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February 2004
Dear Friends in Christ,
What a high calling it is to be “children of God” and to be a light to this dying world! We are to be “blameless and innocent” and to be “above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom we appear as lights in the world.” How often we fall short of this calling! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and mercy to us despite that!
This month we made several trips to Mexico. Our first trip we were able to take down a few more heaters. It’s always so exciting to give a family the gift of heat in the winter. We also began scouting out areas to build homes. Its been a few months since we have had a construction team, and there are many new locations with families that need help. One new colonia we came across didn’t have water or electricity, and all of the homes were made of tin, cardboard, crates, tarps and blankets. We were heart broken by this and immediately wanted to help, until the ex-mayor Carlos Osuna and his wife Sandra explained to us that these families actually all have homes, and are only living there so the government will give them the land. In Mexico many people will steal land by setting up shacks and houses on someone else’s empty property. Eventually they claim it and the government is forced to give them the land. The “squatters” then sell the property and move on to another piece of land repeating the process. We were saddened by the poverty and deceit of these families but realized we could not help them with housing under these conditions. We did however find many other families in need of homes that already owned property.
As many of you know our family has been renting a home in Nava for the past year. The rent cost has been significantly low enough that we’re actually saving money from our previous hotel bills during our trips to Nava. It has also provided a place for storing some of our supplies, so we don’t have to carry them across the border each time we go to Mexico. The couple we are renting from just had another home in Nava become available for rent. Because of how happy our land lords have been with the condition of the home we have been renting, they came to us first to see if we would like to rent their second home. After praying about it for a while we decided this would be a great blessing to the ministry. We are excited about the many new hosting opportunities this home will provide!
During this first trip to Mexico we also talked with the border officials, asking them for help getting materials across for our March team. We were immediately assisted and within a day we were given a pass to bring our goose-neck trailer loaded with materials for two homes across the border the following week! Our border crossings have always been very difficult and time consuming so we are praising the Lord for this miracle!
The following week we took our loaded trailer down to the border town Eagle Pass. Within 20 minutes we were over the border and in Mexico! We are so grateful to the Lord for working out this huge detail for us.
It was during our second trip to Mexico that we found the families our March team will be building for. One is a family of 9 and the other a family of 4. Each of them are in need of durable shelter and we are excited about helping with that!
With the help of our friend Carlos Osuna we were able to hire some of the locals to begin pouring foundations for these two homes. Our son Kenny will be joining them next week to help. This winter has been a hard one for a lot of our friends in Mexico. Many families have lost their jobs leaving them with little source of income. We are excited about this opportunity as it will provide a temporary job for a few families.
We are so grateful for what the Lord did for us and through Only a Servant this month. We are looking forward to once again hosting a team in March. The group is coming from Orlando, FL. Please be in prayer with us that even now the Lord will be preparing the hearts of those we will be reaching out to.
Thank you for your involvement with our ministry through prayers and financial support.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family
Your loving kindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God...How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! Psalm 36: 5,6&7
Please be in prayer with us for Debbi’s Mother, Barbara McGovern. She has recently been diagnosed with cancer in her right lung. She will begin chemotherapy March 5th, this will last 5 weeks after which she will have surgery. Please pray with us that the Lord would encourage and provide strength for Debbi and her Mother. This has been a difficult and trying time for both of them. Debbi has been to Florida to be with her Mom once already and is planning several more trips to help support her.