PAULA AND I LEFT TEXAS ON FRIDAY INSTEAD OF SAT AND DROVE FOUR HOURS BEFORE STAYING AT AHOTEL IN CUIDAD VICTORIA. WE DROVE ALL DAY AND ABOUT THIRTY MILES FROM HER MOMS, THE BRAKES WENT OUT WHILE DRIVING IN THE MOUNTAINS.GOD HAD AN ANGEL ACROSS THE STREET AND HE WENT AND BOUGHT BRAKE FLUID AND BLED THE AIR OUT OF ALL THE LINES AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY IN NO TIME. PRAISE GOD IT DIDN,T HAPPEN FIVE MILES BEFORE WHEN WE WERE COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. PAULAS MOM IS VERY ILL FROM HER FALL AND BROKEN HIP. HER SISTER MADA WHO IS 75 YEARS OLD IS HER PRIMARY CARE GIVER. SOME OTHER RELATIVES HELP OUT QUITE OFTEN, BUT MADA IS VERY TIRED AND HURTING AS WELL FROM HIP PROBLEMS. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY HERE, THAT A DOOR WOULD OPEN TO REACH THEM FOR CHRIST AND HEALING FOR MOM AND MADA.
What is it going to be like, when we stand before the Lord with our hat in our hand? Are we going to dance? Fall down? Bow? Beg? Cry? Rejoice? Run? Stammer and stutter? I think I'll just lay on the ground and give thanks! Thanks for all the things He does in and through His children that respond by faith to reach out and allow God to use them to touch the hearts and needs of the poor, the orphaned, the widows and those in service to God for nothing more than a chance to serve the King. This week, like every week for the last two years has been nothing short of miraculous, as we watched the Carpenters Crew offer their bodies and lives up as a living sacrifice to be used by God to touch many lives, including ours. Wed, they finished the two houses we were working on, and as we dedicated them, Juanita, who hadn't said two words all week, was now chatty kathy and praised God for what had transpired in the last few days. The little house was all decorated and gifts of food and supplies, a fridge, bed and shelving allmade the little house a home. The team grilled hundreds of hot dogs and many from the neighborhood experienced the goodness of a fresh hot dog and the goodness of a Great God. Soccer balls where given to all the kids and the men washing cars next door. Yesterday, the team purchased tons of food and we met them at Casa Mami, an orphanage in Reynosa, that many from the team have helped at for years. Dennis and Sandra Morgan joined us to help us give the kids the gift bags filled with hand made hats, gloves and scarfs long with toys and some candy prepared by some of the people at Calvary Baptist Church where we attend. We wanted to give them out at Christmas, but a lot of the kids were visiting family so we waited , to be able to visit with them all. They are so precious!!! Thanks Calvary for blessing the children. Paula and I are driving to her Moms today or tommorrow. Paulas Aunt died several weeks ago and we couldn't get away until now. Her brother from Chgo is there and we always enjoy going at the same time, so him and I can drive over an hour to the only golf course in the area up in the mountains. Pray for us as we travel. We are taking a lot of things, and food to give away as we drive thru some poor cities.
Even though Juanitas house is the smallest house we've built, it has been a testimony to Gods goodness to those who live around where we have been all week. The Carpenters Crew from LaHarpe Christian Church in LaHarpe Il have let their light shine in Progresso Mx, about 25 miles east of Reynosa. They have worked hard for the last two days to build the 12 X 16 foot house on a lot not much bigger than the house. Half of the crew helped me and Paula build Juanitas house while the rest of the team worked across the street on another womens house with some much needed wall re-building and renovation. We will decorate and dedicate the house tommorrow and visit an orphanage with some much needed food and gifts for the kids as well. We love working with these guys from our home state and will build two more houses with them next month.
Yesterday, we had to make the decision to pour a foundation with the threat of rain all week. There is a group of servants from a few churches in Illinois coming on Monday to build a house for Juanita in Progresso Mx. We needed to getter done and by Gods Grace the rain stayed away long enough to finish the floor. Juanita lives in a 8 foot by 6 foot shed on the back of her nephews lot. Next week she will have a new 12 x 16 foot house and the team from LaHarpe Il will have stored up some treasure in heaven by coming and reaching out to the poor and needy. Rick and Diane Balmer from LaHarpe will spend the next two months in Texas coordinating many different work projects and we are glad to help them facilitate their work here. They will build two more houses in Reynosa next month for two hand picked families by God, that desperatly need them. The mud in the colonia is always a problem when it rains, so yesterday we had a load of caliche' dumped on the road and called a man with an endloader to push it around. We need about 15 loads to fix the major problem areas and it will cost about $15oo.oo dollars, so we are trusting God to provide. I don't know what I would do without the four wheel drive truck that was given to us last year. I'll tell you, we would stay home until the road the road dried up a little, so thanks again to those that made that blessing flow into our life. DON'T FORGET TO LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY GOD WILL GIVE YOU TODAY TO MEET A NEED OR TOUCH A LIFE WITH GODS LOVE!!!
When a group of people from far away choose to lay down their lives for a week and give of themselves, there is truly fullness of joy. Joy to those that serve and Joy to those that recieve. We started out the week in the rain and temperatures that were down right bone chilling, even for those from Chicago. We divided the group to get a start on both houses and in three days, the families that had been living under a tarp for three weeeks had new homes, complete with food, water, new beds, a propane heater and stoves to cook their meals on, blankets and clothes for everyone and a renewed sense of hope that God cares for them and Loves them. They endured much hardship for many years in the colonia and now the blessings of God have filled their hearts and lives thanks to the people from Moraine Valley Church in Palos Heights, Il where Paula and I are proud to be part of their vision to reach out and help those in need. For years Paula and I brought hundreds of people from Moraine here to Mexico to build houses and we are so glad to see the work continue with the help of some very faithful servants that have the same passion as we do to DO THE WORD OF GOD. So thanks to Dave and Karen Bosi for their leadership and to all those that joined us here. Two houses, hundreds of presents delivered to the kids in the colonia and the orphanages we visit each year.
We spent our Christmas in the U.S. as we made final preparations for the team coming on the 28th. Paula and I forgo presents for each other but we did visit the Kincaid Family for a while and got to enjoy their company before Paulas' turkey was ready. We built our very first house in Mexico for Ramon, Esparanza and their three kids about 13 years ago, wow how time flys!! Well, little Ruthy turned 15 and they invited us to the two day celebration. How beatiful is that girl? The first night was at a rented facility and it was all decked out with balloons and the cake caroulsel was something to behold. She's all grown up and we were honored to attend. The second night she wore one of our daughters gowns from a family wedding years ago. She calls Paula and me Grandma and Grandpa and we are glad to call them family.