Friday was a fun day for the women in Mexico. Six women from Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, TX planned a tea party for the women in the colonia. It was held in Bruce and Paula's home in MX. There were about thirty women waiting for us when we arrived. They were so excited they came an hour early. There were fifty women who attended. We were all in a 12 X 30 room, for some it was standing room only. It was a morning of laughter with the games, women sharing some funny stories, time of decorating cupcakes, listening to a devotion and having a lunch of sandwiches, chips, fruit, vegetables and cookies. Everyone enjoyed their fun day. I enjoy seeing their eyes sparkle when they laugh. When it was all over we started bringing out all the dirty dishes. Two of the women, Rosa and Noamie insisted on washing and drying all the dishes. The ladies from Calvary were able to talk with the women in the colonia and show more love. We hope to have another party again in the future. There was a two hour wait at the US border so it ended up being a long day.
A pastor came for another 2,000 pound tote bag full of beans to take to the flood victims in southern central MX. That makes 8,000 pounds taken down there. The need is great. The warehouse is getting empty so we need to get more beans that are being stored in Waco.
We had our monthly dispensa Saturday. There were 168 families that got their usual beans, rice, and oil along with a few extras like canned tomatoes, canned hominy, fresh tomatoes, baby food and bread. Their bags were very full. Thank you God for supplying so much. Next month we will be trying something new. Now that Carmello has school all day on Saturdays there is a big void and more work falls on Ruthie. We decided that we will spend the night down in MX and begin setting up the night before. People started showing up at 5:45 for the 8:00 sign up. We were so busy we only got one picture.
There is a big need for diapers. It must have been a cold winter because there are a lot of newborn babies. One of the men asked us to price diapers in the US because they are very expensive in MX. Paula and I went shopping and returned with over 300 diapers at a very good price. Many families will be blessed. I am sure we will be shopping for diapers again.
It is such a joy to love our neighbors as God loves us. Thank you to many people that allow us to do this.
This week Alan and I drove to Reynosa every morning, picked our tools, building supplies and Carmelo and Eliazar and headed 30 miles East to build a house for Margerita. She lost her house to a fire a few months back, and her son built the cement block walls in September. We just haven't had the time, money or opportunity to build it. I thought we would wait until we had a team, but we had to at least get the rafters and roof on for her, and we did. A few doors to put in and the windows are ordered, so it should be really really be finished as soon as the windows arrive. We continue to give out beans and rice at a record rate, and the word is that many of them are heading south to the flood ravaged areas of Mexico where people are still suffering. Pray for their needs to be met, pray for revival in Mx, pray without ceasing!!!
Pastor Victor came to us several weeks ago sharing about a family desperately needing a house. A Christian family that loves God and loves people. Upon visiting their makeshift house on a foundation of a house we built seven years ago, we saw the need to do something. The previous owners had sold the lot, but moved the house off of the foundation to another colonia. Miguel, Anna Lydia and their daughter Dyla lived with a leaking roof, walls and the constant threat of collapse. Yesterday Miguel carried his wife over the threshold of their new house amidst a big celebration with several friends and family members. Again, we could not have built this house without the generous support of people that truly care meeting the needs of others above their own personal comfort. It is all for the Glory of God and we shared that with those in attendance. The family was in tears as they shared about leaving a colonia with electricity and water to come to Nopelera with neither electricity and limited water. It's all part of Gods plan for their lives and they know it. I also visited Leo, the man that lost his wife last week to what we believe was Denge Fever or yellow fever as we would know it. We need to get mosquito nets for every family, because it is most likely spread by them. Another great week in the continuing story of changed lives changing lives. Thank you for your support and generosity that makes it all possible.
Last week we built a house with Hulls Grove Baptist Church. It was one of the best times, when the entire family gathered for the dedication which led to several people accepting Christ and even more people getting baptized in the canal under the bridge. A family celebration indeed. Inocencios brother Leo was there along with his wife Delphina. We had built Leo, Delphina and their four little girls a house last year and we saw God bring them into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Tragedy has struck! Delphina died on Thursday when overcome by a very high fever, that resulted in heart failure. We are so grieved by this turn of events in such a young family. Delphina was only 28 years young and their girls age from 11 to 6. Paula and Lynnea stayed home yesterday, which was probably for the best, Paula does not do wakes very well. Alan and I worked all day cutting wood for Mondays house and Leo and some family members stopped by and I was able to read some comforting passages from the bible and encouraged him to stay close to the Lord through this time of grieving and receive strength from the Holy Spirit. 2nd Corinthians and Ephesians came to mind as a few of the multitude of scriptures we can draw on for comfort. On our way out of the colonia, we stopped by their house where they were having the wake, and paid our respects. Please pray for Leo and his 4 girls Esmerelda, Alexandra, Arele and Karen, they are going to be grieving for quite some time I'm sure.
We all worked hard Saturday and Sunday to get the frame for our solar panels built, install the panels and get the entire system up and running by Sunday evening. Scott had been here all week doing other projects before he came to set up the solar system he designed for our house, to provide electricity for us and our neighbors. It is a very large system, capable of providing us all the juice we need tp run everything from a fridge to fans and power tools as well. Our house and Carmelo and Ruths house was wired by the Carpenters Crew a few years ago and we have been using our propane generator for light and power, but now we have the sun and have harnessed its' power. Solar power is not cheap to set up, but we should save at least $150.00 a month, so it will take at least two years to recover the initial cost. So 4 families divided by 4K and that is really not to bad, except all of the costs are not shared but provided by our ministry to the Glory of God. Materials being delivered today for yet another house in the colonia and we still need to finish the house in Progresso when the funds are provided. Gotta go, the girls teach a sewing class at 11 and the men are getting together for a bible study as well. Thanks for your support!!!! God Bless
It has been several days since I have personally posted on this page, although a few people from Hulls Grove Baptist Church shared some of their thoughts. It's not because I didn't have anything to say, oh contra, there is to much to say and I didn't know how to shrink it into a few paragraphs. The team of eleven arrived last Sunday night and we headed to Mx, met the family, prayed with them and started building the house and God started building His Kingdom. It only took two days to build the house, thanks to Carmelo, Eliazar, Arturo and of course Inosensios' family and his uncle Carmelo. Wednesday morning we cooked 250 hot dogs before we went to Mx to give to all who would come in the afternoon. We had backpacks, school supplies and the team brought bibles and health kits for everyone as well. It was shaping up to be a great day with everything WE had planned. BUT GOD, was moving in the hearts of many people as we dedicated the house. Inocensio,his wife Sylvia, their 17 year old daughter Joanna, their other daughter Zuchil who is 8 and Uncle Carmelo all accepted Christ as Victor gave his testimony, Bobby shared the Gospel, and several of us also shared about Gods Love for them. Before long we all prayed and the whole family changed their eternal destination right before our eyes. The subject of Baptism came up and they all expressed a desire to get baptized that day. Nick was a member of the team from Hulls Grove Baptist and said that he hadn't been baptized since becoming a believer 2 years ago so we said, " why wait, today is the day to obey". So he said " LETS GO". While stopping at our house to pick up the food for the colonia, Arturo stopped me and expressed a desire to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior. We prayed right then and there and we told him we going down to the canal to baptize 6 people and He was welcome to join us. He agreed and while down by the canal, his "wife" Carla was weeping as Arturo was getting baptized because she had been away from God for years and to see Arturo accept Christ and get baptized, she was ready to re- commit her life to follow Jesus and we baptized her as well. We had been sharing with both of them for years, in fact they live in the little shack on our lot and have for a few years. So is it worth it to invest your life and Gods resources in a squatter dump with people living under the oppression of poverty and the lack of the things we enjoy in America? Paula, Lynnea, Alan and I would shout a resounding YES after such a great day. In fact we shout a resounding YES every day, because we know, that we know, that we are all exactly where God wants us to be, and God rewards faithfulness!!! How about you? Are you where God wants you, doing what God wants you to do? Don't delay the call on your life, we don't have to much time left. Deny yourself and pick up the cross that Christ is asking you to carry, death to yourself is the only answer that will bring meaning and purpose to your life.