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April 2008
Dear Friends in Christ,
The weather in Nava was the best we could have hoped for this month. We were blessed to be joined by some of Only a Servant's board of directors, Margie Anderson, John Leininger, Richard Schutz, and Holly along with Micah and the girls. Thanks to each of you for taking the weekend to come and visit us in Mexico. The meeting went very well. Thank you for your prayers. We were happy to give the board a tour of the work in Nava. This included taking them to the Ranch of Faith, and visiting several families we have built homes for in the past. The group put together food packages and distributed them to many of the church families. This gave everyone the opportunity to be involved. Our granddaughters, Heidi and Hallie Kate really enjoyed helping package the food and giving it out to people.
One of the places we visited with the board was the home of little Jesus' family. John Leininger, who used to practice optometry, took a quick look at his eyes. John confirmed his severe cataracts and told us that he is practically blind. From talking with Jesus' mom, Maria, it appears that he has been suffering from the cataracts for about two years. It's possible that surgery could help so we are further investigating the situation. Please continue to pray for Ramiro and Maria as they deal with many physical complications daily.
Below is an article written by John about his visit to Nava ~
I had been on Only a Servant's first trip to Mexico to build a home for a poor family. That was a little over 10 years ago and I hadn't been back until the weekend of April 11th,2008.
What I saw truly blew my mind. I've received and read all of the newsletters over the years and have been impressed with the many families that have received new homes and the other ministries that OSM is involved with, but I was still unprepared for what I saw. I expected to see an occasional home here and there that OSM had blessed families with. What I saw were many homes in several colonials along with other ministries that OSM was involved with in the community. Did you know that they have built almost ninety homes in Mexico?
The surprise to me was the amazing effect the ministry was having on the WHOLE colonia, not just individual families. There were many homes in one area that OSM had built along with a church they built, and self help projects going on, all at the same time.
The Dorcas House is what Sara has been working so hard on, where ladies come to learn to sew beautiful dresses and skirts, then she brings them back to the states and sells them on the internet. She teaches them sewing, pays them for their work and ministers to their needs, all while discipling them. How awesome is that? And there's a wood working shop that is set up similar to the Dorcas house, but for men.
It took me going to Nava to understand OSM's ministry. Take poor families out of cardboard houses, put them in a nice home, provide a church to meet their spiritual needs and give them the opportunity to learn a trade so that they can better provide for themselves and their families, while discipling them and ministering to their needs.
That's an amazing ministry, one that is providing spiritual and physical healing for areas of Mexico. I encourage each of you to help support OSM's efforts and go yourself so that you can see and share in this wonderful ministry.
~John Leininger
After an enjoyable weekend with the board members, we started on some projects that the Lord provided the funds for through many of you. Thank you all for your loving responses to the needs mentioned in our previous newsletters.
Sara was pleased to have a few extra workers in the Dorcas House to help her with sewing summer skirts and dresses to be sold on her blog. Some of these women have had experience working in factories in their area, but don't want to commit to the regular work hours away from their husbands and families. Having the sewing house close to their homes, being able to bring their children or have them play close by, and having flexible hours makes working there more of a possibility for them. Also, Sara has had a great response from women all around the U.S. who want modest clothing for their daughters. Please pray for the sewing ministry as we seek the Lord's guidance for the present and future.
Kenny and Micah worked on the roofs for Julius Ceasar's family and little Jesus' family. They enjoyed working with a few of the men from the Juan 3:16 church. Tancho, is a church elder who has been out of work because of a car accident. Concho is another church member who has also been out of work recuperating from a ruptured appendix. They were both happy for the work, and Kenny and Micah would not have been able to do the roofs without them. The men in Mexico build their homes very differently than we do here, so Tancho and Concho were able to show our boys how to attach the roofs to the existing walls securely. Kenny is very close to Tancho, so they enjoyed this opportunity to work together. Micah was glad for the time to work on his Spanish with Concho. With lots of team work, the two roofs were completed. The boys were also able to deliver the materials to Pedro's Uncle Jesus to finish his roof.
Kenny and Tancho also did quite a bit of rummaging through junk-yards and gathering old bus parts so that the church bus could be worked on. While we were there, the bus as well as the church van, had transmission repairs. The bus had additional electrical problems as well that were attended to. We were also able to replace a few of the windows and mirrors which had been broken. Praise the Lord, the bus and van are both road worthy again. These vehicles are used so much for transporting the members of the church.
April was an enjoyable and refreshing time in Nava. We are grateful to the Lord for the ministry He allows our family to be involved in. Thank you for your prayers and support to O.S.M. and our family.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family