Happy March! I trust that you and yours are through with the coldest part of the Winter and looking forward to a beautiful Spring?! Thank you so much for including me and Camp Laughing Child in your hearts. Please join me in these praises and prayers for Camp. Father is worthy and the kids are worth it!
PRAISE: WE HAVE WATER!! Not only do we now have water, we have crystal clear spring water! The water commission met us yesterday to install a specially made attachment to the main water line which furnishes “unlimited” water to fill the tanks supplying all of our facilities. The monthly cost for constant spring water flow is only $2.90 per month. We may now go forward with the installation of tanks, tubes, and our plumbing fixtures. Wonderfully, gravity allows us to operate the entire system without using any electricity! This is truly an incredible blessing for the Camp!
PRAISE: Over 100 fruit trees have been planted. The last truck load of Apple, peach, plum, apricot, and pear trees was delivered last week. We will use as much of the fruit as is needed for our camps and then can preserves and jellies to sell toward self-sustainability. It may be the first micro-business that we start. Very exciting.
PRAISE: Our new worker, Pablo, is fitting in very well with Mario and Cesar. We have indeed stepped up the pace of construction. The installation of our water system requires digging long ditches (thousands of feet!). Pablo will spend some of his vibrant youth helping Mario with many labor intensive jobs. Pablo loves nature and animals a great deal as well. Since he lives just across the river from the Camp, we are going to start raising some chickens which will provide fresh eggs daily. We will eat the eggs at Camp, but will bless the workers families in the meantime.
PRAISE: We just paid five years of property taxes at the municipality. The total amount was $95 USD! We greatly appreciate every cent of savings in this significant endeavor.
PRAISE: The glass panes for all the windows should be installed next week. We have waited to do this job until the heavy construction was complete. I look forward to it being much warmer there through cool Winter nights.
PRAISE: Our roof tiles are nearly finished. We hope to load our 2,000 (heavy) tiles onto a transport truck next week. Once Mario, Cesar, and Pablo place and bolt the beams in position this week, up and on go the roof tiles. It will be truly wonderful to see the roof of the Playground Pavilion finished! That will mean that all structural floor, wall, and roof systems of our Camp are complete!! What a thrill!!
PRAY: Mario, Cesar and Pablo. May they see Jesus and yield utterly to Him. May the kindness of Loving Father lead them to salvation.
PRAY: Alex and I will meet with an AIDS specialist and a compassionate general surgeon here in Puebla next week. The Camp is getting close enough to readiness that initial contacts/relationships with health care officials are being established! This is perhaps the most important stage of our development. Please Pray that doors and hearts will open to this vision of healing for these hurting kids!
PRAY: There are still speaking/singing dates to fill for April. Do please agree with me that those meetings will be fruitful for the Hearers and for the Camp. If you have some ideas for potential dates in the Columbus area between April 1ST through 28TH, please contact me.
PRAY: It is essential to strengthen and expand our support base as we push through to completion. We are so very close to finishing our beautiful Camp!
REFLECTION: Unlike most churches, we have never borrowed any money for our buildings… Thus, the process has been slower than perhaps we initially thought or hoped. I want to say a deepest thank you for helping me do this ministry the “old fashioned” way. When there was a dollar available, I bought a stone, a brick, or a board. When there was no money available, I prayed, shared, worked the land, and waited on God… not just in stillness, but as a waiter waits on a table, in attentive service! Bless you for taking this compassionate journey with me. I could not have stuck with it without your faithful loving support. Be encouraged that the poor here profoundly relate to the struggles that they have observed us face through the years. Doing this work the hard way has created bridges of identification which greatly enhance Father-disclosing relationship building. Praise God that He is now using this hard earned trust for the Glory of His Kingdom and the healing of His children!
It so impresses me that Jesus rode a humble donkey on the narrow path that saved the entire world! Sadly, in our flesh, we most often desire/choose a “stallion” approach to life and ministry. We do not want to toil in the field, breaking up hard ground, sowing tiny seeds… No, we want to reap a harvest in fields where we have never worked the ground. I can testify that most people in this world live close to the “dirt”. There is simply no way to do Father’s business in this world without getting some of it under our fingernails. No matter what they tell you on “Christian” television and radio, the way of Jesus is the way of the cross! He is not only our motivation, but our model for “incarnational” ministry. May we find grace to deny ourselves daily and choose His donkey paths that lead to treasures hidden in forgotten fields. May our “pockets” be filled with this Heavenly treasure when we see Him face to face… in just a few minutes from now.