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September 2004
Dear Friends in Christ,
The following is Shelby’s testimony of the trip to Haiti.
Kenny and I were thrilled to return to Haiti the beginning of this month. We flew through Florida the night before hurricane Frances hit, but all of our flights stayed on schedule and we arrived in Haiti as planned.
Lussade and his family hosted us, providing wonderful accommodations and meals for us each day. His parents treat Kenny and me as if we were their own children, watching over us the whole time we are there.
On Saturday Lussade led a group of us on a hike in the mountains. This brought back fun memories for Kenny and me as we used to do this as a family when we lived there. We were looking for a location to hold a medical clinic for a team in May.
It was a privilege, once again to visit the two schools that O.S.M. sponsors. The school children are very respectful and it was exciting to see them again.
I wrote my Dad an e-mail while there which gives a little insight into the two personalities of the school directors. It follows:
“Hey Daddy, we’re in Petionville. Peti-Noelle is just as nice as ever. We saw the children and took pictures. He has some needs...dishes are one, and they want to rent a building that is $3,000 Haitian a year. They could feed the children in it, and make all the food there. He showed me the building and it seemed nice. I told him I’d let you know about it. As of right now all their children bring their own dishes each day. I assume they use their own pots...which is something else they probably could use.
Pastor Mark has a legal page list as always.:-) You remember that property? Well it is still there. I have a list of his churches desires and wishes. He told me they need dishes and pots as well. He wasn’t too fond of the idea of the children bringing their own dishes...which we told him Peti-Noelle’s school does. He said that wasn’t good. I told him I’d do what I can. The two of them are so different. Peti comes off so humble and grateful and I have to ask him his needs. Pastor Mark is the same Pastor Mark, a little man with a huge dream.:-)” The Lord laid it on Dad’s heart to purchase the pots, pans and dishes, and rent the building Peti needed for a year on faith that He would provide the money. Praise His Name, He has already provided through a man who didn’t even know of these needs, but felt led to donate toward the work in Haiti.
Feriexpo Sabinas 2004
A portion of the Kennedy & Sweet family had the opportunity to travel south with Pastor Santos and several boys from the colonia, to Sabinas, Coahilla Mexico for the annual Feriexpo Sabinas 2004. We were very excited to finally attend having heard about it for years. Ranch families from three different Mexican states came to show their steers.
While there we met the man who actually helped found the show 23 years ago, Gary Parker. Gary is fluent in Spanish, a native Texan who currently lives in Uvalde, Texas and travels down annually to judge the steer show. He has taught Agriculture on a university level and obviously still has an incredible gift and passion for teaching. We were honored by all the time he spent with us at the show as he was very busy throughout the week. Gary gave us helpful information on raising a steer and possibly putting together a small animal show in the Nava area. The boys enjoyed watching hundreds of steers being judged. Eventually a Grand Champion was chosen from three age and/or weight classes. Our vision is to purchase a steer to raise and enter the show next year. This would be a great opportunity for the young boys of Nava, as well as an opportunity for us to spend more time with them walking out the Gospel of Christ.
New Homes In Nava Mexico
This month we had the joy of hosting a team from Bloomington, Zion & Chicago, Illinois. The team was made up of two different homeschooling groups from different churches. Each group put together half of the team and met for the first time when they arrived in Mexico. The group leaders were Doug Horne who came with his daughter Caroline and other homeschooling families and Leon Hedding, who came with his brother Lucas and other friends.
Many of you probably remember in our last newsletter we called these the new generation homes. These were the first homes we’ve built with not only a shower but also a flushable toilet, sink and front porch! We were all very excited and pleased with the new additions to the homes.
The Lord blessed us with beautiful weather. Although we did have one or two hot and sunshiny days, most of the week was slightly cloudy with just enough sunshine to dry our paint.
We were blessed to have Ralph Garcia join us for the week. Ralph speaks fluent Spanish and put that to use sharing to the youth Wednesday and Thursday evening during Bible School. We are always grateful for people who have a heart for teaching the gospel.
One of the recipients of the new homes was a single mother of two. After Myra became pregnant out of wedlock with Obed her youngest the Lord completely changed her heart and life for the better. She has been living with her mother Paulina, a very sweet Christian woman who is very involved in our ministry as well as the church. We were honored to finally build a home for Myra right across the street from her parents house.
The other family we built for is new in the area. Juan Sandape, his wife Ellia and beautiful family of 3 children didn’t have a home at all. We were able to put them up in temporary housing until the new home was built. Juan’s daughters, Alejandra and Araceli attended the Purity seminar we did last month. Although we don’t know the family very well, they seem to be sweet Christians who have already begun involving themselves in the Juan 3:16 church.
A Sweet Field Report
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32
Mexicans celebrate September 16 as Independence Day in much the same manner as Americans celebrate July 4. From fireworks and shouts in the plaza to parades and children reciting ’freedom’ poetry at a rally, Nava was bustling with activity for more than 24 hours. Although we are Americans, the Sweet family joined the festivities by displaying and waving the Mexican flag. What fun! Our prayer is that Mexicans find true freedom in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Evana Toll, our energetic niece from Kerrville, Texas, came and helped us finish painting the house. Our home now feels fresh and clean. Also, please pray for Louise Whetstone, the dear wife of Liz’s dad. Recently her colon cancer resurfaced, and she underwent major surgery this month. Pray that she recovers quickly as Dad Whetstone cares for her during her convalescence.
Please note our new e-mail address. We love and thank all of you who are helping us serve the Mexican people.
Gratefulness to all,
Dana, Liz, Abe and Joanna Sweet
The Sweet Family’s field address:
2320 Del Rio Hwy PMB 107, Eagle Pass, TX 78852
Please send all donations to the OSM San Antonio mailing address.
Many of you have been on building teams with our family now and you know first hand of the numerous details and expenses of projects in Mexico. Not only do we have vehicles to upkeep and insure, a great deal of tools and equipment to maintain, we also have the extra housing expenses when we are there.
The Sweet family has already been a great blessing to our family by helping with teams and paperwork for teams from the Mexico side. They are ministering daily in the carpenter house and helping organize and make better use of the Dorcas House for the colonia. Currently they still need about $500 per month to be fully sponsored. The Wakefields, Micah and Holly, are fully supported through this month, then they also need $550 per month. This precious young couple is key to our building teams, Micah leading the building of a house each team, Holly leading a paint team, and both of them ministering through the Bible Schools in the evenings.
Please don’t be offended by this request, but we would ask those of you who are not already financially committed to O.S.M., to prayerfully consider helping us out with the new additional expenses of a growing ministry. The Lord is so gracious to give us these new families to encourage and further the ministry, and we praise Him for them, please consider helping us with the financial obligations we are now incurring.
We pray this newsletter is an encouragement to you of what God is doing in Nava, Mexico through your prayers and gifts to O.S.M. We are grateful to the Lord and to each of you for your part.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family