To Stand Between

Jesse has been in the States for the past few weeks and yesterday had the privilege of speaking at our home church, New Life Community Church.  Here is what he shared. 

We have been in Aguascalientes, Mexico at Dulce Refugio orphanage a little over 2 years now. We’ve had between 23 and 57 kids and I can assure you, there’s rarely a dull moment. We’ve done everything from laundry, room inspections, bus driving, doctor and dentist appointments, soccer games, homework, mountain hikes, breaking up fights, to just sitting on the bench hanging out. Faith, the kids, and I have just about seen it all over the last 2 years, but in spite of all that, I found myself asking the question “What am I doing here?”

Those of you who know me well, know that I rarely do anything without a purpose, even the crazy stuff, which we’re not talking about today. I went down to Mexico with this romantic idea of being a father to the fatherless, to spiritually light these kids on fire, and so then they would in turn lead radically different lives and break the cycle from which they came. However, as is often the case, reality does not always submit itself to our dreams.

The reality is that most of these kids won’t change, in spite of all the love, and care and Jesus we give these kids. Even after years and years of it in some cases, given the right opportunity, they can revert back to the day they first came to us off the street. Permit me to be honest with you and say that this is incredibly discouraging and disheartening.

I mean, we sold our car, and house, pulled our kids from the life they knew, left friends and family for this kind of rejection and sorrow? I didn’t come with a number like, “we would have an 83.2% success rate, but is it worth building these buildings, spending all this time, sweat, and blood for just a few kids out of the hundreds we will see, that will actually change? (dramatic pause)…Yes! Why? Because Jesus would. And Jesus did. He did it for you and me. That’s not just churchenese, or churchy talk, that’s truth. The Bible isn’t just a collection of stories, like the shepherd leaving the 99 for the 1 lost sheep. It’s truth. And sometimes, God allows us to see that truth come to life right in front of us, and that’s what I want to share with you today.

I want to share a story with you that involves 3 brothers from Dulce Refugio. I call them the pillars of Dulce Refugio due to their time spent with us which is around 5 years now. Beginning of September, school had just started and 2 of these 3 brothers needed their birth certificates and school records from last year to complete registration. These 3 brothers were 3 of the kids taken earlier in the year during a traumatic time I labeled “The Reaping”, where social services came and took 1/3 of our kids. Anyway, over the summer, these 3 boys ran away from their “better” situation, and came back to us. Social services wasn’t too happy about this, it made them look bad, and so they weren’t too keen on helping us get the documents. So I decided to take the brothers and go look for the tios/tias (uncles and aunts) to get their papers.

As we drove in the van to their old barrio or colonia, (neighborhood), I was a little apprehensive. Not because of the cholos, (gangsters), but for the boys because we were venturing into their past, and that can be quite painful for them. Let me explain.

Almost all of our kids at DR have experienced a trauma. We all have a God designed fight or flight instinct that we can use to help us get out of a bad situation. But when something happens to a child like rape or physical abuse, and they are not strong enough to stop it, they can mentally, emotionally, and physically go into shock. So strong is this effect, that even into adult years, without extensive counseling if they experience the same circumstances or stimulus that cause the trauma, they can instantly revert back to thumb sucking, peeing their pants, crying uncontrollably, or just plain go catatonic. In the case of the brothers, the father had committed suicide in front of the oldest brother, the mom couldn’t handle it, left them, and that is how they came to us in the first place.

We find out from a primo (cousin), that a tio works down the street in a shoe repair shop. So we went there, I parked the van, and we all started walking up to the shop, but the oldest and youngest brothers suddenly dropped back so that only the middle brother and I went up to the counter.

As I walked up to the counter, that dad “sixth and seventh sense” started kicking in and the hairs on the back of my neck raised up as the uncle began to rise. So I did my best tough guy impersonation, and the tio decided to calm down and tell us a tia down the street had some papers. We later found out that social services had been financially assisting the tios/tias of these brothers, which isn’t right, and they basically lost this “beer money” when the brothers ran away.

We left and I asked the other 2 brothers why they hung back. The older told me that that particular tio would make him work after school and take the money he made, or hit him if he refused. The younger told me they sometimes put him in a box or closet, and they all said the uncle would have hit the middle brother if I had not been there. I then asked them how many tios/tias there were, and they said a lot. This was a lot to take in, and I began to process all this as we were on our way to the tia’s house.

We arrived and I made note of the situation, bullet holes in houses, cholos on the corner and the aunt of course isn’t home. One brother wanted me to throw him over the fence so he could get in the house and get the papers, and I said no we weren’t breaking into a house around here. We find out from a neighbor that the tia won’t be back until 7pm, so I said ok, let’s go get some dinner and come back.

We went to a 50’s themed diner, and I explained the cultural significance of the pictures on the wall of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and when the youngest saw John Lennon, he said “Look, Harry Potter!”

I sent the boys to wash up, and watched as the older two (being the ornery boys that they are) sent the younger into the girls restroom as a joke. We all had a great time, spending the time smiling and laughing. It’s a true testament to the healing power of Jesus and the opportunity these kids have at Dulce Refugio. I tell this to teams when they come, but you’d never know what some of these kids have been through, by how they act now.

Long story short, we went back to the tia’s, then to another, and back again and have 2 out of the 3 papers we needed. I thought more about these “wasted” hours, and how I wouldn’t trade them for anything because after 2 years, I had an answer to why we are there.

I thought back to the 1st uncle, and it hit me. This is my purpose: to stand between these kids and their past and their pain, for however long God gives them to us, whether it be 8 days, or 8 years, show them Jesus, and leave the results up to Him.

Here is what I want you to take away from this story and never forget. When we left 2 years ago, we presented this idea to you that it wasn’t the Becketts going out for you, our supporters, but it was, in a way, you going out through us.

As hard as it is sometimes for us to be away from you, from our family, to go through these failures, pain and rejections, and also for you to be away from us. I want you to realize something deep in your soul. That for every check you write for us, or to support the church, every magnet you put on the fridge, every team that comes to visit, every blog post that you read, and prayer that you’ve said… KNOW that it is YOU, IT IS YOU, standing there with us, between these kids and their past and pain. So Jesus can heal them.

THAT, my brothers and sisters is why we are there, how we are there, and will keep on being there…until God says… No more.

Thanks for reading.

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by faith

Last week we celebrated the Mexican Day of Independence. There were lots of tables with different food and the volunteers were all in charge of a different table.

Did you know that Mexicans love to have parties? Hardly any reason is needed to throw a party. The key ingredients for these parties are: lots of friends and family, music (Banda or Mariachi mostly), dancing, and of course, food!


As I was preparing my dessert for the night, I realized and was surprised that as much as I love food (and I really love it!) I haven’t really written much about it on our blog.

Mexico is rich in flavors and varieties of delicious food. Also, food varies some by regions and states, just like in the United States. As a side note, don’t ever judge Mexican food by what you eat in the States!

I love learning about food, cooking and preparing it, and also serving it and sharing it with others. So, I would really like to start writing regularly about it. It will be one more thing that you can learn about our culture and something fun for me to write about.

So, here we go….

Let’s talk about BUÑUELOS.


Buñuelos could maybe be compared to an American funnel cake. Traditionally, it is referred to as a fried dough ball, but here we prepare them a little differently. They are super easy and you could totally do this yourself if you wanted to!

Our ingredients are flour tortillas, vegetable oil, sugar and cinnamon.  I don’t have ingredient amounts for you, but it’s pretty easy.  In the photos you are going to see what it looks like to prepare 150 of these.


Start by warming the oil in a frying pan. You are going to need enough oil to float your tortilla in.


While you are waiting for that to warm, mix your sugar and cinnamon in something flat, that you can easily coat the tortillas when they come out of the oil.



We tested the oil by putting in a small piece of tortilla. We wanted to see that it was bubbling up and floating in the oil. Once it is ready, gently put your tortillas in, but then you will need to quickly flip from side to side so that it doesn’t blow up into a balloon or get too brown on any side. You should be constantly flipping until they are done.


They are done when they are a nice brown, not too light because you don’t want them to become soft once they are out, and not too dark because well, you just don’t.

When you pull them from the oil, drain them a little, and then cover them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.


That’s it. They are done! Super easy, right?!

We like to eat them just like that, with only cinnamon and sugar, or you can top it with delicious Lechera (sweetened condensed milk) or honey. Most of the kids choose the Lechera.


Let me know if you ever try these! Or if you have any questions!

And, as we say in spanish, Provecho!!

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Lonely September

by faith

It’s 4:33am and there is no alarm going off, because Jesse is not here, but I still wake up. Maybe it’s out of habit, or maybe, because I can hear the boys starting to work and get ready down on the floor below us.

I roll over and burrow myself under my covers, enjoying the warmth that they provide. I’m hoping that I can fall asleep again before my alarm goes off in an hour. Truth be told, my alarm will go off at 5:30 and then I will hit the snooze. And I will hit it again at 5:39. This morning I hit it twice and finally pull myself out of bed at 5:50. Let’s get this day started.

Knowing that I am here alone, that I will wake my kids up, fix them breakfast, get them to school by 7:30, pick them up at 2:30, make sure they do their homework, and answer, what seems like a million questions, without being able to say “Go ask your Dad” ….well, all of that, if I stop to think about it, makes me so very, very tired. Especially my mind. My body is strong, but sometimes, a lot of times, my mind is weak. And I give in to impatience and frustration.

We can always use your prayers , but maybe this month we could use a few more while Jesse is away.   It’s tough. I don’t know how single parents do it.

No ones going to die. It’s not that bad!! And, I get control of the remote for a month, so that’s nice! But, I don’t just want this to be a month to get through, but a month that we can enjoy and that my kids and I can make memories in spite of Jesse not being here.


And, keep Jesse in your prayers too. From now until the 25th he is out hiking the mountains of California.   He is with my brother David and another friend. They have a plan for the first three days and then after that they are going off trail, using only maps and compasses and trying to stay away from the fires and smoke. It’s an adventure and it is exactly what he needs.



Thanks for reading!

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La Cocina

by Faith

Do you have a favorite room or place in your home? A place that says home to you? A room that you love because it brings some peace and rest to your soul?

For me, that room is the kitchen.

Growing up, I didn’t love it because of the cooking or baking of food, but about who was there.   For me, in this room there was a special atmosphere.  It was a safe space for me.  I remember sitting at the counter with my brother, talking with my mom while she was cooking. The kitchen was a congregating place for all of us, and years later those memories still give me that warm cozy feeling.

I grew up, learned how to cook and bake, and I loved the kitchen even more because I found that I could feed both the body and soul in this room.  When we built our first home I spent the most time thinking, dreaming and planning the kitchen.  I wanted it to be welcoming and comfortable for visiting,  the heart of our home with colors rich and warm. Eventually I put a little sitting area in the kitchen to make it even more comfortable and it became that gathering place for us.

Now, being here at DR, the kitchen is very much the center of all of the activity. It is in the building (what we call the Comedor) used for all large events and activities and is somewhat central on the property.



But, also this place is a favorite hang out.   The kids love to be in there and this is mostly a privilege for the older kids (unless you are punished and have to clean it). They love to sit and talk in there. They enjoy helping the cook with preparations and during meals the older girls actually prefer eating in the kitchen to sitting at the tables.


Our cook, Senora Marilou is ornery and feisty, perfect for working here and putting up with everything!! She works hard to make the meals for the kids, being here to have breakfast ready by 6am and then lunch at 3pm and dinner at 6pm.


A few DR facts for you:

80% of our food is donated and so, our cook needs to be skilled at preparing menus based on the food that we have in our cupboards and refrigerators.

Also, Little Caesars generously donates 100-200 pizzas every week. These pizzas are the Hot N’ Ready pizzas that were prepared ahead of time, but were not sold. Our freezer is stocked with over 1,000 pizzas.   The kids enjoy pizza once a week, but then we have so much leftover that we are able to take it and share with other orphanages around the city and even our sister orphanage Pan De Vida in Queretaro. Pretty cool…

My favorite place is still the kitchen, and now, I am lucky enough to have two kitchens to enjoy, filled with the people I love and care for.


Thanks for reading!

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For The Children

by Faith

I am without apologies Pro-Life. I have been for a very long time. What has been made public about Planned Parenthood recently didn’t surprise me, but it did reawaken the convictions I have and it also made me wonder about the abortion laws here in Mexico. It is something that I have never researched and I wanted to know more about because it is definitely something that reflects the culture and morals of a country.


I have thoughts I want to share and I hope to do this in a concise and easy to understand way….sometimes I can get going and get lost in all of my thoughts and it can get confusing. Yes, my mind is a confusing thing!

Let me start by sharing some stats from Mexico….

  • In 2007, abortion procedures became legal, in Mexico City, for the first 12 weeks into a pregnancy, but they are still forbidden in 18 out of 31 Mexican states.
  • As of 19 January 2011, 52,484 “interruptions” have been carried out in the capital city since its legality in 2007.
  • More than a dozen women haven been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison in conservative-leaning states such as Guanajuato for getting an abortion (Quintero, 2011)
  • In 2009, Mexico’s percentage of women who underwent an abortion procedure was a rate of 3.8% (
  • The legalizing of an abortion on request to any woman up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy is one of the most liberal legislations on this matter in Latin America
  • Recent political lobbying on behalf of the dominant Roman Catholic Church and pro-life organizations have resulted in the amendment of more than half of the state constitutions, which now define a fertilized human egg as a person with a right to legal protection

Yes, Mexico is more conservative than the States when it comes to abortion. This is a good thing! So then, as would be expected, there are babies being born (again, a good thing!) There is another side, a negative side, to this though because many times these babies are born to parents that cannot afford to care for them. That is obviously not ideal. Let’s talk for a minute about these babies that are being born, specifically those being born in Aguascalientes. But, first let me share this quote with you….

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

Sister Joan Chittister

I never really thought of it like that before. And, you can choose to agree or disagree with what she said, but I think it brings up good points. What are we doing for those that are born?

Let me share some more stats….

  • Six Mexican states (Aguascalientes, Campeche, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa and Sonora) allow legal abortion only in cases of rape, carelessness, or to protect a woman’s life. (We live in one of the more conservative states of the country)
  • Aguascalientes (pop. 1 million) has the highest rate of fatherhood delinquency in the entire country; almost double that of Mexico City (pop. 8 million).
  • There is a higher percentage of fatherless children in Aguascalientes than anywhere else in all of North America. (Chavkin & Chesle, 2006)

So here we are, living in a culture, in Mexico, in Aguascalientes and it isn’t by accident. I don’t’ know exactly why Aguascalientes has these statistics. It could be because of the San Marcos National Fair, the largest fair, of it’s kind, in Latin America that runs for three weeks from April into May, and is basically three weeks of drinking and partying. That might contribute to unplanned pregnancies…I don’t know.

Anyway. Here. We. Are. And, after all of my years of being pro-life, and never thinking that what I am doing here at DR is being proactively pro-life, I am doing something, being something, for kids that maybe had they been conceived in another country, or even just another state, would have been just another statistic.

We are doing the best we can to give these children life. The only life that truly means anything. A life lived with God and for God. We are giving them life by meeting their physical needs, by feeding them, clothing them, and giving them an education. We are sharing hope and love with them. We are not doing it perfectly, but through God’s strength and grace we are doing the best we can.


It’s not just the children that need us….the mothers, the “widows” otherwise known as single mothers (and truth be told, these mothers in Mexico are many times children themselves) need our love and help as well. I have yet to know what this would look like here, but it is important.

As, I was talking to my brother about this subject a phrase that he came up with and then we both ran with was this. “Maybe it’s time for us to stop telling people what we are against and start SHOWING them what we are for”.

So, this has been challenging for me. Now, how are you going to SHOW what you believe and stand for?

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Be Safe?

written by Isai (Jesse)

Today I am reposting a blog post from a year and a half ago because it is still a topic that comes up frequently. Safety.  People coming on teams, family, friends….they all want to know about the safety of Aguascalientes, the safety of Mexico, and the safety of our family.

When I question my children about what they think of the safety of where they live, they actually get defensive of Aguascalientes and very frustrated at why people ask that.  

But, as Jesse will share in this post, is our safety really that important?  Don’t those unsafe places with unsafe people need Jesus too?


We just celebrated 4 months of living in Aguascalientes, Mexico.  There have been many challenges we have faced so far:  no hot water for the first 4 months (brrr…), going back and forth to the border a couple of times, finding a balance between spending time with the orphanage kids, and spending time as a family, and a few others.

However, there is one that I wanted to talk about today that keeps popping up:  safety.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a potential mission trip, or the local taxi driver here in our own city who recently warned us not to go to a neighboring state because it’s too dangerous.  Where are we promised exactly in the Bible that we will be safe in this life?  The Bible describes our enemy as a roaring lion.  Those of you who have watched the Discovery channel know the answer to this:  who gets eaten most of the time?  The gazelle who runs like crazy, or the gazelle who tries to crouch down in a safe spot?  In fact, the Bible talks about suffering, sacrifice, and persecution much more often than it does about being safe.

At a recent missions conference David Platt, author of Radical had this to say.  Here is the context.  Platt spoke on the need for suffering.  Francis Chan spoke on the need for endurance. I could go on and on about everything they had to say, but I want to especially focus on something Platt said: the whole concept of suffering being required to complete the Great Commission. He started out by describing the current state of world missions. According to The Joshua Project, there are 16,804 different people groups on planet earth.  Of those 7,289 (43%) are unreached. This is a conference for professional missionaries.  Everyone knew these stats. He then said something that completely shocked the entire room into total silence.  He said, “Hey people, all the easy groups are reached.  The only ones left are the hard ones.  So some of you in this room are going to have to DIE to accomplish the Great Commission.  Who will it be?”  Not many people raised their hands.

Want to read something interesting?

 Aguascalientes, Mexico Crime Rates                       Columbus, Ohio USA Crime Rates
Murder:  4 per 100,000                                             Murder: 11 per 100,000
Rape:   13 per 100,000                                             Rape:  71 per 100,000
Kidnappings: 0 per 100,000                                    Kidnappings:  22 per 100,000
Felonious Assault:  113 per 100,000                         Felonious Assault:  564 per 100,000
Population:  1.3 million people                                  Population:  890,000 people

No there is not a problem with your formatting, or computer screen.  The violent crime rates of my old “safe” hometown, are in fact 3 to 5 times higher than my current city!   After researching this, I am now in fact very scared to visit Columbus, Ohio, USA because it is so dangerous! (Don’t worry, I will still come back to visit)  These statistics are from 2011 and 2012, whichever the most recent are.  Yes, there is violence, and kidnapping, and drugs, and many other bad things here.  However, 95% of what the rest of the world hears about Mexico is what happens on the border between drug cartels and the government and unfortunately, their families.

Here is what the rest of the world doesn’t hear about Aguascalientes, Mexico.

It has the highest rate of fatherhood delinquency in the entire country; almost double that of Mexico City.

There is a higher percentage of fatherless children here than anywhere else in all of North America.

That is why I am here, that is why I brought my wife and 4 children here, that is why I think people should come here.  Not just because it is safer than Columbus Ohio, but because these kids are the ones who are going to change this city.  They are the next generation of fathers and mothers.  These kids need to know that they are loved, and valuable.  If we want to stop the high violence rates, murder rates, kidnapping rates, high numbers of illegal border crossings that we all hear about on TV, we have to address it at the source:  the people… the kids.  They need the hope of Jesus Christ, and they need people to show it to them.  Then they will show it to their country.

This isn’t a chastisement, and I’m not yelling at anyone, or think I am better than anyone else.  I want you to think about these things and walk away challenged.  That is my gift, a challenge.  As Ephesians 4:1 says: “To live a life worthy of the calling you have received”.  So are you?  You don’t have to sell everything and move to Mexico to do this.  You can do this right where God has placed you.  However, some of you might be the one that has to die in order that the Great Commission is accomplished.  That might seem like a steep price, however, about 2,000 years ago, someone decided that you were worth dying for, and came to Earth and lived a “dangerous” life.


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Some Details

Today’s post is written by guest blogger and good friend, Ryan James.  We are thankful for his and his family’s friendship over the years, their involvement in our ministry, and his interest in writing here about some things that are close to his heart.  Enjoy!

My name is Ryan James and for those of you who don’t know me, I am one of the elders at NewLife Community Church, Jesse and Faith’s home church in Canal Winchester, Ohio. First of all, let me just say that I am honored to be the first guest blogger on the The Bexican Wire! I am sure many of you would join me in thanking Jesse and Faith (mostly Faith ☺) for remaining faithful in making consistent blogs posts as it is so helpful in keeping their family and Dulce Refugio at the front of our hearts and minds. I have also been to Dulce Refugio twice since Becketts moved there almost exactly two years ago, once in the fall of 2013 with a team and then again just two months ago when my whole family (my wife Steph and two daughters, Cally-17 and Kendyl-14, and me) visited Dulce Refugio and the Becketts for a week (check out our blog of the trip at

blog pix1

God has used these visits to Dulce Refugio to build a passion and excitement in our family for this place, the kids there, and for the work that Becketts and the rest of the Dulce Refugio team there are doing that I don’t think would have been otherwise possible. During this trip, it became especially clear that having a school at Dulce Refugio is critical as we met and spent time with kids that have never and are not currently able to attend school because they’re so far behind.

blog pix2

That fact drives me and my family and our church…and hopefully you and your respective churches, to do two things:

  • Make sure we pray for and do everything we can do to build teams to go and work to build this school and show the love of Jesus to the kids at Dulce Refugio
  • Make sure that we pray for and do everything that we can do on the “home front” to support the Beckett Family so that their ministry can be as effective for as long as God wills it to be.

One of the most rewarding roles I have at NewLife is to oversee the financial contributions made to the Beckett Family. I have been overwhelmed by the consistent generosity of so many people over the past two years to ensure that the Becketts are well provided for. On behalf of them, I thank you so much and I thank God for His faithful provision for the Becketts.

With that in mind, the Becketts have had some significant unexpected/unbudgeted/unusual expenses (see below list) throughout the end of 2014 and first half of 2015 that have eroded much of their emergency fund that had provided a financial buffer for them.

Itemized Expenses

Planned van repairs (incurred during trip to U.S. in December) – $800
Silas emergency room visit in October- $2,100
Unplanned emergency van repairs (incurred on drive back to Mexico after U.S. trip) – $2,200
Faith’s January trip to Florida and St. Louis to assist Fani (former Dulce Refugio kid) in becoming an aupair in the U.S. – $1,300

Upcoming September 2015 trip for Jesse to have knee surgery in Ohio – $900

Total: $7,300

I am writing in part today to share this need and ask that you consider a special one-time gift (above any regular contributions you may already make to the Becketts) to help replenish their emergency fund so they are better positioned in the case of future expenses. By God’s grace, Becketts had funds available to cover these expenses and they want to continue to be prepared for possible future unexpected expenses to ensure continued debt free living.

In addition, during 2015, the Beckett kids have been attending an excellent Spanish speaking school (we got to visit it when we were there…a super nice school). The tuition is $400 per month and new monthly giving has covered all but $150 per month. Therefore, also consider joining the team of regular monthly givers to finish covering the costs of school.

In order to help get the Becketts get back into a preferable financial position as soon as possible, I’d like to set a target date of August 9, 2015 to prayerfully consider this request and decide what God would have you give toward this $7,300 need of replenishment. Roughly speaking, I estimate that if most of the people reading this post contributed $30, the need would be met. However, don’t let that average number limit you, as larger gifts will really more quickly diminish that total need.

To give:

  1. Send an email to me with the amount of your gift so I can keep track of it as a gift for this special emphasis (and keep you aware of our progress over the next 2 weeks).
  2. Send a check made out to NewLife Community Church and send it to the church at 6305 Waterloo Rd. NW Canal Winchester, OH 43110…clearly mark your memo Beckett Emergency Fund. These gifts will be fully tax deductible.

Thanks again for your faithful prayers and financial support for Jesse, Faith, Silas, Quinn (Alejandro), Ella, and Rowan. They couldn’t do the work they do, God’s work of caring for orphans, without you.

In Christ,

Ryan James

NewLife Community Church

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