

Last year, we had our first opportunity of sending out one of our children. As much as we had focused on missions and in spite of the fact that I felt like we had been preparing our kids for this their whole lives, it was more of a challenge than I’d thought it would be, a whole new level of trust for Mom.  We always have loved, read, and listened to missionary stories and taking part in missions in as many aspects as we have been able to, so I knew that I was pointing our children in that direction, and it’s been incredible to see God work.

Caleb enrolled in SCSL, South Carolina School of Leadership last year. He tells lots of people that I forced him to go there, which may have been slightly true, but it was more of a gentle suggestion, wink, wink. Thankfully he accepted the suggestion, took it to prayer and received his own confirmations. He can’t blame the second year on me, lol, he did that on his own. 😉

If you’re wondering what SCSL is, it’s a leadership and discipleship program, where students are encouraged to find their God given strengths and giftings, and to walk them out in their lives as they are building family relationships that will be with them forever. They learn to process their past and gain leadership skills for the future and so many other things to build their lives. Many work to pay their tuition, as well as go to school, and have active parts of community and church ministry. There are others who are doing college at the same time as well as gaining ministry credentials. It’s intense, but incredibly life changing!

Each year, there are several missions trips that the students choose from. Last year, Caleb chose Nicaragua. I didn’t really think too much about it, probably since my husband is from Guatemala, we’ve been there several times, and the cultures are so similar. I know he speaks enough Spanish to get by and felt like he’d be right at home. At the last minute, the Zika virus showed itself, and that trip had to be rescheduled, so he was contemplating a stateside trip. This is where the new level of trust came in. He called and said they’d put a new trip together, but would need special permission to go. It was in a remote village in Alaska, the crime rate and prejudice was high, there was no legal system in the town, no way to communicate, etc. We told him to pray and decide what he was supposed to do, he did, and he went. God did some really cool things there.

Caleb's team in Alaska

Caleb’s team in Alaska

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Caleb & Valeria from the SCSL team and one of the children in the village in Kotlek.

This coming year he has an opportunity to go to Ethiopia. Before he found out that Ethiopia was a scheduled trip, he had a dream about Ethiopia.  We already, as a family, have a love and passion for the people there, because we have friends who adopted from there and God has connected our families. This makes it extra exciting, so I want to come alongside of him in his fundraising efforts. Committing to this trip is a huge step of faith, because he is already working as much as he can in the free hours he has, but it’s just not enough to pay tuition, live, and plan for a missions trip. As a family, are asking for your vitally needed support. (Caleb’s support letter is below.) There are several ways you can play a key role.

1. The first way is to pray. We would ask that you cover every aspect of this trip in prayer from fundraising and provision, to safety and accomplishing God’s heart and purposes while there.

2. The next way is to give financially to help raise the $3600 he needs to go on this missions trip. Tax deductible donations can be made at this link and designated for Caleb Montejo, missions fund, http://www.scsl.com/giving/tuition-payments/, or checks may be mailed to Christian Life, 2700 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29210.

There also is a GoFundMe link, but is not tax deductible and they take a fee out. https://www.gofundme.com/scsl-ethiopia-orphans-missions-trip

3. The third way is to change where you shop. You’re already spending the money anyway, so keep spending, but allow part of it to go towards helping Caleb and these other students. Here are the companies I have affiliate links with,  including Amazon and Ebay. You probably already purchase from them, but if you click my link instead of the regular one, it will generate commissions. Please make sure to keep this handy, so you will remember the links. They are listed here.  http://www.joycemontejo.com/scsl-missions-fundraiser-links/  If you forget, just go to http://www.JoyceMontejo.com and there is a box on the sidebar that says SCSL Missions Fundraiser Links.

When you shop with these links, 6 to 30% of your purchase will go towards Caleb’s trip, depending on which company. My prayer is  not to only support him, but to help as many of the other students as we can!!! I would love nothing better than to get his covered and several others or take the extra earnings and split between the students who still need help.

Many of them are working extremely hard and just can’t earn enough in the time they have to accomplish their goals, so it’s up to us to help them! Every time I see one of their GoFundMe links, I send up a prayer that God will raise up people to help these young people who are giving all to learn to serve God! What a blessing it would be to them, to have some of the financial stress and burden lifted, so they can focus more on the ministries they are working in.

So, to summarize, we need your support! I am asking you to join forces with Caleb and others to help raise the funds for their missions trips. I have heard many times that some are called to go and some are called to give to those who go. We have an opportunity to support those who are called to go!

Please share so we can get as many people using these links as possible!  When you are ready to shop, come to http://www.joycemontejo.com/ and click on the block that says SCSL Missions Fundraiser and choose the link you need. I know it’s a little more work, but the rewards to these students will be worth it!

Hugs and Blessings!

Joy Montejo

Caleb’s Support Letter

Friends and Family,

Since I was a boy I have loved the rush of adventure. Whenever my family would pack up for a road trip, I would get a certain feeling of excitement. Part of the reason is, when I was a boy my mother would read me stories of missionaries going to foreign countries, it awakened a wonder for faraway places. I remember looking through my grandfather’s national geographic magazines and seeing tribes of people from Africa or Papua New Guinea, and telling my family how I wanted to go those places one day. Even though that sense of adventure has always been rooted in me, it wasn’t until last year, when my school took a trip to Alaska became more than just a trip for excitement. It was then when the passion for adventure and sharing the love of God with people became one singular passion instead of being a separate goal. When I saw how the love of God could heal broken people and how hungry people were for the love of God, it broke me like I had never been broken before. Now this year I will have the opportunity to go to Ethiopia and love on some kids in an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One of the things I remember from Alaska is a saying the Pastor Jimmy, our guide in Alaska, told us. “People are used to what they have been getting, but when you give them a taste of something different it makes them hungry for that new thing.”  I have the opportunity to share that new thing, but there is always the matter of support. The whole trip is going to cost 3600 dollars, so I am asking people to come alongside me with your prayers and if possible your financial support. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, love to all.

Caleb Montejo

 

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The Pumpkin Spice Latte that is Indulgent and Health Building

September 15, 2016

The Pumpkin Spice Latte that is Indulgent and Health Building by Joyce Montejo   Fall is fast approaching and everywhere you go there are comfort drinks filled with everything we shouldn’t consume. I’ll admit, I fell prey to the temptation yesterday when we were out and about. Instead of feeling guilty, I came home and […]

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