Two exciting events unfold in the next few weeks of which I'm excited to invite your prayers. The work of a handful of volunteers continues to bless both the community members of Vicente Guerrero and those signing up to go. Monte Baker and I recently visited Oaxaca to make preparations for two upcoming work teams, and conversations have started with a group from Illinois who have expressed interest in our work.
On Wednesday, June 11, the first part of a team of 13 men from Oregon based Household of Faith will travel ahead of the remainder of the team, departing on Friday, Oaxaca bound. This team will be pouring floors for a modest church in a colony called Zapoteca, minutes from Oaxaca City. In addition, the team will be constructing a "bano," a bathroom in the community to begin our effort in integrating this solution into our work. Strategically located at the church, the pastors will have increased opportunity to develop relationships by serving the needs of the community. If resources allow, the team will return to the Women's Shelter, now lacking a room, to assess the opportunity of finishing the first floor.
This is a special team. I told my wife, Elisabeth, it is our "dream team" with men working to be examples to their sons, sons seeking direction and purpose, and a group wanting to bring the return of glory back to our Lord. The collective understanding that forming relationships is the cornerstone of an effective outreach was obviously the spirit of this team. Please join me in daily prayer for this team.
The other "happening" in June is Elisabeth's Marathon! I'm excited to share that she has put our business on the hook for more than $1000 as she fundraises! It's hard to feel too bad about that as we have been so blessed by the chance to participate in so many people's ministry. God has continually provided for the needs of this small outreach and we're very grateful. Please stay in prayer for her on the 22nd of this month when she'll be running the 26 miles, now dedicated to this work in Oaxaca.
Other exciting news includes Mikaela's team of young adults which is slated for August. She's continued to motivate her peers toward the project and we're very proud of her focus on serving the poorest of the poor in Mexico.
Last night, I shared the following two statistics with the Household of Faith (dubbed “Pisos for Tamales”) about Oaxaca that you might find interesting as you consider your call and how we can help you get there:
- Oaxaca contains the largest concentration of people groups in all of the Americas…
- … Half of Mexico's indigenous people groups are located in Oaxaca, speaking over 155 different dialects.
- Mexican income is falling faster than that of any other Latin American country. According to the International Labor Organization, in the southern state of Oaxaca, that category of extreme poverty encompasses 75 percent of its 3.4 million residents, according to EDUCA, an education and development organization.
As we consider our future, we know without a doubt that we’re not the only ones called to serve Oaxaca and there are some of you waiting for the right timing, the right financial situation, and more. We’re patient but invite you to enjoy our tremendous blessing.
In spite of the grip of poverty, Mexicans demonstrate such kindness when we visit and work beside them. The richness of their spirit and willingness to make the most of what we consider dire circumstances leaves me questioning whether it is actually we who live in poverty. God is so good.
John 15:16 reads “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”