Last week Rick Balmer from La Harpe IL, called because he received a call from Pastor Alberto in Progresso, Mx, that one of his church members lost her house to a fire. Margarita (the owner of the burned house)  was asleep when someone jumped her fence and woke her up,
 pounding on her door shouting "your house is on fire, get out". It was all she could do to get out, leaving everything behind. Clothes, personal stuff, photos, everything gone! After heari9ng about it, We went there on Monday and met Margarita and she explained that she would really like a block house because it wouldn't burn. I don't build block house myself, and I found that paying people to build it always costs a lot more than thought, so I told her, " I would buy the blocks, cement, sand and gravel, and her son could build it, and when the walls are done, we would come back and put the roof, windows and doors on". The other family lives in the colonia in Reynosa, Inocencio and his wife Silvia ( not in photo) Their daughter Joanna, who is 17, Zachil is eight, and Nicholas is 7. They live in a typical make-shift house with a dirt floor. no windows, and a screen door is all that closes at night. Ducks and chickens actually live inside the house, because the walls are so bad, that can just walk right in. Inocencio make pinatas for a living, just like his brother that lives a mile down the road. A team from Hulls Grove Baptist Church in North Carolina will be coming at the end of Sept to bless this family with a new home. We will pour a floor inside the existing walls next week, because it really is bad inside the house after it rains, Imagine your floor turning into slippery mud everytime it rains! Today We get a load of rice, purchased with Junkin for Jesus Money, from Colorado Rice company in Eagle Lake Texas. Rick Caywoods son Travis is picking it up this morning and should be here late this afternoon. Travis is going to stay a few days and help us build a house for Marcos and Margarita. It will be a small house because their lot is really small, probably 12 X 16 foot. A load of beans is on the way as well from North Dakota, donated by Hope Development in the Chgo area, He has two more loads for us and asked if I could pay for one and get the other donated, Duhhhh!!! Of course! Three loads for 10K you betcha. Another partner is lining up the transportation for us if we'll share the beans with their ministry. The gift of giving is, in my mind, the most awesome gift The Holy Spirit has given me. It takes your faith to a whole new level, knowing that the only way to receive from God is to GIVE!!!!! People can make all kinds of money and say "God has Blessed Me" but when it is all supernatural, as a direct result of Gods promises in His Word being taken literally and obeyed, then watch out, the windows of Heaven could and would open up on your life if you follow the instruction God gives you.
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Last week when a young man asked us to come and pray for his Dad, we had no idea that His Dad was dying of a brain tumor. He was given two days to live over 8 months ago. We prayed for Mario and his Wife Ana and their three children. They were living on the porch of his Sisters house with no walls to speak of no doors or windows, and no beds to sleep on. We knew that we had to do something, so we ordered two new beds and Paula and Lynnea put together a box of sheets, blankets, some dishes, pots pans and other household items. Thursday we started building new walls, added a few windows and closed the rooms off from the outside. Friday we added two doors and built shelves and tables as Mario watched from his wheel chair. Saturday we finished what is now their home. A time of sharing the Gospel with the whole family and praying for them capped off a wonderful week of ministry. How often would we open our home up to a family member in need, when our house is already full? How often would we lay down our life for a friend or family member? Being Jesus to the hurting and hungry and dying is what we are supposed to do isn't it? Meeting needs is what we are supposed to do isn't it? It's so great to have Alan and Lynnea here to help, being Jesus with skin on comes naturally to them. Lynnea was amazed at how the family pulled together to help their brother in need, no matter what how it inconvenienced them. A great week followed by a lose on the golf course to Alan.


 Here is Paula and Lynnea's story, it wouldn't be as elaborated as Bruce's but we think it is good
So far 21 kids have been  registered, thanks to the  generosity of our (GOD'S) ministry partners.  Here are some of the names:
Juan, Edgar, Josue, Ruth Noemi, Joshua  Caleb, Rosa, Rebeka, Jair, Distally, America, Eliaquin, Jonathan, Brian, Emily, Alexandra, Rubi, Dora, Esther,  Inocencio, Josue, Eleazar. I know there are many more that will need help with registration plus many other expenses such us  meals in school, uniforms, shoes, testing charges transportation, backpacks and school supplies, etc.....We are hearing from some more families that they need help to get their children in school.  Some children can not get registered for this year until last years payments are made in full.  School is not required so some parents do not enforce that their children attend so we have to discern which families we should assist.  We do request that parents show us receipts and report cards to prove the real desire for an education.  Unfortunately some do not.  We have gone shopping for school supplies and uniforms.   We have been buying supplies by the cases to try and meet the needs, but we are still shopping.  Some of the children are so excited they have modeled their uniforms for us.  Lynnea and I are also sewing some.  The challenge is to make them look like the original uniforms. 
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It has been an interesting week of getting back into the flow of ministry. Where to begin? Who to help first? Which home to build? How many kids need to register for school? Who needs uniforms for school? How is everyone in the colonia? What's the latest news? So as Paula, Lynnea. Alan and I had our morning coffee together, I would just say, " let the day happen, no need for a specific plan, God has it all figured out already". How would you like to live everyday like that? No plans, just faith! No agenda, just faith. No complicated iron clad set of minute by minute details of every step. I LOVE THIS LIFE!!! It suits my personality perfectly. Because in ministry, everything changes, every day, every moment. God has a whole lot of appointments for us to keep, but He doesn't let us know until it's time. lest we mess up His Divine appointments with our own plans. Yesterday was no exception. Paula and Lynnea went to the school to register kids and Alan, Roy and I drove around meeting families needing houses, some already have foundations poured and are ready to go. While looking at one one lot, a young man ran up and asked if we could pray for his Dad, He said he was very sick. We drove down to the house, where at least 10 people are living, and saw some young men lifting another man out of bed and into a wheel chair. The man was obviously partially paralyzed. His name is Mario and His wife's name is Ana. Mario had part of his skull removed at a hospital in the State of Vera Cruz about 8 hours south of here. They removed part of his skull to take the pressure off his brain from a growing tumor which is quite visible. Ana said the doctors have given a 0 percent chance of recovery and there is no hope. I just looked at her and him and said Jesus is their only hope!! Tears filled her eyes knowing that unless God performs a miracle, shes going to loose her husband and the father to their children. Carmelo, Roy, Alan and I got down on our knees and prayed, looking for God to cure this Man, expecting God to cure this man, knowing God can cure this man, and yet wondering IF God would cure this Man. One amazing thing, is that Mario has no pain and we prayed that would continue while God heals him. I asked Ana and her family to fast for a day and pray for that Miracle. Last night a man named Rogelio or Roy came to get some beans and rice for Mexico. He has this huge skin grafted chin. He showed me pictures of himself a few years ago with a giant tumor growing out of his mouth, and I mean the kind you just see on t.v. The doctors gave him no hope either. Roy knows the colonia we work in and is going to visit Mario and pray for him this week. I told him He has an anointing for praying for people with tumors. So on a lighter side, Caleb starts school today and Mimi goes into third grade. My grandchildren are growing up fast. A beautiful, but slightly over the top 5th birthday party for Talita in the colonia Saturday. A great time to re- connect with a lot of people from the colonia that were there. Priorities in Mexico is family
Mimi and Kaleb's first day of school 
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One thing I have discovered over the last several years is that giving is indeed the greatest joy that God has given us with our ministry here in Texas and Mexico to the poor. But for the last several weeks, we have been graced with the gift of receiving. So many people gave of their resources to equip our ministry with the funds to bless a multitude of people, and we are so grateful for every gift sown into Gods Kingdom to help the poor. So we have learned the Joy of giving and that is preempted by the Joy of receiving so that we can give. It's not really us giving, it's YOU giving through us to help those in need. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU  for the generous gifts. It is so good to be home and yesterday we went to the colonia and spent the day stopping at several peoples houses and seeing how they were all doing. It was such a joy to see Caleb, Mimi, Carmelo and Ruth and to just hug them. Caleb even gave me a kiss, which is very hard to get him to do. Carmelo finished the two bathroom/ showers and they are awesome, all tiled, painted, and ready to use. We have the resources to build a few houses, and Alan is eager to get started, but it's over 100 degrees here and I'm not so eager, so we'll start by building some much needed benches for another ministry in the colonia, and work our way up to a house. We bought hundreds of spiral notebooks yesterday to go in the 150 backpacks we bought and we'll get pens and pencils as well. Richard and Wendy kept the place in perfect order while we were gone and the warehouse is running low on rice and beans, so I'll be ordering a truck load of each in the near future. Thanks for all the prayers for us as we traveled God heard and answered! I promise, Paula will get a few of the great photos of our trip on here in the next day or two, there is so much to do when you've been gone for 6 weeks to get caught up.


As I write this, we are only 450 miles from home.Another night in a  KOA campground where Paula, Alan, Lynnea and I can enjoy a hot shower and a good nights sleep with the R.V. sitting still. What a wonderful trip we have had. Over 3500 miles in six days, 7 national parks and some of the most spectacular scenery along the way. We started by visiting Joe and Barb Warner for a few days in Onida South Dakota. Dow and Cindy Warner were there as well as they were saying goodbye to family for a year stint in China teaching English. We walked the fields of pinto beans Joe and Barb are growing and pulled a few tares growing in with the beans. The wheat fields were golden and ready for harvest and we rode in the combine for a few passes. Tuesday we left Joe and Barbs and headed for the Badlands National Park. A stop at Wall Drug, followed by a visit to Mount Rushmore Wow! We ran into several people from our church in Illinois at the Park, Divine connection? We took several photos and met them for supper in Custer South Dakota. We had some great laughs at dinner and thanks Rick and Sue for blessing us with a great elk tenderloin meal. I gave all the guys a Cuban cigar before they roared into the night aboard their Harleys. I have to admit, I was a little jealous as they drove away. We drove through the night and toured all of Yellowstone National Park in one day. We missed a few sights but saw the majors. We slept in Jackson Hole and awoke to the majesty of the Grand Teton Mountain Range, my all time favorite Park. Did I mention the fact that in Yellowstone I pulled into a camp ground to try and find a spot to camp, only to be caught in a really small area with only my blind side to back out into, and I jackknifed Alans trailer into the R.V. and did a little damage? Well I did! Big Bummer. Out of Jackson Hole and through Wyoming and into Colorado. Half way up the mountains outside of Denver to a Campground way way up in the mountains and up very steep terrain. I lost my Salvation for a little while, as the stress on me and the R.V. s motor got the better of me. Our daughter Kelley drove from her place to where we were and we shared a pizza and a few laughs over my issues that evening. Praise God the ole R.V. was up for all the abuse we have thrown at her this week and Praise God Paula, Alan and Lynnea forgave my fleshey attitude and godless chatter. Friday morning we headed down toward Denver and headed for Pikes Peak, only this time we took the train to the summit and not the R.V. 30 degrees on top and some spectacular views on the ride up as well as on the summit, when the clouds would afford us a small peak at the mountains. Many Many things crossed off of the bucket list this week for all of us. Thanks for the prayers as we travel and we are so looking forward to getting back to our REAL LIFE as missionaries.   Paula will post photos when we get home or you can see some on her facebook page.