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November 2010
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Shelby Kennedy Foundation hosted the national Bible Bee this month in Chicago. Once again the top 300 contestants and their families from all over the United States gathered together for this exciting event. Debbi and Micah, representing our family, were blessed to attend as well. It was very exciting and emotional to hear hours of Bible recitation. These young people memorized hundreds of scriptures to qualify for the finals. There are three age categories which include young children through 18 years old. Each category has 100 finalists. To us, each child there was already a winner having memorized hundreds of scriptures to qualify. Not only do the contestants learn these scriptures but many of their siblings, parents, and grandparents learn them as well just by hearing the quotations over and over. We praise God for this beautiful vision of a Bible Bee given to a friend of our family at Shelby's memorial service in 2005! What a blessing to hide so much of God's Word in their hearts.
Mike and Pam Richardson and their family joined us in Nava after the Bible Bee to speak at the John 3:16 Church. Mike, who is originally from Georgia, has a church outside of Saltillo, Mexico where they live and minister full time. It was a blessing to host them and their 6 children. We enjoyed showing them the Dorcas House, the Carpenter Shop, and the Ranch of Faith, and sharing some of our vision for O.S.M.
Mike had 3 topics that he used for his sermons. The first was our relationship with God; second our relationship with one another; third our relationship with those in authority over us. One night Mike had an altar call. He shared later with us that it was the first one he had ever done. Many of the people at the church were deeply moved by the Word. (Isaiah 55:11) We praise God for His work in the hearts of our Brothers and Sisters in Nava. We are very grateful to Mike, Pam, and their children for taking time from their busy schedule to minister in Nava. What a blessing to attend these meetings!
The boys from the Carpenter Shop are spending more time at the Ranch of Faith. Kenny was able to share God's truths several times while we were there with 10 boys between the ages of 10 and 13. This is one way Kenny hopes to minister at the Ranch of Faith with the young men of the colonia. One day the boys helped with some jobs that needed to be done for Pastor Santos. In the afternoon, Toncho cooked chicken and Sister Fini had beans and rice to complete a nice meal for everyone. Pastor Santos and Fini love sharing their home with visitors at the ranch and we are blessed to see them ministering to so many people.
Most of you remember Ramiro and Maria, who have a handicapped son, Jesús. Ramiro has a lot of agricultural knowledge. O.S.M. purchased a pig for him last year. We added another pig so he can raise piglets and purchased some baby ducks for him as well. Several times we have seen Ramiro digging through dumpsters where he finds discarded tortillas and other food scraps for his pig, goat, rabbits, and now his ducks. His animals are some of the largest and healthiest looking in Nava. We asked what they would do with the ducks and he said that they make excellent tamales. Where we see cute, they see food.
Pastor Santos decided to build a temporary milking parlor at the Ranch of Faith so he can begin milking his cows. He asked Kenny to help him with the construction. This project will provide a few jobs for the men or older boys in the colonia. This could possibly be the beginning of a full time ministry on the ranch. Pastor and Kenny both were excited to start working on the building as well as making plans to move the herd. This is partially possible because Pastor Santos gets feed at a very cheap price from a business close by. Without this feed, the ranch could not sustain the cows.
We were very encouraged by those of you who sent extra gifts to help replace some of the items stolen last month. This was a great help since we did not have insurance coverage. We praise God for your thoughtfulness. Thank you very much!!
Our family celebrated the goodness of our Wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, with lots of food and fellowship on Thanksgiving Day. In the midst of much turmoil in Mexico, God has spared Nava so far and we are thankful. He has enabled us to begin an exciting work on the ranch. The Dorcas House and the Carpenter shops are both reaching many people for Christ, and the John 3:16 Church is moving forward spiritually. In Haiti, O.S.M. still has 2 Christian schools receiving food each day. God spared the lives of these children during the earthquakes and floods. Lussade and both pastors and their families are doing well with neither school nor these families' homes destroyed. We are grateful for God's love and protection over our family and O.S.M. We thank each of you for encouraging and helping us minister in Mexico and Haiti. May Christ be glorified in and through us! We pray all of you are having a wonderful holiday season!!
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family