Huejotzingo Mexico TUtP VBS Report

We just completed a record breaking Huejotzingo, Mexico TUtP VBS. The fewest kids we had any of the 5 days was 41 on the 1st day. On Weds. we had 55. We could just barely fit them into the activity room and courtyard. We had a total of 62 different children who came over the entire week. Some of these kids hear very little of the Bible at any other time than when they are involved in one of our activities.

The crafts each day are geared to the Bible story. The kids are supposed to tell the story to their parents when they get home. We know some do. A record-breaking 13 parents attended the last day when we gave diplomas and gifts to the kids. They heard a total recap of the theme story as their children answered questions about the week. For many of these adults, this is the only Bible they will hear.

Each day there were lots of games, Bible memorization, crafts, eating and a dramatized Bible story. The theme for the week was about forgiveness as demonstrated by Joseph in the O.T. Despite how his brothers betrayed him, he knew God had had a plan to work out as a result of their actions, and he was more than willing to forgive them their past evil actions. God through Jesus similarly forgives us because He loves us and wants to have us as His children in a healthy relationship.

I was the taxi driver, driving the Dios es Amor Church van to three houses each morning to pick up various children and adults who lived too far away from the center to walk. At the 1st house, no one was ever home during the week. We kept going just in case as the parents had indicated their kids would come at least some of the days and they have previously been part of our activities. At the 2nd house I usually picked up one adult and two kids. The 3rd house usually yielded 4 youngsters.

We faced some technical challenges as our printer did not always want to print properly. We print out 1 copy of what we need and go to town each afternoon or evening to get all the copies we need for the various crafts. This is cheaper and faster than trying to print out everything at the TUtP office.

At the end of every day, we debriefed our helpers, all of whom were simply marvelous this year. There are a few wrinkles each day that need to be worked on for the next day so we can be constantly improving what we do. This is especially helpful in dealing with a few kids who are disciplinary challenges. Some come from very difficult home situations and thrive on attention. They just don’t always use appropriate ways of gaining that attention.

On the final day, everyone had cake and ice cream. The older girls all got a brand new, lovely doll. Each of the little kids got brand new Beanie Babies. The older boys got spinners and a pen. The dolls and the Beanie Babies I bought at estate sales around Long Beach CA. I can get them so very inexpensively that way. The kids and their parents were absolutely delighted.

Construction on the buildings Abraham and Rachel are building is going well. This will be our new TUtP center in Huejo. They hope to move within 8 weeks. Construction methods are different there than they are here, especially the pouring of the concrete roof which involves a continuous pour on a single day to avoid any leaks or other structural problems. Fascinating.

I leave for Fiji August 30, returning September 14. We will do a medical outreach. Then I head to Romania from September 28 through October 9 to do a seminar on prayer for Romanian pastors. Please pray for stamina and effectiveness. Thanks and blessings!

Getting ready for street hockey

Cleaning up after VBS

Working on crafts

A day’s schedule

Asking and answering questions.

Signing in late arrivals

Telling the story

A volunteer dressed as Judah, Joseph’s brother, waits his cue. The story focuses on Joseph forgiving his brothers.

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.

May Update from TuTP Mexico

What a lot is going on right now! Abraham and I started out the celebrations on April 29th with some gifts and a special meal at home to mark the first of our anniversaries of seven years of marriage. Our second seventh anniversary is June 21st. This is because the April anniversary is for our civil ceremony – required in Mexico – and the other anniversary is for the church wedding.

April 30 is Children´s Day which is a big deal in Mexico. At church and at home we had games, face painting, gifts, and stories from the Bible about God´s heart for children. We had an unusually large group of children at our house that afternoon. They probably remembered from past years that there would be something extra for their special day.
No sooner had we partied for all the children when it was time to have our son´s fourth birthday party. We chose to have a low-key family celebration at home on the actual day of his birthday, since his cousin also has her birthday on May 6, and we went to her party the same day. We will have some friends over in two weeks for a slightly more elaborate birthday party latyer.

On Sunday, May 8th, we had a small gathering of neighbor ladies and their children for Mother´s Day. The children arrived first and played for awhile before making cards for their moms. A couple hours later, the mothers arrived. They decorated cups, and then everyone snacked on ice cream, cake, and coffee while Abraham read Proverbs 31. When we had prayed for the mothers, the event ended.

Already established weekly activities:

– Kids´ club, Footprints of Christ, Sundays from 3 to 7 ish
– English class Saturday morning and Tuesday evening
– Home visits and Bible study various days
– Bible study with extended family Wednesdays
– Teaching in Puebla Christian School Tuesdays and Thursdays

In planning:
– VBS, July 18 – 22, 24 –John, the Beloved Disciple
– Single parents´ event at Dios es Amor, possibly in August

Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We have enjoyed much better health this year than last year, thanks in part to the homeopathic treatments our kids are taking. We appreciate your faithful support as part of our team.
God bless!

The Lechuga family