Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Look Forward to 2007

When Joe took his first trip to Mexico in the summer of 1978, he was overwhelmed by the needs that he saw on the bus ride from McAllen, TX to Uruapan, Michoacan. We have just had several nights of below freezing temperatures. They say it is the coldest it has been in 16 years. Our kitchen has been around 58° each morning. Joe turns on the oven to take off the chill while the coffee is brewing. (Decaf only!) It could easily be overwhelming to think of how cold it must be for most of the Mexicans whose houses have no insulation. We cannot keep everybody warm, so we do what we can. Legacy Church and Pastor Erik Rangel in Yuma collected some blankets the first cold spell we had. Acts Community Church and Pastor John Bennett send down jackets, sweaters and more blankets. We took them over to Ricardo and the guys at “Eliacim”, a rehab center for men. They were much appreciated.

San Luis is a paradox. There are some places that receive many times over what they can actually use while there are other areas and peoples that go virtually unnoticed. There is great abundance and yet incredible need. It was in recognizing one of these needs that gave birth to the vision for Hope House – a place of hope and refuge for single moms and teen girls. As an example of the needs, I would like to introduce you to a few folks.

Patti, age 20 and Carla, age 16 are the daughters of crystal meth addicts. They have both developed a skin disorder that is very common in Mexico where their skin loses its pigmentation. They were examined by a doctor from Mexico City this fall and told that the cause of their physical aliment was emotional stress – the stress of living in a house with methamphetamine-addicted parents. The doctor told them to get out of the house. We would like to invite them to Hope House!

Lupita was 15 years old when she got pregnant by a married man who was in his forties. Both she and the father of now her two children want to serve the Lord and do what is right but that would mean going back home to her parents (she ran away from home, originally) and being separated from her children's father until he can divorce his former wife (he has children older that Lupita) and legitimately marry Lupita and raise these two children. We hope that we can establish Hope House quickly enough so that Lupita and her children can come stay with us, receiving the help and training she needs.

These stories are repeated dozens if not hundreds of times throughout the city.

The Lord recently opened the door for us to one of the few remaining and functioning women's rehab centers. They can house up to 30 women and have a special room just for young girls and those who come to the center while pregnant. This is a wide open and ripe harvest field. It is our hope that some of these women and girls will join us at Hope House after they are clean and sober so that we can introduce them to He who sets the captives free.

Each Friday, Joe is up and in the line to cross the border by 5:30am to be at a food bank in Yuma by 8:00am. He has been carrying food across for Ricardo and the guys at the center, another program that feeds 100 kids breakfast every morning and now for the women's rehab center. This food opened the door to the women's center. Recently, he was turned back at the border and told by the Mexican officials that he could only bring a little bread and a few canned goods across and only on Saturday. However, God provided a contact in the Human Rights Agency in Mexico who spoke with the Aduana (Customs) and now Joe can bring as much as he can carry! Praise God!!

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