Here we at home we’re bracing ourselves for what they say will be a big storm this weekend! The wind is a-blowin’ (honestly though, what else is new?) and a sharp chill is in the air. But thanks to our dear friend Lloyd Simrose, we’re being kept warm and snug.
Things at home are steadily keeping us busy, but we’re excited about what God is doing. This past weekend, Teresa Skinner took her business, Welcome 2 Afrika, to the annual African-American Festival at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. It’s such a joy to go and be amongst the people there. It’s a great opportunity to tell people about NEEPUganda, Sister Gertrude and the precious children of the Nyamabuga Primary and Secondary schools. One woman, as Teresa was talking to her, looked at Teresa and asked, “Are you a Christian?” When Teresa answered yes, the woman smiled broadly and exclaimed “Amen! So am I!” She proceeded to tell Teresa that she had a desire to go to Africa and do ministry there. Isn’t that a blessing?
About a week ago, we had another blessing come to pass. Sometime ago, we were donated fruit trees to plant in our orchard. Before we could plant them however, there were holes to be dug and wire baskets made (to prevent the moles from eating our lovely trees!), but alas, the labor was more than the laborers. His timing is wonderful however, and so we waited. Two weeks ago, we were able to have some youth from the Lancaster High School InterAct club to come and help us fashion the baskets for the trees. The following weekend, the InterAct club, along with some attendees from the gardening classes and people here at home, came together to dig the holes and plant the trees, and have a tree care class. The class was given by a man from L. E. Cooke, a company specializing in fruit trees and landscape trees and shrubs, who helped us get the trees. He drove all the way from Visalia (that’s almost 3 hours away!) to give our people a free class, teaching about rounding roots (when the roots grow around themselves, in laymans terms) proper care, pruning, all the things one needs to know about tree care. Mr. Tom (our instructor) was passionate and incredibly knowledgeable, and made the afternoon an informative and enjoyable one. We appreciate our incredible volunteers who gave of their time to do this project with us! We especially thank Mr. Tom for driving so far, and giving so much.
Included in this post is the report for the Mexico trip (and some wonderful pictures!)
Also, don’t forget to view this week’s message, Imparting His Glory!
All Nations Missions Trip to Mexico Jan. 31, 2014 to Feb. 3, 2014
Participants: Sylvia Dawn, Marva Beauvoir, Carrie Duren, Kathy Jones and Ashley Flores
Our trip began at 4am, departing from Sommer Haven. The team met Michael Waldrup at Sister Sophie’s house in Orange County. Sister Sophie is a precious woman from the Philippines who has, for the last 25 years, been feeding and sheltering the homeless and needy in downtown San Diego. Sister Sophie showed our team the work she does from her home: from the furniture, clothing and other household items, to her food pantry, her little garden, and the space where the homeless can seek rest, she showed our team how the obedience of a few can affect many. Fresh out of our Intensive Training class, it was amazing to see what learned, being implemented.
We arrived at the mission house in Erendira, Baja California, approximately 12 hours from when we started. After setting up give away bags from the Panera bread and potatoes, we cooked our dinner, and it was a blessing we cooked what we did! We had friends of Michael join us for dinner, Jerry and his wife Maria. Maria stated during the meal, that she had been craving lamb and cabbage, exactly what Carrie had prepared for dinner! We thanked God for His provision and incredible timing, because even though Jerry and Maria were unexpected, there was more than enough for us ladies, Michael and Mr. Goody his traveling partner and Jerry and his wife Maria, plus some for the next day.
Saturday was our fishing and beach day. It was an all day excursion that gave us a look at local and natural life in Erendira. We were able to see the schools, the different crops grown and had an opportunity to visit a local person’s garden. We also felt so blessed to have time to enjoy the beach and the amazing marine life. It was a time of refreshment, and felt it was a gift from the Lord. Although we didn’t catch fish, Jerry so wisely bought fish beforehand at the local fishery, buying a little of what each of us ladies liked. Jerry and Maria love the Lord and are eager to help in any way they can. They are currently building a three level house, the first level being three studio style apartments for people who come to stay for periods of time, like missionaries. Jerry and Maria’s hospitality was a blessing.
Sunday gave us a chance to spend some time with the people in the area where Michael lived. The worship service was amazing, and the presence of God was strong. Michael spoke about All Nations, and our recent training class. He asked each one of us to share a little about who we were and what had brought us to working with All Nations and what we got out of the class. Ashley translated for each lady, as well Michael and the pastor of the church. Sylvia spoke about gardening, Kathy spoke about cooking and feeding the homeless, Marva spoke about her rearing and how it prepared for working with All Nations, and Carrie spoke about praise dancing. After church Michael took our team to meet Cesar
and his family who are interested in restarting a garden they once had. While there we talked about planting in a raised bed and the possibility of growing a tree that’s specific to that region whose seeds are highly prized and marketable.
Later in the evening, we had a movie night for the children of the area. During the movie, a pastor friend of Michael’s that had driven for hours showed up at the door. Carrie, Marva, Sylvia and Kathy jumped back into the kitchen. The hand of God stretched our lunchtime meal, and the ladies put the whole meal together in less than 10 minutes.
On Monday headed back home. About a week after our trip we sat down for a debriefing, talking about things we would change, how we felt about what we had seen, and what we would like to do again. Each of us expressed a desire to go and do more work amongst the people there. We were grateful for the one month Intensive Missionary Class, and knew God’s timing had orchestrated the classes and our trip.