Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Work is Not Over Yet

I know that almost everyone had an amazing experience in Mexico on the mission trip. What we need to remember, though, is that our work isn't over yet. I've heard of several people on the team that want to continue to work with the churches in Valle Hermoso, be it by writing letters, donating school supplies, or something else. I also know for a fact that the pastors and churches want down there want to stay in touch with us, as well. This afternoon, Bernardo, the pastor in the picture above, called me. We didn't talk for long, as I'm sure that phone rates are rather expensive calling from Mexico to the US. He did, however, want to know whether we had had a safe trip back to the States. He also said that he was, and still is, praying for us.

In the same way, I think that we should be praying for him and his church. There are three main ways that we can help him, besides just prayer. His biggest passion in ministry is with the kids, so all three have something to do with the kids. The first is with school supplies. One day, my group leader commented my group saying that it would be really cool if we could help out the kids we met there, maybe by buying school supplies. We all thought it was a pretty good idea, and one that we could actually do. The very next day, Bernardo pulled me aside and asked if there would be any way that we could help the kids out with school supplies. He said that they are very poor, and it's hard for them to buy even basic school supplies. I told him that we had talked about that very thing just the day before, and he firmly believes that it was God's idea. I think that some people at Salem are already working on putting together something to help with that. I'll have updates as we find out what we can do.

The second way that Bernardo would appreciate prayer is that he needs a van to be able to take the kids in his church places. I'm not exactly sure what he has now, but it's not adequate. In a couple of days, I'll post how he did get the vehicle he has now, though. That's quite an amazing story by itself. The third way is that he has a burden on his heart to open a sort of cafeteria in the village. Most of the families are extremely poor, and sometimes don't have enough food. Bernardo told me that, as it is now, kids will go off to school in the morning, usually having eaten breakfast. When they come home for lunch, their parents are usually at work and, and there often is no food in the house. Bernardo gets kids at his home and at church asking for food. He has a ministry where he gets day old bread from certain bakeries and distributes it to the kids, but it isn't enough. He says that they already have land for the cafeteria, but none of the resources to actually build or maintain it. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be God's hands and His feets to help Bernardo's prayers come into being? I would love to help out, so if anyone has some ideas for how to help with a van, a cafeteria, or more school supplies, shoot me an email!


Anonymous said...

Hey Timothy!
How exciting that Pastor Bernardo has called you!!! The Mikruts here! Just wanted to say hi and how thankful we are that you all want to help with the school supplies. We should see Bernardo in a couple of days as he nearly always brings us baked goods on his way to distribute them to his colonia. God bless you always. We look forward to seeing you soon. Maybe behind the cafeteria counter.!!??!

Anonymous said...

Hi Timothy,

This is Darla Ruiz from Rockford, Illinios. Couple of comments:

First Covenant Church in Rockford donated a van to Nueva Vida. It was in OK shape, but the Church was purchasing a new one. It takes some "paper work", but can be done. Another time, we raised 1/2 the amount needed for a van, and the Church raised the other 1/2. You might even know someone who has a van they are trading in or not using.

Next, the school supplies can be boxed up and sent to anyone who has a P.O. Box in Texas (I believe the Mikruts have one). In Valle Hermoso, the teachers also have to purchase their school supplies, so they are very appreciative of supplies as well.

God bless you as you "continue" the work in Mexico!

Keith & Darla Ruiz

Oaxacakid said...

Thanks for the comments!
Darla, thanks for the ideas. I'll be on the lookout for anyone trying to get rid of a van. Yes, the Mikruts have a P.O. box in Texas. I'm assuming that's where we plan on sending the school supplies once we get them.