Well yesterday, we took a little detour through eastern Iowa and stopped at a friends house in Oakville Iowa. Bob and Mary Brown and thier daughter Linda come every year with the Carpenters Crew from LaHarpe Il. Bob had called and needed some of our brochures about the ministry in Mexico. His church has expressed an interest in supporting us , so we figured instead of mailing stuff, we'de deliver it in person. After a quick visit with Bob, we called our partners in LaHarpe and before long, we were sitting at a table filled with spectacular spare ribs at Rick and Diane Balmers house. It was suprise visit and it was good to see some of the Crew. Dinner at Rick and Dianes followed by dessert at Roy and Carlas, we left with our stomaches aching at 11 at night. I could only drive for about two hours before needing some sleep. So were here, in Alan and Lynneas driveway for the third year in a row, and it's good to be here.
After two days on the road, we arrived in Breckenridge Colorado at an elevation of 9600 feet above sea level. Our house in Texas is at 150 feet, so Paula and I are suffering from altitude headaches. We just keep drinking lots of water and that helps, but it is a huge change in the oxygen levels. The ole R.V. ran like a top through the mountains even pulling the 14 foot trailer. The a/c gave us a few problems in Texas, but a few more cans of freon had the cool air blowing strong in spite of the 112 degree temps in New Mexico. Yesterday while our daughter Kelly was working, Paula and I took a beautiful ride on a golf cart through the mountains, I played 18 holes during the ride. The work in Mexico continues thanks to Roy and Rebecca. The director of the Methodist Church for Mexico Missions called and wanted to use the new trade school for a medical outreach this week, thankfully Roy and Rebecca are there to help out. Thanks for the prayers for us while we travel.
We finally poured the concrete floor on top of the last water tower and the following day, a few strong backs hoisted the tank onto a trailer and then up onto the tower.WHEW, that was no easy chore, but it saved us renting a crane. The concrete needs to cure for several weeks before we can fill the tank, but Omero will connect all the pipes and have everything ready when the time comes. Fill it to soon and the weight could cause a disaster. The entire water project cost was $9934.00 out of the $10,000.00 we raised last summer while traveling around the Midwest. This years travels and fundraising will have us focused on funds to equip the new trade school and support for younger children to attend elementary and high school. Paula and I are trying to prepare to leave for our annual trip to Chicago and there is so much to do. We are trying to get a news letter out, but maybe we'll hand deliver them. We need to have about 9 thousand pounds of beans and rice in Mexico so Roy and Rebecca can handle the monthly food hand out. We hope to buy 400 bottles of cooking oil today to have on hand as well. Heat index of 115 today and no end in sight to the early heat, which has us thinking about the cool midwest. On July 8th at 11:30am at Moraine Valley Church in Palos Heights, IL, we will host a luncheon in room 101. All are invited and pass the word, because the news letter we are trying to get out is not going very well. Computer problems again! We might have a letter, but no photos.
As the third and FINAL (for now anyhow) water tower rises above the dusty road, the problems that have hindered this tower are a distant memory. I have been struggling to get this tower built for a while and it's almost done. It has been indeed a thorn in my flesh. The owner of the lot kept putting restrictions on how high, and how it was to be made and so on and so on, when I finally lost it and said that He agreed to help the colonia and His families water needs, and to change the game in the middle was not an option. I hired several men to build it and today we can put the tank on top, but we can't fill it until the concrete cures for at least three weeks. I stepped out of my calling to build houses and help people in the Mexico and the water project has been a challenge to my heart. An instruction from God followed by obedience always brings blessings, so I'm glad to that I did it and look forward to God blessing the people with a constant flow of water. It's not easy saying yes to God, but if we do, He blesses our yeses!! Paula and I are trying to figure out when we will head to Chicago, we are worn out and the heat is on down here. 100 every day. With three cats that will need to be fed and watered, it's not just jumping in ole' Bessy and leaving. We also need to prepare the food outreaches before we go and get beans and rice to all the ministries we supply food to that take it to their outreaches in Mexico. We visited one of the ministries that we supply food for last week when they handed out the beans and rice we give them. It was cool to see how God uses the resources He entrusts to us to touch people we will never know. How about you? How are you using the resources God has entrusted you with to help those in need?
After all is said and done, and the life we have on earth is over, what will be left? I see so many people caught up in the here and now, trying to find their place in this world, running around being busy about nothing except being busy. I find ourselves all to often being so busy trying to get so so many things accomplished in Mexico that I lose sight of the real purpose of our mission and that is people! Friday was one of those days when it was all about the people. When we loaded up the van and headed to Mexico with Gary, his wife Rosario, and their three kids along with George and Bonnie all from Calvary Baptist to decorate and dedicate the house donated by the people at Calvary, I knew it was going to be a long day. Decorate and dedicate the new house for Lyo, Delphina, and their 4 daughters Esmerelda, Alexandrea,Arele, and Karin, followed by a luncheon prepared by the family for us. As we shared about the source of the blessing that has come their way, and the fact that Jesus loves them and hand picked them to receive this house, tears filled the eyes of the whole family. God was doing and has been doing something in this families lives before we came along. Lyo shared about how he has quit drinking and his children even said he has been a much better Father and has changed a lot lately. The house was just the confirmation about Gods love for him and his family. When Lyo carried Delphina across the threshold, followed by the kids, they were awe struck at the transformation of just a shell of a house, into a beautifully decorated home. The kids were all crying as they climbed the ladder to view their new beds and dolls and toys all arranged neatly. Blessed to be a blessing was our charge to them. Now go be a blessing to others. Lyo said that He would like to teach other people how to make Pinatas at our trade school.After a meal of chicken and mole' we headed back to our ministry center to set up for Mimi and Beckys birthday party, more food and fellowship. We didn't leave the colonia until 8pm. So thanks to those who live purpose driven lives and reach out and provided a house for a precious family, thanks to Darrin and Christina and their leadership in making a difference in peoples lives and not just hearing the Word, but DOING THE WORD.