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March 2006
Dear Friends in Christ,
March was a wonderfully busy month for our family and O.S.M. The Lord provided many new and interesting projects for us to be involved in. We have been looking forward to sharing them with each of you!
The beginning of the month we took a long weekend off and headed down to Port Lavaca, TX. We enjoyed a few days of relaxing and the children playing and making sand castles. The boys pitched tents and camped out on the beach. The weather and timing was perfect, we were the only ones playing on the whole beach. Debbi's Mom, flew in to visit for several days and was able to join us there. Although we all thought it was too short, we enjoyed "Mema's" visit.
A big event that took place this month, is our granddaughter Heidi turned one year old! It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since this little bundle of sunshine and joy entered our lives. Heidi has been an energetic blessing to all of us. She is a great example of being full of the joy of life in the Lord, so that it overflows to everyone she's around! Heidi is also looking forward to meeting her baby sister Hallie Kate who should be arriving in approx. eight weeks. Please keep Micah and Holly in your prayers as the time of the delivery approaches.
We hosted an energetic group of mothers and daughters from Monterrey, Mexico for an evening as they were on their way to attend an A.T.I. conference. Pam and Natalia Rodriguez who are long time family friends of ours brought a group of girls up to Big Sandy, TX for a home-schooling conference. We enjoyed getting to know new friends from Monterrey. Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them. Splended and majestic is His work; And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonders to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and compassionate. (Ps. 111:2-4)
Our family was excited to have the privilege to be in Mexico for 2 weeks this month. The time was a blessing and an encouragement to each of us for many different reasons. Monday, we began our trip by going through Nava to get visas so that we could cross the second border going further south into Mexico. Not sure how things would go at the border, we were very happy to get visa's for us and our vehicle all on that day.
Tuesday we traveled on a very nice road through desert-like terrain, which soon turned into mountains. We went through several cities and in approximately 5 hours we were in Saltillo, Mexico. Continuing on being surrounded by very beautiful mountains, we traveled another hour and a half to the home of Mike and Pam Richardson in the small village of Baratillo. Along the way we saw lots of apple orchards starting to bloom, they were beautiful. Mike and Pam, along with 6 of their 9 children, live at about 7,000 feet in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Their family moved there seven years ago and have been ministering to the people there. God has allowed the Richardsons to plant a Church, where Mike has been serving as Pastor. They found the people to be very open and hungry for Christ. Mike and Pam also minister to the Mexican people through helping to promote and strengthen the home-schooling movement. Most families have the mindset that it's illegal to home-school in Mexico, this however is not true. The Richardsons have provided a wealth of information and encouragement to families all over Mexico, as well as 30 other Spanish speaking countries, through publishing a home-schooling magazine. Every other month they send out over 3,000 magazines packed with information, encouragement and tips for home-schoolers as well as information on Christian Spanish curriculums.
We had a wonderful visit with the Richardson family. Our boys were able to help Mike with some of the building projects he has going. Kenneth and Mike spent a day in Saltillo running errands and making purchases for the Richardsons. On Thursday night Kenneth and Debbi went on a magnificent ride into a small town about an hour from the Richardson home. Driving on the mountain ridge, watching the sun set reminds us that we have a loving Father watching over us and we have so much to look forward to in Heaven, our permanent Home. In the town, we visited with Mario, who is an unsaved husband of one of the Richardson's church members. We enjoyed talking and sharing with him and would ask you to join us in praying for his salvation. Mike has a very sweet congregation of dedicated saints and we were honored to worship with them on Friday evening. We were very happy to see Mario there, it seems that the Lord is working in his heart. After church we shared a simple, yet tasty meal with the Brothers and Sisters.
Saturday morning we left the Richardson's home to return to Nava. On the way home, we dropped Sara and her new friend Erica off in Saltillo at her mothers home. Sara was able to help Erica with her Sunday school classes the next morning at her church in Artiaga.
When we arrived in Nava, we quickly prepared for the Richardson family to join us on Sunday evening. Mike came to share 2 great messages with the Juan 3:16 Church on Monday and Tuesday nights. He and his messages were well received by the Brothers and Sisters of the church.
On Tuesday morning, Pam went with Debbi to the grocery store to buy food for Pedro's family. Having Pam there was a real blessing for Debbi as she was able to translate for us that several people in the store asked about our family, wondering where we have been and are we back now. It was sweet to hear that they cared. When we went to deliver the food to Pedro's Grandmother, a precious Sister in Christ, she shared through Pam that her heart is knit with us in the pain that we have gone through. She was so humble and once again, in giving, we received far more than we gave. During our time in Nava, we contracted a well driller to drill on the ministry's property. Ken, Mike and the boys oversaw the well being drilled. We actually found water around 25 feet but continued to 125 to get the best water and to have a reserve. Our future plans are to put in a windmill or an electric pump. We're also hoping to have electricity on the property soon. The Lord has provided $6,000 of the $10,000 that is needed for the electricity. Lord willing we will be starting agriculture projects on the property soon. Several Christian families from Kansas who are involved in dairy goat farming have offered to provide O.S.M. with dairy goats, and some equipment needed to milk them. We are looking forward to beginning this outlet of ministry in Nava. Our desire would be to use this to minister to men and young boys through providing educational work and discipleship. It will also be necessary for us to build a caretakers house on the property in the near future for security purposes. Pray with us that the Lord would provide an honest Christian family to live there.
We had a great time hosting the Richardson family and they departed from Nava on Wednesday morning. After they left, the boys went out to the property to clear brush and make a nice area near the well. The whole property, approximately 35 acres, is thick with brush, cactus, small oaks, and snakes. We hope to slowly clear and fence the land.
Spending time in Mexico this month was such a joy. It was a blessing to have time to catch up and fellowship with our friends in Nava once again.
O.S.M.'s work in Haiti has continued. Lussade and his family need your prayers as they survive the daily struggles of living in Haiti. The "Shelby Haiti Fund" is still providing support for O.S.M.'s two schools. The Haitian children of these schools were very dear to Shelby's heart. We are grateful the Lord has seen fit so far for us to continue supporting these schools. The children are provided a healthy meal each day as well as a good education by Christian teachers. We are looking forward to returning to Haiti some time this year to check in on the work there.
Many of you have been in prayer for our son John as he's been in Afghanistan serving in the U.S. Army. John has two weeks leave next month so we're looking forward to his visit home. Afghanistan is a very dangerous place to be right now, so please remember him in your prayers.
Thank you all for your continued love, prayers and support. We thank the Lord for each of you continuously and hope you know we do not take you for granted. "Grace and Peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." II Peter 1:2
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family