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January 2014
Dear Friends in Christ,
On Dec. 26, 2013, Pastor Santos' mother Gloria Casanova, passed away. We wish each of you could have known her, see where she lived and how humble her life was. She sold small snacks from her home such as, popcorn balls, candies, chips and sodas. When she was well, she would always send popcorn balls to me because she knew I liked them. She had a very positive impact on her children and as a result, her two sons are in ministry. For some years she would help Pastor Santos' brother who had a Christian radio program. Many times she joined him on the program. She truly was an awesome woman of God.
The expression on Pastor Santos' face in the photo is one I am familiar with, but have not seen but a few times in 15 years of our friendship. It was taken the day of his mother's memorial service. It is a solemn look of concern and/or hurt. I point this out because this Brother has an attribute that I have envied for years. He has the ability to laugh or smile when things go horribly wrong. He laughs at himself immediately if he gets hurt or does something foolish. On one occasion his cows broke out and wandered onto a busy highway. Nerve-racking to say the least. Brother Santos ran after them faster than a younger man could. Somehow, with a little help, they were all herded back into the fenced area. He laughed the entire time. I had a very different response. Out of breath, I spent the next 30 minutes mumbling to myself and wondering why he hadn't built better fences. What an example he is for all of us as we try to put our priorities and minor setbacks in perspective. Prov.17:22, A cheerful heart is good medicine.
I have seen that same look on his face as he witnessed Christ to someone who just didn't get it, or when a brother or sister in the church had a real need he wanted to fill. I have seen him cry while praying for a lost person while we were handing out despensias (food packs). He has a heart to reach the lost like very few people I have known, and he always maintains a humble attitude.
Brother Santos by most standards is a workaholic. Besides caring for the ranch so children from the colonia can come to work and help, he is continuously in the colonias helping poor families. He helps those who may or may not be members of his churches. He prays with those who lose their loved ones or have financial needs. He takes food and medicine to many mothers in need, families who are struggling and the elderly. He and Sister Fini share the love of Jesus Christ with urgency because they believe Christ is returning very soon and they need to be about the work of our Lord.
His life has challenged and humbled me many times. He challenges me to be less engrossed in the things that don't matter here on earth. God humbles me by realizing what a privilege it is to be a Christian and to share the gospel with the lost. We all expect more time on earth than we may have, therefore, we put off sharing Christ. This is our foremost calling as followers of Jesus.
I share these things about Pastor Santos because I realize what a privilege it is to be working with a Brother like him. Please continue to pray for Pastor Santos and his family's provision, protection and encouragement.
This month in Haiti, Kenny assisted with the hosting of a small team. They wanted to visit the village and attend the weddings. Thanks to your provision for Kenny financially, he spent some time at Lussade's home on the mountain. During that time, he had a lot of work and repairs done to his truck before the team arrived. We shipped a set of tires to him. Now he has what he needs to travel the rough roads. Thank you so much for your kind response to this need for his truck!
Just as we started to work on this newsletter, more bad weather set in as well as a lot of sickness within our family. We will include more about Haiti, the weddings, the team and the homes being built in our next newsletter.
OSM will be hosting a medical team to Haiti March 13-22. We are still praying for a U.S. doctor to come with us. Also, if you would like to join us, there are a lot of ways you could be of help. The cost is $1,400, plus airfare. Pray about it and let us know if you are interested in joining us.
All that God has done and given us is so much more valuable than anything else we could ever acquire. God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ alone should compel us to share the gospel with those who don't know Him. Pray with us for boldness to use opportunities to witness and share His love. Thank you very much for your faithful prayers and support for OSM which enables us to minister as we do.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family