We are really enjoying seeing all our family and friends here. A wedding, birthday party, family dinner, and yes even a little golf with some friends. We enjoyed an opportunity to attend church and even share with the congregation what we have been up to this past year. We miss Mexico and all the people there but reconnecting with everyone here has been awsome.I even sold a roofing job which will help with our travel expenses. We spent the afternoon yesterday with the small group we were part of for years. Our daughter Kelly and our Son in law Ryan came in from Denver and it's been great to have the whole family together. We will update later God Bless
Wow, our first trip back home to Chicago in almost a year. The day after the team from Houston left, Paula, Raul and I went to the colonia to organize some of the things we didn't have a chance to give away on Sunday. We also had to order the wood for the house we will start building with another group from Seattle that will arrive here the day after we get back. We took a bunch of those 2 lb banquet meals a good friend gave us and we didn't have the room in our freezer so we took them with us. We straightened out all the piles of stuff and put them in the loft of Daniels and Carmens house. We really need to build a house for us to store all the things we bring across. Someday!! We ate with all our friends that helped us so much on Sunday, we couldn't have done it without them. Tears filled our eyes, just as they are right now as I type this, as we said goodbye and hugged one-another. We have been with these guys almost every day for the past eight months, they are family. It's like when we said goodbye to our daughter Kristin last year and all our friends, it was so hard. But, we'll be back and we do need the rest. The long hot 100 degree plus days has us pretty tired and needing this trip to see family and friends and maybe raise some support while were there.Most missionaries do that before they go into the field but were not most missionaries, God said GO and we went, period!!
After we unloaded all the backpacks in the colonia, we spent the day preparing all the packpacks with the blessings the children were about to receive. All day saturday, Paula, Raul, Me and many of our friends from the colonia filled the backpacks with school supplies, gifts and toiletries. We also divided up several hundred pounds of beans, sugar and cooking oil into individual family packs. Before I picked up the team from Houston at the airport, Paula and the Sons of Salvation staff went to Mexico to decorate the two houses, while Beto and his wife Lucy along with Carmello and his wife Ruth cooked over 600 hot dogs on our grill in the colonia. When we arrived from the airport to the colonia we loaded up over 400 packpacks, 200 bags of food, 600 hundred hot dogs, bibles, tracts, and other gifts for the Pastors as well as the children. We gathered together and held hands as people prayed for Jesus to be glorified as we ministered to the needs of the people. By days end, we had services at three churches, dedicated 2 new houses for two precious families, served all the hot dogs and chips and reached out and prayed with several people that needed healing, financial burdens to be lifted, salvation for some, an unspoken need and for the blessings and power of God to fill these colonias where God has placed us for such a time as this. We even topped a great day off with a great meal of fajitas on the way back to the airport. Thanks to the team from Houston that made a difference in so many peoples lives today including Paula and me. It's easy to do do great things when Jesus directs your path.
Because of Hurricane Ike, the team from Lakewood had to put their trip off to get their lives back in order. Todd called me and asked if we could come and get all the packpacks and school supplies for the kids along with some gifts for the pastors that had been given. Raul and I took the seats out of the van and headed for Houston. We made the trip up and back in 12 1/2 hours. The van was pretty full and I only got 1 ticket! Everything is still in the boxes so we split the load between the van and my pick-up to cross the border. RED LIGHT at the border for both vehicles. They checked everything and even opened the boxes to see what was in them. By Gods Grace they let us go. Today we have to get the rest of the stuff across and fill all the packpacks with the school supplies because a few of the people from Lakewood are coming on Sunday to help give it all away. So Gods plan works out even in the midst of a storm as His Word promises. So the houses will get dedicated, the kids will be blessed with much needed school supplies,the food will be distibuted, and the Lord Jesus will be glorified thru the body working together.
Well; we finished building the two cement block houses, you can see the pictures on the slide show. We built two different styles of houses to suite the lots. Now since hurricane Ike has left so much destruction north of here in the Houston area, we don't know if the group from there will be able to come and dedicate the houses and meet the families they had us build the houses for. They are dealing with a lot of different damage to their homes and buisnesses and we can't rule out the fact that they need to take care of those issues and come at a later time. Please pray for all those affected by Ike. Heck you guys in Chicago got more from Ike than Paula and I did here in deep south Texas. Building those houses in the heat took it's toll on us and were glad they are done. They just need painting on the outside and the group from Lakewood was going to do that, so we'll see, there might be a painting party in the near future before we come to Chicago next week.These families are excited to get into their houses. It's why we are here, to make a difference in peoples lives that have little chance of much more than they have now. But they amaze me at their faith and thankfull hearts toward God.
A lot of hard work in this heat, and this old man needs a rest. I cut the grass this morning as Paula held her prayer vigal pulling weeds in the lawn. I sorted out my tools and cleaned all my boxes and bags just in case another snake was hiding there as well. We just relaxed after that and Paula has been on the computer putting a DVD together of our first year in full time ministry here in Mexico. It takes alot of work going thru all the pictures and putting them in order. I missed going to the colonia and seeing our friends today and I am really glad the heavy rains never got here. We love serving the people here as God gives us the strength to do that which He has called us to do. Thanks for your prayers
We finished Antonio and Yolanda's house on friday. Now Antonio can finish the cement on the outside and we'll paint it next week if the group from Houston comes. They sure got a lot of damage from Ike. If they don't come we'll move the families in anyhow.I'm sure they would like to move into their houses, but I asked them if they would wait untill next week. We loaded up all the tools and a few pieces of wood we didn't use and went back to our house in the colonia to unload everything and when I moved the cooler, a snake came out from under it and hid under all the tools. I HATE SNAKES!! Carmello took my machetti and got him. Just a little snake but a snake none the less. It must have gotten into my tool box or bag. Many of the families with the pallet shacks get snakes in their houses from time to time. Scorpions are a frequent visitor as well. We pulled out the table and chairs and made lunch for all the neighbors. Victors Dad chopped all the weedes on our lot with a machetti, it looks great. He's been working on everyones lot as they stay in town while Eliel is in the hospital. We ate sandwiches and enjoyed the shade. Lisa dropped off Ally, Clay, Shelby and Bailey while she took care of some shopping needs. We enjoyed having them for dinner and asking them about living in the orphanage.They love it and going to school with other kids.
Yesterday, Paula,Raul, and I were over in the colonia for 11 hours. We painted the wood for Yolanda and Antonio's roof rafters and a few pieces of siding.Yolandas sister and brother in law came and helped us all day. By the end of the day they both prayed to recieve Christ as their Savior. Yolanda told Paula she has shared with them for years but just as the case with most of us, your family never seems to hear you until someone else comes along and tells them the same thing and they hear and recieve the message and pray. It was so hot yesterday and we needed to finish the roof and siding in case IKE hit here. Carmello and Beto helped all day when they needed to work on a car for a customer of their own. I started getting a lot of cramps in my hands and legs toward the end of the day, dehydration! I drank a bunch of water and finished a few more things and we went to Clemente's and cut the door to fit better. It was Beto's birthday today Paula baked a cake for the whole family last week. Sept is birthday month for them. We ate dinner at Ruth and Carmellos and headed home at about 8:00. Well IKE took a turn to the north and spared us but I'm still praying that the storm would dissolve. People from Houston are supposed to come here next friday to dedicate a home and give out some stuff and then we come to Chicago for a much needed visit with family and friends. A GREAT DAY IS HAD WHEN PEOPLE GET SAVED SO TODAY WAS A GREAT DAY.