snapshot

Am I Crazy?

Photo caption: Greg sharing in "Equip" class to our current Submerge team

They say the place where your talents and passion collide is your destiny.   The past few weeks have confirmed that what we are doing here in Ecuador is our destiny.  From tremendous open doors with the city and the Department of Education, to the amazing time we are having pouring into the lives of our Submerge team, each day is filled with excitement and new opportunities.  It seems that everything we have done in life up until now has prepared us for this moment… and we are loving it.

There is a fantastic quote by Howard Thurmand which reads, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Each of us has that “sweet spot” in life.  Think for a moment about what excites you.  What is that thing that makes you really feel alive?  For us it took a lot of courage to change everything and move overseas.  Saying good-bye to friends and family that we loved and saying farewell to all of our “stuff” was one of the hardest challenges we have faced. There were so many times we would look at each other and ask, “Are we crazy?” We decided that indeed we are crazy. Now, close to a year and a half later we are so grateful that we made the move.

When we choose to follow our dreams it’s like a seed that is planted in the ground.  It takes time to see that seed come alive and begin to grow.  Unfortunately we can get discouraged in the time it takes for the seed to begin to grow.  During those times of waiting don’t give up.  The Bible puts it like this in Galatians 6:9 “Do not grow weary in well doing for in due time and the appointed season you shall reap a harvest if you faint not.”

It’s time to do some things that make you ask yourself, “Am I crazy?”

Journeying Together,

The Bacas

Go Snapshot: Aids Orphanage, Juvenile Center, and The Talk

snapshot_3-29-13

snapshot_3-29-13

I pray you and your family have a great holiday weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  As believers we pause to reflect on the sacrifice that was made for us so that we might know God and live in the freedom that comes with the forgiveness of sin.  It is this story of redemption and reconciliation that compels us to live here in a foreign country and make known the name of Christ.

The Gospel message that we share here in Ecuador is not a message of rules and lists of good things to do.  The message we preach is that God loves you right where you are.  He is not mad at you.  He loves you and wants you to live free from the burden of sin.  He sees you as valuable.  This is a message that when believed is transformational.

It is our belief in this life changing message that moves us to seek creative ways in which we can share it with others.  This week we have seen God work in the lives of many people.  We thank you for being part of what He is doing in Ecuador!  Below are just a few of the things that took place this week.

Journeying Together,

The Bacas

aids-orphange

aids-orphange

Aids Orphanage  I have been visiting orphanages for the past 15 years but now that I have my own son it is tougher than ever before.  As a parent you know what a kid needs and what they desire so when you see children living in such rough conditions it breaks your heart.  This was especially the case as we visited an aids orphanage this past week.  It was a great day we shared with them though as we played games, painted faces, and just loved them.

jail

jail

Juvenile Detention Center Once again we were back with our friends at the detention center.  It is amazing as we’ve gone week after week to see the hearts of these young men soften and open to us.  This week they asked to take our team picture and told us that we are part of their family!

the-talk

the-talk

The Talk If you have been receiving this email for any length of time you know that we are busy with a variety of evangelistic projects.  The result of this has left many people wanting to know more and seeking to become involved in what we are doing.  This has lead us to launch a new weekly meeting at a local restaurant that we are simply calling “The Talk”.  The goal of this meeting is to give unchurched people that we encounter a safe place to come and build community and learn more about Christ.

Go Snapshot: Love From Above, Prison, Schools, and More.

snapshot_3-16-13

snapshot_3-16-13

This week marked our first fully operational week of Submerge.  The first week we spent much of our time in training, building relationships with the team, and planning.  This week we hit the ground running as we executed all of our plans from the prior week.  We started things off on Saturday with one of the outreaches we’ve done in other countries called, “Love from Above”.

side-bar-photo-template

side-bar-photo-template

The concept is simple.  Come up with little ways you can bless a stranger, accompany this act with hand out cards that say “Love From Above: We wanted to show you by this simple act of kindness that God loves you and he cares very much about you.”  The card then directs them to visit a page on our website with an article in Spanish on God’s love for us.  The team chose to go to a local park and pass out free water along with the Love from Above cards.  They had some incredible conversations and people were blown away that anyone would spend their Saturday passing water out to strangers.

In addition to this outreach the team ministered at; a juvenile detention center, One Heart college ministry, a kids feeding program, and two schools where they presented 7 childrens/youth programs.  Needless to say the team was very busy this week and saw much fruit from their labor.  In all they were able to minister to over 1100 people since last Saturday!  We also began Spanish classes this week, I say “we” because Christa and I are definitely attending classes as well!  It’s amazing how much more you pay attention in class when you know that when you walk out the door that’s the only language you can use to communicate!

Overall I would say we are very happy with the launch of Submerge and are enjoying getting to know the team more each day.  We trust that they are learning and growing as they make themselves available to be used by God.  Thank you for your continued prayers for us and our team and we specifically ask that you pray for health as some of our team members are battling some “bugs” this week.

Journeying Together,

The Baca’s

you-are-creative

you-are-creative

You Are Creative I have been speaking every Saturday all this month to a local youth group on Creativity and the role it can play in our life.  One tool that I always share with people when speaking on the subject, is something I first heard from Robert Kiyosaki years ago.  When faced with an obstacle or challenge don’t say “I can’t” but rather, ask “How can I?”.  That subtle distinction can make all the difference in the results we see in life.  Give it a try and watch your mind go to work.

lunch-with-z

lunch-with-z

My Day With Zion I’m sure we can all recall conversations with either our parents or our children about the importance of being grateful and how others around the world have it worse than we do.  This has been a recurring conversation in the Baca home recently as we aim to instill gratefulness and generosity in the heart of our son.  Yesterday I told Zion he was not going to daycare but that he and I were going downtown to look for ways we could be a blessing.  We ended up inviting a group of children who work as shoe shiners to eat lunch with us.  Afterwards Zion suggested he use his ten dollars his Papa had recently given him to buy ice cream for everyone.  It was a special day for all of us.

passport

passport

Visa's In Hand Thank you to all who have been standing with us in agreement that our visa’s would come through.  Yesterday I went to the immigration office to pick them up and I’m happy to say that today we have them in hand!  This completes phase 2 of a 3 phase process that must be accomplished in order to obtain the type of long term visa we are hoping for.

Go Snapshot: Submerge off to a great start

snapshot-3-8-13

snapshot-3-8-13

It's been over ten years since Christa and I first discussed starting an international team missions base, last Friday we saw that dream fulfilled with the arrival of our first Submerge Team.  We have spent this last week introducing the team to Quito, getting to know each other, and even doing some ministry together.  We are excited about what is on the horizon and what God is doing in our midst.  We truly are expectant about the things that will happen as a result of this team working together.  As I shared with the team this week, our vision is three fold in what is to come from this first group; that the individual lives of the team members will be changed, that lives in Ecuador will be transformed, and that future Submerge teams will be influenced.

After a year break from leading a team it feels great to be surrounded once again by young passionate people who are willing to lay it all on the line to receive what God has for them.  Our goal is that we would inspire them to be who God has created them to be, but there's no doubt that we are also inspired by the passion we see in these young people.  This next week will kick off our regular schedule where the team will begin Spanish classes, and daily outreaches.  We ask for your prayers as we continue to walk in this new season!

Journeying Together,

The Baca’s

justin

justin

In Their Own Words Occasionally we will be linking to the individual blogs of some of our team members so that you can hear about Submerge directly from those who are participating in it.  Today you can hear from Ashton O'neal and Justin Kila by clicking HERE and HERE.

one-heart-3-8-13

one-heart-3-8-13

Speaking Engagements This past week we had the opportunity to speak to the youth of a church called Corederro de Dios.  They are doing a four part series this month on creativity and have asked us to speak each week.  Also our team spoke on Wednesday night to the students of OneHeart.  Tomorrow we are doing a joint outreach with OneHeart in a local park!

family

family

3-8-13-icon

3-8-13-icon

Pray For Us As many of you read this past week we've been working on our extended visas, we ask that you continue to pray that all goes well as our application is being processed.  We should have them in hand next Friday.  Also I ask that you pray for our family as we strive to strike the balance between leading this new team and guarding our time as a family.

Go Snapshot: Go International Documentary and Other Exciting Updates

2_22_2013_go_eblast_top

2_22_2013_go_eblast_top

Things here in Ecuador couldn’t be going better.  We are exactly one week away from our first Submerge team arriving.  Last night we hosted a conference call with all of our new team and everyone is truly excited about this new season they are about to begin.

Almost ten years ago when Christa and I first launched Go International there were 3 main components we envisioned for Go; short term mission trips, an internship program, and international missions bases.  For over ten years we have been doing short term missions, we graduated 6 classes of the Go Internship program, and now we continue on in the vision with the launch of Submerge and establishing our first international base.

Our goal is that through Submerge countless lives will be changed here in Ecuador but also that the lives of our Submerge team will be forever changed.  Our hope is that a passion for people and for the world will be cultivated in the hearts of our team and as a result their lives will continue to shine the love of God in the dark corners of the earth.

This week we hired two new staff members; a part time cook who will prepare one hot meal per day for the team, and a full time administrative assistant who is a bilingual native of Quito who will help us coordinate ministry, translate, and provide Spanish lessons for Submerge.

Thank you for your support of Go International, it means so much to both Christa and I.

Journeying Together,

The Baca’s

film

film

Go International Documentary A few weeks back we received a phone call from a Media Company in the States.  They expressed to us a desire to produce a documentary on Go International, the launch of Submerge, and the various ministry we will be doing here in Ecuador.  Filming has already begun in the form of interviews of some of our team members as they prepare to leave the country for the next 3 months.  We trust that God will use this film to share the message of Christ with a broader audience.

radiate

radiate

Speaking Engagements On Sunday we had the opportunity to share in 2 church services at Iglesia Libertad.  We shared a message called “Radiate: Light Your World”, where we spoke of the principles of sharing your faith that we’ve learned through the various outreaches we’ve done around the world.  On Wednesday we were invited back to OneHeart and we talked to the students about moving from being a “victim” to a “victor”.  (Basically, how you can choose to overcome your circumstances instead of allowing them to limit you.)

tent

tent

Zion's 3rd Birthday Last Saturday we celebrated Zion’s 3rd birthday Ecuadorian style!  It was so nice to have so many of our friends come out and show their love for Z.  All his best friends are in their 20’s, I think in his mind they’re the same age.  He has been asking for a circus room ever since watching the movie Madagascar, so Christa and I bought some fabric and we put our design skills to use and created the circus tent-bed canopy pictured above.  He LOVES it!

Go Snapshot: This Week At Go Nov 10

snapshot_11-10-12

snapshot_11-10-12

Open Doors:  If there were a theme to this week that would have to be it.  In moving here we felt in our hearts that the first phase of establishing our base would be Community Integration and Needs Assessment.  Basically, building relationships and networking with others to see where Go can best contribute.  This week we had some key connections.

Tuesday we met with a man we worked with back in 2005 who runs a media company and a non profit foundation.  There are many ways it looks like we’ll be able to work together.  He has open doors with schools, rescue homes, and medical outreaches as well as inroads in both business and government.  He has offered to help us however he can, so we look forward to seeing how this partnership develops.

We had the opportunity to speak at OneHeart once again this week where we had an incredible time sharing with young professionals and college students on how to develop creative thinking in our lives.  Greg also spoke at a local church on Thursday about Living Beyond Normal.

Next Week On Tuesday we have a meeting with some fellow missionaries who are starting a rescue home for at risk girls here in Quito, so we are excited to see if there are ways we may be able to work together!  Thursday we have been invited to speak to the staff at the national offices for Compassion International about creativity in the workplace. We are honored that so many doors have opened for us to share with people immediately upon our arrival!

Thank you for your continued prayer and support.

Journeying Together,

Greg, Christa, and Zion Baca

go_insp_eblast

go_insp_eblast

Earlier this week Go launched a new web based campaign called: #go_inspiration. The concept of this campaign is to inspire people through the use of art.  By using the Instagram platform we hope to engage artists with the inspirational message of the gospel while simultaneously giving them a way to use their artistic abilities to inspire one another. This week’s featured artist is @justinkila with his take one our theme of “One Life”.  To read more about this campaign or to see some of this week's entries CLICK HERE.

life_in_ecuador_taxi

life_in_ecuador_taxi

LIFE IN ECUADOR Each week we highlight a little bit of the personal side of our Life in Ecuador.  Follow Zion as he shows you how we get around on this edition of Life In Ecuador.

alumni_matt

alumni_matt

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Check out this week’s edition of Alumni Spotlight, where we catch up with previous interns and staff to see what they’ve been up to.  This week we talk with adventurer and creator of EpicUncertainty.com, Matt Arbo.  Matt interned with Go for two years and graduated the program in 2011.  Matt is always an inspiration to us and we thought he might just inspire you too!  [READ MORE...]

current_needs

current_needs

CURRENT NEEDS Even though our funding was not completed prior to our move we felt in our hearts to make the move and trust God.   We are still in need of the following: Funding for Visas:  $1,500 Basic Home Furnishings: $1,000 Media Equipment:  $3,000 Setup Fee’s:  $2,000

If you would like to become a monthly partner and join the Operational Support Team or make a one time donation to go towards any of the items mentioned above CLICK HERE.

Want to be on the inside track of all things GO International? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-blasts and get current news and updates in your inbox. If you would like to donate to Go International or join our Operational Support Team click here.  Help us spread the word about what Go is doing and post this article to Facebook or Twitter.

Go Snapshot: This Week at Go - Nov 2nd

11_02_2012_go_eblast_top

11_02_2012_go_eblast_top

After our arrival here in Ecuador, three weeks ago, we are finally settled in and Go International is off and running.  We have moved into a little 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment that’s just right for our family.  We also enrolled Zion in a bilingual preschool and he is LOVING it!  The first phase of launching our base here is, Community Integration and Needs Assessment.

During this phase we are strategically establishing relationships with leaders of the community in an effort to assess the needs and see where we can be involved.  It’s been awesome to see the doors that have opened in such a short amount of time.  From pastor’s to business leaders and even connections with government officials we have made great contacts in the past week.

goinspiration_justin_kila

goinspiration_justin_kila

In addition to the work we will be doing here in Ecuador we also plan to continue our web based initiatives as well.  Next week we plan on launching a new campaign called #goinspirations, which will be a weekly inspirational article with accompanying artwork from the many creative artists on Instagram. We are excited about this new artistic campaign.  The first featured artist is Justin Kila.  Follow him on Instagram @justinkila.

pastor_daniel

pastor_daniel

On Tuesday we spent several hours meeting with a pastor of a relatively new church plant.  We definitely share the same heart and are excited to see how we can work together.  He expressed a desire to help Go International in any way he can and he also invited us to speak next Thursday at a Bible study he leads.

one_heart

one_heart

On Wednesday night we were invited to share at One Heart a local college ministry.  We spoke on the importance of Dreaming and next week we will share part 2 on How to Walk Out Your Dreams.

life_in_ecuador_fruit_stand

life_in_ecuador_fruit_stand

Each week we plan to highlight a little bit of the personal side of our Life in Ecuador.  One of our favorite parts of life here so far is the weekly trip to the fruit market.  CLICK HERE link to watch a video of Zion’s adventure to the Fruit Stand.

Want to be on the inside track of all things GO International?

Click here

to sign up for our weekly e-blasts and get current news and updates in your inbox. If you would like to donate to Go International or join our Operational Support Team

click here

.

  Help us spread the word about what Go is doing and post this article to

Facebook

or

Twitter

.