There have been two main projects we have been helping with this year. The first was a request from the Reformed Presbyterian Church “Christo Vive” in Tijuana to help with a man who was in need of a room to handle a dialysis machine at his home since he would need it full time. We set up the work day in February but canceled it when the man passed away. The widow of this man then asked if the room could be built so one of her children could come and live with her. I went down in March with Pastor Aldolfo as my tender and layed up the block walls. Ken joined me in the afternoon and we got the main block work completed. Ken, Dave Crum ( the local OPC former missionary in Tijuana) and I went down on April 27th and got most of the steel and lintels completed. This project was built the “Mexican way” and we were joined by Gabriel from the Christo Vive church. We left enough material for the widows sons and the men in the church to start pouring the concrete in the forms. Our hope is to build the roof structure later in May or early June. The pictures attached are of the widow (in black) and her sister Bertha. Bertha is from Christo Vive and her sister is not a believer. The sisters name is Ofelia and we pray for her conversion. Bertha was excited to tell us about her 28 year old daughter who was just baptized and joined the church. She also let us know she is not married and could use a good husband. The other picture is of Gabriel. Gabriel was telling Ken that he is going to sell his truck, try to find an old motor home, and relocate this June to the new Reformed Presbyterian church plant in San Quetin, 150 miles south. Gabriel hopes to work in construction 3 days a week to support himself and do Bible studies two days a week. Both Ken and I told him we would hope to see him down there sometime and help out. Please pray for Gabe and the opportunities we can have to help this church plant. Ken and I have been talking about a setting up a longer trip to this area.
The second area we have been helping with is the orphanage in Uruapan, 15 miles below Ensenada. The work there has moved along well this year. We had a large group from the Reformed Mission Services go down in January and also a large youth group from the URC in Lethbridge Canada came in February. I have made a couple of weekend trips to assist Jon with the roof. Jon is from Michigan (Bethany URC) and he has spent the past 3 months at the orphanage helping groups and working on the roof. Jon is going back to Michigan in May and work for a month and raise support so he can continue his volunteer efforts. He will be coming back in June when our churches youth group goes down for the week of June 8-15. We will be joined by 22 kids from Iowa that Rueben Faber is sponsoring. Jon has been a real blessing to this ministry. Our goal is to complete this Mission building soon so we can add more orphans to the houses. Jon has made good friends with some of the locals and is witnessing to them as he is able. We have been praying for a church plant in this area so keep that in your prayers. Also pray for the work and that funds will continue to come in.
I was able to go down to the orphanage on the weekend of May 4 with my son Jonathan and his girlfriend Jenn. Once we arrived on Saturday, we were immediately encouraged to do the block work in the septic pit. The orphanage director was very nervous about the exposed rebar since one of the boys from the orphanage was playing around and had fallen in to the hole before the concrete was poured and they would feel better once the rebar was covered. We did accomplish getting the block up ready for grout. When our group from church and Iowa arrives in June, we will be working on finishing the septic tank and lines, lay the rock at the fireplace, set new fence posts, build a larger chicken coop by Danny’s house, stain porch lumber, and work on the porch and roof at the entrance and North wing. Darrell and Maureen, the directors, are on their way to Canada to pick up more donated lumber and some automatic feeders donated by some Canadian chicken ranchers. Progress on the project is at a stage where we need to buy the windows and set the exterior doors before we start running electrical wire and complete the interior. Once the windows and doors are set, someone will move in to the building to help with keeping it secure. There is a concern with people removing the electrical wiring if it’s not secured so to get the windows and doors in will open up many other things to finish. We have secured the funds to buy the windows and keep things moving. In April, a member of the Lethbridge URC in Canada donated a van to the orphanage and filled it with a year’s supply of flour and beans. Darrell and Maureen drove it down but because of the large amount of food items, the van was not allowed to cross the border in to Mexico and Darrell had to leave it in a parking lot in Tecate. Since Darrell and Maureen were headed to Canada, Jonathan and I picked up the van in Tecate on our way out and brought it to my house until Darrell can work out the details of crossing the border. We thank God for such a huge donation.
Three of the orphans are graduating from school this year (9th grade) and will move on to the next level where they must choose between a trade or continuing education. One of the girls says she wants to be a doctor. Darrell is very proud of how well the kids are doing in school. I am very grateful to the church for providing the funds we need for the outreach to Baja. The church is always gracious in giving to the Homes for Mexico fund and the requests for materials to bring down and share. We love taking the blankets down donated by the ladies in our church. Please continue to be in prayer for the efforts in Tijuana and Uruapan and the trip in June. If you have any interest in helping in any way with this outreach, please contact me any time. ………….Brent
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