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April 2011
Dear Friends in Christ,
With the rising temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s, the violence also continues to heat up in Nava and Allende. Even so, we are blessed that the Lord allowed us to begin work on Toncho’s home this month.
Toncho’s house is sort of a “hodge-podge” because he has built and added on a couple of times as he can afford. This is very common in the Nava area. They make do with what they have and struggle to make any additions on their homes when they do have a little extra money. So often they are left half done. We are excited to begin helping him finish some of his projects and add a kitchen and bathroom to his home. This will greatly improve the living conditions for him, his wife Cuquis (pronounced Cookies), and their 3 children.
The boys who work with Toncho in the Carpenter House joined in the work. They helped tear down the existing roof which was constructed with scrap lumber and had several leaks. The evening they finished tearing it down, Nava had their first rain in almost a year. (Now we know how to assure water for the local farmers!!) Praise the Lord for rain! It was a light rain though so the exposed home did not receive any water damage. Kenny, Toncho, and Leonardo constructed the new roof. We are now trying to come up with ideas in designing the kitchen and bathroom that will work with the existing home.
Please pray with us for the Lord’s provision to do the necessary upgrades on Toncho’s home. This will be a major blessing to him and his family. He has poured so much time, teaching, and prayer into many young men through the ministry of the Carpenter House. The challenges are great to reach the young people in the colonia. Most families have very low incomes and there are many single-parent homes. Drugs and alcohol abuse are rampant. The young people have very few Christian role models to look to. This is the reason we are thrilled to have Toncho at the Carpenter Shop and Lety in the Dorcas House. They are teaching Scriptures, counseling, and teaching skills that could help give these youth a different direction for their lives. Pray with us that many are led to Christ through these ministries.
Each month we are blessed to spend time ministering physically to many needs in Nava. This month Kenny was able to spend time counseling Leonardo in different areas of his life. Leonardo is young, has no regular job, and is not walking a committed life with Christ, yet he desires to get married. We are all for marriage, yet this young man is not prepared to take on a wife and family. Please keep Leonardo in your prayers.
While checking on Jesús and delivering his monthly meds, Kenny was invited to stay for a nice breakfast with his family. Ramiro and Maria served him cactus, tortillas, and salsa, which is a typical breakfast for their family. They are one of the few families we know in Nava who make use of their yard and grow a lot of what they eat. Their yard is small by American standards but they use every bit of space to garden, raise critters, and propagate plants and trees. Every time we visit, we leave with some herbs or vegetables they have grown. We continue to be encouraged by their sweet friendship.
Thanks to your kind generosity, we were able to send Lussade extra money to help with the addition on his home. He shared with us that he has now finished one room and bathroom and will use the extra money towards completing the other room and bathroom upstairs. This will enable him to house our small teams and other Christian groups when they minister in his area. He reported that the children and the feeding programs at both schools are doing fine. The Haiti trip Micah had planned for the spring was delayed because of political unrest. We are hopeful that he and a few others may be able to go there in the fall.
We were blessed to have Debbi’s Mom, Barbara McGovern, and Ken’s step-Mom, Barbara Kennedy, here for a visit this month. They made the long drive from Florida and stayed for 10 days! We took a few days to share some of San Antonio, Fredericksburg, and Boerne with them. We had so much fun touring old missions, visiting the River Walk, shopping, picnicking, and spending time with grandchildren. They both are a tremendous encouragement to our family. Their visit was greatly enjoyed by all of us!
We are so grateful for your faithful prayers and support. Please join us in prayer for our dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ across the south who are going through life changing situations because of storms and tornadoes. Some of you or your loved ones may be affected by these difficult times. Please let us know so that we could possibly help or at the very least be in prayer for you. Keeping our hearts and eyes on Jesus, we ask our loving and merciful Father to direct our steps and to make our paths straight. May each of you and your families be blessed by His love and protection.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family