Breakthroughs

January 26th, 2015
Our team have given their all and sacrificed so much to the Metamorfosis Project.  Although, we are sad and grieving the current loss of the Project, we are also confident that God is guiding us to the best.

Our team have given their all and sacrificed so much to the Metamorfosis Project. Although, we are sad and grieving the current loss of the Project, we are also confident that God is guiding us to the best.

Our prayers regarding Project Metamorfosis were answered last week but, not in the way any of us had hoped for. When Richard and two Salvadoran board members of Vinculo de Amor arrived at a meeting to ask for more resources to help Proyecto Metamorfosis succeed, they found several people already seated at the table waiting for them. It was immediately evident that they had already made decisions and had set up the meeting as a charade. After allowing those with complaints to say many malicious things they announced that they wanted to to remove Foundation Vinculo de Amor as the implementers of our own program and instead transition the program quickly to be under the management of a cooperative of workers from the project. This means that the factory is shut down while we wait for a written agreement to be made to transition the leadership of the factory over to cooperative. In a very few days, the program will officially no longer be a part of our ministry in El Salvador.

While it was sad to see this matter handled in such a sneaky, conspiratorial way, we are grateful that God answered our prayers for some amazing, unanticipated solution to the big problems that have plagued us as we have sought for months to bail out a sinking ship. Our entire team is grieving the loss of a program we sacrificed so much for but, we are also relieved that so many resources (human, economic, and creative) are now freed up to focus on our ministries to families with malnourished babies, and deportees.

We are currently negotiating the terms of the handover of the leadership of the factory to the cooperative. Please pray for wisdom and grace. We have every intention of loving them and blessing them so that they can succeed while also stewarding well the resources that God has entrusted to us personally and the foundation.

The cuddle bears had their first win this weekend!  As we were leaving, some members of a full-contact team were so impressed with our offense, they asked Richard if he would consider coaching their team!  Please pray with us for wisdom in this!

The cuddle bears had their first win this weekend! As we were leaving, some members of a full-contact team were so impressed with our offense, they asked Richard if he would consider coaching their team! Please pray with us for wisdom in this!

This week we are blessed with the visit of two families!  Travis and his wife Cyndy, Journey Fitness, have shared generously of their time, talents, and finances with us and our ministry.  They are whipping us into shape!

This week we are blessed with the visit of two families! Travis and his wife Cyndy, Journey Fitness, have shared generously of their time, talents, and finances with us and our ministry. They are whipping us into shape!

Progress

January 19th, 2015
Love Link, Inc. board met Tuesday to discuss how we could re-open Project Metamorfosis.

Love Link, Inc. board met Tuesday to discuss how we could re-open Project Metamorfosis.

Last Tuesday we met with the Salvadoran Board of Love Link, Inc. The meeting was focused on Project Metamorfosis and what it will take to re-open it. The board members saw the greatest need lacking was leadership. They asked Richard if he would be willing to step in and lead the project, which would mean he would need to have a presence at the factory every day. For those that do not know, Project Metamorfosis is located in Santa Ana, a 75-120 minute drive, depending on traffic, from our house. Please pray with us for wisdom in this decision! As we mentioned in last week’s update, we had a businessman willing to donate $5,000 to the project if we were able to match it. The donor counted a $3000 matching donation we had from December. Thanks to your continued prayer and support, we now have $4,518.05, including allowance money donated from our kids! The donor decided to go ahead and write his check and we have only $481.95 left to raise! Thank you!

Friday we met with Sam and Julie Hawkins (founders of Love Link, Inc.) to discuss more details regarding the transition. It was a good meeting and progress is happening. Love Link, also known as the Baby House, has always operated with the help of Salvadoran medical students serving for one-year periods (social year). This year, there is a serious lack of medical students in the country. Sam and Hannah were told yesterday, that the country has under 100 students versus 200 last year, and 1000 in years past. Because of this short-fall, we currently are without a doctor, other than the pediatrician who overseas things. For the present and also in looking to the future, we see the need to actually hire a doctor, rather than relying year to year on a medical student that may or may not be available. Pray for not only the funds to be able o hire someone but also for the right person to hire!

Enjoying an outing with some of the staff, including Hannah's sister who was visiting.

Enjoying an outing with some of the staff, including Hannah’s sister who was visiting.

Cuddle bears

January 8th, 2015
Our flag football mascot

Our flag football mascot

As the NFL season winds down, the Cuddle Bears (our flag football team) are gearing up for our season. We are practicing hard to get ready for our first game at the end of January. As you know, flag football is a great way we meet deportees as we are passionate about reaching them with the Good News. Some of you know David, who was planning to be on our team. He is going through a difficult time right now and in great need of prayer specifically for strength and wisdom in the situation he is in and for his physical protection due to threats of gangs in his neighborhood.

After a much needed break and rest, we are back in the office and moving forward with the transition at Vinculo de Amor. Continue to join us in praying for this transition as there are still some details to be worked through including a VERY important meeting this Friday at 1PM (Chicago time). Metamorfosis is closed until at least January 19th and we continue to turn this ministry over to God hoping that he will rescue it. Today a business man met with Richard and told him he had a $5,000 donation for the project if he could get it matched from the US. Please pray!

The kids began school again this past Tuesday. Please pray for this transition and getting back into the routine. Lisa Schuenke and the kids returned to Wisconsin on December 21 and our kids have strongly felt their absence especially in school. Please keep both families in your prayers for the losses they’ve experienced. We are also asking God for new friendships for the kids and a support network here. Thank you so much for supporting us and our family!

Happy New Year! The Mullinax’s

We were honored with an invitation to Gloria's house Christmas Eve.  With the help of Melissa, and with a lot of love, she served us an amazing traditional meal!

We were honored with an invitation to Gloria’s house Christmas Eve. With the help of Melissa, and with a lot of love, she served us an amazing traditional meal!

On December 21, we celebrated Arrow's 7th birthday - Colts style!

On December 21, we celebrated Arrow’s 7th birthday – Colts style!

After sharing a nice meal out, Wired celebrated Christmas with a White Elephant exchange and amazing desserts!

After sharing a nice meal out, Wired celebrated Christmas with a White Elephant exchange and amazing desserts!

Hannah’s 2014 Recap

January 6th, 2015

Wow. 2014 was an incredible year. I took classes in Virginia in the spring (still working on my RN-BSN), fundraised, and moved to El Salvador in May.

I had a fundraiser BBQ dinner with tons of support!

I had a fundraiser BBQ dinner with tons of support!

I have witnessed incredible acts of God such as provision and reconciliation. I went to Mission Training International in August and was very convicted by God that not only are my “strengths” to be used for His glory, but also my abundant weaknesses and failures, which I am not so fond of.

So many neat missionaries I got to know at MTI.

So many neat missionaries I got to know at MTI.

I have become more involved at Vinculo de Amor, seen Proyecto Metamorfosis go through crisis after financial crisis until it is barely hanging on. I have seen God provide for our Wired building with funds and a long-awaited construction permit.

It is a privilege to care for the malnourished babies at Vinculo... like the one in my lap here.

It is a privilege to care for the malnourished babies at Vinculo… like the one in my lap here.

I have grown closer to my Wired team, and walked with them through joys as well as intense loss and suffering.We have done battle together.

I love praying with my team!!! This is the real battleground.

I love praying with my team!!! This is the real battleground.

With so many various difficulties, griefs, pains, and changes, I ended the year feeling a bit beat up. In fact, as I was reflecting on how I felt, I thought “I am toast”, “I feel plowed up”. I’m not sure what caused me to phrase it that way, but as soon as I did, I remembered …I prayed for this!!! Several months ago, I specifically prayed Hosea 10:12.

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.”

Fallow ground is crusted over, unused, like a field that has laid waste all year. I asked God to plow me up so that my heart would become fertile ground for Him. This He has done. It has been rough, let me tell you. But in all of the hardship (it doesn’t feel good to get plowed up) I have never been more convinced of God’s love for me. I know that He is real, that He is faithful, and that He has called me here. He is jealous for His glory and wants to be glorified through me (and you!)

Foreground: dead field. Background: volcano Izalco

Foreground: dead field. Background: volcano Izalco

San Salvador is a dark place. El Salvador has a dark history of racism, civil war, massacres, poverty, drugs, malnourishment, violence, corruption, gangs, and immorality.

Centro (downtown San Salvador)

Centro (downtown San Salvador)

However, as I think about being here, and my prayers that God would break up the hardness of my heart and bring revival to this city, I am encouraged. That verse in Hosea talks about God raining down righteousness. Earlier in Hosea, it says, “Let us know; let us press on to know that LORD; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Can you imagine this city seeking God, and God raining down righteousness on it??!

Can you imagine this city seeking God, and God raining down righteousness on it??!

I ended my year somewhere I wasn’t expecting. I was given a plane ticket home for Christmas, where I got to see my whole family and meet my littlest niece. I spent a delightful week doing nothing but resting and enjoying my family. What a gift!

My family =) I'm in the bright red shirt

My family =)
I’m in the bright red shirt

I thoroughly enjoyed the week of rest, but am now back at home here in El Salvador, ready for 2015. No doubt it’s going to be extremely tough. It’s filled with 365 days of unknowns. But that’s ok.

As I sat in the plane on the flight back, I was so refreshed as I looked out on the sunrise and drank a cup of tea. I was reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, who encourages believers to focus on Christ and to pursue the presence of God. How I want that to be the ultimate purpose of my life! As I reflected, I was re-envisioned and renewed. I want to slow down this year and know God more. I want to love Him more. I am not so concerned with getting anything accomplished, but would rather just experience more of God. In the end, that is what glorifies Him; and the glory of God is the chief purpose of man.

God makes beautiful things.

God makes beautiful things.

Relying on Him

December 16th, 2014

Great news! We received official approval from the city to move forward with construction at the Wired facility! We look forward to beginning soon! Thank you for praying through that long process!

This past Saturday, FUNDE (the organization that helps fund the project) held a gathering for Metamorfosis staff and their families at the lake.

This past Saturday, FUNDE (the organization that helps fund the project) held a gathering for Metamorfosis staff and their families at the lake.

Your prayers are so vital and powerful! We have seen and felt this as we minister here. That is why we again ask you to join us in fervent prayer for Metamorfosis. The program remains in a delicate state. Possibly now more than ever. We need God to intervene in a big way in order for it to continue. Pray also for wisdom and discernment for Ricardo as he leads.

Richard and Felice join in on the games played on Saturday

Richard and Felice join in on the games played on Saturday

Sometimes it is hard to get in the "Christmas spirit" with warm weather, so Hannah offered to come over and help us bake christmas cookies!  We are so thankful for our supportive teammates!

Sometimes it is hard to get in the “Christmas spirit” with warm weather, so Hannah offered to come over and help us bake christmas cookies! We are so thankful for our supportive teammates!

Richard and I were able to join Alton's class on a field trip recently to visit some Mayan ruins.  Please keep our family in prayer as the Holiday season tends to be a lonely one and some of us are really suffering from homesickness.

Richard and I were able to join Alton’s class on a field trip recently to visit some Mayan ruins. Please keep our family in prayer as the Holiday season tends to be a lonely one and some of us are really suffering from homesickness.

Cared for

December 5th, 2014

We are so grateful for those at National Office who “Keep watch over us as those who must give an account” (Hebrews 13:17). These past few weeks they have been working with extreme diligence and self-sacrifice to help everyone here deal with the difficult situation on our team we have been asking you to pray for. This past week Tim Meier, Director of Envision International gave up a week with his family to help our team and family in person. Your giving to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) makes it possible for them to care for our team and family in so many ways. Would you consider a special year-end gift to the GCF so support those who work so hard to support us? You can give online (https://secure.cmalliance.org/give/) or by mailing a check to

C&MA National Office
Attn: Donor Accounting
P.O. Box 35000
Colorado Springs, CO 80935

Please continue to lift up the team situation that we have mentioned before. Please also pray for Project Metamorphosis as a quality control issue and some bad attitudes are combining for low production during a month when we are mandated to make some considerable extra payments to the workers. Finally, please pray for our family as we are pretty tired now and yearning for Christmas vacation in a couple of weeks.

Grace and peace,
Mullinax family

Thanksgiving: Our Wired staff worked very hard to prepare a magnificent Thanksgiving meal complete with football as an outreach to Hungry — the church we are planting for people who don’t like church. Many of our friends from the American football league miss thanksgiving and were glad to come out.

thanksgiving 1

thanksgiving 2

thanksgiving 3

Truth for the storms

December 2nd, 2014

Hannah mentioned Romans 8 in her post and how it has been a great comfort during this past month. She shared it with me a few weeks ago and now I would like to pass on some of God’s truths to you:

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us…
We wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently…
The Spirit helps us in our weakness…
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

“Trouble and hardship” are no strangers at Wired. I would say to future interns reading this that if you are looking for a fun, cushy internship, you should NOT come to Wired. We have a ton of fun together, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not what will stick with you after you come. You will see God at work, experience a new trusting in Him, and be a fresh troop on the spiritual battlefield! Sound daunting? Well, yes it does. And you don’t come through battles unscathed. But is it worth it? YES! Living for God is dangerous. But He is worth it all and He is with us always (Psalm 23). Want to join the Wired team and experience this for yourself? Contact Kevin Cabrera, our intern coordinator, for more info!

For me, this past month included a trip to visit my family and home church, meet my newest niece, and to enjoy some rest. Getting to be in the mountains of NC again and see some fall colors AND snow was an added plus! I returned with a fresh vigor to be a part of what God is doing with BROKEN. I’m now getting back into the swing of things in the office, practicing with the my flag football team, and hanging/ helping out with my Mullinax fam.

We are in the final month of the Broken Campaign. Final payment is on January 1st and we have just over $10,000 left to raise. Please consider a year-end gift to help reach this goal! Click HERE to give.

We ask for your continued prayers over our staff – for unity and endurance through the “trouble and hardship”. For wisdom and strength for our leaders. For the Schuenke family.

Much love,
Mel
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I was so blessed to be with my family and meet my newest niece! >>>

Bless the LORD, O my soul

December 1st, 2014

November has been a very full month. That feels like about the biggest understatement ever. Our team has been walking through challenges and persevering together. There have been tough situations with Vinculo, where I spend most of my working time here, and also more personal challenges on our team. We appreciate your prayers! More than that, I am encouraged by knowing that Jesus is interceding for us with groaning too deep for words. That promise out of Romans 8 has been extremely helpful to me as God constantly draws me to lift my eyes and see that He is doing a greater work, and that I am part of His Kingdom which is not easily shaken. He is drawing my heart to Him, and giving me a growing hunger for Himself.

After a difficult month, we had a superbly relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend. We had a delicious, traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Hungry and a bunch of guests. It was a blast and a great way to connect with people. I am so grateful for the long, restful weekend!

This is me and Melissa at the Thanksgiving dinner.

This is me and Melissa at the Thanksgiving dinner.

~Hannah

thankfulness

November 27th, 2014

Richard's good friend Gary Peterson helping him on his last tour stop at Discovery Alliance.  (Photo taken by another good friend and helper, Kris Magruder.)

Richard’s good friend Gary Peterson helping him on his last tour stop at Discovery Alliance. (Photo taken by another good friend and helper, Kris Magruder.)


We are very grateful for a team of people like you who pray for us. We are also very thankful for Richard returning home to be with the family after a great time with Discovery Alliance Church in Missoula, MT. He was very thankful to have the help of many good friends on this trip including the Riggin and Hendrickson families who helped with storing our stuff and also Kris Magruder and Gary Peterson who helped with many things on tour. We are especially thankful that Richard was able to spend some time with his dear friend Pete who is in the hospital.
Very thankful that Richard had time to visit his good friend Pete in the hospital.

Very thankful that Richard had time to visit his good friend Pete in the hospital.

The people of Discovery were very encouraging and some of them have been praying for us since we left for language school 6 years ago and he had a lot of fun with the AWANA kids Sunday night at the final event.

Richard's final event was with AWANA at Discovery church.  He got them a little riled up acting out a battle scene from 1 Samuel.

Richard’s final event was with AWANA at Discovery church. He got them a little riled up acting out a battle scene from 1 Samuel.

Please continue praying for our family as we deal with a difficult team situation here in El Salvador and adjust to our dear nanny Tess being back home in the US with her family. We would also ask your prayers for Richard’s mom who is in the hospital in Fort Wayne due to E.Coli.

We are already missing our nanny Tess who became very close to us after 3 months together.

We are already missing our nanny Tess who became very close to us after 3 months together.

Through your prayers,
Mullinax family in El Salvador

Rough Sailing – Daniel

November 25th, 2014

PYMclass
(Me teaching an English class to some Metamorphosis employees)

The team and I have been working especially hard the past couple months to navigate through the transition that accompanies the ministry’s acquisition of Vinculo de Amor and Project Metamorphosis. Despite long hours and hard work, we’ve been greatly reminded that unless such things are coupled with God’s help and direction, progress is hard to come by. But the Lord has blessed us abundantly and continues to daily provide for us and the ministry he has put in our care. Since I am in charge of finances for our three branches of ministry, I have experienced first-hand how God brings in just the right amount of money at just the right time. We are extremely thankful for those that allow themselves to be used by God to support us in both prayer and finances.

Personally, I have been spending more time in Project Metamorphosis (PYM) lately. During the work hours, I assist the PYM accountant with an increased workload he has inherited with the transition. After the workday ends at 4:30, I teach an English class in which about 10-15 PYM employees attend. We’ve have met for a little over a month now. Even with only meeting once a week for one hour, they are learning very fast and are beginning to be able to speak in complete sentences. It’ll be great once groups start coming down next year and they can practice what they’ve learned! Besides the skills the employees are gaining via the classes, I am gaining a lot of experience in the classroom that I can use toward my goal of eventually opening up an English school.