When Darrin and Christina came with us to Reynosa Sunday afternoon, to meet the family they so generously supplied the money to build Martin and Maria a home, tears filled everyones eyes as they connected in a way deeper than just meeting. They were connected by the Spirit of the Living God living His life through them to help another family. This is Christianity in action! People forgetting about themselves and DOING the Word of God rather than being hearers only. They brought toys for each child and some personal things for Mom and Dad. In return Maria gave them a gift and a letter expressing their hearts. Maria showed us her wedding photos and her dress. We took the dress back home with us to have it cleaned and stored properly. Darrin prayed over the family and the home they now enjoy before we left. Saturday was the last Saturday in the month and as always, people started coming to get in line for food at 6:30. I believe there were about 140 families that had come and Carmelo shared from Psalm 23. THE LORD IS INDEED OUR SHEPHERD AND WE SHALL NOT WANT. He supplies all our needs because He is the GOOD SHEPHERD. We started Vicki's' house Tuesday and will finish it this afternoon. She fed us twice yesterday as we almost built the whole house in one day. It was hot and not one cloud in the sky. Usually we don't build such a small house, but it is only 2 people, so the smaller house seemed justified. Clemente and Antonio finish the block walls on another house that a church in North Carolina supplied the funds for, so we'll have to put the rafters and roof on next week.
When was the last time you had a life changing moment? Think about it. The day you got married, the days your children were born, the day you bowed your knee to Christ and felt His love and forgiveness wash over you, or perhaps the day someone gave you a house, now that would be a life changing moment! Well that's what Martin and Maria said yesterday as we stood in front of their new home and Martin swept his bride off of her feet and carried her into their new home. This was a great and memorable moment for them. They have lived in filth and swaller for years and have spent the last week living in a tent while we built their house. Pastor Antonio shared from Psalm 127 about the Lord being the builder of the house, and unless the Lord builds it, we do indeed labor in vain. It is and always will be all about Jesus loving on these people thru generous people that make our life so complete by being used to take the gifts given by faith and making them a reality for those who need it most. They were both overwhelmed with emotion when they entered the house and saw their new beds with clean crisp sheets and pillows, shelves filled with dishes and household goods, clothes piled up for each member of the family, curtains covering the windows and the prayer of blessing covering it all. That's why we gave up our life, for the life Christ wanted us to have, to make a difference in peoples lives. Sure we miss our friends and family back home, but we wouldn't trade it back for anything. So tomorrow we get to be blessed all over again by giving out food to all that will come and then Paula and Dan start the English classes after that.
I am Calvary is our churches latest theme, to express what the different people at our church Calvary Baptist Church in Mc Allen is all about. Well this house for Martin, Maria and the seven children they have, has been provided by a family at Calvary that wanted to reach out and meet the needs of a family that desperately needed a house. Darrin and Christina gave of themselves to provide the funding to be an answer to the prayers of a family they never met and this week we have been building their answer to their prayers, as they all slept in the tent we gave them after they disassembled the house they had. With no team from the states to help us build it, several friends from the colonia helped build the new design, larger house to make room for this family of nine. We had it pretty much finished in two days and today we will put the finishing touches on it. So I like to think that Calvary is a church with people that care about other people, even people from another country and culture, so close and yet worlds apart, separated by a violent river that claims so many lives of people just trying to get to the other side to experience the American dream. The people in the colonia seem to be content there and only pray for God to meet the needs of their families every day, right where they are. We will dedicate the house Sat or Sunday when the sponsors of the house can attend.
One family had already started a foundation as they could afford the materials, so were going to finish it off and then build a house with block walls. We put up a tent so Maria and Martins' 7 children have a place to sleep while they wait for their new house. Ten tents were donated last month to assist flood victims and now they will be used as temporary housing when we need to knock down the old house to make room for the new one. Vicki and Esmerelda have been asking us for some roofing for some time and the old dirt floor shack just didn't warrant a fix, so we are going to build them a new house. Vicki has been very sick and the medicine we bought her Saturday is helping a great deal. They are both so excited about getting a home and hopefully in a few weeks, Lord willing it will be done. We celebrated Betos' birthday Saturday and his son Jiel, and his daughter Rositas birthday were this week as well. The kids and some us bigger kids had fun with Tigger the pinata. When it came time to eat, the little old lady Guadalupe' she's 93 years young, pushed her walker down to find out when I could build her a porch in front of her house, so she can sit outside in the shade. How do you deny a 93 year old women a porch? We will build it this week as well, I have enough wood on hand to do it, I just need the energy! It continues to be very hot here every day probably 100 or so. Still no water trucks, so we took water to at least 50 families yesterday and today. Catarino has been sober since we finished his house and he has some work in town, so that's a good thing.