Saturday, July 30, 2011
I wanted to give you all a little update on one of our little men that attend the feeding program. His name is Saul. On Thursday night, he some how managed to get his left hand crushed between a couple boulders. He was taken to the hospital where they thought that they would have to amputate his index finger at a minimum but were expecting that they would have to amputate his remaining 3 fingers on that hand as well. I went to see him in the Hospital last night and we had an awesome surprise. None of his fingers will need to be removed. His hand is looking good, he is getting movement back slowly other than the one finger that is badly broken it looks like everything will turn out okay. We praise God that Saul is okay and that he was all smiles today when I went to see him. We can't wait to see him come home and hang out with us again.
Oh and just so you know, don't wear shorts to the Hospital in Mexico. I got kicked out by security! LOL
Trust you are all well, we are pumped for a happy ending!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Clarissa and I want to take the time to share the story of Victor with you. Victor is the young man in the photo above on the right side. This is the only picture that I have of him. He wears a pretty tough shell but it sure doesn't take much to make him smile. From the first time that I saw him I could see that he has had it rough. He was a bit apprehensive about me at first but I walked up to him, gave him a shoulder to shoulder hug, and a smile, and it was all it took to gain his friendship. Like so many young men he has grown up without a father, and like so many he is just longing for someone to fill the gap so when I gave him a hug that is all it took for his shell to come off and for his heart to soften up. I have to admit, I almost turned the other way when I first saw him, I'm so glad that I didn't.
Victor has grown up without a father his whole life so he has always had to fend for himself. In his home there have been ongoing issues between him and his mother and so she has now kicked him out on his own. For the time being he is living with a relative but we know that there are family problems their as well so we sense that he will not be there long either. We have huge concerns for him. He is 15 years old, turning 16 next week. Absolon sat him down on Saturday to see how he is doing and we sensed that he is at a cross roads. He has been abandoned and rejected time and time again and is now on his own to fend for himself. He has accepted Christ through the programs here but he is struggling with having no self worth and has told us that he has nothing to offer God, this world or anyone else. He is down and tends to be off on his own quite a bit. (unless we get a game of soccer going. :) When the Pastor and Absolon shared his story and his feelings with me I told them that I sensed Victor was either going to look for friends and companionship in the drug world/night life or that he was a prime candidate for suicide unless we make big efforts to get involved in his life. (I didn't know it at the time but the City of Guaymas is ranked #1 for suicide in the state of Senora and is ranked # 3 in all of Mexico.) We all agreed that we needed to come up with a plan to build him up and to teach him that he is important and that he is loved and has purpose. Each of us agreed that we were dealing with the likelihood of suicide being a reality we are dealing with in Victor.
We approached him yesterday about becoming involved in the food program. We have a very low number of youth that attend so he is one of the oldest young men that we have. Our vision is that he would assist in serving the children and help fill any gaps where we need a set of hands. We basically want him to be part of our team so that we can have as much influence on him as we can and we want him to feel that he is valuable. We are also in progress of starting an additional food program in another community so in time extra support with us there will be necessary. Victor showed some signs of being interested however he was apprehensive. It will take us some time to work things through with him so pray that he will start to come around with the idea. Right now we have shared with him the simple task of helping us serve the children their plates and that even seems a bit overwhelming for him. Life here is about survival so taking things come more naturally than giving or serving.
I believe in Victor and feel he has allot of potential and that he has purpose in our program but the next few months are going to be critical in helping him make good decisions. He indicated that he trusts Pastor Raphael and that he is a great friend and father figure so we have that going for us.
Please keep Victor in mind as pray for this ministry.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
As we spend more time with P. Raphael and Marisela we are learning more and more about their area. Allan (the thiefs son, for those who have been told of this family from the January trip) had stopped last night, I'm not really sure why. But we found out that he had parisites and was unable to eat. We asked what they do for him. He needed to see the doctor and get a perscription to get rid of them. It all costs money, and money that Allan's family doesn't have. (25 pesos to see the doctor, plus the perscription. $2.50 canadian to see the doctor plus the perscription.) We asked what happened when the family couldn't afford to get help. We were informed that 2 boys around the age of 7-9 had died last year. The fact that they have trouble eating, when they already only receive 1 meal a day is not good. Today Brian and P.Raphael took Allan in to receive the attention he needed.
We have also been seeing P.Raphael handing out food hampers to the people who come to his door in need of food. We inquired about how often they come, and he told us always. And he will always give them food to eat. Any extra money we have, we want to make sure that it goes to the needs of this area. To have food supply for food hampers. When there is medical attention needed, we want it to be possible for them to seek that attention. So I thank all of you for the support that you have given us financially. There is a reason that we have over exceeded our goals in funds, it's because it's for this community.
The last two days have been hard for me emotionally. I'm missing you all back home, and our "norm". This evening was Bible study at P.R's church and I wasn't pumped to go. But God met me there through their worship, and I don't know why it amazes me, but it was great to be comforted with praise and worship that wasn't in english. :) Also tomorrow is another day, and it will be good. Thanks so much for your prayers, and Dios te Bendiga!!
Friday, July 15, 2011
We've been brain storming and preparing for the food program this last week. We purchased to large thermos drink coolers with the spout to pour the rice juice they feed the kids. Also we purchased to tables so the kids didn't have to squish into the few desks they had or eat on the floor. :) We hoped to build benches for the tables, didn't happen. But we were at P.R's and he had some old simple wood pews on his yard which will work great!! We don't even need to worry about getting the benches built. At least for another week. We hope to buy 2-3 more tables so that all the kids can eat at a table. Each table costs $75, so we are trying to budget accordingly. :) Again I want to say thanks for making this possible for the kids. They are going to be so excited tomorrow! We'll try to get some pictures on the blog. Pray that the uploading goes smoothly! God Bless!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
On Saturday we attended our first food program. It was really great but at the same time it was extremely sad. The reality of life for these children is unlike anything we could have ever imagined. We truly have no idea how blessed we are in Canada. We are a selfish, selfish nation. Marisela has given her life to the children in Fatima. She does not have a single minute of time for herself throughout the entire week. At 5:00 am the gate starts rattling from homeless children that are lonely and usually by 10 or 11 at night she is finished cleaning up the dishes from supper that night. Normally she cooks for a group of people. Very rarely does she ever prepare a meal for only their family alone. Every Saturday she wakes up at 4 am to start preparing breakfast for the children that will be arriving for the service. This week we had 40 children arrive but normally they expect 60 sometimes up to 100 children ranging from 2 years old up to 16 years old. Normally breakfast consists of baked beans, scrambled eggs with cut up wieners and tortilla’s. They receive rice water for a drink. At 8 am one of them heads into the community with their Ford Ranger to gather the children. They are loaded on the back of the truck and brought home for the service which begins at 9:00 am. Prior to eating, bible stories are shared, they pray together and also sing songs. What would Mexico be without loud music, singing and actions! When it comes time to eat, even the two year old children lick their plates clean. They eat everything. On top of that, at the age of two they are starting to physically wash their own dishes! I couldn’t believe it.
Pastor Raphael shared some stories as well as the needs and his vision for the community. 90% of the children that arrived for breakfast do not know or have a father. Many of the children do not have a father or mother but are living with other family members and there are others that are without parents living on their own. Right now this is the case for Pedro, Alan, Brianna and Christian. For those of you that were part of the team back in January you will remember these children. Their father is the thief. We learned that their Mom and Dad are now both involved in the drug world. They come and go as they please leaving the children behind for days at a time. I know the children have been alone since Tuesday of last week. We do not know if they are out doing their business or if they have been arrested, or maybe something has happened to them? Some nights they stay home alone and other nights they stay with Pastor Raphael and Marisela. They only go to school 2 days per week. Christian is the youngest. He is 5. He has a full time job working from 7am until 7 pm sifting through garbage looking for copper and bottles for recycling. He earns 40 peso’s per day which he has to give home to his mother and father. I do not know if the other children work. I’m assuming that they do as well. As terrible as this story is, it is only one of many. We were also told the story of a 13 year old girl that was raped by her stepfather. She is now pregnant. She used to come to the children’s program but her mother no longer allows her to attend. The stepfather is on the run. She is only 13 years old. We have heard story after story of the nightmares that these children are living. The house that we built in Fatima stands as a lighthouse. Children receive love, nourishment, and guidance. They are always welcome and will always be cared for.
As you have read, the need in this community is huge! Pastor Raphael is patiently awaiting the construction of their new church facility. The new facility will also have an outdoor kitchen that will allow us to reach out to more children. This will also give them space so that the children without a family will have a place to sleep at night with the security of not being alone. The dream is to be able to feed these children 3 meals per day, every day. Along with that, continue to teach them of Gods love. Although that is the ultimate goal, we feel that there are small steps we can take that would already start to make a difference. With some extra equipment we can increase the number of children at the programs as well as reduce the amount of time needed to prepare the food. All this in due time, we will have to seek Gods will and prioritize our needs as there are so many.
We trust that you are well and we thank you for following our progress. Please make this Region a matter of prayer for you and your family. The need is so huge, it will take many to make a difference. If you are interested in becoming involved in one way or another please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are intereted in seeing some photo's of the area, look me up on facebook. At this time we are unable to upload any pictures to the blog.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
We had another real good day of yard work. I have had 3 Mexican amigos and myself working at it and we are finally getting somwhere. Maybe tomorrow it will be done. Did I mention that we found a tranchella yet? Well if not, I did. And to top it off, tonight when we got home we found a black widow spider living under our patio chair. That actually gets me frustrated. Tomorrow I am going to have to do somthing about all the bugs. I hate going to bed at night knowing they are hangnig around.
We tackled grocery shopping on our own. Groceries here are expensive!!!! More than at home. We find it really un fair because many laborers are earning $10 - $20 per day and groceries are insane. We spent 200 and didn't leave with much. It's so sad.
We went to bible study this evening in Fatima. It was really great. They have Bible memory verses for everyone and they say their versed out load to the congregation. Even the adults. It was kind of neat, they strive to memorize their bibles. Also had supper with P.Rapheal again. We had sandwiches with the left over meat from last time. Oh, and don't forget the Mexican coke! We showed P. Rapheal pictures of our family and home as well as WMBC. I told him I would take him back to Canada with me this January so he can meet all of you and experience the cold. He thought it would be a great idea. Maybe somthing to pray about?
Well got to go, thanks for checking in on us. We have been trying to upload picture to the blog without success. For some reason its not working. As soon as we can we will have you some pictures to look at.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
We hope that you are all doing well. We have been enjoying our time here so far. God has put great people in our lives that are a great encouragment to us. We thank Him for that.
Today was a really great day. We made good progress on settling in and organizing the house. This afternoon some of the guys took me out for lunch. I didn't realize it but it turned into a bit of a Mexican Welcom Initiation. They treated me to Goat Meat Taco's. Thats what they are leading me to believe. There is a chance that it may have been Cow head/meat Taco's. (when i refer to head/meat this is any meat on a cow skull including the brain) They placed my order in spanish so I wouldnt know for sure! I'm not complaining though, I know the time will come that the guys will be going out for octupus and clams. Apparently I am going too!
This evening we had supper with Pastor Rapheal and his family. They prepared Deer Meat Taco appetizers. Another new thing to add to my list of crazy foods in Mexico. Already God wants to stretch me. Both the Deer meat and the Goat meat were really good!
Pastor Rapheal and Maricella are doing well but they are looking really exhauseted, I hope that we will be able to relieve some pressure from the two of them.
Today three of my Mexican friendcs cam down to help me out with cleaning up out yard. We have alot of tall grass and weeds that needed to me knocked down so we could see what we living in there. So far we have found lizards, Black Widow Spiders and Fire Ants. Today we cut down all the grass around the house. Gummy (pronounced Goomy) is an experienced palm tree trimmer. We have 4 palm trees that were in need of attention and after Gummy was done with them they looked amazing. We also have a fig tree, a lime tree, and mango tree. The mango's and the limes are ripe now and taste really good. Clarissa has been making limeaide which is a treat.
This evening another team arrived at the mission for a weekedn retreat. Our cook Marilyn was in need of extra help in the kitchen and Clarissa qualified for the position. OH YEAH!!! Marilyn is possibly the best...I mean the best Mexican cook I know. It sounds like Clarissa will have the opportunity to spend alot of time with her in the kitchen. Tonight she prepare taco soup, amazing.
I'm so glad for all the friend that we have made and for their willingness to walk along side us as we learn all the ins and outs of San Carlos and Guaymas. Most of my guy friends are all younger than me which is good. I've been told that I act to old for may age and that I need to enjoy life more and these guys will definetly have an impact. I have learned that the Mexican are very competative and they are always competing at something. If it's not soccor its foot races, chin ups, arm wrestling, (I won that one) or trampoline tricks. It doesn't matter how old, they all love to have fun. Apparently I am going along with them next time they go cliff jumping into the ocean . Great???
Thanks again to all those that are remembering us in their prayers. We are adjusting but I know there are moments that the boys are struggling. Please pray for them specifically.Blessing to you all
P.S. The temp today was arounf 30-33 degrees + humidity. Its actually comfortable but apparently the heat is on its way.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
To anyone who remembers seeing the pictures of the "rich" houses off the ocean we had taken in January. The funny thing about this picture is I remember saying that I would like to be able to go up to the houses and just see them up close. Well, Andy and Jenny are renting one of these homes! We've driven through the streets a couple of times. I just find it funny. It's great to see how God has blessed them with a rental house that the owner decided to bless them with, with a extreamly low rate. As well as with our house, we're finding that our rent is low for the home we're staying in. God is good.
Please pray for us as we go through normal day to day things. We are learning how to do it all differently, and as well as our language.
Dios te Bendiga!! (God Bless You!) We miss you!