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January 2007
Dear Friends in Christ,
Many of us across the U.S. dealt with extremely cold temperatures this month. Ice was everywhere and it was quite beautiful. The power was out at our Texas home for thirty hours; a very minor inconvenience for us. Yet for many of our Mexico friends, it was very difficult. With dirt floors, living under tarps and wood scraps with no insulation, the days and nights are very cold. With Pastor Santos' guidance, OSM was able to help several families with heaters and take note of other needs for us to attend to at a later date. Our son John was home for a short visit from Ft Bragg, NC, he and Kenny went to check on a sweet elderly couple, Roberto and Julietta, who we had donated a heater to a couple of years ago. They noticed that the heater was gone and their house was quite cold. When Kenny asked why, they told him that they saw a family who needed a heater more than they did, so they gave their heater to them. We were touched by their sacrificial love. They also informed us of a few other families in need of heaters, so we got them another one and took care of the other family's needs.
Working in Nava is usually very rewarding and January was no exception. The Lord provided funds through a faithful supporter to purchase and pass out 60 dispensias (food bags). As always, work for the fathers is scarce, but with the addition of very cold weather, many families were in great need for food and warmth. Pastor Santos announced at church that he would be passing out dispensias on Monday and after church there were 60 families on a list in a short time. Monday we got to work early, purchasing and preparing the food bags. Several members of the John 3:16 Church came to help with the work. These food packages will last up to 2 weeks or more, depending on the size of the family.
As we went door to door to give the families their food, Pastor Santos would share with them that this was a gift from the Heavenly Father. Pastor Santos always uses these opportunities to witness Christ and this was excellent timing with many men at home. We worked till 10:00 p.m. getting the food packages to all the homes. What a blessed time!
In the newest and poorest colonia, Nuevo Imagin, many of the families were sitting outside their homes by fires to stay warm. One elderly woman said her daughter was out at the dump trying to find scraps of plastic to put around their house to help keep out the rain and cold.
A teen-age girl we know named Rosie, recently lost a baby and we were told it was due to the cold. Rosie has some mental problems and we are not sure of all the details around the death of her baby, but the church did reach out to her and her family during the time of her loss. This news was so sad especially knowing it may have been due to the weather.
Another project we worked on while in Mexico was assembling a few bunk beds to distribute. We purchased bunk beds at the Habitat for Humanity surplus store here in San Antonio and took them into Mexico. We gave one to Julius Ceasar's family who has 3 beautiful girls and his wife is expecting another baby soon. The other bunk bed was for Jose's family of 4 children. The children were all very excited about having new beds.
Some of you who have been on teams in the past may remember Maria who made delicious doughnuts for us. She also made tamales and empanadas for teams. We have known and worked with her and her husband Luis for about 5 years. She shared with us how difficult these cold months have been for their family with 3 children. We were blessed to be able to take her grocery shopping. She bought food for her family as well as extra supplies so that she could once again get her doughnut business going.
The weather in Mexico can remain cold sometimes through March. If you would like to donate funds toward heaters ($300), or food dispensias (for 60 the cost was $800), or bunk beds for children (with mattresses $360), or funds for blankets, we would be happy to deliver these items for families in Nava.
The Lord continues to cover us up with His love and goodness. We are very grateful for your love, prayers and support. Thank you for allowing us to work in Mexico and Haiti on your behalf. It is our desire to represent Christ to the people we serve.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family