Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico is known as the most violent City on Earth. The Lord Jesus sent me here in August 2011. By that time all the missionaries and hundreds of thousands of residents had left the City due to fear. The harvest here is truly great but the workers are very few. In my stories I share the work of God in the City, and in my life. What a joy!
Saturday, June 25, 2016
FATHER'S DAY EVENT...JUNE 2016...plus A CHEESY STORY
FATHER'S DAY CELEBRATION
Pastor Jim Ray
Jason and Amy Bowles
The first two full weeks of this month (June 2016) brought 2 teams to the area. The first team was from the twin cities of Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. They represented Valley Christian Church. Pastor Jim Ray also traveled with the group of 13, most of which were the youth from the church. The youth leaders, Jason and Amy Bowles did an outstanding job in leading the youth and doing months of preparation before arriving. The team traveled for two days to get to El Paso and the opted to work their entire four days at Spanish American Evangelistic Ministries (SAEM).
Some Valley Christian youth
Los Tres Amigos
They worked very hard around the SAEM campus doing some very much needed upkeep on the grounds. They also worked inside the SAEM main building but most of the work was done outdoors. Unfortunately the 100 degree temperatures showed up at the same time the team did. They stayed busy from the time they got out of bed til the time they went back to bed. But we also had times of devotionals, worship, sharing, lots of eating, and we also made a trip to El Paso's Scenic Drive Park. At the park the team took advantage of the not-so-hot evening and the beautiful view to sing worship music before all those visitors who were also enjoying the nice evening. SAEM was left in great shaped after the team departed on their long two day trek back North. Thank You Valley Christian!!!
The team from Valley Christian left on a Friday and the next day a small team of two men from Searcy, Arkansas flew down for a six day stay at SAEM, with daily trips to Juarez. Mike Lee and Mike Lorton have worked with me in Juarez many times and they are now seasoned part-time missionaries.
Before Mike Lee and Mike Lorton arrived there were two problems that I was trying to work through. One was the the issue of Father's Day in Juarez (one of the hardest things that you can do in Juarez is to get men to come to church). And the second issue was the huge amount of used clothing that has been donated to SAEM over the years, which can't be crossed into Mexico because the government won't allow it. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I made up my mind to take all the men's clothing and start washing, folding, and packing, and crossing them into Juarez just a little bit at a time. I was washing clothes for over a month. And by the time the two men arrived most of the clothes were waiting in my house in Juarez. Then I planned a Father's Day get together with a great meal at Pastor Manuel's church in Juarez. When Mike and Mike arrived we finished the plans off by purchasing food and bringing it to the church. We also took time to separate the clothing (pants, shirts, polo shirts, tee shirts, baseball caps, etc.) by sizes. And we also took a day out to walk through the neighborhoods going door to door and inviting all the men to the celebration and free clothing. Many said that they would come, but that's something I have heard before, but it didn't happen. I did a lot of praying asking God to send the men out to this event. Unfortunately, we did not attend the Father's Day celebration because I had to drive Mike and Mike back to Arkansas before the event took place. I had left everything else in the hands of Pastor Manuel and his wife Lolis, who claim to be my adopted parents (even though they are younger than I). Needless to say I was so very pleased and thankful to the Lord when the reports started coming in about the Father's Day event. Many men had come, some with their wives. And about a dozen or more gave their lives to the Lord Jesus. And...they each carried back home plenty of clothes. I was ecstatic about the reports and the pictures.
All the praying done for the event, all the washing, all the preparations, all the visiting had paid off. God was so faithful again. There was one man in particular whom we visited and prayed for that I regretted not being in Juarez for to bring him to the event personally. His name is Jose and he had a stroke many years ago. He is mostly paralyzed and the only part of his body that he can use is just his left hand. He is barely over 50 years old. He lives with his daughter, who is the one who feeds him, bathes him, and takes care of all his necessities. But she has to work. So every morning when she leaves for work she pushes his wheelchair over the threshold of the front door where he sits without being able to move until she returns from work. Jose can be
seen on the very top picture in a wheelchair. Jose is a Mexican-American and has rights to Social Security in the U.S. But Jose's brother stole his American citizen paperwork and is living in the U.S. pretending to be Jose. Jose hasn't heard from him in years. I wanted to be there to bring Jose to the Father's Day event but couldn't. But Jose finally found someone to "throw" him in back of a pick-up and he was able to come and enjoy the evening with the other men. I was thrilled to know that Jose made it along with a church full of men. What a joy!!! My "mom" Lolis fixed them a good salad, chicken spaghetti with alfredo sauce, tea, and ice cream cones. And I'm sure that she sneaked in some jalapenos in there somewhere.
I also wanted to report that Pastor Martin Nuñez, whom I've reported on before, has a new addition in his orphanage. Pastor Martin has been getting kids off the streets of Juarez for some years now. These are very young kids who are hooked on drugs and live in the streets. His new addition is Little Emanuel, 2 months old, who was birthed by a young mom on cocaine. The child will go through regular drug withdrawals, but if anyone knows how to handle that it's Pastor Martin and his wife Letty. If anyone wishes to help Pastor Martin, his church, and his orphanage, please contact me.
And now for the cheesy story: One day Mike Lorton, Mike Lee, and myself went to the wholesale area of Juarez to purchase food for the men's event. After we left the Holy Spirit asked me to return and buy a wheel of cheese for one of the nursing homes (see last blog entry). So I told my two companions that we had to turn around and go back. I bought the wheel of cheese which came out to about 17 to 18 pounds. We drove to the "old folks" home, greeted them, and set the wheel of cheese on one of the kitchen tables. I set it right next to a small piece of cheese (about 1 1/2 pounds) that was on the table. Viridiana, one of the directors froze and kept staring at the cheese that I brought. And she kept staring at the cheese! Until finally I started thinking that I had done something wrong and had to ask if I did. Then one by one tears started to roll from her eyes. The lady cooking for them just smiled at us. Finally Miguel, Viridiana's husband and director, explained it to me. He said that in the morning they decided to make quesadillas for the 32 people who were at the center. So they took all the money they had and went to the store to get cheese. Miguel had returned with the small piece of cheese that was on the table. So the cook asked, "so you want me to make quesadillas with that little piece of cheese"? Miguel responded, "At least we can say that it has cheese in it". And Viridiana added, "God will multiply it!". And then 5 minutes later...I walk in with the large wheel of cheese. God had provided as He always done. When Viridiana was able to speak she told me, "It's not just about the cheese; it's God letting us know that He watches us, that He cares for us, and that He knows that we're here". Yes, God knows where you are, He watches over you, and He cares for you. Shalom!!! Please leave comments below. I would like to hear from you.