As we drove through the colonia the other day, we came across Zochill and her 16 month old baby Octavio. They waved us over and asked for some help. With what we asked? EVERYTHING, ANYTHING she cried. We went into their borrowed house and found an old flat mattress on top of two pallets, 3 skimpy blankets, and a dozen eggs. THATS IT!!! When Jesus looks upon the people, He has compassion and so must we, IF we are His Disciples. Carmelo, and I were moved and knew we had to something, Now! we were way at the far end of the colonia, so I thought we could ask people to help this lady with some blankets to keep warm at night. They had to be freezing the last few nights as temps were in the 40's. 4 neighbors stepped up and gave us 5 blankets, I bought some milk for the baby, and Gave Zochill gift cards for the grocery store in town. We headed back home and I left for the States. Carmelo and Ruth loaded up more stuff for this family, ie A new bed, a stove, more food,and some pots and pans. Friday Alfred, Carmelo and I took them more things for their house. Carmelo and Ruth gave them their old T.V. We met Her husband Octavio when we arrived and spent the next hour sharing the Gospel with him. We trust that He prayed to receive Christ that night. It was a real Divine Appt meeting these people.
     We dropped the siding off at the site where Carpenters Crew#2 will build next month. Jovani , Gladys and their two boys are excited to get the new rooms we will build for them. His brother Jaime and his wife are getting the other room addition on the back of the existing house of his Mom. So one addition in front and one addition in the back will give the whole family a little space. The Crew will also put rafters and roofing on another house just up the road as well as help with more water lines.
     Our daughter Kelly arrived in Chicago yesterday and now everyone is on Baby Watch 2016. I fly up Thursday and can't wait to see Kris, Kelly, Paula, Larry and of course Lea, when she arrives.
   Just got news that Amalia, a women in the colonia, died from her fight against cancer. She has been in the battle for a couple of years with limited treatment. She was a Christian and is home with Jesus.


    Last Sunday, I joined the Power Ministry for the day, which started with devotions at the Deportee Ministry called Sende Vida. This is where men and women end up after being deported from the U.S. or where some end up while trying to enter the U.S. Hector runs the facility that the Power Ministry has been supporting for years. They have done several building projects and the facility has been transformed from a dump to a place of refuge for so many. Hector shared about Gods Power to work all things out together for good and for His reconciling goodness bringing Hector and his estranged wife back together. I was able to share with the men for a couple of minuets before we headed to church.
    Once we arrived at Alianza Dome Church in Reynosa, we all sat together through the message before heading up on the stage where a few men gave Glory to God through their testimony. It was another awesome time with the Power Ministry. We had lunch at the church before heading to Childrens Haven Orphanage for a huge carnival for the entire community. There had to be a thousand people there, enjoying games, food, and many prizes. Ray, Cody, Brian and I were in charge of blowing up hundreds of soccer balls, and keeping the games supplied with gifts. Prefect weather and a perfect day ended with the entire Power Ministry team eating at the Golden Coral Buffet in Texas.
   Monday Alfred and I picked up a few skids of rice and over 600 bibles that Power donated to us, and after unloading the rice at our warehouse, we headed over to Mx. to meet the Power team at Gators Big Heart Orphanage for lunch. Giant Baked potatoes with steak, cheese and smoked chicken. It always seems to be about the food.
   Tuesday we headed to Mexico for Paulas final sewing class until Feb. 9th when she will return from Chicago to assist the Net Menders Ministry building the kitchen in the Community Center in Mx. During the class, Alfred and Gladys cleaned every inch of the Pantry in the Community Center, with the help of several kids.
   We got all of the year end donation statements in the mail, if you donated to the ministry and didn't get one let us know! Paula is in Chgo and I'll be heading there next week, to welcome our grandchild into this world, so she can return here on the 8th for the net menders group.


   Friday morning, Alfred and i headed across the border to buy food for the food outreach on Saturday. We went to Mi Tienda in Reynosa and filled one cart with 140 bags of sugar, and another cart with 140 bags of flour. I told the man at the store that we also needed two hundred juice boxes for the kids as well and he sent one of the employees to get that. We already bought the cooking oil last week and we had been bringing the beans and rice from home everyday. We got back to the colonia and unloaded everything, just as Carmelo and Ruth were finishing up cooking all the food for Calebs birthday party.
      The table was set and we were just about ready to sit down and eat when Lupita came running in crying and a little hysterical. I thought something had happened to her son, but she said there was a huge grass fire behind her nieces house and it was spreading fast. We ran down there and started hauling buckets of water to the fire, one after another while a couple of men were chopping a fire break line through the grass. The water that was stored in the drums was running low, so Carmelo and I ran back to the house and got my generator and a submersible water pump, two hoses and within an hour we had the fire out. It was dangerously close to the wood fence around  Pastor Victors Church that is built out of wood. Man what a workout!!! We soaked all the hot spots that were left smoldering and headed back to the Party.
    Calebs birthday party delay was over and we all ate a great meal followed by a tres leches cake. Carmelo hung a huge pinata from the rafters at the Community Center and all the kids took a wack at it, including me. It was stiffed with all kinds of candy. Paula bought Caleb a bike for his birthday, and Caleb was so excited to get that. We knew he was hoping for one for Christmas, so now God gave him the desire of his little heart.


    As I sit here and prepare the year end giving statements for last years taxes, I am completely blown away at how Great our God is. He uses so many people to bless so many more people, that in turn bless many more people. I think about the days when I would get up early, go to my job, and come home and go to bed to get up the next day and go to work and come home. The cycle continued every day for years, as we waited for our next missions trip to Reynosa to help the poor, build a house and "fast" from our ho hum life by helping others. Now we have been here almost 9 years. 170 houses have been built, millions of meals have been handed out, tons of prayers have been lifted up. 84 monthly food distributions have been held, thousands of bibles have been placed in the hands of hungry souls. AND IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF THE PARTNERS GOD HAS GIVEN US!!!!!

   Today we go to Mexico to celebrate Calebs 8th birthday. He lost his first tooth the other day. He is so special to us as is his entire family. Paula bought him a new bike. Gladys and Alfred are coming with us as well and have a special gift for him as well. Caleb was born a few months before we built our first house in the Colonia Nopalerea. Ruthy and Carmelo will have a huge feast ready for us today, I'm sure.
    The last few days have been busy, as the men and women that are down here for the winter have helped me and Paula tremendously. Alfred is installing a water heater and water lines in our house in Mx. while the women have been enjoying the sewing class. We poured the foundation for Jose and Josephina on Tuesday, the wood was delivered yesterday, and the family will get busy painting everything, even though the Carpenters Crew won't build it until the last week in Feb, after we return from our stay in Chicago to witness our first granddaughter Lea's birth, followed by a Marriage Retreat Cruise for 5 days, that some generous partners paid for, so we could get away for a time of refreshment. GRACIAS!!!!!!!



    I've posted pictures lately with no stories. Last week, Carmelo and the guys in the colonia built Jorges house. He has lived in the colonia over twenty years in one, if not the most, pathetic houses we had ever seen in Mexico. But that all changed last week, because of Gods generosity toward this fellow believer. The bible says to do good toward all men, but especially towards those who are of the household of faith. So it was a joy on Thursday to take Rick and Diane, Alford and Gladys, Bob and Charles over to partake in the dedication ceremony. While the girls held the weekly sewing class, us boys finished up wiring Jorges house and carried the beds and furnishings in before the women came down to decorate. Now I have to tell you how the provision was made for this house. Charles and Marge Krammer have been coming down to South Texas for years to winter, but a few years ago, His Brother in Law Bob asked him to come to Mexico and see what they spent their winters doing, and they were " HOOKED ON HELPING". The poor that is. So they have been generous partners and every year they would give us several thousand dollars toward the work of the ministry. Well their year end donation in 2015 paid for the house. Charles informed us all that He has cancer and the doctors only give him 6 months to a year to live, and many people encouraged him to go and get treatment this winter and fight this scourge on his body, but Charles wanted to come down to Texas from Iowa and serve the poor with what time he might have left. We in Christian Land, call that " storing up treasure in heaven to be used for the Glory of God, while alive to guarantee future return of investing in the Kingdom. So a great dedication prayer flowed from Charles lips, followed by Jorge throwing his arms up , praising and thanking God for the blessings.
    Yesterday the Power Ministry came to the Community Center to have their  daily devotion at our place, and let the men meet Paula and Me. We purchased a hundred pieces of Sweet bread and Paula made a hundred cups of coffee while I arranged the chairs and set up the sound system outside. The 5 leaders arrived a while before the team and they helped me load up the roofing that was in the way and needed to be taken to one of Powers works site on the other side of town. I had set up two guitars hoping that one of the 80 men that would be arriving soon would play along with me. I made 50 copies of several worship songs and lo and behold, Cody was in the lead team and He and I started playing together and we rehearsed a few songs and the 8 vans pulled up while we were playing. It was a great site to see them all file in, get a cup of coffee and a sweet roll, and settle in to have their devotion time. Cody and I and a few guys that could sing led the guys in two worship songs in English and of course Toy Doy Gloria in Espaniol and it was an great experience for me to be a part of that, so Thanks Power for coming and blessing my socks off.


   First off I would like to wish everyone a very Happy new Year! I don't know how you brought in the New Year, but Paula and I have been so blessed by hosting two special groups of people from Illinois. People choosing to lay down their lives for the benefit of others. We built and dedicated two houses since Dec. 31st. First the team from Moraine Valley Church built Miguel, Anna and Alejandra a home where we witnessed three people give their hearts to Christ. The next week, the team that we call Junkin 4 Jesus came and blessed Elio, Maria and their seven children with a house, new outhouse, and everything they would need to make their new house a home.
     Trying to sum up the last few weeks on this blog is almost impossible, but let me just say that indeed God has been glorified in the process. Such team unity, and love poured into the lives of the people in the Colonia, and the lives of those that came from afar. The presence of the Lord was evident as we got to connect with these two families. The times the younger adults shared with all the kids, the food and gift distribution, the pinata, the prayers of surrender to Christ, all made for another memorable outreach.
    The team worked especially hard to get the house built and dedicated in three days to allow me the freedom to get my eye operated on Thursday, when they could have continued to minister to the needs of the people in Mexico. Several people came to our house the morning of the surgery and " spent " themselves serving us by fixing our leaking roof, cleaning out and repairing the wall on the warehouse. They also did a lot of work at the facility they were all staying at. Servants in the most unselfish way.
    I had the surgery Thursday afternoon and while I laid on the surgical bed in the operating room, I asked the staff who would be praying before the operation? No one answered, so I told them all to bow their heads and I prayed for them, the surgeon, and the experimental procedure that they were performing that could one day help many other people. The next day on my post op exam, two of the women that witnessed the surgery made a comment about how lovely my prayer was and that was the first time anyone had been so bold to pray before the operation. So I guess thats why I'm going through this trail of my faith. To make Christ known and to make much of Him to the people at the eye institute.
    Carmelo and the boys in the colonia started building Jorges house the day after we all left. They almost have it finished and today We are taking them a couple of windows and a few other things to finish it up. More awesome servants in our midst!!!