Today we dedicated Filiberto and Carmen's house to the Lord. It's important to dedicate it to the Lord, otherwise, we can get judgemental about what happens if they move and sell it. It's thier house to do as they wish. We give it in the name of Jesus. I guess I say that because sometimes after we build a house the people use the only asset they own to get ahead in life and sometimes sell it.
The Carpenters Crew did a great job of building the house the last few days. We could have dedicated it yesterday, but we also had a medical outreach as well going on. 58 patients were seen, health kits given out and 20 professions of faith in Christ were voiced. A great day indeed followed by a fish fry back at New Life.
We lost a few workers yesterday, as they headed back to Iowa to attend the funeral of Charles Kramer who passed away on Tuesday. Charles and his wife Marge have been coming to build a house in Mexico every year for the last few years. He lost the battle to cancer but won the good fight of faith. Charles was here a few weeks ago to build another house and was feeling that he needed to go back to Iowa because his time on this side of heaven was short and didn't want to burden the family in case he passed away while in Texas. We will miss him, and his last legacy will be continuing to fund our work in Mexico even after his passing. Thank you Charles and Marge for making the world a better place.


We didn't get a late start, but not an early one either. But we got done what we always do, 4 walls up and the loft installed. Back in the US by 5pm.


   It seems like yesterday that we said goodbye to one group and starting today,the Carpenters Crew  (mature) group will be starting to build a house in Mexico. While Paula and I were busy all week, building a different house in another colonia, this week snuck up on us. So we'll be building a house for Fernando, Carmen and thier 3 kids. They are so excited for this huge Blessing.
    We spent yesterday morning with the Power Ministry at Sende Vida Ministry joining them for thier daily devotional  Afterwards we attended Melody Orphanage Church service and luncheon.
    We managed to get all of the year end donation statements out. Somehow I know that I don't have to hand write every address. It's above my pay grade to know how to do that. However while looking through the database and retrieving your addresses we were able to take the time and pray for all of our supporters and write a personal note on each statement, which is much better than just printing them out in preparation. Any how we appreciate all of our prayer and financial partners.


   Yesterday a youth Pastor named Brett brought three of his students down for a "scout out trip" for a summer missions trip here this year. They are from Naples Florida and were visiting a Retired Pastor from thier church, who now lives in San Antonio. They drove down Sunday night and Monday we spent the day on Reynosa Mexico.  We delivered Wood to the house we are building that burnt down in Colonia Juarez 5. We brought beans, rice and oil and had a small food outreach there. Brett, Angela and Laney played with the kids there. We then visited the Power Ministry work site, ate tacos, went back to the Colonia, dedicated the house the guys built, toured the colonia, stopped by the Community Center, then visited Big Heart Orphanage, showed the team around, ate enchiladas and then headed home. Whew, what a full day!!!! The team loved every minute of the day and booked thier week in July/August. Brett had met us 9 years ago and always had the desire to bring a team here to build a house. God gives you the desires of your heart if you just trust Him and wait!!!!
   Those guys left to go back to Florida, and Rick Caywood  pulled into the yard with 12 skids of pinto beans, 3 skids of corn, and two skids of bottled water. We waited until this morning to unload the truck because we had to meet the Power Ministry for supper at Rudy's Barbecue. So great to see the guys, many of whom we have gotten to know over the years. Marty asked me where my van was, an proceeded to fill it with new printed the shirts and soccer jerseys.  These guys are awesome and love serving the people in Mexico and us missionaries along the border.
   We unloaded Rick's truck this morning and Rick wanted to spend the day with us, so off we went to Mexico.  We went to Melody Orphanage first and gave Rick the tour, had coffee and sweet bread with Jaime and then Monserate came to see us. Love that kid! We finally got to the colonia and the girls in the sewing class were having thier Bible study, so we took the tour of the colonia, came home picked up a bunch of toys from another missionary and are supper courtesy of Rocket Rick Caywood.


   When the group packed up and left last week, we thought there would be a little rest before the next team arrives on the 22nd. But God always has something else to do. Hector from Sende Vida Ministry called me and told me about 6 families that lost thiers homessage in a fire. On our way Monday to check out the situation and see if we could help, we ran across the Power Ministry prep team working in the same colonia. We stopped and greeted the guys and took a few photos.
   We continued to the street where the houses burned down and met the one family.  Being as busy as we are, I couldn't guarantee any help, but knew we had to do something. Jose said he knew how to build concrete block walls, so I bought all the materials and Hector brought 18 guys the next day to help build it. GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES!!! I'll take the wood over Monday to start on the roof trusses, and we should be done by Thursday.
   Johnny, Andreas and Eleazar are building a house in Flora De Mayo all by themselves this week as well. They should be done by Tuesday., and can help me on the other house.
   Paula had several ladies from the US join her sewing class Thursday and brought gift bags for all the ladies in Paula's sewing class, and some great food for lunch.
   Sergio and I went to Sams Club in Mexico and bought lots of food for our next outreach and called Gator and Jaime to come and get food for thier orphanages.
  Today I played golf with four other missionaries that serve in Mexico.  We then attended Neal Dorschs 91st birthday party.  Neal and his late wife have been serving the Lord for decades, supporting missions with all they have.
   Year end giving statements will be going out soon and we are so

grateful for all the prayers and support we receive from you. We're trusting God to do even more this year.


   Six days of non stop service, leaves one in awe off all that God has done. When I don't post on the blog, and we have a group like we just had, and done all they have done, there's to much to say.  They built a house, and an outhouse, for Cruz and his family, led them all to Faith in Christ on dedication day. A great day indeed.
   Yesterday we visited two orphanages, Melody, and Casa Mami, stopped at the house they built and had an emotional goodbye along with a Spirit led footballing, and was that ever powerful.
    We joined another team in the colonia and grilled over 400 hot dogs for the people in the colonia. Today is Kings Day in Mexico  and our monthly food outreach was changed to today to celebrate with the colonia.  We have gift boxes for all the kids that were put together by several churches in Stronghurst,Illinois. The temperature has dropped 25 degrees since yesterday and will be freezing over in the colonia. We have hundreds of coats and blankets to give out.


    As we closed out 2016, spending Christmas with family in Illinois and returning just before New Year's event, we take this time to thank everyone for making 2016 a great year for ministry. More houses built, more food distributed, more lives changed.
   A highlight was the birth of Lea, our first grandchild, and what a joy to spend her first Christmas with her. A week of joy. Many smiles, and laughs from her precious face.
    Mark Peterson group arrived over the past few days and now they are in Mexico at Big Heart Orphanage.  We'll join them everyday and look for to a great week of ministry.