When Clara came to get food for her family on Saturday, I told her that a friend named Earnest from North Carolina was sending her a bible and she got excited. I explained that it was not the large print that she wanted, but we had a whole box of reading glasses that she and many other people could choose from, and My bible with small print came alive as she donned her new glasses. The bible arrived on Monday and we took it to Clara on Tuesday as we drove through the colonia checking on the guys installing the new water lines. We started taking the water barrels, that Brad Noyes gave us last week in San Antonio, over to the colonia and Omero has a list of those that need them. The trailer we took to S. A. is Roy Days from Illinois and sure comes in handy, I'm going to hate taking it back to him, so I'm trusting God for the $7000.00 Roy said he would sell it to me for.The goal is to get every family at least two barrels, so they can store enough water for a few days. I might have to ask Brad for one more load of barrels to meet the need.The pressure from the well, all the way to the end where we have lines, is still good enough for now until we get the next tower and 10,000 gallon tank built. We are grateful to the men digging the trench by hand and it's good to see them eager to help which frees up some extra money to extend the water lines even further. We give their families lots of beans and rice for their labor. Today we stayed home and cleaned the warehouse and sorted clothes which was good because two Pastors from Mexico stopped by to get beans and tomorrow we trade another ministry two pallets of beans for two pallets of hominy that's used to make pasole', a Mexican soup. Kristin and Kelly,our two girls, drove from Chgo to Denver while Kris had some time off from work and a break from going to the nursing home everyday to visit Grandma. I was going to fly up and visit them and see the changing Aspen trees in Colorado, but we spent so much time searching for low airfare it just didn't work out. So I'm booking my one way flight to Chicago for Christmas this week.
We invited David Garcia and His Family to come and bless us with a few worship songs on Saturday when we give out food to the colonia, and he also had a message for the people from Deuteronomy 28 about the blessings of God flowing into the lives of those who would obey the Word of God. Loving God and loving your neighbor were the only Commandments we need to follow to receive Gods' blessings. How hard is that? Well, in every day life it's not so easy, but He shared about the little things they could do to exhibit love. Just sharing the water hose from the new water lines, filling your neighbors barrels even if they are not there on the day water is flowing to their house. David use to be the one turning the valves for different areas and it became a real trial for him and his family because people would become angry at Him when water didn't come on their day. Now Omaro has that responsibility and He works very long hours every day helping out. Yesterday George and Bonnie joined us to help give out all the food and juice boxes. Again we rejoiced at what God does to provide for the people in Mexico. As we waited for 9:00 o'clock to give out the food, and as people rummaged thru clothes and shoes we invited anyone who needed prayer to gather in one area, and several came with needs that only God can meet. We gave a double portion of food to all the families that helped dig the trench for the water line this last week. Many volunteers hand dug over a half a mile long trench and installed the water lines, saving us the money for renting a back-hoe. Now we can build tower 2 to get more water to more people. Thanks to all that have been a part of this much needed water project. We know there is blessing for giving a cup of water in the Name of Jesus, can you imagine the blessing for giving a whole well of water?
On Mondays blog, there is a shack of a house that we moved a family of 6 out of and into a house we built a few years ago. Yesterday, there was a single Mom with four kids moving their stuff into that house as we drove by. We stopped and talked to her about the conditions they were going to be living in, and Virginia said that it was better than where they had just come from. I couldn't imagine that this house that is ready to fall down was better. We put all of their belongings into my truck, and took them to an empty house that we had just bought, that Roy and Rebecca built and paid half of the purchase price to reclaim it. We paid the owner the other half and had one of the girls climb through the window to unlock the door. Smiles filled their faces as they saw the inside. complete with a loft for the kids to share. As we prayed with them I shared how God took them from rags to riches, figurativly speaking, in one day. It's life changing for these families to get these simple houses. We returned later with a whole bunch of stuff for Virginia and her kids. EVERYTHING they owned fit in the back of my pick-up truck. One bed, a mattress,two suitcases of clothes,three more bags of clothes, one cooking pot, and a little box of toys. We all have way to much "stuff" don't we? Today we attended a celebration of Mexicos Independence from Spain at a local school. All the girls were dressed in traditional Mexican dresses and looked so cute. Carmelo finished sanding the top of our van and painted it today, no more rust! Tomorrow, 3 more loads of fill for the road before it rains again. I rented a back-hoe for four hours to spread it all. Off to San Antonio on Saturday to pick up donated plastic drums for the people to store water in from an old friend from Chicago that cleans and recycles the drums. We have bought several of these drums for people over the years and now, just like the beans in the warehouse, God is providing drums for free. Beans, Rice, Clothes, Drums,Money, all the things we sow into the lives of others, we reap. The other day, God put it on my heart to give another missionary family some money and two days later, I found the exact same amount of money in my cup holder in my truck! BELIEVE IT---- OR NOT!
A Mexican Pastor named Willie is the director for the United Methodist Churches in Northern Mexico and we have know Him for about six months. He called and asked if a team from United Methodist of Ardmore Oklahoma could spend the night, on their way to Rio Bravo Mx. They had been driving all day, so Paula fixed them a spaghetti dinner and we were glad to spend some time with them. They are spending several days in Mx, with some outreach and work projects planned. We moved two families into their new houses over the last few days. These are houses we have built and purchased when the families moved. It's kind of a recycling program we do now, so the houses don't sit empty. They can live there as long as they want, but if they move, the house is given to another family in need. We think we have every child that wants to go to school registered. It takes a lot of work with all the follow up and paperwork. 28 or 30 children was the last count, but we continue to look for more as we drive through the colonia. Today, The Way of the Cross Mission from Harlingen Tx. came for beans and left here with 200 bags, about 10 thousand pounds. We used to drive there and get food from them to hand out in Mx when we first moved here, now God has us supplying the suppliers.PRAISE THE LORD! Pastor Francisco came today to get some beans and rice to take all the way to Oahacca Mx about 20 hours away.
Water, that was the very first word that Helen Keller spoke.What a joy to see that freshly dug trench for the water lines! The backhoes sure made the job a lot easier for the team from Austin and those people from the colonia that lent a helping hand. While I was running back and forth in the colonia, Paula, Theresa, Esther and Rosie were holding a kids bible club and craft time at Pastor Victors Church. Pedro, Valerie and Deborah led worship. They are some new friends that serve about 200 miles south of the border and are on their time out of Mexico to renew their visas. 35 years of surrender and 8 children raised in Mx. What a story they have, and it's been fun getting to know them. With our warehouse full of beans, Pedro loaded His truck up the other day to take them home with them. After the children were done with the bible club, we lined them all up again and bought them all a freeze pop or Bonice as they are called in Mexico. 500 pesos was the final tally after all the kids and moms got one. Our monthly Pastors meeting was in the afternoon, under the International Bridge, so after eating tamales at Pastor Victors, we ate again at the meeting. I think we have given out most of the backpacks and school supplies that have been donated. We have been stopping the school buses and checking to see if any kids needed them and then they would pick one. Today we were checking the new water lines and came across a new family in the colonia, The Zapata Family. They made this pathetic little house with no door, a tarp for one wall, 1/2 sheets a plywood for another and they slept on a little piece of foam on the bare ground, full of ants, rats, fleas and God knows what else makes its way in there at night. We went to town, bought a bed and filled the truck up with a lot of different things to make life a LITTLE easier. Food, clothes, candles,blankets,sheets,a table and a Bible. It's almost hard to tell them that God Loves them when they have to live like this, but I told them, that God wants them to bloom and grow right where He has planted them. This is Gods will for their life. How do I know? Because if it was not Gods will, IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT!! We took David and Luzmar to lunch today. They live in the solar powered house and run the water Ministry for the group from Austin. They are from Gueretteno Mx and were hired to support the groups from Austins efforts and make disciples. The water thing has really hindered the disciple making thing, so Omaro handles the water thing now and that frees them up to make disciples. Maybe a trip to San Antonio Wed or Thurs to pick up donated water barrels that are much needed for people to store water in.