We have been so blessed this week with the team from our home church Moraine Valley in Palos Heights, Illinois. Alan and Lynnea Wells, Roger Ault, Diana Fernandez, Rose Kamin, Anna Parro, and Kyle Simon made up the team of willing hearts and hands to provide a new home for a family that needed one. We started late Monday morning and it was all but finished yesterday, so today we put the finishing touches on, and the girls decorated it beautifully and the kids were in awe of their new home. This house didn't get built by hands, it was built by LOVE! Mostly our love for God, which then flows over into loving people. Some people are a little harder to love than others. Such was the case with Inosencio, the "man" of the house. He didn't like the foundation, or the loft in the house, or the pitch on the roof, but when all was said and done, I think he kinda likes the fact that his family has a new, clean, dry house to live in and they were all happy about it. He heard the gospel of truth that is found in Christ, and that is all we wanted, after Martha said that he didn't want to be there for the dedication, he was sleeping. I told her that if he didn't come, the house would be locked until he would. I got a little fleshy! Tomorrow we will drive thru the colonia and give out hundreds of gifts, door to door along with this months gift bag of food. Backpacks filled with stuff, bikes, 100 sleeping bags, gift bags for the women and many many other things. It will be a great day in the neighborhood!!
THIS IS THE DAY OF OUR DEAR SAVIORS BIRTH, FALL ON YOUR KNEES OH HEAR THE ANGELS SINGING OH NIGHT DIVINE! We sang that song at church last night and it echoed thru the sanctuary. The church was packed of worshipers and we sat way up in the farthest corner of the balcony, you can't be late to a Christmas service and expect front row seats. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It's always hardest to be away from family on Holidays and next year we plan to be with family in Chicago for Christmas, Lord willing! Paula has a turkey in the oven and we will take it to Mexico this afternoon along with 100 sleeping bags that were donated to us from a family at Calvary Baptist Church where we attend. What a huge gift to the children there. The temperature is going to be near freezing for the next couple of nights, so the sleeping bags are a well thought Divine gift to the children. The van is full from front to back, top to bottom and we pray for Gods Favor at the border this afternoon. I think we'll give out the sleeping bags as we drive through the colonia today before we have Christmas dinner with Carmelo, Ruth, Ruths' family, Beto and his family, and several other people from the colonia. Turkey, tamales,barbocoa and tres leches cake. We just spoke to our oldest daughter Kristin and she has to work today, so a co worker can be with his family on Christmas, so God Bless you for your kind heart Kris. The group from Chicago starts arriving tomorrow for a fun filled week of building a house and giving out gifts to the children and women in the colonia. We can't wait to see everyone.
Yesterday was a perfect example of how much better it is to give than to receive! The smiles that lit up the faces of the hundreds of people blessed with food, toys, and even a few new bicycles made the trip worth while for Hector, Stephanie, their daughter Samantha and Gracie. They drove from Houston with a trailer load of toys, clothes, food and 8 new bicycles to give to the people in the colonia in Reynosa. We couldn't take it all across yesterday, but what we took gave us hours of fun as they handed out everything to kids that probably won't have much of a Christmas. Thanks guys for being living sacrifices of your time, money and talents. As you can see in the other photos, Mikee, Ryan and Dolly offered up their lives all of last week to build the house that they designed. It is probably the coolest house in the colonia and I mean that literally, because the front and back walls open up to cool things off in the hot summer months. We worked hard all week and the reward was on the faces of the family when we dedicated the house Friday. Maria fed us the best chile rellanos I've ever had. We miss everyone already, it sure is quiet around here. The prayers of the saints availeth much and we sure do appreciate all the prayers and support given to us. Two houses in two weeks, plus all the things we are preparing to make the rest of this year, the best of this year for the people in the colonia. I was given over a hundred jackets to give out this week, along with clothes, bikes, toys, and all the beautiful gifts for the women in the colonia. It's going to be a busy week to get everything to Mexico. Please pray for the Kincaid Family for the loss of Scotts Mom and visit their blog at http://www.kincaidshope.blogspot.com/ and watch the video the kids put together in honor of Grandma
The architects have their work cut out for them when only Mikee, Ryan and Dolly made the trip from IIT Chicago with this years design and build project. All is going well and hopefully we'll finish the house tomorrow. The high winds today kept us from putting the roof on, so we spent the day doing all sorts of other things on the house. The children are really excited about getting their own place to sleep. Right now the five kids sleep on two twin beds and Mom and Dad sleep on the ground inside the 10 foot by 15 foot house. Maria made us chiles rellano today and they were delicious. The dedication is set for Friday afternoon to give us enough time to get everything finished. We had the other property inspected yesterday and all is well, as we continue to move forward in the lease/ purchase. When Paula asked the inspector how much we owed him, he said Merry Christmas and thanks for helping the poor! There is a friend of a missionary friend of ours coming to look at the house in the morning, He is from New York and looking for a place here. Possibly more of Gods Divine Favor?
When you spend your time on behalf of someone else, miracles happen. This week we spent our time loving on a family building them their own special miracle, a house! We had received a gift from some friends in La Harpe, Illinois and they were the reason we found the property we are looking to buy to expand our ministry to the poor. They wanted to bless us with this gift to help with the purchase or whatever else God led us to do with the money. I believe that God will make happen for us, what we make happen for someone else. We want to see God provide us with the money to buy this house, so we sowed a house into the lives of another family with the money. Not long after we started to build Felipe' and Lilliana their house, one of our faith full supporters saw how this new house would expand our ministry to a new level, offered to help with a lease/ purchase of the new property until our house sells. MIRACLES, MIRACLES. Sow a pumpkin seed, you get pumpkins, sow a smile, you get a smile, sow seeds of love and love is what you will get love returned, but sow a house into the lives of a needy family and reap a harvest you'll never experience until you do it! The joy on their faces when Felipe' carried Lilliana across the threshold priceless. We could have used the money toward the new house for ourselves, but why? The bible says in Luke 6 vs 38 " GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU, PRESSED DOWN AND RUNNING OVER A FULL MEASURE. So sowing with an expectation of God fulfilling His word is the faith that pleases God. I drove to Harlingen after church yesterday to pick up all the lovely gifts sent down from the women's tea at Moraine Valley Church donated for the women in the colonia. Gift bags full of all sorts of nice things for the women, so THANK YOU to all that gave. Woody operates a food bank in Joliet and brought the stuff down along with tons of other stuff for the people in Mexico, another divine connection! Mikee, Ryan and Dolly are here from IIT to build the house they designed and I hear them stirring around, so I gotta go. ADIOS and expect a miracle today!!