We are leaving tommorrow to drive to Paulas Moms in Tejulpilco, Mx and probably won't be able to update the blog for a while, so we ask for prayer as we travel and for open doors with family to share the gospel. We are dropping Raul off in his home town about 8 hours south of Texas to get his birth certificate. When we return we have a team coming to build a house for Blanca and her husband and after that, our daughters Kristin from Tinley Park, Il and Kelly who lives in Denver with her husband Ryan will be coming for four days, and we can't wait to see them. As the staff at Sons of Salvation prepares to move to Atlanta next month, we gathered for prayer yesterday and thanked God for all the open doors he has given this ministry. At least 14 people have shown an interest in going to China for a year and opening a school, and quite possibly an orphanage and day care center in Bejing. We also have a need for directors in an orphanage in Haiti with 100% support offered with the position. A person is also needed in the Bahamas to be on staff to run the short term missions trips there. There sure are a lot of opportunities in the mission field, perhaps God would send you? It's easy, just get out of the boat!!
When we first came to the colonia last Jan. Ruth was just about ready to give birth to Caleb. We built them a house in April and bought the lot next door to them and built a house there last month. Ruth, Carmello, Mimi and Caleb are a very special part of our lives here and a birthday party was something we wouldn't miss for anything. We all had a great time with great friends and great food. Paula bought Caleb a swing and he loves it. Spong Bob was beaten to a pulp by the kids to get at all the candy inside the doomed cartoon icon. Ruth, Lucy and Paula prepared the food outreach bags and have the clothes ready for Saturdays clothes give away. We have raised over $500.00 in donations to build a building for Sunday school classes and outreach ministry next to Victors church. On Monday we took Julie, who is an intern with Sons of Salvation to visit the orphanage she will be staying at for three months as part of her intern program. The name of the orphanage is Casa Hogar Benito Juarez. We are going to be housing several teams there in the next few months. They are building a new dormitory for the teams and it looks like a great facility, and only gets worked on when groups come and donate thier time. Our other intern Mitchell, leaves for the Czech Republic for his three month stint. We leave for Paulas Moms on Friday, so I get to watch the Super Bowl in Spanish for the third year in a row in Tejulpilco, Mx where her Mom lives. We are looking forward to the visit, so please pray for us as we travel. We are taking the van and dropping Raul off at his home town on the way , he needs a copy of his birth certificate to get his Texas drivers license. ADIOS
As Paula and the other ladies set up everything for the clothes outreach, they decided to use it as an opportunity to raise money for the church, We would like to build a facility where the kids could have church inside rather than outside during the regular services, and also be used for outreach purposes like movie night in the colonia which I would love to start soon. Anyhow, they raised $300.00 towards the building fund and that amazed me. They also gave out bibles to all that needed them. It was a great day for the church and we have a little more room in the house.
Today was avery busy day in the colonia as we poured a floor on a new foundation as well as pour a floor in an existing house that needed to get the family off of the dirt. It took a few hours to unload all of the cement and we had plenty of help, which we are gratefull for. FiFi had her puppies Sunday night and out of the 5 that were born, only two have survived and appear to be doing well. Mona, who came with us on Monday, bought FiFi some dog food and she really enjoyed it today as she spends most of her time with the pups in her dog house. All the provisions you see is the food we purchased Sat. at a bulk warehouse and Paula, Cindy, and Mona gave out about half of it yesterday. We are asking the men that are not working to spend the day helping us in one way or another when we give them food for thier family. Yesterday one man came and spread a load of dirt on Pastor Victors lot in exchange for the food we gave his family. It's not our regular practice to exchange food for work but sometimes I think they feel better to help us as we try to help them and that's a good thing. Finally the load of paint arrived this afternoon at a friends warehouse in Mcallen. He unloaded for us while we were in Mx. and we are very gratefull to Jim. He has a ministry of distributing food and other things to Pastors in Texas and Mexico. He drives a semi all over the country when someone has a load of food or other things to donate. One day I'll make a trip with him. We also finished the sistern today and soon we will have our bathroom built and that will be a real need met. Tommorrow Paula is having a clothes outreach at our house in Mx. and will hopefully free up some space to get the rest of the things organized. We'll be able to give out food and clothes at the same time and meet some needs in the colonia. We plan on going to Paula's Moms in about ten days but there is so much going on, it's going to be hard to leave, but we need to go now or we won't be able to until May. Thanks for the prayers that cover us as we minister here.
Along with the new year, there always seems to be new opportunities to serve as the Lord leads. The directors of Sons of Salvation, Dow and Cindy, are moving to Bejing, China to open a school and teach english and whatever else God has for them there. Audrey is another missionary with SOS and will also be going there for a year. So as this plan unfolds, it leaves us way understaffed at our headquarters in Texas, so they have decided to move the offices to Atlanta, Ga. where they have partnerships with an intercity missions org. that will meet all the staff needs we have, which leaves Paula and I along with Jon and Laura Shell to be the directors of missions here in Mexico. We love running the teams while they are here but sometimes the prep work leaves us a little stressed, but God has always worked every trip out that leaves everyone excited about missions and commit to even coming back. When people come and minister here in Mx. and upon returning back to there regular lives e-mail us and tell us how life changing the trip was makes everything we do more joyfull. Paula and I could use some regular help here and today a few ladies from our ABF at church are coming with us to see what we do and hopefully get involved. So many people from Texas have never been to a colonia in Mx before , so we are hoping God opens the door for our church here to get involved like Moraine Valley is involved 1500 miles away. Keep praying for us and SOS as they answer the new call on thier ministry.
Today we toured Reynosa, looking for the best deal on blankets to purchase for the people in the colonia. As we were out and about we came across a shop selling beds, so we bought the two we needed to give to the families the Moraine team blessed with houses just few weeks ago. No luck on finding enough blankets in one spot, so we headed for the bulk food warehouse, where we purchased bulk beans, rice, oil, and sugar to feed at least a hundred families this week. Paula and I have recruted the help of some Pastors as well as some friends in the colonia to help us with the distribution of the food. We really need the additional help, as we all to often try to do everything on our own and it's just not possible. We need to have seven, yea that's right seven foundations built and ready to go by March, as we have several groups coming, one from Canada, one from Atlanta, one from Austin ,Tx and two groups from Chgo. One group, from IIT is designing and building there own prototype house with a solar powered geo thermo heating and cooling system. Maybe we should have them build that on our lot, it will be neat to see how it turns out. These kids from college have a great plan, you can see it on thier web site; mexicoproject.org and maybe you would like to do something to help them raise the money needed for thier project. Today we will finally be able to go to church here in the states and then maybe some football in the afternoon. ADIOS
As we continue to organize everything in our house, we came across a cat in the hat hat and a pair of shorts with a waist size of 58. So I put the hat on and the pants and held them up with jumper cables. The kids had a great laugh, as did the adults. Paula has the hand quilted blankets all laid out to be given away this week, they sure are pretty. We started moving our stuff from our neighbors into our house, we have been distributing things out of their place for several months and as we put it in our house, we see the need for more space already, so we'll just trust the Lord to provide another building. We started building a holding tank out of cement block today on Carmello and Ruths lot next door to ours, so we can build a decent bathroom that we desperatly need in the colonia. We are glad to have a place of our own there, and I almost talked Paula into staying the night. The dog you see is FIFI, she is ready to give birth any day. I think we'll keep one of the pups to be our guard dog.