editor’s note: Click Here to view many pictures from this year’s trip.
Dear Friends – We have safely arrived back home and thank God for His many blessings this past week. Our travel days were blissfully uneventful as we made our way from Weslaco to Baytown, Texas, on Friday afternoon, and then drove from Baytown to Athens yesterday. Here is the rest of the story . . .
Friday, as usual, was a light work day for us, as our only official task was to lay the last two rows of block on the ring of our house. (By the way, Samuel and Rosemary joined us for breakfast, but they were headed to Oklahoma, and so would not be joining us across the border Friday. Before we left, we said our final good-byes to them, with a wish that they would join us again, maybe next year.) Because of the smaller workload, some of us were able to go with Colleen to the clinic and help with the breakfast meal for the children. In addition, those of us who were new to the mission were able to see the place in the clinic’s upstairs where many groups stay while they work in the colonias. We first popped into the small kitchen area where a meal is prepared for children who might otherwise not get breakfast. Maricela is the cook there, and every effort is made to provide a balanced breakfast, which includes fruits and/or vegetables, beans, rice, and perhaps a meat. After breakfast, the children usually sing a song or two, which is led by Pastor Carlos, and then Gracie does a mini lesson in English for the children and their family members. The clinic is also the center for the sewing ministry, however, we did not get to see what that ministry is currently doing. (We did see that they have recently received some newly donated sewing machines, and we think the Irvington Presbyterian Church may have given them the pattern for the adorable dresses their church sent. By the way, we were able to get that pattern, too.)
We also spent some time with Betty, the nurse who has been with Deantin and Faith Ministry since the beginning in 1994, and also provided medical care in the colonias in the years before Faith Ministry. All week, I have been encouraging Faith Ministry to write down their stories before this older generation retires from their work in the colonias, and I told Betty the same thing. In the few minutes we spent with her, she did answer some of our questions about what pregnant women did when it was time to deliver, and she told a few tales of how that was handled, in the early days; (one story involved a wheelbarrow.) Betty also talked about the current “well baby” program which requires mothers and their new babies to come to the clinic on a regular basis to have each baby’s growth monitored.
Then it was time to return to the church compound to complete our preparations for the noon meal,
our opportunity to serve those who have served us all week. Some of the “young at heart” played a version of soccer with the children, while others set up the serving line for the “fiesta meal.” Several of us also made up a care package of boots and gloves which will be donated back to those who work in the ministry. When lunchtime arrived, we served brisket, bread, Asian slaw, vegetable lasagna, Mexican casserole, chips, potato salad, cookies, lemonade, and Joyas to our friends and co-workers, including the group from Indianapolis. What a joy to serve the people of God! It just does not get any better than this! After lunch, though, we had to say good-bye to our old and new friends and load our van for our last trip back across the border, at least for this year….and that is always so hard to do.
When we arrived back at Weslaco FPC on Friday afternoon, Pastor McCann and his wife Hannah were waiting for us, ready to assist with the last minute preparations for our departure. (Weslaco FPC was also taking our borrowed van back to McAllen, saving us a big chunk of time.) This, we were able to be on the road by 1:15, headed to Baytown, where we would spend the night before heading back to Alabama.
Thank you for your continued support of this mission in Mexico, where we are honored to act as our Lord’s hands and feet, serving in the colonia. It is our hope that you will continue to feel called
to be part of this mission, as there are so many ways to serve! Many of you already support this mission by providing financial support and by being our prayer partners; next year you may be called to serve in another way, too. Perhaps you speak Spanish really well, and you could simply be our translator or the good will ambassador who visits and talks with the families. Maybe you could help sew dresses for us to take to the sweet little girls in that community. Maybe you could purchase some books in Spanish, or English, for the family or for the children who visit the clinic. (Oh, how Ana Sophia loved the books we gave her!) You could also volunteer to be a sponsor and provide the funds for a child to go to school. Please take some time to check out the Faith Ministry website to find out more about how you can help.
So it is no surprise that some of us intend to continue our support of Faith Ministry’s mission, as we make plans to go again next year to build a house, to provide hope, and to serve the Lord in the colonias of Mexico; perhaps you will join us as part of the travel team next year!
Until next year then . . . Your Mexico missionary pen pal . . . Randi