SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR

Its so cliche,  but so true. Thanking God for all of your blessings. As we sat around our Thanksgiving feast,  we all gave thanks for something. We had a smaller than usual gathering,  Shawn and Carla Estes,  thier daughter Madison and Iker her 2 month old son pronounced Eeker, Sergio and Gabriel. The girls cooked while Shawn and I golfed. We made up 4 plates of everything and Shawn and I drove around and blessed people on the street with a meal.
  Over the last few weeks, God has provided us with 100 thousand pounds of beans and rice. 40 thousand pounds has already been taken to Mexico. Power Ministry delivered beans and rice, Hope Development gave us 2 truck loads of beans. It has been an incredible time of blessings inspite of Covid-19.
  The orphanages have been the biggest beneficiary of God's provision into our lives, as we have been blessed enough to donate thousands of dollars to thier building projects. I remember when giving 100 dollars was a stretch for me, then 1000 dollars was a huge step of faith, writing a check for $10,000.00 to an Orphanage was beyond anything I could have imagined doing, and yet there was another instruction from the Holy Spirit. Jesus said not the hearers, but the doers of God's Word are the blessed ones. So, being Thankful for all of your support that makes it possible for us to be doers. People that do, are enabling us to do, which results in Thanksgiving to God.
  Pastor Jaime Mayorga from Melodys Orphanage is holding a huge event December 19th in the Baseball Stadium in Reynosa to bless the children of Mexico. We have ordered 1000 soccer balls, and plan to buy 1000 dolls. We're hoping for more than 2000 kids.
 Its always a joy to be part of God's plan to be a blessing to others. Thanks for joining us in God's work. 

MILES OF BLESSINGS

After being home for only 2 days, Phil and Marianne arrived from Oklahoma to join us on a trip to Puebla to deliver,  food, bibles, blankets, bibles and hundreds of coats.
  We drove to the Orphanage in the mountains and spent the night there. Phil and Marianne hadn't been there,  so we gave them the tour of all that's going on there. The drive south took us 8 hours further into Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½ and we spent the night in San Juan del Ricon south of Qeretaro. 2 hours to Jorge and Selena church in Masahua. We unloaded everything in the van except for a couple cases of bibles for Pastor Jose. We toured the house they are building and will help with $ to complete it. Off to Puebla. 
  We drove 5 hours to the Holiday Inn in Puebla.  The people there love to see Phil and Marianne.  They usually stay there for several weeks in the summer doing ministry but Covid-19 crushes more ministry.  We filled the van at Sam's Club in Puebla with beans and rice, and took the food to Pastor Joses house. We took JosΓ© and his family out to lunch at a Brazilian Steak House at a great restaurant near them. We said our goodbyes and drove 10 hours towards home the next morning. 
  Hundreds of families will be blessed by our trip despite the 2000 miles of driving that burned lots of gas. We love traveling in Mexico and being a blessing to those in need. Today we go to Mexico to bag up 2000 lbs of beans Andres picked up yesterday from a partner who we gave a truck load of beans to, and he crossed it to Mexico. I'll be crossing a pallet of rice today as well. 
  Shawn and Carla are staying with us until they load thier trailer and head back to Kentucky. God has called them there after serving in Mexico for over 15 years. Be praying for them as they transition. 

HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE

The last several weeks, have been lots of miles and lots of smiles. We drove non stop to Gadsden,  Alabama and spent some time with Wayne and Diane Kelly. Played a round of golf ⛳,  well a round and a half. Left there and had breakfast with Tim Morgan from Power Ministry.  After leaving there, I got very sick and went to a emergency care in Anderson,  SC. I was extremely dehydrated and in excruciating pain. 

 A drive to Spartanburg to visit Angie Lara and the kids. They made us supper and because of my condition we left after a few hours. We drove to Hilton Head the next morning and I was feeling better after drinking lots of water. 

  8 wonderful days spent with Roger and Paulette at their house near the ocean. A few rounds of golf, glorious meals, and wonderful fellowship. We left there for Hickory,  N.C. to spend a few days with our friends from Hulls Grove Baptist Church. A scenic drive to the mountains after lunch with, Ernie,  Susan. Lori and Gavin. Sunday morning we went to Church in Hulls Grove and were able to share about the new ministry with 3 orphanages. 

 We left there and drove to Alan and Linnea Wells in Tennessee. Spent the night, had breakfast and hit the road again. Got home last Tuesday and went to Mexico Thursday to prepare for Saturdays food outreach. 100 family's were given food, then Sergio and I drove to the mountains ⛰ to visit the orphanage. Spent 2 days, got home yesterday,  packed the van up today because Phil and Marianne Chain came and were heading to Puebla Mexico tomorrow to deliver, food, coats, bibles, and $. A stop at the orphanage in the mountains tomorrow to pick up what we dropped off the other day.  Lots of miles!!!!!

  We trust for a God for a safe trip as we travel through Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½,  and for a favorable outcome of this election. We are so grateful for all of your prayers and support for the ministry God has given us.  GRACIAS AND GOD BLESS YOU πŸ™. 

THE MOUNTAINS CALLED AGAIN

 

A good friend and supporter of our ministry as well as Big Heart Orphanage called and asked me to take him and his wife out to visit Gator and Deanna at the Casa Hogar la Montana in Ramos Arizpe. We were just there a few days ago,  but we're always willing to take anyone who wants to go. We picked up Marty and Denise Moore Saturday morning πŸŒ„ and arrived by noon.

  There was a missions team from Reynosa there mixing concrete,  painting and helping out. The kids were all gone to visit family for the weekend for the first time since March, and we surely missed seeing them, but it gave the staff a much needed break.

  Marty and Denise were impressed by the orphanage situated on over 30 acres. We gave them the tour of the facility and joined the team for lunch. The building projects are progressing well,  the Bobcat has done its job and the foundation for the bathrooms and kids dorm rooms is almost ready to be formed and poured.

  Gator and Deanna took the 4 of us out to dinner in Saltillo Saturday night. A temperature check and hand sanitizer greeted us at the door, even a foot sanitizer was in place to step on. We enjoyed the food, but our conversations were drowned out by some loud live music 🎢 πŸ˜ͺ.  Oh well, we're all old and would have rather talked than listen to music. πŸ˜†. 

  We drove back home Sunday morning and had a 2 hour wait on the bridge to return to the US. Paula and I returned to Mexico today after buying 250 dollars worth of diapers for the stranded families in Mexico trying to get to the US. Its not going to happen any time soon, and they have no money to go back where they came from.  So πŸ˜₯. 

   Lunch at Melodys Orphanage on our way out of Mexico,  always a treat. Jaime and Rosalba took all the kids at the orphanage away for the weekend to a rental house near the mountains. The first time since march that the younger kids have been out of the orphanage due to covid. They showed us the science project that they're working on, growing things from seeds. 

THE RETURN

  Friday we crossed the Big Heart trailer, loaded with siding and tires for the Bobcat. We met a group of men for coffee in Reynosa that are part of a foundation of lawyers and help people in need. They committed to bringing 30 pre packaged boxes of food to the colonia on Saturday.  I gave them enough money to buy 50 more,so we would have enough for every family that comes. 

  We dropped rice off at the community center and headed to Melodys Orphanage for lunch with the kids. 2 birthdays were celebrated for the twins, Adele,and Marisol. Stuffed jalapeΓ±os, chicken and cake.

Saturday we arrived at the colonia at 730 to escort the guys with the food boxes. Many people were already there. We unloaded the food boxes,  set up the speakers and spent some time getting re acquainted with everyone.  We haven't seen them since March. Andres and Goyita have been handling the food distribution during Covid. 

  Jaime showed up, gave a message and we sang a few songs. We had 80 boxes, and 81 families came.  We had some extra beans and rice to make up the last box. Social distancing made it necessary to have 2 shifts of people entering the community center, to avoid over crowding. 

  We enjoyed coffee and sweet bread afterwards and then went downtown to dedicate a house that the lawyers had built for Margareta and her family. Paula had prepared a huge box of things to give her. Blankets,  dishes, toys for the kids, and we took up a collection for a new bed for them. It was great to see locals helping locals during their time of need.

 Papas Big Run Go fund me page to raise money for Melodys Orphanage is far short of the goal, so please pray and give. We continue to support the orphanage every month, but we need you to join us. GRACIAS

I DONT LIKE NEW

A new format on the blog, im trying to figure out getting multiple pictures with the story. Paula and i drove out to the Orphanage in Saltillo Monday for a few days. I was going to buy pallet forks for the Bobcat and when I found some to buy, my good friend Roy Day stepped up and paid for them. We took them with us, and will be a great asset for the orphanage. 
  The building on the Kitchen/ Dinning Room/ Dorms is going along. Lots done, and lots to do. Shawn and I fixed some hydraulic leaks on the jackhammer after a few trips to town.
  Breeny turned 8 on Tuesday and a special menu party was held to celebrate. The kids were all dressed up for the occasion. A huge #8 piΓ±ata was hung from the rafter in the pallapa, and the kids took turns beating it. 
  We left Wednesday morning πŸŒ„ so we could get back in time for my eye appointment for a new injection πŸ’‰ medicine.  Today I picked up 30 sheets if siding and 4 new tires for the orphanage. 
  We'll cross the siding and tires in the morning and then purchase food for Saturdays food outreach. 
  If anyone hasn't donated to Papas Big Run go fund me page, it's not to late. Its a fundraiser for Melodys Orphanage sponsored by the Grennell family in honor of Marks passing in January.  That was the beginning of a crazy 2020. We are trusting God to provide for a year of support for Melodys.  GRACIAS 

ITS ALWAYS WORTH THE DRIVE

A TRIP TO THE ORPHANAGE IN THE MOUNTAINS

WHY GO BACK????

  Everyone wants to go back to the way things were. WHY??? Because it's what we were used to. It's familiar, it's the way its always been, or done. Oh But God!!! We have been given a chance to forget about those things that are behind us and press on to the high calling of Christ. I'm so guilty of not making the most of this time to forget those things behind. I too want the old and familiar.  But I'm getting over it, little by little. 

  We finally got home Tuesday morning after a stop in Arkansas to visit a life long friend who has cancer. Mark sent me a message a couple weeks ago about his cancer and we made it a point to see him and his wife Elizabeth. We only stayed a few hours but enjoyed seeing them and praying for them.

  We spent a few days in Oklahoma with Phil and Marianne Chain. We usually stop for a few hours rather than days. They know a couple dentists that agreed to help with my never ending dental needs. We'll have to return there in a few weeks to get started with the work. We enjoyed the time there, had breakfast at Tiffanys in Nobel. OK, watched the OU game with Trudy and Norman. We left Monday after my x-rays drove 15 miles and blew a tire. 

 We spent Wednesday in Mexico with Andres, Jaime, Pastor Juan, Sergio and China, and Abraham.  We prayed and talked about the future of ministry and how to help more people by identifying needs and working together. We know things are much different and we need to adjust. We're ordering 30 beds and stoves to help people still suffering from Hurricane Hannah πŸŒ€. 

  I packed a bag, threw my golf clubs in the car and was going to drive to California to partake in Power Ministrys golf outing and fund raiser. Paula urged me not to go, as if The Holy Spirit spoke through her. I trusted that leading and stayed home. Its a long drive for a round of golf ⛳ LOL.

  Were going to the Orphanage in the mountains on Monday,  Lord willing and spend a few days there, helping out any way we can.  Thanks again for all your prayers and support for the ministry.  


IT HAD TO HAPPEN

  I saw a message on those words by Steven Furtick. Sometimes it is hard to see the future when in a trial, a hurricane, a setback, or time of asking why? But God is always up to something,  and it always works out for our good, in hindsight of course. 

 We drove our 1 ton Big Heart truck from Texas to Illinois to pick up a  fifth wheel camper from the Balmers in Carthage, Illinois. We stayed a few days while the hitch was installed. We hooked up the camper and drove only 60 miles when we had transmission problems. Had it towed to a dealer that couldn't do the work and then had it towed again to Eric Palmers garage in LaHarpe. He had worked on our RV before and he said he would exchange the trans for a rebuilt one. He ordered the new one, and suffered a heart attack a few days later, and is recovering.  The mechanic said it would be ready on Wednesday,  but upon a test drive, the new one wasn't good. He had to order another one. 

 Upon that news, we borrowed a van from the Day family and went back to Chicago. I had an eye doctor appointment and needed to drive to Texas,  but a friend arranged for free round trip flights ✈️. We have been home a few days and were able to go to Mexico and provide resources to help people in Mexico. Jaime from Melodys Orphanage is taking food and bibles to 600 families in the State of Hidalgo,  MX. A heart ❤ to serve others is what Jaime and his family has, along with others. 

  We return to Chicago on Sunday  and pick up the truck on Tuesday. The time we were able to spend with Lea and family is always to short. Our plans to go camping together were squashed by the truck problems,  but, IT HAD TO HAPPEN.  I dont know question things as much anymore,  because I know of God's Goodness.

 The Grennell family is busy getting things together after Mark's sudden death in January to raise money for Melodys Orphanage. It was his ❤  to fund God's work in Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½ . His son Matthew is going to run 100 miles to raise money. It called Papas Big Run πŸƒ‍♂️  in honor of his dad. They have a Gofundme site, or donations can be made to us designated for Melodys Orphanage. 

MORE FOOD, MORE HELP

 We continue to take as much beans and rice across the border almost every day.  The Mexican government is allowing us passage to help in the relief efforts. So many families are out of work, floods took everything they owned, Covid-19 is widespread.  It really is a global tragedy πŸ˜”.  We loaded a shared semi truck on Monday with enough beans, rice and clothes to keep several ministries busy meeting needs.

  We are waiting to see what the government does to help people with beds before we go buying a bunch that they won't need. There are several missions groups coming to help on the US side, but very little if any in Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½. Covid has strict restrictions on crossing into Mexico and coming back.

  Some of you may be aware that Rosalba,  Jaimes wife was in need of surgery. She gas been bleeding internally for several months. Well praise God. She had the surgery yesterday and is doing very well. The ministry paid for all her hospital expenses thanks to the generosity of Hulls Grove Baptist Church in Vale, NC. GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES!!!

  The ministry is certainly different than it used to be,  but meeting more needs, feeding more people,  and helping Orphans is our new marching order,  and we're glad to obey.

  The Bobcat finally made to the Orphanage in Saltillo and its a huge help hammering through the solid rock. We haven't been able to find time to go out the orphanage,  but maybe next month.

WHAT A MONTH. WHAT A YEAR, WHAT THE HECK?

  While we wait "patiently " for the Bobcat to get to the Orphanage, so much has happened.  Its our understanding,  that it is at least across the border and will be hauled to the Orphanage sometime this week πŸ˜‰.
  Our special gift of a dream, bucket list trip to golf ⛳ at Pebble Beach in Monterrey,  California finally came to pass, after several months of delays due to Covid-19.  Our hosts from Power Ministry Scott and Kristy Anderson blessed us with the all expenses paid dream golf vacation. We flew into Ontario,  CA and then made the 6 hour drive up the iconic Hwy 1 along the Pacific coast.  We checked into the beautiful Spanish Bay Resort with our suites facing the golf course and ocean. We played Spanish Bay, Saturday,  then on our anniversary, we played the hollowed grounds of Pebble Beach. Nerves definitely got the best of me and I couldn't help but think about my Dad who would have only dreamed of playing there. I had also dreamed of being there, and now here I was. I hit a perfect drive on the first tee, and made par on the iconic 7th hole that plays to the Ocean.
  A wonderful dinner with the Andersons and Tony and Amy Reed who drove up to play with us. We played Spyglass on Monday and drove back to Riverside that afternoon.
  We flew back to San Antonio Wednesday,  golfed Thursday morning and drove home.
  Friday all the buzz was about Hurricane Hannah πŸŒ€  heading our way. I bought sand. Filled up many bags for the forecasted 10 inches plus of rain forecast.  Hanna did not disappoint us.  Flooding occurred Saturday night and threatened our house as the water kept rising. The sandbags kept the water out, but thousands of families were not so happy.  Our friends in Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½  were hit especially hard, and continues even today.
  We are heading to Mexico today to deliver, food to Melodys Orphanage and the colonia. We also need prayers for Jaimes wife Rosalba.