TuTP Mexico: Construction

ConstructionFor about a year, my mother-in-law´s house in Puebla was listed for sale. In January of this year, it finally sold for the asking price, and my mother-in-law moved in with us in Huejotzingo while she and Abraham looked for land to buy. They found four well-priced lots ten minutes by bus outside of Huejotzingo and spent some time negotiating to buy. The land is surrounded by corn fields on three sides and a dirt road in front. We will have neighbors across the street, but on our side, no one lives yet.

Once my mother-in-law Six paid for the land, we contracted a man we have known for many years to build our houses. Don Ezequiel has almost a life time of experience with construction, is honest, and does not drink or allow his workers to drink. He also works very hard and had Six´s house walls completed within two weeks.

At present, he and his crew have finished pouring the concrete roof on Six´s house, has begun the walls of our house, and is working on the cistern we will share. When Six´s roof has cured, a process that takes about two weeks, he will be ready to do our roof. In about a month, if all continues well, Six will be able to move into her house.

Progress has not been without problems. Frequently construction sites are vulnerable to theft. Wooden supports, castillo wire, anything left at the site has a way of walking off. Typically, neighbors by the construction site will agree to watch for potential robbers in exchange for some payment. Our soon-to-be neighbors did agree to that, but it has been difficult with them, because they pass by very frequently to ask for money from Don Ezequiel or from us, if we are there.
Also, several kilos of rebar was stolen one night. The happy resolution for that theft is that the rebar then mysteriously reappeared soon after.

However, as I write, there has been another theft. Don Ezequiel called Abraham, who is in Puebla for the day, to tell him. The call kept cutting out, so Abraham couldn’t hear details. Abraham called me, but we still don´t know exactly what is going on. Please pray.

TuTP Mexico Activities in November

Activities in Huejotzingo continue as before. We have Bible studies at a few houses and kids´ club every Sunday afternoon. We raise our two rambunctious kids and keep house and work at Puebla Christian School part-time. Very soon we will celebrate Leilani´s second birthday, and within a year we will start homeschool with Abishael.

A few weeks ago, I began a pencil drawing class at Dios es Amor for anyone over the age of 10 interested in learning. So far we have only had two meetings, because of different activities at church. There are five, or perhaps six, students. I emphasize that drawing is not a mysterious gift that only a few people have, but that anyone can learn how to really see in order to capture their world on paper.

Also at Dios es Amor, preparations have begun for the church Christmas presentation. This year there will be five scenes from Jesus´ life presented in different areas of the church property. Abraham will be one of the three narrators who will be guiding visiting groups through each of the scenes and reading the Biblical accounts of each part of Jesus´ life. Leilani and I have the role of shepherds, along with two other children from Huejotzingo. Abishael will be part of the group of angels, and Six will be one of the Magi. Four other children from Huejotzingo also have roles in the first scene as angels and Magi.

In a previous post, I wrote about several people who needed prayer for serious health problems. Aaron continues to receive chemo treatment for the tumor in his chest. He has been able to spend days at home between treatments, and so far hasn´t suffered nausea from the medicine. Fani decided to try alternative treatments for the tumor in her brain rather than have surgery immediately. Hortensia is now completely free of shingles. Alan has returned home, but is still very ill and must undergo more testing.

Another person who needs prayer is Martha, an older widow with reduced income. A few weeks ago, she was bitten by a black widow spider and went to the hospital for treatment. The treatment was effective, but the doctors warned her to stay out of the sun for a few months – apparently the venom remaining in her system can be reactivated by sun exposure. This restriction is difficult for Martha, because she lives in an isolated area, and her only means of transportation is walking. Needing to stay out of the sun makes getting to work difficult or impossible.
Please continue to pray for healing for these people and for continued health for all of us. Pray for us as we decide what curricula to use with Abish for his homeschooling. Thank you for your partnership with us.

TUtP Mexico: Holy Week and Easter

RIMG2117We serve a risen Savior! This year we chose to open our home each day of Holy Week for about 2 hours each day. Mostly children came to the services, but some days a few adults joined us.

On Monday Abraham taught about the cleansing of the temple when Jesus drove out those selling animals and changing money from the temple. The children made handprint sheep and drew tables to fingerprint money onto.

Tuesday it was my turn to tell the story. I shared about how the religious leaders wanted to trip Jesus up with something he said. Then I told how one of the leaders asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is. He replied, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself.” The children cut out and decorated hearts where they wrote, “Amarás a tu Dios con todo…”

10347398_10208104451502663_1606531050044179049_nWe had a full group on Wednesday when Abraham presented the story of how Judas betrayed Jesus and how we also betray him when we decide not to do what he says. The adults and children traced their hands and cut out aluminum foil coins to show that Judas received 30 silver coins to turn Jesus over to his enemies.

Thurday we provided grape juice, mutton, and crackers as Abraham described the Last Supper and how Jesus came as a servant. Abraham also told how Jesus went to the garden to pray, how his disciples slept instead of praying, and then how Jesus was arrested. Again a mix of adults and children participated in the service.

RIMG2144Our Good Friday service was at 3. Those who attended learned about the Old Testament tabernacle and how people were separated from God and kept to a strict set of laws involving sacrifices of animals. Abraham shared about Jesus´ trial, crucifixion, and death and how the temple´s dividing curtain was torn from top to bottom the moment Jesus died, opening the way to God.
My turn to tell the Bible story came again on Saturday. I reviewed to previous day´s lesson with an illustration, and then explained how the disciples felt on that Saturday after Jesus died. They did not understand that he was not defeated, nor did it look like they had any hope. However, he promised he would rise again. We then went on to see five of the many promises in the Bible for God´s children.

On Sunday came the celebration. Abraham spoke of the empty tomb, and the children and adults made an empty tomb. After that we enjoyed a potluck meal together.

It was good to be able to share the whole week with those neighbors who came.

Hearts–From Teach Us To Pray Mexico

familyHappy month of love and friendship! I appreciate how Mexico includes more than just romantic love in the celebration of Feb. 14.

I am so thankful for my family and the love we share. God has blessed us greatly. We celebrated Valentine´s Day on Friday evening at the Oscars, hosted by the Puebla Christian School seniors. On Sunday we had some games for the kids, a craft, and a Bible story about friendship. After Abraham told the story of David and Jonathan´s friendship, he explained that Jesus is the perfect friend.

Abraham and I will have our Valentine´s date next Monday.

Speaking of hearts, we have a 20 something student in our English class that I have been especially praying for. A couple weeks ago he and his younger cousin were joking about how many scars he has from having had so many surgeries. Abraham asked him about the surgeries, and it turns out this young man has severe heart problems – he had six surgeries before the age of 3, and doctors would like him to have a heart transplant. However, since he is in decent health, he is not likely to get a transplant – there are others in much worse condition ahead of him.

Our infant nephew is also in need of heart surgery for a number of serious issues. When I first met him, I could see he was ill. He is milk white with blue around his eyes and lips, and he is very thin. Doctors, however, want to wait until he is at least three before operating. Why, I do not know.

Please pray for these two whose hearts are not what they should be. Pray also for the opening and renewing of hearts here in Huejo as we continue to tell of God´s love.

Back Home

RIMG1857Goodness, it has been a very long time since I last updated!

This last Monday we returned from three weeks in the States visiting my family. We had not expected to be able to go, but a financial gift and Abraham´s careful searching for sale ticket prices made the trip possible. Because we decided to go without much time between buying the tickets and the actual flight, we had to do lots of paperwork quickly: my passport had expired which required two trips to Mexico City, Leilani needed her Mexican passport, and Abishael´s Mexican passport had expired which meant trips to the government offices in Puebla. What a scramble to finish it all!

standing on the US – Mexico boarder
We flew from Mexico City to Tijuana where we used the new CBX bridge to cross to the United States. My dad picked us up there, and we drove another few hours to Long Beach. Both going to Long Beach and returning home to Huejo required 14 1/2 hours of travel and waiting each way.

We enjoyed the time with family. While there, we visited some fun places and took the kids to the park several times. They warmed up to the uncle, aunts, and grandparents that they hardly ever see (except on skype). Unfortunately, illness visited, and our final days were shadowed by first Lani’s fever and then Abishael’s. They both still have coughs, although they are slowly recovering.

Before we left for Christmas, we had the opportunity to partner with another missionary family and a team that came from the States to distribute water filters to our neighbors. The water from the pipes here is not clean, so most people buy containers of water. With filters, they can now save that money, a great help to tight budgets. When we gave the filters, we also asked if the recipients wanted to hear about living water. All the families agreed. Abraham and I also offered Bible studies to them, and some said they did want us to visit.

We continue with the Bible studies already established, and there has been an increase in the number of children attending on Sunday afternoons. Our Saturday and Tuesday English classes have a varying number of students, since some drop out but more join.

Please pray for us that 2016 will be a year of blessing. Continue to pray for health, especially for Abish and Lani. They are entering the third month of homeopathic treatments, and we pray that the natural medicines will strengthen their immune systems.