Today, after a good night sleep, we went out to see the construction sites we are working on and meet the families who live there. Driving around, our project manager, Marcelo introduced us to the people and the projects we were going to become familiar with over the next week.
The first house we went to was owned by Miguel who was in need of a new roof on one half oh his home. While Miguel, Marcelo and Dave were assessing the materials needed for the job, Miguel wife and sister came out to meet the rest of the team. They introduced themselves and showed our team around their property. On the tour our animal loving missionaries got to meet their many dogs and puppies, and got to see some of the plants that were growing. The one plant that they were growing is called 'jamaica' which has a succulent flower (from the hibiscus family) that can be dried and steeped in water to brew a drink similar to tea. We are excited to get to know this family and work on their house.
The next place Marcelo lead us, in his 1986 Nissan pick-up truck, was to Guadalupe's house. Her house has some structural issues with the roof that is causing leaking in her ceilings. We are going to be replacing her whole roof and adding some structural supports to make her roof more sturdy and leak proof. Guadalupe has two types of cactus growing in her yard that can be harvested and eaten. This project will be a great opportunity to get to know Guadalupe better and ensure that her house stays dry and secure.
Finally we are taken to our third project area which is the public school where the boys from Oasis attend. Here we got to walk around and talk to the principal about what needed done. They are in the process of painting all of their buildings so they match. Each building on the ground his white with a bright green trim which a previous group started. We will be finishing the job on the remaining walls that need painted.
After a filling peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch our group headed out the store to pick up groceries for the rest of our trip. We have made a conscious effort to buy as many things in Mexico to help the economy instead of importing it all from a superstore from the states. This was very beneficial to our group when we crossed the boarder last night with no searching of the van or luggage (which is usually a hassle and can take a while). Our boarder crossing was the fastest our group has ever seen. Later in the day we took a trip to visit some local shut-ins, and here is a personal account of how that went:
A word from a missionary - Leslie (6th trip to Mexico):
This afternoon we visited the “Shut-ins” that Caring Hearts supports in the San Luis area. The definition of a “Shut-in” covers those in need that cannot get out and or provide the help needed. A vague definition for a group of beautiful people that will be in my heart and prayers for a very long time.
The first home we stopped by had an eighteen year old blind bed ridden man with cerebral palsy who looked more like a like an 10 year old boy. The mother has to work in the onion fields because the father has Alzheimer’s. The younger sister has dropped out of school to be the caregiver for her brother. The family was full of smiles and very grateful for our prayers, amazing.
The second home had a single mother with two daughters. The younger daughter is a severe diabetic and the doctors have only given her a few years to live. The mother is unable to work and they are very grateful for the monetary support of the Caring Hearts Ministry. The family now will be given a ride to church so they can worship with the Caring Hearts Community.
The next home was also heartbreaking. The grandmother has breast cancer and is mentally challenged. To take care of her mother she has to harvest and sell cactus to provide the money needed for transportation to the clinic. The mother who also has a young son has cancer too and is presently unable to get treatment for her disease.
The last home was the toughest visit for me. The grandmother was suffering from epileptic seizers along with terrible knee pain. She fell yesterday and injured her shoulders. She has no pain medication and cannot get government help because she is without a birth certificate. This is compounded by the fact that her grandson’s, who were carefully watching us from the street, are gang members who are involved with drugs. We laid hands on and prayed with Stella and ask for healing. I was very moved by the tears on Stella face as we were leaving.
This is a bare description of the sights, sounds, feelings and prayers that the group experienced during this ministry. I am so thankful to God that I was able to meet and pray with these families.