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March 2011
Dear Friends in Christ,
We are so happy to report that a much needed home in Nava is finished. Lydia and Poncho are enjoying the fruits of our labor and your gifts to them. They both are very grateful. For them, the 300 square foot home is a dream! The projected budget of $3,500 for Lydia’s home was almost tripled. Labor accounted for a large part of the over-run, but we were happy to provide several men with work.
In spite of a very warm March, the home progressed rapidly. Oscar and his nephew, Jesús, were a tremendous help with the concrete work, stucco, and laying the tile. Micah was with us long enough to get the ceiling up. He was also able to complete some trim work, and paint the inside of the home as well as the primer coat on the outside. He then returned to San Antonio by bus for school while the rest of us continued painting and doing the tedious finish-up work.
At the job site each day, Lydia would come by to see the progress of her home. Occasionally she would bring family members, which usually included one or two of her 37 grandchildren who spend lots of time with her. One day she brought her Mom, Deloris, who is 102 years old. Deloris is a strong Christian woman. We felt honored to meet her. Lydia and her siblings take turns caring for Deloris who still lives in her own home close by. She recently fell and bruised herself, so she was in a wheelchair which we were told is new for her.
Our friends Pedro and Olivia stopped by while we were painting plywood for the ceiling. Pedro seems to be doing some better after a stroke that left him disabled last summer. Olivia is having some health issues as well. She is unable to get to the doctor because of her need to care for Pedro. They both have great attitudes for all they have been through this past year.
We worked until about 9:00 each evening to assure that we would finish the job before the end of the month. On the last day we installed a ceiling fan over their new bed, brought in new sheets and pillows, purchased a used refrigerator and a new stove, and installed cabinets made by Paulina’s husband, Braulio. A local glass man came and hung a mirror over the bathroom sink. We put up a shelf over her toilet and placed rugs throughout her home. It is very small, but with freshly painted walls and new tile floors the home looked beautiful. Poncho was working the evening we finished but we left a very excited Lydia with some of her grandchildren in her new home. She asked us where she should put things and we encouraged her to put things where she would like as it is her home. She acted like a an excited child in her joy and disbelief that this was actually her house. Sister Paulina offered to go by a few times to help her organize as Lydia has never actually had a home to organize before.
Each week a cell group is held in Lydia’s home for families in her neighborhood to get together, study the Bible and pray. She is thankful to have a much nicer home now in which to host her friends as they fellowship together. Some of the people who attend her Bible studies do not attend the John 3:16 Church, but they are willing to come to her home for this special time.
Our family is very grateful for your outpouring of prayer, love and financial support so that we were able to build this home and minister in Nava. We pray the blessings of Jesus Christ over your homes and families.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family
~Testimony From Debbi~
It is always such a blessing to finish a big project in Nava. As many teams in the past can understand, the emotion of completing a home and handing the keys over to a precious family is amazing. To help and encourage a Christian family in this way is a tremendous reward for me. It was a humbling experience to spend so much time with Lydia, a woman my age who has never had indoor running water or her own bathroom and shower. I have known Lydia and seen her in church for years now, but for some reason this is the time her home became the project before us. I praise God for her life and the encouragement I received by being around her, her Mom, her children, and grandchildren. God is so good in allowing these projects to be as much of a blessing for our family as for those who receive them. What an amazing Father we have! May He always be glorified through the work done by O.S.M. in Nava.
~Praise And Prayer~
We would love to upgrade Toncho’s existing home. He has no kitchen or bathroom/living area and we would like to add this to his existing home. Please pray with us that the funds would be provided to work on this project for him, his wife Cuquis, and their 3 children.
We have felt for some time that the Juan 3:16 church is in need of an additional building to house a suitable kitchen, bathrooms, and classrooms. This would be a rather large project. Please pray with us as we seek the Lord’s direction.
We are sad to report that the violence has increased considerably in the Allende and Nava area as different factions compete for power. Please continue to keep us and Pastor Santos in your prayers as we serve as the Lord leads.
~Haiti Update~
We talk with Lussade monthly about the schools and happenings in Haiti. Praise the Lord, the schools, Pastors Marc, Pastor Peti Noel, Lussade, and their families are all doing well. The elections have taken place and they are not sure yet who is their new president. Please pray for the rainy season coming up. This time of year is especially bad for families living in tents in Port-au-Prince. Some of the school children are still living in these conditions. Lussade’s addition on his home is still coming along. He has one bedroom and bath almost completed.