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December 2004
Dear Friends in Christ,
As we come to the end of another year, it’s exciting for us to look back and see what the Lord has done in and through Only a Servant Ministries. Although our family has had a slight set back of late we still feel as though the Lord has given us a full and blessed year in Him.
January the Lord provided funds for us to distribute heaters to many families in Nava who were in need. Most of the families did not have heaters and Mexico can get miserably cold in the winter. 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. We were also able to give out food packages to help the families make it through the difficult winter months.
February we distributed more heaters and food packages. Funds were also provided for us to rent a second home in Mexico. Our original plan was to use the new rental home for small seminars, teachings and helping to host teams. The Lord however had even better plans for the new house. We were also able to cross into Mexico in February with a load of lumber, which as many of you who have been receiving our newsletter know, is a miracle in itself.
The beginning of March found us pouring foundations for our March team from Orlando, FL, as well as a family from Chicago, IL. The team was very persevering through rain and mud to complete two homes. At the end of the week they had a little spare time which they used to put a roof on a Christian family’s home.
In April the Lord led dear friends of ours, the Sweets, to join our family in ministry in Mexico. This was and has been an exciting new development for all of us. The Sweets have been especially helpful continuing the work in Mexico as we have been going through this medical crisis in our family.
May was an especially busy month for us as our daughter Holly married Micah Wakefield. Micah and Holly are living 40 minutes from us in Boerne, Texas. We are now excitedly looking forward to meeting our first grandbaby, Heidi Summer, who is scheduled to arrive March 5th, 2005.
After the wedding, Micah and Holly took off to Cancun for 2 weeks while the rest of us headed to Mexico with the Sweet family to put foundations in for our June team. The Sweets also started scrubbing and painting, preparing to move into the house O.S.M. rented in February.
In June we hosted our first building/medical team. The group was from Boone, North Carolina. They brought a very motivated group who stayed an extra day after building two homes to hold a small medical clinic in the church.
July consisted of packing up and heading south for the Sweet family. Our old 15-passenger van proved herself faithful again in helping with the move.
Our sons Kenny, James and Micah had the opportunity to learn about plumbing and irrigation. They assisted friends in irrigating their yard under the supervision of Dana Sweet.
August we returned to Mexico for our annual week long, purity seminar. The week was filled with teachings, numerous crafts, activities, and skits. Debbi, Liz Sweet, and Carmen Torres also spent time during that week hosting a three day mother’s teaching. This proved to be a very fruitful and encouraging week for all.
As the seminar and mother’s teachings were happening, our sons, Dana Sweet and his son Abe, began pouring foundations for a team in September.
September Shelby and Kenny made a trip to Haiti to check up on our projects there. They enjoyed getting to visit once again the two schools that O.S.M. sponsors. They also had the opportunity to purchase new dishes for the schools. The children were bringing their own bowls or small pots to school to eat out of.
We also had a team in September from Chicago, Bloomington and Zion, Illinois. The houses built during the week had a few new additions consisting of a beautiful front porch and a full bathroom – shower, toilet and sink. This was exciting for us as we always enjoy adding and improving to the homes we build.
October was a shocking and devastating month for our family as our beautiful daughter Shelby was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare and fast growing form of cancer. As you are receiving this newsletter Shelby will be going through her third round of chemotherapy. Each round of therapy consists of 4 straight days of chemo. One of the most difficult things in the world has to be watching a daughter/sister go through so much pain. Shelby’s spirits however, have been up through all of these trials, as she is clinging to the Lord with true faith that He will heal her and this is only part of His plan for her life. Just before starting this third round of therapy we were able to view x-rays to see how the chemo is effecting her cancer. Although the doctors weren’t able to tell if the cancer is dying or the tumor is shrinking, they did say her bones that had been eaten away by the tumor are attempting to grow back. This was very encouraging for us to hear. Please continue to be in prayer with us for Shelby. One major prayer request is that Shelby will gain weight to give her more energy going through the chemo and to fight off the cancer.
November O.S.M. had the opportunity to host Norm Wakefield of Elijah Ministries in Nava, Mexico. Norm shared at the annual pastor’s and men’s conference held at the John 3:16 Church.
The Sweets had the opportunity to help provide temporary housing for a homeless family during the cold, rainy and muddy month of November. They also involved some of the young children in the colonia in small projects in the carpenter shop.
December Sweet Field Report~ “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised” for 2004
The holiday season has been a great time for us. Although we decided to spend the holidays here in Nava, we were blessed with visits from friends and family. Lori Class, along with the BIG SURPRISE of Ladonna and Haley, our older daughter and granddaughter, showed up in Nava. With vigor they spruced up the bathroom walls with very colorful paint. Liz’s sister and husband, Sarah and Dan Scott, visited us the following weekend. What a great time of fun and fellowship as we gave them a taste of the Nava life!
To help spread the love of Christ in a practical way, Alan Patty and family arrived to help us distribute some fifty food bags to needy families in and around the church. Joanna and Abe were especially happy to see Sarah, Iryna, and Joe. Pastor Santos, Manuel, Rosy, Isai, and Brenda joined in the fun.
Sonday House Fellowship, a church group from Fredericksburg, Texas, graciously donated funds to build a one-room shelter for a family. May the Lord richly bless you and your families as you begin 2005.
The Sweets
We continue to be very grateful to each of you who have supported us through prayer or financially in 2004. With a grandbaby on the way, and lots of prayers for Shelby’s healing, we are looking forward to embracing 2005!
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family