So I'm thinking that most people take it easy the day after Christmas. Not so with us. Paula and I got up at 5:30 am and headed back to the colonia for our annual Christmas Outreach. We had a friend bring us 7 cakes last night to share with the people today. People were already at the Community Center at 6:30 when we arrived. They helped me set up chairs and Paula started slicing the cakes. Carmelo and Ruth made all 30 gallons of hot chocolate to go along with the 400 pieces of Mexican Sweet Bread we had ordered from a local bakery in Mx. The clothes were all lines up on the tables with care, and the smell of hot chocolate filled the air. The presents were piled up around the tree, and the children were sneaking around to see what they could see.
    When Jaime arrived we started singing some songs as we waited for David and Luzma to continue with some more songs.. Carmelo was busy taking everyone's name and giving them a number for they drawing we were going to have for some blankets. All told, we gave out 150 soccer balls, 100 girly dolls, 75 backpacks filled with toys, 100 bottles of shampoo and body wash, tooth brushes and paste,2000 pounds of beans and rice, 185 liters of cooking oil, shoes, clothes, and the 40 blankets we held a drawing for. WHAT A GREAT DAY WE HAD!!!!
     The way we choose to "spend " our Christmas Season is buying all these presents for families that don't "do" Christmas like we do in America. Today's gifts might have been the only gift they got for Christmas, I don't really know, but I do know that they heard about the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, coming down to this stinking, sin soaked, God rejecting world, to pour out His Love on all humanity. What an Awesome God. 24 Bibles we also taken by the people today, and when it was all over, and the people were all gone, we walked away feeling so blessed to be able to minister to the needs of those that God has entrusted to our care.
    Oh and just a note, we had Christmas dinner at the Mathews house, outside, on the patio and it was 87 degrees.


   Saturday night the Adams Family  arrived to another one of Paulas fabulous meals.  Curtis and Brandy  brought their family,  Nathan,  Nivaeh and Abby. They stopped  along the way and picked up Curtiss brother Cary, his wife Yolanda  and their kids, Grace,  Cruz, and Sophia. Sunday morning we loaded up the truck and their van with toys, food and backpacks  and headed to church in Mexico.           We attended Gracia Abundante Curch in Reynosa. A great message on spending your life unselfishly. We arrived at the colonia and started loading more toys, soccer balls,  benches, sound equipment,  bibles, and beans and rice  to be given to all the families that come. Gator Carter from Big Heart Orphanage  brought a team from Alabama that was serving at the orphanage.  They cooked the 300 hot dogs we gave them the other day. We spent the rest of the day across the canal where at least 150 people came. The Adams Family  did a skit presenting the Gospel, George Bladey came with us and gave his testimony.  We sang some songs, gave out all the hot dogs, and then the kids lined up for the toys. What a great day  that terminated at Pastor Antonios church where they prepared pork chops, tamales and fed all that came. Thanks to everyone that came to be a blessing and make it a great Christmas for the kids.


   Last week our daughter Kristin called to announce her engagement to Larry Panatera. Her and Larry are expecting our first grandchild in February and plan to be married before years end. We couldn't be happier for them. Larry has three other girls and when Lea is born he will be totally surrounded by Girl Power. We pray for Gods blessings upon them and their life and marriage.
   Joe Warner Farms had one of the several loads of beans ready for shipment from South Dakota, and Louis Davenport from Power Ministries volunteered to drive from Idaho to S.D. and pick up a load and bring it to us. He arrived Sunday afternoon, and we spent the afternoon unloading the 22 skids of beans from his truck. The warehouse is completely full, and I made a few calls to different ministries to come and get some beans and rice. The blessings we receive, have to be sowed back into the Kingdom as soon as we get them. The demands are bigger than ever and God has blessed us for such a time as this.
    We have spent the last few days buying up even more soccer balls and toys for the kids in Mexico. I think we have 150 soccer balls, one hundred dolls, and another ministry is bringing us several hundred more gifts to hand out, not to mention the 500 beanie babies, and 300 school gift packs that are coming from Chicago. The Crew from Western Illinois is coming on Jan 4th and they will have scores of shoe boxes stuffed with gifts for the kids as well.
    So if your feeling stressed out about all the shopping you have to do for people that really don't need anything, try buying toys and gifts for people you don't know, and have needs. Maybe a box full of groceries for the family down the street with an out of work dad, or the single mom that will most likely go deeper into debt to make Christmas special for her kids. A warm jacket and gloves for the homeless guy under a bridge, or standing on the street corner with a sign needing help.
   We plan on spending the weekend in Mexico with the Adams Family, no not that Adams Family, the real Adams Family from Kentucky. They are coming for just a few days to "spend Themselves on behalf of the poor. A toy and food outreach on Sunday and then they will be gone. Sacrificing time talents and money. It's what the bible calls offering yourself up as a living sacrifice.

So Joanna calls me last week and asks me to get Scott to come over to our house across town on a Friday night so she can set up the Surprise party for him. The only way I could think of to get him over is to order some tires from him. So I ordered tires for my big truck and for one of the vans. I didn't really need them yet, but I will one day. Scott came and also helped me unload all the donations we brought back from Chicago, Oklahoma and Texas. The surprise was a huge success.And we enjoyed the evening with His family and friends. Scott and Joanna called me yesterday while we were in Mexico and told me they had purchased another 70 soccer balls for us.
    With our Christmas toy outreach in Mexico next Sunday, Thanks to Curtis and Brandy Adams from Ky. We needed to get more toys and soccer balls, so Paula bought all the ball that two local Walmart's had, and filled her little car with 70 balls and 100 bottles of shampoo. We took them to Mexico yesterday and we stopped at the border to claim them and pay whatever tax we needed to pay, and the man came over and looked at all the balls in the truck and asked what we doing with so many soccer balls and we told him that we were giving them to poor children that probably won't get a present at Christmas. He told us to go ahead without paying any tax. Thank You Lord for Favor!!
     As Paula and her sewing class were cleaning the Community Center yesterday, I loaded up some plywood to take it to Jorges house so he could paint it. I dropped it off and turned to head back to our place when the Holy Spirit told me to turn around and go visit Elio and Maria and see how she was feeling, after I took her to the doctor the other day with some stomach pains. Well the stomach pains turned out to be birth pains and they have a precious little girl. They didn't have a crib or bassinet, or nothing to put the baby in, so I drove back to our place and picked up a crib we had, and the girls from the sewing class dug through their quilts to find a perfect one for the baby. So I took them the crib and the blankets and they had already cleared a spot for the crib. I should have taken a picture of that room. Two beds, side by side and the crib filled the whole room. The kids that sleep on the back bed, have to walk over the front bed. Soon they will have a new house. I asked the name of the baby and they didn't pick one yet. So I suggested Paula, Martina. After me and Paula. They kinda like it, so the full name will be Paula, Martina, Torres Sanchez.
     I stopped and visited three other families  before I headed back to the Community Center. So Many needs out there and eventually Lord willing, we will get them all in a warm dry house.
    There's a real good chance we won't get Christmas cards out in the mail, but we might get a few. If you don't get one from us, don't be offended, rejoice that we are so busy chasing after Jesus and what he's called us to do, we don't have time to do anything else. Thanks for your prayers, support, and most of all understanding.



   Wednesday Paula and I attended a memorial service for the Father a friend and faithful supporter of our ministry. A few stories were told of how he lived his life. He got saved in college where he met his wife. At Olivet in Kankakee Il. They raised their family to know and love God. But Harold loved to go to Mexico and share the Love of Christ with the people there. Many many trips to the interior of Mexico hundreds of miles from home just to share Christ. So how will Harold be remembered?  BY WHAT WAS DONE FOR CHRIST, PERIOD!!! I didn't know Harold, but I know his son, and his son is the representation of his Father. Hmm, I believe Jesus was the exact representation of His Father according to the book of Colossians.

      Last Sat on our first visit back to the colonia, we stopped by a house dedication that Roy and Rebecca were doing with a group from Ft. Worth Tx. They come for just a couple of days and build a house. Trying to get caught up with everyone is hard to do in just an afternoon. There was Andreas new baby Violet, that needed some of Paulas attention. The first time Grandparents are David and Luzma. Many of you know them, they lead us in worship at the house dedications. They are all very excited as Paula and I are with the soon arrival of our first Grandchild Lea in February.
     Larry asked our daughter Kristin to marry him this week. Yeah. We were hoping they would tie the knot while we were in town last month, but there was a lot going on with Thanksgiving and the Baby Shower. So please pray for them as they have start their lives together and for Lea as well. We pray for grace from our supporters that we will be free to travel a little more frequently to Chicago and visit our grandchild. The sacrifice of family is one of the hardest things we endure in the Mission field. We get to see all the posts and hear all the news of how being a grandparent is the best thing ever. God will indeed provide us the opportunity to be involved in Lea's life.
     We stopped by Elio and Marias house where their new foundation is done and ready to be built on. I delivered the wood yesterday to their house and another, and while there, Maria was having some birth pains, so I drove them to the doctors office. She is due anytime now.
     We spent the last couple night is Mexico and Paula had Carmelo, Ruthy, Caleb, Mimi and I help decorate our house for Christmas. The girls from the sewing class helped decorate the Community Center yesterday, and next week they will help wrap the hundreds of gifts we have for the children that the Adams family had us purchase with the donation they made and will come on the 20th of Dec. to help us give them all out.


What a wonderful time with family and friends we had. Seeing our daughter Kristin with a baby bump is without question a delight.  After spending a few days with Kris, we headed downtown last Wednesday to help serve 200 homeless people Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving day was nothing short of awesome. Great food and family members too. Saturday we drove back to Blandinsville to watch Roy and Carla Day give their daughter Kaylee  away to Crayton. Great to see everyone there. Headed back to Chicago that night went to Moraine Valley Church Sunday morning,  for another great time of Worship and the Word. Sunday afternoon was the big event, Kristins Baby Shower at Silver Lakes  Country Club. A beautiful room with all the decorations and the food was great as well.  60 some people came to celebrate the soon arrival of Lea. We can't wait, so we'll be back to Chicago in February.