Even though it was cold and rainy Saturday, the people still came for their monthly bag of beans and rice with a liter of cooking oil and a bag of sugar. By the time Paula and I arrived, most of the people , 140 families, had come and gone with their food. I had told Ruth, the day before, that if it was nasty out and people come, just give them their food and send them on their way. I really look forward to seeing everyone and shaking their hands and asking them how they are, but only a handfull stuck around until we arrived. All the kids stayed home, so they'll get their juice boxes next month. By late morning, it was pretty nice out and the group from Austin had a big cookout for everyone in the colonia. After the cookout, we went to a birthday party for Pastor Victors Grandson and ate some great tamales. We started building another house yesterday and Paula and I both struggled through the day with nasty colds. We managed to get a few walls up and then called it a day. When there's no group helping us build, we move at a much slower pace. Today we got the rest of the walls up and the loft built. Carmelos Mom sent us all some tamales from Satiago Tuxla, Vera Cruz along with some barbacoa. We quit building at 2:30 and ate a great meal together. Todays divine appointment, and there is always at least one everyday, was to help a family with no diapers for their baby and no milk for him to drink. Tommy just asked Me for the money to walk three miles and save me two dollars verses buying them in the colonia. I bought them in the colonia and I could almost hear his heart saying, "Man what I could do with that two dollars Martin just wasted". Sometimes I think I just don't understand how poor these people are! Anyhow, baby Allan got diapers and milk and Martin needs to be a little less American and a little more Mexican. We had a missionary couple look at our house yesterday in Pharr and again we just pray, THEY WILL BE DONE LORD! I need to get that roof done on that house before anyone buys it. Time! I have no Time!
What a great and awesome God we serve, and He is worthy of Praise and Thanksgiving. I spent time this morning reading a monthly prayer card and every verse had to do with giving thanks. I know sometimes it's hard to find things to give thanks for, so how about being thankful that you can even read this. I'm thankful for my wonderful wife that has been cooking since yesterday. I went golfing this morning and was thankful for draining a 15 birdie putt on the very last hole. We are so thankful for everyone that helps the poor. We are thankful for our prayer and financial supporters. We are thankful for the people in Mexico and for their part in our lives. I'm thanking for God for supplying all our needs, and giving us the desires of our hearts. I'm thankful for our two girls Kristin and Kelly and pray Gods Favor over their lives. I'm thankful for our house and the electricity that powers it. I'm thankful that even though everything doesn't go according to MY plans, God is control. I'm extremely thankful that God is working everything in this war torn world for His ultimate purpose of the redemption of all things. I'm even going to say I'm thankful that Barack-O- Clause is our President (ouch that hurts to even type). But first and foremost, I'm thankful for our wonderful Savior Jesus Christ that took all my sins away and looks on me with Favor!
With all the preparations that go into an outreach to over twenty thousand people, the ministries that put together the Celebrate Jesus Festival at the Mercedes Livestock Showgrounds last Saturday was awesome. Paula and I stopped by for a few hours and saw thousands of people coming for all the free clothes, food, and prizes given out in the Name of Jesus. At the top of every hour, the shofars were blown as a call to preach the gospel to everyone within ear shot of your voice. Hundreds if not thousands of people answered the call to receive the free gift of salvation. Bob, Linda, Mike and Kathy stayed at our house for a few nights and handed out free drinks and gospel tracts at the event. People left the grounds with boxes full of food and clothes. By the time we arrived at the colonia in Mexico, First Baptist Church of Mcallen was already busy dishing out food and drinks to everyone in the colonia. 300 pounds of chicken had been grilled, and mashed potatoes, corn and green beans were served up as well. Pontaleon and the worship team from His church played worship songs as the endless line of people came through. Pastor Shannon gave a message before the meal. It's a real blessing to see Roy and Rebeccas Church come to Mexico and be a blessing to the people in the colonia. We took delivery of the wood for a house to be built this week, and the family will start painting it today.
Paula taught 6 of the 10, but by now possibly 11, Lara kids how to make little yarn crosses to hang on doors or trees or wherever the people in Mexico want to hang them. They bought 1000 Popsicle sticks to make 500 ornaments by Christmas. Good luck with that! Last week was just an explosion of Gods Goodness to the people in Mx. A load of medical supplies from Illinois delivered by Charlie and Rick for the Methodist Missions work in Mexico and soon after the delivery, Pastor Jose from Reynosa came and loaded up Hospital Beds and Wheel chairs for His ministry helping senior citizens with hospice care. He was truly blessed by all the chairs and beds. Willie is the director for the Methodist Church in Rio Bravo and He brought three vans over on Saturday and loaded up all but a few skids of the supplies and made use of a permit to take it to Mexico. Those vans were packed to the max. He promised to have it all out of our warehouse by Saturday, but I've gotta give them some grace because they did make a valiant effort and they should move it out by Tuesday. We continue exhausting the generous gift to buy beds for families in the colonia and the order for 10 beds last Thursday came stacked on one little truck put together like a puzzle. I had the company deliver a few of them for me down the road from our place because I don't have room for that many at one time in the warehouse in Mexico. Dan Block, a friend from church and I drove to Harlingen and brought The Way of The Cross Ministry some corn and they gave us boxes of foam plates. What a great ministry they have and after sharing about it with another fiend, he drove there just to see it and meet the director. Leticia had her baby last week at the same time her husband Jose returned from the U.S. after being deported. If he gets caught in the U.S. again He'll be facing some serious jail time. Most of you that read our blog know Raul, please pray for him as the blockage in his arteries has caused some dizziness and they can't operate or install stints. He spent the last few days in the hospital and will probably move up to Dallas and live with His sisters there for a while and get chelation treatments to reduce the blockage naturally. So we have to give God the Praise for the good and the not so good. In all circumstances give thanks. And we are truly Thankful for all of our partners in this wild adventure we call our life.
Post election blues? Maybe you think the right man didn't win. Maybe you think the this the beginning of the end for America. Well be of good cheer, God is still on His Throne! We are all characters in the story. Even the President. We have the will to choose the direction God has for us for in this play, or we can write our own scene and lines. But ultimately Gods' storyline will play out in accordance to His divine will. We can be confident that God will use "our" choices to line up with His divine choices to accomplish His will for America and us as individuals, that know God and are called according to His purpose. This was the the focus of our Sunday school lesson for the week, not the election part, but the "election" part of understanding that God has a plan and His plan will not be changed because of the decisions we make, no matter how stupid or selfish. The people that were renting our house, and were close to buying it, packed up in the middle of the night and left without word or notice for fear that they were in danger. So I sometimes question the decision to buy our new place before selling the old one and cashing in my 401k to do it. And then after reading todays study from Genesis 27, I just talked to God about how glad I am that even if the decision wasn't a good one, God will make it a GREAT one someday. I'm thinking that after the election results, maybe there is going to be a huge demand for houses in Texas because people are wanting to live where freedom reigns, and I think Texas is one of the few states that has a chance to make that true. So whatever you face, DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY, knowing that we have a God that loves us and is indeed working everything out in accordance to His will. He has so much in store for those who love Him and Worship Him. Yesterday,we got a delivery of 18 pallets of school supplies, hospital beds, wheel chairs, medical supplies, sewing machines, tables, chairs, desks, and hundreds of health kits. Now where would we have put all these blessing except we had this place with the capacity to store it? You see God has already shown me why the choice to move was a GREAT one, to be in a position to bless more and more people and distribute more food to more needy people. I rest Gods case, HE IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
Before we left on a trip to minister to the people in the Yucatan in Mexico, we delivered some much needed beds to some more people along the canal in the colonia. We have delivered several lately and continue to order more for delivery this week. The requests for beds are many, so we will try to get every family that needs one to them in the next weeks, until the gift for beds has been exhausted. Roy and Johnny have the trade school tables and benches made and the tools all hung with care, in hope that the students soon will be there. It has been a long road to get everything ready, and progress is slow in Mexico but it will all come together in Gods time. We traded Border Mission a pallet of corn for a pallet of rice last week and Steve was kind enough to bring us the rice and we loaded him back up with the corn. It's always good to be home and there is a lot to do this week. A truck load of Medical and school supplies will be here on Thursday and we will need to store it outside, because a load of styrofoam plates and to go boxes is waiting for me to pick up in Harlingen at the Way of the Cross ministry. I'll drive over there on Wed. and take what I can in my trailer. I need a bigger warehouse!! I'm asking around for the possibility of some free space in somebody's warehouse in the area. We hope you have experienced Gods Favor this week, I know we have, and thank Him for it every day. Election day tomorrow and then no more approval of this message by the candidates. I pray that whoever wins will humble themselves before God and the nation before it's too late. If you haven't read the Harbinger yet, you have too! God continues to send waves of disasters our way, calling us to repent as a nation instead of proclaiming how strong and resilient we are. Isaiah 9 tells the whole story.