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January 2004
Dear Friends in Christ,
What a privilege it is to be serving our Lord. In November’s newsletter we wrote about the need for heaters in Mexico.The response for this need has been amazing! All through out December, funds were sent in designated for heaters. This month we were able to purchase and install heaters in 16 homes. Praise the Lord!
Because we had traveled to Mexico in our suburban, Pastor Santos came and hauled all the gas tanks for us in the back of his truck. It took several trips back and forth to the hardware store to get all of the heaters. Pastor Santos helped us make a list of 16 families to receive heaters, mainly focusing on those with small children and babies or elderly couples. It was hard for us, not being able to give one to everyone! So many moms came to us after we were finished, showing us their baby, telling their story of how cold they were last night and asking for a heater for their home. We are praying for the funds to be able to purchase more heaters for these precious families!
Each home we went into with a heater, the children would light up with excitement. During the cold months of the year a lot of the mothers and children stay home in bed, wrapped up in as many blankets as they have. For heat most of the families have a metal plate of hot coals. One home we went into had a shovel on the floor filled with red-hot coals, the family all stood around it trying to keep warm. This trip made us realize how many blessings the Lord gives us that we take for granted. Our home has heat; if we want to go out side we have warm jackets to take with us and if we want to take a shower, we have hot running water for it. These are all things that most families in the colonia do not have.
As Pastor Santos, Kenny and James installed heaters in each home, the mothers and children would watch in amazement as they plugged it in and warm air came out. The families were all excited and blessed to have for the first time in their lives a heater! This is a luxury that they would never have the money to buy.
One home we went to was a home we had built a couple of years ago. The owners are an elderly couple who take in young, single mothers with babies and give them shelter. The couple shared with us about a Bible study they hold in their house once a week. Every Thursday a group of 8-10 people come together and study different passages of the scripture. The little house is so crowded that everyone has to sit on the bed. It was such a blessing for us to see the outreach and ministry this couple is having in their new home. After constructing the homes, we normally pray that they will be a lighthouse for Christ to the community, and this home has definitely been an answer to that prayer!
During our visit, with Pastor Santos’ help,we were also able to purchase and deliver food to many needy homes. The cold months are always very hard for the Mexican families. Pastor Santos informed us that this winter seemed to be an extra hard one for many people. The Lord provided the funds and we were able to purchase a truckload of food and supplies to distribute. The food was delivered to the church where Sara, Holly and their little friends Enrique and Jenny divided and bagged it up. Each bag was packed with beans, rice, oil, noodles, powdered milk, cocoa, sugar,corn meal, coffee, tomato paste, laundry detergent, soap and toothpaste. We also gave each family a 100 lb. sack of flour. This was enough food to get them through for a month. Each family was very grateful for the food. There are so many needy families right now that we felt like we were barely able to scratch the surface.
We also noticed on this trip that many new families have moved into the colonia. At least 30 new tar paper and crate shacks have been put up to provide shelter for the growing colonia. We are excited about the expansion of our ministry to include these families and possibly help by providing better weather-proof housing.
Please remember to keep our family in your prayers in the upcoming months. The month of February holds quite a full schedule for us. We plan to try and complete 2 foundations as well as haul supplies into Mexico for 4 homes. We have yet to discover an easy way to cross into Mexico with our materials. Each time we try, there are new people to work with and new rules to go by. Please pray even now that the Lord would be preparing and softening the hearts of the border officials for our crossings in February. We are grateful to Him for His faithfulness in supplying our every need. We would also like to possibly distribute more food packages in February.There are so many more families in need that we were not able to reach on our last visit. Please pray with us that these families will see Christ’s love for them through us.
“My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Once again the Lord has blessed us with another month to look back on and praise Him. We are grateful to each of you for your faithful love, prayers and support! May God richly bless you as He has us!
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family