As it is 2:30am in the morning here, and sleep is evading me, I have determined that now would be as good a time as any to articulate a bit about the founding of Abogar International Ministries. While it is quite late, I do believe that I am coherent enough to articulate myself, and hope that this letter will be well received.
It was on January 7th, 2011 that I first came upon the word, abogar, on a plane trip returning from Guatemala. As I was entering U.S. airspace, perusing a Spanish/English dictionary, I came across the word. In that moment I sensed God highlighting abogar and not letting me proceed to read on any further. Abogar, a Spanish verb that means to advocate for, to plead on behalf of, and to intercede for, is truly a significant word that immediately pointed me to Jesus. As a noun, abogar means, ‘an advocate’. You see, in my life, without family or people to stand up and fight for me, I have known the very real presence of Jesus Christ as my advocate, as my intercessor, one who pleads before the Father on my behalf. I knew in that moment of encountering abogar in the dictionary that God was trying to show me something.
It would not be for another year until God revealed the depth of meaning that He has prepared for me with the word abogar. On Febuary 19th, 2012 God spoke a word to me, that I was to begin to, “Abogar now”. Tidying up some details in my life, on March 1st, 2012 I began an intentional journey to start and found Abogar International Ministries. Lacking a bit in administrative and logistical gifting, it has been amazing to watch God move Abogar for His glory. The vision, mission, three-fold focus, logo, colors, meaning, theme verse, and so much more of Abogar were not thought up nor created by me. Rather, God in His sovereignty gave me most things for Abogar in a vision while I was sleeping! He told me that it is His organization, His vision and mission to impact the lives of precious and needy children of Latin America, and He invited me to be a vessel He would use to start it.
People ask me, “Why Latin America? Why not the U.S?” The honest answer is that, as Abogar is God’s to use as He wishes, I have sensed and continue to sense that God has directed that Abogar is specifically for the 10.2 million children orphaned in Latin America and the more than 40 million children homeless and living in the streets there. My heart beats for children all over the world who have no family or home, no hope, food, education, or encouragement, but my life is surrendered to obedience of God’s calling. Abogar is focused on Latin America, and helping children there to receive much needed help and to encounter an awesome, life-changing, eternity transforming Lord and King, Jesus Christ.
While starting a nonprofit organization is quite challenging, especially when I realize how far from gifted in this area I am, God’s faithful hand to hold and carry us forward step by step makes every challenge well worth it. There are many great organizations out there, doing great Christian work, ministry, and charity to the very needy. While we are far from being a reputable and established organization, like World Vision or Compassion International, as we move forward step by step and little by little, God is faithfully inviting people to use their gifts and talents to come alongside Abogar to help us build a great foundation and become more effective amongst the children!
While I would not choose me to lead such a massive endeavor, God has made it starkly clear that He has not called me to do it because I am qualified to do it, but rather that He qualifies me to do it because I have a willing, available, and obedient heart and life for His purposes and glory. We live in a world that tells us to do what we are best at. However, in God’s economy, sometimes He calls us to things that are NOT our strength or gifting because the success in those areas that we can achieve will only happen with His provision and He shall receive all the glory and praise!
Keep your eyes open, and watch where God takes Abogar International Ministries. Even better, consider allowing God to use you to be a blessing with Abogar. Prayerfully consider how and where you might be able to contribute to impact the lives of these children! There are several needs… finances, administrative help, IT support, structure and infrastructure, fundraising, resources to grow, marketing, public relations, social media upkeep, etc. etc… and maybe God is inviting you to get involved. Don’t do it if He isn’t asking you to, but prayerfully consider if He is!