We arrived home Friday afternoon from our 10 day missions trip to Chiapas for Christmas. 5 great outreaches in 5 different cities. We spent Saturday running errands , doing laundry, opening a pile of mail, and then repacking for another trip to Big Heart Orphanage in the mountains near Saltillo. Mark Peterson brought a group from several different states to build Gator an office. So we spent Christmas in Chiapas ,and now wish you a Happy New Year to you from the Mexican State of Coahuila.
  Thanks for the year end gifts to the ministry, we really appreciate it. We loved all the beautiful Christmas cards we got. We trust 2019 will be a great one as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord. Ministry looks different from past years, group cancellations amidst the ongoing violence along the border. We heard of several incidents that happened today in Reynosa. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Reynosa. See y'all next year, Lord willing.


  Our Christmas morning was an early wake up to drive even farther into the mountains in Chiapas. 3 hrs later we arrived in a town i can neither pronounce or spell. The team from JOB was already doing their drama and evangelism program to 300 kids. We had to get cooking on the hot dogs.
  The doctors, dentist, and hair cutters were already busy. The team started handing out hot dogs and juice and then the backpacks. You should have seen their faces as they opened their gifts. Probably the only gift they got.
  As we prepared the food bags for the women, I realized we didn't have enough. Phil and I made the hike straight up a steep road to a store and bought what we needed. We took a three wheel taxi back down the hill and the kids at the store followed us to get some toys.
  We drive back to San Cristobol De Las Casa for the night and headed down the mountain to Tuxtla Guitierez. We stopped at a famous canyon boat ride into the canyon. Well worth the 2 hr wait. Today the girls and Matthew went downtown while Phil and I went to the only golf club in town. A member had to guest us and the only connection we had was the guy we bought all the candy from Last week. #divineconnections.
  We fly out early tomorrow morning and should be home by 2pm. Thanks for all the prayers and support for this trip. Buying toys for 2000 kids, and all the food, hotels, air fare, and all the expenses involved,ain't cheep, but God provides.


  The last 5 days in Chiapas have been a blessing to us and the many people we have been serving. Today was by far the most challenging,  only because of rain and muddy roads. The men, women and children still came to what turned out to be great event, in spite of the weather.
  Everything was a little slower because of the rain, but the doctors and dentists still saw everyone.  The children all got toys for Christmas, over 300 hot dogs were made, we got the vehicles out of the mud, the Gospel was preached, lives were changed. We even managed to have Christmas tonight with the 18 people we've been traveling with all week. We each drew a name and got a little something for each. We sang a few songs, prayed over Paula's health and now are trying to get to sleep amidst all the fireworks going off.
  We're so blessed to have a family back in the U.S. that understands our calling to serve the poorest of the poor in Mexico.
  We've fallen in love with the people we serve and serve along side off.


  Every morning we drive 2 to 3 hours into remote villages that speak the Tzotzil language.  What a precious culture.

 Prayers for continued success on our mission.



  Kristin, Lea and Kelly flew down from Chicago on Frontier Airlines non stop direct flights to Harlingen. What a joy to have them around for a few days. Lea is getting so big, and her vocabulary is expanding beyond her years.
  We went to the city of Hidalgos light festival. No matter how many times you go it's still beautiful. A ride on the Ferris wheel made for some great views. Thursday was Padre Island day. Nice and warm before 50 mile per hour winds came.
  Friday Kelly and I went to Mexico just in time for lunch at the Community Center with all the girls from the sewing class for a big party. Sara and Lori flew in from North Carolina to join the party.
  Saturday we opened presents before going shopping at the outlet mall in Mercedes. 11 years here, first time to the mall. The girls bought Paula and I shoes and I got some skinny
    Its hard dropping them at the airport after only a,few days . Sunday we were commissioned and prayed for at church as we ready to leave for Chiapas Mexico to bring Christmas and Salvation to the mountain communities in that area. It was the first time in 11 years attending our church that our work in Mexico was acknowledged before the congregation. One man gave us a sizable check after the service.
  Tomorrow we leave on our missions trip , so please pray that God would be glorified in the work he has for us there.
  Thanks for all the cards and donations that have come in lately. I started operating in doubt and cancelled our cable because of lower than normal finances. Oh ye of little faith. We're going to try to live without it.


  Getting to the place of giving away 10 % of our liquid assets to help those in need, is off to a great start. Paula and I drove to Saltillo Monday morning with 125 soccer balls, 104 blankets, 200 hot dogs , bibles and some dolls. We arrived at Big Heart Orphanage in the mountains near Saltillo , cooked the hot dogs and headed to the Paper City in Saltillo .
  We were welcomed by a few children and before long, we had hundreds of people lined up. Paula shared the Gospel and prayed and the food was handed out , then they moved over to get a soccer ball, or a doll, and a blanket for each adult. We ran out of everything before we ran out of people. 52 bibles were given out as well.
   The houses these precious people live in are some of the worst we've seen. We're going back after our Chiapas trip to meet the community leaders and pastors. Such great need there. Now that we've been there, we're responsible to do something .
   Sunday we had our Sunday school class Christmas party at Scott and Joanna. We took Melodys Orphanage as our Christmas project. Everyone brought gifts for the kids in the orphanage as well as Jaime, Rosa and their kids. 
  Our kids arrive today Yeah!!!!


  Friday night we attended our churches annual Christmas musical. Orchestra,  Drama, Scripture reading, and Glorious songs of the season. The theme was is there room in your heart for the King? It was a time of preparing our heart for Christmas .
   I'm like most people, stressing about all we need to do. But I've found the best way to release the stress is through generosity.  God gave us Jesus. The best he had to offer. We bought 125 soccer balls, and today I'm going to buy 100 blankets to take to the "Paper City" in Saltillo. A community of cardboard houses.
  Today we have our Sunday school class Christmas party. We've chosen to bless Melodys Orphanage in Reynosa. Every child will be getting gifts. Jaime and his family are coming over to meet our class and receive the gifts. Paula and I had lunch at the orphanage yesterday for lunch. I asked Jaime what the orphanage could use for all to enjoy. A pool table, foose ball table, ping pong, a big flat screen tv, we're the things he mentioned. We'll get them one of them.
  Giving is God's way of receiving.  Be generous with your money. My Christmas challenge, take a look at how much money you have. I mean the money you could access at any time. Not your IRA, or retirement money. Just your liquid assets. Now pray and give 10% away.
  Is there room in your wallet for the King?


  Friday's dedication was of no fanfare. No group, no music, no pastor present, just Paula, Andres, his wife Goyita, their daughter Dulce, and the family. Bruno, Marbella, their 9 year old daughter Lucero and 4 year old Christian.
  We arrived to the smell of chicken on their make shift grill, unloaded all the things we had for them, a bed, table, dishes, lots, pans, clothes, blankets, food and much more. As Paula, Goyita and Dulce decorated,  Bruno finished cooking the chicken. We said a prayer of dedication and Bruno swept Marbella into his arms and carried her into their renovated house. Tears filled her eyes, and Luceros as they looked around their new house . We blessed the food, ate, and Paula and Andres shared the Gospel with them. Lucero, at 9 years old was quickened in her heart and got up walked across the room and hugged Paula and prayed with her to receive the gift of salvation. Wow child like faith!!
  That's what it's all about!