A friend called me the other day and asked if We could stop by His office on our way to Mexico when we had the chance. Nothing urgent , He said He just wanted to give us a gift toward our work in Mexico and be a part of helping the poor with us. Now Iv'e been looking on Craigs list lately for a big used portable welding machine and just that morning had printed out some photos and the phone numbers of a couple of large welders/generator combos that are for sale and both of them were asking over $2500.00. I don't know anything about welders, so I thought I would wait until I could get someone with some knowledge to go and look at them with me. I always expect God to do abundantly more than I could ever ask for or imagine and had priced out a new Bobcat welder at a local welding supply store and they sell for $3200.00 plus Tax. When we stopped by my friends office, we chatted a bit and He wrote a check and slid it across the desk and I didn't want to look at it in the midst of our conversation. How much do you think it was for? I looked down at the check, so I could thank Him for whatever God had put on His heart to donate, and it was a check for $3500.00. I have Holy Ghost Bumps again just typing this. Tears filed my eyes as I shared about the need for the welder and He also had tears in His eyes as He realized how God had just asked Him to Give a crazy gift and He obeyed. You see, were not our own, we were bought with a price and everything we own is HIS. The blessing is for the giver and the receiver. I'm thinking God wants us to buy that brand new Bobcat welder, what do you think? Now we will have two used welders that were donated, and one new one with which we can run all of the other tools in the trade school because of the 11000 watt generator housed with the welder. The blessing doesn't come because I had a need, The blessing comes because I believed that God will meet the need.He already had, It was really just an exclamation point on what I knew to be true. Today I spent the morning shoveling caliche' in the 100 degree heat filling in the last hole by the new water tower. It was kind of a hazard for any kids that would be playing around it and it was supposed to have been filled in by the guys I paid to build it, but I guess they forget. After that was done, i had to go and buy some medicine for a sick baby and while we drove through the colonia, we handed out tons of diapers and baby formula to all that had need. Theresa just arrived from San Antonio with a van full of food and juice and milk for the orphanage Casa Mami in Reynosa, so they will take it over manana.
When I got an e-mail announcing a sale at Harbor Freight, a national tool outlet, I thought I could find some good bargains for the trade school needs, and before I left there, I had two carts full of welding supplies. Helmets, gloves, aprons, chippers and some much needed fireproof blankets to shelter the work stations. I also bought a few solar kits that were the cheapest I had seen. Saturday morning we left home at 6 am to set up for the food hand out yesterday. It's still dark at 6am, so I'm sorry if you have to go to work or school at that time everyday. At 6:45 we arrived to a line of about 50 people wanting to get first dibs on the clothes we would be putting out, as well as getting their number for the food. We have never run out of food, but I guess they think it just may happen and want to get a low number. After missing the last two food outreaches, it was good to see everyone and shake as many hands as we could. We started out by saying our condolences to the families that had lost loved ones while we were gone, 4 people stepped into eternity last month from the colonia and we had built houses for all but one family, so it was impossible to keep from crying. John 14 vs 15 through 24 was the passage I selected, "that if you love me you will keep my commandments and I will ask the Father and He will give you the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth" and how much God loves them. After the food and juice boxes for the kids were all gone, we had many requests for school supplies and backpacks from the people that we missed last week, so we were able to meet all of those needs as well. We had heard that Emeliano and Pearla had their baby on Friday and we just had to go and visit them. Emily was the probably the smallest baby I had ever held, only 4 pounds! How cute is that baby? Another child born into such poverty and she doesn't even know or even care for that matter. Spending a little time with the people is such a joy, we always seem to be so busy running around and building something, that just taking a little time to enjoy their special moments is what it's really all about.
In a flurry of activity Wednesday night, the youth group from First Baptist Church McAllen, assaulted our bean and rice supply and when the time for them to leave was over, they had bagged up over four hundred one gallon bags and put them in suit cases and loaded them into our van. It would take us days to do what they did in one hour. 35 committed workers helping us help the poor. It looked like one of those Asian sweat shops where they were there to do one thing and one thing only, Work and work they did. So thanks Mike and the youth group for blessing us and the people in Mexico. Now that we had over a thousand pounds of beans and rice in the van, How do we get it across the border? We need it for Saturdays monthly hand out. A friend sent me an e-mail yesterday about a rich man that bent down and picked a dirty nasty old penny off the ground. When asked why he would stoop so low for a penny, the rich man replied,"because it is stamped with the words "In God We Trust" and it is constant reminder of WHO I need to trust. With that reminder to Paula and I as we sat 1 mile from the border wondering what to do, Paula said "who do WE trust", and with that we took to the bridge,got the green light and unloaded everything in the colonia. It may seem trivial to you, but what are you trusting God for? How will your faith move you to the next level of trusting Him? I've said it before and I will say it again God is not moved by our need, He is moved by our FAITH. By faith a man in Michigan donated that awesome wheel chair in the photo to Andrea, a handicapped girl, that lives in the colonia. It has a seat belt and everything which will help her a lot. Thanks Gary for thinking of her need and then responding to it.The school supplies from Elim Christian Services continue to bless many as pastors come for food and we give them each a box of school supplies as well. Ezekiel was here yesterday and we filled his truck up for His outreach here in Texas on Saturday.
All week we were preparing for Saturday, two days until school begins in Mexico and thanks to several donations of school supplies and backpacks, every child in the colonia can begin the new school year with everything they need for their studies. Roy and Rebecca along with several people from First Baptist in Mcallen brought the backpacks they had collected from their summer V.B.S. where the children donated money to purchase the school supplies for the kids in Mexico. The United Methodist Church in Mcallen donated stuffed backpacks as well for their work in Mexico and allowed us to have some for getting them across the border. Elim Christian Services in Orland Park, Illinois donated hundreds of pre packed school supplies that filled the backpacks we purchased. www.elimcs.org is their web site. Although it was extremely hot, we drove from house to house throughout the colonia putting smiles on the faces of every child, with a backpack,juice box and gospel tracts for everyone. A great time was had by some great people just wanting to serve Jesus in a practical way. We installed a fence around the trade school last week as Roy and Rebecca head to Alabama for some R&R before the trade school opens in October.
While Paula and I were in Chicago, Roy and Rebecca had a team from Alabama, that wanted to put a porch on the new Trade school and it is awesome. We have been taking loads of supplies and tools across to get ready for our first classes in the fall. They also brought several wheel chairs, walkers and the medical room is fully supplied and ready for patients. We had a dentist at our house today and she is willing to work over there when needed, and trust me, the need for dental work is huge. I told her that I would pay her for her services. When we wait upon the Lord, everything comes together in HIS TIME. The display of my rock hard abs was in Lake Superior last month, Oh how I wish that nice cool lake was here, 102 today and yesterday was about the same. I know Paula sent out an E-Mail thanking everyone for all the gifts and meals, and fun times we had while traveling, but I just wanted say Ditto from Me. We are so blessed to have people supporting what God has us doing. Rick Caywood came last night with a couple of pallets of rice and will be back on Wed. with skids of beans. We were out of rice and the beans from South Dakota are almost gone, so again, Gods perfect timing. We are praying for more beans and rice to be donated, the needs are growing and the supplies are diminishing as the global famine starts to affect us with a lot of food being sent around the world. Maybe the Black and Pale horses of Revelation 6 are riding? We are so safe in the everlasting arms of Him that loves us as we serve Him. I had someone tell me that our work of helping the poor is "casting our pearls before swine".REALLY!!! I almost fell over when She said that, and that was out of the mouth of a "Christian". Take a moment right now, yea now, and read Mathew 25 verses 31 through 46 and tell me what Jesus says about helping the poor and what that means to our Salvation, it's pretty clear no CRYSTAL CLEAR. HELP THOSE IN NEED ---HEAVEN, DON'T HELP THOSE IN NEED----HELL. PLEASE take a look at you life, don't live for the things of this earth, LIVE FOR THE KING!!
After arriving home on Monday night, Roy brought the youth group from 1st Baptist Church in McCallen where they attend to unload our trailer, what a blessing. It only took an hour or so to get everything out and put away. These same kids came over the day before we got home and cut all the grass and trimmed around everything. We are so blessed in our going to Chgo and our coming home. It is so hot here, 107 today, so we have be doing stuff around the house. Today I cleaned out the warehouse and tried to get the donated welder running ( no luck). I need a mechanic to come and look at it. Wednesday we went to the colonia all day and what a joy to see everyone. Caleb and Mimi were really excited to see us.Ruthy and the kids kept our house and warehouse clean and fed and took care of our watch cats Takoo and Luna. We delivered some gifts that were sent to Damien and Natalie by Jim and Jan. They had built them a home last year and continue to bless them when possible. It sure means a lot to these people, to be remembered by those that had come. Roy and I have been on a shopping spree looking to buy tools for the trade school. Yesterday we bought a shapper/ planner from a missionary couple selling their stuff and moving to Oahaca Mx to plant some churches. We checked out a brand new Bobcat welder with an 11,000 watt generator and much to my surprise it was only 3 thousand dollars. That along with the donated welder, we should be good for a while. It's exciting to be able to buy everything we are going to need thanks to all the gifts we received while traveling. Roy and a team from Alabama built the canopy roof addition in front of and next to the trade school and it looks awesome and provides some much needed shade. More shopping for supplies in the morning and then a Quincinera party in Mexico in the afternoon.
It only took us four days! We left last Thursday night, drove four hours to LaHarpe and picked up a donated welding machine and some other things from Rick and Dianes' house, ate breakfast and drove to the Ozarks in MO. played nine with Paula, fixed a hub on the trailer, with the help of an answer to prayer for someone to help us and Chuck stopped and gave me the tools we needed to fix the trailer. We spent the night in Branson Mo and Sat morning,We then drove and hour and picked up a two year supply of freeze dried food. Upon leaving there, I programed the GPS for Norman Oklahoma where Phil and Maryanne Chain live. I looked at the map and the GPS was taking me on a different route than I would have, but I surrendered to technology and lived to regret it. Our R.V. named Faith was now overloaded with our 14 foot trailer packed to the doors and the overflow was in the R.V. climbing these hills in southern Mo. and Northern AK. At times I was only going 15 mph pulling those hills. We prayed and thanked God for ole Faith and her ability to handle it. Saturday evening we arrived at Phil and Maryannes' where it was only 110 degrees that day. Wild fires lit up the sky as the sun went down to the East of their house, but never threatened their house. Sunday we slept until 8:30 in the R.V., thank God for a 1 pm church service. We had hoped to connect with a ministry in Guthrie OK and purchase several hundred backpacks, but we didn't connect until Monday and we were already in Texas, so we'll have to order them online. We slept in Waco Texas and had breakfast with Rick Caywood our good friend that gives us beans and rice when we run low. He said He would be down next week with several skids of each for us. He is a constant encouragement to us and we try to be to him as well. We stopped in San Antonio on the way through and had lunch with Juvenal, Benita and Isabel,long time friends of ours. We finally made it home about 8pm Monday night WOW what a ride. Thanks for the prayers and gas money, we sure burned a lot this trip. Five thousand plus miles since we left home in June.