The bible says to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for your life. Well if giving thanks is Gods will for us, than why can't we? So often it's because we don't trust God enough to work all things out for our good, even though he promises that He will. As I sat over in Pastor Victors kitchen this morning, eating a egg and chorizo taco and having a cup of coffee, I commented to Victor and David that even though they don't have electricity, running water or paved streets, thay have food and a roof over thier heads and are probably richer than 90% of the world even in thier poverty. Tears filled all of our eyes as we thanked God for what he has given us." We are soo rich" Pastor Victor said, so I guess that makes us in the US filthy rich. We are thankfull for Gods provision this month as we prepared the bags of food to give out on Saturday. Some friends are driving down from Houston to give out toys, blankets and whatever else they bring. We are driving to San Antonio tonight to spend Thanksgiving with Juvenal and Benita tommorrow and Raul is going to his sons house. The Holidays are tough on my heart because for 14 years now we haven't spent Christmas and New Years with our girls, unless they came on the Missions trip with us, So next year we are going to be together, somehow! The lady in one of the photos is Guirlma, and Paula was sharing about the love of God found in a relationship with Jesus Christ and as spent some time there, she accepted the free gift of salvation and prayed to seal the deal, NOW THATS SOMETHING TO GIVE THANKS ABOUT. Her family will be getting a house this year and she and her kids were overwhelmed at the good news. Flat Stanley has been visiting us this week and has been a big help. GOD BLESS ALL WHO READ THIS BLOG AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
Yesterday, the medical, dental and childrens ministry teams from Calvary Baptist in McAllen, brought thier gifts and talents to the Colonia Nopalera in Reynosa, to join Paula and Me in our ministry to poor in Reynosa. What a great way to spend the day, as the doctors, nurses and dentist gave of themselves to help those in need. The childrens ministry team kept the kids engaged in games and a puppet show, while waiting for thier turn to visit with the doc or dentist. Some very talented musicians sang praises to God while we sat around enjoying each others company. At least one women accepted Christ as her Savior that I know of and maybe more as the team members took the opportunity to pray with people and share the love of Christ with them. Pastor Rolando had the privilage of driving the bus to the colonia and Gods Grace brought us thru the border when the border personel didn't want to let the bus cross there and finally let us pass. Pastors Victor and Rolando spent some time getting to know each other and will hopefully build a spiritual bridge from one nation to the other. As ususal Carmelo, Beto, Pastor Victor and thier wives made the outreach a huge success with all of thier help. Maybe we didn't have as many people from the colonia come, as we would have liked, but God brought all that needed to be there. Thanks to the whole team for coming and we look forward to many more opportunities to serve God together in Mexico as we all wait for the Glorious return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom all praise is due for what He does in and thru us.
Sorry, we didn't take any pictures this week, but the work continues. Lonnie and Dave were here from Michigan and we spent a few days visiting people in the colonia. They blessed us with thier company and taught some of the women in the colonia how to make necklesses out of magazines and fishing line, and we are hoping to sell them to help people make ends meet. The pump Dave bought us will pump a lot of water to bridge the gap between water delivered by the Government. Rick and Diane Balmer were here from LaHarpe, Il to set up thier work projects for Jan. and Feb. and we selected a family in the colonia that they will build a house for and then drove to Progresso Mx, where they will build another smaller house for an elderly women that needs a place of her own. We will build the foundations and have all the materials on site when they arrive. We have 35 people coming from Calvary Baptist Church where we attend , to do a medical clinic and childrens ministry on Saturday, so some prep work today and tommorrow to bring that outreach together. Many other little work projects going on also. Today we pour the floor on the childrens classrooms for Pastor Victors Church Aqua Viva. Paula, Ruth and Lucy have been sorting clothes this week and we are hopefully going to take them about a hundred miles south of Reynosa to some needy colonias that don't have the benefit of missionary visits. Just a mention of a need for air miles that we could use to come to Chicago to speak at Moraine Valley Churches Missions Conference in Feb 2010. Gracias!!
We started the week off saying goodbye to Bob and Marcia Horan after a week of fellowship and ministry in Mexico. They blessed us and the people in the colonia with thier presence. A few days of hard labor, painting and building and a few days of rest, the perfect vacation! We always thank God for sending people here to visit and see the huge needs in Mx. They touched the lives of many while they were here, including ours. We finally were able to get enough dirt to fill the biggest foundation we have built here. 16 feet wide and 48 feet long. We prepared the surface with some donated plastic to prevent moisture from rising thru the concrete. Two truck loads and 8 square meters of concrete and we have another firm foundation that a team from Alabama will build a two story warehouse and bunk house for adventuresome teams to stay in while ministering in Mx. Water shortages are becoming all the more frequent here, as the government trucks that bring water to the families don't come on regular basis, and most families run out before they come back to fill thier buckets and barrels and are forced to use the water from the canal to wash thier clothes, not a sanitary measure but they have no choice. Some friends from Michigan are here and Dave drills wells back home and yesterday UPS delivered a well pump to our house, that I hope one day, I will insert in a well we hope to drill on our lot, that Dave had sent here in response to the need. Gracias Dave and Lonnie.
This week was nothing short of spectacular! Bob and Marcia arrived on Tuesday afternoon and we spent the rest of the day at Padre Island where we drove along the beach and visited the turtle rescue park. The Red Tide was along the Gulf and we didn't know why we were coughing and our eyes were irritated until we found out what the Red Tide was.Google red tide for more info. We took them to the colonia in Mx. and we painted Marias' house inside, started a foundation for a group building a huge bunk house in the colonia, added a porch on another house we built last month, delivered a bike that was donated to Judy over in colonia Alacrans, and extended the loft on another house. A busy week which ended when our friends Juvenal and Benita drove down from San Antonio to visit on Saturday and joined us when we dedicated Angel, Maria and Casandras house. As Pastor Victor, Carmelo and Beto shared with Maria about Gods goodness and provision for thier family Maria started to weep as Paula shared about her need for Jesus in her life and before long, we witnessed a miracle as Maria surrendered her heart and life to Jesus and was Born Again right before our very eyes. What a celebration in heaven takes place, everytime a sinner becomes a saint by the power of the Ressurection still working on earth today. Maria had prepared food for us, so we ate and had our fill. Sunday was Rosannes 50th and we celebrated her birthday in our Sunday school class. On our way home from church, we stopped to buy some corn and watermelon from a guy selling them out of his truck,and before long, Paula was praying with him to recieve Christ as His Savior. DIVINE APPOINTMENTS!!! Paula, Bob, Marcia and I went to visit a State Park nearby to see butterflies and migrating birds and we saw NOTHIN. But we did have a nice walk on the trails and the new rope bridge there.