It's always a joy when God allows us the priviledge to meet some basic needs through the generous gifts of people, churches and companies that truly care about others. We are just the hands that get to deliver those blessings on behalf of them. Joy comes from Jesus, Others, and then Yourself so we pray that your JOY will be overflowing. Gartners Gallery, a furniture and bedding store in Hancock, MI, gave us a donation from a sale they held a while back to purchase beds for families that needed them. Today and last Saturday we bought and gave out three and plan on giving out several more during the next few weeks. It surprised me today, that when we drove through the colonia with the beds loaded on my truck ready to be given to any one that had need, that a few families said that they were ok and that there are probably people that needed them more than they did even though there were three or four people sleeping on one bed. JOY! We did manage to find one Father and Daughter sleeping on an old mattress on the floor together and gave them one and I promised to buy them another single bed next week. Another Young man was sleeping on an old bed with three brothers and sisters and they were really glad for the extra bed. Zackao and Carmela were all smiles when we dedicated their house on Saturday and they got a new bed as well as many other household gifts and food. Pastor Jose Puente' came over the other day and we loaded his old 64 El-camino to the max with rice, beans, corn and bibles. Saturdays food outreach was another chance to share the Gospel with over 200 people again and Mathew 25 was Davids scripture on helping those in need regardless of how poor you are. The poor widow gave the Prophet all the food she had and that set her up with food for the rest of her life. Somebody is always worse off than you and Jesus separated those who help those in need from those that do not and those that do not get a one way ticket to hell for eternity and those that do help the poor inherit the Kingdom. What a difference for such an easy act of love and obedience. Hulls Grove Baptist Church provided enough health kits to give every child and parent a bag with a tooth brush, paste, soap, wash cloth and a gospel tract as well to make a physical and spiritual health kit all in one. Thanks to them for thinking of the people in the colonia when they had a team here a few weeks ago ministering to the kids at Childrens Haven Orphanage in Reynosa. They hope to bring a team down here next year to build a house with us. Saturday night we attended Jullisas' 15th birthday part in the colonia. They really do those Quincineras up to the nines in spite of the poverty they live in. We had a great time in spite of the 13 hour day in Mexico. We handed out food to hundreds of people, ate, dedicated a house to a beautiful couple, ate again, and then attended the birthday party and guess what? Ate again! A JOYFUL day indeed.
Laura and Elizabeth have been at the Regional Bible Institute for over a month now and the director now allows us to take the girls out for the day. It's not they are in prison, but they wanted them to become comfortable with living outside of the colonia. Both girls were born in the U.S., but have lived in Mx for most of their short lives. The Institute houses and educates the girls while also learning life skills, piano,English and many other skills. So Sunday after Church, we picked them up and took them out to lunch and afterwards Paula trimmed their hair. Roy and Rebecca have monthly sponsors to cover the 175 dollar per month cost at the school. We had a gift for Elizabeth's school to cover the first three months from some people on the Carpenters Crew. The girls seen to like the school, but miss their families alot. Roy and Johnny are busy organizing and building shelves and work benches in the trade school. I need to purchase wood and steel to get things started next week. I posted a few pictures of the two welders we will be using at the trade school. One new one and one old one and we praise God for both. Last night the youth group from First Baptist Church came over and bagged up several hundred bags of beans, rice and corn to be taken across the border to feed those in need, which is probably most of the people we would encounter on a daily basis. If 47 percent of people living in the U.S. need or at least receive some sort of Government assistance, what more do you think we can do to feed more people in Mexico that don't have the assistance Americans have? What if everyone that reads this blog , and I have no idea who that is, would ask God how much should I donate to feed the poor? The answer will surely come to you, I guarantee it. If giving to help the poor was Gods only way for us to prove that God exists to a lost and dying world, than how do people view our lives? People have said that I sometimes boast about the fact that everytime I step out in faith and help those in need with the resources God has given us, that we get blessed in return with more resources to help more people. I boast in the Lords goodness to provide for the work He prepared in advance for us to do. We received a dental chair last week and now are praying for a portable dental unit to do the work. They run about a thousand dollars or so and I expect God to provide. Why would we get a dental chair unless God intended for us to use it?
The trade school was busy with activity yesterday as Roy and Johnny started organizing things and testing the electric tools. Many kids from the colonia hung around and Roy and Johnny started teaching them the safety aspects of the different tools. They taught them how to operate a few of the sanders, grinders and routers as they went about the day. Roy just called and said that there was a few more students that showed up in the afternoon, anxious to learn the trades. There is a single Mom, Suri, that always asks us for food and diapers and is pregnant again and I told her she needs to work for anything in life, so she agreed to come and clean the school at the end of each day. Lots of sawdust and wood chips need to be swept everyday. I was starting to get a little frustrated at the slow progress of getting the school open until I surrendered it to God and His timing and things are coming together. We can always push and shove doors open and get frustrated in the process, or we can just relax and let God run the universe knowing that God is ALWAYS GOOD and always has things in control. The prayers we think go unanswered are really being worked out in accordance to His will not ours, and sometimes the answer is knocking at the door but we refuse to answer it because of the fact that we don't believe that God will show up. So today, just relax and be still and know that He is God and your not. And if someone rings your door bell, answer it, you never know what that step of faith will bring. You just might miss the intended blessing of God and as the scripture says that the eyes of God go through the land looking for ways to bless the obedient.
Well, we're getting closer to opening the trade school. Roy and Rebecca made it back from Alabama and after a few days of letting them get caught up, Roy and I went and bought that brand new Bobcat welder we had been looking at yesterday. It sure is pretty and it should power everything we need power to as well as weld anything that needs welding. I'll get a photo on the blog when Paula returns from San Antonio Sunday after a women's conference there. The older generator/welder that Brad Hunt gave me in August is now running as well, thanks to a man named Moses that came and fixed it yesterday and today, a few hundred dollars in parts and she runs great. One cool day this past Monday and now the heat is back on. 97 today and yesterday. We got some much needed planting done over in Mx. A friend gave us several banana trees a while back and Eleazar built Paula a nice planter box in front of the house. Several Pastors have been coming for food lately, so our trips to Mexico have been fewer as of late. I loaded up 240 buckets of the corn that we received last week and took them to Valley Baptist Retreat Center where a man named Rick Hall is the director and we have many mutual friends from many years ago. They give out a lot of food there as well and those 240 buckets of corn were designated for them and I was happy to deliver them. A sad day in the world of finances, I had to pay the penalty and taxes on my withdrawl of my 401K in 2011 that we needed to buy our place in San Juan Ouchhhh. I had pretty much forgot about it until the accountant called the other day. So I pay a penalty to get my money to feed the hungry, sounds like I just put myself in a position to be blessed by my Father in heaven.
It really is disgusting that 40% of all the corn grown in the U.S. has been mandated, not suggested for ethanol production. People all over the world are starving to death to the tune of 1000 children every hour of every day and we make gas with food. Well thank God for Rick Caywood and World Hunger Relief. They rescued about 30,000 lbs of corn from the hands of our Government waste program and we'll be able to feed thousands upon thousands of people with the corn Rick brought on Saturday. 14 pallets of corn stuffing the warehouse, except for the two leaning pallets that eventually got loaded onto Pat Paces pick up trucks and were headed to their mission in Mattamores Mx. We off loaded the whole truck Saturday and made it just in time for a Quincinera in Mexico for Emilianos Daughter. We met the Power Team Leaders for breakfast Sunday morning before we headed to the colonia with them to view a potential work project for us on two lots we own. We could really use a community gathering place for events and food distribution as well as storage space.We have over three hundred people come for food and a message of hope and there is not enough room to hold them all, so the new place would get them all inside, out of the sun. We won't know if they are going to select our project for a while, so pray for favor for us and the men selecting the different projects.
It was Carmelo's birthday this week and his son Caleb wasn't going to quit harping until we threw Carmelo in the canal. Caleb got a sick satisfaction when I was thrown in the canal on my birthday in May, and couldn't wait for us to do the same to his dad. It was more of a voluntary swim than throwing him in, it could be pretty dangerous not knowing what lies beneath the low water. We finished the little addition on Carmelo and Ruth's house and they have been trying to get things back in order. Yesterday we visited Children's Haven Orphanage on the west side of town because Ernie Buecker brought another team from his church in North Carolina to work at the orphanage for the week. We met a few years ago in the colonia we work in, while they were handing out stuff to the people there. The church they attend sent us the money a few years ago to build a house for a family when they were unable to make the trip themselves. They are hoping to send a team this year. We had lunch at the orphanage and spent some time getting to know the team. Paula said I talked too much and too loud. They brought us some health kits and bibles to bless the people in the colonia. We were really blessed when their Pastor prayed for us before we left. We look forward to a visit up their way next summer, IF THE LORD TARRIES! Ernie blessed me with a cash gift and when I saw Clara in the colonia when we entered it after we left the orphanage, God put the biggest smile on her face when I handed her money I was blessed with. Now I don't know if that's an official re-gift, but it sure blessed her heart. I got the call last night from Joe Warner, that the beans in South Dakota have been harvested and we will be blessed with about 25 thousand pounds of beans and 20 thousand pounds of corn. Joe planted twice the acres this year as last year, but the drought killed the crop yield. We were hoping for 90 thousand pounds, but are grateful for whatever God gives us. Please pray for the funds to go get em next month.