My Story | Jason Sanchez


My Story | Jason Sanchez on Closed Doors

Jason Sanchez, Director of House of Blessing Orphanage in Bachiniva, Mexico, shares how God radically changed his view of closed doors in his life. Experiencing many years of being unable to have children of their own, Jason and his wife Jackie went through the grief and disappointment of God closing that door in their life. What happened as a result is the amazing and beautiful story of God working through these circumstances to open their hearts to seek the adoption of their daughter from Ethiopia and starting an orphanage in Mexico. “As I began to look at the things in my life, I realized that God closing doors is for a very specific purpose. And not only for a purpose, but it’s for something even better and greater that He wants to do.” It is only after going through it that you can see, it makes perfect sense what God was doing. “When you take a step back in your life and you look at things through that lens and through His word and through His promises, it will make you kind of excited for closed doors…Learn to embrace closed doors and watch the greater things that God will do in the midst of difficulties and hardships, knowing that God loves you.” Catch up with Jason at

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Knowing Jesus by Laura Williams

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I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in Jesus. I grew up knowing and loving Him. By the time I was an adult, I knew that following Jesus was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I married a man who wanted to serve in ministry, and this has been the course of our lives together. Throughout the ups and downs of marriage, children, finances, family…our hope is in Jesus and His goodness. He is our anchor. 

Please understand that things have not been perfect. There have still been times when I’ve doubted. Times when I’ve chosen my own path over the one He laid out for me. I am far from perfect. No matter how long you may have been a Christian, we are so prone to wander. But I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who continually works to convict, teach, and comfort us in this process. And He has kept us close to Him as we’ve earnestly spent our lives getting to know and trust Him.

Since we began our married life together, our life has certainly taken surprising turns—as I’m sure you can relate! Our lives always look so much different than what we expected. I NEVER imagined God calling us to leave our home in Washington to move all the way to South Florida and start a church! 

That was over 7 years ago now, but people still tell us how incredible that seems—how they could never take such a crazy step of faith. But I can honestly tell you that, at the time, it was not very difficult at all. And that is NOT because we were some kind of “super-Christians.” It’s just because we knew Jesus well enough to TRUST Him.

I want you to understand that when you KNOW Jesus—you TRUST Him. This is why our personal relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in our lives! Spending time in prayer, in the Bible—these are the things that bring closeness and trust in who He is! When you are allowing the Holy Spirit to wash you daily in His Word as you read it, the relationship you have with Christ becomes not only a part of your life—it becomes the foundation. 

It is very easy for me to forget this. I think it’s easy for all of us. We get comfortable in the routine of church, kids, work, school…and our relationship with Jesus begins to slip to the bottom of our priorities. We get busy! We go to church, hear the Bible taught to us, and we feel like we can make it a few days without spending time with Jesus ourselves. There’s just so much else we have to do!

When this happens, life can start to become much more difficult to navigate. We begin to lose hope, to see situations from a human perspective rather than through the hope and promises of Jesus! We become anxious. Short-tempered. Proud. Selfish. And before long, we’re questioning whether Jesus is good! Is He trustworthy? This is evidence that we have not been spending our time truly KNOWING Him for ourselves.

This is not a new struggle! There is a story about exactly this problem in the gospel of Luke:

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”  -Luke 10:38-42

We need to make our time with Jesus what is NEEDED just like Mary did. This takes effort. It takes faith! Like Martha, we allow ourselves to become worried and troubled—trying just to stay on top of all that needs to be done. But setting those things aside means truly believing that KNOWING Jesus is the most important thing. And when we do this, we enter into a relationship with Him that allows us to TRUST Him no matter what direction our lives may take.

We are going to be starting a Bible Study for the women at Redemption Church in September where we will be exploring intimacy with Jesus in the book, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.” I have been convicted and encouraged by this book, and I am excited to share it with other women who are wanting to slow down and know Jesus better for themselves too. 

I pray that as we continue in life and faith, that we better understand the importance of KNOWNG Jesus. Take time today to spend at His feet. Remember the goodness and faithfulness of our God, and allow His Spirit to work in your heart to desire more of Jesus in your life.

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What Is It About The Psalms? by Kristan Torres

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Is there someone you love who now hates you? You know, without a doubt, that they want to see your demise. They want to see you torn down, destroyed or heartbroken. You’re not alone.

I invite you to look at Psalm 3 (which was written over 3,000 years ago by the way). Regardless of their age, the Psalms are still singing to us today. Psalms, after all, are songs, Hebrew poetry, that was meant to be sung.

As a therapist, I am so encouraged by this incredible book from the Bible that gives voice to so much of the human experience.

Realizing that our God-given story is woven within His grander story of all of creation, is so much of what we work to help people realize and formulate in the therapeutic process. Talking about our feelings and our experiences is important. Your story is a valuable part of the tapestry God is weaving. And if you forget this – look at the Psalms.

I’d like to talk about a passage from just one Psalm right now, Psalm 3:1-6 ESV (listed below in italics). Let’s take a look:

1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

King David, the author here, is acknowledging having enemies; and don’t miss this, because this is personal. These aren’t just any enemies – David here is speaking of his own son, Absalom, and the people in the land who Absalom had turned against David.

They were out to kill David, and they were scoffing at him for his faith in God for deliverance. Do you relate?

Let’s continue.

3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

David then acknowledges the power and protection of the Lord which is all around him, and the lifting up in honor, after removing our shame.  We may be attacked for a time, but we will eventually feel relief and victory.  Although sometimes it’s not the victory we thought we were going to have.  

David then goes on to speak of God’s faithfulness - God does not have to answer, after all, He is holy, but he does answer.

5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

David then shares that he can sleep, despite the attacks; he can rest and wake up again to face another day because God is sustaining him. Again, from the perspective of a therapist, this is so good to see in the Psalms – we need rest and sleep, particularly when going through stressful times, and God will provide this to us. He will sustain us when we trust Him for it. God is practical.

What’s interesting is that David doesn’t say that his trouble has gone away, in fact, he describes his trouble as worsening, but his fear has gone away because he acknowledges who God is. This is powerful. It’s when we put things in their proper order, we are able to have peace.

In the clearest possible language – God is bigger and more powerful than our enemies or any trouble that can come upon us. Sometimes we miss this because we have our perspective wrong; things are out of order and we are seeing our enemies as bigger than God. This is not true though – He is still bigger.

Can you relate to this passage?

I know that I can. How encouraging is it to read this and be reminded of people, like King David, who came before us, who felt as we sometimes do, and who have experienced the faithfulness, the protection, and the sustaining of God?

So – what is it about the Psalms? They’re beautiful, they’re real and they apply to our lives even today, and tomorrow too.

The Psalms show us that it’s okay to feel ambivalent (aka, having mixed emotions). They are authentic in their display of trials and human emotion; nothing is ‘sugar coated’ in the Psalms. They show us we can struggle, plead, and cry out to God but then we see the Psalmists ultimately praise God; and praising God is good for us.

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Let's BLESS People by Daniel Williams

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I love the summer! Kids are out of school which means we are all sleeping in (praise God!) and the only regular thing about our routine is the sun coming out and it being HOT. So even though we don’t really have typical seasons in Florida, it feels like a different season. And during this summer season as a church, we have had encouragement from the Lord to focus on Evangelism and Outreach…we want to proclaim Jesus to people and for our church family to be a blessing to our community. Even though we didn’t know the specific details of what that would look like for us as a church at first, it has been encouraging to see God lead us with some pretty cool events. 

This summer as a group we have passed out door hangers in a new neighborhood, participated and helped lead in the very first Love Delray (an event where we had 105 people serve in very practical ways with 4 different organizations in our community), we have seen a church planter and his wife join our church to be discipled and sent out by Redemption Church (Lord willing in 2019), and we passed out hundreds of water bottles and invites at a city booth on the Fourth of July…and the summer isn’t over! But before we move on and continue focus on other big events we have planned to reach people, I wanted to make sure you don’t miss out. 

We can sometimes can focus so much on these “bigger” community events that we forget to be personal. It is so important that each of us makes a simple commitment to personally evangelizing and reaching out to the community God places us in. God wants to use YOU this summer to reach people for Him, and He doesn’t need an event to do so. We will and are continuing to plan out opportunities to evangelize as a church, BUT you don’t have to wait until our next event…and you shouldn’t! My heart for you is to be reaching people for Jesus EVERYWHERE you go, to be inviting people personally to our church gatherings, and to be sharing the gospel on a daily basis wherever and with whomever God would have you. 

So, HOW do we practically do this? 

I want to share a simple tool that I recently came across to make this season of Evangelism and Outreach more personal for you. It is called the BLESS tool. It is a simple acronym for you to practice and try to do every day with people. And although it may be a new acronym for you, these are already familiar things that are biblical that we as a church have been doing. 

BLESS stands for: 

B - BEGIN WITH PRAYER (I will pray for the people in my life and the places that I’m in.)

L - LISTEN (I will listen to and discover the needs of others and the places where God is at work)

E - EAT (I will share meals and spend time with people in my life)

S - SERVE (I will respond to the needs of others and help them in practical & impactful ways)

S - STORY (I will share the story of Jesus and what He is doing in my life with others. 

You can follow the link below to download more on BLESS and simple ways for you to implement it.

This is just another way to have this season of Evangelism & Outreach be personal to you. No tool is perfect, but hopefully it can be a reminder that we do need to keep it simple and not just have “big” events for this season. God wants to use ALL of us to make disciples, and this is a great tool to help with that.  So read through the download document, and let me know what you think. Share the stories with one another as you try some of these things with people. And let’s remember that more than just an event or a season, we want PROCLAIMING JESUS to be a lifestyle.  

Praying you BLESS many people as you proclaim Jesus.

-Pastor Daniel

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CONVERSATIONS | with Pastor Esteban Valenzuela


CONVERSATIONS | Church Planter Esteban Valenzuela - Madrid, Spain

In 2010, God called Esteban and his wife Tifiny to plant a church in Madrid, Spain. It would be five years before they would embark on their mission. The years of preparation were difficult ones, but their vision did not waiver. In 2015, they left for Spain. The vision is that “in time, God will plant a church that will be like a hub, a place where other leaders and pastors get trained and equipped and launched out to plant churches in other places.” What does it look like to be on mission? For the most part, the normal activities of daily life are the same as for any family. Being on mission is a heart issue. “If the scope and the scale of God’s word is real, then eternity is hanging in the balance for everyone around us.” Having a heart to engage people with the gospel and building bridges to connect with your community is what being on mission is all about. How do you know the calling God has for you in your life? We are all called as believers to serve God with our lives. As you step out by faith to serve Him and focus on Him, to really love others, He will lead you in the way He wants you to go. Some practical steps to take in doing what God has called us to do: trust God to provide for your needs, come to Him in submission and surrender—out of faith. Ask Him: What do you have for me, God? Then stay focused on that through the encouragement and accountability of likeminded people who are serving God as well. Stay in God’s word. Let Him reveal Himself and your own heart to you. The role of the Holy Spirit is essential in being on mission. There is no other way to do it. It is God’s work, both in our hearts and in the world around us. We need His Spirit to feed our souls, to empower us. The benefit of living a surrendered life is in knowing you are where God wants you to be, doing what God wants you to do. There is nothing else like it. “When you step out in faith, God meets you there. He sustains you…Jesus in the prize. If we’re focused on Jesus, our source of joy is going to be sure. Let the gaze of your heart be set upon the Savior.” Stay connected with the Valenzuelas at Let them know you’re praying for them. They’d love to hear that.

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Father's Day Video

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7 More Lessons Learned by Julie Ruse

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Julie was a missionary sent out by Redemption Church in June of 2017. Julie served at the House of Blessing Orphanage in Bachiniva, Mexico and finish out a year-long internship. We were very encouraged and privileged to have partnered with Julie as her sending church.  Take a few minutes to read and learn from some of the wonderful things Jesus did in her life through this process:


This past Christmas was the first one that I spent away from family. Very different, but very wonderful, complete with hot tamales, soccer, and Mexican hot chocolate.


There were multiple occasions when I experienced running out of running water. So on a practical note, there are ways we can change how we wash our hands, shower, and do dishes that can conserve water and make a difference. 


I know this sounds like the cliché mission trip answer when someone has spent any amount of time in a third world country. It’s often noted that people with less possessions seem happier. And I truly got to experience the relief of traveling light. On Christmas day, I was profoundly grateful for things like running water, let alone hot running water! For brilliant stars in the night sky, for the loyalty of a dog, for the kindness of a friend. For cough drops stilling throat tickles, for the ability to run and the ability to ease others’ pain. 


Just because we’re promised victory doesn’t mean we’re exempt from the fight. This reminds me of the movie ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in which it is prophesied that Alice will slay the Jabberwocky. But that only came to fruition after an epic battle. Don’t assume that life being hard means that you’re doing something wrong or being punished. Get out there and do hard things! 


Living and working with the same few people 24/7 can present a little interpersonal friction at times. In any sort of partnership (business, ministry or marital), it’s so easy to subconsciously ask, “Is my partner working as hard as me?” I call this the ‘Martha Complex’ (Luke 10). But I’m learning to replace that question with these: “Am I about God’s business?”, “Am I doing the work He wants me to do?”, “Am I loving the people He wants me to love?”  That change of perspective is hugely beneficial. Jesus addressed this issue another time (in addition to the situation with Mary and Martha). In John 21, Peter and Jesus have an intimate moment of relationship restoration and a sobering moment of prophesy regarding Peter’s calling and future, ending with Jesus’ statement, “Follow me.” Peter’s immediate reaction is, “What about him, Lord?” (referring to another disciple named John). To this Jesus responds, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”


Through my previous life experiences, I was accustom to working a salary job M-F, and then on the weekends tackling my personal to-do lists including meal prep, cleaning and laundry. So that didn’t always leave a lot of time for ‘rest’. I mean, in such a fast-paced, capitalistic society, what does it mean to rest anyway? Well after continuously working 14-hour days, 6 days a week, ‘day of rest’ took on a whole new meaning. I learned to detach myself from lists and go climb a tree or hike a mountain with God… to sleep, journal, watch a movie, or call a friend. And you know, when I let one whole day be truly restful, then that one day off was enough. #GoodPlanGod


Phewee, this was a hard one to work through, but what a blessing to realize and to witness specific examples of in my life! Knowing that God stands up for me means that I don’t have to balance the books or zero out the scales. I don’t need to look for verbal ‘payment’ or rewards for the efforts I expend. It means I can actively love people who act unloveable (which is not as easy as one might think). It means you can resolve, “I’m going to treat this person as my friend because I’m choosing to call them ‘friend’, regardless of what I get from them in return.” This might sound like a lot of self-sacrifice, but just remember that God isn’t asking us to do for others anything that He hasn’t already done for us.

Romans 8:33-34

“Who dares accuse us who Christ has chosen for His own? No one- for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one- for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”

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Friend of God by Alesha Sinks

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There is a line in the Read and Share Bible for Children that says, “As David watched the sheep, he became close friends with God.”

This wording, although not at all a quote from the Bible, struck me profoundly, because it puts so simply what the Bible shows us about David.

He became a faithful follower of God in obscurity, long before he was chosen to be king.

You see, David was the youngest of eight sons. In importance, practically and legally, he had a very small role in his family. So much so that his father did not even call him in from the fields when the prophet Samuel asked to see his sons.

You can read this story in 1 Samuel 17. Here is a piece of it.

"The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons….And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.”
1 Samuel 17:1, 10-13

The first two times we are introduced to David, both in the verses above and later on in this chapter, he was tending the sheep. This was his normal role. It was what he did. His job.

And it was nothing special.
In fact, it was one of the most lowly jobs he could be given.

So often the most day to day parts of our lives feel the same way: nothing special, mundane, even a waste of time or talent or opportunity.

Yet we know from scripture, that when David was anointed king he was already a skillful musician and strong warrior, all skills he developed while simply tending sheep in the desert. And we also know that David’s heart was like God’s. Surely this closeness with God was also developed during days and weeks and even years of time spent, quiet and alone and unnoticed, with his father’s sheep.

In the verses from 1 Samuel 17 that I shared above, I skipped over one important verse that shows the heart of God when He chose David to be the next king of Israel. Samuel was looking at the oldest son of Jesse and assuming that he was the one God had chosen to take over the throne from Saul. But God spoke to Samuel saying,

”...'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’”
1 Samuel 17:7

And it is easy to assume from what we see of David’s growth and character in the Bible, that if God had never chosen him out of the the wilderness, out of his role as a shepherd, he would have continued to grow in his character and love for God all the same. David didn’t serve God or seek Him so that he would be noticed, but simply because David loved Him.

David chose to seek God and draw near to Him, not once crowds knew his name, not once he was chosen as the next king, not even while he was running for life, but in the obscure, daily life of a shepherd. A life he probably assumed would always be his.

And that relationship with God is what He was able to build on during the good times, what kept him grounded during the praise, what was his comfort and anchor during the years he was afraid for his life, what enabled him to turn to God in repentance when he sinned greatly, and what enabled him to be chosen for the role of king.

The times of public praise or great responsibility or even great trial are not the times we wait for to build a strong relationship with God. The best time to do that is now.
In the small times of life.
In the quiet times of life.
In the unknown times of life.
In the monotonous times of life.
In the normal times of life.

That simple line from a children’s bible triggered so much hope and joy and freedom in my heart.

“As David watched the sheep, he became close friends with God.”

What sheep are in your field?
What job do you get up to do daily?
What obscure or small place has God called you to work in?
Where are you every day?
Who are you with?
What is the role you have been given?
What is the most normal space of your life?

Even if that role is as humble and as out-of-the-way and as plain normal as David’s, you and I can become a friend of God in and through it. Your role, the life you live, the work you do, the family you are a part of, is the perfect place for you to grow close to God.
To get to know Him.
To serve Him.
To obey Him.
To love Him.

Most of us won’t get called "out of the field" or "away from the sheep" to become a king or even any other sort of public figure. But the prize for David was not the kingdom. It wasn’t the throne or the riches or the people knowing his name and singing his praise.

The prize was God. The prize was the intimacy he had with his Maker and the ability for his life to be used by God.

You can be sure that we serve a God great enough to use David’s life just as fully and to love him just as deeply in the wilderness as he did in the palace.

This gives me so much joy and hope. As a stay at home mom, I can become a close friend of God. I don't have to be special or chosen or important or noticed to become close to God, to know Him well.

In Jesus, we have already been made friends of God. Let’s live it. Let’s choose to live into the position we have already been given in Jesus.

"You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:14-15

Let’s use the place God already has given us to become close friends of God. Let’s live in the fields of our homes and our workplaces, just as David did in the literal fields with his father’s sheep, in such a way that we to get to know God. To love Him. To be His friend.

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Mother's Day Video

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An Encouragement from Julie Ruse

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